Saturday, February 10, 2018

Who Has Been Steadily Knifing The Soft Underbelly of The Deep State?


theconservativetreehouse |  Yesterday the news broke of Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman, Mark Warner, seeking covert contact with ‘Clinton-Steele Dossier’ originating entity Christopher Steele.

Within the March/April 2017 communication, the back-and-forth centered around Chris Steele wanting a written request signed by both the Vice-Chair (Warner) and the Senate Committee Chairman, Richard Burr.

Vice-Chairman Warner didn’t want a ‘paper trail’ and transparently didn’t want the political opposition (republican members), to know of his political intent.  Therefore Warner never asked Chairman Burr for his signature upon the letter requested by Steele. Ultimately Mr. Steele was correct in his suspicions, and prudent in his risk avoidance.

All of that is true, however, very few have stopped to ask: how did we, the viewing public, discover the Warner messaging and communication story in the first place?

How did the story of the Warner text messaging get into the media bloodstream?   Who was the ‘entity’ who investigated, discovered, and eventually released the Warner messaging?

Cheesy Rat Rachel Brand Flees Swamp For Arkansas...,



NYTimes |  Rachel L. Brand, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, plans to step down after nine months on the job as the country’s top law enforcement agency has been under attack by President Trump, according to two people briefed on her decision.

Ms. Brand’s profile had risen in part because she is next in the line of succession behind the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel’s inquiry into Russian influence in the 2016 election. Mr. Trump, who has called the investigation a witch hunt, has considered firing Mr. Rosenstein.

Such a move could have put her in charge of the special counsel and, by extension, left her in the cross hairs of the president. Ms. Brand, who became the associate attorney general in May, will become the global governance director at Walmart, the company’s top legal position, according to people briefed on her move. She has held politically appointed positions in the past three presidential administrations.

In her current job, she reports directly to Mr. Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, who has recused himself from the Russia investigation. 

Friday, February 09, 2018

Just As I Start Raking In Clintonian Loot - YOU PULL ME BACK!!!!


thehill |  Although Barack Obama is no longer president, the abuses that occurred within the FBI and Justice Department under his watch already have the potential to eclipse the Watergate scandal in their historic significance and damage done to American government.

​A Beltway adage ​has it that “it’s always the cover-up that’ll get you, not the original transgression.” Often, this proves to be true, especially in the case of Nixon, but even more recently, given the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, which were over perjury and obstruction of justice, not actual abuse of power with a 22-year-old intern.

However, with the recent declassification of the Nunes and Grassley memos from the House and Senate, in this case the putative crimes are far more serious than a failed attempt to bug the private office of a political party. These crimes have the potential to shake American confidence in otherwise prestigious institutions like the FBI, and the sanctity of our constitutional rights as citizens, especially those afforded by the Fourth Amendment, specifically protection “against unreasonable searches and seizures” or warrants being issued without “probable cause.”

Despite the months it has taken for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate the matters before them and declassify their initial findings, we are still just at the beginning of knowing how broad and deep a scandal we face. Nevertheless, the facts already laid out by the memos are shocking enough by themselves and, specifically, in the consequences they may have for all Americans.

We already know that during the 2016 presidential election, the FBI and Justice Department acquired a secret warrant to spy on U.S. citizen Carter Page, a volunteer adviser to the Trump campaign. The warrant application was based on an “opposition research” file paid for by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton through her lawyer. This fact, that the file was paid for by the candidate and party running against Donald Trump, was not disclosed by the FBI or Justice Department to the secret FISA court judge to whom that warrant application was made.

It was also never disclosed that the author of the file was a former British intelligence officer with close ties to Moscow, who had been deemed by the FBI to be “unreliable” and who was known — at the highest levels of the Justice Department — to be “desperate” to ensure that Trump never became president. In other words, the FBI and Justice Department knowingly hid exculpatory evidence from the surveillance court in order to be able to start spying on a member of the Trump team.

Add to this what we now know about the contents of the file compiled by Christopher Steele, that its salacious accusations came from Russian officials and, in part, as Trey Gowdy has intimated, from none other than Sidney Blumenthal, the closest of Clinton’s confidantes, and the full scenario appears undeniable. One candidate for president managed to leverage elements of the federal law enforcement and intelligence communities to illegally spy on the campaign running against her.

If we add to this the countless anti-Trump text messages that have been released between key members of the FBI team investigating both the Clinton “servergate” case and the accusations of “Russia collusion” by Trump associates, and it is easy to understand why half a dozen senior FBI agents and Justice Department officials have been “relieved” or reassigned in recent weeks.

GOP Memo Phase Three: Lights On In the Kitchen, Roaches Scurrying Every Which-a-Way....,


WaPo | Jonathan M. Winer, a Washington lawyer and consultant, is a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement and former special envoy for Libya.
 
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced last week that the next phase of his investigation of the events that led to the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will focus on the State Department. His apparent area of interest is my relationship with former British intelligence professional Christopher Steele and my role in material that Steele ultimately shared with the FBI.

Here’s the real story: In the 1990s, I was the senior official at the State Department responsible for combating transnational organized crime. I became deeply concerned about Russian state operatives compromising and corrupting foreign political figures and businessmen from other countries. Their modus operandi was sexual entrapment and entrapment in too-good-to-be-true business deals.

After 1999, I left the State Department and developed a legal and consulting practice that often involved Russian matters. In 2009, I met and became friends with Steele, after he retired from British government service focusing on Russia. Steele was providing business intelligence on the same kinds of issues I worked on at the time.

In 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served as Senate counsel. Over the years, Steele and I had discussed many matters relating to Russia. He asked me whether the State Department would like copies of new information as he developed it. I contacted Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who was then assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and shared with her several of Steele’s reports. She told me they were useful and asked me to continue to send them. Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department, who continued to find them useful. None of the reports related to U.S. politics or domestic U.S. matters, and the reports constituted a very small portion of the data set reviewed by State Department experts trying to make sense of events in Russia.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Great Britain Interfere In the 2016 Presidential Election?



sic-semper-tyrannis |  The Grassley/Graham memo is devastating for Jim Comey. We can entertain only two possibilities--Jim Comey is a monumental dunce or he is a liar. One need only read the Michael Isikoff piece from 23 September 2016 to realize that Christopher Steele was a primary source for Isikoff. We are asked to believe that Comey is a naive, trusting soul bereft of curiosity, who refused to entertain the possibility that Steele was double dealing intel.
One of the most surprising revelations from the Grassley/Graham memo is in footnote 7. I'm surprised this was not redacted because it is drawn from a redacted/blacked out paragraph. Here is a critical bit of intel:
  • The FBI has failed to provide the Committee the 1023s documenting all of Mr. Steele's statements to the FBI, so the Committee is relying on the accuracy of the FBI's representation to the FISC regarding those statements.
This means Steele was a signed up intelligence asset for the FBI. He was our spy. A FD-1023 is an FBI form used to document meetings between FBI and sources. It is also called a CHS Report--CHS aka Confidential Human Source.

With this confirmation the next move is in the hands of the Brits. If Steele became an FBI asset without the knowledge of his former colleagues and chain of command, he faces legal risk. But two development in the last two days suggest that British intelligence officials, at least some key officials, were witting of Steele's activities in gathering information for the FBI.

First, Steele is resisting efforts to face a deposition in a lawsuit over his infamous dossier. Steele’s lawyers argued in a court in London this week that a deposition would endanger the former spy’s dossier sources as well as harm U.K. national security interests. If the Judge buys this claim then we will not have to speculate anymore about whether or not Steele was acting on his own or had a "wink-and-a-nod" from his MI-6 bosses.

Second, in my mind more telling, were the comments made this week by former MI-6 Chief, Richard Dearlove, on behalf of his former protege:

Among those who have continued to seek his expertise is Steele’s former boss Richard Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004. In an interview, Dearlove said Steele became the “go-to person on Russia in the commercial sector” following his retirement from the Secret Intelligence Service. He described the reputations of Steele and his business partner, fellow intelligence veteran Christopher Burrows, as “superb.”

But we do not have to rely solely on Dearlove's glowing remarks about Steele. There is other information indicating that the Brits played a substantial, if not leading, role in spying on Trump and building the Russian meddling meme.

So Much "Narrative Shaping" About A Greasy Little Weasel-Faced Snitch...,


WaPo |  Steele told associates that he was so nervous about the explosive nature of the information that he sent the memo via a commercial courier to Washington, rather than electronically.
In short order, Steele made another fateful decision: that he needed to confide in U.S. law enforcement officials. He contacted a Rome-based FBI official with whom he had worked on the FIFA case and asked him to visit him in London in July, according to people familiar with the matter.
Steele told Simpson of his plan to meet with the FBI, describing it as an obligation rooted in his past work for the British government. 

“ ‘I’m a former intelligence officer, and we’re your closest ally,’ ” Steele told Simpson, according to testimony Simpson later gave to the House Intelligence Committee. “ ‘You know, I have obligations, professional obligations. If there’s a national security emergency or possible national security issue, I should report it.’ ” 

Simpson said he did not question Steele’s judgment: “He’s the spy,” Simpson said. “I’m the ex-journalist.” Simpson declined to comment to The Post.

On July 5, 2016, the Rome-based FBI agent met with Steele and Burrows in Orbis’s London offices, housed in a five-story Georgian-style building in the Victoria neighborhood.

Later that month, Steele reached out to a State Department contact in Washington, according to Nuland, who said officials decided his allegations were best left to the FBI.

In late July, Steele told friends he was rattled when WikiLeaks released thousands of internal Democratic National Committee emails on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, material that U.S. law enforcement officials said was hacked by Russia. Then Trump — who had repeatedly praised Putin on the campaign trail — publicly called on Russia to hack and release a cache of missing Clinton emails.

Steele, who had researched Russian attempts to interfere in European elections for another client, began to fear that the Americans were not taking the Kremlin’s efforts seriously enough, associates said. 

In the early fall, he and Burrows turned to Dearlove, their former MI6 boss, for advice. Sitting in winged chairs at the Garrick Club, one of London’s most venerable private establishments, under oil paintings of famed British playwrights, the two men shared their worries about what was happening in the United States. They asked for his guidance about how to handle their obligations to their client and the public, Dearlove recalled.

Dearlove said their situation reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted U.S. authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin.
He said he advised Steele and Burrows to work discreetly with a top British government official to pass along information to the FBI. 

At the time of the meeting, Dearlove said he did not know whether Steele had approached the FBI.
Burrows declined to comment.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Obama Wants To Know Everything We're Doing...,


theduran |  New text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have now been made public, and the big reveal is that then-POTUS Barack Obama appears to be in the loop, on the whole ‘destroy Trump’ insurance plan hatched by upper management at the FBI.

The messages include an exchange about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, who wanted “to know everything we’re doing.”

Page wrote to Strzok on Sept. 2, 2016 about prepping Comey because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” Senate investigators told Fox News this text raises questions about Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation.
In texts previously revealed, Strzok and Page have shown their disdain for Republicans in general, as well as Trump, calling him a “f—ing idiot,” among other insults.
Among the newly disclosed texts, Strzok also calls Virginians who voted against then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s wife for a state Senate seat “ignorant hillbillys.” (sic)
That text came from Strzok to Page on Nov. 4, 2015, the day after Jill McCabe lost a hotly contested Virginia state Senate election. Strzok said of the result, “Disappointing, but look at the district map. Loudon is being gentrified, but it’s still largely ignorant hillbilliys. Good for her for running, but curious if she’s energized or never again.”
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., along with majority staff from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is releasing the texts, along with a report titled, “The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI’s Investigation of it.”
The newly uncovered texts reveal a bit more about the timing of the discovery of “hundreds of thousands” of emails on former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop, ultimately leading to Comey’s infamous letter to Congress just days before the 2016 presidential election.
On Sept. 28, 2016 Strzok wrote to Page, “Got called up to Andy’s [McCabe] earlier.. hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s atty to sdny [Southern District of New York], includes a ton of material from spouse [Huma Abedin]. Sending team up tomorrow to review… this will never end.” Senate investigators told Fox News this text message raises questions about when FBI officials learned of emails relevant to the Hillary Clinton email investigation on the laptop belonging to Weiner, the husband to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
It was a full month later, on Oct. 28, 2016 when Comey informed Congress that, “Due to recent developments,” the FBI was reopening its Clinton email investigation.

Coonery and Buffoonery Raging Amongst The Digital Hoteps...,


theroot |  Hey, man, we didn’t do an explainer last week, but I really need to talk to you about this Boyce Watkins thing that is bubbling on woke Twitter.

Sure! Earlier this week, a video of a screenshot of what seems to be an online conference call began circumnavigating the inboxes of the woke black internet. The video shows two men having a conversation about Boyce Watkins, Ph.D., and his ...

Wait, bruh. Who the hell is Boyce Watkins?

Watkins is the less charismatic Umar Johnson of black financial independence and wealth. His Black Business School is a virtual version of Umar Johnson’s Kente Cloth Hogwarts for Black Boy Magic, except, of course, that Watkins’ really exists. While Watkins’ educational products seem to be the equivalent of freshman-level community college business-theory courses with a little Creflo Dollar sprinkled in, remember, the BBS is 100 percent black. (Remember this point. It is important.)

If I were still using the term “Hotep” as a pejorative—which I am not—I would call Watkins a level 3, low-ranking Ankhologist, perfect for easing black people who are not particularly educated or experienced in Watkins’ area of kente-clothians. He is a perfect conduit conning people into becoming practitioners of entry-level dashikinomics. Plus, Watkins’ school is 100 percent black, meaning that you don’t have to worry about any Caucasian shenanigans creeping into play.

OK, now back to the video.

So the videos show Charles Wu bragging about JARVIS and the Digital Underground and how ...

Slow down! Who is Charles Wu? Is Jarvis one of the lesser-known members of the Wu-Tang Clan? And what does Shock G and Humpty have to do with any of this?

Sorry. It’s just that there’s a lot to cover.

The Digital Underground, or “the D.U.,” as it is called, is not a reference to the ’90s rap group. It is a course in Watkins’ Black Business School.

For $2,999 (or the low price of $499 per month), instead of reading Wikipedia and doing a couple of Google searches, you can have Watkins teach you everything he knows about altcoin, blockchain and bitcoin (which, coincidentally, seems to not be much. But for those who don’t know anything, it seems like a lot. After all, his name has “Dr.” right in it!) Plus, you can trust Watkins. He’s leading black people toward their “Financial Juneteenth” (his actual term). He’s a solid dude.

Oh, did I mention the school was 100 percent black?

Not So Secret Agent Christopher Steele No Shows London Court Appearance


FoxNews  |  Steele was a no-show Monday for a long-requested deposition in London, Fox News has learned. The news comes as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have announced a criminal referral on Steele.   

Evan Fray-Witzer, a Boston-based attorney representing Russian tech tycoon Aleksej Gubarev in multi-million dollar civil litigation, described Monday's U.K. court actions to Fox News. “My understanding is that Mr. Steele’s lawyers spent a good deal of time arguing why they thought he (Steele) should not be required to sit for a deposition and that ultimately the court took the entire matter under advisement.”

Gubarev is suing the British-based Steele’s company Orbis Business Intelligence because the dossier claimed Gubarev's companies, including XBT Holdings and Webzilla, used “botnets and port traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data.”   

Fray-Witzer said, “Certainly with respect to Mr. Gubarev, Webzilla and XBT there has never been a single scrap of evidence about them in the dossier.”

Congressional testimony and ongoing Fox News reporting revealed that Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence were paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson to write and promote the dossier among select journalists when it was opposition research funded in part by the Democratic National Committee. As Fox News has reported based upon review of British court records, Steele promoted and met with five media outlets repeatedly between the spring and fall of 2016.  At the same time, Steele also was meeting with the FBI in Rome, according to reports.

Meanwhile, records obtained and reviewed by Fox News from related civil ligitation in Florida reveal that Steele maintains that even showing up for a deposition would “implicate state secrets in London.”

Fray-Witzer stressed in that hearing that the British government “has not asserted” Steele’s claims. The attorney has said Steele “is asserting he can’t speak about things.  We have pointed out that he’s spoken to anyone who is willing to listen, every journalist, and the FBI.”

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Russia Hacks Forbes With "Lock'Em All Up" Fake News Narrative


Forbes |  There can be no question, at this point, that certain higher ups in the FBI and the DOJ did not want Hillary to be indicted and did not want Donald Trump to become President.  Those efforts were not entirely independent of each other.

Below is a timeline of events – abbreviated though it is – that makes it rather plain that the FBI and DOJ were not investigating potential crimes objectively.

Indeed, they were committing crimes during the process in aid of their preferred outcomes.

1.  2007. Hillary Clinton wanted to be President.  Hillary’s ambitions to be president started long ago.  She ran for President in the 2008 cycle.  In 2009, after losing to Obama, Hillary became Obama’s Secretary of State.  She stayed in that post until 2013.

2. March 2015. The Hillary email scandal breaks. Hillary was using an unapproved/unsecured server and devices to communicate.  She was using a private email account.  Classified information was being sent through that email, server and devices – including when Hillary was abroad.
All of that is illegal.  As 2015 unfolds, it becomes clear to the FBI and the DOJ that President Barack Obama was communicating with Hillary using her non-state department email.  Obama was using an email and a name that masked who he was.

That had to be known to authorities long before March of 2015 given that it occurred prior to 2013.
As Andrew McCarthy points out in his recent article, there was no chance that the DOJ was going to indict Hillary because that would have required implicating President Obama.  That was never going to happen.  From thereafter, DOJ officials acted with that understanding, however illegal, in mind.

3.  June 2015. Donald Trump announces his Presidential run.

4.  March 2016. Trump has enough delegates to claim the nomination.

5.  April 10, 2016. Obama makes clear he does not want Hillary indicted.  Obama, on TV, indicates Hillary did not intend to harm national security.  However, intent is not an element of the crime she committed.  At the time of that statement – made by a sitting President and in plain view of the Nation and more importantly his FBI/DOJ appointments - many witnesses had yet to be interviewed, including Hillary.

6.  April 2016. Hillary campaign and DNC begin funding infamous Trump dossier.  To conceal payments for the dossier, Hillary’s campaign gives money to attorneys who then pay for the dossier – a clear campaign law violation. If that campaign payment had been properly disclosed, the payment for the dossier, and likely the dossier, would have been exposed in the summer of 2016. That disclosure likely would have hurt Hillary’s campaign and LIKELY PREVENT THE USE OF THE DOSSIER to get  FISA warrant on Carter Page, which led to other spying and ultimately the Mueller investigation.

7.  May 2, 2016. Ted Cruz drops out of Presidential race. Cruz’ departure confirms Trump will be the Republican nominee.

8.  May 2016. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page make it clear they need to end the Hillary Investigation. Peter Strzok is the FBI agent in charge of the Hillary investigation, which is dubbed Mid-Year Exam.  He is having an affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page.  In a text exchange, Page informs Strzok that Cruz dropped out.  Strzok responds:

“What?!?!?!?!”   Fist tap Dale.

Why So Much Weeping and Tooth Gnashing Over a Nothing-Burger?


unz |  FBI procedures and ambiguities aside, this is nevertheless serious business. If it can be determined that the omissions in submissions to the FISC were deliberate and calculated, the astute blogger Publius Tacitus has correctly observed that some senior FBI and DOJ officials who signed off on misleading or fraudulent applications concealing the antecedents of the so-called Steele Dossier to the FISC are now facing possible contempt-of-court charges that would include prison sentences. They include James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rob Rosenstein.
 
So there is likely considerably more controversy to come, whether or not the Bureau can or cannot provide backstory that credibly challenges the Republican Intelligence Committee memo. But it is also intriguing to consider what is missing from the document. As it is focused on the FBI and DOJ, there is no speculation about the possible role of senior intelligence officials CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Michael Isikoff reported in September 2016 that the two men were involved in obtaining information on Page and it has also been suggested that Brennan sought and obtained raw intelligence from British, Polish, Dutch and Estonian intelligence services, which apparently was then passed on to the Bureau and might have motivated James Comey to proceed with his investigation of the Trump associates. One has to consider that Brennan and Clapper, drawing on intelligence resources and connections, might have helped the FBI build a fabricated case against Trump.

Senator John McCain, a highly vocal critic of Trump, might have also become involved, wittingly or unwittingly, in the project to feed derogatory information on the GOP president-elect and his associates to the FBI. He reportedly obtained a copy of the Steele Dossier in December 2017 and passed it on to Comey, clearly intending that the FBI Director should take some action regarding it.

Indeed, there were many prominent voices raised demanding that something be done about Donald Trump. Eleven months ago, shortly after Trump took office, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, speculated on how he had been “…led to believe that maybe even the Democratic Party, whatever element of it, approached John Brennan at the CIA, maybe even the former president of the United States. And John Brennan, not wanting his fingerprints to be on anything, went to his colleague in London GCHQ, MI-6 and essentially said, ‘Give me anything you’ve got.’ And he got something and he turned it over to the DNC or someone like that. And what he got was GCHQ MI-6s tapes of conversations of the Trump administration perhaps, even the President himself. It’s really kind of strange, at least to me, they let the head of that organization go, fired him about the same this was brewing up. So I’m not one to defend Trump, but in this case he might be right.”

Reaction To The GOP Memo Revealed MUCH About Unelected American Power Structures


consortiumnews |  In addition to Assange’s assertion that government secrecy has far less to do with national security than political security (a claim he has made before which seems to be proving correct time and time again), there’s the jarring question posed by Republican Congressman Thomas Massie: “who made the decision to withhold evidence of FISA abuse until after Congress voted to renew FISA program?”

Whoa, Nelly. Hang on. What is he talking about?

It would be understandable if you were unaware of the debate over the reauthorization of FISA surveillance which resulted in unconditional bipartisan approval last month – the mainstream media barely touched it. In point of fact, though, the very surveillance practices alleged to have been abused in this hotly controversial memo are the same which was waved through by both the House and the Senate, and by the very same people promoting the memo in many cases.

The McCabe testimony was in December. FISA was renewed in January. Why is all this just coming out now? If the Republicans truly believed that McCabe said what the memo claims he said, why wasn’t the public informed before their elected representatives renewed the intelligence community’s dangerously intrusive surveillance approval? Was this information simply forgotten about until after those Orwellian powers had been secured?

Of course not. Don’t be an idiot.

This makes the kicking, screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth by the political establishment make a lot more sense, doesn’t it? Now suddenly we’re looking at a he-said, she-said partisan battle over an issue which can only be resolved with greater and greater transparency of more and more government documents, and we can all see where that’s headed. In their rush to win a partisan battle and shield their president from the ongoing Russiagate conspiracy theory, the Republicans may have exposed too much of the establishment foundation upon which both parties are built.

The term “deep state” does not mean “Democrats and Never-Trumpers” as Republican pundits would have you believe, nor does the term refer to any kind of weird, unverifiable conspiracy theory. The deep state is in fact not a conspiracy theory at all, but simply a concept used in political analysis for discussing the undeniable fact that unelected power structures exist in America, and that they tend to form alliances and work together in some sense.

There is no denying the fact that plutocrats, intelligence agencies, defense agencies and the mass media are both powerful and unelected, and there is no denying the fact that there are many convoluted and often conflicting alliances between them. All that can be debated is the manner and extent to which this is happening.

The deep state is America’s permanent government, the U.S. power structures that Americans don’t elect. These power structures plainly have a vested interest in keeping America’s Orwellian surveillance structures in place, as evidenced by the intelligence community’s menacingly urgent demand for FISA renewal back in December. If there’s any thread to be pulled that really could make waves in the way Official Washington (hat tip to the late Robert Parry) operates, it is in the plot holes between the bipartisan scramble toward unconditional surveillance renewal and the highly partisan battle over exposing the abuse of those very powers.

If we’re going to see a gap in the bars of our cages, that’s a great place to keep our eyes trained, so keep watching. Watch what happens in a partisan war where both parties have a simultaneous interest in revealing as little of the game as possible and exposing the other party. Things could get very interesting.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Speaking Only For Myself, Disgust Is Just Half-A-Click Away From Violence...,


WSJ |  A bipartisan pair of senators said they would introduce a new immigration bill Monday in an effort to move negotiations toward a narrow agreement that leaves out more contentious proposals sought by President Donald Trump. 

The government’s current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Friday. While lawmakers expect to pass another short-term spending bill to keep federal agencies open, they are frustrated by the gridlock that has prevented them from striking a long-term deal on either immigration or spending levels. Immigration has become entangled in the spending negotiations ever since Mr. Trump last year ended an Obama-era program that protects young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as Dreamers.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) plan to unveil a proposal that offers a path to citizenship for Dreamers and orders a comprehensive study to determine what border-security measures are needed. But the bill stops well short of almost all of Mr. Trump’s demands—including immediate funding for the wall along the southern border—and is likely to meet a chilly reception from conservative Republicans.
Still, Mr. McCain, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last summer and has been working from Arizona since late 2017, retains powerful sway among his GOP colleagues. His bill with Mr. Coons could also benefit from good timing, as the March 5 deadline draws closer and lawmakers grapple with the political consequences of failing to reach any agreement.
“It’s time we end the gridlock so we can quickly move on to completing a long-term budget agreement that provides our men and women in uniform the support they deserve,” Mr. McCain said in a statement Sunday.
“While reaching a deal cannot come soon enough for America’s service members, the current political reality demands bipartisan cooperation to address the impending expiration of the DACA program and secure the southern border,” he said, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the bill.

Hitler's Table Talk

The Ruling Elites Love Political Correctness


oftwominds |  No wonder the Ruling Elites loves political correctness: all those furiously signaling their virtue are zero threat to the asymmetric plunder of the status quo.
 
The Ruling Elites loves political correctness, for it serves the Elite so well. What is political correctness? Political correctness is the public pressure to conform to "progressive" speech acts by uttering the expected code words and phrases in public.
 
Note that no actual action is required. This is why the Ruling Elite loves political correctness: conformity is so cheap. All a functionary of the Ruling Elite need do is utter the code words ("hope and change," "we honor diversity," "thank you for your service," etc.) and they get a free pass to continue their pillaging. 

Those placated by politically correct utterances accept symbolic speech acts as substitutes for real changes in the power structure. This glorification of symbolic gestures--virtue signaling via social media, the parroting of progressive phrases, etc.--is as cheap as the mouthing of PC platitudes. Everybody gets to feel validated and respected at no cost to anyone: the progressives feel smugly superior because the Ruling Elite now feels compelled to parrot "progressive" speech acts in public, and the Ruling Elite is free to pillage without any demands for a radical restructuring of the incentives and distribution of the nation's wealth and income. 

The rise of "progressive" speech acts and political correctness parallels the decline of the fortunes and incomes of the bottom 90%. While the "progressives" focus on cheap symbolism, the laboring classes are being gutted by the centralized financialization that rewards the few at the expense of the many. 

So while the "progressives" focus exclusively on their own ineffectual virtue-signaling and the empty "victories" of Ruling Elites mouthing the acceptable code words, our economy, society and the social contract are being shredded. No wonder the corporate media promotes empty gestures, virtue signaling and political correctness: all that phony compliance leaves the current wealth-power structure unchanged, and the Ruling Elite firmly in charge of the economy and governance. 

No wonder the Ruling Elite loves political correctness: all those furiously signaling their virtue are zero threat to the asymmetric plunder of the status quo.


You Know The Spot Is Hot When They Trot Out This Heinous Pantload....,


nbcnews  |  Brennan is a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC News and served as CIA Director and Homeland Security Adviser under former President Barack Obama as well as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center under former President George W. Bush. 

On Sunday, he also asserted that the June, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower involving Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and several Russians, which emails revealed was set up under the guise that the Russians could provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton, was reckless on the part of those close to Trump.

“I find it foolish number one, and also irresponsible,” Brennan said. Senior members of a campaign “need to be aware of what it is that they need to do in order to make sure that they stay on the right side of the law as well as the right side of ethics," he said. "And I find it inexplicable in terms of how that meeting took place and interest in part of individuals, very close to Mr. Trump, who wanted to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from Russians.”

He believes the meeting could have been a result of “a fair amount of naiveté on the part of individuals who were part of the Trump campaign — individuals who maybe were unaware of what their obligations were or just how diabolical the Russians can be in terms of their cultivation of individuals to work on their behalf.”

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Deep State Only Wants Trump to Live According to His Station and His Duties


extranewsfeed |  As the feudal power-structures of Europe broke down beneath a wave of revolutions in the 18th century, governments took a more active role in law enforcement and the first centralized policing organization was created in France by King Louis XIV. The duties of the new police were bluntly described as a mechanism of class-control over workers and peasants:
“ensuring the peace and quiet of the public and of private individuals, purging the city of what may cause disturbances, procuring abundance, and having each and everyone live according to their station and their duties
While France’s Gendarmes were seen as a symbol of oppression in other parts of Europe, the French policing model spread during the early 1800s as Napoleon Bonaparte conquered much of the continent. By the mid-1800s, modern policing institutions — publicly-funded, centralized police organized in a military hierarchy and under the control of the state — had been transplanted everywhere from Tsarist Russia to England and the United States.

Policing became the exclusive right of governments as other law enforcement groups were absorbed into new and “official” institutions. The new police were not just tasked with serving the public, however — they also protected the political power of their new employers. It was a revolutionary era and the new police were shaped by rulers facing a particularly mutinous population. The use of police as the vanguard of state-power was a major development and it was adapted to repress popular movements all over the world. Early police organizations in the US, for example, pretty much handed blue uniforms to former slave-patrols and anti-union mercenaries who had historically protected the interests of plantation-bosses in the South and industrial capitalists in the North.

( For more on the historical links between slavery, anti-union security, and law enforcement, read “Private Property Is the Police-State” )

Comey's Personal Assistant Josh Resigned (Serving Agents Can't Plead the 5th..,)


NYTimes  |  When the F.B.I. knocks on someone’s door or appeals to the public for assistance in solving crime, the willingness of people to help is directly correlated to their opinion of the agency. When an agent working to stop a terrorist plot attempts to recruit an informant, the agent’s success in gathering critical intelligence depends on the informant’s belief that the agent is credible and trustworthy. And, as the former director, James Comey, would frequently say in underscoring the importance of high standards, whether a jury believes an agent’s testimony depends on whether it has faith in the bureau’s honesty and independence. To be effective, the F.B.I. must be believed and must maintain the support of the public it serves.

Do F.B.I. agents make mistakes? You bet. They are human beings. Because they are not infallible, the bureau is subject to a robust system of checks and balances, including its internal affairs division, the Department of Justice inspector general, congressional committees and the courts. These watchdogs ensure that personal opinions regarding politics, causes and candidates do not affect investigations. The system also provides an outlet for any investigator who suspects malfeasance on the part of the agency’s leadership to make those concerns known.

What, then, are we to make of the recent allegations of political bias at the F.B.I., particularly those involving two employees whose cringe-worthy text messages continue to threaten the agency’s reputation? While it would be disingenuous to claim that those two are not at least guilty of exercising incredibly poor judgment, it would be equally disingenuous for anyone who really knows the modern-day bureau to insinuate that the organization is plotting from within.

Furthermore, a congressional memo released on Friday accuses the F.B.I. and the Justice Department of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. But every statement of fact included in an affidavit for foreign intelligence collection must withstand the scrutiny of at least 10 people in the Department of Justice hierarchy before it is reviewed by an independent court.

There is, however, a difference between oversight by those in charge of holding the F.B.I. accountable and criticism by politicians seeking partisan gain. Political operatives are weaponizing their disagreement with a particular investigation in a bid to undermine the credibility of the entire institution. “The system is rigged” is their slogan, and they are now politicizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process used to collect critical intelligence about our adversaries.

The assumption among confused and dismayed F.B.I. employees is that the attacks are meant to soften the blow should the investigation by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, lead to additional charges. However, these kinds of attacks by powerful people go beyond mere criticism — they could destroy the institution. Although those critics’ revisionist supporters claim their ire is reserved for institutional leadership and not the rank and file, it is the F.B.I. agent on the street who will be most severely affected as public support for federal law enforcement is sacrificed for partisan gain.

These political attacks on the bureau must stop. If those critics of the agency persuade the public that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted, they will also have succeeded in making our nation less safe.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

#ReleaseTheMemo Phase Two: Senator Grassley Now At Bat....,


theconservativetreehouse |  Democrats, media, and the aggregate DOJ/FBI intelligence community are finally seeing accountability.  With the HPSCI memo now in the rear-view mirror, and the content in the bloodstream of the U.S. electorate, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is next.

Toward the end of December, the FBI provided the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, with FBI investigative documents (likely FD-302’s) from their contacts with Christopher Steele.  According to most reasonable timing we can discover Steele met with FBI officials sometime around October 1st, 2016.

From the U.K. lawsuit against Christopher Steele (pdf here), Steele admits to having shopped the Clinton-Steele dossier to U.S. media outlets “in person” in late September (New York Times, WaPo, New Yorker and CNN), and mid-October, 2016 (New York Times, WaPo, and Yahoo News), per instructions from Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS)

Additionally, in late October, 2016, Christopher Steele briefed Mother Jones via Skype.
According to the released HPSCI intelligence memo, the FBI sought a FISA application based on the Steele Dossier on October 21st, 2016.  From those UK court records at least two briefings with reporters, containing five outlets, took place prior to the FBI using the Clinton-Steele dossier in their FISA application.

The “late September” briefings with the New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo News, New Yorker and CNN took place prior to Christopher Steele meeting with FBI officials early October.   The implication therein is that the FBI had to know prior to their October 21st, 2016, court application that the information they were presenting to the FISA court was being heavily shopped to media outlets. This would be immediately disqualifying.

The HPSCI memo notes the FBI relationship with Christopher Steele was terminated after the FISA application (Oct. 21st, 2016), as a result of the Mother Jones article from October 30th, 2016.  Media contact by an FBI material witness is immediately disqualifying.

The question is: did the FBI submit the FISA application under false pretenses?  Did the FBI actually know Christopher Steele was shopping the dossier to the media prior to their FISA court submission?

The HPSCI memo gives the FBI the benefit of doubt by presuming the FBI were unaware or “lied to“.   The FD-302’s (FBI investigative interview notes), which appear to have been turned over to Senate Chairman Chuck Grassley, would contain the evidence to support the FBI being duped – OR – show the FBI knew, and proceeded in using the dossier despite disqualifying knowledge of media involvement.

The answers to those important questions appears to be the looming in the FBI classified documents behind the Grassley criminal referral.

You Figure That One Out...,


thehill |  A Tea Party group on Friday announced the launch of an attack ad against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, urging him to “do his job, or resign” following the release of a controversial GOP memo alleging surveillance abuse at the Department of Justice.

Tea Party Patriots Action uploaded the ad to YouTube hours after the House Intelligence Committee memo was released publicly, sparking speculation that President Trump may move to fire Rosenstein. 

The ad’s narrator describes Rosenstein as “a weak careerist at the Justice Department, protecting liberal Obama holdovers and the Deep State, instead of following the rule of law.”

“His incompetence and abuse of power have undermined congressional investigations, led to stonewalling and tarnished the credibility of the Department of Justice,” the narrator continues. 

“Time for him to stand up for the rule of law and stand up for the American people. It’s time for Rod Rosenstein to do his job, or resign.”


Friday, February 02, 2018

The Kraken (GOP FISA Memo)


Remember Boys and Girls: It Don't Mean Dick Until the Handcuffs CLICK!


disobedientmedia |  However, as the Wall Street Journal reports, it is important to remember that the FBI knows and has known what is in the memo for a long time, as the Bureau had, “refused to provide access to those documents until director Christopher Wray and the Justice Department faced a contempt of Congress vote.”

The Journal further relates that: “The FBI’s public statement appears to be an act of insubordination after Mr. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tried and failed to get the White House to block the memo’s release. Their public protest appears intended to tarnish in advance whatever information the memo contains. The public is getting to see amid this brawl how the FBI plays politics, and it isn’t a good look.”

Members of the Democratic Party have also expressed their opposition to the release of the memo.
For example, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), has also come out against the release of the memo to the public. Last week, Schiff and Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), wrote a letter to Facebook and Twitter, in which they expressed their fears that the top trending hashtag “#ReleaseTheMemo” was being pushed by Russian bots as part of a propaganda effort seeking to “attack our democracy”.

However, much to their dismay, it was revealed that the top trending hashtag was not the work of Russian bots, but originated organically by fellow Americans. This news did not deter a California duo from penning a second letter to Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday, in order to raise awareness about potential abuse of their platforms by “agents of foreign influence”.

Like Schiff and Feinstein, Schumer went on to claim that the Russians were behind the public outcry to release the memo, stating: “Even more extraordinary is that the actions of Chairman Nunes and his supporters are being actively parroted by Russian-linked cyber actors on social media with the intent to discredit U.S. democratic institutions.”

However, it is critical to note that the Democratic Party is not the only group opposing the release of the memo to the public. The group who seems to oppose the release of the memo more than anyone is the very group of people whose job it is to hold the government accountable and expose governmental wrongdoing and corruption, the Press.

For example, MSNBC has come out against the release of information to the American public, with Andrea Mitchell tweeting: “How will they justify releasing this memo? Intelligence community is on fire about what they say risks 40 years of congressional oversight of the agencies.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow also chimed in, tweeting Schiff’s statement that: “There is no longer a valid basis for the White House to review the altered document, since this new version is not the same document shared with the entire House and on which Committee Members voted.”

MSNBC’s John Heilemann even went so far as to inquire as to whether or not Rep. Nunes had been compromised: “Is it possible that the Republican chairman of the House Intel Committee has been compromised by the Russians? Is it possible that we actually have a Russian agent running the House Intel Committee on the Republican side?”

Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, also attacked the memo, calling it a “sleazy political purge”, and an attempt to “misinform the public”.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that CNN’s Brian Karem also attacked the release of the memo, claiming that it would serve as a “tipping point for our democracy”, and warned that the document’s release may lead the country to be ruled by “demagoguery and despotism.”

Karem went on to further state that the release of the memo is “…simply and nothing else but a power play, a demagogue pushing back against the Democratic process”, comparing it to a “mafia boss gone mad.”

CNN’s Phil Mudd also attacked the release of the memo, claiming that it was created through “collusion” between Nunes staffers and the White House.

The Atlantic’s Senior Editor David Frum also came out against government transparency and the release of the memo, tweeting: “The *full* full transparency argument would be: release all tax returns, corporate records, campaign emails, and other documents relevant to Donald Trump’s Russia/WikiLeaks connections.”

This Morning We Get To See The Insurance Policy


theepochtimes |  How did a piece of opposition research, described by former FBI Director James Comey as both “salacious and unverified,” become the driving force behind the allegations that Trump colluded with Russian authorities?

Research conducted by The Epoch Times, using public sources, shows a web of connections related to the dossier reaching the highest levels of the FBI, CIA, and the Obama administration.

Paid for by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC, and produced by Fusion GPS—whose other clients include the Russian government—the dossier appears to have been the basis for the FBI’s investigation into Donald Trump.

The FBI used the dossier, in part, to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump’s team, according to national security reporter Sarah Carter. Two of President Barack Obama’s top officials also surveilled the communications of Trump’s team, both before and after the elections.

The unverified allegations in the dossier were also actively spread to media organizations, both by Fusion GPS as well as other key players involved, to cast a shadow over Trump’s run for president and his presidency.

Text messages obtained by the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general show high ranking FBI officials discussing an “insurance policy” to prevent Trump from becoming president.

The connections presented raise many questions, including the following: Why was the FBI so willing to accept the allegations made by Fusion GPS? And what did Obama obtain in monitoring the communications of Trump, the opponent of the candidate he supported?

These matters are currently under investigation by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the DOJ inspector general, and possibly special counsel Robert Mueller.


Thursday, February 01, 2018

We Know A Little About What Matter Does, But Nothing About What It Is....,


qz |  Interest in panpsychism has grown in part thanks to the increased academic focus on consciousness itself following on from Chalmers’ “hard problem” paper. Philosophers at NYU, home to one of the leading philosophy-of-mind departments, have made panpsychism a feature of serious study. There have been several credible academic books on the subject in recent years, and popular articles taking panpsychism seriously.

One of the most popular and credible contemporary neuroscience theories on consciousness, Giulio Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory, further lends credence to panpsychism. Tononi argues that something will have a form of “consciousness” if the information contained within the structure is sufficiently “integrated,” or unified, and so the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Because it applies to all structures—not just the human brain—Integrated Information Theory shares the panpsychist view that physical matter has innate conscious experience.

Goff, who has written an academic book on consciousness and is working on another that approaches the subject from a more popular-science perspective, notes that there were credible theories on the subject dating back to the 1920s. Thinkers including philosopher Bertrand Russell and physicist Arthur Eddington made a serious case for panpsychism, but the field lost momentum after World War II, when philosophy became largely focused on analytic philosophical questions of language and logic. Interest picked up again in the 2000s, thanks both to recognition of the “hard problem” and to increased adoption of the structural-realist approach in physics, explains Chalmers. This approach views physics as describing structure, and not the underlying nonstructural elements.

“Physical science tells us a lot less about the nature of matter than we tend to assume,” says Goff. “Eddington”—the English scientist who experimentally confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity in the early 20th century—“argued there’s a gap in our picture of the universe. We know what matter does but not what it is. We can put consciousness into this gap.”  Fist tap Dale.

MIT Intelligence Quest


IQ.MIT |  We are setting out to answer two big questions: How does human intelligence work, in engineering terms? And how can we use that deep grasp of human intelligence to build wiser and more useful machines, to the benefit of society?

Drawing on MIT’s deep strengths and signature values, culture, and history, MIT IQ promises to make important contributions to understanding the nature of intelligence, and to harnessing it to make a better world.

This is our quest.
Sixty years ago, at MIT and elsewhere, big minds lit the fuse on a big question: What is intelligence, and how does it work? The result was an explosion of new fields — artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, linguistics, and more. They all took off at MIT and have produced remarkable offshoots, from computational neuroscience, to neural nets, to empathetic robots.

And today, by tapping the united strength of these and other interlocking fields and capitalizing on what they can teach each other, we seek to answer the deepest questions about intelligence — and to deliver transformative new gifts for humankind.

Some of these advances may be foundational in nature, involving new insight into human intelligence, and new methods to allow machines to learn effectively. Others may be practical tools for use in a wide array of research endeavors, such as disease diagnosis, drug discovery, materials and manufacturing design, automated systems, synthetic biology, and finance.

Along with developing and advancing the technologies of intelligence, MIT IQ researchers will also investigate the societal and ethical implications of advanced analytical and predictive tools. There are already active projects and groups at the Institute investigating autonomous systems, media and information quality, labor markets and the work of the future, innovation and the digital economy, and the role of AI in the legal system.

In all its activities, MIT IQ is intended to take advantage of — and strengthen — the Institute’s culture of collaboration. MIT IQ will connect and amplify existing excellence across labs and centers already engaged in intelligence research.

Join our quest.

Still Not Decoded...,


Smithsonian | The Voynich Manuscript has baffled cryptographers ever since the early 15th-century document was rediscovered by a Polish book dealer in 1912. The handwritten, 240-page screed, now housed in Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, is written from left to right in an unknown language. On top of that, the text itself is likely to have been scrambled by an unknown code. Despite numerous attempts to crack the code by some of the world’s best cryptographers, including Alan Turing and the Bletchley Park team, the contents of the enigmatic book have long remained a mystery. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying. The latest to give it a stab? The Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Alberta.

Bob Weber at the Canadian Press reports that natural language processing expert Greg Kondrak and grad student Bradley Hauer have attempted to identify the language the manuscript was written in using AI. According to a press release, the team originally believed that the manuscript was written in Arabic. But after feeding it to an AI trained to recognize 380 languages with 97 percent accuracy, its analysis of the letter frequency suggested the text was likely written in Hebrew. 

“That was surprising,” Kondrak says. They then hypothesized that the words were alphagrams, in which the letters are shuffled and vowels are dropped. When they unscrambled the first line of text using that method they found that 80 percent of the words created were found in the Hebrew dictionary. The research appears in the journal Transactions of the Association of Computational Linguistics.

Neither of the researchers are schooled in ancient Hebrew, so George Dvorsky at Gizmodo reports they took their deciphered first line to computer scientist Moshe Koppel, a colleague and native Hebrew speaker. He said it didn’t form a coherent sentence. After the team fixed some funky spelling errors and ran it through Google Translate, they came up with something readable, even if it doesn’t make much sense: “She made recommendations to the priest, man of the house and me and people.”