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Posts Tagged ‘Wikileaks’

Seth Rich Refuses to Stay Buried – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on May 12, 2020

“I spent three hours with Julian Assange on Saturday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” said Ratner with a curious lack of emphasis. “One thing he did say was the leaks were not from, they were not from the Russians. They were an internal source from the Hillary campaign.”

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/seth_rich_refuses_to_stay_buried.html

By Jack Cashill

“I am reliably informed that the NSA or its partners intercepted at least some of the communications between Mr. Rich and Wikileaks,” wrote attorney Ty Clevenger in a startling letter last week to Richard Grennell, Interim Director of National Intelligence.

Clevenger represents Ed Butowsky, a high-profile author and financial adviser who dared to ask questions about the late Seth Rich and was sued for his troubles.

The known facts of Rich’s still unsolved murder were largely established within hours by the local media. “A 27-year-old man who worked for the Democratic National Committee was shot and killed as he walked home early Sunday in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C.,” NBC Washington reported.

The shooting occurred at 4:19 a.m. on Sunday, July 10, 2016. “There had been a struggle,” said Seth’s mother, Mary Rich. “His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything.” She added, “They took his life for literally no reason.”

In the real world, most killers have a reason. Those who fire two shots and take nothing from the victim always do. In the major newsrooms, journalists have been perversely keen on not knowing what this reason was. In the years since the shooting, they have offered little useful information beyond the account above.

Butowsky was much more curious. The woman who stirred his curiosity was Ellen Ratner, a veteran TV news analyst. On the day after the 2016 presidential election, Ratner participated in a videotaped panel discussion at Embry-Riddle University.

“I spent three hours with Julian Assange on Saturday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” said Ratner with a curious lack of emphasis. “One thing he did say was the leaks were not from, they were not from the Russians. They were an internal source from the Hillary campaign.”

As Ratner should have known, this was a major revelation, and she was a credible source. An open supporter of Hillary Clinton with access to Assange through her late brother and Assange attorney, Michael Ratner, she had no reason to make this up.

Ratner was referring to emails from inside the DNC and the Hillary campaign that the media, the Democrats and the deep state insisted had been hacked from the DNC computers by the Russians. She should have been shouting this contrary news from the rooftops, but she did little more than share it with colleague Butowsky.

According to Butowsky’s multi-party suit, Ratner repeated to him a more detailed claim by Assange, namely that “Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to WikiLeaks.” Following up on this claim got Butowsky into a world of a trouble. He is one several would-be investigators, Fox News included, who have been sued into silence.

Based on his deposition of Asst. U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines, Clevenger makes a compelling case that the FBI did indeed review Rich’s electronic accounts. Sines’s testimony contradicted the official FBI narrative that Rich was never the subject of an FBI investigation and has no records pertaining to Rich.

Clevenger also cites a troubling August 2016 FBI email chain unearthed by Judicial Watch. The exchange began with a note from an FBI public-affairs official, name redacted, noting Assange’s recently televised suggestion that Rich was involved in the DNC hack. The official wanted to know “what involvement the Bureau has in the investigation.”

An unidentified agent passed the email along to the FBI’s notorious Peter Strzok with the notation, “Just FYSA [for your situational awareness]. I squashed this with [redacted].” Strzok, in turn, forwarded this email to his lover and co-conspirator, Lisa Page.

Clevenger reports too that former NSA officials Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, and Kirk Wiebe “are prepared to testify that the DNC emails published by Wikileaks could not have been obtained via hacking.”

Clevenger’s evidence that the NSA captured exchanges between Rich and Assange is largely circumstantial but credible. According to Clevenger, the NSA refused to produce 32 pages of records about Seth Rich due to their classified nature.

In addition, one of Clevenger’s consultants was reportedly informed that the NSA possessed “additional communications between Mr. Rich and Wikileaks.” Were Rich and Assange communicating, capturing that information would have been within the legitimate purview of the NSA or its “Five Eyes” partners.

“I believe the NSA is trying to conceal wrongdoing that occurred during the Obama Administration,” Clevenger concludes his letter to Grennell. “I respectfully request that you de-classify the NSA’s records about Seth Rich.”

Clevenger adds, “Disclosure would go a long way toward exposing the depravity of the ‘deep state,’ and that is long overdue.”

If Rich’s ultimate fate remains certain, what is altogether clear is the conspiratorial role the major media have played in keeping this story buried. As renegade Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi observed in his book Hate Inc., “Being on any team is a bad look for the press, but the press being on team FBI/CIA is an atrocity, Trump or no Trump.”

(Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.)

Fox News screen grab via Vox

 

 

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It’s The 10th Anniversary of WikiLeaks’ Publication of the Collateral Murder video (A Short Documentary) – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on May 9, 2020

Left we forget. Reuters and the lamestream media have.

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/05/07/its-the-10th-anniversary-of-wikileaks-publication-of-the-collateral-murder-video-a-short-documentary/

In Brief

  • The Facts:April 05, 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of WikiLeaks’ publication of Collateral Murder video. The video shows how two Apache helicopters killing 11 Iraqi people including two Reuters journalists.
  • Reflect On:How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes?  How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals?

Last month marked the 10th anniversary of WikiLeaks’ publication of the Collateral Murder video. The video shows how two Apache helicopters murdered 11 Iraqi people including two Reuters journalists. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.  This is one of the publications Julian Assange is being indicted for espionage. He faces 175 years in a US jail if extradited from the UK.  WikiLeaks obtained the video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. They analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material and spoke to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.

 WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work. (source)

After the video was released, one of the soldiers involved in the incident, Ethan McCord, said the following:

“If you feel threatened in any way, you’re able to engage that person. Many soldiers felt threatened just by the fact that you were looking at them, so they fired their weapons on anybody that was looking at them because they (I) felt threatened. We were told if we were to fire on anybody, and if it were to be investigated, that ‘officers will take care of you.’ ”

“We were told by our battalion commander to kill every m***** f****** on the street.  Many soldiers would not do that, we decided we were going to shoot into the rooftops of buildings because, if you didn’t fire, the NCOs in your platoon would make your life hell.”

“This happens on a daily basis, destroying vans full of children, the destruction of the Iraqi people happens on a daily basis.” (source)

 When it comes to Julian Assange, most of the world knows why they hunted him, and why he’s been treated the way he’s been treated and tortured in prison. The same goes for people like Edward Snowden, it’s because they expose lies, corruption, deceit, immoral and unethical actions that their own governments, as well as governments around the world have participated in. He exposed these characteristics that seem to represents the backbone of the Western military alliance and the American empire. He exposed, in the words of John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City, the “real menace of the Republic”, the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposed the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.” (source)(source)

How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes?  How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with their people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy. Nils Melzer (source)

Since this video was released, more people became aware of the connections that the US government had at the time with terrorist organizations. Information about the US funding terrorist groups, arming terrorist groups and even staging terrorist attacks has come to light. More people became aware of the fact that the same powers who claim to be going overseas to locate and take down these terrorists are the same ones who created them in the first place. This is referred to as ‘false flag terrorism,’ and the creation of terrorism has allowed powerful people to infiltrate other countries for ulterior motives.

Thanks to people like Julian Assange and many others, many people have had a big shift with regards to their perception of the world. More people are becoming aware about aspects of the human experience they were once unaware of. In order to stop these aspects, we must first become aware of them. With awareness comes a shift in consciousness, and that shift in consciousness then leads to action. The world is changing, and it’s changing fast. We have to go through the growing pains first.

Below is a recent release from Wikileaks, Collateral Murder 10 Years On: Short Documentary

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Vimeo Bans Documentary Exposing “Big Pharma’s” Influence Within The World Health Organization – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2020

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/04/20/vimeo-bans-documentary-exposing-big-pharmas-influence-within-the-world-health-organization/

In Brief

  • The Facts:A documentary called “trustWHO” explores the influence that the pharmaceutical industry, among others, has on the World Health Organization. It was recently banned by Vimeo.
  • Reflect On:Why is sound and solid research presenting credible information being banned and censored on multiple platforms across the internet?

Special note to readers: This is the most comprehensive investigation into both sides of the vaccine debate. Researchers, medical professionals and scientists, come together to bring you the information you need to know in order to make educated decisions about vaccines. The global viewing event for The Truth About Vaccines begins April 22.

I recently published a piece about Wikileaks regarding recent posts they made pertaining to documents they released nearly a decade ago . The documents highlight the influence that pharmaceutical companies have on health policy set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Towards the end of that article, I wrote about a documentary that’s recently been removed by Vimeo, and I wanted to publish another article that specifically shines light on this matter.

Vimeo deleted “trustWHO”, a film directed by Lilian Franck. Vimeo stated that they do not support “Videos that depict or encourage self-harm, falsely claim that mass tragedies are hoaxes, or perpetuate false or misleading claims about vaccine safety.”

According to the filmmakers, the claim from Vimeo is “Both misleading and false. “trustWHO” has been thoroughly researched for 7 years; it has been fact-checked and approved by lawyers, experts in the medical field and even by key executives of the WHO itself. The documentary simply investigated how efficiency and transparency of the WHO are undermined by both corporate influences and a lack of public funding. It is a journalistic investigation based on facts and far from what Vimeo makes it out to be. This is our full statement on the matter, presented by Robert Cibis (Filmmaker, Co-author and producer of “trust WHO”).

 

In our world today, there is the powerful presence of a digital Orwellian “fact checker” that’s going around the internet and social media deleting any evidence that threatens corporate, political, financial or elitist interests, or information that simply highlights the corruption within agencies that have been tasked to safeguard us. The elimination of content from various platforms, like Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook and more is being done so in an immoral and unethical manner.

This is why we here at Collective Evolution are concerned that our Facebook Page will be deleted, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list.

The more that sound information is censored, the more it’s simply going to contribute to the awakening of more people, and more people are going to seek out that censored information and evaluate it for themselves.

Below is a message from  Oval Media, producers of Trust WHO. In the video you can see a snippet of the documentary. It features a number of scientists and doctors, and former officials from within the World Health Organization. If you’re interested in watching the full version, you can support them and do so here while it’s still up. They are also currently fundraising for a documentary they would like to produce on the current COVID-19 pandemic. You can contribute here and find out more about that if interested.

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Edward Snowden Says Governments Are Using COVID-19 To “Monitor Us Like Never Before”

Posted by M. C. on April 17, 2020

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/04/15/edward-snowden-says-governments-are-using-covid-19-to-monitor-us-like-never-before/

In Brief

  • The Facts:In the second episode of The Intercept’s new weekly show, host Glenn Greenwald explores the under-discussed consequences of the coronavirus pandemic with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and how it’s being used to take away more human rights.
  • Reflect On:Should the government use force on their citizenry to comply, or should they simply recommend safety measures and explain why they do?

Special Note To Our Readers: We are concerned that our Facebook Page will be deleted, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list.

9/11 was a major event in human history, and although it was very traumatic and devastating, it served the collective in multiple ways. For example, the event raised questions and made people distrust their government. It also highlighted the massive amounts of corruption that exists within governments. Since 9/11, the masses have become aware of ‘false flag terrorism,’ which refers to the ‘powers that be’ creating, funding and even staging terrorist events in order to heighten the national security state and justify the invasion and infiltration of other countries  under the guise of good will and restoring democracy. In reality, this type of infiltration is usually used for ulterior motives like resource extraction, mass surveillance and installing a puppet government that is willing to work with governments and intelligence agencies who have a tremendous amount of power.

After 9/11 we saw various leaks from whistleblowers, organizations like Wikileaks, and numerous other proofs that governments were actually funding Terrorist organizations, and again, in some cases contributing to the ‘staging’ of terrorist attacks. The chemical weapons attacks in Syria a few years ago were a great example, and it eventually got to the point where congresspeople were introducing bills to stop their own government (The United States) from funding terrorist organizations like ISIS. Just like Tulsi Gabbard did with the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act.”

Terrorism is and always has been a classic case of powerful people creating the problem, so the exact same people can  propose the solution. Are we seeing the same thing with the coronavirus?

Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and William Binney (one of the highest placed intelligence officials to ever blow the whistle), among others, have been exposing the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Government with regards to the extent of their surveillance programs for quite a while. They’ve both leaked documents and ‘blown the whistle’ on just how far these agencies go to monitor not only their own citizens, but the citizes in other countries as well. They’ve also been quite outspoken that these programs are not put in place for our own protection, and that the ‘problems’ are simply a cover that are used to justify the implementation of these programs. According to Binney, these surveillance measures are not for our protection, but for “total population control.” (source)

What Snowden Has To Say About The Coronavirus

According to Edward Snowden, “Governments around the world are are exploiting the pandemic to monitor us like never before.” He and many others have been pointing out how society is moving fast towards an authoritarian type of existence, and how it’s already here. The enforcement or advocacy of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom has been here for quite a while, and it’s done in a very clever way. Many of us are concerned about having a good job, a house, a family and many of us believe we have freedom without being aware that in many ways, we really don’t. And all of the measures that take away our freedom are done so by manufacturing our consent to these measures, or by governments simply implementing these measures without the knowledge or approval of the people.  As Snowden mentions in his interview below, fear, panic and hysteria are usually the tools used to implement and justify these measures and manufacture our consent.

As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? -Edward Snowden (source)

Snowden points out that just like 9/11, the coronavirus will be used to heighten even more surveillance and security measures that won’t go away. I am sure many measures that are being put in place, just as they were put into place after 9/11, will remain classified and completely hidden from the citizenry. That’s why people like Edward Snowden are so important.

We are also seeing an authoritarian type of dictator policing the internet as well. Dr. Ron Paul had a piece that was recently flagged as ‘false news’ for simply sharing his opinion. He shares the same thoughts as Snowden to an extent:

Governments love crises because when the people are fearful they are more willing to give up freedoms for promises that the government will take care of them. After 9/11, for example, Americans accepted the near-total destruction of their civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act’s hollow promises of security.

People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus “pandemic” could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.

That is not to say the disease is harmless. Without question people will die from coronavirus. Those in vulnerable categories should take precautions to limit their risk of exposure. But we have seen this movie before. Government over-hypes a threat as an excuse to grab more of our freedoms. When the “threat” is over, however, they never give us our freedoms back. – Paul (source)

Below is a very interesting interview that Snowden recently gave with Glenn Greenwald, where they explore the “under-discussed consequences of the coronavirus pandemic” and “the risk of acquiescing to more surveillance during times of peril.” In it he goes into greater detail.

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What if Ignored Covid-19 Warnings Had Been Leaked to WikiLeaks? – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on April 13, 2020

“WikiLeaks and 9/11: What If?” is the title The Los Angeles Times gave an Oct. 15, 2010 op-ed by former FBI Special Agent/Minneapolis Division Counsel Coleen Rowley and former Air Marshal Bogdan Dzakovic, who led an elite “Red Team” for the Federal Aviation Administration to probe vulnerabilities of airports and aircraft during the years before 9/11.

After arresting would-be hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui on August 16, 2001, Rowley’s colleagues in Minneapolis ran into unconscionable foot-dragging by FBI headquarters functionaries, who would not permit a search of Moussaoui’s laptop computer or his personal effects.

https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2020/04/12/what-if-ignored-covid-19-warnings-had-been-leaked-to-wikileaks/

The British court system continues to mock the Magna Carta. Bowing vassal-like to U.S. pressure it persists with Star Chamber proceedings against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange until he is either extradited to the US or winds up dead.

The judicial pantomime under way in London, under the guise of an extradition hearing, would make the English nobles who wrested precious civil rights from King John eight centuries ago sob in anger and shame. But nary a whimper is heard from the heirs to those rights. One searches in vain for English nobles today.

Yet the process stumbles along, as awkward as it is inexorable, toward extradition and life in prison for Assange, if he lasts that long.

The banal barristers bashing Assange now seem to harbor hope that, unlike the case of Henry II and Thomas More, the swords of royal knights will be unneeded to “deliver the Crown from this troublesome priest” – or publisher. Those barristers may be spared the embarrassment of losing what residual self-respect they may still claim. In short, they may not need to bow and scrape much longer to surrender Assange to life in a US prison. He may die first.

Puppeteers

For the UK and US barristers and their puppeteers in Washington, salivating to seize the Australian publisher, a deus ex machina has descended backstage. It is called Covid-19 and London’s Belmarsh prison is accurately described as a petri dish for such disease. We already know of one prisoner death there from the virus. God knows how many more there already are – or will be.

In refusing to allow nonviolent prisoner Julian Assange to leave that crowded prison (with his immunocompromised condition, weakened lungs, and clinical depression), presiding Judge Vanessa Baraitser leaves an open door to deliver Kings Boris and Donald this “troublesome” publisher by “natural” means. The swords of royal knights are not needed for this kind of faux-judicial, royal screw. And, happily for Lady Baraitser, she may not have to keep washing blood off her hands as Lady Macbeth was compelled to do.

Meanwhile, as all await Assange’s demise – one way or the other – his lawyers have had no contact with him for three weeks. They cannot visit him in prison; nor can they even talk to him by video chat, according to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnnson.

Empire Drives Home an Old Lesson

However Assange is eventually dispatched – dead or alive – from Star Chamber and prison, the Empire remains hell-bent on demonstrating that it will give no quarter to those endangering it by WikiLeaks-type disclosures.

The lesson is now abundantly clear to all “troublesome” publishers tempted to follow Assange’s example of publishing documentary truth (a function of what used to be called journalism). They will be cut down – whether by “natural” means, or by endless faux-judicial proceedings resulting in lengthy imprisonment, financial ruin, or both.

On Tuesday Judge Baraitser announced that the Assange extradition hearing will resume on May 18, as previously scheduled and that it may drag on into July — Covid-19 notwithstanding. The big question is whether Assange, if he is kept confined in Belmarsh prison, will live that long. Meanwhile, thousands of other nonviolent prisoners are being released from other UK prisons in a humane step to reduce the chances of infection.

As I think of my good friend Julian, what comes to mind are the desperate words of Willy Loman’s wife Linda in “Death of a Salesman”:

“He’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”

(On the chance you are wondering, The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal – as well as National Public Radio – have paid zero attention to the extradition hearing in recent weeks – much less to Judge Baraitser’s Queen of Hearts-style, “off-with-his-head” behavior.)

Aping Caiaphas

The pitiable Baraitser, of course, is simply a cog in the imperial machinery, a self-impressed, self-interested, rigid functionary aping the role of Caiaphas, the high priest beholden to an earlier Empire. “It’s better that one man die,” he is said to have explained, when another nonviolent truth-teller dared to expose the cruelties of Empire to the downtrodden of his day – including the despicable accessory role played by the high priests.

Here is how theologian Eugene Peterson’s renders Caiaphas’s words in John 11: “Can’t you see that it’s to our advantage that one man die … rather than the whole nation be destroyed.” (“Nation” in that context meant the system of privilege enjoyed by collaborators with Rome – like the high priests and the lawyers of the time.)

The lesson meant to be taken away from Assange’s punishment are as clear – if less bloody – as the crucifixion that followed quickly after Caiaphas explained the rationale. The behavior of today’s empire pretends to be more “civilized” as it manufactures stories of rape, leans on ratty satraps in Sweden, England, and Ecuador, and ostentatiously thumbs its nose at official UN condemnations of “arbitrary detention.” And, if that were not enough, it also practices leave-no-marks torture.

Cutting Off Nose to Spite Face

Meanwhile, those who in an ideal world should be natural allies of WikiLeaks, the media, are cowed, and are as pitiable as Baraitser. Many loudly betray Assange outright.

There is no need now, two millennia later, to erect crosses along the roadside as graphic reminders to intimidate those who would expose Empire’s oppression. Civil rights wrested from King John 800 years ago – habeas corpus, for one – have become “quaint” and “obsolete”, adjectives applied by that distinguished American jurist, and George W. Bush “lawyer,” Alberto Gonzales to the Geneva Convention protections against torture. The successors to the English “nobles” of Runnymede seem to have gone the way of Gonzales.

This is not only a case of “killing the messenger”, lamentable as that is. It amounts to cutting off our collective nose to spite our face.

Because most Americans are so impoverished on accurate information, and so misled by the corporate media regarding WikiLeaks – and Assange, in particular – they are blissfully unaware of WikiLeaks’ capability to expose crucial information that can head off disaster.

What If? Read the rest of this entry »

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Humanity Is Making A Very Important Decision When It Comes To Assange – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on March 3, 2020

“Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

That’s the debate now. Not Russia. Not Sweden. Not whether he followed proper bail protocol or washed his dishes at the embassy. That’s old stuff. That’s obsolete. That’s playing defense.

Truth, or lies?

Light, or darkness?

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/03/01/humanity-is-making-a-very-important-choice-when-it-comes-to-assange/

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it.

So the narrative managers, by and large, have gone silent.

Which is good. Because it gives us an opening to seize control of the narrative.

It’s time to go on the offensive with this. Assange supporters have gotten so used to playing defense that it hasn’t fully occurred to us to go on a full-blown charge. I’ve been guilty of this as well; I’ll be letting myself get bogged down in some old, obsolete debate with someone about some obscure aspect of the Swedish case or something, not realizing that none of that matters anymore. All the narrative manipulations that were used to get Assange to this point are impotent, irrelevant expenditures of energy compared to the fact that we now have undeniable evidence that the US government is working to set a precedent which will allow it to jail any journalist who exposes its misdeeds, and we can now force Assange’s smearers to confront this reality.

“Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

That’s the debate now. Not Russia. Not Sweden. Not whether he followed proper bail protocol or washed his dishes at the embassy. That’s old stuff. That’s obsolete. That’s playing defense.

Now we play offense: “Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”

Demand an answer. Call attention to them and demand that they answer. Dig them out of their hidey holes and make them answer this. Drag them out into the light and make them answer this question in front of everyone. Because that is all this is about now.

Don’t get sidetracked. Don’t get tricked into debating defensively. Force the issue: the US government is trying to establish and normalize the practice of extraditing and imprisoning journalists for exposing its misdeeds. That is the issue to focus on.

You will find that anyone who dares to stick their head above the parapet and smear Assange now gets very, very squirmy if you pin them down and force them to address this issue. Because they cannot answer without admitting that they are wrong. And that they’ve been wrong this entire time. It’s a completely unassailable argument.

We now have two and a half months to prepare for the second half of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing: all of March, all of April, and half of May. We’re going to need all that time to seize control of the narrative and make it very, very clear to the world that a very important decision is about to be made by the powerful on our behalf, if we don’t make that decision for them.

This really is do or die time, humans. If we allow them to extradite and imprison Julian Assange for practicing journalism, that’s it. It’s over. We might as well all stop caring what happens to the world and sit on our hands while the oligarchs drive us to ecological disaster, nuclear annihilation or authoritarian dystopia. It’s impossible to hold power accountable if you’re not even allowed to see what it’s doing.

If we, the many, don’t have the spine to stand up against the few and say “No, we get to find out facts about you bastards and use it to inform our worldview, you don’t get to criminalize that,” then we certainly won’t have the spine it will take to wrest control of this world away from the hands of sociopathic plutocrats and take our fate into our own hands. We are deciding, right now, what we are made of. And what we want to become.

This is it. This is the part of the movie where we collectively choose the red pill or the blue pill. We are collectively being asked a question here, and our answer to that question will determine the entire course we will take as a species.

So what’s it going to be, humanity?

Truth, or lies?

Light, or darkness?

A world where we can hold power to account with the light of truth, or a world where power decides what’s true for us?

A world with free speech and a free press, or a world where journalists are imprisoned whenever they expose the evils of the most powerful institutions on this planet?

A world where we all actively fight to free Assange and get the job done, or a giant, irreversible leap toward the end of humanity as we know it?

Do we free Assange?

Or do we sit complacent with our Netflix and our KFC and trust the authority figures to do what’s best?

Do we take the red pill?

Or do we take the blue one?

Choose your path, humans.

Choose wisely.

 

____________________________

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Seth Rich, Julian Assange and Dana Rohrabacher – Will We Ever Know the Truth About the Stolen DNC Files?, by Philip Giraldi – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on March 2, 2020

Crossing the Democratic party, especially if a Clinton is involved, is not for the feint of heart.

https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/seth-rich-julian-assange-and-dana-rohrabacher-will-we-ever-know-the-truth-about-the-stolen-dnc-files/

The media is doing its best to make the Seth Rich story go away, but it seems to have a life of its own, possibly due to the fact that the accepted narrative about how Rich died makes no sense. In its Iatest manifestation, it provides an alternative explanation for just how the information from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer somehow made its way to Wikileaks. If you believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide and that he was just a nasty pedophile rather than an Israeli intelligence agent, read no farther because you will not be interested in Rich. But if you appreciate that it was unlikely that the Russians were behind the stealing of the DNC information you will begin to understand that other interested players must have been at work.

For those who are not familiar with it, the backstory to the murder of apparently disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who some days before may have been the leaker of that organization’s confidential emails to Wikileaks, suggests that a possibly motiveless crime might have been anything but. The Washington D.C. police investigated what they believed to be an attempted robbery gone bad but that theory fails to explain why Rich’s money, credit cards, cell phone and watch were not taken. Wikileaks has never confirmed that Rich was their source in the theft of the proprietary emails that had hitherto been blamed on Russia but it subsequently offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to resolution of the case and Julian Assange, perhaps tellingly, has never publicly clarified whether Rich was or was not one of his contacts, though there is at least one report that he confirmed the relationship during a private meeting.

Answers to the question who exactly stole the files from the DNC server and the emails from John Podesta have led to what has been called Russiagate, a tale that has been embroidered upon and which continues to resonate in American politics. At this point, all that is clearly known is that in the Summer of 2016 files and emails pertaining to the election were copied and then made their way to WikiLeaks, which published some of them at a time that was damaging to the Clinton campaign. Those who are blaming Russia believe that there was a hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server and also of John Podesta’s emails that was carried out by a Russian surrogate or directly by Moscow’s military intelligence arm. They base their conclusion on a statement issued by the Department of Homeland Security on October 7, 2016, and on a longer assessment prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on January 6, 2017. Both government appraisals implied that there was a U.S. government intelligence agency consensus that there was a Russian hack, though they provided little in the way of actual evidence that that was the case and, in particular, failed to demonstrate how the information was obtained and what the chain of custody was as it moved from that point to the office of WikiLeaks. The January report was particularly criticized as unconvincing, rightly so, because the most important one of its three key contributors, the National Security Agency, had only moderate confidence in its conclusions, suggesting that whatever evidence existed was far from solid.

An alternative view that has been circulating for several years suggests that it was not a hack at all, that it was a deliberate whistleblower-style leak of information carried out by an as yet unknown party, possibly Rich, that may have been provided to WikiLeaks for possible political reasons, i.e. to express disgust with the DNC manipulation of the nominating process to damage Bernie Sanders and favor Hillary Clinton.

There are, of course, still other equally non-mainstream explanations for how the bundle of information got from point A to point B, including that the intrusion into the DNC server was carried out by the CIA which then made it look like it had been the Russians as perpetrators. And then there is the hybrid point of view, which is essentially that the Russians or a surrogate did indeed intrude into the DNC computers but it was all part of normal intelligence agency probing and did not lead to anything. Meanwhile and independently, someone else who had access to the server was downloading the information, which in some fashion made its way from there to WikiLeaks.

Both the hack vs. leak viewpoints have marshaled considerable technical analysis in the media to bolster their arguments, but the analysis suffers from the decidedly strange fact that the FBI never even examined the DNC servers that may have been involved. The hack school of thought has stressed that Russia had both the ability and motive to interfere in the election by exposing the stolen material while the leakers have recently asserted that the sheer volume of material downloaded indicates that something like a higher speed thumb drive was used, meaning that it had to be done by someone with actual physical direct access to the DNC system. Someone like Seth Rich.

What the many commentators on the DNC server issue choose to conclude is frequently shaped by their own broader political views, producing a result that favors one approach over another depending on how one feels about Trump or Clinton. Or the Russians. Perhaps it would be clarifying to regard the information obtained and transferred as a theft rather than either a hack or a leak since the two expressions have taken on a political meaning of their own in the Russiagate context. With all the posturing going on, the bottom line is that the American people and government have no idea who actually stole the material in question, though the Obama Administration was extraordinarily careless in its investigation and Russian President Vladimir Putin has generally speaking been blamed for what took place.

The currently bouncing around the media concerns an offer allegedly made in 2017 by former Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. According to Assange’s lawyers, Rohrabacher offered a pardon from President Trump if Assange were to provide information that would attribute the theft or hack of the Democratic National Committee emails to someone other than the Russians. He was presumably referring to Seth Rich.

Assange did not accept the offer, but it should be noted that he has repeatedly stated in any event that he did not obtain the material from a Russian or Russian-linked source. In reality, he might not know the original source of the information. Since Rohrabacher’s original statement, both he and Trump have denied any suggestion that there was a firm offer with a quid pro quo for Assange. Trump claims to hardly know Rohrabacher and also asserts that he has never had a one-on-one meeting with him.

The U.S. media’s coverage of the story has emphasized that Assange’s cooperation would have helped to absolve Russia from the charge of having interfered decisively in the U.S. election, but the possible motive for doing so remains unclear. Russian-American relations are at their lowest point since the Cold War and that has largely been due to policies embraced by Donald Trump, to include the cancellation of START and medium range missile agreements. Trump has also approved NATO military maneuvers and exercises right up to the Russian border and has provided lethal weapons to Ukraine, something that his predecessor Barack Obama balked at. He has also openly confronted the Russians in Syria.

Given all of that back story, it would be odd to find Trump making an offer that focuses only on one issue and does not actually refute the broader claims of Russian interference, which are based on a number of pieces of admittedly often dubious evidence, not just the Clinton and Podesta emails. Which brings the tale back to Seth Rich. If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery, it most materially impacts on the Democratic Party as it reminds everyone of what the Clintons and their allies are capable of. It will also serve as a warning of what might be coming at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July as the party establishment uses fair means or foul to stop Bernie Sanders. How this will all play out is anyone’s guess, but many of those who pause to observe the process will be thinking of Seth Rich.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests.

(Republished from American Herald Tribune
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Britain adjourns Assange’s US extradition hearing until May | National | heraldmailmedia.com

Posted by M. C. on February 28, 2020

Looks to me like the US puppet UK prosecution court needs time to get it stories straight.

https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/nation/britain-adjourns-assange-s-us-extradition-hearing-until-may/article_34ba54c4-af9b-529e-a2c8-6bc3ce1539fc.html

LONDON — A British court adjourned hearing a U.S. extradition request for imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday after four days that focused on whether or not his alleged crimes were political.

Woolwich Crown Court adjourned the hearing, which is expected to last several months, until a three-week session set to begin May 18. Two short procedural hearings are scheduled in late March and early April.

Assange’s lawyers argued that his extradition should be blocked under British law because Washington has pursued it with “political motives.” Lawyers for the U.S. government said he had broken “ordinary criminal laws.”

The U.S. Justice Department said it charged Australian citizen Assange, 48, with conspiring with former U.S. military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.

Much of Wednesday and Thursday was spent in legal arguments over a requirement for Assange to sit in court away from his lawyers, behind protective screens that his supporters called a “glass cage.”

“What we heard this week also confirmed our position, which is that we do believe he’s been targeted for his contributions to public interest reporting,” Rebecca Vincent of Paris-based Reporters sans Frontieres said following Thursday’s adjournment.

“The United States has no evidence that he created a serious and imminent risk for anyone, and the U.K. should not extradite him to be held on those charges,” Vincent said in a video statement.

The Defend WikiLeaks campaign, which organized protests outside the court and in international cities this week, said “journalism itself is on trial” in the hearing.

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First They Came for Assange… – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on February 27, 2020

As in mid-20th Century Germany, so today, in 2020 America. Only, let me propose a modified version of Niemoller’s quote that’s highly relevant to the mainstream press:

First they came for (that’s right) Antiwar.com WikiLeaks. Then WikiLeaks. Then Max Blumenthal’s The Grayzone…then, well, you know how this ends…

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2020/02/26/first-they-came-for-assange/

“WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.”
~
Donald Trump, October 10 2016, Wilkes-Barre, PA

“This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove.”
~ Donald Trump, October 31, 2016 in Warren, MI

Back in the day, not so long ago, The Donald loved him some WikiLeaks. He said so on at least five occasions out on the campaign trail – in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan. That was when WikiLeaks, ostensibly at least, served his purposes by releasing hacked DNC emails that were rather unflattering to his opponent, Hillary Clinton. The MAGA crew must’ve agreed with him regarding the Julian Assange-headed web publication at the time: Trump carried all four battleground states, which propelled him into the White House. He’s had more than three years, now, to acclimate to his new digs and, somewhere along the way, pulled a 180 on Assange, whom his administration now labels “an enemy of the state who must be brought down.” So it is that this week, Assange began the fight – perhaps, quite literally, for his life – in the UK against the Justice Department’s stated intent to extradite and try him in the United States.

A journalist, a publisher, has been labeled by the U.S. Government as an “Enemy of America.” Now that’s dangerous language with scary historical precedent in America and abroad. Recall that the term has been used against “unfriendly” press elements by others: the military junta in Myanmar; Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez; Russia’s Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, President Richard “The press is your enemy” Nixon; and, you know, Cambodia’s Pol Pot, and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin, for starters. In our own history, press suppression, especially in times of war, is as American as apple pie. During World War I, the (still on the books) 1917 Espionage Act was used to wage all-out combat against any and all critical media sources. Sometimes persecution bordered on the Orwellian absurd. For example, in September 1918, even The Nation was banned from the mail for four days by the US Postal Service simply for criticizing the pro-war labor leader Samuel Gompers.

The relatively muted coverage of this press-freedom fight-of-our-times in the mainstream American media is as remarkable as it is disturbing. But it isn’t surprising. Besides a few brief spikes in coverage – often focused as much on her transgender status or that blatantly accused her of treason – the same can be said of Assange’s alleged co-conspirator, former army intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning. Consider Manning, herself a longtime – and still unfree – political prisoner, collateral damage in the ongoing Assange martyrdom saga.

For her role in passing the documents in question to WikiLeaks, the Obama Justice Department slapped her with a 35-year federal prison sentence – one of the most draconian ever handed down for a leaker. She served seven years before receiving an eleventh-hour communtation (but, notably, not a full pardon) from President Obama. Now, Chelsea, in an admirable, high-risk, display of courage, has refused to testify against Assange. That show of integrity landed her back in jail a time or two, where, notably, she remains at the time of writing.

For his “sins,” Assange likely faces even harsher punishment if extradited to and – almost invariably, in this political climate – convicted in a US court. He could serve 75 years if found guilty on the 18 counts – most under the archaic Espionage Act – he’s been charged with. That’s a long bid. It seems the US Government has lost all sense of scale, maybe even sanity. For example, the just nine convicted perpetrators of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq – a global scandal that, empirically, created far more “terrorists, and thus contributed to more American deaths than anything Assange has been accused of – were all enlisted soldiers, none higher ranking than a staff sergeant. The top prison sentence meted out was ten years; the rest ranged from 0-3 years. Sure, a few officers received verbal or written reprimands – slap-on-the-wrist admonishments, these – and one female brigadier general was relieved and reduced one rank. As for Assange, though, 75 years is warranted? Give me a break.

Some of the more remarkable revelations, so far, from this week’s hearing have involved the totally believable (given the agency’s sordid history) Assange-defense-team claims of US Intelligence (read: CIA) threats and shenanigans against the defendant. These include allegations that U.S.-induced Spanish security company employees conducted surveillance on Assange whilst he was in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and, potentially even discussed kidnapping or poisoning him. It all reads like a bad John le Carre spy novel – which is precisely why I wouldn’t rule it out.

The case against Assange, meanwhile is rather weak. It hinges on vague, furtive, and unproven allegations, according to the administration lawyers, that he “knowingly placed lives at risk,” by publishing the leaked files. Specifically, James Lewis, acting for US authorities, told the court that: “The US is aware of sources, whose redacted names and other identifying information was contained in classified documents published by WikiLeaks, who subsequently disappeared.” Sounds ominous, huh? Well, wait for it – Lewis then continued with the stunning admission: “although the US can’t prove at this point that their disappearance was the result of being outed by WikiLeaks.”

Sounds like hearsay. Isn’t that inadmissible in court? And the US government can’t prove that WikiLeaks had these detrimental effects? Call me crazy, but I was under the silly impression that “proof” was the name of the game in the legal system. Bottom line, even after the egregious record of Intelligence community lies peddled during the run-up to the Iraq War and regarding the CIA torture program (for starters), the American people are expected to just blindly trust these clowns. Count me out.

Furthermore, British law states that extradition may not move forward if the requesting nation’s criminal charges are “politically-motivated,” which, the defense team asserts the case against Assange is. Of course, it is patently politically-motivated. However much the administration’s lawyers deny it – “the lady doth protest too much?” – Assange’s real crime, from the perspective of the government, was to embarrass them by exposing widespread US war crimes and concomitant coverups. All information, mind you, that We the People had a right to know.

What is at stake here, absent any hyperbole, is the very existence of a free press. And, in today’s increasingly globalized information sphere, it matters not, really, that Julian Assange happens to be an Australian national. See, in an even aspirational free society, the benefit of the doubt in such cases ought go to the publisher, the journalist, the writer. As Thomas Jefferson wrote the very year the current US Constitution was crafted, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Given such “radical” – especially for the 18th century – sentiment, can there be much doubt where our third president would (at least theoretically) fall on the Assange issue?

These complaints, mind you, aren’t simply a low-hanging-fruit Trump-swipe either. Saint Obama set the precedent and foundations of press censorship that Trump is now running with. Recall that Obama went after more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all other previous presidents (over the course of a century) combined. Furthermore, his wanna-be, aspirational successor, Joe Biden is on the record calling Assange a “high-tech terrorist.” So, if Obama can be said to have set up the pins, Trump is poised to roll a strike. The Donald has, however, taken matters a dangerous step further that could, in the near future, pose an existential threat to the very existence of permissive publication of sensitive information.

This all sets a rather dangerous precedent. Leakers have long been prosecuted and punished by the US Government. Publishers? Not so often. That’s a line few administrations will cross. Even Espionage Act-enthusiast Obama flinched, and decided not to charge Assange. Regarding the Obama Justice Department’s thinking the Washington Post reported, in 2013, that:

Justice officials said they looked hard at Assange but realized that they have what they described as a “New York Times problem.” If the Justice Department indicted Assange, it would also have to prosecute the New York Times and other news organizations and writers who published classified material, including The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

So, mainstream American publishers – of newspapers, online sites, and even cable news producers – really ought to brush up on their Evelyn Beatrice Hall; you know her oft-quoted, but rarely practiced profession: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Ultimately, it matters not whether one likes Assange, shares his worldview, or even approves of his tactics. The name of the civil libertarian game must instead be a press-sovereignty solidarity that transcends the person of Mr. Assange. Love him or hate him; like WikiLeaks or loathe it; the most powerful American press organizations must close ranks with Assange. Almost assuredly, the Washington Post, New York Times, and the rest of their establishment ilk will not. Mark my words: they will rue the day they didn’t.

For when Trump – or whatever potential monster that follows him – pulls out the legal precedent from a past Assange conviction to prosecute, say, the New York Times, when that paper someday publishes something that embarrasses or angers the governing administration, who will be there to speak up for the nation’s “newspaper of record?” Reflecting on Nazi state oppression and his conclusion that common Germans’ complicity made it possible, Martin Niemoller famously wrote about how:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

As in mid-20th Century Germany, so today, in 2020 America. Only, let me propose a modified version of Niemoller’s quote that’s highly relevant to the mainstream press:

First they came for (that’s right) Antiwar.com WikiLeaks. Then WikiLeaks. Then Max Blumenthal’s The Grayzone…then, well, you know how this ends…

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Martin Niemoller quote: There was no one left to speak for me

 

 

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Russiagate II: Return of the Low Intelligence Zombies | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on February 26, 2020

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-intelligence-community-is-the-real-election-meddling-threat/

Forget about foreigners influencing our elections from the outside, the bad guys are already inside the house.

Former CIA director John Brennan (2nd L) and former director of National Intelligence James Clapper (R) arrive at a closed hearing before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee May 16, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Russians are back, alongside the American intelligence agencies playing deep inside our elections. Who should we fear more? Hint: not the Russians.

On February 13, the election security czar in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) briefed the House Intelligence Committee that the Russians were meddling again and that they favored Donald Trump. A few weeks earlier, the ODNI briefed Bernie Sanders that the Russians were also meddling in the Democratic primaries, this time in his favor. Both briefings remained secret until this past week, when the former was leaked to the New York Times in time to smear Trump for replacing his DNI, and the latter leaked to the Washington Post ahead of the Nevada caucuses to try and damage Sanders.

Russiagate is back, baby. Everyone welcome Russiagate II.

You didn’t think after 2016 the bad boys of the intel “community” (which makes it sound like they all live together down in Florida somewhere) weren’t going to play their games again, and that they wouldn’t learn from their mistakes? Those errors were in retrospect amateurish. A salacious dossier built around a pee tape? Nefarious academics befriending minor Trump campaign staffers who would tell all to an Aussie ambassador trolling London’s pubs looking for young, fit Americans? Falsified FISA applications when it was all too obvious even Trumpkin greenhorns weren’t dumb enough to sleep with FBI honeypots? You’d think after influencing 85 elections across the globe since World War II, they’d be better at it. But you also knew that after failing to whomp a bumpkin like Trump once, they would keep trying.

Like any good intel op, you start with a tickle, make it seem like the targets are figuring it out for themselves. Get it out there that Trump offered Wikileaks’ Julian Assange a pardon if he would state publicly that Russia wasn’t involved in the 2016 DNC leaks. The story was all garbage, not the least of which because Assange has been clear for years that it wasn’t the Russians. And there was no offer of a pardon from the White House. And conveniently Assange is locked in a foreign prison and can’t comment.

Whatever. Just make sure you time the Assange story to hit the day after Trump pardoned numerous high-profile, white-collar criminals, so even the casual reader had Trump = bad, with a side of Russian conspiracy, on their minds. You could almost imagine an announcer’s voice: “Previously, on Russiagate I…”

Then, only a day after the Assange story (why be subtle?), the sequel hit the theaters with timed leaks to the NYT and WaPo. The mainstream media went Code Red (the CIA has a long history of working with the media to influence elections).

CNN concluded that “America’s Russia nightmare is back.” Maddow was ecstatic, bleating “Here we go again,” recycling her failed conspiracy theories whole. Everybody quoted Adam Schiff firing off that Trump was “again jeopardizing our efforts to stop foreign meddling.” Tying it all to the failed impeachment efforts, another writer said, “’Let the Voters Decide’ doesn’t work if Trump fires his national security staff so Russia can help him again.” The NYT fretted, “Trump is intensifying his efforts to undermine the nation’s intelligence agencies.” John Brennan (after leaking for a while, most boils dry up and go away) said, “we are now in a full-blown national security crisis.” The undead Hillary Clinton tweeted, “Putin’s Puppet is at it again.”

It is clear we’ll be hearing breaking and developing reports about this from sources believed to be close to others through November. Despite the sense of desperation in the recycled memes and the way the media rose on command to the bait, it’s intel community 1, Trump 0.

But it’s still a miss on Bernie. He did well in Nevada despite the leaks, though Russiagate II has a long way to go. Bernie himself assured us of that. Instead of pooh-poohing the idea that the Russians might be working for him, he instead gave it cred, saying, “Some of the ugly stuff on the internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters.”

Sanders handed Russiagate II legs, signaling that he’ll use it as cover for the Bros’ online shenanigans, which were called out at the last debate. That’s playing with fire: it’ll be too easy later on to invoke all this with “Komrade Bernie” memes in the already wary purple states. “Putin and Trump are picking their opponent,” opined Rahm Emanuel to get that ball rolling.

Summary to date: everyone is certain the Russians are working to influence the election…(adopts cartoon Russian accent) but who is the cat and who is the mouse?

Is Putin helping Trump get re-elected to remain his asset in place? Or is Putin helping Bernie “I Honeymooned in the Soviet Union” Sanders to make him look like an asset to help Trump? Or are the Russkies really all in because Bernie is a True Socialist sleeper agent, the Emma Goldman of his time (Bernie’s old enough to have taken Emma to high school prom)? Or is it not the Russians but the American intel community helping Bernie to make it look like Putin is helping Bernie to help Trump? Or is it the Deep State saying the Reds are helping Bernie to hurt Bernie to help their man Bloomberg? Are Russian spies tripping over American spies in caucus hallways trying to get to the front of the room? Who can tell what is really afoot?

See, the devil is in the details, which is why we don’t have any.

The world’s greatest intelligence team can’t seem to come up with anything more specific than “interfering” and “meddling,” as if pesky Aunt Vladimir is gossiping at the general store again. CBS reports that House members pressed the ODNI for evidence, such as phone intercepts, to back up claims that Russia is trying to help Trump, but briefers had none to offer. Even Jake Tapper, a Deep State loyalty card holder, raised some doubts. WaPo, which hosted one of the leaks, had to admit “It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken.”

Yes, yes, they have to protect sources and methods, but of course the quickest way to stop Russian influence is to expose it. Instead the ODNI dropped the turd in the punchbowl and walked away. Why not tell the public what media is being bought, which outlets are working, willingly or not, with Putin? Did the Reds implant a radio chip in Biden’s skull? Will we be left hanging with the info-free claim “something something social media” again?

If you’re going to scream that communist zombies with MAGA hats are inside the house, you’re obligated to provide a little bit more information. Why is it when specifics are required, the response is always something like “Well, the Russians are sowing distrust and turning Americans against themselves in a way that weakens national unity” as if we’re all not eating enough green vegetables? Why leave us exposed to Russian influence for even a second when it could all be shut down in an instant?

Because the intel community learned its lesson in Russiagate I. Details can be investigated. That’s where the old story fell apart. The dossier wasn’t true. Michael Cohen never met the Russians in Prague. The a-ha discovery was that voters don’t read much anyway, so just make claims. You’ll never really prosecute or impeach anyone, so why bother with evidence (see everything Ukraine)? Just throw out accusations and let the media fill it all in for you. After all, they managed to convince a large number of Americans Trump’s primary purpose in running for president was to fill vacant hotel rooms at his properties. Let the nature of the source—the brave lads of the intelligence agencies—legitimize the accusations this time, not facts.

It will take a while to figure out who is playing whom. Is the goal to help Trump, help Bernie, or defeat both of them to support Bloomberg? But don’t let the challenge of seeing the whole picture obscure the obvious: the American intelligence agencies are once again inside our election.

The intel community crossed a line in 2016, albeit clumsily (what was all that with Comey and Hillary?), to play an overt role in the electoral process. When that didn’t work out and Trump was elected, they pivoted and drove us to the brink of all hell breaking loose with Russiagate I. The media welcomed and supported them. The Dems welcomed and supported them. Far too many Americans welcomed and supported them in some elaborate version of the ends justifying the means.

The good news from 2016 was that the Deep State turned out to be less competent than we originally feared. But they have learned much from those mistakes, particularly how deft a tool a compliant MSM is. This election will be a historian’s marker for how a decent nation, fully warned in 2016, fooled itself in 2020 into self-harm. Forget about foreigners influencing our elections from the outside; the zombies are already inside the house.

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