News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Denmark about to finish 'summerless' July without a single day over 77F. 1962, 1974, and 1979 also provided summerless Denmark July-The Local...(No matter what the temperature, US Republicans say it's 'proof' of excess CO2 caused by Americans who must pay reparations in perpetuity--in addition to billions already paid since 1990)

7/26/17, "Denmark faces first ‘summer-less’ July in 38 years," TheLocal.dk

"Let’s face it, this has hardly felt like summer. Now we’ve got the numbers to prove it. According to the Danish Meteorology Institute (DMI), July is likely to end without a single ‘summer day’, which is defined as any day in which temperatures top 25C (77F) at least somewhere in Denmark. 

If the next five days come and go without hitting 25C as predicted, it will mark the first time that Danes will have suffered through a summer-less July in nearly four decades.

“There are only three years in our records in which July contains a big fat zero when it comes to summer days and temps above 25C. That’s 1962, 1974 and 1979,” climatologist John Cappelen said on the DMI website.

DMI’s database goes back to 1874.

The warmest day thus far this month was July 19th, when an almost-yet-not-quite-there 24.6C was recorded. There were only two days in all of June that qualified as a summer day, while May had five.

But meteorologist Klaus Larsen said that all hope is not yet lost.

“The prognoses for the last day of the month - Monday the 31st – are hopping back and forth over the magic point. Until then there are no real signs that we will get over 25C so no matter what we are looking at a meteorological photo finish,” he said.

Before banking on Monday to break July’s sad streak, perhaps it’s worth a reminder that DMI wrongly predicted we would top 25C last week. 

Oh well, we can always hope against hope that August is better." 






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To Deep State's Michael G. Vickers: Didn't you hear? The US had 'regime change' in Nov. 2016--you were voted out. US taxpayers are no longer your slaves. Blood-sucking neocons like you have existed only via access to unlimited US taxpayer dollars. We've even been forced to pay for both "sides" in Syria: CIA and Pentagon 'backed' forces had to fight each other. 3 of our elite Green Berets were murdered training your filthy 'proxy' jihadists. Several decades and trillions of US dollars later, your 'strategy' has ruined the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, and left a more dangerous world for Americans. As a neocon, you wouldn't care because you're incapable of shame

"CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other" in Syria. US taxpayers forced to fund both "sides" in Syria; 3/27/2016, "In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA," LA Times, , W.J. Hennigan and Brian Bennett....A US backed 'side' in Syria gave weapons to Al Qaeda group....6/26/2016, "C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say," NY Times, "Weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market....The theft, involving millions of dollars of weapons, highlights the messy, unplanned consequences of programs to arm and train rebels-the kind of program the C.I.A. and Pentagon have conducted for decades."...July 18, 2017, "Secretive CIA Syria program details exposed by murder of 3 Green Berets at Jordanian air base," Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, via SOTT.net 
 
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7/26/17, "Who Is Michael Vickers? The CIA's Afghan Jihad Architect Declares War On Trump," Zero Hedge, Durden
  
(scroll down): "Who is Michael G. Vickers?

Mike Vickers recently added his voice to the chorus of frustrated pundits raging against Trump's closure of the CIA's Syria program. He wrote this week in the Washington Post:

"Abandoning the goal of removing Assad from power will place the United States on the side of not only the barbaric Syrian regime, which has American blood on its hands dating to the early 1980s, but also Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. This is strategic folly."

Even with his impressive sounding bio as former assistant secretary of defense for special operations, low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities and undersecretary of defense for intelligence during the Bush and Obama administrations, Vickers will not be recognizable to most.  

He is the quintessential man behind the scenes - hugely influential and powerful in the national security bureaucracy and shaping military action abroad over the past four decades, yet largely out of the public eye.

Michael G. Vickers is a key US strategist who funded Afghan jihadists in the 1980's and jihadists in Syria after 2011....

CIA's Afghan Jihad Mastermind

Vickers was considered the CIA's top strategic mastermind tasked with choosing weapons systems and implementing guerrilla warfare strategies for the various mujahideen groups fighting the Soviets in the 1980's war. This of course included supplying mass quantities of Raytheon's Stinger heat-seeking anti aircraft missiles to Afghan commanders like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and others now considered notorious terrorists by the West. Hekmatyar was a close ally of Bin Laden and had a reputation of throwing acid in women's faces should they be caught participating in public life. After 9/11 Charlie Wilson admitted that he "lived in terror" that one of the hundreds of Stinger missiles which were never recovered (and whereabouts still unknown) would be used to take down a civilian airliner.

According to Crile's exhaustively researched book, Vickers was the CIA's chief strategist that made it all happen, even expanding the weapons program beyond all historical precedent in the mid-80's:

"He [Vickers] was confident that the Stinger would add a lethal new dimension to the anti-aircraft mix that was already beginning to pay off. He had gone to great lengths to make sure the Afghans would be properly trained. In the past, U.S. trainers had taught the Pakistanis how to use the new weapons, and the Pakistanis had then instructed the mujahideen. This time Vickers proposed that the American specialists go into the camps dressed like mujahideen to personally supervise the training. 

...Now that the anti-aircraft strategy was in place, Vickers insisted that his master plan, spelling out precise how the CIA should support the Afghans for the next three years was complete."

And like with the more recent Syria covert program, the massive Afghan jihad program had to be carefully shielded from public view:

"And so all of Vickers's calculations had to take into account maneuvers with Swiss bank accounts, shadowy purchasing agents, safe houses, phony corporations, contracts, lawyers, disguised boats, fleets of trucks, trains, camels, donkeys, mules, warehouses, disguised satellite-targeting studies, and secret payments to the families of the fighters. 

...By the beginning of 1986 Vickers realized he was calling the shots on 57 percent of the Directorate of Operations' total budget. He had by then grown accustomed to running the biggest CIA paramilitary campaign in history.
 
We all know how this ended up: an unprecedented rise in international Islamic terrorism as a permanent fixture on the world stage, horrific mass casualties of civilians in sophisticated terror bombings, the installation of the radical Taliban government in Afghanistan, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the 9/11 attacks. According to Crile the CIA was well aware of the nasty jihadist nature of the Afghan rebels it was dealing with at the time, and like with Syria of more recent years, it was warned of what would come and proceeded anyway.

Vickers: From Afghan to Syrian Jihad

With not a hint of shame, bashfulness, or recognition of the twisted irony of it all, Vickers actually invoked his prior experience overseeing the Afghan jihad in his recent Washington Post op-ed

"President Ronald Reagan understood the potential of covert proxy wars to alter global power balances. Through stepped-up support for the Afghan mujahideen and other anti-Communist movements, and other, complementary strategic policies, he won the Cold War. It took the Carter and Reagan administrations more than five years to come up with a war-winning strategy (work that I helped to lead as a CIA officer) against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The same could be done in Syria today."
At the very least, this might serve to educate the public of how the intelligence and national security deep state works: these guys never go away, criminality is rewarded. (Vickers was literally praised as thinking "like a gangster" for his ability to implement nasty guerrilla tactics on shifting battlefield environments in a 2007 Washington Post profile), and it's often the same guys running the show behind the scenes of ugly covert interventions which only serve to make the world less safe for Americans.

Vickers himself, as Defense Under Secretary for Intelligence until 2015, oversaw aspects of US covert action in Syria. The man has literally gone from overseeing the CIA's covert support of Afghan mujahideen to overseeing US support for jihadists in Syria to now declaring war on Trump. The deep state has gone full circle here. But it's our sincere hope that America finally defeats all the jihadists and their enablers both at home and abroad."





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Army orders US soldiers to strap on 25 pound empathy bellies and fake breasts--not to train to kill the enemy--but to understand how pregnant soldiers feel when practicing aerobics-Feb. 2012, Stars and Stripes...('The enemy' must be quaking in its boots)

Feb. 16, 2012, "Soldiers don fake belly, breasts to better understand pregnant troops' exercise concerns," Stars and Stripes, Seth Robson, Camp Zama, Japan

Image caption: "Sgt. Michael Braden, 29, of Everett, Wash., wears an "empathy belly" pregnancy simulator at Camp Zama on Feb. 14, 2012," Stars and Stripes, S. Robson

"Soldiers don 'pregnancy simulators'" 

"The Army is ordering its hardened combat veterans to wear fake breasts and empathy bellies so they can better understand how pregnant soldiers feel during physical training. 

This week, 14 noncommissioned officers at Camp Zama took turns wearing the “pregnancy simulators” as they stretched, twisted and exercised during a three-day class that teaches them to serve as fitness instructors for pregnant soldiers and new mothers. 

Army enlisted leaders all over the world are being ordered to take the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Exercise Leaders Course, or PPPT, according to U.S. Army Medical Activity Japan health promotion educator Jana York. 

Developed by the Army in 2008, the course includes aerobics classes, pool sessions and classroom studies on the physiology of pregnant women. The NCOs learn special exercises for pregnant women, who shouldn’t push themselves too hard or participate in high-impact activities such as snowboarding, bungee jumping or horse riding, York said.

During the training, each NCO must wear the pregnancy simulator for at least an hour. 

“When they first come in, the males are typically timid and don’t feel they have the knowledge to teach female soldiers,” she said. “However, after three days their confidence rises.” 

Sgt. Michael Braden, a helicopter crew chief who has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, said he was less than enthusiastic about taking part.

“I didn’t want to do it,” said Braden, 29, of Everett, Wash. 

The 78th Aviation Battalion mechanic said he was ordered to do the training even though he doesn’t have any female soldiers in his unit and doesn’t see himself as the right sort of person to run the aerobics classes that make up a large portion of the PPPT training.

Despite his misgivings, Braden strapped on the empathy belly and spent Tuesday morning learning low-impact aerobics moves like the “grapevine” and the “V-step.”

“This whole thing is pretty uncomfortable,” he said of the 25-pound pregnancy simulator. But, “body armor is a lot heavier.”

Braden said he didn’t know there was such a thing as physical training for pregnant soldiers before he started the course....

According to an Army fact sheet about the program, “moderate exercise promotes a more rapid recovery from the birth process and a faster return to required physical fitness levels.”... 

The program, which is mandatory for pregnant soldiers, was set up to get them back to their units quickly after they give birth, according to Staff Sgt. Latoya Nieves-Gonzales, who is helping York train the NCOs at Camp Zama....

Soldiers have six months to meet the Army’s height and weight standards and pass a physical training test after they give birth, she said, adding that nine pregnant soldiers do PPPT training at Camp Zama each morning....

Female soldiers typically add 25-30 pounds during a pregnancy, said Nieves-Gonzales, who put on 20 pounds before the birth of her own son, Xavier, six years ago in W├╝rzburg, Germany.

That was before PPPT training was mandatory....

Still, soldiers used to mounting up with rucksacks and rifles were not too keen on the idea of strapping on a big belly and fake breasts. 

“I’m not looking forward to wearing the pregnancy simulator,” said Sgt. Matthew Prout, a 26-year-old member of the 88th Military Police Detachment at Camp Zama.... 

“It gives me a better sense of what the pregnant woman is going through as she is going the exercises,” he said. “It will allow me to see both sides.”... 

My initial view of the Army was just kind of – we train, we fight,he said. “But my eyes have been opened up to the family aspects of the Army as opposed to just the single soldier view.” 

Prout, who is single, said he hoped the PPPT training would help him relate to his future wife when she gets pregnant."...image from Stars and Stripes




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Democrat Party transforms into perpetual war party, accelerated by its Russia-gate hysteria. Rep. Barbara Lee does 180 on peace and diplomacy she bravely defended in 2001-Norman Solomon, Consortium News

7/25/17, "Learning to Love Perpetual War," Norman Solomon, Consortium News

"The transformation of the Democratic Party into the perpetual war party – accelerated by the Russia-gate hysteria is personified by Rep. Barbara Lee who voted against the “war on terror” resolution in 2001."...

"For Americans who oppose perpetual war, no member of Congress has been more admired than Barbara Lee. Ever since she cast the only vote against a blank-check war resolution, three days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Oakland Democrat has earned a reputation for bravely speaking antiwar truth to militarist power.

But, now, the core wisdom of her eloquent speech on the House floor nearly 16 years ago is under threat — from Lee herself.

When Lee beseeched her colleagues to “think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control,” she was looking far beyond the politics and passions of that moment on Sept. 14, 2001. Now, in a July 7 (2017) tweet, she has stepped away from steadfast support for the necessity of diplomatic initiatives.

Finding alternatives to war must include diplomacy. In the case of the “war on terror” that Lee resisted from the start, what spiraled out of control was endless and boundless war. These days, the escalating tensions with Russia could spiral out of control all the way to nuclear holocaust
.
That’s a major reason the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the symbolic hands of its Doomsday Clock even closer to apocalyptic midnight early this year. The nuclear peril is terribly real, and it’s growing.

For that overarching reason, former Sen. Sam Nunn joined with three seasoned ex-diplomats to co-sign an open letter in late June, urging Presidents Trump and Vladimir Putin to discuss four specific proposals for reducing the dangers of nuclear war. Nunn — drawing on his experience as chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee — knows that top-level talks between the Russian and U.S. governments are crucial to reduce the risk of the world blowing up.

But Lee addressed the Trump-Putin meeting at the G20 summit in a very different way. Right after it was over, she sent out a tweet that denounced the very idea of the two presidents sitting down and talking: “Outraged by President Trump’s 2 hr meeting w/Putin, the man who orchestrated attacks on our democracy. Where do his loyalties lie?”"...

[Ed. note: What are the "attacks on our democracy" she says Putin orchestrated?]

(continuing): "Yet real diplomacy often requires that leaders we don’t like — at the top of a foreign government and maybe our own — sit down together, talk and negotiate. In the case of the world’s two nuclear-weapons superpowers, that could turn out to mean the difference between coexistence or co-annihilation.

During her historic 2001 speech on the House floor, when she insisted that “some of us must urge the use of restraint,” Lee was refusing to be swept up in the easy and dangerous conformity of the times. She saw that militarized confrontation would be a tragically unwise alternative to diplomacy.

Lee now seems to have cast aside such understanding, at least as far as relations with Russia are concerned. Her constituents, as well as other supporters in California and beyond, should encourage her to return to it.

Certainly, Lee deserves credit for ongoing efforts to repeal the 2001 war authorization. Yet this month she veered way off the peace track by proclaiming that she was “outraged” because Trump and Putin had a meeting.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Rep. Lee offered profound insight and leadership instead of confusion and fear. That’s why the saying “Barbara Lee speaks for me” took hold and lasted. But now we must let her know when she no longer speaks for us."

"Norman Solomon is the author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” (2005). [This article first appeared in San Francisco Chronicle at http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/When-Barbara-Lee-doesn-t-speak-for-me-11305910.php ]"

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Added: Rep. Barbara Lee had no problem with Putin and Obama happily chatting unmonitored in 2012:

Bromance Bonus: Putin and Obama giggle and cuddle in 2012 in Mexico. No reporter appears to be present to hear if the discussion was as treasonous as it looks. Reporters may have been committing treason by being uninterested in the exchange, since supposedly Putin is an arch enemy of the US. Why was media not curious about private conversation in a public venue with Putin in 2012 but very curious about private conversation with Putin in public venue in 2017? If Putin is as bad as media say, why are Obama and Putin laughing, having private conversation with Putin covering his mouth to prevent lip reading following which Obama bursts into laughter?
 








*Putin-Obama images are screen shots from You Tube video.


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Longest ski season in history for Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe; second longest ever for Mammoth Mountain in California-LA Times

July 26, 2017, "After a near-record 270 days, Mammoth Mountain's snow season is coming to a close," LA Times, Mary Forgione 

"During one of the longest ski seasons in California’s history, Mammoth Mountain is getting ready to say goodbye to skiers and snowboarders who’ve been relishing their time on the slopes deep into summer. 

The ski resort in Mammoth Lakes will be open daily for snow sports through Aug. 6. It chalked up a remarkable 270-day season after big winter snowfalls were helped by a late June snowstorm. 

Squaw Valley Resort overlooking Lake Tahoe in Olympic Valley, Calif., also had a long winter-into-summer run. It closed for the winter season July 15, marking its latest closing date in the resort’s history. 

By the numbers, Mammoth received 618 inches of snow at its Main Lodge (which sits at about 9,000 feet) and an estimated 800-plus inches at the resort’s 11,053-foot summit, according to a news release. The numbers add up to the second-longest season for Mammoth, surpassed only by the big snow of 1994-95 when the resort was open from Oct. 8, 1994, through Aug. 13, 1995. 

And here’s the good news for powder lovers: Mammoth plans to reopen in just 100 days, on Nov. 9. 

For those ready to get on with summer, the resort’s Bike Park is open. You can ride on trail by taking the gondola to the top. Visitors to Squaw Valley also can go on mountain biking trails or take a scenic tram to 8,200 feet in elevation."








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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hillary freely admits talking with foreign leaders during 2016 campaign about how to beat Trump. Townhall, Columbus, Ohio, CNN. Foreign leaders call and ask if they can endorse her to stop Trump



Hillary: "I am already receiving messages from leaders. I'm having foreign leaders ask if they can endorse me to stop Donald Trump....Some have done it publicly, actually...the Italian Prime Minister, for example."

Jake Tapper: How about the one's who've done it privately?"  

Hillary: "No, Jake---we're holding that in reserve, too."

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"Hillary openly admits to collusion with foreign leaders, Isn't that "TREASON?" #TFNOriginal, posted July 19, 2017

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Bromance Bonus: Putin and Obama giggle and cuddle in 2012 in Mexico. No reporter appears to be present to hear if the discussion was as treasonous as it looks. Reporters may have been committing treason by being uninterested in the exchange, since supposedly Putin is an arch enemy of the US. Why was media not curious about private conversation in a public venue with Putin in 2012 but very curious about private conversation with Putin in public venue in 2017? If Putin is as bad as media say, why are Obama and Putin laughing, having private conversation with Putin covering his mouth to prevent lip reading following which Obama bursts into laughter?
 










Putin-Obama images are screen shots from above video.






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Deep State DOJ told FBI they were going to advise Sessions to recuse himself, Comey took this as done deal. Sessions had worked with career DOJ staff less than 4 wks but took their advice and recused himself from both Russian probe and any 'matters that deal with the Trump campaign'-TPM, June 8, 2017, Comey statements...(Deep State Republicans also advised Sessions to recuse)

Sessions confirmed as Attorney General on Wed. Feb. 8, 2017, recused himself less than 4 weeks later in a March 2 news conference. 63 million voters desperate for change were promised that career Washington DC swamp dwellers would be cleared out by the Trump administration, yet Sessions immediately took the advice of "career" (meaning Swamp) DOJ personnel to recuse himself, effectively nullifying nearly 63 million voters and the essence of the Trump campaign.

June 8, 2017, "Sessions Mystery: How Did Comey Know AG Would Have To Recuse Himself?" Talking Points Memo, Allegra Kirkland

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions oversight of the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election had become "problematic" before he voluntarily recused himself, fired FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday. The tantalizingly vague statement, based on facts Comey said he could not discuss in an open hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, suggested that FBI leadership knew weeks before Sessions’ recusal that he would have to step down.

As Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) noted, Comey first made this assertion in his seven-page-long written testimony, which was released a day before his blockbuster in-person appearance. In that prepared statement, Comey said he immediately briefed his FBI leadership team after President Donald Trump requested he drop the investigation into Trump’s freshly ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in a one-on-one White House meeting on Feb. 14. The officials agreed not to notify Sessions because they expected he (Sessions) “would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations,” per Comey’s prepared statement.

“What was it about the attorney general’s own interactions with the Russians or his behavior with regard to the investigation that would have led the entire leadership of the FBI to make this decision?” Wyden asked.

"“Our judgment, as I recall, was that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons,” Comey said. “We also were aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an open setting, that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic and so we werewe were convinced and in fact, I think we had already heard that the career people [at the Justice Department] were recommending that he recuse himself, that he was not going to be in contact with Russia related matters much longer.” 

“That turned out to be the case,” he added.

Sessions recused himself two weeks after that Feb. 14 conversation between Trump and Comey, after the Washington Post reported that he failed to disclose two conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the campaign. Sessions had voluntarily offered during his own confirmation hearings that he “did not have communications with the Russians.

After the Washington Post broke the news that Sessions twice met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the attorney general’s spokesperson confirmed the encounters, saying they occurred in his capacity as a then-senator from Alabama rather than as a prominent Trump campaign surrogate.

The attorney general announced his recusal from both the Russia probe and any "matters that deal with the Trump campaign" hours later.

My [career DOJ] staff recommended recusal,” Sessions said in a March 2 news conference. “I believe those recommendations are right and just.”

During that announcement, Sessions declined to confirm that there was an investigation into Trump’s associates and Russia. He also said he did not “believe” he had met with any Russian officials other than Kislyak.

Trump is reportedly still seething at Sessions over that recusal, which he believes ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the sprawling Russia investigation."

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Among comments
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"llamaspit 

I can't claim any special knowledge, but it has always seemed strange to me that Sessions decided so quickly to recuse himself so soon after confirmation. The normal pattern is to fight tooth and nail and drag the process out for as long as possible, but Sessions decided quickly for some reason to take himself out. And even more significantly, he had to know just how important it would be to Trump to have the AG defending him at every turn, as well as for the AG to be able to feed him inside info in the investigation as it progressed.

My explanation is that Sessions realized that he already had criminal liability at least for perjury and false statements to the FBI"...

[Ed. note: Presumably about meeting the Russian Ambassador twice but not mentioning it at his AG confirmation hearings when asked: "Sessions met with Kislyak twice, in July on the sidelines of the Republican convention, and in September in his office when Sessions was a member of the Senate Armed Services committee." No mention of prostitutes urinating on a bed in Moscow a la "Golden Showers" anti-Trump dossier.]

(continuing): "and that compounding that with further lies and obfuscations would incriminate him further, and leave him open to greater scrutiny that he already was in line for. Just my guess."

................................

Added: Along with Deep State DOJ, treasonous Deep State Republicans also called for Sessions to recuse himself. They were never going to allow Trump any success and have been more than happy to sell the "everybody knows Putin stole the election" lie:

3/1/17, CNN: "Several Republicans also called on Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia inquiries. 

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told CNN Sessions "should further clarify his testimony." Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, said "we need a clear-eyed view of what the Russians actually did so that all Americans can have faith in our institutions.""...

[Ed. note: Exactly who said "the Russians actually did" anything and what is the evidence?]

 (continuing): ""Jeff Sessions is a former colleague and a friend, but I think it would be best for him and for the country to recuse himself from the DOJ Russia probe," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in a statement. 

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, in an interview with MSNBC, said Sessions should recuse himself for "the trust of the American people." An aide later said McCarthy was only referring to Sessions' statement that he should recuse himself if there was a conflict." "Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian ambassador" by Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Eli Watkins, CNN





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Monday, July 24, 2017

DNC emails were leaked--not hacked--per investigation of forensic evidence. Leaker was on US East Coast. June 12, Assange announces intent to publish DNC emails. June 15: Media reports DNC contractor CrowdStrike says Russian gov. took emails-7/24/17 Veteran Intelligence Professionals in memo to Pres. Trump, following earlier memo to former Pres. Obama on same subject

7/24/17, "Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence," Consortium News

"In a memo to President Trump, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, cite new forensic studies to challenge the claim of the key Jan. 6 “assessment” that Russia “hacked” Democratic emails last year."

"MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?

Executive Summary

Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.

After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted.

Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hackOf equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [see here and here].

Independent analyst Skip Folden, a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, who examined the recent forensic findings, is a co-author of this Memorandum. He has drafted a more detailed technical report titled “Cyber-Forensic Investigation of ‘Russian Hack’ and Missing Intelligence Community Disclaimers,” and sent it to the offices of the Special Counsel and the Attorney General. VIPS member William Binney, a former Technical Director at the National Security Agency, and other senior NSA “alumni” in VIPS attest to the professionalism of the independent forensic findings.
 
The recent forensic studies fill in a critical gap. Why the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original “Guccifer 2.0” material remains a mystery – as does the lack of any sign that the “hand-picked analysts” from the FBI, CIA, and NSA, who wrote the “Intelligence Community Assessment” dated January 6, 2017, gave any attention to forensics.

NOTE: There has been so much conflation of charges about hacking that we wish to make very clear the primary focus of this Memorandum. We focus specifically on the July 5, 2016 alleged Guccifer 2.0 “hack” of the DNC server. In earlier VIPS memoranda we addressed the lack of any evidence connecting the Guccifer 2.0 alleged hacks and WikiLeaks, and we asked President Obama specifically to disclose any evidence that WikiLeaks received DNC data from the Russians [see here and here].

Addressing this point at his last press conference (January 18), he described “the conclusions of the intelligence community” as “not conclusive,” even though the Intelligence Community Assessment of January 6 expressed “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the DNC…to WikiLeaks.”

Obama’s admission came as no surprise to us. It has long been clear to us that the reason the U.S. government lacks conclusive evidence of a transfer of a “Russian hack” to WikiLeaks is because there was no such transfer. Based mostly on the cumulatively unique technical experience of our ex-NSA colleagues, we have been saying for almost a year that the DNC data reached WikiLeaks via a copy/leak by a DNC insider (but almost certainly not the same person who copied DNC data on July 5, 2016).

From the information available, we conclude that the same inside-DNC, copy/leak process was used at two different times, by two different entities, for two distinctly different purposes:

-(1) an inside leak to WikiLeaks before Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, that he had DNC documents and planned to publish them (which he did on July 22) – the presumed objective being to expose strong DNC bias toward the Clinton candidacy; and
 
-(2) a separate leak on July 5, 2016, to pre-emptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish by “showing” it came from a “Russian hack.”
*  *  *
Mr. President:

This is our first VIPS Memorandum for you, but we have a history of letting U.S. Presidents know when we think our former intelligence colleagues have gotten something important wrong, and why. For example, our first such memorandum, a same-day commentary for President George W. Bush on Colin Powell’s U.N. speech on February 5, 2003, warned that the “unintended consequences were likely to be catastrophic,” should the U.S. attack Iraq and “justfy” the war on intelligence that we retired intelligence officers could readily see as fraudulent and driven by a war agenda. 

The January 6 “Intelligence Community Assessment” by “hand-picked” analysts from the FBI, CIA, and NSA seems to fit into the same agenda-driven category. It is largely based on an “assessment,” not supported by any apparent evidence, that a shadowy entity with the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

The recent forensic findings mentioned above have put a huge dent in that assessment and cast serious doubt on the underpinnings of the extraordinarily successful campaign to blame the Russian government for hackingThe pundits and politicians who have led the charge against Russian “meddling” in the U.S. election can be expected to try to cast doubt on the forensic findings, if they ever do bubble up into the mainstream media. But the principles of physics don’t lie; and the technical limitations of today’s Internet are widely understood. We are prepared to answer any substantive challenges on their merits. 

You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this. Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down.

Copied, Not Hacked

As indicated above, the independent forensic work just completed focused on data copied (not hacked) by a shadowy persona named “Guccifer 2.0.” The forensics reflect what seems to have been a desperate effort to “blame the Russians” for publishing highly embarrassing DNC emails three days before the Democratic convention last July. Since the content of the DNC emails reeked of pro-Clinton bias, her campaign saw an overriding need to divert attention from content to provenance – as in, who “hacked” those DNC emails? The campaign was enthusiastically supported by a compliant “mainstream” media; they are still on a roll.

“The Russians” were the ideal culprit. And, after WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, “We have emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” her campaign had more than a month before the convention to insert its own “forensic facts” and prime the media pump to put the blame on “Russian meddling.” Mrs. Clinton’s PR chief Jennifer Palmieri has explained how she used golf carts to make the rounds at the convention. She wrote that her “mission was to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.” 

Independent cyber-investigators have now completed the kind of forensic work that the intelligence assessment did not do. Oddly, the “hand-picked” intelligence analysts contented themselves with “assessing” this and “assessing” that. In contrast, the investigators dug deep and came up with verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of the alleged Russian hack.

They found that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else. Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider. The data was leaked after being doctored with a cut-and-paste job to implicate Russia. We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI.

The Time Sequence

June 12, 2016: Assange announces WikiLeaks is about to publish “emails related to Hillary Clinton.”

June 15, 2016: DNC contractor Crowdstrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: On the same day, “Guccifer 2.0” affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the “hack;” claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.”

We do not think that the June 12 and 15 timing was pure coincidence. Rather, it suggests the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to “show” that it came from a Russian hack.

The Key Event

July 5, 2016: In the early evening, Eastern Daylight Time, someone working in the EDT time zone with a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 MegaBytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That speed is many times faster than what is physically possible with a hack. 

It thus appears that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 (the self-proclaimed WikiLeaks source) was not a hack by Russia or anyone else, but was rather a copy of DNC data onto an external storage device. Moreover, the forensics performed on the metadata reveal there was a subsequent synthetic insertion – a cut-and-paste job using a Russian template, with the clear aim of attributing the data to a “Russian hack.” This was all performed in the East Coast time zone.
 
“Obfuscation and De-obfuscation”

Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled “Vault 7.” WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA’s Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015.

Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the “Marble Framework” program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as “news fit to print” and was kept out of the Times.

The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima, it seems, “did not get the memo” in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: “WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.”

The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use “obfuscation,” and that Marble source code includes a “deobfuscator” to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a “forensic attribution double game” or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.
 
The CIA’s reaction was neuralgic. Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates “demons,” and insisting, “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

Mr. President, we do not know if CIA’s Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA’s Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review.

Putin and the Technology

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today’s technology enables hacking to be “masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin” [of the hack] … And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.”

“Hackers may be anywhere,” he said. “There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can’t you imagine such a scenario?…I can.”

Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times. This is our 50th VIPS Memorandum since the afternoon of Powell’s speech at the UN. Live links to the 49 past memos can be found at https://consortiumnews.com/vips-memos/."

"FOR THE STEERING GROUP, VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY 

William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical and Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center
Skip Folden, independent analyst, retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US (Associate VIPS)
Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq and Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)
Michael S. Kearns, Air Force Intelligence Officer (Ret.), Master SERE Resistance to Interrogation Instructor
John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)
Lisa Ling, TSgt USAF (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Edward Loomis, Jr., former NSA Technical Director for the Office of Signals Processing
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former U.S. Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA
Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)
Cian Westmoreland, former USAF Radio Frequency Transmission Systems Technician and Unmanned Aircraft Systems whistleblower (Associate VIPS)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA
Sarah G. Wilton, Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.); Commander, US Naval Reserve (ret.)
Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat"
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Added: July 9, 2017 article by Craig Murray

7/9/2017, "‘Russiagate’: The Stink Without a Secret," WashingtonsBlog.com, by Craig Murray 

"By Craig Murray, former British intelligence officer, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and Rector (i.e. Chancellor) of the University of Dundee. Originally published at CraigMurray.org.uk."

"After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged
.
I do not support Donald Trump. I do support truth. There is much about Trump that I dislike intensely. Neither do I support the neo-liberal political establishment in the USA. The latter’s control of the mainstream media, and cunning manipulation of identity politics, seeks to portray the neo-liberal establishment as the heroes of decent values against Trump. Sadly, the idea that the neo-liberal establishment embodies decent values is completely untrue.

Truth disappeared so long ago in this witch-hunt that it is no longer even possible to define what the accusation is. Belief in “Russian hacking” of the US election has been elevated to a generic accusation of undefined wrongdoing,
a vague malaise we are told is floating poisonously in the ether, but we are not allowed to analyze. 

What did the Russians actually do?

The original, base accusation is that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. (I can assure you that is untrue). 

The authenticity of those emails is not in question. What they revealed of cheating by the Democratic establishment in biasing the primaries against Bernie Sanders, led to the forced resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. They also led to the resignation from CNN of Donna Brazile, who had passed debate questions in advance to Clinton. Those are facts. They actually happened. Let us hold on to those facts, as we surf through lies. There was other nasty Clinton Foundation and cash for access stuff in the emails, but we do not even need to go there for the purpose of this argument.

The original “Russian hacking” allegation was that it was the Russians who nefariously obtained these damning emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. The “evidence” for this was twofold. A report from private cyber security firm Crowdstrike claimed that metadata showed that the hackers had left behind clues, including the name of the founder of the Soviet security services. The second piece of evidence was that a blogger named Guccifer2 and a website called DNCLeaks appeared to have access to some of the material around the same time that WikiLeaks did, and that Guccifer2 could be Russian.

That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual “evidence” of Russian hacking. I won’t say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than “Russian hacking” being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.

But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails traveled over the Internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn’t one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.

As we have been repeatedly told, “17 intelligence agencies” sign up to the “Russian hacking”, yet all these king’s horses and all these king’s men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported “hack”. Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.

The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened.

The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download.

Not actually examining the obvious evidence has been a key tool in keeping the “Russian hacking” meme going

On 24 May the Guardian reported triumphantly, following the Washington Post, that 

“Fox News falsely alleged federal authorities had found thousands of emails between Rich and WikiLeaks, when in fact law enforcement officials disputed that Rich’s laptop had even been in possession of, or examined by, the FBI.”

It evidently did not occur to the Guardian as troubling, that those pretending to be investigating the murder of Seth Rich have not looked at his laptop.

There is a very plain pattern here of agencies promoting the notion of a fake “Russian crime”, while failing to take the most basic and obvious initial steps if they were really investigating its existence. I might add to that, there has been no contact with me at all by those supposedly investigating. I could tell them these were leaks not hacks. WikiLeaks The clue is in the name.

So those “17 agencies” are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia’s security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place?

Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks “Vault 7” leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation.

Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which “had hacked” the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited.

Some of the more crazed “Russiagate” allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah.

Given there is no hacking in the Russian hacking story, the charges have moved wider into a vague miasma of McCarthyite anti-Russian hysteria. Does anyone connected to Trump know any Russians? Do they have business links with Russian finance?

Of course they do. Trump is part of the worldwide oligarch class whose financial interests are woven into a vast worldwide network that enslaves pretty well the rest of us. As are the Clintons and the owners of the mainstream media who are stoking up the anti-Russian hysteria. It is all good for their armaments industry interests, in both Washington and Moscow.

Trump’s judgment is appalling. His sackings or inappropriate directions to people over this subject may damage him.

The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there. 

Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. I remain positive that the movement Bernie Sanders started will bring a new dawn to America in the next few years. That depends on political campaigning by people on the ground and on social media. Leveraging falsehoods and cold war hysteria through mainstream media in an effort to somehow get Clinton back to power is not a viable alternative. It is a fantasy and even were it practical, I would not want it to succeed."







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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.