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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : What is John Brennan So Worried About?

Posted by M. C. on November 17, 2020

The CIA’s point man at The Washington Post, David Ignatius, has provided the answer:

Protecting “sources and methods” is a red herring. They can be redacted from a classified document. It’s the content of these files that has Brennan extremely nervous as they might reveal Brennan’s role in the Russiagate scandal. Of course, Brennan invoked the old trope of “national security” when it appears it’s his own security he’s worried about.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/november/13/what-is-john-brennan-so-worried-about/

Written by Ray McGovern

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Former CIA Director John Brennan is apparently so worried that Donald Trump might release certain classified intelligence that he suggested this week that Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet remove Trump via the 25th amendment.

Brennan appeared this week on both CNN and MSNBC to spread alarm about what Trump might do as he continues to contest the election results and appoints new people at Defense, NSA (and possibly CIA) who may do his bidding. 

Brennan warned on CNN that it was “very, very worrisome” that Trump “is just very unpredictable now … like a cornered cat — tiger. And he’s going to lash out.”

Brennan told MSNBC he was worried that Trump has called for the “wholesale declassification of intelligence in order to further his own political interests.”

Whom would he lash out at and what classified documents might Brennan be referring to?

The CIA’s point man at The Washington Post, David Ignatius, has provided the answer:

“President Trump’s senior military and intelligence officials have been warning him strongly against declassifying information about Russia that his advisers say would compromise sensitive collection methods and anger key allies.

An intense battle over this issue has raged within the administration in the days before and after the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump and his allies want the information public because they believe it would rebut claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin supported Trump in 2016. That may sound like ancient history, but for Trump it remains ground zero — the moment when his political problems began.”

Protecting “sources and methods” is a red herring. They can be redacted from a classified document. It’s the content of these files that has Brennan extremely nervous as they might reveal Brennan’s role in the Russiagate scandal. Of course, Brennan invoked the old trope of “national security” when it appears it’s his own security he’s worried about.

Trump reportedly wants to declassify key intel on the Russia probe; Haspel & other officials are opposed. I think the public has a right to see this info — especially since so much of what we have been allowed to see undermines the narrative we were told. https://t.co/pwpQSz7z3y — Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) November 11, 2020

As we noted at a similar juncture in March 2018 (in “Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared”), Brennan’s foremost worry — then, as now — was that Trump was about to expose him to the disgrace that befell ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for malfeasance in connection with Russiagate.

The president had just fired McCabe for repeatedly lying, and Brennan had good reason to worry. That was before the true extent of the roles McCabe, his boss, former FBI Director James Comey, and Brennan played in the WMD-style fabrication of “Russiagate” had became more fully understood.

Brennan landed on his MSNBC perch as a paid commentator on Feb. 2, 2018 and was riding high with adulation from the likes of former UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who publicly warned Trump that it is “not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”

Even back then, however, storm clouds were gathering. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who knew much more than he revealed, was warning of legal consequences for Russiagate conspirators.

Referring to the weavers and tailors of Russiagate, Nunes told reporter Sharyl Attkisson on Feb. 18, 2018: “If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial. The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created.”

Dismissive of such warnings, Brennan accused Trump on May 17, 2018 of “moral turpitude” and predicted, with an alliterative flourish, that he would end up “as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.” 

As the Russiagate saga has unfolded, however, it has become abundantly clear that there is more than enough moral turpitude to go around. As discussed below, there may be a reasonable hope that documentary evidence — chapter and verse — about Russiagate turpitude will see the light of day if Trump summons the backbone to get unimpeachable evidence into the open.

In my view, this is what seems to have Brennan on tenterhooks.

What Else Did Esper Refuse to Do?

This is the big question. In the CNN interview, Brennan was not artful enough to disguise what seems to be his major worry. Right after complaining that complacent observers are “missing what is a very, very worrisome development,” the ex-CIA chief added:

And I think it’s quite apparent from reporting that Mark Esper has stood up to Donald Trump repeatedly. Who knows what else has he [‘terminated’ Secretary of Defense Esper] refused to do?

(For one thing, according to Politico, Esper clashed with Trump over pulling US troops out of Afghanistan.)

Brennan added: “Who knows what [freshly appointed Acting Secretary of Defense] Chris Miller is going to do if Donald Trump does give some kind of order that really is counter to what I think our national security interests need to be?”

There are abundant — and disquieting (to Brennan) — clues to this, in the events unfolding over the past several days.

For starters, there is the role Ignatius (as close to Brennan as a Siamese twin) played in setting an unusually transparent table to interpret Brennan’s CNN interview the morning after — curiously, without mentioning the interview itself.

(Yes, this is the same David Ignatius who reported on the leaked, late-Dec. 2016 telephone conversation between Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Gen. Michael Flynn, which was used to trap Flynn and, if possible, put him in prison. After all, Flynn was a major threat. He knew — or would have been able to find out — where most of the Russiagate bodies were buried. It was imperative that he be removed quickly from his position as Trump’s national security adviser.)

Here are Ignatius’s main points:

— Senior military and intelligence officials have been warning Trump against declassifying information about Russia that would compromise sensitive collection methods and anger allies.

— Trump wants the information out “because he thinks it would rebut claims that Putin supported Trump in 2016
— how his political problems began.”

— CIA Director Gina Haspel is against release; said to be determined to “protect sources and methods.”

— NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone directly opposed White House efforts to release the information.

— Defense Secretary Mark Esper – just “terminated” on Monday – supported Nakasone’s view, warning of “harm to national security and specific harm to the military.”

— Christopher Miller is named to replace Esper.

— Michael Ellis, former chief counsel to Nunes, has just been installed as general counsel at NSA.
Nunes: Out From Under the Bus?

After being “thrown under the bus” by Trump more than once in his attempts to expose the crimes of Russiagate, Nunes may now harbor some hope that his patience and loyalty will be rewarded after all. In October Trump ordered Russiagate documents declassified and nothing happened. The next few weeks will tell. The omens are better than before.

Not only will Ellis be general counsel at NSA, reportedly over the objections of Gen. Nakasone, but Kashyap Patel, a longtime Russiagate skeptic and former Nunes aide on the House Intelligence Committee, is replacing Esper’s chief of staff at the Pentagon. Patel is said to already have a “very close” working relationship with Miller, the acting defense secretary. (And rumors persist that Haspel’s ouster is next.) 

In addition, former National Security Council official Ezra Cohen-Watnick has been named acting undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Cohen-Watnick not only reaps close ties to Nunes; he was also a top aide to Flynn during the latter’s abbreviated tenure as national security adviser.

Have these folks been appointed to help start a new war? They seem better placed to try to finish an old one — namely, Russiagate. They would certainly be well placed to execute a Trump order to declassify and release R-gate-related documents that have been Waiting for Godot.

This sends shivers up the spines of those with much to fear from such disclosures. At the same time, the formidable ability of the bureaucracy to resist is well known to all concerned.

Esper Slow-Walked Out the Door

It appears Esper may have been slow-walking a White House request to release information gathered and stored by the National Security Agency, which could document what Trump calls the “hoax” of Russiagate, and the criminal behavior of its perpetrators — including the role prime mover Brennan may have had.

It may be hard to believe, but the NSA intercepts and stores every electronic communication. All Trump has to do is to have newly appointed acting Pentagon chief Miller order Gen. Nakasone to release materials spelling out chapter and verse on the Russiagate operations orchestrated by Brennan, Comey, and ex-National Intelligence Director James Clapper. Nakasone reports to the secretary of defense.

Don’t be misled; virtually all of it can be released with ZERO danger to intelligence “sources and methods.” But release won’t happen if Trump continues to just whine to Fox News, or he “authorizes” release without follow-up (he’s already done that — to no effect).

What Brennan seems to fear is that it might dawn on Trump that he lost the election and has little time left to act. As a lame-duck he might want to go out with a flourish: revenge against the intelligence establishment that undermined him for four years with its Russiagate fable.

Trump might awake one day to find that someone has scrawled on his mirror, “Hey, I thought YOU were the president.” At that point, there would be an outside chance he might act like one, and Brennan and co-conspirators might find themselves going the way of McCabe.

In such circumstances, establishment media can be expected to make a Herculean effort to suppress the (highly embarrassing, including for the media) truth about Russiagate.

It certainly did an amazingly effective job suppressing “Huntergate.” Odds are they could succeed this time around too.

Like those huge banks ten years ago, Russiagate may be too-big-to-fail. But, at least, the documentary evidence would be out there for those who “can handle the truth” — and for future historians with some courage. This is not about the election, which has been decided. But about putting on the record intelligence interference in the last election and subsequent administration, so that future agencies might think twice about doing it again.

By finally ordering the release of such documents, sanitized in those few cases in which it might be necessary, Trump may enable anyone opened minded about Russiagate to be informed in a documented way, about what actually happened during that long-lingering, dark chapter of our recent history.

And, in the process, Russiagaters might be able to overcome their instinctual reluctance to accept the pernicious nature of the National Security State. And that would be for the best.

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Treason in America: An Overview of the FBI, CIA and Matters of ‘National Security’ — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2020

The Family Jewels report was only partially declassified in June 25, 2007 (30 years later). Along with the release of the redacted report included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s.” [emphasis added]

Despite this acknowledged violation of its charter for 25 years, which is pretty much since its inception, the details of this information were kept classified for 30 years from not just the public but major governmental bodies and it was left to the agency itself to judge how best to “reform” its ways.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/10/19/treason-america-overview-of-fbi-cia-matters-national-security/

Cynthia Chung

“Treason doth never prosper; what is the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

Sir John Harrington.

As Shakespeare would state in his play Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” like a fish that rots from head to tail, so do corrupt government systems rot from top to bottom.

This is a reference to the ruling system of Denmark and not just the foul murder that King Claudius has committed against his brother, Hamlet’s father. This is showcased in the play by reference to the economy of Denmark being in a state of shambles and that the Danish people are ready to revolt since they are on the verge of starving. King Claudius has only been king for a couple of months, and thus this state of affairs, though he inflames, did not originate with him.

Thus, during our time of great upheaval we should ask ourselves; what constitutes the persisting “ruling system,” of the United States, and where do the injustices in its state of affairs truly originate from?

The tragedy of Hamlet does not just lie in the action (or lack of action) of one man, but rather, it is contained in the choices and actions of all its main characters. Each character fails to see the longer term consequences of their own actions, which leads not only to their ruin but towards the ultimate collapse of Denmark. The characters are so caught up in their antagonism against one another that they fail to foresee that their very own destruction is intertwined with the other.

This is a reflection of a failing system.

A system that, though it believes itself to be fighting tooth and nail for its very survival, is only digging a deeper grave. A system that is incapable of generating any real solutions to the problems it faces.

The only way out of this is to address that very fact. The most important issue that will decide the fate of the country is what sort of changes are going to occur in the political and intelligence apparatus, such that a continuation of this tyrannical treason is finally stopped in its tracks and unable to sow further discord and chaos.

When the Matter of “Truth” Becomes a Threat to “National Security”

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the “free” world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time.

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their “intelligence,” that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government’s ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something “credible” to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on “terror,” that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the U.S. for the last four years…over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called “mistaken” intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.

When Great Figures of Hope Are Targeted as Threats to “National Security”

The Family Jewels report, which was an investigation conducted by the CIA to investigate itself, was spurred by the Watergate Scandal and the CIA’s unconstitutional role in the whole affair. This investigation by the CIA reviewed its own conduct from the 1950s to mid-1970s.

The Family Jewels report was only partially declassified in June 25, 2007 (30 years later). Along with the release of the redacted report included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s.” [emphasis added]

Despite this acknowledged violation of its charter for 25 years, which is pretty much since its inception, the details of this information were kept classified for 30 years from not just the public but major governmental bodies and it was left to the agency itself to judge how best to “reform” its ways.

On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the “family jewels”. This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time. In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of U.S. citizens.

Largely as a reaction to Hersh’s findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate.

The Church Committee’s final report was published in April 1976, including seven volumes of Church Committee hearings in the Senate.

The Church Committee also published an interim report titled “Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders”, which investigated alleged attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of Zaire, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and Fidel Castro of Cuba. President Ford attempted to withhold the report from the public, but failed and reluctantly issued Executive Order 11905 after pressure from the public and the Church Committee.

Executive Order 11905 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on February 18, 1976, by a very reluctant President Ford in an attempt to reform the United States Intelligence Community, improve oversight on foreign intelligence activities, and ban political assassination.

The attempt is now regarded as a failure and was largely undone by President Reagan who issued Executive Order 12333, which extended the powers and responsibilities of U.S. intelligence agencies and directed leaders of the U.S. federal agencies to co-operate fully with the CIA, which was the original arrangement that CIA have full authority over clandestine operations (for more information on this refer to my papers here and here).

In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled “Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973“. The rest were kept secret at the CIA’s request.

Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK, in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List.

In 1975, the Church Committee decided to unilaterally declassify the particulars of this operation, against the objections of President Ford’s administration (refer here and here for more information).

The Church Committee’s reports constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but over 50,000 pages were declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22nd, 1963. Two days before his assassination a hate-Kennedy handbill (see picture) was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer.

On March 1st, 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of David Ferrie and others. After a little over a one month long trial, Shaw was found not guilty on March 1st, 1969.

David Ferrie, a controller of Lee Harvey Oswald, was going to be a key witness and would have provided the ”smoking gun” evidence linking himself to Clay Shaw, was likely murdered on Feb. 22nd, 1967, less than a week after news of Garrison’s investigation broke in the media.

According to Garrison’s team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy’s assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation.

Though Garrison’s team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison’s book for further details and Oliver Stone’s excellently researched movie JFK]

To date, it is the only trial to be brought forward concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in 1994 by the Congress enacted President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection within the National Archives and Records Administration. In July 1998, a staff report released by the ARRB emphasized shortcomings in the original autopsy.

The ARRB wrote, “One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist.” [emphasis added]

The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy’s brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.

The Washington Post reported:

Asked about the lunchroom episode [where he was overheard stating his notes of the autopsy went missing] in a May 1996 deposition, Finck said he did not remember it. He was also vague about how many notes he took during the autopsy but confirmed that “after the autopsy I also wrote notes” and that he turned over whatever notes he had to the chief autopsy physician, James J. Humes.

See the rest here

© 2010 – 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org.

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Trump, Biden, Jorgensen discuss military and veterans issues – Task & Purpose

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2020

Jo Who?

https://taskandpurpose.com/news/trump-biden-jorgensen-defense-veterans-issues

For the first time, all three major presidential candidates have weighed in on the most pressing issues facing service members, military families, and veterans.

President Donald Trump, his democratic rival former Vice President Joe Biden, and Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen have provided answers to the Military Officers Association of America to a wide variety of questions about their plans for the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

MOAA, a non-partisan group, published the verbatim responses from Trump, Biden, and Jorgensen on Wednesday without any editorial comment.

“We wanted to go beyond the soundbites for our membership,” said retired Air Force Col. Dan Merry, MOAA’s vice president of government relations. “When candidates discuss military and veteran issues on the campaign trail they hit the high notes and play to a wide audience.” 

“Our members have a deeper understanding, and a much deeper involvement, with these topics,” he continued. “We thank the candidates for offering their expanded plans on these important issues, and we hope making the responses available to everyone, members and nonmembers alike, will help all voters make an informed decision.”

Separately, Task & Purpose has submitted questions to the Trump and Biden campaigns. Neither has provided responses.

Here are some of the highlights from candidates’ responses to MOAA:

Greatest national security threats

Trump views China as a growing military and economic threat to the United States as it seeks to increase its influence worldwide. China and other “near-peer competitors” represent the greatest long-term security challenges.

The president also reiterated that NATO allies need to spend more of their own money on defense and he vowed that the United States and its allies would continue to work with partners in the Middle East to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

While Biden acknowledged that Russia and China are both immediate threats, he argued that several of the greatest dangers facing the United States stem from climate change and global pandemics, like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Biden also vowed to “end the forever wars” while leaving a counterterrorism force in Afghanistan and maintaining a small presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State terrorist group, adding: “We do not need large deployments of combat forces to maintain our security.”

Jorgensen vowed to bring home all U.S. troops stationed overseas, end all U.S. military aid to foreign countries, and focus on defending the homeland.

“We should turn America into one giant Switzerland: armed and neutral, with a military force that’s ready to defend America’s shores and soil against any foreign attack,” she said.

Defense spending

Trump said he was proud to approve a $738 billion budget for the Defense Department in December, which the president said has helped repair the damage caused by budget cuts under former President Barack Obama.

“In addition to massive acquisitions made over the past two years, our current effort authorizes nearly 100 new F-35s; 24 brand-new F/A-18s; 155 Army helicopters, of all different types; 165 brand-new Abrams tanks; more than 50 Paladin howitzers; 2 new Virginia-class submarines; 3 new Arleigh Burke destroyers; a Ford-class aircraft carrier, and two others on their way; and much, much more. And it’s all made, right here, in the USA,” the president said.

Biden claimed that Trump has “abandoned all fiscal discipline” regarding defense spending by focusing on older legacy weapon systems when the military really needs to prepare for future wars by investing in cyber, space, unmanned systems, and artificial intelligence technologies.

“We can maintain a strong defense and protect our safety and security for less,” Biden said. “The real question is not how much we invest — it’s how we invest.”

Jorgensen said that defense spending would fall under her administration because no U.S. troops would be stationed overseas.

“With no U.S. involvement in foreign wars, a military that’s laser-focused on defending America, and a citizenry with the unabridged right to keep and bear arms, America will be safe,” she said.

Recruitment and the Selective Service System

For Trump, the best recruiting tool for the all-volunteer force is to ensure that veterans successfully make the transition to the private sector.

“To that end, I have signed an executive order supporting our veterans during their transition from uniformed service to civilian life,” the president said. “I’m honored to be at the forefront of the greatest strides ever made at the [Department of Veterans Affairs] for our veterans.”

Biden said he does not believe the United States needs a larger military, nor does he see a reason to bring back the draft.

“I would, however, ensure that women are also eligible to register for the Selective Service System so that men and women are treated equally in the event of future conflicts,” Biden said. “We should explore targeted recruiting efforts to build a military that is more geographically and demographically representative of the nation as a whole and that has the skill sets needed for modern warfare.”

Jorgensen promised to abolish the Selective Service System because there has not been a draft since the Vietnam War.

“The so-called military-civilian divide can best be bridged by staying out of foreign conflicts, and creating as much transparency as possible while maintaining the protection of vital military intelligence,” she said.

Caring for veterans

Trump touted the reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs passed under his administration, including the MISSION Act, allowing veterans to get care from private healthcare providers without prior authorizations.

The president also stressed that the VA is working on reform its health system so that veterans will have one electronic copy of their medical records “from the first day of boot camp until they are honorably laid to rest.”

Biden said he would prioritize research into emerging service-connected conditions including Traumatic Brain Injury and exposure to toxins.

“I would expand the list of presumptive conditions to ensure that no veteran who experienced a TBI or had exposure to burn pits or other environmental toxins goes without access to VA health care and benefits,” Biden said. “We must never again have an Agent Orange-like crisis.”

Jorgensen said she plans to drastically cut the cost of healthcare by reducing government and insurance paperwork so that veterans could afford better medical care.

“I will work to replace the VA with direct payments to veterans who were wounded in combat, so they can spend their health-care dollars how and where they want to spend them,” Jorgensen said. “Veterans deserve better than denied care and bureaucratic roadblocks.”

Related: Here are the biggest national security challenges that Trump or Biden will face after the presidential election

 

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How Biden’s Foreign-Policy Team Got Rich – The American Prospect

Posted by M. C. on July 7, 2020

There is no Biden Doctrine. “He’s not a guy who knows history. He’s not a guy who is intellectually curious,” said Emma Sky, who advised the U.S. military in Iraq. “It’s all about personal relationships.” Those close bonds may cloud his judgment. He has expressed “love” for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even after he had defied the Obama administration and stood by the late Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as he assaulted protesters. In effect, Biden’s foreign policy is a blank slate, onto which often-conflicted advisers from the traditional national-security establishment will project actual policies.

https://prospect.org/world/how-biden-foreign-policy-team-got-rich/

by

They had been public servants their whole careers. But when Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, two departing Obama officials were anxious for work. Trump’s win had caught them by surprise.

Sergio Aguirre and Nitin Chadda had reached the most elite quarters of U.S. foreign policy. Aguirre had started out of school as a fellow in the White House and a decade later had become chief of staff to U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. Chadda, who joined the Pentagon out of college as a speechwriter, had become a key adviser to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in even less time. Now, Chadda had a long-shot idea.

They turned to an industry of power-brokering little known outside the capital: strategic consultancies. Retiring leaders often open firms bearing their names: Madeleine Albright has one, as do Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen. Their strategic consultancies tend to blur corporate and governmental roles. This obscure corner of Washington is critical to understanding how a President Joe Biden would conduct foreign policy. He has been picking top advisers from this shadowy world.

More from Jonathan Guyer

At the outset of a new administration, high-ranking officials often join one of a dozen such firms, which are surprisingly bipartisan in their makeup, to help companies navigate the areas where their relationships give them power. The model was pioneered by Henry Kissinger, who through Kissinger Associates represented American Express and Coca-Cola, among other banks and transnationals. In Beijing, Washington, and developing countries, strategic consultants help corporations manage tricky regulations, potential crises, and new markets. Their behind-the-scenes work in world capitals can look a lot like lobbying.

The problem for Aguirre and Chadda was that neither young man was a marquee name. Chadda realized that the latest crop of senior officials hadn’t yet started their own named consultancies. “The thought for us was to build a living and breathing platform, with those who are enthusiastic about serving again,” he said. Staying up late one night, they drafted a plan and came up with the first target they would pitch.

Michèle Flournoy had served as undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2012. Both Aguirre and Chadda had known her well in the Obama administration. Since leaving office, she’d spent several years in consulting and was hitting her stride. With Flournoy as senior adviser, Boston Consulting Group’s defense contracts grew from $1.6 million in 2013 to $32 million in 2016. Before she joined, according to public records, BCG had not signed any contracts with the Defense Department.

Flournoy, while consulting, joining corporate boards, and serving as a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center, had also become CEO of the Center for a New American Security in 2014. The think tank had $48 million on hand, and defense contractors donated at least $3.8 million while she was CEO. By 2017, she was making $452,000 a year.

If a Democrat were to win office, she would likely become the first woman defense secretary. She had considered an offer to serve as deputy to Trump’s first secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, but ultimately withdrew from the vetting process and stuck to consulting. “That’s more of a labor of love,” she told me. “Building bridges between Silicon Valley and the U.S. government is really, really important.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Fallout From a Navy Captain’s Heroism: The Possible Emergence of a New Idea of ‘National Security’ – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on April 14, 2020

A poll taken in February found that 31
percent of those surveyed thought that the United States was spending too
much on defense. But that number will likely rise after the pandemic ends as
Americans start to ask: How well did all that defense spending protect us? Many
are likely to conclude that domestic threats and global
health issues imperil their personal security and the American way of life
far more than any looming foreign adversary. They may emerge from this crisis
with radically different spending priorities (as discussed below) that will
pressure the defense budget even further downward.”

The utter failure of the Pentagon bureaucracy to take care of its own soldiers and sailors in the face of the pandemic should combine with this broader shift in political attitudes and priorities to present the biggest threat to the power of the military-industrial-congressional complex in its entire history.

https://original.antiwar.com/porter/2020/04/13/fallout-from-a-navy-captains-heroism-the-possible-emergence-of-a-new-idea-of-national-security/

The United States is experiencing an upheaval from the Coronavirus pandemic that is deeper than anything in modern American history, and military and civilian Pentagon elites have responded to it in a way that seems certain to further magnify the broader corrosive impact of the crisis on their enormous power.

It has further widened the existing socio-political seam between those elites and their servicemen and women who have faced threat to their health not only from the pandemic itself but from the decisions made by military bureaucrats directly affecting their safety.

That is the larger significance of the dramatic recent events involving Captain Brett Crozier, the crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt and the hapless, now-cashiered Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

Modly had made the most embarrassing public appearance of a senior official in recent history on board the stricken aircraft carrier after having relieved Captain Crozier, who had received an unprecedented standing ovation from his crew as he walked to shore.

Modly not only attacked Crozier, suggesting he was “stupid” to circulate his letter urging immediate action to evacuate sailors from the ship but was condescending to the crew as well. (584 TR Roosevelt crew, including Crozier, have tested positive and on Monday the first died.)

Modly’s rambling and profanity-laced talk to the crew clearly conveyed the official view that they had no business cheering their Captain, who had stood up for their interests, because he had embarrassed the “chain of command.”

Modly thus dramatically illustrated the wide gulf that separates military and civilian Pentagon elites from the lives of U.S. servicemen and women. The interests of the senior military and civilian officials in the Pentagon have always focused primarily on their missions and capabilities, which are the tokens of their power and prestige.

The health of soldiers and sailors has inevitably emerged as a secondary consideration, despite official protestations to the contrary. That much is clear from a review of the press briefing given by Modly and Chief of Naval Operation Admiral Michael Gilday on March 24, after the first three cases of Covid-19 had been identified on the Theodore Roosevelt.

Gilday revealed in the briefing that the Navy was only testing when there was evidence of symptoms and not for all sailors on board the ship.

The Navy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham further explained the Navy was doing “surveillance testing,” which he described as “cross section” testing, to “give us an idea”, rather testing all the sailors on board. When another reporter asked how concerned the Navy was about a new cluster of cases emerging onboard, Gillingham didn’t address that question and instead answered another question the reporter had posed.

Even more revealing of the Navy’s priorities, however, were the responses to a journalist’s observation that the Navy did not appear to have a coherent position guiding commanders in regard to maintaining social distance onboard. Modly said it was “almost impossible to try to micromanage these types of decisions,” and Gilday added, “We really do trust the judgment of our commanders, and so we’re giving them authority to do what they think they need to do to remain on mission and take care of people.”

USS Nimitz Also Threatened

Commanding officers could hardly have missed the clear implication that they were to “remain on mission” and do the best they could to deal with the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak that would inevitably be significant. By the time of that press briefing, of course, the virus was already spreading rapidly on the Theodore Roosevelt, and within days, it was a severe emergency demanding radical action.

The full story of what happened during those crucial days is still untold, but Captain Crozier obviously met resistance from the “chain of command” to his call for immediate evacuation of a very large number of the 4,000 sailors from the ship, leaving behind about 1,000 to maintain the nuclear reactors and the billions of dollars of weapons onboard.

The same pattern of Navy treatment of the problem is evident in the case of the USS Nimitz, which is still at its base in Bremerton, Washington. It has had two positive diagnoses, including one sailor who had taken sick while on leave. Fifteen more sailors who had been in contact with him had been taken off the ship and quarantined, but those remaining on board have not been tested for Covid-19, according to the father of a new member who has stayed in close contact with his son. The father reported last week that the screening included asking some, but not all crew members whether they felt ill.

The father told a reporter that he “feels like they’re not taking it seriously.” The Nimitz is preparing for sea trials this month that will last for weeks, and the Navy the Pentagon are obviously eager to have it proceed without delay. The responses of Vice-Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff Gen. John Hyten and Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist, at an April 8 press briefing, revealed unintentionally the way the Pentagon elite prioritizes its institutional interests over the military personnel facing the Covid-19 threat.

More than one journalist asked how the Pentagon was planning to adjust its operational tempo to take account of outbreaks like the one on the Theodore Roosevelt in the coming coming months. But Hyten and Norquist refused to acknowledge any such necessity. When one journalist asked how the Theodore Roosevelt could participate in combat if 10 percent of its crew were found to be positive for Covid-19, Norquist incredibly suggested the Navy could take it in stride, explaining, “[A] significant percentage for the military are asymptomatic. Others have mild flu-like symptoms, the sort of things that our fleet is normally used to dealing with.”

Reckoning Awaiting

Captain Crozier’s four-page letter, which had elicited the wrath of those Pentagon and Navy bureaucrats, challenged their deeply ingrained habit of pursuing those institutional interests to demonstrate the super power of the US military, while giving minimal weight to the costs imposed on ordinary soldiers and sailors.

“We are not at war,” Crozier had observed. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset – our Sailors.”

Taking Crozier down looked like a safe bet for opportunists like Modly, Norquist and Hyten, especially since Donald Trump had publicly scolded Crozier for sending the letter. But the political tide had already shifted against them, as Crozier emerged as a national hero for his defense of the interests of sailors against the wishes of the bureaucrats.

And more important, as Americans begin to come to grips with the enormity of the socio-economic catastrophe caused by a global pandemic for which the United States government was totally unprepared, a reckoning seems inevitable for the political-military institutions represented by these officials.

Retired Army Gen. David Barno, who was head of the combined forces command in Afghanistan 2003-05 and Defense policy analyst Nora Bensahel, have predicted that Americans will not look at “national security” in the same way again. Instead, Barno and Bensahel write that Americans will “conclude that the country has gotten the very idea of security wrong.”

They wrote:

“Americans will look at national security differently than they did before and may no longer be willing – or even able – to give the Department of Defense almost three-quarters of a trillion taxpayer dollars each year to defend against foreign threats.

Americans will look at the biggest single discretionary spending line in the government’s budget and conclude that the country has gotten the very idea of security fundamentally wrong. They will realize that this massive loss of life was inflicted not by a terrorist attack or rampaging enemy armies, but by an unseen and amorphous health threat. And they will recognize that despite spending more than $700 billion each year on the Department of Defense, the Pentagon’s focus on external threats meant that it played only a very small role in protecting the nation against this deadly and life-changing threat, and in responding once it began to spill across the nation.”

A poll taken in February found that 31 percent of those surveyed thought that the United States was spending too much on defense. But that number will likely rise after the pandemic ends as Americans start to ask: How well did all that defense spending protect us? Many are likely to conclude that domestic threats and global health issues imperil their personal security and the American way of life far more than any looming foreign adversary. They may emerge from this crisis with radically different spending priorities (as discussed below) that will pressure the defense budget even further downward.”

The utter failure of the Pentagon bureaucracy to take care of its own soldiers and sailors in the face of the pandemic should combine with this broader shift in political attitudes and priorities to present the biggest threat to the power of the military-industrial-congressional complex in its entire history.

Out of the havoc and ruin of this disaster should emerge the first real opportunity for a popular movement to end the dominance of that complex over American politics, policy and resources once and for all.

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Rethinking National Security: CIA and FBI Are Corrupt, but What About Congress? — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on November 22, 2019

First of all, Ukraine was no American ally in 2014 and is no “critical ally” today. Also, the Russian reaction to western supported rioting in Kiev, a vital interest, only came about after the United States spent $5 billion destabilizing and then replacing the pro-Kremlin government.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/11/21/rethinking-national-security-cia-and-fbi-are-corrupt-but-what-about-congress/

 Philip Giraldi

The developing story about how the US intelligence and national security agencies may have conspired to influence and possibly even reverse the results of the 2016 presidential election is compelling, even if one is disinclined to believe that such a plot would be possible to execute. Not surprisingly perhaps there have been considerable introspection among former and current officials who have worked in those and related government positions, many of whom would agree that there is urgent need for a considerable restructuring and reining in of the 17 government agencies that have some intelligence or law enforcement function. Most would also agree that much of the real damage that has been done has been the result of the unending global war on terror launched by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, which has showered the agencies with resources and money while also politicizing their leadership and freeing them from restraints on their behavior.

If the tens of billions of dollars lavished on the intelligence community together with a “gloves off” approach towards oversight that allowed them to run wild had produced good results, it might be possible to argue that it was all worth it. But the fact is that intelligence gathering has always been a bad investment even if it is demonstrably worse at the present. One might argue that the CIA’s notorious Soviet Estimate prolonged the Cold War and that the failure to connect dots and pay attention to what junior officers were observing allowed 9/11 to happen. And then there was the empowerment of al-Qaeda during the Soviet-Afghan war followed by failure to penetrate the group once it began to carry out operations.

More recently there have been Guantanamo, torture in black prisons, renditions of terror suspects to be tortured elsewhere, killing of US citizens by drone, turning Libya into a failed state and terrorist haven, arming militants in Syria, and, of course, the Iraqi alleged WMDs, the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history. And the bad stuff happened in bipartisan fashion, under Democrats and Republicans, with both neocons and liberal interventionists all playing leading roles. The only one punished for the war crimes was former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed some of what was going on.

Colonel Pat Lang, a colleague and friend who directed the Defense Intelligence Agency HUMINT (human intelligence) program after years spent on the ground in special ops and foreign liaison, thinks that strong medicine is needed and has initiated a discussion based on the premise that the FBI and CIA are dysfunctional relics that should be dismantled, as he puts it “burned to the ground,” so that the federal government can start over again and come up with something better.

Lang cites numerous examples of “incompetence and malfeasance in the leadership of the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” to include the examples cited above plus the failure to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union. On the domestic front, he cites his personal observation of efforts by the Department of Justice and the FBI to corruptly “frame” people tried in federal courts on national security issues as well as the intelligence/law enforcement community conspiracy to “get Trump.”

Colonel Lang asks “Tell me, pilgrims, why should we put up with such nonsense? Why should we pay the leaders of these agencies for the privilege of having them abuse us? We are free men and women. Let us send these swine to their just deserts in a world where they have to work hard for whatever money they earn.” He then recommends stripping CIA of its responsibility for being the lead agency in spying as well as in covert action, which is a legacy of the Cold War and the area in which it has demonstrated a particular incompetence. As for the FBI, it was created by J. Edgar Hoover to maintain dossiers on politicians and it is time that it be replaced by a body that operates in a fashion “more reflective of our collective nation[al] values.”

Others in the intelligence community understandably have different views. Many believe that the FBI and CIA have grown too large and have been asked to do too many things unrelated to national security, so there should be a major reduction-in-force (RIF) followed by the compulsory retirement of senior officers who have become too cozy with and obligated to politicians. The new-CIA should collect information, period, what it was founded to do in 1947, and not meddle in foreign elections or engage in regime change. The FBI should provide only police services that are national in nature and that are not covered by the state and local jurisdictions. And it should operate in as transparent a fashion as possible, not as a national secret police force.

But the fundamental problem may not be with the police and intelligence services themselves. There are a lot of idiots running around loose in Washington. Witness for example the impeachment hearings ludicrous fact free opening statement by House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (with my emphasis) “In 2014, Russia invaded a United States ally, Ukraine, to reverse that nation’s embrace of the West, and to fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire.”

And the press is no better, note the following excerpt from The New York Times lead editorial on the hearings, including remarks of the two State Department officers who testified, on the following day: “They came across not as angry Democrats or Deep State conspirators, but as men who have devoted their lives to serving their country, and for whom defending Ukraine against Russian aggression is more important to the national interest than any partisan jockeying…

“At another point, Mr. Taylor said he had been critical of the Obama administration’s reluctance to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles and other lethal defensive weapons in its fight with Russia, and that he was pleased when the Trump administration agreed to do so

“What clearly concerned both witnesses wasn’t simply the abuse of power by the president, but the harm it inflicted on Ukraine, a critical ally under constant assault by Russian forces. ‘Even as we sit here today, the Russians are attacking Ukrainian soldiers in their own country and have been for the last four years…’ Mr. Taylor said.”

Schiff and the Times should get their facts straight. And so should the two American foreign service officers who were clearly seeing the situation only from the Ukrainian perspective, a malady prevalent among US diplomats often described as “going native.” They were pushing a particular agenda, i.e. possible war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine, in furtherance of a US national interest that they fail to define. One of them, George Kent, eulogized the Ukrainian militiamen fighting the Russians as the modern day equivalent of the Massachusetts Minutemen in 1776, not exactly a neutral assessment, and also euphemized Washington-provided lethal offensive weapons as “security assistance.”

Another former intelligence community friend Ray McGovern has constructed a time line of developments in Ukraine which demolishes the establishment view on display in Congress relating to the alleged Russian threat. First of all, Ukraine was no American ally in 2014 and is no “critical ally” today. Also, the Russian reaction to western supported rioting in Kiev, a vital interest, only came about after the United States spent $5 billion destabilizing and then replacing the pro-Kremlin government. Since that time Moscow has resumed control of the Crimea, which is historically part of Russia, and is active in the Donbas region which has a largely Russian population.

It should really be quite simple. The national security state should actually be engaged in national security. Its size and budget should be commensurate with what it actually does, nothing more. It should not be roaming the world looking for trouble and should instead only respond to actual threats. And it should operate with oversight. If Congress is afraid to do it, set up a separate body that is non-partisan and actually has the teeth to do the job. If the United States of America comes out of the process as something like a normal nation the entire world will be a much happier place.

 

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Unasked Questions About US-Ukrainian Relations | The Nation

Posted by M. C. on October 4, 2019

How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine’s torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion, as some of us who opposed that folly back in the 1990s warned would be the case, and not only in Ukraine.

https://www.thenation.com/article/unasked-questions-about-us-ukrainian-relations/

Is US national security being trumped by loathing for Trump?

The transcript of President Trump’s July 25 telephone conversation with Ukraine’s recently elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has ignited the usual anti-Trump bashing in American political-media circles, even more calls for impeachment, with little, if any, regard for the national security issues involved. Leave aside that Trump should not have been compelled to make the transcript public, which, if any, foreign leaders will now feel free to conduct personal telephone diplomacy with an American president directly or indirectly, of the kind that helped end the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, knowing that his or her comments might become known to domestic political opponents? Consider instead only the following undiscussed issues:

§ Even if former vice president Joseph Biden, who figured prominently in the Trump-Zelensky conversation, is not the Democratic nominee, Ukraine is now likely to be a contested, and poisonous, issue in the 2020 US presidential election. How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine’s torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion, as some of us who opposed that folly back in the 1990s warned would be the case, and not only in Ukraine. The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013–14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country’s constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass. All those fateful events infused the Trump-Zelensky talk, if only between the lines.

§ Russia shares centuries of substantial civilizational values, language, culture, geography, and intimate family relations with Ukraine. America does not. Why, then, is it routinely asserted in the US political-media establishment that Ukraine is a “vital US national interest” and not a vital zone of Russian national security, as by all geopolitical reckoning it would seem to be? The standard American establishment answer is: because of “Russian aggression against Ukraine.” But the “aggression” cited is Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for anti-Kiev fighters in the Donbass civil war, both of which came after, not before, the Maidan crisis, and indeed were a direct result of it. That is, in Moscow’s eyes, it was reacting, not unreasonably, to US-led “aggression.” In any event, as opponents of eastward expansion also warned in the 1990s, NATO has increased no one’s security, only diminished security throughout the region bordering Russia.

§ Which brings us back to the Trump-Zelensky telephone conversation. President Zelensky ran and won overwhelmingly as a peace-with-Moscow candidate, which is why the roughly $400 million in US military aid to Ukraine, authorized by Congress, figured anomalously in the conversation. Trump is being sharply criticized for withholding that aid or threatening to do so, including by Obama partisans. Forgotten, it seems, is that President Obama, despite considerable bipartisan pressure, steadfastly refused to authorize such military assistance to Kiev, presumably because it might escalate the Russian-Ukrainian conflict (and Russia, with its long border with Ukraine, had every escalatory advantage). Instead of baiting Trump on this issue, we should hope he encourages the new peace talks that Zelensky has undertaken in recent days with Moscow, which could end the killing in Donbass. (For this, Zelensky is being threatened by well-armed extreme Ukrainian nationalists, even quasi-fascists. Strong American support for his negotiations with Moscow may not deter them, but it might.)

§ Finally, but not surprisingly, the shadow of Russiagate is now morphing into Ukrainegate. Trump is also being sharply criticized for asking Zelensky to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the origins of Russiagate, even though the role of Ukrainian-Americans and Ukraine itself in Russiagate allegations against Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton in 2016 is now well-documented.

We need to know fully the origins of Russiagate, arguably the worst presidential scandal in American history, and if Ukrainian authorities can contribute to that understanding, they should be encouraged to do so. As I’ve argued repeatedly, fervent anti-Trumpers must decide whether they loathe him more than they care about American and international security. Imagine, for example, a Cuban missile–like crisis somewhere in the world today where Washington and Moscow are militarily eyeball-to-eyeball, directly or through proxies, from the Baltic and the Black Seas to Syria and Ukraine. Will Trump’s presidential legitimacy be sufficient for him to resolve such an existential crisis peacefully, as President John F. Kennedy did in 1962?

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Confirmed: Obama knew about, and was DIRECTING, the “Spygate” coup attempt against Trump from the very beginning – NaturalNews.com

Posted by M. C. on August 26, 2019

Earlier this week during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Andrew McCarthy, attorney and former federal prosecutor who specialized in national security cases, said “counterintelligence operations” which is what Spygate was, at its core, are “done for the president.”

There is a reason it is called the swamp and EVERYONE is in the muck.

https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-08-23-obama-knew-about-and-was-directing-spygate-coup-attempt-against-trump.html

Confirmed: Obama knew about, and was DIRECTING, the “Spygate” coup attempt against Trump from the very beginning

Image: Confirmed: Obama knew about, and was DIRECTING, the “Spygate” coup attempt against Trump from the very beginning

(Natural News) For nearly two years as information about the coup attempt against President Donald Trump known as “Spygate” dripped out, observers long suspected that an operation of this scope – involving the Justice Department, the FBI, U.S. and foreign intelligence assets – had to have come from the very top.

That is, former President Obama, who was in the Oval Office when Spygate was hatched and began as the 2016 presidential election cycle kicked off, had to have not only known about it but approved it.

Now, the speculation is over: Of course, he did.

Earlier this week during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Andrew McCarthy, attorney and former federal prosecutor who specialized in national security cases, said “counterintelligence operations” which is what Spygate was, at its core, are “done for the president.”

That means, as The Gateway Pundit notes, they are executed specifically to inform the commander-in-chief.

“What I’m saying is not that the president sits there and directs that there be counter-intelligence investigations. What I’m saying is that unlike criminal investigations, counter intelligence investigations are done for the president,” McCarthy said.

“The only reason to do them is for the president with the information he needs to protect the United States from foreign threats. They’re not like criminal investigations in that regard. So, in principle, the information is for the president. And here we know at various junctures we have actual factual information that this investigation was well known to President Obama,” he added.

Hannity asked if the president knew about the investigation from the outset, wouldn’t he have been updated on its progress?

“Sean, if things were working properly the president should have been alerted about it and informed. It was a very important investigation,” McCarthy added.

“If they actually believed what they were telling the court that it was a possibility that Donald Trump was actually a plant of the Kremlin, it would have been derelict on their part not to keep the president informed,” he added. (Related: What did Obama know about Trump collusion hoax and when did he know it? Everything, and from the beginning.)

Assumptions have been confirmed

This isn’t the first crumb of evidence indicating that Obama was in on Spygate from the outset. In fact, previous information indicates that Obama actually orchestrated the coup attempt.

As The National Sentinel reported in May 2018, former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said during a Fox News interview that there was no way Obama would not have been kept in the loop.

Investigative reporter Paul Sperry tweeted the information: “BREAKING: Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer said “I guarantee the answer is yes” to whether Obama knew Halper & others were deployed to spy on Trump campaign. Fleischer explained that no FBI director would put informants inside a presidential campaign w/o the prez authorizing it.”

Earlier that same week, President Trump pretty much said the same thing – and he should know, since he now occupies the Oval Office.

“Would he know? I would certainly hope not. But I think it’s going to be pretty obvious after awhile,” POTUS teased in response to a question from a reporter.

There’s more.

As The National Sentinel noted further, then-FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok, in a text to his lover, then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, discussed the preparation of talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama. Page said it was important to do so because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”

Also, since the spying against Team Trump was set up as a counterintelligence operation, Obama would have been updated regularly via the President’s Daily Intelligence Brief.

It’s one thing to have assumed that former President Obama was in on the Spygate scandal from the outset. But it’s another to now have had that assumption verified and confirmed.

The question is, will he ever be held accountable for his role?

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Bookworm Beat 5/23/2018 -- the #Spygate edition and open ...

 

 

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“National Security” and other Thought-Stopping Clichés | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 8, 2019

The sad part is that a thought-stopping cliché is remarkably easy to identify. All you have to do is ask, “Did this person actually address my question?” If the answer is no, they’re admitting that whatever it is they’re peddling is a stupid idea but they don’t want you thinking about it

https://mises.org/wire/national-security-and-other-thought-stopping-clich%C3%A9s

I was browsing the news recently and came across an interesting headline. It read “ U.S. Orders Chinese Company to Sell Grindr App.” My first through was that the Federal Government was, once again, narrowly defining a monopoly to a ridiculous degree and decided this Chinese company was somehow monopolizing the swipe left/right mobile phone dating scene for gay men, similar to how long ago the FTC came to the conclusion that Blockbuster Video was monopolizing the narrow market of strip mall DVD and VHS rental locations that sport a blue logo when combating their attempted merger with Hollywood Video. But when I started reading the piece, I came across something even more bizarre. I kid you not, the entire justification for this forced sale was “national security”.

The term “national security” has unambiguously become a parody on the order of Helen Lovejoy screaming “ won’t somebody please think of the children?” every time something doesn’t go her way…

The true problem with this is that, by and large, thought-stopping clichés work. Take the Green New Deal for example. When people begin to question the details, the general response is how we’ll die in exactly 12 years from now, like all eight billion of us, if this isn’t passed immediately. On the surface, it’s absurd to say the entire human species will go extinct on March 27th, 2031 at 6pm Mountain Standard Time (the exact moment in time I wrote this sentence), but that’s enough to convince 46% of the population to like it (along with the NYT engaging in its own thought-stopping clichés by saying only rich people will pay for it to goose the numbers)…

Large-scale damage the State does with broad public support isn’t even hypothetical. The entire invasion of Iraq was built around the laughably thin national security cliché. The silly premise that a tin-pot Middle East dictator who couldn’t even reliably project force a mile outside of his own political borders was a grave threat to the United States turned into a conflict that ended up killing in the neighborhood of a half million people and simultaneously spent years with overwhelming public support. This is all with nothing more than waving the “national security” line – something even more egregious than using that line to waste hundreds of billions a year on poorly functional military hardware. $1.5 trillion and counting to a well-connected contractor to build a plane that the engineers discovered, 27 years later, uses fuel that, gasp, combusts. Don’t question this, though, it’s for national security.

Just about every major spending program and regulatory action relies on these clichés to pass public scrutiny. 80% of humanity would be curled up, dead, in roadways if we don’t give everything the State asks for. Taxes are the price of civilization, after all. Politicians use this beautifully to manipulate the public to agree to concessions for an ever-expanding State and it works on both ends of the classic left-right political spectrum.

The sad part is that a thought-stopping cliché is remarkably easy to identify. All you have to do is ask, “Did this person actually address my question?” If the answer is no, they’re admitting that whatever it is they’re peddling is a stupid idea but they don’t want you thinking about it. Otherwise, you may come to the conclusion that calling Grindr a national security risk is silly since any person can perform deep espionage by simply signing up for the service, setting the ZIP code to 20810 and then skimming photos to look for a government employee. If they’re laying the B.S. thick on this claim of national security, what else are bureaucrats trying to hide every other time it is used?

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Moments Later: Cliché

 

 

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The Malady of Excessive Interventionism | Cato @ Liberty

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2017

https://www.cato.org/blog/malady-excessive-interventionism

There is a lot that’s wrong with U.S. foreign policy right now, but a broader look at U.S. grand strategy in the post-Cold War era reveals just how broken things have been across administrations of both parties…

But America doesn’t act as if it is safe. Instead, we have a hyper-interventionist foreign policy. Over the last century, according to the Rand Corporation, “there was only one brief period – the four years immediately after U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam – during which the United States did not engage in any interventions abroad.” Indeed, “the number and scale of U.S. military interventions rose rapidly in the aftermath of the Cold War, just as [rates of global] conflict began to subside.” Read the rest of this entry »

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