“LABRAT KNATS!” – The Messages from Joker, and the FBI as The Perfect Robots – Collections of the recent posts

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LABRAT KNATS! and the 

FBI as The Perfect Robots 

By Michael Novakhov

12.25.17 

And the sign said: “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls / And tenement halls / And whispered in the sound of silence” – The Sound of Silence (Original Version from 1964) 

  • The Modern Prophets

“LABRAT KNATS!” Are these the “words of prophets”? Or the tools and weapons of the “hybrid wars”?

I tried to understand the hypothetical meanings (this process may also be called the “semantic analysis”, “hermeneutic interpretation”, etc.), of the “message of crime”, in the four recent “accidents” suspicious for “terrorism”, within the context of the crime scenes and the circumstances of these episodes and concluded that all of them can be viewed as the “performance crimes or acts”, conceptually within the realm of the “Performance Arts” phenomena.  These “message crimes” are committed largely for the sake of broadcasting the “criminal” message, with the purposes of intimidation, warning, “punishment”, propaganda, etc. These are the crimes for show and documentation, designed to be performed with flair and panache; as a movie, drama, story, picture, graffiti, or dreamlike, with the aims to reach the broadest and the most susceptible audience. The broad and intensive media coverage reflecting the fleeting interest of the news-consuming public is the organic feature of these episodes; direct and indirect media manipulations and influencing are also possible. The use of these “accidents” as the broad communication tools, subject to interpretations, within the large and disparate criminal groups, is also a possibility. Many other previous “accident” episodes do fit this structural pattern of the “message crimes”. 

The four recent episodes under analysis are: 1) The “LABRAT KNATS!” – Tacoma WA train derailment and 2) “GHOSTSHIP” fire in Oakland CA, with the graffiti as the backdrop for the scenes in these two episodes, 3) Las Vegas (“Manda-lay-bay”) shooting crime scene, and 4) the Manhattan track “accident” episode. They all have three components for the overall interpretations of their meanings, in variously predominant degrees: 1) the visual: picture, graffiti, 2) the action, drama, story, or 3) the verbal-linguistic component. The conceptualization of these “message crimes” typology might be helpful in their investigations by generating new hypotheses, leads, ideas, and understanding. The correct interpretation of the “message of the crime” is the key to the understanding of these crimes as the phenomena and their analyses, which in turn benefits the successful investigations of these “crimes for the sake of transmitting and broadcasting the messages”. 

  • “LABRAT KNATS!”, “GHOSTSHIP”, and The Luxor Sphinx:

The Arts And Weapons Of The “Hybrid Wars” – Semantic Analysis of The Recent “Accidents” as The “Performance Arts”. 

What Are The Root Causes of Mass Killings in the U.S.? 

LABRAT KNATS! – 6:23 AM 12/20/2017 – Tacoma Wa train accident claims of responsibility: ‘Antifa’ Falsely Linked to Amtrak Train Derailment by Right-Wing Conspiracy Peddlers – LABRAT KNATS! Disney unveiled the latest addition to its animatronic Hall of Presidents: a moving, talking rendition of Donald Trump. 
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Lab Rat, see the light at the end of this tunnel! Abandon your Tunnel Vision for the Modern Prophecies of The American Graffiti Art, now fetching millions at the auctions… Aind zis iz zi “writing on the wall”, by LabRat… 

“LABRAT KNATS! That’s your name!” 

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin”: Numbered, numbered, weighed, and divided”. 

“Click, brick, and mortar”, Impressive Digital Monumentalism with the solid Biblical Roots: Mr. LabRat Knat? – 5:34 PM 12/21/2017 – American graffiti art

Semantic Analysis of The Recent “Accidents” as The Performance Arts“: Did we become just the “LabRat – Knats”?!

A massive supply of the human Guinea pigs, bred as the unwitting subjects for the various experiments, on and off-line, of the various foreign intelligence services, with the GRU (Russian Military Intelligence) as the prime suspect among them, and several other candidates in tow, which prefer to pose smartly as “terrorists” for their covers. 

Does the FBI see the big picture or do they prefer to stay blind because it is more convenient and easier for them?  I think that the answer, apparently intended in this “accident”, could not be more of a direct hit. It is also directed at the FBI itself, calling them the “Lab Rats”, incapable of conducting the real, in-depth investigations and uncovering the truth, and incapable of solving the real problems. 

Somewhat similar sentiment regarding the current perceptions of decline was columnized by Bret Stephens who noted that “There’s no need to obsess about electoral collusion when the real issue is moral capitulation.” 

Is this the truth?! 

To the list of “explanations” of “Russia scandal” in that NYTimes op-ed, I would add one more, maybe the main one, and maybe the most troubling one: the suspicion of Trump’s personal financial interest in his pro-Russian policies and stances. In other words and in plainer English, that he was bought by Russia in some ways or fashion, as the contemporary Russian habit is in dealing with their problems: to bribe or to kill. Here they appear to do both, with the killing of the “moral” kind: undermining the trust in the American democratic values and institutions, killing America “softly”. Very much in line with the modern trends of the Psycho-Geo-Politics.

Such a comfy, cuddly, furry, (Panda cum Russian Bear, “Happy Family”, hybrid-like), Obamanite – Russian – Chinese – Putinesque – Merkelized geo-“softness”, which in plain language is called “hypocrisy”, and in most recent terms, the arts and the weapons of the “hybrid wars”, and more exactly, the intelligence wars, which Putin made his main occupation and preoccupation.  

It also reminds me again the prediction made in 2011 by Ariel Cohen and Donald Jensen about the Russian “moral black hole” and the dangers of contamination from it: A Moral Black Hole. The roots of the Russian elite’s discontent lie in imperial nostalgia, phantom pains of autocracy, and questionable morality. The end of communism resulted in a moral black hole—a deep spiritual and identity crisis among the elites. Corruption, alcoholism, and blurred lines between organized crime and authority reflect general alienation, recklessness, and fatalism.”

KNATSKNATSKNATS. And a lot of them. And they all want to have a “good life”. Don’t they live in the “real” America, after all? Trump Jr. will tell you more on this subject. Regardless of all these sentiments, the gnats and their predicaments do require the proper attention, even from the absent-minded FBI, and especially the human knats, and their predicaments. 

  • “LABRAT KNATS!” Is this The Message on The (Social) Walls? 
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FBI as The Perfect Robots – Link

FBI as The Perfect Robots Link | FBI News Review 

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“Here is your “Collision” – “Collusion” for you, you “Lab-rats –  g(k)nats(nuts)”! That what your name is: THE LABRAT KNATS! And I am just one of them, a little Lab Rat, “The Graffiti Artist as Prophet Writing On The Walls“. And be scared of the L.A. Brats – K-NATs, and be scared of the war with those nuts! Just by the way… And maybe, the “Antifas”, the Leftists, did it, too…” – in my interpretation. 

The calls for the full and urgent FBI and their services investigations (M.N. – 12/21/2017) – on the part of the Congress are completely justified. We have to understand what went wrong in order to do it right in the future. This includes the state of the Counterintelligence Services, especially during the Obama Administration and 2016 Elections.

Politicization is a double-edged sword. It has to be recognized and avoided equally on both sides: conservative and liberal, republican and democratic. The institutions, traditions, culture are the cornerstones of stability in the face of the ongoing political onslaught of populism and the relative extremes of the “far right” or the “far left”, for the lack of the better terms. The FBI and the other institutions have to avoid these political extremes and to stay centered, as their new Director, Mr. Wray, suggested in his letter to the FBI employees. This organization has deep, severe, and the long-standing problems. In order to be corrected, the nature of these problems has to be understood and diagnosed correctly. 

Another aspect is the connection between the current “Trump affair” and 9/11not just as an issue of inability to see and prevent them, but as the possible single causal chain, perpetuated by the same or the similar kind of actors. The follow-up on 9/11 investigation, or the review, conducted by the FBI, cannot be considered adequate, despite the many good and valid points and the criticism, dispersed in the text of this report, on which I wrote about earlier also: 

  • “FBI on a couch: problems and solutions | The American KGB and the Comey’s visions: can Hoover’s COINTELPRO thugs be transformed into the modern counterintelligence officers? | M.N.: The American KGB wants to take over the US government. Oy, gevalt! Maybe, it is the time to order a ticket to Madagascar…” 

Overall, this review report created (at least, for me) the impression that the FBI had the purpose of exonerating and shielding itself, by sticking to the previous, original version of the events in interpreting 9/11, limiting access to the information, as their universal and very inadequate habit is, and by selecting the sympathetic commissioners for this examination.  

“Fourteen years after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a disagreement persists within the FBI over whether others inside the U.S. had advance knowledge of the operation and supported the suicide hijackers, a special review commission found.

The commission, mandated by Congress to assess the FBI’s continuing anti-terror capabilities, said the FBI’s 9/11 investigation into a potential broader conspiracy remains open and “active.”

The original 9/11 investigation and its original commission became the object of the intense criticismthemselves. 

Do not protect the FBI needlessly. It is counterproductive. The FBI has to be investigated to the utmost depth, to the bone, to the raw, painful, and ugly truth, and all of it. And the facts and conjectures have to be shared with the public. The FBI is deteriorating and degenerating in front of our eyes, and the signs of it abound. The in-depth reassessment is needed, if we want this organization to survive and to revitalize. It is not the exaggeration to add that this is the matter of survival of America herself, as we know it. 

“To avoid long drawn-out investigations and the wasting of even more time, the I.C. should remember two of the most important lessons that emerged after 9/11: it is unwise to conceal the truth and to pretend that all is well”, opined Dana Priest in her article “Russia’s Election Meddling Is Another American Intelligence Failure”. 

The issues of the possible intended effects and the impact of the mass killings and various “accidents” on the course of the Elections 2016, and the other, previous elections (as the tools of psychological and social “meddling” by intimidation and manipulation) remain open, unacknowledged, and unaddressed, in accordance with the “Three Monkeys Rule”. Statistically, the pre-election cycle increases in the numbers and frequencies of the suspicious accidents and mass killings are evident in a plain sight. 

This is the protracted stage of the same 9/11, Part 2. It was allowed to develop because the first part, the original 9/11 was not investigated, assessed, analyzed, diagnosed, and addressed properly and correctly. This is a heavy statement, charge, and accusation. I am aware of it, and I feel, just like many other people, thinking and writing on this subject, that there is sufficient basis to form this impression. The issues now are to re-investigate, “without fear or favor”, and to get the Truth. The FBI has to either to respond to these challenges or to fold and to close the shop. Or at best, to reorganize and to rename themselves into the Bureau for prevention of child abuse, which will be much more congruent with their current interests and abilities, but only after weeding out the psychopaths and the child molesters from their own midst, where they comprise probably no less than 50%, by the most gracious estimates. 

  • The calls to abolish the FBI as the incompetent nest of moles, who try to cultivate the illusion that they own America, are serious, consistent, timely, and well-founded. There appears to be the universal chorus of the FBI criticism, both from the Left and the Right, from the conservative and from the liberal circles and authors, and also, importantly, from the DOJ itself. Some of their opinions are highlighted and quoted below. The main concerns are the lack of efficiency and the lack of professionalism, which might stem from the same causal factors which have to be objectively studied and understood fully and in-depth. 

Restricting the access to informationincluding the statistical data, needed for the criminological studies, is not the solution, but the sign of the stonewalling, panic, and helplessness. The problems are complex and multifaceted and have to be acknowledged and addressed. 

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Mass Shootings News Review

Current News, Selected Articles, Reviews, Analysis, Investigations, Opinions

The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S. – by Michael Novakhov

If you admit the hostile special intelligence operations nature of the mass killings as the hypothesis, then all the sociological and the statistical studies become irrelevant.

4:28 PM 11/7/2017 – The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S., in my opinion – M.N. | NYT Shows How Not to Analyze Mass-Shooting Data – National Review

4:28 PM 11/7/2017 – The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S.: In my opinion:

If you admit as the hypothetical explanatory option the  hostile special intelligence operations nature of the mass killings, and it is impossible not to consider this scenario as “an”, if not “the” (in majority of cases) explanation, then all the sociological and the statistical studies become irrelevant, just as the gun ownership explanatory theory, which is indeed false, in my opinion. This latter factor might be contributing but not the root cause, and not the main causal factor in the modern-day U.S. culture. 

But the good thing is that we started to ask these questions and started to look for the answers. We should not let the conceptual stereotypes to cloud our judgment. One of such stereotypes, regarding “Al Qaeda”, started to crumble before our eyes: “21 Years of War with Al  Qaeda?” 

The so-called “ISIS” probably is the next in line of the abandoned illusions in waiting. 

  • “I did also call him” “Ishmael”, but we did not want to see this phenomenon, and we still do not want to face it, as most logically it is, which is the current state of de facto hybrid or intelligence war of deep and multi-dimensional deception with Russia and her overt and covert allies. Not an easy situation but not the reason for despair. Now, when the picture becomes clearer, all sorts of the proper questions will be asked, and all sorts of the proper answers will be sought. I think, one of the concerns might be the effects of the excessive liberal or conservative slants or biases, which apparently can be equally harmful and can enhance the security vulnerabilities by rocking the boat too much in either direction. The skillful political balance appears to be the key. 

It looks like the beginning of the end of the current wave of the pre-and-post-9/11  historical denial. So much for the powers of the very plausible self-deception: “I do not see it, because I do not want to see it”, just like the good old three monkeys

“Why are US mass shootings getting more deadly?” – asks BBC News

I did notice this trend also and mentioned it in one of my previous posts

The answer: because the planners and the organizers of these attacks do everything to approach the military efficiency in these operations. They do view them as the para-military types of operations. The preferred use of the AR-15 (Kalashnikovs or their modifications) also points in this direction, besides serving the (deadly) commercial advertising purposes. 

Links: 

“I did also call him” “Ishmael”.

"I will call him" "Ishmael"
The Global and The US Domestic Terrorism Incidents, The Mass Shooting Incidents, and The Incidents of Shooting at the U.S. Police Officers: Comparisons and The Illustrations for The Statistical Analysis – The Brinsley’s Jacket – Last and Current Update: 11.23.16 
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“Some colleagues sent me the New York Times article “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer” today. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw the chart that appears at the top of the piece, above everything else except the title and byline…”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453485/nyt-shows-how-not-analyze-mass-shooting-data

“We shouldn’t care about “gun murders” or “mass shootings”; we should care about murders in general and mass killings in general, regardless of how they’re accomplished. (Up to a point it’s essentially tautological to claim that more guns translates to more problems with guns, because a society with no guns by definition cannot have any problems with them.) As I’ve noted numerous times before, there is no simple, consistent correlation between gun ownership and murder or homicide rates in general, either among developed countries or among U.S. states. More sophisticated studies face a variety of serious methodological obstacles — I don’t find any of them that compelling — and have reached varying conclusions. The research on mass shootings in particular is in an even more primitive state.”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453485/nyt-shows-how-not-analyze-mass-shooting-data

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What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer

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Worldwide, Mr. Lankford found, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United States, indicating that it could not be explained by some other factor particular to his home country. And it held when he controlled for homicide rates, suggesting that mass shootings were better explained by a society’s access to guns than by its baseline level of violence.

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from the times of the Washington Navy Yard Shooting of 2013, that the persons – subjects of the FBI COINTELPRO,  were brought into the psychotic or quasi-psychotic state by these technics, are picked up after that by the hostile intelligence services (the Russians are the prime suspects, of course) and somehow recruited or pushed to commit mass murders. This scenario might imply some degree of cooperation, or “collusion” between the FBI (most likely the moles) and these hostile services. Would the FBI be willing to investigate this hypothesis in honest? I very much doubt it: they are not even willing to acknowledge that the various instances of the mass killings, although without apparent or discernable motivation in the overwhelming majority of cases, might be the product of the hostile intelligence activities. FBI, I think that you should acknowledge this, and you should investigate this hypothesis in honest.

  • It is the well-known fact that the FBI tends to minimize or to deny the problems if it cannot understand, explain, or solve them. “In fact, the agency has blundered many terrorism investigations and thus jeopardized the security of Americans.”

Michael Novakhov 

12.13.17 

Besides that, the designations of “terrorism vs. no terrorism” became almost meaningless, in large part because they imply the motivation factor which is always difficult or impossible to determine. The better term might be: the largely unmotivated group killings and accidents as

  • “Crime or Hate Crime Messages”. 

Any crime is a message and a sick one. But the “message crimes” proper have their own distinct characteristics. Very often they are staged and documented: filmed, photographed, as the acts of the Performance Arts, for the show, to enhance their appeal and reach. The main purpose of the “message crimes” is to convey the message, as a threat, intimidation, punishment, or more recently as “Propaganda“. It is also possible that these types of the messaging systems became the mode of central communications for the large and dispersed criminal networks. They were practiced throughout the history from the times pre-biblical. 

This conceptualization and typology might be helpful in the investigations of these type of crimes and their resolutions and prevention, by generating the new ideas and leads. 

M.N. – 12.23.17 

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  • “LABRAT KNATS” on a “GHOSTSHIP”
  • and The Luxor Sphinx 
  • The Modern Prophets Of Doom: Graffiti Arts and Accidents as Performances in America: The Writings on The Walls | Semantic Analysis of The Hate Message Crimes 

Lab Rat, see the light at the end of this tunnel!

“Click, brick, and mortar”, Impressive Digital Monumentalism with the solid Biblical Roots

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin”: Numbered, numbered, weighed, and divided”. 

Daniel reads the words “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN” and interprets them for the king: “MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed … and found wanting;” and “PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

(Belshazzar’s feast – Wikipedia) 

  • “Numbered, numbered”: Counted, counted, statistically processed with the available information and knowledge classified and organized; 
  • “Weighed”: evaluated, assessed for significance, impact, and logical and other connections with the other related and relevant phenomena and its place among them; 
  • “And divided”: and broken into parts and analyzed again: the knowledge is processed and repackaged for further use and decision making: “the writing on the wall, interpreted by Daniel to mean that God had weighed Belshazzar and his kingdom, had found them wanting, and would destroy them: Dan. 5:25.”

This looks like the Hermeneutic, or Interpretational round, or “the circle of Understanding”. 

מנא מנא תקל ופרסין  

The writing on the wall” is an idiomatic expression that suggests a portent of doom or misfortune, based on the story of Belshazzar’s feast in the book of Daniel. | Writing on the wall bible – GS

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M.N.: Aind zis iz the strictly digital interpretation, preferring the ephemeral socialist quality in their gay, in all respects, message: Bernie Facebook Russian Propaganda:

The subject avoids the monumentality but the style of this propaganda pieces is remarkably the same: the “coloring book”, as it was called; “for children”, I would add. Because it is the same mode of propaganda, targeting the immature minds and the impressive audiences. This does not imply the same origin, just that the style is similar, that’s in itself is curious enough. Shall we call this the “Biblical style”? The attention of the “art people” among the investigators to this subject might be productive. – M.N. – 12.24.17

Belshazzar’s Feast is a painting by Rembrandt housed in the National Gallery, London. The painting is Rembrandt’s attempt to establish himself as a painter of large, baroque history paintings.[1][2]

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“LABRAT KNATS!” and other “Writings on the Walls”:

Semantic Interpretations of the recent wave of “Message Crimes”

Gridlok – Labrat

Lab Rat, see the light at the end of this tunnel! Abandon your Tunnel Vision for the Modern Prophecies of The American Graffiti Art, now fetching millions at the auctions… 

Aind zis iz zi “writing on the wall”, by LabRat

Looks like a big tombstone. 

RECENT POSTS

The Modern Prophets – Graffiti Art

The writing on the wall: “LABRAT KNATS! Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin”. http://fbinewsreview.org/
Thu, 21 Dec 2017 18:10:52 +0100

 

 

Image result for sphinx luxor las vegas

The Las Vegas Shooting And The Many Riddles of The Sphinx – by Michael Novakhov | News and Reviews

Las Vegas Shooting

Current News, Selected Articles, Reviews, Analysis, Investigations, Opinions

The Las Vegas Shooting And The Many Riddles of The Sphinx – by Michael Novakhov

M.N.: My answer to one of the “many riddles of the Sphinx“, as directly opposed and logically connected with the traditional but implied answer of Oedipus (“Man”), is: “Society, Culture, State, Country”, etc., etc. The human societies as biosocial organisms pass through their own stages of development: from four to two, to “three legs”, but they usually “speak in one voice”. This “one voice” part is the essential and the inalienable part of the riddle that cannot be omitted or excluded. It changes everything in its meaning and its interpretations. 

The idea and the ideological precepts of “America in decline”, in its “three-legged” devolution phase is the predominant one among many of the Russian politicians and political thinkers, including the military and the intelligence circles. More the reaction of the offended egos than the reflection of the truth, this idea nevertheless, is fashionable, although it is baseless.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Inability to comprehend the American society and its processes in depth may lead to the practical miscalculations and mistakes in practical policies and politics. So much for the “Society and Man” dilemma and its biosocial and historical formulations, mis-formulations, solutions, and mis-solutions. 

Oedipus Rex gave the wrong answer. He was allowed to proceed due to the Sphinx’s untimely and mysterious death, possibly from the shock resulting from such an ignorance, but Oedipus was punished for this mistake in the end. He did not see the truth and he blinded himself with his mothers’ dress pin as a suitable punishment for his crime. His mistake was that in his arrogance he did not recognize the importance of the social group as compared with the individual, the predominance of the society and its well-being over the “Man”, even if this man is called a king. Sorry, Rex. You should have seen and known better.

I think, this interpretation “rhymes” (fits in) nicely with the content and the conflict of the play, and viewing the riddles of the Sphinx as essentially unresolved makes the play richer.

Another aspect of the “many riddles” is the analogy and the continuity between the animals and humans: human society descended from the animal herd and shares many of its basic features. For example, when the human crowd was shot at in front of the Las Vegas Sphinx, the stampede might have resulted, and we do not know yet what part of the death tally was caused by the shots, and what part by this hypothetical but very probable stampede.

My overall idea in interpreting this incident is, that the place and the executioner were not chosen randomly and coincidentally, that these choices were carefully selected and planned, to contain and to convey the “message”. And this message, or the “many messages”, just like the riddles of the Sphynx and their various interconnected answers, and the interpretations of these “messages”, might be quite complex.

Does this complexity reflect the complexity of the author of this incident and the complexity of his (unlikely “her”) personality? This is a separate question. Hopefully, we will learn, who this “Sphynx” is. Semyon Mogilevich, for example, might be one of the candidates for this historical role, it looks like; as one of the heads of the Russian Mafia. We should consider a broad spectrum of other actors too, including The Boss himself, the vain V.V.P.  

Besides and above all other mental associations, the place and the scene of this tragedy do ring with the ancient archetypal memories and the practices of human sacrifice, and the rejecting, self-righteous accusations and criticism: “You worship your Sphinx, your Idols of games, pleasures, excesses, and self-indulgence”. The tone of this murderous hypothetical sermon might sound familiar. 

This place and scene would have a quality of the mass spectacle, have it not been so real. 

And this feature of the Las Vegas and other mass shootings induces, in turn, some thoughts about their possible authorship. The questions arise about the hypothetical spectators also, especially about the ownership of the prime, front row seats in the adjacent Luxor hotel right above or below the Sphinx, which should be the focus of continuous interest on the part of the investigative bodies. 

Michael Novakhov

10.4-3.17 

sphinx in oedipus rex

See also the previous posts on this subject:

RECENT POSTS 

Baso Fibonacci, a Seattle artist – Google Search


american graffiti art – Google Search – 

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Police say Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, drove a rented Home Depot truck down New York's Houston Street before turning left onto West St and driving down a cycle path, smashing into pedestrians and cyclists

Manhattan truck attack of 10.31.17 – Semantic Analysis of the incident

M.N.: “On the far west side of lowerManhattan…”: The symbolism or the symbolic message of this attack appears to be quite clear… | Manhattan truck attack of 10.31.17 and Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov – News Review

M.N.: The symbolism or the symbolic message of this attack appears to be clear: “The US is like a rented truck speeding down the bicycle lane, after taking a left turn South from Houston (Oh, “how stoned!”) Street onto the West Side Highway (“My way or the highway” – the so-called Reagan Doctrine), with its anti-Russia sanctions (recently expanded against the Russian military-intelligence complex and signed by Trump after four weeks of delay), killing the “innocent victims” (of these sanctions) along the way, and then brandishing two toy (or false, pellet and paintball) guns: apparently the reference to the two recent indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates by the Mueller’s Investigative team. It also contains a threat, just like all the other episodes of this kind, of the future attacks and calamities. This chain of reasoning and the interpretation of the presumed symbolic message of this incident is pretty much consistent with the comments of the Russian officialdom on their implicit indictments in Mr. Mueller’s actions, to which they hurried to plead non-guilty, following their traditional and quite an easy dictum: “Deny, deny, deny.” 

My hunch: Attacks by Uzbek immigrants appear to be disproportionally frequent, which might point to the possible but still hypothetical role of the organizer in the person of “Руслан Саидович Садулаев” who carries and uses many other names, and is reportedly the head of the GRU (Military Intelligence) of Uzbekistan. Presently, he reportedly resides in Turkey, although everything surrounding him and his comrades in “FarWest” is a deep mystery and very likely disinformation. Be all this as it may, it would be very helpful to extract this individual from wherever he is and to try to get the information out of him, which might be rich.

FBI, wake up and start working on all of this in honest. You cannot avoid dealing with this old and painful issues of “The FarWest Group”, their possible and many crimes, including the 9/11, their many and sophisticated covers, and their real, non-ending threat and disruptions. Do not walk endlessly around the bush, get the mf-s and investigate these connections in utmost depth. These people are specially and very well trained, professional high-level military intelligence officers. They are utterly dedicated “to the course” (whatever this course is), and judging from the past episodes, their audacity and brazenness are boundless. Do prevent the next looming disaster.

I have a feeling that Col. Poteyev who was an early member of this group, shared a lot of valuable information.

The whole approach to the investigations of the mass killing episodes has to be reviewed. New, smart, decisive actions have to be taken.

Michael Novakhov

11.1.17 

M.N.: Some other issues: Who exactly are the Argentinians in Manhattan truck attack, are there any connections between them and any significant recent events of interest? These might be completely the side issues, but it is worth to explore them. 

“Five of the dead were Argentine tourists, visiting New York as part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation, the government there said. Belgium’s foreign minister said a Belgian citizen was also among those killed.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said police will be out in force to protect the city’s marathon on Sunday, one of the world’s top road races, which draws some 51,000 runners from around the globe.

“You’ll see a lot of officers with long guns. Other things you won’t see that are protecting us,” he told MSNBC.”

Links

Image result for Ruslan Saidov

Ruslan Saidov 

При попустительстве Кремля узбекская госбезопасность репрессирует "российских шпионов" в армии Узбекистана

генерал-майор ГРУ МО Узбекистана Руслан Саидов

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manhattan truck attack – Google News 

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Michael Novakhov 

12.25.17 


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10:28 AM 12/22/2017 – Lab Rat, see the light at the end of this tunnel! “LABRAT KNATS” on a “GHOSTSHIP” – The Modern Prophets Of Doom: Graffiti Art and Accidents in America: The Writings on The Walls

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“LABRAT KNATS” on a “GHOSTSHIP” – The Modern Prophets Of Doom: Graffiti Art and Accidents in America: The Writings on The Walls

The Modern Prophets: Graffiti Art and Accidents in America: The Writings on The Walls

“Click, brick, and mortar”, Impressive Digital Monumentalism with the solid Biblical Roots

FBI News Review | | Investigate the investigators! Save America! Reform the FBI now! | News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions 

LABRAT KNATS” on a “GHOSTSHIP

Image result for Ghost ship fire

Ghost ship fire | 2016 Oakland warehouse fire – Wikipedia

FBI News Review | | Investigate the investigators! Save America! Reform the FBI now! | News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions 

FBI News Review | | Investigate the investigators! Save America! Reform the FBI now! | News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions

“LABRAT KNATS!” and other “Writings on the Walls”: Interpretations of the recent “Message Crimes” – FBI News Review

“LABRAT KNATS! That’s your name!” 

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin”: Numbered, numbered, weighed, and divided”. 

FBI News Review | | Investigate the investigators! Save America! Reform the FBI now! | News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions
Daniel reads the words “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN” and interprets them for the king: “MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed … and found wanting;” and “PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

(Belshazzar’s feast – Wikipedia) 

  • “Numbered, numbered”: Counted, counted, statistically processed with the available information and knowledge classified and organized; 
  • “Weighed”: evaluated, assessed for significance, impact, and logical and other connections with the other related and relevant phenomena and its place among them; 
  • “And divided”: and broken into parts and analyzed again: the knowledge is processed and repackaged for further use and decision making: “the writing on the wall, interpreted by Daniel to mean that God had weighed Belshazzar and his kingdom, had found them wanting, and would destroy them: Dan. 5:25.”

This looks like the Hermeneutic, or Interpretational round, or “the circle of Understanding”. 

_________________________________________

“LABRAT KNATS!” and other “Writings on the Walls”:

Semantic Interpretations of the recent wave of “Message Crimes”.

Gridlok – Labrat

Lab Rat, see the light at the end of this tunnel! Abandon your Tunnel Vision for the Modern Prophecies of The American Graffiti Art, now fetching millions at the auctions… 

Aind zis iz zi “writing on the wall”, by LabRat

Looks like a big tombstone. 

The writing on the wall: “LABRAT KNATS! Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin”. http://fbinewsreview.org/
Thu, 21 Dec 2017 18:10:52 +0100

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“LABRAT KNATS!” Is this The Message on The (Social) Walls?

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Каталония: Пучдемон готов к диалогу с Рахоем, но в Испанию пока не рвется.
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When was the last time NJ had a white Christmas? Stats and chances for Christmas 2017
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Washington Post
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New York Times
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New York Times
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Day in Photos – Voice of America: November 5, 2017
A look at the best news photos from around the world.
Day in Photos – Voice of America

The World News and Times – Recent Posts 


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7:15 AM 12/13/2017 – M.N.: This NYT editorial is the witness to the “Gray Old Lady’s” decline and senility

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M.N.: This NYT editorial is the witness to the “Gray Old Lady’s” decline and senility. Of course, Mr. Mueller and his investigation have to continue unabated and with the full support of the American public and the political establishment. They also have to be protected to the maximum by the Congress, and these steps have already been taken. If Mr. Trump fires Mr. Mueller, it will make the situation much worse and might lead to the constitutional crisis. This should not happen. But at the same time, we have to understand the roots and the nature of the criticism directed at the FBI and the DOJ. These are not just pro-Trump sentiments: it is a small part of it, which is on a surface. On a deeper level there is the profound dissatisfaction in the American society, on all strata, with the FBI, their ways and means, their glaring incompetence in practically all the matters, from criminal justice problems, with its scandalous hair and the DNA analysis issues to the problems with the blatant political interference. If the NYTimes does not see these problems (and the paper reported on them in the past itself), it is the self-imposed, willful, and the very dangerous blindness. The FBI has to be investigated in fullest and in-depth, the American people are very unhappy with this domestic spying agency and how it works or does not work. This is not just the matter of the pro-Trump vs. anti-Trump factions within the FBI, this is the matter of what the FBI really is, how it functions, and what are the causes of its many, many alarming dysfunctions. The NYTimes should look into these issues instead of its usual, arrogant but in fact, helpless, naive, and endless pontificating in their endless and fruitless chase to keep up with the changing demands of their changing “middle class” readers. 

Michael Novakhov 

12.13.17

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New York Times
Fox News v. Robert Mueller
New York Times
1 fan: Fire Robert Mueller now. That would be a tremendous mistake, one that ought to alarm any true liberal or conservative. It would strike at the very idea that no American is above the law. The special counsel’s seven-month-old investigation into 
WH lawyer: Mueller’s team completed interviews it requested with White House staff to dateCNN
How Fox Is Undermining the Mueller InvestigationSlate Magazine
How Trump’s Legal Team Is Trying to Bury Robert MuellerVanity Fair
The Nation. –ABC News –New York Magazine –Twitter
all 526 news articles »

 

Fox News v. Robert Mueller

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Perhaps the most inflammatory rhetoric has come from Ms. Pirro, the host of “Justice With Judge Jeanine” and a “presidential favorite,” according to The Times. “There is a cleansing needed in our F.B.I. and Department of Justice,” Ms. Pirro said Saturday, in her most unhinged rant yet. “It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.”

Ms. Pirro named, among others, James Comey, the former F.B.I. director (“so political, so corrupt”); Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s deputy director, apparently in the tank for Hillary Clinton; and Peter Strzok, a top counterintelligence agent whom Mr. Mueller removed from the investigation after learning of private text messages he sent in 2016 criticizing Mr. Trump and praising Mrs. Clinton.

Topping her list of outlaws was, of course, Mr. Mueller, who she said “can’t come up with one piece of evidence!” Maybe she just forgot about the indictments and guilty pleas? Ms. Pirro, a former New York prosecutor and judge, didn’t allege any actual crimes, just that Mr. Mueller and his people are guilty of “attempting to destroy Trump.”

It would be one thing if Ms. Pirro were only spouting off on television. But she is a friend of Mr. Trump’s and has met privately with him and his top advisers to sell her half-cocked theories. After Mr. Trump’s victory last year, she interviewed to be his deputy attorney general, a job that would have empowered her to fire Mr. Mueller on her own.

To put it mildly, this is insane. The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller’s investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It’s to protect America’s national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election — a proposition that grows more plausible every day.

If the president’s supporters are upset about how close that investigation is getting to the Oval Office, they should ask not whether any F.B.I. investigator has ever held an opinion about politics, but rather why Mr. Trump chose as his closest advisers people with a tendency to talk to Russian officials and then fail to tell the truth, again and again, about the nature of those communications. As The Times’s Bret Stephens wrote: “Fire? Maybe not. But we are dying of smoke inhalation.” (Mr. Trump’s defenders might also recall that the president himself prompted Mr. Mueller’s appointment when he fired Mr. Comey, who had been overseeing the Russia investigation.)

When the propagandists say, “Get rid of Mueller,” it’s not the truth they’re trying to protect; it’s Mr. Trump himself. Any genuine interest in objective reality left the building a while ago, replaced by a self-sustaining fantasyland. If it’s hard to understand how roughly three-quarters of Republicans still refuse to accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 election — a fact that is glaringly obvious to everyone else, including the nation’s intelligence community and Mr. Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson — remember that a majority of the same people continue to believe that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

There was a time not too long ago when Republicans in Congress seemed genuinely interested in protecting Mr. Mueller — who, it bears noting, was originally appointed to head the F.B.I. by George W. Bush and who was named special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, also a Bush appointee. But Fox’s alt-reality vortex has sucked in previously levelheaded members of the G.O.P. like Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator who said as recently as October that there would be “holy hell to pay” if Mr. Trump tried to fire Mr. Mueller. Last Friday, Mr. Graham tweeted in support of “a Special Counsel to investigate ALL THINGS 2016 — not just Trump and Russia.” On Monday night, according to Axios, Jay Sekulow, one of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers, called for a special prosecutor to investigate … the special prosecutor. The tipping point? An article on Fox News’s website about a top Justice Department official’s wife and her work for Fusion GPS, the research firm behind the so-called Steele dossier.

None of these attacks or insinuations are grounded in good faith. The anti-Mueller brigade cares not a whit about possible bias in the Justice Department or the F.B.I. It simply wants the investigation shut down out of a fear of what it might reveal. But if your man is really innocent, what’s the worry?

Continue reading the main story

 


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5:08 AM 11/13/2017 – A “freak accident” or the premeditated act for the sake of sending the symbolic message? 

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Stairwell collapse

A “freak accident” or the premeditated act for the sake of sending the symbolic message?

Interpretation:

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)

Etc.

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. 

Michael Novakhov

11.13.17

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode Nov. 12, 2017
James B. Comey, called a liar and leaker by Trump, tweets a quote about truth and justice – The Washington Post
Trump voters were motivated by racism, not economic anxiety : The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Bulgaria’s Richest Man or Mafia Kingpin? Possibly Both | Provocateurs
How Spains Fight Against Gangsters Revealed Russian Power Networks
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
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
1:58 PM 11/12/2017 Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles
Just Security: Who in Their Right Mind Would Believe Putin?
organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Lincoln’s spy: How Pinkerton laid the foundation for the CIA and FBI – Salon
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 a ‘peril’ to US – CNN
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’
trump authoritarianism – Google News: Russia’s mark: A dangerous fool for a president – Washington Post
medvedev – Google Search
Modi, Trump, Shinzo, Medvedev reach Manila
Trump’s Taxes Have Probably Already Been Hacked – WIRED

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
children staircase – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from children staircase – Google News.

Story image for children staircase from KRIS Corpus Christi News

KRIS Corpus Christi News

Multiple children injured after stairway collapse at Vault PK

CBS 8 San DiegoNov 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 News14 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 CitedLos Angeles TimesNov 11, 2017
Dozens of children injured in stairwell collapse in Barrio Logan
Highly CitedThe San Diego Union-TribuneNov 11, 2017

Media image for children staircase from Washington Post

Washington Post

Media image for children staircase from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Media image for children staircase from The San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Media image for children staircase from Patch.com

Patch.com

Media image for children staircase from Mirror.co.uk

Mirror.co.uk

Media image for children staircase from The San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Authorities investigating stairwell collapse at San Diego gym that injured nearly two dozen children
 

mikenova shared this story .

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.

pauline.repard@sduniontribune.com

kristina.davis@sduniontribune.com


UPDATES:

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
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump’s YouTube Videos.

From: Trump
Duration: 24:55

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
 

mikenova shared this story .

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
 

mikenova shared this story from 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:momalley@umass.edu”>momalley@umass.edu</a>.

Related

An equal opportunity holiday?

AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY HOLIDAY?

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

In “Archives”

Bulgaria’s Richest Man or Mafia Kingpin? Possibly Both | Provocateurs
 

mikenova shared this story .

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.

The Skull has strayed far from the Communist ideals of his childhood, enjoying the opulent lifestyle afforded by his billionaire status.

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
 

mikenova shared this story .

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

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

a how-to from Facebook on enabling two-factor authentication

 for your Facebook account, and here’s one

from Twitter

.

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

here

. Some boxes to check:

  • Set your profile so it can’t be searched.
  • Set your friends list to private.
  • Set any older content to private, which you can do in bulk.
  • Set all past profile pictures to private.

Also helpful to reduce personal information in your public profile:

  • Remove your header image.
  • Remove any featured photos.
  • Consider removing your profile picture, or making sure it’s something professional/benign in case it gets copied and pasted elsewhere.
  • Check profile pictures and remove or update these images to make sure it’s something professional/benign in case it gets copied and pasted elsewhere.
  • Check who can follow you and/or see your posts.
  • Check account security settings; like Facebook, each platform has privacy/security settings.
  • Consider making Instagram feeds private, as even un-geotagged photos can provide a lot of useful location information.

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:

  • PeopleFinders: Search yourself in any states you’ve lived in and click “This is me” to have it removed.
  • Intelius: You need to scan your ID and scratch out your photo and DL number. Within a few days, they should remove you.
  • Whitepages (non-Premium): Search your name on <a href=”http://whitepages.com” rel=”nofollow”>whitepages.com</a> and copy the URL. Then go to the address linked here and paste it in. You’ll need to give them a phone number and then they call and read you a code.
  • Whitepages Premium: Frustratingly, Whitepages Premium results will still show up for you if you remove yourself from <a href=”http://whitepages.com” rel=”nofollow”>whitepages.com</a>. You’ll need to file a ticket with their support staff, but in our experience they’re pretty quick to remove you. Just search for your name in Whitepages Premium, copy the link, and fill out this form.
  • Spokeo: Much like <a href=”http://whitepages.com” rel=”nofollow”>whitepages.com</a>, search yourself on Spokeo and copy the profile URL. Then paste it into the opt-out form here.
  • BeenVerified: This site is very particular about the spelling and form of names. For example, a search result came up for Kenneth Schwencke but not Ken Schwencke. But once you’ve located your name, or versions of your name, opt out here.

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,

Florida conceals voter registration

 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
 

mikenova shared this story from deutsche bank and trump – Google News.


PlanetSave.com
17 Signs of Trump Team Collusion with Russia
PlanetSave.com
One European bank Trump could get loans from reportedly the only US or European bank he could get them from wasDeutsche Bank, which later got busted for laundering Russian money through a bank in Cyprus. Among several KGB- and …and more »
7:10 PM 11/12/2017 Trump Backs U.S. Intelligence
 

mikenova shared this story from The World Web Times worldwebtimes.com.

WSJ.com: World News: Trump Backs U.S. Intelligence Agencies When Asked About Russian Meddling

President Donald Trump said he had full confidence in U.S. intelligence agencies, indicating that he believed a report earlier this year that concluded Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. But he wouldnt say definitively whether he believes the report.
VOA Newscasts – November 12, 2017
 

mikenova shared this story from Voice of America.

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.

Download audio: https://av.voanews.com/clips/VEN/2017/11/12/20171112-220000-VEN119-program_hq.mp3

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode Nov. 12, 2017 – YouTube
 

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Trump travels to Vietnam and shakes hands with Putin – YouTube
 

mikenova shared this story .

Donald Trump: Former Top Intelligence Chiefs: Trump Being ‘Played’ By Putin
 

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I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trumps interest in being flattered, former CIA Director John Brennan said

 Donald Trump

1:58 PM 11/12/2017 Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump Investigations Report.

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?
 

mikenova shared this story from 1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites).

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

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Lincoln’s spy: How Pinkerton laid the foundation for the CIA and FBI
Salon
In Europe, Eugene-Francois Vidocq may be considered the godfather of the former criminal turned secret agent who is largely responsible for the development of the modern, entwined arts of intelligence-gathering and criminal investigation. But stateside 

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Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles Message On Russian Influence In Election : The Two-Way : NPR
 

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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

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Jorge Silva/AP

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

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:

” ‘He said he didn’t meddle,’ Trump said aboard Air Force One when asked whether he had discussed Russia’s interference in the 2016 election with Putin. ‘He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times.’

” ‘He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election, he did not do what they are saying he did,’ Trump added.

“Later on Sunday in Hanoi, and after receiving criticism for his remarks, Trump was asked for clarification on the topic. Trump responded that he agrees with U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in last year’s election.

” ‘I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election,’ he told reporters. “As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership.’ ”

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.

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Ex-Intel Heads Respond As Trump Muddles Message On Russian Influence In Election
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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 and more »

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Clapper: Downplaying Russia threat a ‘peril’ to US
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The intelligence community released an unclassified version of its assessment in January, saying Putin ordered the electionmeddling to hurt Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and bolster Trump’s successful bid. Putin denies the accusations, and Trump has …
Trump slams former US intel leaders as ‘political hacks’The Hillall 24 news articles »

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Mueller Immediately Closes Investigation After Hearing Putin Proclaim His Innocence
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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)The special counsel Robert Mueller announced on Saturday that he was closing the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, effective immediately, after hearing that President Vladimir Putin, of Russia, said he was …and more »
Saved Stories – 1. Trump: Ex-intelligence chiefs: Trump is being played by Putin and US is in ‘peril’
 

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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.

Related: Trump says he’d never call Kim ‘short and fat’ in response to ‘old’ barb

Related: Vietnamese musician and activist evicted after Trump protest

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Russia’s mark: A dangerous fool for a president
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President Trump’s authoritarianism, narcissism and racism threaten our democracy, but his gullibility threatens our national security. A man so uneducated and incurious about the world is willing, like his followers, to buy any crackpot conspiracy 

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Medvedev’s visit to expand Russian ties with PH

Rappler11 hours ago
MANILA, Philippines – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will be signing several agreements during his visit to the Philippines to attend …
Russia’s PM Medvedev flies in to attend summits
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Modi, Trump, Shinzo, Medvedev reach Manila
 

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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.
The thorny issue of China’s aggressive military maneuver in the disputed South China Sea, North Korea’s nuclear missile tests and overall security architecture in the region will come up for discussion during the ASEAN summit on Tuesday, diplomats said.
On the sidelines of the main events, Prime Minister Modi is likely to have a series of bilateral meetings with a number of leaders including US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev.
A host of leaders including Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have already arrived in the city to attend deliberations at the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nations), a grouping of 10 influential countries.
The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing in the last few years with focus being on ramping up cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence.
“Every single country in the ASEAN region wants India to be more engaged in the region in every possible way. That is the real synergy we have with ASEAN,” Indian Ambassador to Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar told PTI.
The US, France and Japan have been pitching for a larger role by India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region where China has been trying to increase its military presence.
Mr Majumdar said terrorism is going to be one of the issues that will be discussed not only during the ASEAN summit but also at the East Asia summit. He said several documents are going to be adopted with an aim to contain terrorism including one on stopping money laundering for the purpose of terrorism.
While ASEAN summit is likely to focus more on trade and investment related issues, leaders at the East Asia Summit are expected to delve deep into issues relating to maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation and migration.
Apart from the 10 ASEAN Member states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.
PM Modi will address the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits on Tuesday. He would also take part in special celebrations of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
The ASEAN region along with India together comprises combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over USD 3.8 trillion.
Investment from ASEAN to India has been over USD 70 billion in the last 17 years accounting for more than 17 per cent of India’s total FDI. India’s investment in ASEAN during the same period has been more than USD 40 billion.
India’s proposal to host an international conference on countering radicalisation may also be discussed during the deliberations at Manila as New Delhi is now looking at finalising the dates for the conclave.
Prime minister Modi will also participate in the ASEAN business and investment summit as well as a meeting of leaders of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The RCEP, comprising 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact.
In his maiden visit to the Philippines as the prime minister, PM Modi will also attend a reception by the Indian community and visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Mahavir Philippines Foundation.

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WIRED
Trump’s Taxes Have Probably Already Been Hacked
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A private investigator named Jordan Hamlett is heading to trial next month in Louisiana for allegedly attempting to illegally obtain President Trump’s income tax returns. Hamlett’s defense attorney says he’s a well-intentioned white hat hacker engaged and more »

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9:23 AM 11/12/2017 – No puppet master, no puppet – by Michael Novakhov

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It looks like the Russians are desperate for the high-level contact: it did not work out for Mr. Pu, maybe it will for Medvedev? This is a somewhat unusual circumstance: to send two leaders on a far foreign trip almost simultaneously. There must be a reason for it.

Is the planned change in Russian leadership somewhere in sight for 2018, the year of the presidential elections in Russia? Does Putin plan not to run and to endorse Medvedev? Is there any deal in the works between the Russian and the U.S. intelligence circles about the change of leadership in Russia as a condition for improvement in relations and the reconsideration of sanctions which spell the economic and political demise of Russia as it is now? Blame it all on the old, half-demented Tzar, and send him into the well deserved and dignified retirement. Somewhat better and more humane than just to kill him. And then we’ll see, maybe he would want to travel to The Hague, or to some other interesting places, to attend some interesting meetings. 

No puppet master, no puppet. Or no the obvious, visible, and implied, “hard-wired” connection between them. The other, more complicated connections, of spying-cyber-virtual, and hard to find realm, are the completely different matter. 

Michael Novakhov

11.12.17

“Others who will be in Manila for the summit meetings include Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and leaders from Japan, Canada, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.” 

___________________________

Mr. Pu does not look very happy:

Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit ABC News Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit – ABC News

____________________________

TASS: World – Medvedev, Trump photographed next but one before gala dinner in Manila

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© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

MANILA, November 12. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and US President Donald Trump were standing next nearest to each other during the joint photo session before the gala dinner for ASEAN leaders attending the summit in Manila, a TASS correspondent reported on Sunday.

The Russian prime minister was among the first to show up at the congress hall where the Philippines president organized the reception. Earlier in the day, Medvedev had a number of bilateral meetings. Trump, on the contrary, was the last to arrive at the reception, with his Philippines shirt pretty wrinkled.

Before taking their seats at the dinner, the leaders, wearing Philippines national shirts Barong Tagalong, posed for a joint photo. Medvedev and Trump were standing next but one to each other, with only Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguen Xuan Phuc between them.

Medvedev and Trump were also photographed shaking hands. After a speech by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, journalists were asked to leave.

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‘Dump Trump‘ protest erupts ahead of Philippines summit

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Putin’s Trolling of the West Is Not Just a Tactic

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… by announcing that President Donald Trump wouldn’t formally meet with … argument with stand-in President Dmitri Medvedev over the Western … It can work: In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte is a Putin admirer.
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Trump lands in Philippines, offers to mediate on South China Sea

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MANILA (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump landed in the Philippines on Sunday for a summit of Southeast and East Asian nations, hours after offering to mediate on competing claims to the South China Sea that have long stoked tensions in the region.

It will be the last leg of a marathon Asia tour that, despite Trump’s “America First” policy, may reassure some that his administration remains committed to a region that Beijing sees as its strategic domain.

In Vietnam earlier on Sunday, Trump said he was prepared to mediate in the dispute over the South China Sea, where four Southeast Asian countries and Taiwan contest China’s sweeping claims to the busy waterway.

But Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, host of two days of summit meetings that will bring together Southeast Asian and East Asian nations, said the thorny issue was better left untouched. All the claimants will be at the summit, except for Taiwan.

“We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues,” Duterte said at a pre-summit business conference in Manila.

“The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war. It can ill-afford a violent confrontation.”

The United States and its former colony, the Philippines, have been strategic allies since World War Two.

Trump is expected to try during the summit to shore up relations, which have been strained by the mercurial Duterte’s notorious anti-U.S. sentiment and his enthusiasm for better ties with Russia and China.

Police used water canon to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the U.S. embassy in Manila ahead of Trump’s arrival.

Carrying placards declaring “Dump Trump” and “Down with U.S. Imperialism”, the left-wing protesters were blocked by police in riot gear with shields and batons, and then showered with jets of water from a fire engine.

”Trump is the CEO of the imperialist government of the U.S., said 18-year-old student Alexis Danday after the protesters were scattered. “We know he is here to push for unfair treaties between the Philippines and the U.S.”

TRUMP CALLS IT “INDO-PACIFIC”

On a tour that has taken him to Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam, Trump and his team have repeatedly used the term “Indo-Pacific” instead of “Asia-Pacific” for the region, which some see as an effort to depict it as more than China-dominated.

Pacific Rim nation leaders agreed in Vietnam on Saturday to address “unfair trade practices” and “market distorting subsidies”, a statement that bore the imprint of Trump’s efforts to reshape the global trade landscape.

The summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries in Vietnam put on show the contrasting vision of the “America First” policy with the traditional consensus favoring multinational deals that China now seeks to champion.

Leaders at the Philippines summit will discuss the South China Sea, but mainly to agree on a procedural step to cool tensions.

In August, foreign ministers of Southeast Asia and China adopted a negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the resource-rich waterway, a move they hailed as progress but one seen by critics as a tactic to buy China time to consolidate its power.

The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea. The DOC has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven man-made islands in disputed waters, three of them equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars.

The framework will be endorsed by China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday, a diplomat from one of the regional bloc’s countries said.

Others who will be in Manila for the summit meetings include Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and leaders from Japan, Canada, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales, Enrico dela Cruz and Manolo Serapio; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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Трамп пришел на церемонию встречи с Дутерте после Медведева – Газета.Ru | Новости

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Премьер-министр России Дмитрий Медведев прибыл на церемонию встречи главы делегаций АСЕАН с президентом Филиппин Родриго Дутерте, следом за ним на церемонию пришел президент США Дональд Трамп, передает РИА «Новости».

Дутерте встретил лидеров вместе со своей супругой Сьелито Авансенье.

Во время церемонии фотографирования между Трампом и Медведевым стоял премьер-министр Вьетнама Нгуен Суан Фука.

Ранее сообщалось, что в Маниле заявили о желании России назначить военного атташе на Филиппинах.

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12:47 PM 11/10/2017 – RECENT POSTS: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? Answer: Because sometimes the “F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun” – FBI News Review 

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Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и специальный представитель Президента по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов перед началом совещания с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности. 11.10.17 2:26 PM 11/9/2017 – F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun | FBI News Review  M.N. I guess, now we can understand why we have all these problems with … Continue reading “12:47 PM 11/10/2017 – RECENT POSTS: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? Answer: Because sometimes the “F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun” – FBI News Review “

mikenov on Twitter: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? worldnewsandtimes.org/2017/11/10/124… 

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Posted by  mikenov on Friday, November 10th, 2017 6:05pm

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STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S COMMENTS ABOUT VLADIMIR PUTIN – Press Releases

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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Trump’s comments about Vladimir Putin:

“President Trump today stated that he believed Vladimir Putin is being sincere when he denies Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reiterated that he hopes to cooperate with Russia in Syria.

“There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community. There’s no ‘principled realism’ in cooperating with Russia to prop up the murderous Assad regime, which remains the greatest obstacle to a political solution that would bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria. Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”

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Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rules for radicals, real and fake: Trumpworld’s Saul Alinsky obsession – New York Daily News

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New York Daily News
Rules for radicals, real and fake: Trumpworld’s Saul Alinsky obsession
New York Daily News
Rudy Giuliani tied former community organizer Barack Obama to Alinsky’s nefarious plans in 2008, and Newt Gingrich did the same in 2012. Carson picked up the baton last year and hurled it at Clinton’s head, pointing to a throwaway line in Alinsky’s 

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

CIA Director Mike Pompeo has had enough, speaks out in direct defiance of Donald Trump 

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Donald Trump’s hand picked CIA Director Mike Pompeo has long come off as being one of Trump’s most personally loyal allies. Pompeo has publicly claimed in the past that Russian interference in the election was far less significant than what the rest of the US intelligence community has asserted. Even as recently as last week, Trump and Pompeo were reportedly conspiring to run interference aimed at protecting Trump from his Russia scandal. But as of today, Pompeo is clearly had enough of the antics – and he’s speaking out publicly in direct defiance of Trump.

Earlier today, Donald Trump announced that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia did not interfere in the election. This sent immediate shockwaves across America, causing “Putin” to immediately become the top trending topic on Twitter. Numerous current and former government officials quickly lashed out at Trump for the remark, or sought to directly dispute Trump’s assertion. Shockingly, Mike Pompeo was among those voices.

Here’s how NBC news reporter Andrea Mitchell characterized what Mike Pompeo said: “Wow! CIA Director Mike Pompeo releases statement endorsing intel conclusion Russia meddled direct challenge to Donald Trump’s comments accepting Putin denial and calling ex CIS officials political hacks.” Mitchell’s surprise is warranted, as Pompeo is now clearly trying to distance himself from the entire Trump-Russia mess, and in effect distance himself from Donald Trump entirely. It raises the question of what’s suddenly going on here.

Mike Pompeo is not known to have been a participant in the Trump-Russia election rigging scandal. However, his consistent attempts at covering for Trump in the scandal have made him look incredibly guilty. Perhaps he’s now come to the conclusion that he’s tired of getting dragged deeper into this mess. Perhaps he fears getting caught up the investigation. Or perhaps Mike Pompeo concluded today that Donald Trump is a goner after the Putin remarks, and he’s now hoping to hang onto his CIA job under the next president.

The post CIA Director Mike Pompeo has had enough, speaks out in direct defiance of Donald Trumpappeared first on Palmer Report.

Trump Investigations Report: 4:48 PM 11/11/2017 – Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election 

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Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election The best reporting on Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and, of course, George Papadopoulos – Salon Boris Johnson met ‘London professor’ linked to FBI’s Russia investigation – The Guardian Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election – … Continue reading “4:48 PM 11/11/2017 – Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election”

 Trump Investigations Report

These Are the Ads Russia Bought on Facebook in 2016

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They made for a wildly varied slide show, designed by Russia to exploit divisions in American society and to tip the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald J. Trump and against Hillary Clinton. The House Intelligence Committee provided on Wednesday the biggest public platform to date for a sample of the Facebook ads and pages that were linked by a trail of ruble payments to a Russian company with Kremlin ties.

“America, we have a problem,” said Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who sits on the House committee. “We basically have the brightest minds of our tech community here and Russia was able to weaponize your platforms to divide us, to dupe us and to discredit democracy.”

Among the ads the committee made public at Wednesday’s hearing were a Bernie Sanders superhero promoting gay rights …

… and a shot of Mr. Trump giving a thumbs up and promoting rallies in Florida.

An image of Jesus arm-wrestling Satan (who, the ad said, was backing Mrs. Clinton) …

… and an endorsement of the Black Panthers as fighters against the Ku Klux Klan.

There was a Confederate flag and a call for the South to rise again …

… and a yellow “No Invaders Allowed” sign posted at the United States border.


Attacking Candidates

While many descriptions of Russia’s stealth influence campaign have stressed the focus on issues rather than candidates, many of the Facebook posts did both, often attacking Mrs. Clinton (sometimes via Mr. Sanders):

But at least one ad attacked Mr. Trump:


On the Left and Right

And although some of the Facebook pages fell on the liberal or multicultural side of the political divide, with names like Woke Blacks …

… most leaned strongly to the right, including Back the Badge…

… and Stop All Invaders.


From Both Sides

In some cases, the Russian groups took opposite stands on painful issues, such as police shootings of black people. A page called Don’t Shoot took aim at police brutality…

… while Being Patriotic suggested that Black Lives Matter activists were killing police officers.


Only a Sampling

While the ads being made public by Congress were just a sampling of the large Russian influence operation, independent researchers in recent weeks have identified and made public a far greater volume of such pages. Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have shut down the suspect accounts, but it is still possible to retrieve many of the posts and images because they were widely shared across the internet.

Perhaps the biggest collection, put together by two American researchers who asked not to be identified to avoid online harassment, is posted at a page on Medium. The researchers based their searches largely on the pages and accounts named in a Russian media account based on interviews with former employees of the Russian company with Kremlin ties, the Internet Research Agency, accused of much of the fakery.

Signed in as mikenova

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Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election

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How do you run a political campaign that successfully tips the scale in the favor of your candidate? Run lots of advertisements, ones that portray your candidate in a legitimately human light, establish his or her stance on vital issues and projects them as a trustworthy potential leader of the nation. From time to time, a good ol’ smear campaign that cries foul on your opponents weaknesses is also helpful. At least, that’s what the experts tell me. Take one look at some of the advertisements purchased by the Russian propaganda machine on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google to sabotage the presidential race, however, and you will see just how different they are from any successful political campaign any candidate in this democracy has ever run.

“With our hands stuck to our smartphones and eyes to the screen, social media platforms have evolved as the most efficient modern method to gain visibility. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram openly boast their ability to target specific interest groups within the population who are most likely to engage with and be influenced by the campaign. Political memes are funny and relatable, and they subtly input ideas into people’s heads with great efficiency. Due to the massive reach of these platforms and their content delivery techniques, it is easy to reach and influence millions of people every day via paid campaigns.” – Mayur Patil, Co-Founder at Furor Media

There is a picture of Jesus Christ arm-wrestling an #ImWithHer Satan in an attempt to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the election. There is a meme about Bernie Sanders calling out the Clinton Foundation on corruption charges. There is an advertisement for a fake event being held in an attempt to allow Texas to secede from the United States. And of course, the weirdest of them all, a campaign promoting a coloring book of Bernie Sanders in hilarious muscular poses as an LGBT superhero. Some of these ads performed poorly, while others boasted click-through rates that were abnormally high and oddly successful. One thing that always remained the same, however, is just how weird these advertisements were. If this was an attempt to hack a democratic election, it was abnormally bizarre.

It’s easy to dismiss these campaigns as nothing more than a joke, but the very fact that they reached millions of viewers across the nation proves just how effective they were. Experts, however, say that the fact that these campaigns were so abnormal and funny was exactly the reason why they were so successful. In a new report released by the Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center, authors James Carey and Claire Wardle tell us that the best way to reach a huge audience on a social media platform is to involve as much drama as possible. According to these researchers, advertisements purchased by the foreign propaganda machine were targeted towards a narrow strip of swing voters who weren’t sure which way to lean come election time. The advertisements, despite their initial lack of seriousness, helped confirm for these people their predisposed biases and gave them reason enough to pick one among two opposing candidates both of whom they largely disliked. Better Trump than Hillary, that was the motto of this campaign. Donald Trump may not be perfect, but he is still an outsider, and therefore times better than an establishment-loving Hillary Clinton. You keep hammering this idea into someone’s head long enough, and they will eventually give in.

“It’s hard to imagine that $100,000 in Facebook ads, a small army of Twitter bots, and 18 YouTube channels might have tipped the race for Trump. But the 2016 election was also decided by only several tens of thousands of voters in a handful of counties where swing voters were already deeply suspicious of Clinton. Russia’s Facebook campaign was particularly effective because it confirmed pre-existing narratives that certain segments of Trump voters already had about her.” – Maya Kosoff, Vanity Fair

The propaganda machine ran a very sophisticated social media campaign that depended on the human race’s most basic impulses in an attempt to influence their behavior. Hillary Rotten Clinton. Hillary the Satan. Killary with a K. These ideas were repeatedly hammered into people’s heads as a means to manipulate them on a subconscious level. They may not have agreed with these ads when they saw them, but keep encountering them time after time and they’ll eventually form a subconscious idea that anyone is better than Hillary Clinton. And that, my friends, is how a fiercely hated foreign power with no standing in our nation managed to manipulate our democracy and coerce our wills without us even knowing it.

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The best reporting on Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and, of course, George Papadopoulos – Salon

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Salon
The best reporting on Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and, of course, George Papadopoulos
Salon
new Propublica logo Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, his protégé Rick Gates and the less well-known Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have all faced scrutiny before Monday. Here are our favorite stories on …and more »
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Boris Johnson met ‘London professor’ linked to FBI’s Russia investigation – The Guardian

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The Guardian
Boris Johnson met ‘London professor’ linked to FBI’s Russia investigation
The Guardian
Boris Johnson is facing questions about the government’s links to key individuals named by the FBI in its Trump-Russia investigation, following the emergence of a photo of him with Joseph Mifsud, the “London professor” with high-level Kremlin contacts.

Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election – Forbes

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Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election
Forbes
“With our hands stuck to our smartphones and eyes to the screen, social media platforms have evolved as the most efficient modern method to gain visibility. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram openly boast their ability to target specific interest groups 

Trump Scraps Possible Formal Meeting With Putin

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President Donald Trump will not meet formally with Russian President Vladimir Putin at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam this week due to a scheduling conflict, the White House said Friday, amid U.S. concerns that the meeting wouldn’t create genuine progress on key issues.

“Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there’s not one on the calendar and we don’t anticipate that there will be one.”

Any Putin-Trump meeting would be fraught with political complications for Trump, as his campaign and his administration face investigations over ties to the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. Those probes have been heating up in recent weeks, with charges filed against Trump’s former campaign manager and a foreign policy campaign aide.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Bloomberg that consultations are continuing.

“There is no final understanding yet,” he said.

The Kremlin had announced that both sides were working on a suitable time and format for a meeting when both men are in Vietnam, without specifying if it’d be a formal sit-down. But U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had downplayed the possibility in an interview on his flight from China to Vietnam, saying there was no point meeting if there wasn’t the likelihood they’d make progress on a number of issues.

North Korea

The news came a day after Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping over many of the same questions he would have discussed with Putin, notably how to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Xi had offered Trump few concrete proposals and little beyond well-worn phrases about the importance of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Both Russia and China oppose moves that would cause Kim Jong Un’s regime to collapse, and have called on both North Korea and the U.S. to lower tensions and start talks.

While the Kremlin had said it expected the meeting to happen, and Trump himself told reporters aboard Air Force One that a sit-down was likely, Tillerson insisted Thursday the meeting would only occur if there was “sufficient substance” to necessitate gathering.

“We’d like to know if the two heads of state are going to meet there’s something useful to point to,” Tillerson told reporters in Beijing. He insisted there had not been an agreement for a formal meeting, but said it could be useful if concrete progress on the “significant conversations underway” between the U.S. and Russia on a range of foreign policy issues could be accomplished.

Ross Revelations

That could include efforts on North Korea, as well as the ongoing crises in Syria and Ukraine.

Any meeting between Trump and Putin could carry a political cost for the U.S. president. Recent weeks have featured a flood of difficult stories for the White House, including revelations earlier this week in the New York Times that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had failed to disclose business ties to Putin associates.

Ross told Bloomberg Television that he will “probably not” maintain his stake, worth up to $10 million, in shipping company Navigator Holdings Ltd., whose clients include a Russian energy company owned partially by Putin’s son-in-law as well as an oligarch who has been sanctioned by the U.S. government.

“I’ve been actually selling it anyway, but that isn’t because of this,” Ross said Monday.

Collusion Investigation

A meeting would also follow the decision by Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to plead guilty last week to lying to the FBI about his attempts to organize a meeting between campaign staff and Russian officials. The investigation into Russian interference in the election has also already ensnared Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, who is accused of crimes stemming from his lobbying and consulting work for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine.

Critics of the U.S. president accuse the White House of slow-walking new sanctions against Russia imposed by Congress, which wanted to signal its displeasure with Russian interference in the 2016 election. This week top U.S. technology companies, including Facebook Inc.Twitter Inc., and Google Inc. disclosed that Russia had distributed mass propaganda over their social media networks during the election.

Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said Friday it was “hard to overestimate the importance and significance of any contact between the president of Russia and the United States for all international matters.”

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Во Вьетнаме завершился саммит АТЭС • Президент России

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Вопрос: Одной из интриг прошедшего саммита стали Ваши возможные переговоры с господином Трампом. Насколько я понимаю, Вам всё‑таки удалось поговорить, что называется, «на ногах». Расскажите, пожалуйста, о чём и, на Ваш взгляд, почему всё‑таки не удалось организовать такую полноценную встречу, полноформатные переговоры?

В.Путин: Что касается отдельной встречи. Во‑первых, это было связано с графиком работы господина Трампа, моим графиком и определёнными формальностями протокола, с которыми нашим командам справиться, к сожалению, не удалось. Но они будут наказаны за это.

Вместе с тем ничего страшного не произошло, мы поговорили в ходе сегодняшнего заседания, пообщались, и, в общем и целом, всё, что хотели, мы обсудили. В основном‑то говорили о чём?

Говорили о том, что обсуждалось на самом саммите АТЭС, говорили о том, как использовать те новые возможности, которые предоставляет цифровая экономика для развития экономических связей. И вы знаете, мы ещё согласовали совместное заявление по борьбе с терроризмом в Сирии.

В этом смысле, имея в виду и первое, и второе, можно сказать, что работа на полях АТЭС была полезной и успешной, потому что не так просто было выйти на заявление по Сирии. Наши эксперты работали над этим заявлением в преддверии саммита, и уже вчера началась доработка этого документа.

Министры иностранных дел господин Лавров и господин Тиллерсон работали над теми вопросами, которые возникли уже после того, как этот текст был предложен экспертами, и сегодня только что мы с Президентом Соединённых Штатов этот документ согласовали. Считаю его важным, потому что он подчёркивает некоторые абсолютно принципиальные вещи.

Во‑первых, продолжение борьбы с терроризмом. Это чрезвычайно важно и для Соединённых Штатов, особенно в свете последних трагических событий, которые там произошли, связанные с террористическими вылазками. Это важно для нас, для страны, которая давно сталкивается с этой проблемой. И это важно для всего международного сообщества. Борьба с терроризмом будет продолжена, причём совместными усилиями.

Что касается Сирии: чрезвычайно важным считаю, что мы подтвердили территориальную целостность и суверенитет страны. Мы договорились о том, что будем после завершения борьбы с террором, ликвидации террористической угрозы на этой территории двигаться по пути политического урегулирования под эгидой Организации Объединённых Наций. Детали этого заявления вы можете посмотреть. Оно, по‑моему, уже опубликовано.

Вопрос: Владимир Владимирович, как Вы оцениваете так называемые антироссийские расследования, которые, кажется, только набирают силу в Соединённых Штатах? Министры американского правительства, их уже обвиняют в коррупционных связях с Россией, и вроде бы члены предвыборного штаба Дональда Трампа встречались с Вашей вроде бы племянницей. Как Вы оцениваете эту ситуацию? Это первый вопрос.

И второй вопрос: Владимир Владимирович, когда уже наконец? Мы уже устали ждать!

В.Путин: Вторую часть Вашего вопроса пока оставлю без ответа. Время придёт, мы поговорим на эту тему.

Что касается первой части, то я уже многократно высказывался на этот счёт. Считаю, что всё, что связано с российским так называемым «досье» в Соединённых Штатах, на сегодняшний день – это проявление продолжающейся внутриполитической борьбы.

Вот те конкретные вещи, о которых Вы сказали, конечно, они мне известны, хотя о каких‑то связях моих родственников с представителями Администрации или с какими‑то официальными лицами – я об этом узнал только вчера от господина Пескова. Я не знаю об этом ничего, ровным счётом вообще ничего. По‑моему, это всё бредни какие‑то.

По поводу министра торговли, по‑моему, речь идёт о министре торговли Соединённых Штатов. Он бизнесом раньше занимался, был акционером или владельцем шиппинговой компании, причём мирового уровня, заключал контракты с отправителями грузов по всему миру, может быть, и с российскими. Но это не больше чем бизнес.

Никакого отношения к политике это никогда не имело и не имеет. Я даже фамилии его не знаю, если по‑честному, только недавно, честно говоря, услышал. Поэтому здесь нечего расследовать. Но при желании можно, конечно, поковыряться в поисках каких‑то сенсаций. Их там нет, никаких сенсаций нет.

Что касается господина Манафорта, то его тоже как‑то связывают с Россией. Единственная связь с Россией – это то, что он, будучи руководителем и, наверное, владельцем, даже не знаю, американского пиаровского агентства, заключал контракты и тоже как бизнесмен, работающий в этой сфере, работал с Украиной, в том числе с бывшим президентом Януковичем.

Но какое это отношение имеет к России, я не понимаю. Никакого. Ровным счётом ничего здесь нет, просто пустая болтовня и желание использовать любую зацепку для борьбы с действующим Президентом США. Но это, повторяю, не наше дело, пускай они сами разбираются.

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Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit, discuss Russian meddling in election – ABC News

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Bloomberg
Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit, discuss Russian meddling in election
ABC News
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Vietnam Saturday, according to the White House.
Putin Gets in a Few Words With Trump But Still No Formal MeetingBloombergall 1,910 news articles »

cambridge analytica – Google News: Cambridge Analytica Denies Working With Russia, Unconvincingly – New York Magazine

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New York Magazine
Cambridge Analytica Denies Working With Russia, Unconvincingly
New York Magazine
The final channel is the efforts by Cambridge Analytica, the campaign’s data firm. This channel is less well known to the public, in part because reporting about it has been dominated by The Wall Street Journal, and its stories hidden behind a paywall.
Cambridge Analytica reached out to Wikileaks about Clinton emails, CEO saysFox News
Cambridge Analytica Reached Out to Assange About Clinton Emails While Working For Trump CampaignMediaite
Data firm that worked for Trump asked WikiLeaks to share hacked emailsThe Guardian
The Hill –Wall Street Journal –The Portugal News –The Guardian
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 cambridge analytica – Google News

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Smiles and snaps: Trump and Putin’s delicate diplomatic dance

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DANANG, Vietnam — Talks between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, a much-anticipated box office event at an Asia-Pacific summit, were up in the air Saturday as the leaders swapped warm greetings in Vietnam but kept the world guessing on a formal meeting.

The question of whether the US and Russian leaders will hold official discussions on the sidelines of the APEC summit in the resort city of Danang has added a layer of diplomatic intrigue to an event dominated by trade discussions.

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Trump’s relationship with Moscow has haunted the first year of his presidency, with key former aides under a US investigation for alleged collaboration with the Kremlin.

Overly amicable talks between Trump and Putin would be an awkward sell for the White House as it denies any wrongdoing.

Instead a delicate diplomatic dance has been on show, giving glimpses of a warm relationship but no substantive talks.

The two men have met in Danang three times since late Friday, when they posed for a photo side by side in loose-fitting blue shirts custom made for the summit.

They again warmly shook hands on Saturday morning as leaders sat down for talks and then briefly chatted as they walked together to a podium for a “family photo” of attendees.

Moscow’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov also had a short meeting with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson.

Asked to give details on their talks, Lavrov glibly replied “I can, but I wouldn’t.”

Russia has denied allegations of interfering in the US election last year, won by Trump in a shock victory.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate are under house arrest on charges including conspiracy to launder money, linked to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into allegations that the campaign colluded with Russia.

Yet the US leader also wants Russian support for his efforts to isolate North Korea in a bid to restrain its nuclear ambitions.

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Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent

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Two days ago we got word that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had quietly interviewed Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser Stephen Miller before the start of the Asia trip. Yesterday we got word that Miller was the unnamed “senior policy adviser” mentioned in the confession of Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Now comes a report that Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent.

First came the surprising word on Thursday from CNN that Mueller had interviewed Miller at least a week earlier. This was notable because the media had previously believed that Mueller’s first interview with a current Trump White House senior adviser would be with Hope Hicks, and that it would take place after the Asia trip. This prompted Palmer Report to point out that Mueller clearly knew something about Miller the the rest of us didn’t, though it wasn’t yet clear what it was (link). Then came the even more surprising revelation on Friday from the New York Times that Miller was aware of at least portions of Papadopoulos’ Russian conspiracy plot at the time (link). Now here comes the stunning part.

Late on Friday night, Democratic Coalition co-founder and MSNBC guest commentator Scott Dworkin tweeted that “3 different GOPers told me tonight that we should expect Stephen Miller to resign next week, possibly as early as tomorrow” (link). Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself and Miller aboard Air Force One earlier this week, confirming that Miller is on the Asia trip. This would mean that Miller could resign before the trip is even finished.

One possible explanation for this could be that Trump didn’t know Stephen Miller had met with Robert Mueller, and now that it’s surfaced in the media, things have immediately gone sour between the two of them. There are other possible explanations. Now we wait to see what happens next.

The post Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent appeared first on Palmer Report.

Putin Trump – Google News: Smiles and snaps: Trump and Putin’s delicate diplomatic dance – The Times of Israel

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The Times of Israel
Smiles and snaps: Trump and Putin’s delicate diplomatic dance
The Times of Israel
DANANG, Vietnam — Talks between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, a much-anticipated box office event at an Asia-Pacific summit, were up in the air Saturday as the leaders swapped warm greetings in Vietnam but kept the world guessing on a formal …and more »

 Putin Trump – Google News

President Trump greets Putin in Vietnam after talks of a formal meeting fell through – New York Daily News

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New York Daily News
President Trump greets Putin in Vietnam after talks of a formal meeting fell through
New York Daily News
President Trump is crossing paths — again — with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the White House said the two would not be holding a formal meeting in Vietnam. The world leaders shook hands on Saturday as leaders of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific …
The Latest: Tillerson: TrumpPutin talks under considerationMiami Heraldall 3,320 news articles »

Ex-Trump aide Mike Flynn says Gulen kidnap allegations ‘false’ – BBC News

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Ex-Trump aide Mike Flynn says Gulen kidnap allegations ‘false’
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Former top White House aide Michael Flynn has denied offering $15m (£11.5m) to help forcibly remove a Muslim cleric to Turkey are “false”, his lawyer says. Robert Kelner said claims that the ex-national security adviser and his son had met Turkish …
Michael Flynn’s lawyer blasts media reports of alleged kidnapping plotABC News
Is special counsel Robert Mueller trying to get Michael Flynn to cooperate?CBS News
Mueller Probing Possible Deal Between Turks, Flynn During Presidential TransitionNBCNews.com
NPR –Business Insider –Wall Street Journal –The Hill
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Trump sides with Putin over intelligence agencies on Russian meddling – Axios

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Trump sides with Putin over intelligence agencies on Russian meddling
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President Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he believes Vladimir Putin’s denials about election meddling, and doesn’t want to press further because he thinks the U.S. and Russia can work together on issues that include North Korea, Syria and 
Trump says US deal with Russia on Syria will save many livesReuters
Trump, Putin Say US-Russia Deal On Syria Will Save Many Lives, ‘Extraordinarily Important’RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Transcript: Trump’s Air Force One gaggle: Putin, Russia probe, Asia trip, and Roy MoorePolitico
Daily Beast –The Pavlovic Today –Daily Mail
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Donald Trump demands Russia acts to stop North Korea war as he plays Putin against China – Express.co.uk

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Donald Trump demands Russia acts to stop North Korea war as he plays Putin against China
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The US President said China is helping to deal with Kim Jong-un’s regime, but extra assistance from the Russians would “make the problem go away a lot faster”. Speaking shortly before his arrival in Hanoi today, Mr Trump described his Chinese and more »

Mike Flynn – Google News: How Flynn — and the Russia scandal — landed in the West Wing – Politico

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How Flynn — and the Russia scandal — landed in the West Wing
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11 — replaced by soon-to-be Vice President Mike Pence — Flynn and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon celebrated by tossing binders full of potential personnel picks, carefully culled by Christie’s team, into trash bins with a sense of …
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Trump, Putin Say US-Russia Deal On Syria Will Save Many Lives, ‘Extraordinarily Important’ – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

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Trump, Putin Say US-Russia Deal On Syria Will Save Many Lives, ‘Extraordinarily Important’
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Putin and Trump reaffirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and called on all parties to the Syrian conflict to take an active role in the Geneva political process, it said. Several rounds of UN-sponsored 
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin vow to work together to defeat ISIS and bring peace to SyriaMirror.co.uk
Combat work to destroy terrorists in Syria is finishing – PutinTASS
Trump: I ‘really believe’ Putin when he says he did not meddle in 2016 electionChicago Tribune
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Putin Says Time to Move On With Trump After Russia Meddling ‘Nonsense’

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Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent

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Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent

Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent

Robert Mueller just targeted Stephen Miller. Now comes word that Miller may exit stage left.

Trump says Putin again denied election interference, and he believes him – CBS News

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Trump says Putin again denied election interference, and he believes him
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Mr. Trump called the accusation an “artificial barrier” erected by Democrats — once again casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia did try to interfere in the election to help Mr. Trump win. Mr. Trump and Putin did not 
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How to Find a Smoking Gun in the Russia Investigation – Politico

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How to Find a Smoking Gun in the Russia Investigation
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There are other individuals deep within the Russian intelligence services and in President Putin’s inner circle who would definitively know the answers to questions of collusion. So how can we find these individuals and discover the smoking gun, should 

Mueller team questions how much Trump knew on Russia contacts: report – The Hill

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Mueller team questions how much Trump knew on Russia contacts: report
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“The ultimate question Mueller is after is whether candidate Trump and then President-electTrump knew of the discussions going on with Russia, and who approved or even directed them,” one source told Reuters. “That is still just a question.”.
Russian Twitter trolls deflected bad news about candidate TrumpPress Herald
What you need to know about newly revealed Trump campaign-Russia tiesPolitiFact
Trump, Clinton camps both offered slice of dossier firm’s work: sourcesReuters
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A Gangster Place in the Sun: How Spain’s Fight Against the Mob Revealed Russian Power Networks – Boise Weekly

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A Gangster Place in the Sun: How Spain’s Fight Against the Mob Revealed Russian Power Networks
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At a time when Russian intelligence and criminal activities have become an urgent concern in the United States and Europe, the Spanish investigations of Petrov and other Russians offer a remarkable view of the way that some of the most powerful mafia 

Trump chooses Putin’s word over the US intelligence community — again – Vox

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Trump chooses Putin’s word over the US intelligence community — again
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President Donald Trump just sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the US intelligence community. That’s because in one of their conversations during an international summit in Vietnam, Putin denied that Russia interfered in the 2016 
Trump says Putin insulted by US election meddling claimBBC News
Trump Says Putin Again Denied Election Meddling After Meeting at Asia SummitNBCNews.com
Trump, Putin Issue Joint Statement On Defeating ISIS In SyriaNPR
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Trump calls James Comey, former intel colleagues ‘political hacks’ – Washington Examiner

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Trump calls James Comey, former intel colleagues ‘political hacks’
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So, you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have ComeyComey’sproven now to be a liar, and he’s proven to be a leaker. So, you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do …
Trump slams former US intel leaders as ‘political hacks’The Hill
Stephen Miller May Have Some ProblemsTPM (blog)
Trump adviser admits lying to FBI out of loyalty — just as Trump demandsShareblue Mediaall 9 news articles »

What Was Russia’s Role In 2016 US Election? 2 Former KGB Officials Weigh In – NPR

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What Was Russia’s Role In 2016 US Election? 2 Former KGB Officials Weigh In
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Gennady Gudkov, a retired KGB colonel, peered at me across his dark, vaulted office in an old Moscow manor house. “I’m going to tell you something that I’ve never told anyone before,” he said. “About 10 years ago, Russia had the opportunity to and more »
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Trump Says Putin ‘Means It’ About Not Meddling – New York Times

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Trump Says Putin ‘Means It’ About Not Meddling
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DANANG, Vietnam — President Trump said on Saturday that he believed President Vladimir V. Putin was sincere in his denials of interference in the 2016 presidential elections, calling questions about Moscow’s meddling a politically motivated “hit job 
‘He said he didn’t meddle’: Trump talks with Putin about US elections and Syria in brief interactionsWashington Post
Trump says Putin insulted by US election meddling claimBBC News
Trump, Putin Issue Joint Statement On Defeating ISIS In SyriaNPR
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Cambridge Analytica Denies Ties to Russia, Unconvincingly

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There are several channels through which Donald Trump’s campaign apparently cooperated with Russian efforts to help him win the presidency. The first, and best known, is a Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 to pursue Russian promises of providing dirt on Hillary Clinton. A second is Roger Stone, a frequent Trump adviser who had clear advance notice of the publication of stolen emails. A third is Trump himself openly asking Russia to obtain Clinton’s State Department emails. The final channel is the efforts by Cambridge Analytica, the campaign’s data firm. This channel is less well known to the public, in part because reporting about it has been dominated by The Wall Street Journal, and its stories hidden behind a paywall. But Cambridge Analytica’s role has come into much clearer focus.

Two weeks ago, the Journal reported that Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to help him better organize the stolen Democratic emails his site was publishing. On Friday, the Journal found that this contact came as Cambridge Analytica was joining the Trump campaign.

Nix denies the allegation: “We did not work with Russia in this election, and moreover we would never work with a third-party state actor in another country’s campaign.” But Nix also denies Russia had anything to do with the campaign at all. (“On Thursday, Mr. Nix called the notion that Russians “significantly interfered” in the U.S. election “frankly absurd,” the Journal notes.) That second denial, which is silly, saps the other denials of some of their credibility.

Perhaps Cambridge Analytica would defend itself on the grounds that it didn’t know, in June of 2016, that the WikiLeaks emails had been stolen by Russia. But other reporting suggests the firm knew this very well.

During that same time period, Republican operative Peter W. Smith tried to obtain the Clinton State Department emails. In his search for the emails, he said he was working on behalf of Michael Flynn, a Trump campaign adviser. One of the cyberexperts Smith met, a man named Matt Tait, told Smith that his mission would entail trafficking in stolen emails obtained by Russia. Smith made clear this didn’t bother him. “Smith and I talked several times about the DNC hack, and I expressed my view that the hack had likely been orchestrated by Russia and that the Kremlin was using the stolen documents as part of an influence campaign against the United States,” recounted Tait. Despite impressing upon them the ethical and legal dangers of cooperating with a probable Russian intelligence plot, “Smith, however, didn’t seem to care.”

The Journal also reported last summer that American investigators “have examined reports from intelligence agencies that describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary.”

Flynn also worked as a consultant to Cambridge Analytica — a fact he failed to disclose until this last August. We don’t have proof that all these figures were acting together. But it certainly appears that Cambridge Analytica was heavily involved with trying to get Clinton’s stolen emails, and was aware that Russia had engineered their theft, and played an important role facilitating cooperation between Russia and the Trump campaign.

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Joel Willett cia – Google Search

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How to Find a Smoking Gun in the Russia Investigation

Politico1 hour ago
By JOEL WILLETT … Eight years later, the FBI arrested CIA officer Aldrich Ames, who confessed to selling secrets to the Russians beginning in …

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Trump’s intelligence failure | Joel Willett

The Courier-JournalJan 11, 2017
His tweets questioning the conclusions reached by both the CIA and … Joel Willett is a Louisville native who served in the CIA’s Directorate of …

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Ron Paul: CIA May Use ‘False Flag’ To Set Pretext For War In North …

The Liberty ConservativeSep 28, 2017
Former Texas congressman and libertarian icon Ron Paul appeared on his old friend Alex Jones’ radio show this week to discuss crucial …

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Trump Nominates Libertarian Favorite Don Willett To Federal …

The Liberty ConservativeSep 28, 2017
Willett is known as a champion of restraining bureaucracy and interpreting regulations in a limited way. In 2015, he was described by Reason’s …
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How to Find a Smoking Gun in the Russia Investigation

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Forget what Vladimir Putin says—the case that Russia directly coordinated with the Trump campaign to affect the outcome of the 2016 election has grown an order of magnitude stronger since last November. From Jared Kushner’s efforts to establish a covert communication channel with the Kremlin immune from U.S. monitoring, to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the headlines all tell the same story: Numerous campaign and administration officials want to conceal their extensive connections to Russia.

Despite the growing mountain of circumstantial evidence, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees investigating Russian interference recently announced they will end their work by February 2018, with no unified findings on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Mueller is a prosecutor pursuing criminal charges against individuals, not a rapporteur tasked with uncovering a grand conspiracy. It appears that, absent a John Dean-like figure testifying to direct involvement in collusion, some in Congress will continue the refrain, “There’s no smoking gun.”

Story Continued Below

But obtaining testimony from Trump campaign officials is only half of the picture. There are other individuals deep within the Russian intelligence services and in President Putin’s inner circle who would definitively know the answers to questions of collusion. So how can we find these individuals and discover the smoking gun, should one exist? The answer involves an examination of dark days in the history of the FBI and CIA’s struggle against the Soviet Union, and raises important questions about these agencies’ ability to operate free from political pressure from the Trump White House.

***

On August 18, 1986, a payphone rang in a shopping center in Springfield, Virginia. The man answering was Alexander Fefelov, a KGB technical officer assigned to the Soviet Embassy in Washington. The caller was one of the KGB’s most valuable assets in the U.S. government. The KGB referred to him as “B” because they did not know his true identity, though he had been in contact with them since October 1985. For reasons unclear, Fefelov made a fateful decision to record the call that day.

Eight years later, the FBI arrested CIA officer Aldrich Ames, who confessed to selling secrets to the Russians beginning in 1985. Ames’ treason resulted in the deaths of numerous Russians who had cooperated with the U.S. However, both agencies quickly realized that Ames alone could not have been responsible for all of the compromises.

Desperate to find evidence that would identify the remaining mole, both the FBI and CIA agreed to a crude tactic called “cold pitching.” It involved identifying former and current Russian intelligence officers around the world and offering them $1 million to talk. Dozens of Russians were approached and declined to cooperate, but the effort finally paid off when FBI agent Mike Rochford lured a Russian officer to the United States under the guise of a business deal. After two weeks of trying, Rochford convinced the man to help find the mole in exchange for money and resettlement in the United States.

As it turned out, the Russian had access to the entire file on B, and CIA officers quickly devised a plan to smuggle it out of Russia. However, the man missed his planned rendezvous with the CIA. Rochford feared the worst, but the man surfaced in a third country, having successfully exfiltrated himself and the file out of Moscow. The file included every communication B had sent to the Russians. It contained maps of “dead drop” sites, locations where money and documents were exchanged between B and the KGB. There was no name[JW1] , but for the first time, the FBI had direct, non-circumstantial evidence that a second traitor existed.

After consulting with the Russian turncoat, Rochford was instructed to open a specific envelope. Though the KGB never knew B’s name, the envelope nevertheless contained a smoking gun: Fefelov’s 1986 recording. Two FBI employees played the tape and recognized the voice of their colleague, Robert Hanssen. FBI officials were stunned. For months, they had investigated an innocent CIA officer, never suspecting the mole was within their own ranks. They began a three-month period of physical and electronic surveillance of Hanssen, methodically building an ironclad case against him. In February 2001, FBI agents observed him placing classified documents under a footbridge in Foxstone Park in Vienna, Virginia. They arrested him on the spot. Hanssen infamously commented, “What took you so long?”

***

The effort to find a smoking gun on Hanssen consumed 14 years and significant resources. Could a similar effort be successful today? The Manafort indictment shows Mueller’s investigation is doing all it can to gain cooperation from U.S. persons. The CIA must similarly work to entice Russians with information to come forward, exactly as it has done in the past. Such an effort would be exceedingly difficult, as the circle of Russians with knowledge is certainly small and likely not allowed to travel abroad. Success would require support from senior CIA leadership.

It is difficult to imagine CIA director and Trump loyalist Mike Pompeo approving operational activity of this nature that could ultimately implicate his boss. On the contrary, he seems intent on undermining the intelligence community’s conclusions on Russian interference, as evidenced by his recent meeting with a conspiracy theorist who claims Russia didn’t hack the Democratic National Committee’s emails. It is less difficult to imagine President Trump’s infuriated response to learning of the existence of such operations. But most importantly, what Russian source could actually trust that the full weight of the U.S. government is committed to his or her safety?

This last point is worth dwelling on. Last year, shortly after the U.S. intelligence community released its findings, a high-ranking Russian cyber intelligence officer was arrested and accused of cooperating with the CIA. Whether the accusation was true not, Putin made clear the consequences of even being suspected of talking to the CIA about election hacking. And Russian officials undoubtedly got the message.

With Pompeo’s objectivity compromised, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees play an increasingly vital oversight role to ensure our intelligence agencies are operating effectively. While it is not the role of oversight to directly propose or approve operational activity, the committees must ensure that Pompeo doesn’t stand in the way of any CIA operations, like the one that caught Hanssen, that are intended to pursue individuals with intelligence on Russia’s compromise of our election. Additionally, they must ask pointed questions about the agency’s preparedness to deal with an unexpected Russian defector who approaches the CIA with information. What would be the chain of custody for such information? How would the CIA assess the trustworthiness of the source? How would the resulting intelligence be disseminated to Congress? Would the president be briefed? The committees might even consider asking Pompeo to recuse himself from such operational decisions, due to his obvious conflicts.

These questions require answers. Our country was attacked, and there is strong circumstantial evidence that Russia had help within the United States. Neither committee should conclude its investigation until they know that no effort has been spared to find a smoking gun, or can confidently conclude that there isn’t one to find.

Joel Willett served 5 years in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, including a year on the National Security Council at the White House. Prior to the CIA, he served in the U.S. Army and lived and worked in Moscow. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago and is a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council.

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The Latest: NK calls Trump ‘old lunatic,’ ‘warmonger’

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Trump Sides With Putin Over U.S. Intelligence On Election Meddling

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5:29 AM 11/11/2017 – Прошла любовь, завяли помидоры… And how about it?! 

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The Wall Street Journal reports that while Federal Elections Commission records show that Cambridge Analytica was not paid by the Trump campaign until July 29, the company had already sent a small team to work with Trump’s digital operationsstaff in 

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Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 5:54 PM 11/10/2017 A psychiatrist says Trumps mental state is a legitimate inquiry
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Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, in a photo released by the government in August. Credit KCNA, via KNS, via Associated Press Letters: Trump, Kim and the Possibility of War A psychiatrist says Trumps mental state is a legitimate inquiry, and another reader suggests that history will judge him po…
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HOW WILBUR ROSS IS CONNECTED TO THE PARADISE PAPERS

The Paradise Papers reportedly name Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for not disclosing business ties to the Kremlin. Watch the video to find out how and whether or not the Commerce Dept is responding.

In an earlier far more innocent era, my mother told me you will be judged by the friends you keep. For many Americans, this was axiomatic. However, in this cynical era, you are often judged by who you know or who knows you. In some sense, this is a Kafkaesque arrangement where judgments and the assignment of guilt are made without knowledge or forethought.
Take, for example, the stories emanating from revelations of the Paradise Papers. This massive trove of 13.4 million records was founded 100 years ago and operates in various points around the globe managing the assets of very wealthy people. Reflecting millions of loans, financial transactions and e-mails, the data reveal how wealthy individuals manage their portfolios.

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Recently a German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, unraveled the connections indicating how the wealthy sometimes avoid taxes and make business deals.
Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, was caught in the web of these revelations. Despite divesting himself of most business interests when he joined the Trump cabinet, he kept a shipping company, Navigator Holdings, through a chain of companies in the Cayman Islands. Discussing Ross’ Paradise Papers file Jon Swaine of the Guardian noted that Navigator is a company operated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law an allegation that put Ross in the journalistic crosshairs.

The very mention of a transaction in which Russia is included is now branded “collusion.”

Navigator is paid $20 million a year to ship gas out of Russia for a Russian company named Sibur and Sibur is co-owned by Kirill Shamalov, Putin’s son-in-law. Commenting on this matter, Ross said “there is nothing whatsoever improper about Navigator having a relationship with Sibur.” He continued, “The fact that it happens to be called a Russian company does not mean that there’s any evil in it.” That is true on several levels.
This is a third party transaction in which the investor through a holding company joined a deal worth at least $200 a year. Mr. Ross probably knew very little about the transaction and, my guess is, he was unaware of any Russian involvement.
Moreover, the deal does not violate any laws, nor is there any suspicion that is the case. It would appear as if this is a witch hunt in which any reference to Russia is a form of collusion. Clearly this falls into the category of “false news.” But it has even darker implications.
The very mention of a transaction in which Russia is included is now branded “collusion.” You might even describe this phenomenon as contemporary McCarthyism, albeit McCarthy made allegations about those who joined the Communist Party as opposed to present claims that have a gossamer thin relationship to Russian officials.
My guess is these claims aren’t going anywhere, certainly not into the hands of Mr. Mueller, the Special Counsel. But these violations of privacy and reputation should not be overlooked. It is precisely the frivolous investigations of this kind that discourage good people from government service.
The Paradise Papers are certainly not the Pumpkin Papers and, in time, their salacious stories will be replaced. Unfortunately, it will leave in its wake a number of unsubstantiated claims and reputations that have been unfairly besmirched.

Dr. Herb London is president of the London Center for Policy Research and is co-author with Jed Babbin of “The BDS War Against Israel.”

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Saved Stories – None: What to Make of the Latest Story About Flynn and Gulen?
The Wall Street Journal has another major story today regarding disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Reportedly, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating allegations that both Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., plotted to either kidnap and render Turkish clerk Fethullah Gulen to Turkey or to use Flynns influence as National Security Advisor to effectuate his extraditionall in exchange for up to $15 million.
Its a very big story, one that casts the larger Flynn investigation in an altogether different, and more menacing, light, and one that also potentially casts the obstruction of justice investigation of President Donald Trump in a different light. Today, we put together a Special Edition of the Lawfare Podcast on the subject, featuring Shane Harris (one of the Journal reporters who broke the story), Turkey expert Ryan Evans, editor of War on Rocks, and Lawfare contributors Steve Vladeck and Paul Rosenzweig.

In this post, we try to unpack some of the storys legal and political significance for Lawfare readers.

First, while stunning, this allegation is not entirely new. The Wall Street Journal and other outlets have previously reported on a September meeting between Flynn and Turkish officials in which they discussed possibilities for removing Flynn from the United States. Former CIA Director James Woolsey attended that meeting and was so disturbed by what he heard that he contacted then-Vice President Joe Biden through an intermediary to report the matter. Woosley has made some public statements about the episode.
The Journals latest story however adds three crucial new pieces:
  • First, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the matter as part of his larger probe into Trump associates and Russian election interference;
  • Second, that a second meeting occurred in December, following the election and after Flynn had been named National Security Advisor designate to the Trump administration, at which planning continued; and
  • Third, that this December meeting apparently focused on a more developed plan than what was discussed in September, including discussions of the possibility of transporting Mr. Gulen by private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali and a proposal to pay Flynn and his son up to $15 million for successfully delivering Gulen by one means or another.
In other words, the import of the new Wall Street Journal story is the news that the special counsel is investigating whether, during the presidential transition, the incoming national security advisorwhile acting as unregistered agent of a foreign governmentwas also plotting a kidnapping on behalf of that foreign power.
What does it all mean?
There have been media reports over the past several weeks regarding possible indictments against Michael Flynn and his son. NBC recently reported that Muellers team believe it has enough evidence against the pair to seek an indictment. And sources familiar with the Flynn family have revealed that both the elder Flynn and his wife are especially worried about the possibility of their son facing serious legal jeopardy. Both the fact that a public indictment has not yet materialized and Flynns concern for his son have lead to speculation that he might choose to cooperate with Muellers investigation in exchange for a dealor, in the alternative, that the Mueller camp is busily pressuring him now to do so.
Previously, most analysts seemed to be assuming that possible indictments for Flynn would relate to his failure to disclose income and information on his security clearance forms and elsewhere as required, possible false statements to investigators, and for failure to register as a foreign agent as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Those are all serious matters on their own. But the latest allegations open up a whole new ballpark of possibilities.
The Journal story is ambiguous as to what the plot actually was and the manner and time in which it might be executed. On the one hand, discussion of putting someone on a private jet in exchange for $15 million would indicate the Flynns were not discussing using legal processes here. There is a word in the English language lexicon for forcibly putting someone on a plane against his will outside of the legal systems that allow compulsion and seizure of persons: The word is kidnapping and it is an extremely serious offense.
The federal kidnapping statute is at 18 USC 1201 and the laws of Pennsylvaniawhere Gulen liveswould presumably have something to say about aspects of the plot (assuming the facts as reported by the Journal are true) as well. Flynn was a private individuala campaign advisorat the September meeting, and in the transition period during which the December meeting took place, he was a designated government official who had not yet assumed office. When government officials act or conspire to transfer someone, against their will and not pursuant to regular legal process, to a foreign jurisdiction, that is often described as extraordinary rendition. Prior administrations have acknowledged the use of the practice with respect to foreigners captured overseas. Even then, it is extremely controversial. As applied to a domestic person outside of traditional legal processes, it is simply criminalunder all imaginable circumstances. Plotting to do it, is a conspiracy to kidnap.
The Journal is, as we say, ambiguous about means. In some passages, it suggests a kidnapping; in others, it suggests that Flynn would use his position as national security advisor to return Gulen by legal means. The U.S. and Turkey do have an extradition treaty. The Department of Justice has so far rebuffed Turkish extradition requests related to their claims that Gulen is the mastermind behind a 2015 failed coup attempt. But perhaps Flynn only agreed that he would use his influence to mount pressure on the Justice Department to use legal methods. And perhaps Flynn might argue that he was doing the President-elects bidding, attempting to reset relations with Turkey by removing a major irritant in those relations.
That answer might get Flynn out of some legal hot water, but unless the facts in the Journal story dont pan out, there are still big problems. For one thing, theres still the allegation about money. Its no more legal to take $15 million to use your influence as national security advisor to bring about an outcome than it is to kidnap someone.
Moreover, this version of the story would actually raise troubling issues about political influence on law enforcement. While the United States and Turkey do have an extradition treaty, the extradition process is designed to insulate against politically motivated decision-making as to peoples fatesprecisely what appears to have been contemplated here. Career DOJ officials, not the national security advisor, determine whether a requesting country has satisfied the terms of the treaty and provided a sufficient evidentiary basis to proceed with the request. That is especially important in situations like this one, where there is strong suspicion that the charges against Gulen are politically-motivated and that he will not be afforded protections of due process if returned to Turkey. If Flynn planned to subvert or improperly influence the extradition process for political aims, much less for money, that is a serious problem in and of itself.
The timing of the December meeting may also raise new questions related to Flynns status as a foreign agent under FARA. As Steve Vladeck writes on Just Security:
18 U.S.C. § 219, goes one important step further [than the rest of FARA], making it a crime for any individual who is an officer or employee or person acting for or on behalf of the United States, or any department, agency, or branch of Government thereof, including the District of Columbia, in any official function, to be or to act as an agent of a foreign principal under FARA.
In other words, for a private citizen, FARAs entire impact is in requiring disclosure. But for public officials, § 219 actually prohibits such individuals from acting as foreign agents. Thus, whereas a private citizen need only apprise the Justice Department if they are receiving funds from foreign principals to influence U.S. policy, public officials may not receive such funds, periodand face felony charges if they do. (N.B.: Theres an interesting question about whether transition officials might qualify as public officials for purposes of § 219. Im skeptical, but at least in Flynns case, theres still the issue of whether he was continuing to serve as an agent of a foreign power on and after January 20, when he became the National Security Advisor.)
Flynn would be barred from continuing to act as a foreign agent after January 20, when he took office, and that offense (a felony) would not be able to be remediedas Flynn has sought to do previouslywith retroactive filings.
Finally, theres the matter of what all of this means for President Trump, who famously asked then-FBI Director James Comey to back off of the Flynn investigation in the period before he then fired Comey. This request has always represented a grave matter, particularly in the context of President Trumps larger set of interactions with law enforcement over time. It was, after all, a profound violation of the principle that the President does not direct law enforcement on investigative matters. It is, however, a far graver matter to the extent the investigation of Flynn involved potentially violent felonies. If Flynn is really suspected of involvement in a kidnapping plot, the question of what the President knew and when he knew it goes from being merely important to being acutely crucial.
The public needs to know what precisely President Trump was asking his FBI director when he said to him: I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.

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Saved Stories – None: RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …

RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …: Russian Intelligence Service fire: Blaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News | Express.co.uk Thursday November 9 th , 2017  at  …

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Saved Stories – None: RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …

RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …: Russian Intelligence Service fire: Blaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News | Express.co.uk Thursday November 9 th , 2017  at  …

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: As the Russiagate Investigation Builds Momentum, Trumps Allies Attack the CIA
mikenova shared this story from The Nation.

Carter Page, a foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, speaks with reporters after a day of questions from the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, November 2, 2017. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)
The Russiagate news has sharply accelerated over the past two weeks: the indictments of two senior Trump campaign officials, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates; the guilty plea from George Papadopoulos about his multiple campaign contacts with Russian officials and intermediaries, including those who told him they possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails,” before news of the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee was made public; the rumors that next to be indicted by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russiagate, will be General Michael Flynn, and perhaps his son, too; the avalanche of news about Russian bots and trolls using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to exacerbate political divisions in 2016 and to support the election of Donald Trump, including the creation of numerous fake personalities; and, of course, the bob-and-weave testimony of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign policy aide, about his pattern of Russian contacts in 2016, delivered to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).
And there’s a lot more to come, including—according to The Wall Street Journal—the likely criminal indictment of at least six Russian officials for their role in the 2016 cyberattacks. In response, Trump, Page, and Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo are escalating their attacks on the CIA and its intelligence-community partners.
Page’s testimony, all 200-plus pages of it, is popcorn-worthy entertainment, with him denying, obfuscating, and prevaricating under intense questioning from both Republicans and Democrats on the HPSCI. For instance, there’s an exchange between Page and ranking Democrat Adam Schiff over Page’s exasperating assertion that he’s claiming his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination while, at the same time, announcing that he’s willing to turn over to the committee certain documents and e-mails, but not others (see pages 26-29 of the transcript). At one point, Schiff asks, “Dr. Page, is it your position that you have a Fifth Amendment right to provide nonincriminating emails or documents to the committee but withhold incriminating documents from the committee and selectively comply with the subpoena?”
What Page is apparently worried about is that, for years, the US intelligence community has been watching him and, no doubt, intercepting his e-mails, phone calls, and other communications, and that recorded transcripts and copies of all of those are in the HPSCI’s (and Mueller’s) files. As early as 2013, Page came to the attention of US authorities because of his contacts with suspected Russian spies, who apparently were seeking to recruit him. In 2016, during the campaign, Page was secretly monitored by US intel over renewed contacts with Russians while he was serving on Trump’s foreign-policy team. In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court–ordered wiretap against Page in 2016 “based on evidence that he was operating as a Russian agent.” Among his contacts then were a range of leading Russian officials, including top executives of Gazprom, for whom Page was both an adviser and investor. In September 2016, Harry Reid, then the Senate minority leader, wrote to then-FBI Director James Comey about Page’s alleged contacts with “high-ranking sanctioned [Russian] individuals,” part of what Reid—who’d been briefed on what the intelligence community was learning—called evidence of “significant and disturbing ties” between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, according to Yahoo News.
No wonder, then, that Page, echoing Donald Trump, is on the warpath against the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and other elements of the US intelligence community. (Those three agencies concurred, in January 2017, that the Russian government, under the direct supervision of Vladimir Putin, hacked into the DNC system and released its contents to WikiLeaks and other outlets in order to tilt the election in Trump’s favor.) In his rambling, often confusing testimony to the HPSCI, and in letters to the committee that he released, Page bitterly denounced his accusers, including the HPSCI, the FBI, and the media, for “civil rights abuses” and “an ongoing witch hunt,” part of what he called “an intensive domestic political surveillance operation… initiated on behalf of the Clinton/Obama regime.”
Yet Page—who may or may not decide to cooperate with Mueller, and in fact may already be doing so—explicitly stated the reason that he’s willing to provide some documents to the House committee but not others: because, he said, he’s concerned that some of the information he might be forced to turn over will in some way contradict what Mueller and the congressional intelligence committees already know, from having looked at the transcripts and copies of his phone calls, texts, and e-mails. The information that he might provide “cannot be as comprehensive as the information that was already illegally collected against me,” he told the HPSCI, and he said he’s worried that some of it might not “match up.” As he put it, “The National Security Agency, CIA, and FBI have infinitely greater data processing capabilities than I do.”
Page’s, and Trump’s, attacks on the CIA et al. might be intended to provide cover, at least as far as the public is concerned, for Page’s overt and covert contacts with leading Russian officials. In his testimony, Page revealed that he did, in fact, meet with Russia’s deputy prime minister—though, earlier, appearing on Chris Hayes’s MSNBC program, Page said his contacts with Russians were limited to “man in the street”-type interactions. At one point in during Page’s testimony, Schiff read to him the text of an e-mail that Page had sent to two Trump campaign officials on July 8, 2016. It read: “I’ll send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I’ve received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the presidential administration here.” Yet under repeated questioning, Page stuck to his story about man-in-the-street contacts and a very brief, “five second” interaction with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
By attacking the CIA—which Trump once compared to Nazi Germany, during the campaign—Page may be getting some help from the CIA itself, at least from its Trump-appointed director, Mike Pompeo. In a major exposé broken by The Intercept, reporters Duncan Campbell and James Risen—the latter a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter formerly with The New York Times and Los Angeles Times—revealed that Pompeo recently met with former high-level NSA official William Binney to discuss Binney’s widely discredited theory that the DNC wasn’t hacked at all and that the WikiLeaks-published e-mails resulted from an internal leak. According to Binney, the meeting with Pompeo came about because Trump himself told Pompeo to meet with him. (Pompeo began the meeting by saying, “The president told me I should talk to you.”) “This is crazy,” a former CIA official told The Intercept. “You’ve got all these intelligence agencies saying the Russians did the hack. To deny that is like coming out with the theory that the Japanese didn’t bomb Pearl Harbor.” CNN, which also reported the Pompeo-Binney meeting, called Binney the purveyor of a “conspiracy theory.”
Unfortunately, that exact “conspiracy theory” was circulated via The Nation this past summer in a widely criticized story by Patrick Lawrence, who cited a memo published by Binney and some of his associates at an outfit called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. In that piece, Lawrence uncritically transmitted the VIPS memo’s claim that the DNC affair was “an inside job” by a DNC official, and not the work of the Russians. (Many Nation contributors, as well as a dissident group within VIPS itself and a fact-checker and outside security expert hired by The Nation, challenged Lawrence’s claims. An editor’s note by Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel, attached to the Lawrence article after it was published, concluded: “As part of the editing process, however, we should have made certain that several of the article’s conclusions were presented as possibilities, not as certainties.”)
So far, Pompeo hasn’t officially challenged the CIA’s conclusions about the 2016 hack attack. “The Director stands by, and has always stood by, the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment,” a CIA spokesman told The Intercept. But Pompeo strayed off the straight and narrow at least once. A few weeks ago, he made this statement: “The intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.” In fact, however, the community made no such conclusion, opting in its January 2017 report not to conclude anything at all, one way or the other, about whether Russia’s actions affected the election’s outcome. Noting that making a political calculation along those lines was beyond its scope, the Intelligence Community Assessment concluded, “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.” So Pompeo’s statement was flat-out wrong—and worrisome.
Meanwhile, a little-noticed but important story in The Wall Street Journal last week reported that the Justice Department is pretty well convinced, to say the least, that the Russians did it. Reports the Journal: “The Justice Department has identified more than six members of the Russian government involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee’s computers and swiping sensitive information that became public during the 2016 presidential election, according to people familiar with the investigation. Prosecutors and agents have assembled evidence to charge the Russian officials and could bring a case next year, these people said.”
Stay tuned. It now appears that Manafort, Gates, and Papadopoulos are not the only ones who will face charges in the Russiagate affair.

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Trump, Kim and the Possibility of War


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4:27 AM 11/11/2017 – “He listens…” Or so it seems… – Putin, Trump approve joint statement on Syria-Kremlin – Reuters | Opinion: For Putin, the optics of not meeting Trump are bad – PBS NewsHour | Trump and Putin ‘agree to defeat IS in Syria’ – BBC News

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В кулуарах 25-го саммита форума «Азиатско-тихоокеанское экономическое сотрудничество». С Президентом США Дональдом Трампом.

В кулуарах 25-го саммита форума «Азиатско-тихоокеанское экономическое сотрудничество». С Президентом США Дональдом Трампом.

“He listens…” Or so it seems…

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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shake hands at Apec video – The Guardian
Duterte, Putin, Trump in one room at APEC Leaders’ meet in Vietnam – GMA News
Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit – ABC News
Trump digital operations – Google News: Right as it joined the Trump campaign, this data firm reportedly contacted WikiLeaks – The Week Magazine
What to Make of the Latest Story About Flynn and Gulen?
RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …
RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …
Putin Trump – Google News: All eyes on Trump and Putin attending Vietnam summit – USA TODAY
Donald Trump – Google News: What a Russian’s offer of women for Trump may tell us – CNN
trump russian money – Google News: Talking tough on trade, Trump pushes ‘America first’ in Asia – Bloomington Pantagraph
As the Russiagate Investigation Builds Momentum, Trump’s Allies Attack the CIA – The Nation.
3:42 PM 11/10/2017 The two leaders met at a summit in Vietnam looking and acting like twins
Putin Trump – Google News: Former FBI counter-spy on Mueller, Trump and Putin: Russia is winning – Salon
Donald Trump – Google News: Could Russian trolls have helped elect Donald Trump? – Washington Post
Putin Trump – Google News: Nothing ‘substantive’ to talk about? Tillerson questions grounds for Putin-Trump meeting – RT
Putin Trump – Google News: Donald Trump and Vladamir Putin shake hands at Apec video – The Guardian
Mike Flynn – Google News: Mueller Probing Pre-Election Flynn Meeting With Pro-Russia Congressman – NBCNews.com
Mike Flynn – Google News: First Read’s Morning Clips: Are Charges Coming Soon for Michael Flynn? – NBCNews.com
Mike Flynn – Google News: Why the White House Dreads a Flynn Indictment – The Atlantic – The Atlantic
Mike Flynn – Google News: Mueller reportedly has enough evidence to indict Michael Flynn and his son – SFGate
Mike Flynn – Google News: Flynn’s indictment could seal Mueller’s obstruction-of-justice case against Trump – Business Insider
Mike Flynn – Google News: Michael Flynn worried about son’s legal exposure in special counsel’s Russia probe – New York Daily News

 

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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shake hands at Apec video – The Guardian
 


The Guardian
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shake hands at Apec video
The Guardian
US and Russian presidents greet each other at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit dinner in Vietnam on Friday, though the White House said there would be no formal meeting. Trump and Putin smiled and stood next to each other for the …
Opinion: For Putin, the optics of not meeting Trump are bad – PBS NewsHour
 


PBS NewsHour
Opinion: For Putin, the optics of not meeting Trump are bad
PBS NewsHour
The whole debate about whether President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin were going to have a formal meeting, or what they call in summit speak a pull aside, is a little like a teenage conversation about whether boy X and girl Y are going
TrumpPutin may meet privately Friday on the sidelines of APEC summitABC News
TrumpPutin meeting thrown in doubtNew York Post
TrumpPutin Will Not Have Formal Meeting in VietnamNBCNews.com
CBS News –Newsweek –New York Magazine
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Duterte, Putin, Trump in one room at APEC Leaders’ meet in Vietnam – GMA News
 


GMA News
Duterte, Putin, Trump in one room at APEC Leaders’ meet in Vietnam
GMA News
President Rodrigo Duterte, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and US President Donald Trump were gathered in one room at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam on Saturday morning. A photo shared on Twitter by …and more »
Putin, Trump approve joint statement on Syria-Kremlin – Reuters
 


Reuters
Putin, Trump approve joint statement on Syria-Kremlin
Reuters
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump approved a joint statement on Syria after a brief contact at the APEC summit in Vietnam, Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying …
TrumpPutin chat during economic summitDayton Daily Newsall 793 news articles »
Trump and Putin ‘agree to defeat IS in Syria’ – BBC News
 


BBC News
Trump and Putin ‘agree to defeat IS in Syria’
BBC News
US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed to defeat so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria, the Kremlin says. It said a statement was prepared by experts after they met briefly on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific 
TrumpPutin agree on defeating Islamic State in Syria, Kremlin saysUSA TODAY
TrumpPutin reportedly agree to defeat ISIS in SyriaFox News
PutinTrump agree to fighting IS in Syria, Kremlin saysReuters
Washington Post –Business Insider –Bloomberg
all 258 news articles »
Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit – ABC News
 

Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit
ABC News
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Vietnam Saturday, according to the White House. During the brief meeting, which lasted less than five minutes, …and more »
Trump digital operations – Google News: Right as it joined the Trump campaign, this data firm reportedly contacted WikiLeaks – The Week Magazine
 

Right as it joined the Trump campaign, this data firm reportedly contacted WikiLeaks
The Week Magazine
The Wall Street Journal reports that while Federal Elections Commission records show that Cambridge Analytica was not paid by the Trump campaign until July 29, the company had already sent a small team to work with Trump’s digital operationsstaff in 

 Trump digital operations – Google News

What to Make of the Latest Story About Flynn and Gulen?
 

The Wall Street Journal has another major story today regarding disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Reportedly, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating allegations that both Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., plotted to either kidnap and render Turkish clerk Fethullah Gulen to Turkey or to use Flynns influence as National Security Advisor to effectuate his extraditionall in exchange for up to $15 million.

Its a very big story, one that casts the larger Flynn investigation in an altogether different, and more menacing, light, and one that also potentially casts the obstruction of justice investigation of President Donald Trump in a different light. Today, we put together a Special Edition of the Lawfare Podcast on the subject, featuring Shane Harris (one of the Journal reporters who broke the story), Turkey expert Ryan Evans, editor of War on Rocks, and Lawfare contributors Steve Vladeck and Paul Rosenzweig.

In this post, we try to unpack some of the storys legal and political significance for Lawfare readers.

First, while stunning, this allegation is not entirely new. The Wall Street Journal and other outlets have previously reported on a September meeting between Flynn and Turkish officials in which they discussed possibilities for removing Flynn from the United States. Former CIA Director James Woolsey attended that meeting and was so disturbed by what he heard that he contacted then-Vice President Joe Biden through an intermediary to report the matter. Woosley has made some public statements about the episode.

The Journals latest story however adds three crucial new pieces:

  • First, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the matter as part of his larger probe into Trump associates and Russian election interference;

  • Second, that a second meeting occurred in December, following the election and after Flynn had been named National Security Advisor designate to the Trump administration, at which planning continued; and

  • Third, that this December meeting apparently focused on a more developed plan than what was discussed in September, including discussions of the possibility of transporting Mr. Gulen by private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali and a proposal to pay Flynn and his son up to $15 million for successfully delivering Gulen by one means or another.

In other words, the import of the new Wall Street Journal story is the news that the special counsel is investigating whether, during the presidential transition, the incoming national security advisorwhile acting as unregistered agent of a foreign governmentwas also plotting a kidnapping on behalf of that foreign power.

What does it all mean?

There have been media reports over the past several weeks regarding possible indictments against Michael Flynn and his son. NBC recently reported that Muellers team believe it has enough evidence against the pair to seek an indictment. And sources familiar with the Flynn family have revealed that both the elder Flynn and his wife are especially worried about the possibility of their son facing serious legal jeopardy. Both the fact that a public indictment has not yet materialized and Flynns concern for his son have lead to speculation that he might choose to cooperate with Muellers investigation in exchange for a dealor, in the alternative, that the Mueller camp is busily pressuring him now to do so.

Previously, most analysts seemed to be assuming that possible indictments for Flynn would relate to his failure to disclose income and information on his security clearance forms and elsewhere as required, possible false statements to investigators, and for failure to register as a foreign agent as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Those are all serious matters on their own. But the latest allegations open up a whole new ballpark of possibilities.

The Journal story is ambiguous as to what the plot actually was and the manner and time in which it might be executed. On the one hand, discussion of putting someone on a private jet in exchange for $15 million would indicate the Flynns were not discussing using legal processes here. There is a word in the English language lexicon for forcibly putting someone on a plane against his will outside of the legal systems that allow compulsion and seizure of persons: The word is kidnapping and it is an extremely serious offense.

The federal kidnapping statute is at 18 USC 1201 and the laws of Pennsylvaniawhere Gulen liveswould presumably have something to say about aspects of the plot (assuming the facts as reported by the Journal are true) as well. Flynn was a private individuala campaign advisorat the September meeting, and in the transition period during which the December meeting took place, he was a designated government official who had not yet assumed office. When government officials act or conspire to transfer someone, against their will and not pursuant to regular legal process, to a foreign jurisdiction, that is often described as extraordinary rendition. Prior administrations have acknowledged the use of the practice with respect to foreigners captured overseas. Even then, it is extremely controversial. As applied to a domestic person outside of traditional legal processes, it is simply criminalunder all imaginable circumstances. Plotting to do it, is a conspiracy to kidnap.

The Journal is, as we say, ambiguous about means. In some passages, it suggests a kidnapping; in others, it suggests that Flynn would use his position as national security advisor to return Gulen by legal means. The U.S. and Turkey do have an extradition treaty. The Department of Justice has so far rebuffed Turkish extradition requests related to their claims that Gulen is the mastermind behind a 2015 failed coup attempt. But perhaps Flynn only agreed that he would use his influence to mount pressure on the Justice Department to use legal methods. And perhaps Flynn might argue that he was doing the President-elects bidding, attempting to reset relations with Turkey by removing a major irritant in those relations.

That answer might get Flynn out of some legal hot water, but unless the facts in the Journal story dont pan out, there are still big problems. For one thing, theres still the allegation about money. Its no more legal to take $15 million to use your influence as national security advisor to bring about an outcome than it is to kidnap someone.

Moreover, this version of the story would actually raise troubling issues about political influence on law enforcement. While the United States and Turkey do have an extradition treaty, the extradition process is designed to insulate against politically motivated decision-making as to peoples fatesprecisely what appears to have been contemplated here. Career DOJ officials, not the national security advisor, determine whether a requesting country has satisfied the terms of the treaty and provided a sufficient evidentiary basis to proceed with the request. That is especially important in situations like this one, where there is strong suspicion that the charges against Gulen are politically-motivated and that he will not be afforded protections of due process if returned to Turkey. If Flynn planned to subvert or improperly influence the extradition process for political aims, much less for money, that is a serious problem in and of itself.

The timing of the December meeting may also raise new questions related to Flynns status as a foreign agent under FARA. As Steve Vladeck writes on Just Security:

18 U.S.C. § 219, goes one important step further [than the rest of FARA], making it a crime for any individual who is an officer or employee or person acting for or on behalf of the United States, or any department, agency, or branch of Government thereof, including the District of Columbia, in any official function, to be or to act as an agent of a foreign principal under FARA.

In other words, for a private citizen, FARAs entire impact is in requiring disclosure. But for public officials, § 219 actually prohibits such individuals from acting as foreign agents. Thus, whereas a private citizen need only apprise the Justice Department if they are receiving funds from foreign principals to influence U.S. policy, public officials may not receive such funds, periodand face felony charges if they do. (N.B.: Theres an interesting question about whether transition officials might qualify as public officials for purposes of § 219. Im skeptical, but at least in Flynns case, theres still the issue of whether he was continuing to serve as an agent of a foreign power on and after January 20, when he became the National Security Advisor.)

Flynn would be barred from continuing to act as a foreign agent after January 20, when he took office, and that offense (a felony) would not be able to be remediedas Flynn has sought to do previouslywith retroactive filings.

Finally, theres the matter of what all of this means for President Trump, who famously asked then-FBI Director James Comey to back off of the Flynn investigation in the period before he then fired Comey. This request has always represented a grave matter, particularly in the context of President Trumps larger set of interactions with law enforcement over time. It was, after all, a profound violation of the principle that the President does not direct law enforcement on investigative matters. It is, however, a far graver matter to the extent the investigation of Flynn involved potentially violent felonies. If Flynn is really suspected of involvement in a kidnapping plot, the question of what the President knew and when he knew it goes from being merely important to being acutely crucial.

The public needs to know what precisely President Trump was asking his FBI director when he said to him: I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.

RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …

RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …: Russian Intelligence Service fire: Blaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News | Express.co.uk Thursday November 9 th , 2017  at  …

RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …

RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: 1:33 PM 11/10/2017 – Russian Intelligence Service …: Russian Intelligence Service fire: Blaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News | Express.co.uk Thursday November 9 th , 2017  at  …

Putin Trump – Google News: All eyes on Trump and Putin attending Vietnam summit – USA TODAY
 


USA TODAY
All eyes on Trump and Putin attending Vietnam summit
USA TODAY
When President Trump likely meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Vietnam, all eyes will be on how they interact and whether they can agree on contentious issues. Trump and Putin could meet Friday or Saturday in Da Nang on the … 
Prospect of TrumpPutin meeting hangs over Asia-Pacific summitCNN

TrumpPutin meeting thrown in doubtNew York Post
TrumpPutin Meeting Likely at APEC Summit, but US Officials Urge CautionVoice of America 
Telegraph.co.ukNewsweekCNBC
all 217 
Will Trump Snub Putin? US Less Convinced About Meeting Than MoscowNewsweek
Telegraph.co.ukCNBCRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
all 202
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 Putin Trump – Google News

Donald Trump – Google News: What a Russian’s offer of women for Trump may tell us – CNN
 


CNN
What a Russian’s offer of women for Trump may tell us
CNN
The Agalarov family also has some relationship with the Trumps; it was the Agalarovs who reportedly requested the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in which Donald Trump Jr. was told he would be receiving negative information on Hillary Clinton. Third …
Ex-Trump bodyguard told investigators he rejected offer to send women to Trump in Moscow: SourcesABC News
Donald Trump had White House staff recreate McDonald’s, but it wasn’t a happy mealNew York Daily News
Donald Trump was ‘offered five women’ in Russian hotel roomThe Independent
Telegraph.co.uk
all 71 news articles »

 Donald Trump – Google News

trump russian money – Google News: Talking tough on trade, Trump pushes ‘America first’ in Asia – Bloomington Pantagraph
 


Bloomington Pantagraph
Talking tough on trade, Trump pushes ‘America first’ in Asia
Bloomington Pantagraph
Behind the scenes, White House officials quietly negotiated with the Kremlin over whether Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin would hold a formal meeting on the sidelines in Danang, with the Russians raising expectations for such a session.and more »

 trump russian money – Google News

As the Russiagate Investigation Builds Momentum, Trump’s Allies Attack the CIA – The Nation.
 


The Nation.
As the Russiagate Investigation Builds Momentum, Trump’s Allies Attack the CIA
The Nation.
Carter Page, a foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, speaks with reporters after a day of questions from the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, November 2, 2017. … the special counsel investigatingRussiagate and more »
3:42 PM 11/10/2017 The two leaders met at a summit in Vietnam looking and acting like twins

Nothing creepy at all. Source: Theres nothing creepy about Trump and Putin in matching outfits | Metro News  There’s nothing creepy about Trump and Putin in matching outfits | Metro News Friday November 10th, 2017 at 3:36 PM Comments On: Theres Nothing Creepy About Trump And Putin In Matching Outfits 1 Share Okay so we can all agree … Continue reading“3:42 PM 11/10/2017 – The two leaders met at a summit in Vietnam looking and acting like twins”
Putin Trump – Google News: Former FBI counter-spy on Mueller, Trump and Putin: Russia is winning – Salon
 


Salon
Former FBI counter-spy on Mueller, Trump and Putin: Russia is winning
Salon
… what Putin hoped to gain by interfering in the 2016 American presidential election? Was Papadopoulos “flipped” by the Russians to work against the United States? Do we now have evidence that the Russians infiltrated Trump’s inner circle accomplished?and more »

 Putin Trump – Google News

Donald Trump – Google News: Could Russian trolls have helped elect Donald Trump? – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Could Russian trolls have helped elect Donald Trump?
Washington Post
In November 2016, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the idea that the social network’s content influenced the outcome of the 2016 election on two grounds: Voters make decisions based on their lived experience and fake news on …and more »

 Donald Trump – Google News

Putin Trump – Google News: Nothing ‘substantive’ to talk about? Tillerson questions grounds for Putin-Trump meeting – RT
 


RT
Nothing ‘substantive’ to talk about? Tillerson questions grounds for Putin-Trump meeting
RT
Putin and Trump are taking part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) international summit, hosted by Vietnam on November 10-11. The Kremlin and the White House sent conflicting reports on a possible meeting between the two leaders, before …and more »

 Putin Trump – Google News

Putin Trump – Google News: Donald Trump and Vladamir Putin shake hands at Apec video – The Guardian
 


The Guardian
Donald Trump and Vladamir Putin shake hands at Apec video
The Guardian 
US and Russian presidents greet each other
 
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shake hands
 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit dinner in Vietnam on Friday, though the White House said there would be no formal meeting. Trump and Putin smiled and stood next to each other for the …

 Putin Trump – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: Mueller Probing Pre-Election Flynn Meeting With Pro-Russia Congressman – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
Mueller Probing Pre-Election Flynn Meeting With Pro-Russia Congressman
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON Investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller are questioning witnesses about an alleged September 2016 meeting between Mike Flynn, who later briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, and Rep.
WSJ: Mueller probes Flynn role in plot to deliver cleric to TurkeyCNN
Special counsel’s interest in Mike Flynn comes into sharper focusMSNBC
Bob Mueller Seems to Be Closing in on Mike Flynnand the Indictments Could Be ExplosiveNew York Magazine
Bloomberg –Washington Examiner –NBCNews.com –Wall Street Journal
all 81 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: First Read’s Morning Clips: Are Charges Coming Soon for Michael Flynn? – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
First Read’s Morning Clips: Are Charges Coming Soon for Michael Flynn?
NBCNews.com
Mueller is applying renewed pressure on Flynn following his indictment of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, three sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News. The investigators are speaking to multiple witnesses in coming days to gain …
Mueller’s Michael Flynn Investigation Is Heating UpThe Daily Caller
Flynn Investigation Part of ‘Great Sleight of Hand’ That is Russia GateSputnik Internationalall 178 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: Why the White House Dreads a Flynn Indictment – The Atlantic – The Atlantic
 


The Atlantic
Why the White House Dreads a Flynn Indictment – The Atlantic
The Atlantic
Unlike the Paul Manafort case, charges against
 

The Atlantic
In the indictments sweepstakes ahead of last week’s first moves by special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Paul Manafort was the odds-on favorite, but Michael Flynn,
 the former national-security adviser would touch the White House itself and could ensnare the president.
Muftic: Did Trump’s associates with Russian connections shape his foreign policy?Sky Hi News
 adviser, was a good bet too. Monday, and the rest 
Trump-Russia investigation: FBI ‘has enough evidence’ to bring charges in Flynn probeThe Independent

A Timeline of the Trump-Russia ScandalRollingStone.com
Trump World’s dishonesty about its Russia contacts mattersMSNBC 
Malay Mail OnlineBloomberg
all 665 
TPM (blog)The Times of Israel
all 291
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 Mike Flynn – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: Mueller reportedly has enough evidence to indict Michael Flynn and his son – SFGate
 


SFGate
Mueller reportedly has enough evidence to indict Michael Flynn and his son
SFGate
FILE PHOTO: Then White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn walks down the White House Thomson Reuters. Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly has enough evidence to bring charges against Michael Flynn and his son related to their …

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: Flynn’s indictment could seal Mueller’s obstruction-of-justice case against Trump – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
Flynn’s indictment could seal Mueller’s obstruction-of-justice case against Trump
Business Insider
Revelations on Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller has gathered enough evidence to indict former national security adviser Michael Flynn could bolster the obstruction-of-justice case Mueller is reportedly building against President Donald Trump, …
Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn …NBCNews.com 
Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Charge Mike Flynn, Trump’s …HuffPost

Why the White House Dreads a Flynn Indictment – The AtlanticThe Atlantic 
CNBC
 
Robert Mueller has enough evidence to bring charges in Michael Flynn probe: NBC NewsCNBC
 NewsdayWashington Examiner
 
all 187
 
The Guardian
all 175 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: Michael Flynn worried about son’s legal exposure in special counsel’s Russia probe – New York Daily News
 


New York Daily News
Michael Flynn worried about son’s legal exposure in special counsel’s Russia probe
New York Daily News
Disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn is concerned about his son’s legal exposure in the special counsel’s investigation looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to a report Wednesday. Flynn’s worries could play
Flynn worried about son in Russia probe: CNNThe Hill
Michael Flynn is reportedly worried his son could get wrapped up in the Russia investigationBusiness Insider
CNN: Michael Flynn ‘Concerned’ About Son in Russia ProbeNewsmaxall 7 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News


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12:47 PM 11/10/2017 – RECENT POSTS: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? Answer: Because sometimes the “F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun” – FBI News Review 

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Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и специальный представитель Президента по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов перед началом совещания с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.
Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и специальный представитель Президента по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов перед началом совещания с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.

11.10.17

M.N. I guess, now we can understand why we have all these problems with the counterterrorism and the counterintelligence. It is easy to see them, and it is easy to exploit these problems, too, for the adversaries. 

M.N. I guess, now we can understand why we have all these problems with the counterterrorism and the counterintelligence. It is easy to see them, and it is easy to exploit these problems, too, for the adversaries. 

FBI counterterror chief, reportedly drunk, loses weapon

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Robert Manson, a supervisor in the FBI’s counterterrorism division, got drunk — allegedly — during a party with exotic dancers, better known as strippers, at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, went to bed, woke up and found his service weapon missing.

This isn’t just embarrassing. It’s downright dangerous to innocent American citizens.

Cut to video, “When FBI Guys Go Crazy.” The subtitle? “FBI Follies: Following in the Footsteps of the Secret Service.”

Seriously. Could we please keep the federal law enforcement weapons out of the hands of strippers? Seems a simple request.

Here’s how the New York Times reports the story: “Manson, a unit chief in the F.B.I.’s international terrorism section, had his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 cash stolen from his room at the Westin hotel in Charlotte. … Manson and other senior agents were in Charlotte for training … The agents later told the police that they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers.”

Nice.

What a red-faced moment for the agency. To say the least.

Police officers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were called to investigate the thefts, during which they ascertained “Manson was incapacitated because of alcohol.”

In other words, he was stone-cold drunk — a stumbling, bumbling idiot.

“A fellow agent, Kevin Thuman, gave the report,” the New York Times went on.

And here’s the kicker — the red flag to watch.

“Federal law allows agents to carry concealed weapons while off duty, but not while they are intoxicated. … FBI rules prohibit agents from leaving their guns in unsecure places,” the newspaper reported. “No arrests have been made and police officers have not recovered the gun.”

Great. So an FBI agent’s gun is out there, floating around in some undisclosed circle — some undisclosed circle related to the field of stripping. And the cover-up at the federal level goes on. The incident occurred in July, post-James Comey and pre-Christopher Wray, when Andrew McCabe was interim agency director (McCabe, who’s married to the Democratic-donating, Hillary Clinton-loving Jill McCabe). Yet America’s taxpayers, the ones who pay, apparently, for FBI agents to get drunk and hang with strippers and compromise citizen security by losing their weapons, are just learning of it all now.

Remember when Secret Service agents went similarly wild?

As CNN noted in early 2015: “Gate-crashing agents make 4 Secret Service scandals in 3 years.”

The story detailed how the second-in-charge of Barack Obama’s presidential detail went out for a night of drinking and driving that ended only when the taxpayer-funded vehicle smashed into a White House barrier — and how agents serving in Colombia were caught in embarrassing throes of passion with local prostitutes, just feet from where Obama’s own hotel digs. That latter story came to light ‘cause the prostitutes were pissed they didn’t get paid.

Eight Secret Service agents lost their jobs over that public relations headache.

Now how about Manson?

Michael Kortan, a spokesman for the FBI, said the North Carolina hotel incident was under internal investigation. But come on now. It happened back in July — July 10, to be exact, according to Fox News.

Does it really take that long to review a hotel camera or two?

Regardless, this is more than embarrassing for the FBI. Citizen safety is at issue. There’s a missing weapon involved — a missing weapon the FBI let into the world. And try as the agency might to keep a lid on the whole shameful drunken partying hotel matter, fact is, if a citizen ends up being injured by this weapon, the FBI will be culpable. And that’s not just red-faced. That’s near-criminal.

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3:04 PM 11/9/2017 – The Root Causes of Mass Shootings

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The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S., and the shattering of illusions by Michael Novakhov

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The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S., and the shattering of illusions – by Michael Novakhov pic.twitter.com/DMrK7jCrlu



Posted by  mikenov on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 5:07pm
 _________________________________

4:28 PM 11/7/2017 – The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S., in my opinion – M.N. | NYT Shows How Not to Analyze Mass-Shooting Data – National Review

4:28 PM 11/7/2017 – The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S.: In my opinion:

If you admit as the hypothetical explanatory option the  hostile special intelligence operations nature of the mass killings, and it is impossible not to consider this scenario as “an”, if not “the” (in majority of cases) explanation, then all the sociological and the statistical studies become irrelevant, just as the gun ownership explanatory theory, which is indeed false, in my opinion. This latter factor might be contributing but not the root cause, and not the main causal factor in the modern-day U.S. culture. 

But the good thing is that we started to ask these questions and started to look for the answers. We should not let the conceptual stereotypes to cloud our judgment. One of such stereotypes, regarding “Al Qaeda”, started to crumble before our eyes: “21 Years of War with Al  Qaeda?” 

The so-called “ISIS” probably is the next in line of the abandoned illusions in waiting. 

“I did also call him” “Ishmael”, but we did not want to see this phenomenon, and we still do not want to face it, as most logically it is, which is the current state of de facto hybrid or intelligence war of deep and multi-dimensional deception with Russia and her overt and covert allies. Not an easy situation but not the reason for despair. Now, when the picture becomes clearer, all sorts of the proper questions will be asked, and all sorts of the proper answers will be sought. I think, one of the concerns might be the effects of the excessive liberal or conservative slants or biases, which apparently can be equally harmful and can enhance the security vulnerabilities by rocking the boat too much in either direction. The skillful political balance appears to be the key. 

It looks like the beginning of the end of the current wave of the pre-and-post-9/11  historical denial. So much for the powers of the very plausible self-deception: “I do not see it, because I do not want to see it”, just like the good old three monkeys

“Why are US mass shootings getting more deadly?” – BBC News

I did notice this trend also and mentioned it in one of my previous posts

The answer: because the planners and the organizers of these attacks do everything to approach the military efficiency in these operations. They do view them as the para-military types of operations. The preferred use of the AR-15 (Kalashnikovs or their modifications) also points in this direction, besides serving the (deadly) commercial advertising purposes. 

Michael Novakhov 

11.7.17 

Links: 

“I did also call him” “Ishmael”.

"I will call him" "Ishmael"
The Global and The US Domestic Terrorism Incidents, The Mass Shooting Incidents, and The Incidents of Shooting at the U.S. Police Officers: Comparisons and The Illustrations for The Statistical Analysis – The Brinsley’s Jacket – Last and Current Update: 11.23.16 
______________________________________

 

“Some colleagues sent me the New York Times article “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer” today. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw the chart that appears at the top of the piece, above everything else except the title and byline…”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453485/nyt-shows-how-not-analyze-mass-shooting-data

“We shouldn’t care about “gun murders” or “mass shootings”; we should care about murders in general and mass killings in general, regardless of how they’re accomplished. (Up to a point it’s essentially tautological to claim that more guns translates to more problems with guns, because a society with no guns by definition cannot have any problems with them.) As I’ve noted numerous times before, there is no simple, consistent correlation between gun ownership and murder or homicide rates in general, either among developed countries or among U.S. states. More sophisticated studies face a variety of serious methodological obstacles — I don’t find any of them that compelling — and have reached varying conclusions. The research on mass shootings in particular is in an even more primitive state.”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453485/nyt-shows-how-not-analyze-mass-shooting-data

________________________________

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer

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Worldwide, Mr. Lankford found, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United States, indicating that it could not be explained by some other factor particular to his home country. And it held when he controlled for homicide rates, suggesting that mass shootings were better explained by a society’s access to guns than by its baseline level of violence.

Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas

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There is nothing particularly Lone Star State-ish about a mass killing these days. Ask New York, or Las Vegas.

 ___________________________________

 

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4:55 AM 11/9/2017 – Mueller could indict Putin for multiple violations of American law | M.N.: Prepare the VIP prison cell at Rikers Island! pic.twitter.com/zP5cwQfudm 

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4:55 AM 11/9/2017 – Mueller could indict Putin for multiple violations of American law | M.N.: Prepare the VIP prison cell at Rikers Island! pic.twitter.com/zP5cwQfudm



Posted by  mikenov on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 10:41am

FBI counterterror chief, reportedly drunk, loses weapon

1 Share

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Robert Manson, a supervisor in the FBI’s counterterrorism division, got drunk — allegedly — during a party with exotic dancers, better known as strippers, at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, went to bed, woke up and found his service weapon missing.

This isn’t just embarrassing. It’s downright dangerous to innocent American citizens.

Cut to video, “When FBI Guys Go Crazy.” The subtitle? “FBI Follies: Following in the Footsteps of the Secret Service.”

Seriously. Could we please keep the federal law enforcement weapons out of the hands of strippers? Seems a simple request.

Here’s how the New York Times reports the story: “Manson, a unit chief in the F.B.I.’s international terrorism section, had his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 cash stolen from his room at the Westin hotel in Charlotte. … Manson and other senior agents were in Charlotte for training … The agents later told the police that they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers.”

Nice.

What a red-faced moment for the agency. To say the least.

Police officers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were called to investigate the thefts, during which they ascertained “Manson was incapacitated because of alcohol.”

In other words, he was stone-cold drunk — a stumbling, bumbling idiot.

“A fellow agent, Kevin Thuman, gave the report,” the New York Times went on.

And here’s the kicker — the red flag to watch.

“Federal law allows agents to carry concealed weapons while off duty, but not while they are intoxicated. … FBI rules prohibit agents from leaving their guns in unsecure places,” the newspaper reported. “No arrests have been made and police officers have not recovered the gun.”

Great. So an FBI agent’s gun is out there, floating around in some undisclosed circle — some undisclosed circle related to the field of stripping. And the cover-up at the federal level goes on. The incident occurred in July, post-James Comey and pre-Christopher Wray, when Andrew McCabe was interim agency director (McCabe, who’s married to the Democratic-donating, Hillary Clinton-loving Jill McCabe). Yet America’s taxpayers, the ones who pay, apparently, for FBI agents to get drunk and hang with strippers and compromise citizen security by losing their weapons, are just learning of it all now.

Remember when Secret Service agents went similarly wild?

As CNN noted in early 2015: “Gate-crashing agents make 4 Secret Service scandals in 3 years.”

The story detailed how the second-in-charge of Barack Obama’s presidential detail went out for a night of drinking and driving that ended only when the taxpayer-funded vehicle smashed into a White House barrier — and how agents serving in Colombia were caught in embarrassing throes of passion with local prostitutes, just feet from where Obama’s own hotel digs. That latter story came to light ‘cause the prostitutes were pissed they didn’t get paid.

Eight Secret Service agents lost their jobs over that public relations headache.

Now how about Manson?

Michael Kortan, a spokesman for the FBI, said the North Carolina hotel incident was under internal investigation. But come on now. It happened back in July — July 10, to be exact, according to Fox News.

Does it really take that long to review a hotel camera or two?

Regardless, this is more than embarrassing for the FBI. Citizen safety is at issue. There’s a missing weapon involved — a missing weapon the FBI let into the world. And try as the agency might to keep a lid on the whole shameful drunken partying hotel matter, fact is, if a citizen ends up being injured by this weapon, the FBI will be culpable. And that’s not just red-faced. That’s near-criminal.

Read the whole story
· · ·

Russian Intelligence Service fire: Bblaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News | Express.co.uk

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Russian Intelligence Service fire: Bblaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News | Express.co.uk

Syria declares victory over Islamic State group 

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From: Euronews
Duration: 00:45

Syria’s army declared victory over the Islamic State (ISIL) militant group on Thursday, saying its capture of the jihadists’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their self-declared caliphate.

The army and its allies say they are still fighting ISIL in desert areas near the eastern town of Albu Kamal, which was the group’s last major urban stronghold in Syria.

Government troops earlier linked up with Iraqi forces at the border after taking the nearby city of al-Qaim.

ISIL already l…
READ MORE : http://www.euronews.com/2017/11/09/syria-declares-victory-over-islamic-state-group

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Read the whole story
· ·

FBI struggling to unlock Texas gunman’s phone

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 03:43

Rep. McCaul speaks out on the ongoing technology hurdles facing law enforcement.

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Are Mass Murderers Insane? Usually Not, Researchers Say

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Ditto for Dylann Roof, the racist who murdered nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015, and Christopher Harper-Mercer, the angry young man who killed nine people at a community college in Oregon the same year.

Nor does anything in these criminals’ history — including domestic violence, like Mr. Kelley’s — serve to reliably predict their spectacularly cruel acts. Even if spree killers have committed domestic violence disproportionately more often — and this assertion is in dispute — the vast majority of men who are guilty of that crime never proceed to mass murder.

Most mass murderers instead belong to a rogue’s gallery of the disgruntled and aggrieved, whose anger and intentions wax and wane over time, eventually curdling into violence in the wake of some perceived humiliation.

“In almost all high-end mass killings, the perpetrator’s thinking evolves,” said Kevin Cameron, executive director of the Canadian Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.

“They have a passing thought. They think about it more, they fantasize, they slowly build a justification. They prepare, and then when the right set of circumstances comes along, it unleashes the rage.”

This evolution proceeds rationally and logically, at least in the murderer’s mind. The unthinkable becomes thinkable, then inevitable.

Researchers define mass killings as an event leaving four or more dead at the same place and time. These incidents occur at an average of about one a day across the United States; few make national headlines.

At least half of the perpetrators die in the act, either by committing suicide (Mr. Kelley is said to have shot himself in the head) or being felled by police.

Analyzing his database, Dr. Stone has concluded that about 65 percent of mass killers exhibited no evidence of a severe mental disorder; 22 percent likely had psychosis, the delusional thinking and hallucinations that characterize schizophrenia, or sometimes accompany mania and severe depression. (The remainder likely had depressive or antisocial traits.)

Among the psychotic, he counts Jared Loughner, the Arizona man who shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, and 18 others in 2011. By most accounts, including his own, Mr. Loughner was becoming increasingly delusional.

Adam Lanza, who in 2012 killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., exhibited extreme paranoia in the months leading up to his crime, isolating himself in his room.

But what to make of John Robert Neumann Jr., who in June shot and killed five former co-workers at a warehouse in Orlando before turning the gun on himself? Mr. Neumann was not overtly psychotic, as far as anyone knows, and this is far more typical of the men who commit mass killings generally.

“The majority of the killers were disgruntled workers or jilted lovers who were acting on a deep sense of injustice,” and not mentally ill, Dr. Stone said of his research.

In a 2016 analysis of 71 lone-actor terrorists and 115 mass killers, researchers convened by the Department of Justice found the rate of psychotic disorders to be about what Dr. Stone had discovered: roughly 20 percent.

The overall rate of any psychiatric history among mass killers — including such probable diagnoses as depression, learning disabilities or A.D.H.D. — was 48 percent.

About two-thirds of this group had faced “long-term stress,” like trouble at school or keeping a job, failure in business, or disabling physical injuries from, say, a car accident.

Substance abuse was also common: More than 40 percent had problems with alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.

Looking at both studies, and using data from his own work, J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist who consults with the F.B.I., has identified what he believes is a common thread: a “paranoid spectrum,” he calls it.

At the extreme end is full-on psychosis of the Loughner variety. But the majority of people on this spectrum are not deeply ill; rather, they are injustice collectors. They are prone to perceive insults and failures as cumulative, and often to blame them on one person or one group.

“If you have this paranoid streak, this vigilance, this sense that others have been persecuting you for years, there’s an accumulation of maltreatment and an intense urge to stop that persecution,” Dr. Meloy said.

“That may never happen. The person may never act on the urge. But when they do, typically there’s a triggering event. It’s a loss in love or work — something that starts a clock ticking, that starts the planning.”

Mental health treatment might make a difference for the one in five murderers who have severe mental disorders, experts say. Prevention is also possible in a few other cases — for instance, if the perpetrators make overt threats and those threats are reported.

But other factors must be weighed.

“In my large file of mass murders, if you look decade by decade, the numbers of victims are fairly small up until the 1960s,” said Dr. Stone. “That’s when the deaths start going way up. When the AK-47s and the Kalashnikovs and the Uzis — all these semiautomatic weapons, when they became so easily accessible.”

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Trump tweets that failed Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate ‘did not embrace me’ 

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Trump tweets that failed Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate 'did not embrace me'

President Trump on Tuesday quickly sought to distance himself from Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race as Democrat Ralph Northam was projected to win by multiple news outlets. “Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for,” Trump said on Twitter in the midst of his […]

In Beijing, Trump lavishes praise on Chinese leader, touts ‘great chemistry’ between them 

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In Beijing, Trump lavishes praise on Chinese leader, touts ‘great chemistry’ between them

BEIJING — President Trump lavished praise on Chinese leader Xi Jinping ahead of a formal bilateral meeting here Thursday, touting “great chemistry” between them and declaring their relationship a “great one.” In brief remarks, Trump said the two nations could work together “to solve world problems for many, many years to come,” and he thanked Xi […]

putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Tillerson: Trump could have formal meeting with Putin at Asia summit – Fox News

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Fox News
Tillerson: Trump could have formal meeting with Putin at Asia summit
Fox News
Trump met over the summer with Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany. The U.S. and Russia have since been in a diplomatic tit-for-tat, all while the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign escalates. Tillerson … Serafin 

 putin won US 2016 election – Google News

Russian Intelligence Service fire: Bblaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News

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The blaze ripped through part of the secret service facility in Yasenevo, Moscow.

Local media reported 15 fire crews had been sent to battle the flames.

Workers were evacuated as the fire raged.

It is thought the fire affected a two-storey building in the complex, situated on the outskirts of Moscow.

Colonel Sergei Ivanov, a spokesman for the spy agency, later said the fire happened at one of the service’s “technical installations.

He later said the fire had been extinguished, and there were no casualties.

Russian media, quoting unnamed sources in the emergency services, said that the fire broke out in a cable gallery under the spy service’s headquarters.

The job was made more complex by the fact that mobile communication is blocked at the centre.

The country’s Foreign Intelligence Service, a successor to the KGB, is the centre for the regime’s spy network, directing espionage activities outside the country.

Its building complex has doubled in size in recent years.

The service is led by Mikhail Fradkov, an ex-diplomat who is thought to have served with the KGB.

What the Manafort Indictment Reveals About What Drove Putin | Putin’s Revenge | FRONTLINE | PBS

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More than a decade before he became Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort started advising another future president, Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. That relationship would lead him into a network of Russian and pro-Russian business and political interests, netting him millions of dollars.

On Monday, it led to his surrender to the FBI to face criminal charges in the widening investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

While the White House said that the indictment of Manafort and his longtime business partner had nothing to do with President Trump or his campaign, Manafort’s Ukrainian connections put him near the center of a political drama that experts say became a prelude to Russia’s eventual determination to interfere in the presidential election.

In interviews for the film Putin’s Revenge, FRONTLINE’s months-long investigation into the origins of Russia’s electoral meddling, former U.S. diplomats, intelligence officials, historians, and Russian and American journalists singled out protests in 2014 to oust Yanukovych as a pivotal moment for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who blamed the Obama administration for the unrest.

It  was in Ukraine, that Putin would test out a new type of “hybrid” warfare, a strategy combining diplomatic and military deception along with cyber attacks and efforts to sow confusion through propaganda and “fake news” – foreshadowing what would eventually transpire in the U.S. elections two years later.

As demonstrators marched on the Ukrainian capital, hackers intercepted a phone call between Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. On the call, Nuland appeared to signal a preference for a new government in Ukraine and uttered a profanity about the European Union, a key American ally during negotiations over the crisis.

Intercepting diplomatic communications was nothing new. But the subsequent leak of the conversation, experts said, was designed to create division between U.S. negotiators and the EU.

“Clearly they were looking to discredit me personally as the main negotiator at that time to thereby reduce U.S. influence,” Nuland told FRONTLINE.

“In retrospect, some people think we should have taken this a lot more seriously than we did … Because it was the first demonstration that Russia was willing and able to use techniques against the United States that it had previously not dared to attempt,”  Evan Osnos of The New Yorker said in an interview with FRONTLINE.

Ukraine would also become a testing ground for using disinformation as a weapon, most notably, in Putin’s denials after Russian forces moved into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. The forces numbered in the thousands, and although they wore Russian-style combat uniforms, the uniforms lacked Russian insignia, providing the Kremlin a measure of deniability.

“This is a classic example of [Russia] using asymmetric tactics,” said Antony Blinken, who served as deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017. “It sent in small numbers of special forces who allied themselves with local separatists, gave them instruction, gave them equipment, gave them money, gave them direction, and then Putin denied their presence.”

“It was striking,” added Blinken. “We would be in the Oval Office, and the president would be on the phone with Putin, and Putin would be denying, and in fact, flat-out lying, about Russia’s presence in Ukraine. Obama would say to him, ‘Vladimir, we’re not blind. We have eyes. We can see.’ And Putin would just move on as if nothing had happened.”

Based on the success of his efforts in Ukraine, by the start of the 2016 election, Putin saw a ripe opportunity for intervention in the U.S. election, according to interviews for Putin’s Revenge.

One reason was Trump’s public praise of Putin and the involvement in the Trump campaign of officials with ties to Russia. These included Manafort, a longtime Republican political operative who had worked as a political consultant to Yanukovych and his pro-Russia Party of Regions.

Manafort was brought onto the Trump campaign in 2016 to help keep GOP delegates from breaking with Trump. Just three months later, he was promoted to the role of chief strategist and campaign manager. In August, Manafort was fired following reports about his business dealings in Ukraine, but not before raising Russia’s profile within the candidate’s team.

“Manafort has these connections to Putin-friendly forces in Eastern Europe, so the campaign suddenly started to reflect more of Manafort’s instincts than the disorienting Trump instincts on foreign policy that we saw earlier in the campaign,” said Robert Costa, a national political reporter for The Washington Post. “There wasn’t really a Russia view from Trump or his campaign team until the summer of 2016, the spring of 2016, when Manafort comes on.”

Manafort not only “spent years in Ukrainian politics,” he also “became close to Russian oligarchs,” according to Ryan Lizza, the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker. 

“If you’re Putin, you’re saying: ‘Huh, OK. This is a whole new team. This is not Hillary Clinton and her circle of anti-Putin hawks. This is a group of people that knows that region, is skeptical of NATO, and is probably willing to reach out to Moscow,’” said Lizza.

President Trump is now trying to distance himself from Manafort, saying in a tweet on Monday, “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign.” But the 31-page indictment</