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Posts Tagged ‘whistleblower’

WikiLeaks Condemned by Governments on Three Continents

Posted by M. C. on February 17, 2020

Asked if he is worried that the release of so many secret documents could cause the deaths of U.S. military personnel, WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange replied: “No, I’m worried that the press chooses to credibly report statements like that from the Pentagon…. Most wars that are started by democracies involve lying. The Vietnam War and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution involved lying. The start of the Iraq war involved very serious lies that were repeated and amplified by some parts of the press.”

https://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/10294-wikileakscondemned-%20by-governments-on-three-continents

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The publication of nearly 400,000 secret U.S. military documents about the Iraq war by the whistleblower WikiLeaks earned condemnation from governments on three continents within hours of their posting on the Internet. The U.S. government, the British defense ministry, and the Iraqi prime minister’s office all quickly condemned the documents being revealed to the public.

The October 22 WikiLeaks posting of 391,832 secret U.S. government intelligence reports on the Iraq war from 2004 through 2009 was a follow-up on the nearly 90,000 secret documents revealed by WikiLeaks on the Afghan war back in July. The “Iraq War Diary,” as WikiLeaks called its most recent group of documents, reveals that the U.S. government kept detailed files on civilian casualties in Iraq (despite claims to the contrary) and allowed the press to underestimate civilian casualty numbers by more than 15,000.

According to the U.S. government, the WikiLeaks posting endangers American lives. “This is an extraordinary disservice to America’s men and women in uniform,” Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell charged in a government press release. “That danger is now exponentially multiplied as a result of this leak because it gives our enemies the wherewithal to look for vulnerabilities in how we operate and to exploit those opportunities and potentially kill our forces. That is just shameful.”

The British Defense Ministry claimed that WikiLeaks “can put the lives of UK service personnel and those of our allies at risk and make the job of armed forces in all theatres of operation more difficult and more dangerous.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office also released a statement that the WikiLeaks posting was an attack “against national parties and leaders, especially against the prime minister.”

Asked if he is worried that the release of so many secret documents could cause the deaths of U.S. military personnel, WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange replied: “No, I’m worried that the press chooses to credibly report statements like that from the Pentagon…. Most wars that are started by democracies involve lying. The Vietnam War and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution involved lying. The start of the Iraq war involved very serious lies that were repeated and amplified by some parts of the press.”

The Pentagon charged that WikiLeaks had endangered U.S. service personnel or informants after it posted information in July on the U.S. war in Afghanistan, but has since made no mention of any actual deaths resulting from the public posting of the documents.

The condemnation of WikiLeaks by governments seems largely to have been because the documents reveal crimes by these governments. “Britain’s role in the alleged torture and unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians may be the subject of legal action,” the British Manchester Guardian reported October 23. The Guardian noted that Phil Shiner of the British group Public Interest Lawyers claimed the WikiLeaks-released documents have exposed prosecutable war crimes. “Some of these deaths will be in circumstances where the UK [has] a very clear legal responsibility,” Shiner contended. “This may be because the Iraqis died while under the effective control of UK forces — under arrest, in vehicles, helicopters or detention facilities.”

Meanwhile, the government condemnations have forced WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange into a virtual life on the run. “Julian Assange moves like a hunted man,” the New York Times reported October 23. “He demands that his dwindling number of loyalists use expensive encrypted cellphones and swaps his own as other men change shirts. He checks into hotels under false names, dyes his hair, sleeps on sofas and floors, and uses cash instead of credit cards, often borrowed from friends.” Assange is being investigated for anonymous accusations of rape in Sweden, a nation with strong free press laws where the WikiLeaks website is hosted, and he has been denied residency in the country.

 

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Former Air Force Drone Operator Speaks Out Against US Atrocities – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on February 8, 2020

https://original.antiwar.com/Brett_Wilkins/2020/02/07/former-air-force-drone-operator-speaks-out-against-us-atrocities/

A former Air Force drone operator-turned-whistleblower is once again speaking out against the atrocities he committed while serving in a military he describes as “worse than the Nazis.”

Brandon Bryant was a sensor operator of USAF unmanned aerial drones from 2006 to 2011. His job was targeted killing – remotely firing missiles at targets 7,000 miles (11,000 km) away from an air-conditioned command center near Las Vegas, Nevada. During his Air Force tenure, Bryant says his squadron engaged 1,626 targets, including women and children. He estimates that he is personally responsible for the deaths of 13 people.

Bryant told Britain’s Independent that he reached his breaking point after accidentally killing a child in Afghanistan. He had just fired a Hellfire missile at a building containing an enemy target when he saw a child leave the building. Bryant reported the incident to his superiors. “It was a fucking dog,” he was told. “Drop it.” But he couldn’t drop it. “When the missile struck, I knew in my soul I had become a murderer,” he said.

Earlier, after his first kill, other airmen in his squadron congratulated Bryant on “popping his cherry.” He told Roots Action Network in 2017 that drone operators were told their job was “killing people and breaking things.” This “went against everything that I had ever learned about honor and justice and training,” he said. Bryant said his superiors punished and mocked him to keep him in line. He called the US military “worse than the Nazis” because “we should know better.”

After the strike that killed the Afghan child, Bryant decided to quit the military and start speaking out against drone warfare. Becoming a whistleblower has had dire consequences. Bryant says he has lost family and friends, and that he and his family have been threatened. However, he is driven by a desire to educate Americans about the dehumanizing effect of drones on both their operators and their victims. “I would want people to know, beyond its existence, the consequences it has on us as a species to delineate our power into something so easily destructive,” he said. “Every time we get closer to that edge, we’re going to have to realize where it places us.”

Bryant faces an uphill battle. Like the Bush and Obama administrations before him, President Donald Trump has embraced drone warfare, most infamously illustrated by the recent assassination of Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Recent US drone strikes have also sparked outrage for killing civilians. In the deadliest of these, an unconfirmed number of Afghans – reportedly more than 60 – were killed along with the regional leader of a splinter Taliban faction in Herat province last month. Last September, a drone strike meant to destroy an Islamic State hideout instead killed around 30 Afghan pine nut farmers in eastern Nagarhar province.

According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, there have been at least 6,786 US drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia alone since 2004, resulting in as many as 1,725 civilian deaths. While it is impossible to say exactly how many civilians have been killed in the wider post-9/11 US-led global war on terror, credible death toll estimates range from conservative figures of around half a million to possibly more than 2 million.

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The Big Sleep – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2020

It was so bad that his California counterpart, Senator Dianne Feinstein, just up-and-split late Wednesday.

In the meantime, an interesting development flew in under the radar as the impeachment spectacle hogged the news: The Department of Justice yesterday declared two of four FISA warrants against Carter Page invalid. The warrants were signed by James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Rod Rosenstein.

This is the administration’s heaven sent chance to take this apart. If that doesn’t happen Trump doesn’t deserve 2020.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-big-sleep/

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Reindeer Games – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2019

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/reindeer-games/#more-11453′

James Howard Kunstler

The WashPo staffers had barely finished toasting “merry impeachmas” — and then quickly deleting the incriminating tweet + photo that signaled their self-owned chagrin — when the implications of the day’s solemn work started sifting through those quarters of the alt-news media where the chronically self-owned don’t dare to go, or even look: Nancy Pelosi and her too-clever-by-half Lawfare grunts had engineered a Hanging Chad Impeachment.

Apparently, Mrs. Pelosi wants to play Hide the Salami with the impeachment bill. She invoked some slippery procedure to stash it where the sun don’t shine in the hope that the senate won’t be able to follow through with its duty to try the very charges set out in the bill. How’s that gonna go over when the details are actually sorted out?

So far, there are just opinions a’plenty. One was offered by Noah Feldman of Harvard, the very fellow who testified last week fervidly in favor of impeachment before Mr. Nadler’s Judiciary Committee. He wrote, in a Bloomberg op-ed, that the action would signify that the president had not, in fact, been impeached, that it would only be so if the bill were conveyed to the senate. The issue of conveyance looms large in the present kerfuffle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two for One Holiday Special – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on December 14, 2019

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/two-for-one-holiday-special/

James Howard Kunstler

Hillary Clinton sure got her money’s worth with the Fusion GPS deal: it induced a three-year psychotic break in the body politic, destroyed the legitimacy of federal law enforcement, turned a once-proud, free, and rational press into an infernal engine of bad faith, and is finally leading her Democratic Party to an ignominious suicide. And the damage is far from complete. It’s even possible that Mrs. Clinton will return to personally escort the party over the cliff when, as is rumored lately, she jumps into the primary contest and snatches the gonfalon of leadership from the ailing old man of the sclerotic status quo, Uncle Joe Biden.

The citizens of this foundering polity have been subjected to a stunning doubleheader of political spectacle clear through the week. On Monday, the Horowitz Report was briefly celebrated by the Left for claiming “no bias” and a “reasonable predicate” for the RussiaGate mess — until auditors actually got to read the 400-plus-page document and discovered that it was absolutely stuffed with incriminating details that Mr. Horowitz was too polite, too coy, or too faint-hearted to identify as acts worthy of referral for prosecution.

Mr. Barr, the attorney general, and US attorney John Durham immediately stepped up to set the record straight, namely, that this was hardly the end of the matter and that they were privy to fact-trains of evidence that would lead, by-and-by, to a quite different conclusion. This reality-test was greeted, of course, with shrieking for their dismissal from the Jacobin Left. But then at mid-week, Mr. Horowitz put in a personal appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee and left no doubt that entire RussiaGate extravaganza was spawned by Fusion GPS’s utterly false Steele dossier and the so-called “Intel Community’s” zeal for weaponizing it to overthrow the president…

The utter falsity of the Steele dossier seems not to have yet penetrated the minds of Dean Baquet and Martin Baron, editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post, the head cheerleaders for the seditious coup by the security state. Their obdurate mendacity can no longer be attributed to a simple quest for clicks and eyeballs. It speaks to a sickness of mind that has infected the whole thinking class of America as it succumbed to the ultimate smashing of boundaries: the one between what is real and what is not real (or what is true and what is not true.)…

A trial in the senate would be a ripe entertainment fer sure! Bring it on! For one thing, the procedure would ascertain finally that Mr. Eric Ciaramella does not qualify as a “whistleblower” but is rather a rogue CIA agent (from a rogue agency) helping to carry out a seditious conspiracy. The defense should call him to the stand, along with his enabler Michael Atkinson, the “Intel Community” Inspector General who flouted and altered the rules in the whistleblower ploy — and who, by the way, was formerly at the center of the RussiaGate mess when he worked as chief counsel to then assistant attorney general John P. Carlin, one of the instigators of the “Crossfire Hurricane” overture to RussiaGate. It could benefit the nation to hear testimony from shrinking violet Gina Haspel, the current CIA Director nobody has ever heard of. What does she know about Mr. Ciaramella’s role in this melodrama, who detailed him to the National Security Council, who supervised him, and who exactly were his associates?

And, of course, not a few fair-minded people would be interested to hear from Rep. Adam Schiff, who engineered the “whistleblower’s” entry into his concocted UkraineGate sequel to the now discredited RussiaGate ruse. Get Mr. Schiff under oath. He is almost certain to lie about his activities, and that will certainly get him expelled from congress in disgrace, along with losing his license to practice law. Bring in Hunter Biden and ask him to explain whether he was busted for crack cocaine in a rent-a-car before-or-after he was hired to serve on the board of directors of a Ukrainian gas company. Bring in Lt. Col. Vindman, bring in Daniel Goldman, bring them all in and compel their testimony under penalty of perjury. This will eventually get America right in its weakened mind.

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Living in a World Bereft of Privacy – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on December 8, 2019

This low-level and laughably amateur attempt at extortion is risible. Unfortunately, the threat from our governments spying on us all is not.

Even back then we knew that computers could be captured by adversaries and turned against you – keystroke loggers, remote recording via microphones, cameras switched on to watch you, and many other horrors.

Living in a World Bereft of Privacy

By Annie Machon
in Brussels
Special to Consortium News

A few days ago I first received a menacing email from someone calling herself Susana Peritz. She told me “she” had hacked my email, planted malware on my computer, and had then filmed me getting my jollies while watching “interesting” porn online. Her email had caught my attention because it mentioned in the subject line a very old password, attached to a very old email address I had not used for over a decade. The malware must have been planted on a defunct computer.

Putting aside the fact that I am far more concerned about GCHQ or the NSA hacking my computer (as should we all be), this did rather amuse me.

Apparently, I must pay this “Susana” $1000 via Bitcoin or, shock, have my alleged pleasures shared with my acquaintances. And just last night I received another courteous request for cash from someone calling themselves Jillie Abdulrazak, but the price has now been inflated to $3000.

Why am I not concerned? Well, I can safely say – hand on heart – that I have never watched online porn. But this got me thinking about how or why I could have been singled out for this mark of a blackmailer’s esteem, and that brings me on to some rather dark thoughts.

It is perfectly possible that a rare, unguarded moment of long-distance online love might have been captured (but by whom?). That would probably be over a decade ago and would certainly have been using the old email account which was attached to the particular password at the time.

However, even those memories have been denied me – I distinctly remember that I have been too paranoid for too long and have always covered the built-in computer camera lens. Anything that could possibly have been recorded could only be audio – a saucy phone call at most. There can be no video of my younger self, alas.

I have had good reason to be paranoid. In the late 1990s I supported my former partner and fellow MI5 intelligence officer, David Shalyer, in his whistleblower exploits to expose the crimes and incompetence of the UK spy agencies at the time. This resulted in us literally going on the run across Europe, living in hiding for a year in la France profonde, and another two years in exile in Paris before he voluntarily returned to the UK in 2000 to face the music and inevitably, under the terms of the UK’ draconian 1989 Official Secrets Act, being sent to prison for exposing the crimes of British spies.

From those years, knowing what we knew about the spies’ capabilities even then, the sense of being always potentially watched has never rubbed off.

The Bigger Picture

So, knowing absolutely that I have never watched any online porn and that I always keep my computer camera lens covered, “Susana” and “Jillie” can go whistle. You have tried to shake down the wrong paranoid ex-MI5 whistleblower, darlings. And my tech people are now hunting you.

Any possible audio could, I suppose, be spliced in some way to some dodgy video to make this the stuff of a blackmailer’s dreams. That, surely, will be easy to “forensicate” – and indeed I have other friends who can do this, at world class level.

Alternatively, the former love at the time could have recorded the audio for his own nefarious personal usage for some nebulous time in the future. And if that future is now, after he had shown himself a long time ago to be chronically dishonest, why do this in 2018 when we have been separated for years?

He may have possibly continued to used the old email account himself to watch vile material – he certainly had the password back then and perhaps he uses it to distance himself from his own porn habit (fapware, as the geeks call it)? If that is the case, he is even less honorable than I had considered him to be.

Or perhaps this is some type of dark LoveInt operation by the spooks, in some failed attempt to frighten or embarrass me?

But there is, of course, a bigger, more political picture.

Ever since I worked as an intelligence officer for MI5, before going on the run with Shayler during the whistleblowing years in the late 1990s, I have been painfully aware of the tech capabilities of the spies. Even back then we knew that computers could be captured by adversaries and turned against you – keystroke loggers, remote recording via microphones, cameras switched on to watch you, and many other horrors.

The whistleblowing of Edward Snowden back in 2013 has confirmed all this and more on an industrial, global scale – we are all potentially at risk of this particular invasion of our personal privacy. I have kept my computer and mobile camera lenses covered for all these years precisely because of this threat.

One specific Snowden disclosure, which has received little mainstream media traction, was a programme called OPTIC NERVE. This was a GCHQ program (funded by American money) that allowed the spooks to intercept in real time video conferencing calls. It turned out, horror, that 10 percent of them were of a salacious nature, and the spooks were shocked!

I have spoken about privacy and surveillance at conferences around the world and have many, many times had to debate the supposition that “if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.”

However, most people would like to keep their intimate relationships private. In this era of work travel and long distance relationships, more of us might well have intimate conversations and even video play via the internet. In an adult, consensual and mutually pleasurable context, we are doing nothing wrong and we have nothing to hide, but we surely don’t want the spooks to be watching us or listening in, any more than we would want the criminals capturing images and trying to shake us down for money.

This low-level and laughably amateur attempt at extortion is risible. Unfortunately, the threat from our governments spying on us all is not.

Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer in the UK’s domestic MI5 Security Service.

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JOHN KIRIAKOU: The Press Should Not Be Shielding FBI Malfeasance – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on December 2, 2019

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/27/john-kiriakou-the-press-should-not-be-shielding-fbi-malfeasance/

By John Kiriakou

The Washington Post and other media outlets last week reported that a former FBI attorney allegedly altered a document related to the FBI’s 2016 surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser.  FBI Inspector General Michael Horowitz apparently concluded that the conduct “did not affect the overall validity of the surveillance application,” which was made with the secret FISA court.

The Post article, as well as articles in The New York Times, at CNN, and in other outlets, downplayed the behavior as having had “no effect” on the FBI’s surveillance of Page, ignoring the fact that tampering with a federal document is a felony.  That’s consistent with the Justice Department’s own policy of protecting their own while wrecking the lives of those who have the guts to stand up to them.

Publishing Excuses 

Look at The Washington Post’s original account of the inspector general’s findings.  The FBI attorney was just a “low-level employee” who has already “been forced out of the Bureau.”  The altered document “did not affect the overall validity of the surveillance application.”  The employee “erroneously indicated he had documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis for the application.  He then altered an email to back up that erroneous claim.”

Let’s straighten a few things outs.

First, the employee was not “low-level.”  Attorneys enter the FBI at the GS-11 level.  That’s a starting salary of $69,581.  On Day One of his career, the attorney would actually be a mid-level employee.  Furthermore, “low-level employees” are not assigned to sensitive operations involving counterintelligence against a major-party presidential campaign. Hand-picked senior employees get that honor.

Second, even if the altered document didn’t affect the FISA warrant application, the statement is irrelevant.  The attorney committed a felony, plain and simple.

Third, the media says that the attorney “erroneously indicated” that he could back up the document. But that, too, was a felony.  It’s called “making a false statement” and it’s punishable by up to five years in prison.

To make matters worse, there is no indication from the Justice Department that this attorney will be prosecuted.  “He’s already resigned,” The Washington Post tells us, as if that’s supposed to make everything OK.  Why is the mainstream media shielding FBI malfeasance?  For FBI crimes?  Because the victim is the Trump campaign, and we’re not supposed to like the Trump campaign. It’s all about Russia, Russia, Russia, remember?  If the evidence doesn’t show that, you just change the evidence.

Letter from Terry Albury

We shouldn’t be surprised about this kind of behavior from the FBI or from the Justice Department writ large.  I received a letter this week from FBI whistleblower Terry Albury.  He’s the courageous former FBI agent who blew the whistle on systemic racism in the bureau.  And he received four years in prison for his trouble.  Terry wrote to tell me about an experience that he’s having identical to my own, when I was in prison after blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program.

Terry has less than a year left on his sentence.  He has watched over the past year as dozens of prisoners around him have been sent from their low-security prison to a minimum-security work camp.  These are prisoners who have committed violent crimes; prisoners who have attempted escape in the past; and prisoners who are incarcerated because they are recidivists.  Here’s what Terry wrote:

“On 11/13/2018, I self-surrendered to FCI Englewood in Littleton, CO.  In assigning me to a Low Security Prison (LSP), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) placed a Management Variable (MGTV) on my case to counteract my extremely high security score of zero.  Of the variables at their disposal, I was deemed to be a ‘Greater Security Threat.’

According to institutional policy:

When the BOP believes that an offender represents a greater security risk than the assigned security level would suggest, it may apply this Management Variable and place the inmate in an institution with a higher security level.  The BOP typically applies this MGTV to offenders with lengthy prior arrest records but few convictions, nonviolent offenders who have a history of poor adjustment under probation or community supervision, offenders with a history of organized crime, offenders with significant foreign ties and/or financial resources, and offenders who have had disciplinary problems during prior incarceration.  Inmates who receive this MGTV are placed one security level higher than their score would otherwise require.

The facts of my case and background confirm that none of these parameters apply.  Furthermore, an analysis of the policy clearly demonstrates that I should never have been placed (and continue to be held) in an LSP.

Over the past year, I’ve consistently complied with all institutional rules, taken extensive BOP-sponsored educational courses, and earned the support of my case manager, unit manager, and warden who followed BOP Policy and authorized the removal of my erroneous MGTV and subsequent transfer to a Minimum Security Prison (MSP) within 500 miles of my residence (in line with Congressional guidance under the First Step Act).

In authorizing my 10/11/2019 transfer to an MSP and the removal of my MGTV, Case Manager D. Taylor specifically cited “unit team discretion outlined in PS P5100.08” which further states “when a management variable no longer applies, institution staff will remove the variable(s) accordingly.”  Program Statement 5270.09 is also clear in that “the Unit Team may recommend a greater security transfer, using their professional judgment, and in accordance with the policy on inmate security designation and custody classification.”

However, on 10/30/2019, I was informed that the DSCC’s Designation and Sentence Computation Center (DSCC) discounted, rejected, and overturned my legally justified transfer and MGTV removal.  Furthermore, they unilaterally assigned a new MGTV to my case (“monitoring required”) in spite of the fact that all federal prisoners are subjected to comprehensive phone, e-mail, and traditional mail monitoring at every prison around the country (minimum, low, medium, and high).

To say that I’m being held to a different institutional standard would be an understatement. Over the past year, I’ve watched prisoners transfer to MSPs with nine security points, violent backgrounds, five or more years remaining on their sentence, and histories of escape.

Yet somehow, a man with zero security points, a non-violent background, less than a year remaining on his sentence, and someone authorized to self-surrender, I was deemed to be ineligible for placement in an MSP.  And to exacerbate the issue, the entire executive staff of FCI Englewood supported my transfer and no longer believed I warranted the misguided and inappropriate MGTV of “greater security threat.”

In an effort to resolve this issue, I’ve filed a series of administrative grievances, which is on par with applying scotch tape to fill a leak in the Hoover Dam.  I have no confidence in the internal process which is why I am pursuing all available external channels to voice my concerns.”

The fix is in, not just with Terry Albury, but with the whole system.  Want to tell the press that the FBI is an inherently racist organization?  Go ahead. You’ll get years in prison.  Want to tamper with federal documents to prove a political point?  Don’t worry. The press will cover for you and the chances are that the Department of Justice won’t even bother to prosecute.

Terry Albury will be home soon, where he’ll continue the fight for transparency and honesty in government.  But the fight is a daunting one, especially when the mainstream media is one of your enemies.  It’s a fight we should all be happy to take on.

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The Storms of December – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on November 23, 2019

Both Mr. Schiff and Col. Vindman claimed to not know the identity of the “WB?” If so, it would be logically impossible to reveal the “Whistleblower” by just naming an agency with thousands of little worker bees. Of course, he walked right into the trap set by minority member, Mr. Ratcliffe of Texas. Who doesn’t get that Col Vindman knows exactly who the “Whistleblower” is because he was the “Whistleblower’s” accomplice? And Mr. Schiff knows, too.

I am sincerely wondering how the public will process the storm of indictments coming down at the cabal of government employees who devised the RussiaGate persecution at the same time the Senate prepares to go to a trial that will humiliate and possibly annihilate the Democratic Party. No political faction in history has begged so persuasively to be put to death, or deserved it more.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-storms-of-december/

James Howard Kunstler

Finally, you’re left with that image of Adam Schiff sitting stock straight in the big chair with pursed lips and eyes bugged out, as in a very certain species of lunacy heretofore only seen in Canis latrans of Cartoon-land when, say, he has overrun the cliff’s edge clutching an anvil to his bosom. What was he thinking when he hatched this latest quixotic chapter in the ignominious crusade to reverse the 2016 election?

That he’d never get caught? On Wednesday he witlessly did gave away the game on nationwide TV, telling the witness, heroic Col. Vindman, to not state which intel agency (of 23 !) employed the one still-unnamed person he blabbed to about the epic Phone Call to Ukraine — because it would reveal the name of the Whistleblower.” How could that be? Both Mr. Schiff and Col. Vindman claimed to not know the identity of the “WB?” If so, it would be logically impossible to reveal the “Whistleblower” by just naming an agency with thousands of little worker bees. Of course, he walked right into the trap set by minority member, Mr. Ratcliffe of Texas. Who doesn’t get that Col Vindman knows exactly who the “Whistleblower” is because he was the “Whistleblower’s” accomplice? And Mr. Schiff knows, too.

If the senate majority poohbahs were wise, they would warmly welcome a trial based on articles of impeachment, which would, of course, feature no artificial limits on the witness list, nor on questions that might be asked. The list might start with the UkraineGate “Whistleblower.” Among the many untruths uttered by Adam Schiff was the nonexistent law that gave that shadowy figure a right to anonymity. And besides, in any trial based on due process, the accused has an absolute right to face his accuser.

Oddly, a month ago Mr. Schiff was avid to stick his “Whistleblower” in the witness chair, and perhaps not with a black hood over his head. Then it was discovered that the “Whistleblower” had been consorting at least with Mr. Schiff’s staff members before blowing his fabled whistle, and that they had likely assisted in the assembly of his complaint, and in connecting him to the right lawyers in the Great Blue Okefenokee backwaters of DC lawyerdom, and, naturally, nobody from sea to shining sea over age nine who had paid attention to these antics believed that Mr. Schiff could not know who this “Whistleblower” was. Likewise, the brave Col. Vindman. Both of them deserve some time in a senate witness chair, and Mr. Schiff especially is due some sort of penalty for subjecting the country to his three years of dishonorable, seditious shenanigans — beginning with expulsion from the House and perhaps proceeding to a trial of his very own.

These UkraineGate hearings of the past two weeks raised some additional questions that have not otherwise been aired much in the public arena, chiefly, exactly how much does the US government seek to control the affairs of Ukraine? And how did we become the superintendent of this partially failed state? The parade of State Department diplomats in charge of this-and-that suggests that Ukraine is virtually an occupied territory. Do we realistically suppose that, in the natural course of things, we can shield Ukraine forever from the influence of its neighbor (and former sovereign), Russia?

It is also astounding to see media shills like Rachel Maddow still carrying on hysterically about Russia. She must have cried “Russia” twenty-seven times in the ten minutes of her act I caught on Thursday night. She’s far exceeded even the paranoid raptures of the John Birch Society a half century ago when they were screaming about communists in every broom closet of America. This incessant war-cry can’t be good for the country.

Now we’ve turned the corner into that enchanted season known as “the holidays” and a multi-dimensional showdown after three years of perfidious nonsense looms over the turkeys and silver bells and holy pageantry like a freak winter hurricane out in the dark ocean barreling landward. I am sincerely wondering how the public will process the storm of indictments coming down at the cabal of government employees who devised the RussiaGate persecution at the same time the Senate prepares to go to a trial that will humiliate and possibly annihilate the Democratic Party. No political faction in history has begged so persuasively to be put to death, or deserved it more.

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PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Impeachment Pantomime – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on November 14, 2019

…was in all likelihood a CIA agent named Eric Ciaramella…

Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter’s days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama’s recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump.

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/12/patrick-lawrence-the-impeachment-pantomime/

By Patrick Lawrence

Special to Consortium News

Now that “Russiagate” has failed and “Ukrainegate” neatly takes its place, many questions arise. Will the Democratic Party, this time in open collusion with the intelligence apparatus, succeed in its second attempt to depose President Donald Trump in what might fairly be called a bloodless coup? Whatever the outcome of the thus-far-farcical impeachment probe, which is to be conducted publicly as of Wednesday, did the president use his office to pressure Ukraine in behalf of his own personal and political interests? Did Trump, in his fateful telephone conversation last July 25 with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, put U.S. national security at risk, as is alleged?

All good questions. Here is another: Will Joe Biden, at present the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, get away with what is almost certain to prove his gross corruption and gross abuse of office when he carried the Ukraine portfolio while serving as vice president under Barack Obama?

Corollary line of inquiry: Will the corporate media, The New York Times in the lead, get away with self-censoring what is now irrefutable evidence of the impeachment probe’s various frauds and corruptions? Ditto in the Biden case: Can the Times and the media that faithfully follow its lead continue to disregard accumulating circumstantial evidence of Biden’s guilt as he appears to have acted in the interest of his son Hunter while the latter sat on the board of one of Ukraine’s largest privately held natural gas producers?

Innuendo & Interference 

It is not difficult to imagine that Trump presented Zelensky with his famous quid pro quo when they spoke last summer: Open an investigation into Biden père et fils and I will release $391 million in military aid and invite you to the White House. Trump seems to be no stranger to abuses of power of this sort. But the impeachment probe has swiftly run up against the same problem that sank the good ship Russiagate: It has produced no evidence. Innuendo and inference, yes. Various syllogisms, yes. But no evidence.

There is none in the transcript of the telephone exchange. Zelensky has flatly stated that there was no quid pro quo. The witnesses so far called to testify have had little to offer other than their personal opinions, even if Capitol Hill Democrats pretend these testimonies are prima facie damning. And the witnesses are to one or another degree of questionable motives: To a one, they appear to be Russophobes who favor military aid to Ukraine; to a one they are turf-conscious careerists who think they set U.S. foreign policy and resent the president for intruding upon them. It is increasingly evident that Trump’s true offense is proposing to renovate a foreign policy framework that has been more or less untouched for 75 years (and is in dire need of renovation).

Ten days ago Real Clear Investigations suggested that the “whistleblower” whose “complaint” last August set the impeachment probe in motion was in all likelihood a CIA agent named Eric Ciaramella. And who is Eric Ciaramella? It turns out he is a young but seasoned Democratic Party apparatchik conducting his spookery on American soil.

Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter’s days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama’s recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump.

For good measure, Paul Sperry’s perspicacious reporting in Real Clear Investigations reveals that Ciaramella conferred with the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment process, a month prior to filing his “complaint” to the CIA’s inspector general…

This leaves us to reckon the price our troubled republic will pay for months of irresponsible theatrics that are more or less preordained to lead nowhere.

More questions. What damage will the Democrats have done when Ukrainegate draws to a close (assuming it does at some point)? What harm has come to U.S. political institutions, governing bodies, judiciary and media? The corporate press has been profligately careless of its already questionable credibility during the years of Russiagate and now Ukrainegate. Can anyone argue there is no lasting price to pay for this?

More urgently, what do the past three years of incessant efforts to unseat a president tell us about the power of unelected constituencies? The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency’s classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home.

What, at last, must we conclude about the ability of any president (of any stripe) to effect authentic change when our administrative state — “deep,” if you like — opposes it?

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JFK-CIA

 

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Trump-Ukraine Whistleblower Suddenly Won’t Testify; Lawyers Break Off Negotiations Amid New Revelations | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on November 2, 2019

In other words, House Democrats are about to impeach President Trump over a second-hand whistleblower complaint by a partisan CIA officer, and neither he nor his source will actually testify about it (for now…).

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/trump-ukraine-whistleblower-suddenly-wont-testify-lawyers-break-negotiations-house-amid

Profile picture for user Tyler Durden

A CIA officer who filed a second-hand whistleblower complaint against President Trump has gotten cold feet about testifying after revelations emerged that he worked with Joe Biden, former CIA Director John Brennan, and a DNC operative who sought dirt on President Trump from officials in Ukraine’s former government.

According to the Washington Examiner, discussions with the whistleblower – revealed by RealClearInvestigations as 33-year-old Eric Ciaramella have been halted, “and there is no discussion of testimony from a second whistleblower, who supported the first’s claims.”

Ciaramella complained that President Trump abused his office when he asked Ukraine to investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as claims related to pro-Clinton election interference and DNC hacking in 2016.

On Thursday, a top National Security Council official who was present on a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky testified that he saw nothing illegal about the conversation.

I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” said Tim Morrison, former NSC Senior Director for European Affairs who was on the July 25 call between the two leaders.

Tim Morrison

And now, the partisan whistleblowers have cold feet;

“There is no indication that either of the original whistleblowers will be called to testify or appear before the Senate or House Intelligence committees. There is no further discussion ongoing between the legal team and the committees,” said the Examiner‘s source.

The whistleblower is a career CIA officer with expertise in Ukraine policy who served on the White House National Security Council during the Obama administration, when 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was “point man” for Ukraine, and during the early months of the Trump administration. –Washington Examiner

In other words, House Democrats are about to impeach President Trump over a second-hand whistleblower complaint by a partisan CIA officer, and neither he nor his source will actually testify about it (for now…).

On Thursday, the House passed a resolution establishing a framework for Trump impeachment proceedings, belatedly granting Republicans the ability to subpoena witnesses, but only if Schiff and fellow Democrats on the Intelligence Committee agree.

Mark Zaid, who along with Andrew Bakaj is an attorney for both the original whistleblower and the second whistleblower, told the Washington Examiner the legal team was willing to work with lawmakers so long as anonymity is ensured. “We remain committed to cooperating with any congressional oversight committee’s requests so long as it properly protects and ensures the anonymity of our clients,” Zaid said.

On Wednesday, Zaid and Bakaj declined to confirm or deny in a statement to the Washington Examiner that Eric Ciaramella, 33, a career CIA analyst and former Ukraine director on the NSC, was the whistleblower after a report by RealClearInvestigations. –Washington Examiner

In September, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, who lied about contacts with Ciaramella (and hired two Ciaramella associates as staffers) said that the whistleblower “would like to speak to our committee.”

Once Ciaramella’s status as a CIA officer and his links to Biden emerged, however, Schiff backtracked. On October 13 he changed his tune, saying “Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected.”

Meanwhile, once the House impeaches Trump – which it most certainly willthe tables will turn in the Senate, which will hold a mandatory trial. Not only will the GOP-Senators controlling the proceedings be able to subpoena documents and other evidence, they’ll be able to compel Ciaramella, the Bidens, Chalupa and any other witnesses they desire as we head into the 2020 US election.

Nancy Pelosi saw this coming and caved to her party anyway. There isn’t enough popcorn in the world for what’s coming.

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CIA Torture Program Whistleblower Speaks on – “The Sad ...

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