A “freak accident” or the premeditated act for the sake of sending the symbolic message?
San Diego: Son, die e (и – and) go
Barrio Logan community: Barry (? Barrack Obama), I owe, (you,) low gun (? A reference to sanctions against Russia introduced by Pres. Obama)
This “accident” should be thoroughly investigated, and it might provide the clues for the understanding of the similar accidents in the past (recall the falls of balconies, for example), and most likely in the future.
- Authorities investigating stairwell collapse at San Diego gym that injured nearly two dozen children
|Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks|
|children staircase – Google Search|
KRIS Corpus Christi News
CBS 8 San Diego–Nov 11, 2017
SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Multiple children were injured Saturday night after a stairwell collapse at Vault PK. Witnesses told News 8 a staircase …
More than 20 children hurt after staircase collapses
KRIS Corpus Christi News–14 hours ago
21 children injured after platform collapses at San Diego parkour …
Washington Post–11 hours ago
Stairwell Collapse At San Diego Indoor Gym Leaves 21 Kids Hurt
<a href=”http://Patch.com” rel=”nofollow”>Patch.com</a>–20 hours ago
Authorities investigating stairwell collapse at San Diego gym that …
Highly Cited–Los Angeles Times–Nov 11, 2017
Dozens of children injured in stairwell collapse in Barrio Logan
Highly Cited–The San Diego Union-Tribune–Nov 11, 2017
Los Angeles Times
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The San Diego Union-Tribune
|Authorities investigating stairwell collapse at San Diego gym that injured nearly two dozen children|
San Diego building inspectors are still trying to determine how a stairwell at an indoor gym in the Barrio Logan community collapsed Saturday night, injuring more than two dozen people, most of whom were children.
The incident occurred about 7:40 p.m. at Vault PK on Main Street near Sigsbee Street, a large warehouse that shares space with a paintball facility and Crossfit gym, officials said. Vault PK specializes in parkour, a physically demanding sport that requires athletes to navigate military-style obstacle courses.
The accident occurred in the midst of an open gym night for ages 5 to 14, according to the gym’s website.
Twenty-one children and two adults, ages 72 and 46, were taken to various hospitals with moderate to minor injuries. Three or four of the victims suffered spinal injuries when a 10-by-30-foot wooden platform collapsed on them, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Steve Wright.
“It could have been much worse,” he said.
The patients were taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, Scripps Mercy, Sharp and UC San Diego Medical Center, Wright said. There were additional people with minor injuries who left on their own, rather than by ambulance, he said.
Zachary Smith, who was there with his son for a birthday party, said he was standing on the platform, which he described as a viewing area, along with about 30 others, when the staircase below collapsed, causing the platform to topple. He fell onto a young girl but neither was seriously hurt, he said. Smith’s son was also on the platform at the time but suffered only minor scrapes.
“It was a freak accident,” Smith said, adding that he believes it could have been avoided because the structure did not appear to be built to hold such weight.
Smith said the collapse sparked chaos with parents scrambling to find their children amid the debris.
One parent who did not provide his name said the stairwell collapsed after so many children were running up and down to get pizza. Many parents were likely using a Groupon that had been offered for the evening’s open gym, he said.
His 11-year-old son was not injured. He said he thought 40 to 50 people would show up for the evening “but there were probably three times that.”
Joe Saari said that when he and his wife dropped off their two children for a few hours, there were 100 to 150 kids at the warehouse, which includes trampolines and bouncy houses. The couple were heading back home to Chula Vista when one of their children called and said there had been an accident.
His kids suffered minor scrapes, Saari said.
A woman said her 13-year-old son was unhurt but “devastated” by the traumatic scene. She said she went inside to get him out and saw one child with blood all over his face.
At Total Combat Paintball, which shares the facility with the gym, the day began normally before the accident.
“It was business as usual until we heard a loud boom come from the gym, at which point our staff and some customers ran over to the gym to help any way we could,” the company said in a statement.
An hour after the incident, the street around the warehouse was lined with ambulances and fire trucks, some leaving with victims inside and yet still more emergency vehicles arriving. One woman stood on the sidewalk, holding an ice pack over one eye while she talked on her cellphone.
Children huddled nearby in groups, some with parents. San Diego police corralled the children and matched them up with parents as they arrived.
City building inspectors were on the scene Sunday to investigate the cause of the collapse.
3:20 p.m.: This article was updated with more comments from witnesses and fire officials.
9 a.m., Nov. 12: This article was updated with new comments from witnesses and fire officials.
11:05 p.m.: This article was updated with new information from San Diego fire officials.
10:30 p.m.: This article was updated with new information from San Diego fire officials.
This article was originally posted at 9:15 p.m. on Nov. 11
|PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode Nov. 12, 2017|
On this edition for Sunday, Nov. 12, President Trump arrives in the Philippines, his last stop on a five-nation Asia tour. Also, researchers in Hawaii, already a state leader in renewable energy, are using ocean waves to make electricity. Megan Thompson anchors from New York.
|James B. Comey, called a liar and leaker by Trump, tweets a quote about truth and justice – The Washington Post|
Former FBI director James B. Comey has been somewhat active on Twitter over the past month, mostly tweeting nature photos and avoiding anything blatantly political.
In one of his latest tweets, he quoted a sermon from the late English Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon about the difference between a truth and a lie: “If you want truth to go around the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go around the world, it will fly; it is light as a feather and a breath will carry it.”
|Trump voters were motivated by racism, not economic anxiety : The Massachusetts Daily Collegian|
(Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Last week, when White House Chief of Staff John Kelly claimed that the Civil War resulted from “a lack of ability to compromise,” he engaged in one of America’s most cherished pastimes: whitewashing history to coincide with a narrative that both sides of a particular conflict had worthy arguments, and the real tragedy was their inability to come to a mutual understanding. Indeed, if not for his history of commanding Department of Homeland Security officials to generalize immigrant populations as criminal, and his ill-considered feud with African-American Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, General Kelly’s behavior could be viewed as largely a product of the education he received growing up. Until the 1970s, U.S. history textbooks across the country routinely referred to the Civil War as the “War Between the States” and depicted secession and Reconstruction as equally egregious mistakes.
While it’s now easy to recognize the folly in portraying both sides of the Civil War as noble and just, we have continued to advance narratives that favor American mythology over uncomfortable truth—none more pervasive than the dogma that voters who supported President Trump did so because of “economic anxiety.” The theory goes that Trump was the only politician to speak to the working class’s financial fears, exacerbated by the daunting forces of globalization, immigration and mechanization. This ignores Trump’s overt sexist and racist appeals during the campaign and repackages them as legitimate economic grievances. In this world, it wasn’t Trump’s conflation of Mexican immigrants with rapists that motivated his supporters; it was his criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
This has been generally accepted by vast swaths of the media and political landscapes, with the “New York Times”’ Nicholas Kristoff and the “New Yorker”’s George Packer, as well as liberal Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden coalescing around a similar argument that Trump voters’ motivations were primarily economic in nature. Biden has repeatedly rejected that prejudice was a primary motivating factor for Trump voters, pleading that “they aren’t prejudiced, they’re realistic” and that “they’re not racist. They’re not sexist. But we didn’t talk to them.”
But this is a bunch of malarkey.
Post-election surveys and exit polls tell a much different story of the voting habits of the working class. For instance, it is not well-known that the typical Trump supporter was actually much better off financially than the average American. The median household income of a Trump voter during the primary was $72,000—considerably higher than the median American household income of $56,000, and roughly $11,000 more than the median family income for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters. This trend repeated in the general election, when Trump won more of the voters making $50,000 to $250,000 or higher in a year than Clinton did, and Clinton won more of the voters earning less than $50,000 than Trump did. A Public Religion Research Institute study found that white working class voters in the worst financial shape were actually 1.7 times more likely to support Clinton than Trump, virtually disproving the myth of economic anxiety and suggesting that Trump supporters were more likely to be suburban investment bankers than rural coal miners.
So, what compelled voters to support Trump if not for financial reasons? In a post-election study, University of Massachusetts political science professors Brian Schaffner, Matthew MacWilliams and Tatishe Nteta found that voters who denied the presence of racism in the United States were more likely to vote for Trump than those who acknowledged its presence by a 60 point margin, and those who expressed sexist views were more likely to vote for Trump than those who did not by a 20 point margin. All in all, the authors remarked that economic variables “were dwarfed by the relationship between hostile sexism and denial of racism and voting for Trump.” In a similar vein, political scientist Philip Klinkner found that the most predictive question to determine if a white person supported Trump in the primary was not their pessimism on the economy or free trade deals, or even their partisan identification, but if they thought President Barack Obama was a Muslim—a unique falsehood levied against the first Black president and used as political fodder by Trump. Racial animus was the single most potent factor in the 2016 election.
There is an inherent danger in telling one dominant story to communicate the intentions of millions of people. Of course not all Trump supporters are racist or sexist—many even have legitimate economic concerns. But to suggest that these factors played no part in Trump’s ascendance is not only willfully ignorant; it’s disingenuous. The stories we tell about ourselves have meaning. They help to communicate our history and intentions, and most importantly, how we perceive ourselves. It is up to us, then, to tell them honestly and in good faith, and not cast aside difficult conversations for convenient lies.
Matt O’Malley is a Collegian contributor and can be reached at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.
Yesterday finished up one of those calendar occurrences that are oh-so-cherished by members of any student body: a three-day weekend. The reason for this most recent elongated treat was so the country could observe one of its lesser-recognized holidays. I am talking, of course, about Presidents’ Day – or should…
February 19, 2007
Filed under Archives, Columns, Opinion, Scrolling Headlines · Tagged with bernie sanders, brian schaffner, dj joey franchise, Elizabeth Warren, Frederica Wilson, George Packer, Hillary Clinton, John Kelly, Matthew MacWilliams, New York Times, New Yorker, Nicholas Kristoff, President Trump, Tatishe Nteta
|Bulgaria’s Richest Man or Mafia Kingpin? Possibly Both | Provocateurs|
You may not know their names, but the world’s Little Known Billionaires wield a hidden economic clout. Read more of this OZY original series.
There’s a saying that goes “Other countries have the mafia; in Bulgaria, the mafia has the country.” Many Bulgarians may reject the notion, but from the look on his face, whether in photographs or the rare interview, Vasil “the Skull” Bozhkov, supposed mafia kingpin and Bulgaria’s richest man, doesn’t disagree. Often shown smirking or reclining with a cigar, Bozhkov, an entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion, gives off an air of impervious and unbridled power.
The origin of the nickname is unknown, but glance at a leaked 2009 report on Bulgaria’s most wanted criminals prepared by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Ordway, and you’ll find a colorful cast of Bulgarian mob bosses, including the Beret, Big Margin, the Chicken and the Billy Goat. Perhaps Bozhkov is known as the Skull because of his very prominent facial bones, or maybe it’s the way his piercing eyes peer out from deep-set sockets. Or, it could be something more sinister.
Bulgarian mogul Vasil Bozhkov has amassed an extensive collection of rare Thracian artifacts, offering a glimpse of a little-known ancient civilization which has left no written records.
Source Courtesy of CSKA sports
Bozhkov, 61, made his fortune during Bulgaria’s transition from communism to capitalism in 1989. His first company, a currency exchange opened in 1990 in Sofia, quickly expanded into a chain. In 1991, he and two partners formed IGM, a gambling company that started with one casino at the Hotel Rila in Sofia and now has countless sites throughout the city. By the end of that year, Bozhkov had amassed profits so great that he set up a holding company, Nove, which today is comprised of more than 30 businesses with numerous subsidiaries, including the popular Eurofootball lottery.
Though it seems an impossible leap to go from owning a handful of currency exchanges to running a multinational empire in a single year, it’s important to note that just after the fall of socialism, a little went a long way. Bozhkov’s rise in Bulgaria was, in some ways, a preview of the wealth a handful of Russian oligarchs would rapidly amass a few years later thanks to a similar transition, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. “At this time, you could buy a three-bedroom flat in Sofia for $4,000,” explains Lachezar Bogdanov, manager of the Bulgarian economic think tank Industry Watch. “Everything was so cheap that if you had a few million dollars, it was a huge advantage.” And the Skull had more than a few million — in fact, he had a whole bank’s worth of leva. In 1994 he opened the Bulgarian Commercial Industrial Bank, which soon merged with Credit Bank of Multigroup, a savvy move that gave Bozhkov the power to lend himself money through the network of companies under the Nove umbrella.
Born in 1956 in Velingrad, Bulgaria, the man who would become the Skull grew up under the totalitarian regime of Todor Zhivkov, a Soviet bloc Communist who ruled his country with an iron fist for 35 years until his ouster in 1989. It was a period when Bulgaria was a reclusive, agrarian country, sheltered from Western capitalist influences — and utterly devoid of the flashy foreign cars driven by designer-clad gangsters that zip through the streets Sofia today.
Precisely when and how Bozhkov allegedly entered organized crime is unknown, but according to the report from Ordway, a veteran foreign service officer and former U.S. ambassador, he is “Bulgaria’s most infamous gangster.” And while he has never been brought to court for syndicated crime, another leaked report — this one classified in 2005 by former U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria James Pardew — states: “Bozhkov’s illegal activities include money laundering, privatization fraud, intimidation, extortion and racketeering.” Organized crime in Bulgaria, as detailed in Ordway’s report, is particularly active in international money laundering, drug and human trafficking, counterfeiting and contract killing.
Today, the Skull has strayed far from the Communist ideals of his childhood, enjoying the opulent lifestyle afforded by his billionaire status. An avid art collector, he owns hundreds of Roman, Greek and Thracian works of art. In 2011, he loaned artifacts for an exhibition at the National History Museum in Sofia, and to coincide with Bulgaria’s admission into the EU, he was invited to exhibit items from his collection in Brussels. Unfortunately, while Bulgaria boasts some of the richest archaeological sites around, plunderers are known to raid tombs and graves — fueling a black market in ancient treasures that some speculate can be traced to Bozhkov’s extensive collection.
Philanthropic gestures aside, Bozhkov is still seen as a key player in Bulgaria’s deeply corrupt landscape. According to a report published last year by Transparency International, Bulgaria is perceived as the most corrupt country in the European Union on measures that include freedom of the press, independent judiciary and organized crime. “Corruption risks in Bulgaria remain high,” explains Miriam Konradsen Ayed from GAN’s Business Anti-Corruption Portal. “The judiciary is particularly susceptible to corruption due to undue influence from politicians and well-connected businessmen.” And Ordway maintains in his leaked report that bringing reputed mafia ring leaders like the Skull to justice “would be a major victory for the new government and demonstrate to a skeptical European Commission (and Bulgarian public) that the days of impunity are over.”
It’s a reality that may be inching closer. In 2015, Bulgaria adopted two strategic documents — the National Strategy for Preventing and Countering Corruption 2015-2020 and Strategic Guidelines for the Prevention and Counteraction to Corruption 2015-2020, notes Jasna Panjeta, program and outreach director for the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative. She believes the Bulgarian government has made it a priority to increase transparency across all public sectors and says the European Commission’s Cooperation and Verification Mechanism will continue to monitor judicial reform and efforts to curtail corruption and organized crime.
Not everyone agrees that the Skull’s rise to the top is a clear example of corruption. “It’s the way that the system works,” insists Bogdanov, adding that the “entrepreneurs” who made quick starts out of the gate in the early ’90s exploited the opportunities presented by the regime change and gained a major advantage. Infamous gangster or crafty businessman? We tried asking, but the Skull didn’t respond to our request for an interview. And we left it at that.
|How Spains Fight Against Gangsters Revealed Russian Power Networks|
These were all examples of how making someone’s personal, and sometimes private, information public on the internet led to intense harassment.
Today, each of the cases could easily be termed a form of doxxing — short for “dropping documents.” In the last few years, doxxing has increasingly been used as an online weapon to attack people. People’s “documents” — records of their addresses, relatives, finances — get posted online with the implicit or explicit invitation for others to shame or hector them.
But while doxxing may seem both creepy and dangerous, there is no single federal law against the practice. Such behavior has to be part of a wider campaign of harassment or stalking for it to be against the law.
It was all fascinating and disturbing, and I think leaves people, myself included, with a lot to think about concerning doxxing, its effectiveness and appropriateness both. Reporters, after all, have been doing a form of doxxing for decades.
But to hope of thinking clearly about doxxing, it always helps to better understand it and its practitioners.
So, how do doxxers dox? They use public records, like property records, tax documents, voter registration databases; they scour social media, real estate websites and even do real-life surveillance to gather information. Then, they publish the information online.
For some, doxxing is morally troubling. Law professor Danielle Citron is one. “It provides a permission structure to go outside the law and punish each other,” she says. “It’s like shaming in cyber-mobs.”
Then, there is the matter of doxxing the wrong person.
Here’s an example: After the infamous “Unite the Right” protest in Charlottesville, an attendee wearing an “Arkansas engineering” shirt was identified as Kyle Quinn, a professor at the University of Arkansas. Except Kyle Quinn wasn’t in Charlottesville. That didn’t stop the internet, and so when “Kyle Quinn” was doxxed as one of those torch — bearing protesters in Charlottesville, Quinn spent a weekend in hiding due to the amount of online abuse he subsequently received. The real protester, a former engineering student named Andrew M. Dodson, later apologized.
In some cases, people doxxed after taking part in white supremacist marches have been arrested, lost their jobs or allegedly been disowned by their families.
Other experts question whether doxxing white supremacists is a useful tactic. “Is this an effective means of challenging racist views?” ask Ajay Sandhu and Daniel Marciniak, researchers at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. They argue that doxxing simply isolates people, forcing them into smaller parts of the internet. “You don’t really challenge them, you allow them to exist in those isolated spaces,” Sandhu says.
Some tips on how to protect yourself from doxxing
The short answer is: You probably can’t fully. But we have a few tips that will help make the information you want kept private more secure.
Two-factor authentication adds another level of security for online accounts. You should set this up for your social media, online banking, and any account connected to your credit cards (Venmo, PayPal, Amazon), and things with recurring payments that have credit card info like Netflix. For social media, here’s
for your Facebook account, and here’s one
Increase privacy on your social media accounts
There may be, and probably is, personal information that is viewable by the public on your social media accounts. Or your social media accounts are completely public. It’s worth looking at the privacy of those. Here are a few things to do to button those up:
For Facebook, you can adjust your privacy settings
. Some boxes to check:
Also helpful to reduce personal information in your public profile:
How strong are your passwords?
Protect your email accounts
Where is your email address located out on the internet? Do you want it there? If not, remove your personal email address from personal websites, social media accounts or wherever else it might be.
Remove yourself from people search sites
Here’s how to remove yourself from many popular people search sites. These sites can reveal relatives, phone numbers, addresses (old and new), etc., that can be used by angry internet trolls to harass you and your family. Some of these sites are more obnoxious than others to opt out of, but if you go through all of them, it will take you out of most of the common online search services. Also, never provide sensitive information like your credit card number or Social Security number while opting out. Each of the links below will take you to the current opt-out page or instructions on how to opt out:
Other sites: Once you’ve scrubbed the above listings, it’s a good idea to Google your name and the words “address” or “phone number” and see what comes up. If something does, find a way to manually opt out of each one of those sites.
Worth remembering here: Due to the nature of these services, your name might pop back up on them again. It’s worth it to re-check every few months to see if you’re still listed.
A step further: Data brokers
The sites above often get your information from data brokers. To ensure that your data doesn’t pop back up in other types of “PeopleFinders,” you have to go directly to the data brokers. This, however, can take time and sometimes be complicated. Here’s a list of some of the biggest data brokers and their opt-out pages:
A note on voter files
Voter files are public records in nearly every state, but some states block the release of information for certain people. For example,
information for individuals participating in the state’s Address Confidentiality Program for victims of domestic violence and stalking. It’s worth checking with your local or state election authority to see how your state operates.
If you want more, here are some guides we are particularly fond of:
Tips and advice compiled by: Mike Tigas, Ken Schwencke, Jeff Larson, Derek Willis, Julia Angwin and Terry Parris Jr.
|17 Signs of Trump Team Collusion with Russia – PlanetSave.com|
|7:10 PM 11/12/2017 Trump Backs U.S. Intelligence|
|VOA Newscasts – November 12, 2017|
Give us 5 minutes, and we’ll give you the world. Around the clock, Voice of America keeps you in touch with the latest news. We bring you reports from our correspondents and interviews with newsmakers from across the world.
|PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode Nov. 12, 2017 – YouTube|
|Trump travels to Vietnam and shakes hands with Putin – YouTube|
|Donald Trump: Former Top Intelligence Chiefs: Trump Being ‘Played’ By Putin|
I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trumps interest in being flattered, former CIA Director John Brennan said
|1:58 PM 11/12/2017 Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles|
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles Message On Russian Influence In Election : The Two-Way : NPR putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles Message On Russian Influence In Election – NPR putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Clapper: Downplaying Russia threat … Continue reading“1:58 PM 11/12/2017 – Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles…”
|Just Security: Who in Their Right Mind Would Believe Putin?|
This article is co-published with our partners at The Atlantic.
When asked on Saturday about his conversation with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific economic summit in Vietnam, President Donald Trump reported that the Russian president denied interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That, of course, directly contradicts the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community. Every time [Putin] sees me he says, I didnt do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it, Trump said. The next day, in confusing fashion, he walked back parts of his earlier statement, saying he believes in our intel agencies. (Regarding what, exactly, he left unclear). But he also seemingly doubled down on his previous assertion. I believe that [Putin] feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election, Trump said.
Trump went on to say he hopes to cooperate with Russia to solve global problems like North Korea and Syria. But if he does in fact seek such help, based on the false premise of Putins sincerity, thats bad news. Putin is a world-class liarindeed, hes professionally trained in the art of deception. He grew up in the Soviet KGB, ran Russias brutal internal security service, and has remade the government into a personal fiefdom. He now serves as an unchallenged autocrat. Analysts assess that he is one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, despite his modest claim that his official salary is less than $200,000 a year.
Inside Russia, truth and falsehood are purposely clouded so that Putin can create facts serving his own interests and those of his coterie. Truth is only what he says it is, at the time of his choosing. The same truth may well be denied the following day. And conveyers of real truth, including dissidents and reporters, are eliminated.
Putin seems to regard his capacity to assert obvious lies as truth as an exertion of his power. Immediately following the shoot-down of a Malaysian airliner in which 298 civilians were killed, he lied about the circumstances that led to their murder. He denied the illegal use of chemical weapons by his allies in Syria. He lied about the Russian invasion of Crimea and the use of Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine, and he covered up the secret state-sponsored doping of Russian athletes. In each case, his deceit has been revealed. Yet he has doubled down on his rendering of the truth, remaining steadfast no matter how ridiculous he appears.
Lets put Putins most-recent denial of interference in the U.S. election in context. It came only a day after Spains defense minister announced that Russian hackers had sought to purposely damage his country by inflaming the issue of Catalonian independence. France, Germany, Estonia, Sweden, Poland, and Hungary, to name a few, have also uncovered dedicated Russian efforts to interfere in their political processes. Russian intelligence operatives have supported violent and far-right wing groups in Europe, and even attempted a coup and assassination attempt in Montenegro. Russia may well have also been involved in efforts to promote Britains exit from the European Union.
This weekends lie hits closer to home. In the U.S. intelligence communitys assessment that Russia deliberately interfered in last years presidential election, it concluded that Putin himself ordered the attack, and that his goals included helping Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton. In recent weeks, executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google have testified before Congress about Russian infiltration of their platforms to interfere in the election. Moscows misattributed advertisements and fake social-media accounts were seen by millions. Putins agents were even able to foment protests in the U.S. from their desks in Russia.
On top of all this, hardly a week goes by without new stories of Russian trolls, cyber-attacks, deception, or propaganda. Investigations into Russias interference and continued presence in Western social-media networks monopolize the FBI and Justice Departments resources. In a press conference, Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: We feel very confident that the [intelligence community assessments] accuracy is going to be supported by our committee.
To say the least, Trumps willingness to accept Putins blatant lies does not reflect well on him. Setting aside the concern that his acceptance may well be a cynical means of protecting himself from allegations of collusion, trusting Putin over Americas intelligence professionals is a stinging rebuke to those dedicated public servants who work diligently to provide him with the best information available.
Trump cant have it both ways. He cant claim to side with his intelligence agencies while also accepting Putins contention that Russia did not interfere in the election. Trump, in his half-hearted attempt to backtrack on Sunday, couldnt seem to bring himself to complete the sentence: I believe in our intelligence agencies conclusion that the Russia government interfered in the election. Whys that so hard to say?
On the same Saturday afternoon that Trump reiterated his faith in Putin, he called former FBI director James Comey a proven liar and leaker, and former intelligence chief James Clapper and CIA director John Brennan political hacks. Putting aside ones personal feelings about their records, they were life-long public servants who sought to provide non-partisan support to the Republican and Democratic presidents they served. In his backpedaling on Sunday, Mr. Trump did not veer far from those insults. As currently led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies, and Im with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. His affirmation followed CIA Director Mike Pompeos statement that he stands by the intelligence community conclusions on Russian interference.
For those most worried about Trumps casual use of lies for his own tactical benefit, it is the reality of Russia that is most frightening. It did not take long for Putin to weaken the elements of civil society and centralize power, creating an Alice in Wonderland political atmosphere where up can be down, and down can be up depending on his whim. Certainly, Americas institutions are stronger than Russias, and it is unlikely that Trump possesses Putins savvy. Nonetheless, the defiling of the truth and attacks on this countrys vital institutions are taking a toll and weakening Americas defenses.
Photo Credit: U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 – Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP
|organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Lincoln’s spy: How Pinkerton laid the foundation for the CIA and FBI – Salon|
organized crime and intelligence – Google News
|Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles Message On Russian Influence In Election : The Two-Way : NPR|
A day after meeting with the Russian president during an economic summit in Vietnam, President Trump told reporters he sided with U.S. intelligence agencies but believed that Putin “feels” his country “did not meddle in the election.” Jorge Silva/AP hide caption
A day after meeting with the Russian president during an economic summit in Vietnam, President Trump told reporters he sided with U.S. intelligence agencies but believed that Putin “feels” his country “did not meddle in the election.”
Mixed statements from President Trump during his Asia trip drew criticisms at home Sunday, particularly over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that his country didn’t meddle in the 2016 U.S. Elections.
On CNN’s State of the Union, former CIA director John Brennan criticized comments Trump made after meeting Putin during the Asia Pacific economic summit in Vietnam in which the president said he believed Putin was “sincere” in his belief that Russia did not interfere in last year’s elections.
“It demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and try to play upon his insecurities, which is very worrisome from a national security standpoint,” Brennan told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Appearing alongside Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Russia “posed” a threat that is “manifest and obvious,” and echoed concerns about the president’s reputation among foreign leaders.
“I do think both the Chinese and the Russians think they can play him,” Clapper said.
Earlier that day, Trump had told reporters that both Clapper and Brennan, along with fired FBI director James Comey, were “political hacks.” Trump has continually insisted the investigation into Russia meddling is politically motivated, often calling it a witch hunt.
But even as his criticized the former intelligence heads, he said he sided with the agencies all three officials had once lead, as NPR’s Scott Horsely reports, over Putin:
Scott goes on to report that a statement from the U.S. State Department says conversations between the two leaders were focused on Syria and defeating ISIS there.
|putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles Message On Russian Influence In Election – NPR|
putin won US 2016 election – Google News
|putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Clapper: Downplaying Russia threat a ‘peril’ to US – CNN|
putin won US 2016 election – Google News
|Mueller Immediately Closes Investigation After Hearing Putin Proclaim His Innocence – The New Yorker (satire)|
|Saved Stories – 1. Trump: Ex-intelligence chiefs: Trump is being played by Putin and US is in ‘peril’|
Two former US intelligence chiefs have said Donald Trump poses a peril to the US because he is vulnerable to being played by Russia, after the president said on Saturday he believed Vladimir Putins denials of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Saved Stories – 1. Trump
|trump authoritarianism – Google News: Russia’s mark: A dangerous fool for a president – Washington Post|
trump authoritarianism – Google News
|medvedev – Google Search|
Rappler–11 hours ago
MANILA, Philippines – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will be signing several agreements during his visit to the Philippines to attend …
Medvedev, Trump photographed next but one before gala dinner in …
TASS–3 hours ago
Narendra Modi meets Donald Trump, Dmitry Medvedev at ASEAN …
Firstpost–53 minutes ago
ASEAN summit: Modi, Trump, Shinzo, Medvedev reach Manila
Kasmir Monitor–41 minutes ago
Modi meets Trump at ASEAN dinner, to hold bilateral talks tomorrow
The Asian Age–3 hours ago
Russia’s PM Medvedev flies in to attend summits
International–InterAksyon–7 hours ago
|Modi, Trump, Shinzo, Medvedev reach Manila|
MANILA, Nov 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Manila on Saturday on a three-day visit to attend the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits where he is likely to reassert India’s push for crafting a global approach to deal with growing challenge of terrorism and radicalisation besides pitching for steps to boost regional trade.
|Trump’s Taxes Have Probably Already Been Hacked – WIRED|