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Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Russians accessed voter records in 2 Florida counties, FBI confirms

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2019

President Bill Clinton meddled in Russian affairs in the 1990s and helped Boris Yeltsin get elected to a second term, political analyst Dick Morris told Newsmax TV.

“When I worked for Clinton, Clinton called me and said, ‘I want to get Yeltsin elected as president of Russia against Gennady Zyuganov, who was the communist who was running against him. Putin was Zyuganov’s major backer.

The FBI asked that the names of the counties not be disclosed

The Russians know, but the FIB won’t let Florida voters know!

https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2019/05/14/russians-accessed-voter-records-in-two-florida-counties-fbi-confirms-1015760

By

Russian hackers had a successful “intrusion“ into the voting registration files of two Florida counties in 2015, Gov. Ron DeSantis said today.

The FBI asked that the names of the counties not be disclosed, DeSantis said in a press conference.

The hacking did not affect any vote tallying and DeSantis said there is no evidence of “manipulation.”

Florida was singled out in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections…

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Ukrainian Embassy confirms DNC contractor solicited Trump dirt in 2016 | TheHill

Posted by M. C. on May 9, 2019

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/441892-ukrainian-embassy-confirms-dnc-contractor-solicited-trump-dirt-in-2016

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.

In its most detailed account yet, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort’s Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign, the ambassador said.

Chaly says that, at the time of the contacts in 2016, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian American activist and learned only later of her ties to the DNC. He says the embassy considered her requests an inappropriate solicitation of interference in the U.S. election.

“The Embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington D.C., and not in her DNC capacity. We’ve learned about her DNC involvement later,” Chaly said in a statement issued by his embassy. “We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause. The Embassy representatives unambiguously refused to get involved in any way, as we were convinced that this is a strictly U.S. domestic matter.”

“All ideas floated by Alexandra were related to approaching a Member of Congress with a purpose to initiate hearings on Paul Manafort or letting an investigative journalist ask President Poroshenko a question about Mr. Manafort during his public talk in Washington, D.C.,” the ambassador explained.

Reached by phone last week, Chalupa said she was too busy to talk. She did not respond to email and phone messages seeking subsequent comment.

Chaly’s written answers mark the most direct acknowledgement by Ukraine’s government that an American tied to the Democratic Party sought the country’s help in the 2016 election, and they confirm the main points of a January 2017 story by Politico on Chalupa’s efforts…

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Russia Drops Out of Top Five in Global Military Spending – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on April 30, 2019

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/04/29/russia-drops-out-of-top-five-in-global-military-spending/

The latest Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) data on global military spending showed a surprising shift, as while the US remained predictably far ahead of everyone else, the Russian Federation has fallen completely out of the top five.

This wasn’t expected, but also shouldn’t be a huge shock. Despite the US hyping Russia as a threat for decades, Russia hasn’t spent deeply on its military in years, and drawing down from Syria, they don’t have much costly overseas engagement.

By contrast, after the usual top two of the US and China, of which US is by far spending the most, third is Saudi Arabia, which has been spending about 10% of their GDP annually on the military since invading Yemen. Fourth on the list is India, which is spending heavily to gear up for confrontations against Pakistan as well as China…

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When the Non-Rational Trumps the Rational – And Fuels Our March Towards War

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2019

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/22/when-non-rational-trumps-rational-fuels-our-march-towards-war.html

Alastair CROOKE

On March 14, Russia’s National Security Council, headed by President Putin, officially raised its perception of American intentions toward Russia from “military dangers” (opasnosti) to direct “military threats” (ugrozy). In short, the Kremlin is preparing for war, however defensive its intention.

Why? Why would Putin do that? ‘Trump doesn’t want more wars… He has consistently called for good relations with Moscow. And now that Mueller has come up with zero…’

This is the familiar refrain that suggests that a confrontation with Russia simply cannot happen: “It wouldn’t make any sense: it would not be rational”. Well, maybe Russia is reading the ‘tea-leaves’ differently, and maybe they simply understand that when it comes to wars, it is often the non-rational that trumps the rational.

As Russia might view things, the precursors for a conflict in the Middle East are fast falling into place. On the one hand, we have a very hawkish Israel, ‘pie-eyed’ from large draughts of team Trump’s ‘Greater Israel’ cool-aid; then we have Bolton prosecuting his ancient hatred for Iran – trying to corner the Republic, and to implode it.

These represent major clashes of tectonic plates, especially as the northern tier of the region (including Turkey) is now with Iran (to one, or other extent). Moscow will be aware that colliding tectonic plates release hot plasma, which all too easily can spread to scald Russia.

And then, we have other shifts in the tectonic plates: Turkey is inching toward Russia and China, and so – it seems –might be Egypt (after Sisi’s recent altercation in Washington). Translated – this all says that the US is fast losing its hold over the Middle East. And Russia, whether intentionally, or not (more ‘not’, than actively ‘sought’), is increasing its’ reach.

Usually, such occurrences are met with Washington decreeing a hard slap over the head for Moscow’s Promethean ‘impudence’. But… actually, America is almost out of substantive allies in the Middle East – except ‘the one’… Read the rest of this entry »

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Rumors of War: Washington Is Looking for a Fight

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2019

The Senatorial commentary is, of course, greatly exaggerated and sometimes completely false regarding what is going on in the world, but it is revealing of how ignorant American legislators can be and often are.

American Exceptionalism became the battle cry for an increasingly clueless federal government as well as for a media-deluded public

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/18/rumors-war-washington-is-looking-for-fight.html

Philip M. GIRALDI

It is depressing to observe how the United States of America has become the evil empire. Having served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and in the Central Intelligence Agency for the second half of the Cold War, I had an insider’s viewpoint of how an essentially pragmatic national security policy was being transformed bit by bit into a bipartisan doctrine that featured as a sine qua non global dominance for Washington. Unfortunately, when the Soviet Union collapsed the opportunity to end once and for all the bipolar nuclear confrontation that threatened global annihilation was squandered as President Bill Clinton chose instead to humiliate and use NATO to contain an already demoralized and effectively leaderless Russia.

American Exceptionalism became the battle cry for an increasingly clueless federal government as well as for a media-deluded public…

Never before in my lifetime has the United States been so belligerent, and that in spite of the fact that there is no single enemy or combination of enemies that actually threaten either the geographical United States or a vital interest. Venezuela is being threatened with invasion primarily because it is in the western hemisphere and therefore subject to Washington’s claimed proconsular authority. Last Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence told the United Nations Security Council that the White House will remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power, preferably using diplomacy and sanctions, but “all options are on the table.” Pence warned that Russia and other friends of Maduro need to leave now or face the consequences.

The development of the United States as a hostile and somewhat unpredictable force has not gone unnoticed. Read the rest of this entry »

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To Ramp Up Fear of Russia in Africa, NYT Downplays Massive US Military Presence on Continent | FAIR

Posted by M. C. on April 6, 2019

In the Times, Official Enemy threats are unquestionably bad, and unquestionably sinister in nature. The only answer? Let the Pentagon gravy train run its course, year in and year out, because invariably there will always be, with the help of the New York Times, the specter of an enemy threat “advancing on a new front.”

https://fair.org/home/to-ramp-up-fear-of-russia-in-africa-nyt-downplays-massive-us-military-presence-on-continent/

The New York Times (3/31/19) added to its series of reports depicting Official Enemies surpassing the US in the race for global dominance. It seems that having taken control of the Arctic (FAIR.org, 9/15/15), the nuclear domain (FAIR.org, 3/7/18) and a whole host of other spaces the US is “behind” in, Russia is now gobbling up Africa—a threat the US, presumably, must counter with an even greater military build-up.

The report, “Russia’s Military Mission Creep Advances to a New Front: Africa,” by Eric Schmitt, asserting an uptick in Russian weapons contracts and military training exercises in Africa, is thin on context and hard numbers, but is artificially fortified with a series of anecdotes and frightening quotes. Since the obvious rejoinder to any discussion of increased Russian presence in Africa is, “OK, but what is the US’s current reach?” the Times hangs a lampshade on the inconvenience with this throwaway line:

The United States military has a relatively light footprint across Africa.

About 6,000 United States troops and 1,000 Defense Department civilians or contractors work on a variety of missions throughout Africa, mainly training and conducting exercises with local armies.

According to documents obtained by the Intercept’s Nick Turse (12/1/18), the US currently has 34 military bases in Africa; Russia has zero. The Times doesn’t tell us how many “contractors’ and “troops” Russia has in Africa, so it’s not clear what the so-called “light footprint” is “relative” to. Is it 10? 100? 10,000? If it’s a lot less than 6,000, then the story is a bit of a dud. Alas, we’re simply left guessing at the “relative” size of Russia’s Africa presence.

Also worth noting: “Light footprint” is the same Orwellian phrase the Pentagon has been using for years to obscure the growth of AFRICOM, as in this AFRICOM press release (6/13/12) :

AFRICOM Will Maintain Light Footprint in Africa — The United States has no plans to seek permanent bases in Africa, and, in the spirit of the new defense strategic guidance, will continue to maintain a “light footprint” on the continent, the top US Africa Command officer said.

It’s always reassuring when the paper of record adopts the US government’s preferred press release language. (See also New York Times, 1/25/12 , 3/1/19.)

Aside from quotes from US military brass, Schmitt’s report was primarily propped up with testimony from weapons contractor-funded think tanks, namely the Institute for the Study of War and the Center for International and Strategic Studies, which both provided urgent, stakes-raising narratives:…

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Pence: US Had ‘No Choice’ But to Scrap Key Nuclear Treaty – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on April 4, 2019

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-takes-credit-for-nuclear-arsenal-that-was-largely-modernized-by-obama-administration/

Much of the improvements to the (nuclear) arsenal, however, were carried out by the Obama administration…

It is OK for US…

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/04/03/pence-us-had-no-choice-but-to-scrap-key-nuclear-treaty/

Speaking at a NATO event in Washington on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence claimed that President Trump had “no choice” but to withdraw the US from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and it is all Russia’s fault…

If the US wanted Russia to stop testing missiles which are arguably in violation of the INF, pursuing them within the treaty would make a lot more sense than getting rid of the treaty itself, which gives Russia a justification to go further with such developments just to counter the presumptive US missiles the Pentagon wants.

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Stop the CIA Coup – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on March 26, 2019

“The CIA presentation to senators about Russia’s intentions fell short of a formal US assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies. A senior US official said there were minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions remain unanswered.” [emphasis added]

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2019/03/25/stop-the-cia-coup/

As Justin’s treatment, like the times and cancer itself, evolves he’s a bit out of commission this weekend, so we are taking this opportunity to run a truly classic, prescient Raimondo denunciation of the intelligence state, in particular, the CIA. Way back on December 12, 2016.

The CIA is up to its old tricks: overthrowing a democratically elected government. Only this time it’s our government.

As they are now legally allowed to do ever since the law against covert CIA propaganda in the United States was repealed, the Agency has leaked to the Washington Post reports – via anonymous third parties – of its alleged assessment of a Russian campaign to hand Donald Trump the White House:

“The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

“Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to US officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

“’It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,’ said a senior US official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to US senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

The reaction of the Trump transition team was swift and cutting: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”

This reference to the “intelligence failure” that led us into the most disastrous war in our history is not mere rhetoric:…

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Hypersonics Are Speeding up Great Power Competition | The National Interest

Posted by M. C. on March 8, 2019

Hypersonics, Chinese “Carrier Killer” cruise missiles.

US response: Build more carriers. No doubt the pentagram will be shocked when one or two of these go to the bottom. But hey, you have to break a few eggs to build an empire.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/hypersonics-are-speeding-great-power-competition-45887

by Lyle J. Goldstein

Almost every day now, the New York Times comes out with a new front page article about China. The Middle Kingdom is simultaneously plundering the developing world, oppressing internal minorities, and hacking American companies. The Chinese economy is said to be in dire straits due to vast mismanagement , and the country is generally portrayed as on the brink of total meltdown. The editorial staff is fascinated by China’s shortcomings and appears to be intent on stoking the “New Cold War” by painting Beijing as the capital of the new “Evil Empire.” Such a torrent of reproach may have the impact of making the American public burn red hot with Sino-phobic zeal or alternatively causing its readership to chortle derisively at China’s pathetic plight. Yet the paper “of record” is remarkably oblivious to the actual nature of the shifting military balance in the Asia-Pacific.

Is it not highly irresponsible of journalists to promote grave tensions between Washington and Beijing without any knowledge of the ghastly consequences that might well flow from those frictions? Any student of U.S. history knows that the scourge of “yellow journalism” played a major role in setting off the Spanish-American War just over a century ago (giving America possession of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, Hawaii and Cuba in the rather unseemly process). The consequences of a war between China and America would, after all, look nothing like Washington’s long-forgotten adventure with Madrid, and might instead mark the end of life on Earth. Keeping that stark fact in mind, one wonders why the New York Times has never bothered to look into China’s rapid development of hypersonic weaponry. Read the rest of this entry »

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MoA – Pelosi Aghast – Stone Indictment Proves That Trump Campaign Deliberately Campaigned For Trump

Posted by M. C. on January 28, 2019

Top Trump campaign officials deliberately tried “to influence the 2016 election”? Holy moley! They “subverted the will of the American people” by asking them to vote for Trump? Incredible! 

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/pelosi-aghast-stone-indictment-proves-that-trump-campaign-deliberately-campaigned-for-trump.html

…During his appearance in front of the HPSCI Stone misremembered, contradicted or lied about several details related to his earlier false claim. He also asked Randy Credico to lie to the committee. Those are the only issues the indictment is about. It is about the lies of a notorious liar which became process crimes when he repeated them during an investigation. Stone himself denies emphatically that he committed any crime and promises to defend himself in court.

Nowhere does the indictment say that this has anything to do with the Trump campaign, Russia, Wikileaks or the not existing relations between them.

But some media will not tell you that. The New York Times falsely headlines:

Indicting Roger Stone, Mueller Shows Link Between Trump Campaign and WikiLeaks.

The first graph:

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, revealed on Friday the most direct link yet between parallel efforts by the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks to damage Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election using Democratic Party material stolen by Russians.

Read the rest of this entry »

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