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The Pronk Pops Show 916, June 21, 2017, Story 1: Four Time Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Another Democratic Candidate, Jon Ossoff, Lost To Trump Backed Republican, Karen Handel, In Georgia — Videos — Story 2: Progressive Propaganda From Big Lie Media Not Working — Videos

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Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 916,  June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915,  June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914,  June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913,  June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912,  June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911,  June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910,  June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909,  June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908,  June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907,  June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906,  June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905,  June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904,  June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903,  June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902,  May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901,  May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899,  May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898,  May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897,  May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 865: March 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 864: March 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 863: March 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 862: March 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 861: March 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 860: March 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 859: March 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 858: March 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 857: March 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 856: March 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 855: March 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 854: March 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 853: March 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 852: March 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 851: March 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 850: March 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 849: March 1, 2017

 Story 1: Four Time Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Another Democratic Candidate, Jon Ossoff, Lost To Trump Backed Republican, Karen Handel, In Georgia — Videos —

Image result for eric hoffer quotes propagandaImage result for cartoons democrat lost in georgia ossoff

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The Trump ‘referendum’ that wasn’t

The true meaning behind special election victories

Special Report : Political fallout from Karen Handel’s special election win : 6/20/2017

President Trump reacts to Georgia special election result

Political fallout from Karen Handel’s special election win

Karen Handel defeats Jon Ossoff in Georgia special election

Liberals Panic Karen Handel won the special election ( Democrats Lose Again )

Rush Limbaugh, Democrats Devastated Over Karen Handel Win over Jon Ossoff

Breathtakingly Incoherent Dems Blow the Georgia House Special Election and Can’t Figure Out Why

What Do You Need To Finally Understand the Poison of Alt-Left Mainstream Media?

Mark Steyn Coins a New Phrase “Deep State Dinner Theater” Excellent!

BREAKING NEWS TRUMP 6/21/17: Do you think America is at a turning point?

Jon Ossoff concedes Georgia race

RAW: Karen Handel addresses supporters after win

 

Story 2: Progressive Propaganda From Big Lie Media Not Working — Videos

10 Signs That Someone Is Lying

Former CIA Officer Will Teach You How to Spot a Lie l Digiday

Documentary on how the media lies to manipulate us

Propaganda-Behind Big Media-WE are BEING LIED to in a BIG WAY by the TV! TURN IT OFF!

Television = Mass Mind Control Propaganda

Propaganda & Engineering Consent for Empire with Mark Crispin Miller

War, US Government Corporate Propaganda, The CIA & The Russian “Putin Threat”

Propaganda Terms in the Media and What They Mean – Noam Chomsky

CRITICAL THINKING – Cognitive Biases: Anchoring [HD]

Scott Adams talks about the Comey fog of confirmation bias

Cognition: How Your Mind Can Amaze and Betray You – Crash Course Psychology #15

Image result for eric hoffer and the true believerImage result for eric hoffer and the true believerImage result for eric hoffer and the true believer

Image result for eric hoffer and the true believer

Eric Hoffer – Tyranny of the Intellectuals

Eric Hoffer pt. 1 of 5

Eric Hoffer pt. 2 of 5

Eric Hoffer pt. 3 of 5

Eric Hoffer pt. 4 of 5

Eric Hoffer pt. 5 of 5

Top Ten Quotes Of Eric Hoffer

Eric Hoffer: The True Believer and The Nature of Mass Movements

Why are Activists often Altruists? Why Low Image of Self?

Eric Hoffer “The Longshoreman Philosopher” predicted Donald Trump & 1940’s Port of Los Angeles

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Propaganda and Manipulation: How mass media engineers and distorts our perceptions

7 Propaganda Techniques Used on You Every Day

Introduction to Propaganda

What is Brainwashing?

PROPAGANDA SOCIAL ENGINEERING AND THE MANUFACTURING OF HUMAN THOUGHT

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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The Pronk Pops Show 913, June 16, 2017, Story 1: President Trump Reverses Obama’s Cuba Policies — Videos — Story 2: Political Elitist Establishment vs. The American People — Three Sticks Mueller Hires Clinton and Obama Donors and Lawyers For Elite Political Hit Squad Targeting President Trump For Fake Obstruction of Justice —  Trump Should Fire Mueller and Initiate A Justice Department and FBI Criminal Investigation of Barack Obama,Valery Jarrett, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Susan Rice, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Their Staffs For Massive Criminal Activity Including Miss Handling Of Classified Documents and Destruction of Government Records, Public Corruption, Misconduct in Office, Obstruction of Justice, Perjury and Conspiracy to commit perjury and Using Intelligence Community To Spy on American People Including Republican Candidates and Trump For Political Purposes — Videos

Posted on June 16, 2017. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Candidates, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Jeb Bush, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Lying, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, National Security Agency, People, Rand Paul, Senate, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 913,  June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912,  June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911,  June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910,  June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909,  June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908,  June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907,  June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906,  June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905,  June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904,  June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903,  June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902,  May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901,  May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899,  May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898,  May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897,  May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 865: March 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 864: March 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 863: March 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 862: March 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 861: March 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 860: March 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 859: March 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 858: March 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 857: March 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 856: March 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 855: March 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 854: March 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 853: March 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 852: March 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 851: March 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 850: March 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 849: March 1, 2017

Image result for president trump speech 16 june 2017 florida on cuba

Image result for trump tweets on special counsel leaks colllusion and now obstructionImage result for mueller hit squad of lawyers

Story 1: President Trump Reverses Obama’s Cuba Policies — Videos —

Image result for president trump speech 16 june 2017 florida on cuba Image result for trump speech on cuba in florida June 16, 2017

Trump’s new Cuba policy, explained

Image result for branco cartoon on mueller

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President Trump cancels Obama-era policy on Cuba, restores embargo

FULL SPEECH: President Donald Trump: “I am cancelling” Obama’s deal with Cuba! MAGA MUST SHARE 6/16

Watch Marco Rubio Slam Obama And Praise President Donald Trump For Support Of Cuba 6/16/2017

President Donald Trump Cuba Policy Change Speech Full

Cuba

Trump ‘canceling’ Obama’s Cuba policy but leaves much in place

Ramon Espinosa/AP
WATCHTrump ‘canceling’ Obama Cuba policy but leaves much in place

After nearly three years of warming relations between the United States and Cuba, President Donald Trump has announced that his administration will unravel many of his predecessor’s policies on the communist state.

Speaking in Miami, Florida, Trump announced changes to President Barack Obama’s historic rapprochement with Cuba — fulfilling a promise to the anti-Castro voting bloc he believes helped his campaign clinch the state, but stirring fear among others he could set back business interests and Cuba’s potential for a more prosperous private sector.

The Cuban government said in a statement published in the state-run newspaper Granma, “Again, the United States Government resorted to coercive methods of the past, adopting measures to intensify the blockade, in force since February 1962, which not only causes damage and deprivation to the Cuban people and constitutes an undeniable obstacle to the development of our economy, but also affects the sovereignty and interests of other countries, inciting international rejection.”

The statement continues, “The Cuban Government denounces the new measures to tighten the blockade, which are destined to fail as has been shown repeatedly in the past, and which will not achieve its purpose to weaken the revolution or to defeat the Cuban people, whose resistance to the aggressions of any type and origin has been proven over almost six decades.”

Decades of contention before Obama

In one form or another, the embargo on Cuba has been in place since the Eisenhower administration. But beginning in late 2014, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro began a process that gradually thawed diplomatic tensions and eased commercial and travel restrictions between the two countries.

This process culminated in significant economic opportunities for both the U.S. and Cuba. American businesses, including airlines, cruise lines, and telecommunications companies, earned 26 agreements with the Cuban government from 2015 to 2017.

Hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars flowed into privately owned businesses in Cuba, The Associated Press reported , spurring the growth of a nascent middle-class that could thrive independent from the government.

For Cuba, there have been tangible benefits in tourism and telecommunications. According to the Cuban Ministry, 74 percent more American citizens visited the island in 2016 than in 2015 and, following through on a pledge to Obama, Castro opened nearly 400 new public Wi-Fi access points around Cuba.

However, the U.S. International Trade Administration told ABC News it hasn’t yet released its 2016 statistics on outbound travel and therefore could not confirm those numbers from the Cuban Ministry on U.S. tourism.

While Obama did not end the embargo on Cuba, since only Congress has that power, the U.S. and Cuba reopened embassies in each other’s capitals for the first time since 1961. The U.S. and Cuba have also signed multiple bilateral agreements to work together on everything from human and drug trafficking to maritime security and migration.

Finally, Obama ended the “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy that applied only to Cubans. Previously, Cubans who reached U.S. shores earned automatic visas. Now, Cubans have to follow the same process as other refugees and immigrants.

What is Trump reversing?

Trump is not reversing all of Obama’s changes, but he is redefining what it means to be part of the Cuban military, which could prevent U.S. companies from doing business in Cuba. The White House explained in a fact sheet released earlier today that the policy aims to keep the Grupo de Administración Empresarial (GAESA), a conglomerate managed by the Cuban military, from benefiting from the opening in U.S.-Cuba relations.

“The profits from investment and tourism flow directly to the military. The regime takes the money and owns the industry,” Trump said. “The outcome of last administration’s executive action has been only more repression and a move to crush the peaceful democratic movement. Therefore, effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba.”

This comes amid concerns that the Cuban military could be the beneficiary of increased American private investment, at a time when Castro has failed to take action on human rights. In 2016, there were 9,940 short-term detentions of protesters, up from 8,899 in 2014, the AP reports.

According to senior White House officials, Trump is also revisiting trade and travel policies toward Cuba, clamping down on individual people-to-people travel. There will still be certain exceptions under which Americans can travel to Cuba and family travel will continue to be authorized. Importantly, no changes will go into effect until the Treasury and Commerce Departments issue new regulations that conform with the administration’s policy.

Trump continued, “We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are free, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled.”

The changes will certainly harm relations between Cuba and the U.S. In a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained, “The general approach, if I can say that, is to allow as much of this continued commercial and engagement activity to go on as possible because we do see the sunny side, as I described it. We do see the benefits of that to the Cuban people.”

But then Tillerson qualified his statement. “On the other hand, we think we’ve achieved very little in terms of changing the behavior of the regime in Cuba and its treatment of people,” he said, “and it has little incentive to change that.”

What about diplomatic ties?

Senior White House officials say that Trump will not close the newly re-opened U.S. Embassy in Havana. He will also not reinstate the “wet foot, dry foot” policy.

To avoid alienating the Cuban-American community, which largely votes Republican, Trump will not re-implement limits on remittances — U.S. based money transfers — that Cuban-Americans can give their families back on the island. But if the administration follows through on redefining what it means to be part of the Cuban military, that could affect policies on remittances down the line.

PHOTO: Tourists ride in classic American convertible cars past the United States embassy in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 12, 2017. Ramon Espinosa/AP, file
Tourists ride in classic American convertible cars past the United States embassy in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 12, 2017.

Lobbying Trump on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republican, Cuban-American hardliners, lobbied Trump hard toward reversal. Importantly, the Trump administration wants to build good rapport with both. Rubio sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is currently looking into the Trump campaign’s supposed contacts with Russian officials. He spoke in Miami briefly before Trump took the stage.

Rubio and Diaz-Balart won out, though there’s no shortage of actors lobbying the White House the other way. Last week, a group of House Republicans sent a letter to Trump opposing “reversing course” on Cuba. A similar group of Senate Republicans wrote to Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, citing the entrepreneurial and national security benefits of continued engagement. Airbnb, Google and other notable businesses have also spoken out recently in support of maintaining current policies.

Tillerson had privately expressed support for Obama’s Cuba policy during the transition, according to sources. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, when governor of Georgia in 2010, led a delegation to Cuba and said at the time to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I think business cures a lot of ills.”

Leading human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have also urged the administration to keep Cuba open.

“More travel, more communications access, and more dialogue with Cuba are the way forward for human rights in Cuba,” Amnesty International wrote in a blog post, adding that Obama’s trip to Cuba last year opened the door to “scrutiny and transparency” of human rights on the island for the first time in nearly 10 years.

Reversing policy is bad for Cubans, Human Rights Watch said in a statement, “and insisting on human rights progress as a precondition to a new policy is unlikely to bring about change.”

What did Candidate Trump say?

During the campaign, Candidate Trump slammed Obama’s Cuba policy, telling a crowd in Miami: “All the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them. And that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands.”

But at the same time, Trump often criticizes regulations on the business community as “burdensome” and “job-killing.”

Today’s speech

Delivering a speech at the historic Manuel Artime Theater in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, Trump made his policy known in the center of the Cuban-American community. The president fed off of a boisterous, rowdy crowd, seeming to even attempt a Cuban accent, shouting “Little Havana!” when he took the stage. By rescinding certain Obama-era Cuba policies, he went against the advice of Democrats, Republicans and business interests. He did, however, fulfill a campaign promise.

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders, Serena Marshall and Adam Kelsey contributed to this report. 

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trumps-cuba-policy/story?id=48058622

Trump’s Cuba Policy Will Fail

The architect of Obama’s Cuba opening argues that the president’s rollback is a pointless mistake.

Juan Carlos Ulate / Reuters
One of the most depressing things about President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back elements of the Cuba opening is how predictable it was. A Republican candidate for president makes last-minute campaign promises to a hard-line Cuban American audience in South Florida. Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart hold him to those promises. The U.S. government announces changes that will hurt ordinary Cubans, harm the image of the United States, and make it harder for Americans to do business and travel somewhere they want to go.

While President Obama raised the hopes of Americans and Cubans alike with a forward-looking opening in diplomatic, commercial and people-to-people ties, President Trump is turning back the clock to a tragically failed Cold War mindset by reimposing restrictions on those activities. While not a full reversal of the Obama opening, Trump’s actions have put relations between the United States and Cuba back into the prison of the past—setting back the prospects for reform inside of Cuba, and ignoring the voices of the Cuban people and a majority of Americans just so that he can reward a small and dwindling political constituency.

It didn’t have to be this way, and it won’t stay this way.

 

In the fall of 2014, after 16 months of secret negotiations, I travelled to the Vatican to tell representatives of Pope Francis that the United States and Cuba were prepared to begin normalizing relations. The Vatican diplomats met separately with the U.S. and Cuban delegations to verify that we were telling the truth. Then we all met together and read aloud the steps we were prepared to take. A Cardinal said the world would be moved by this example of former adversaries putting aside the past. One Vatican official who had lived in Cuba had tears in his eyes, a look of deep remembrance on his face.Cuba has long played an outsized role in the world’s imagination. To Americans, it has been the setting for the drama of mobsters, Castros, the Cold War, assassination attempts, boatlifts, and ideological conflict—mixed with the allure of a culture that finds full expression in Miami. To Latin America, Cuba has been a symbol for how United States tries to dictate the politics of the hemisphere—a legacy of democracy and economic progress, as well as coups and death squads. To the developing world, Cuba has been a symbol of sovereignty and resistance, and a supporter of revolution—for good or bad. From the Missile Crisis to the anti-apartheid movement; from the Kennedys to Obama era, this small island has put itself at the center of world events.

But Cuba is also a place where more than 11 million people live, and for decades they have suffered because of the U.S. embargo stacked on top of socialist economics and stifled political dissent. Basic goods are unavailable. Businesses cannot attract investment. Farmers are denied equipment to grow more food. Those classic cars? Cubans have had to keep them running because they’re imprisoned in an economy that is not allowed to grow along with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Americans—who are supposed to value freedom above everything else—have been told that the only country in the world where we cannot travel is 90 miles from Florida.

Yes, the Cuban government shoulders its share of the blame. But there are dozens of authoritarian governments; we do not impose embargoes on China or Vietnam, Kazakhstan or Egypt. Last month, President Trump travelled to Saudi Arabia—a country ruled by a family, where people are beheaded and women can’t drive. He announced tens of billions of dollars in arms sales, and said: “We are not here to lecture. We are not here to tell other people how to live.” Can anyone credibly argue that Trump’s Cuba policy is motivated by a commitment to promote human rights around the world? No. Moreover, as a democracy-promotion vehicle, the embargo has been a failure. For more than 50 years, it has been in place; for more than 50 years, a Castro has governed Cuba. If anything, the embargo has provided a justification for the Cuban government to suppress political dissent in the name of protecting Cuban sovereignty.By breaking with this past, the Obama administration improved the lives of the Cuban people, and brought hope to people who had learned to live without it. The nascent Cuban private sector—shops, restaurants, taxis—grew dramatically, fueled by unlimited remittances from the United States. Over a quarter of Cubans today work in the private sector. This represents both an improvement in their quality of life, and in their human rights, as they are no longer reliant on the state for their livelihoods.
With the establishment of direct flights, cruise lines, and broadened authorization for travel to Cuba, the number of Americans visiting increased by 50 percent to over 500,000 in 2016. These travelers brought new ideas and more resources directly to the Cuban people—Airbnb estimates that $40 million in revenue have reached Cuban hosts since April 2015. Cuba also expanded access to the Internet and mobile phones. U.S. technology companies like Google took advantage of the opening to forge new agreements, including one that enhances access to the Internet for Cubans.Two governments that once plotted how to undermine one another began working together. Embassies were opened, and bilateral cooperation was initiated on the types of issues that usually guide diplomacy between neighbors: counter-narcotics, law enforcement, agriculture, testing vaccines for cancer, and responding to natural disasters like oil spills and hurricanes. In the final days of the Obama administration, the so-called Wet Foot Dry Foot policy was terminated, ending an arrangement in which any Cuban who reached the United States was paroled into the country—a hostile policy that endangered the lives of Cubans who made long overland crossings, and robbed Cuba of young people who simply came to the United States.The opening to Cuba also opened up new opportunities in Latin America and around the world. In 2015, instead of spending a Summit of the Americas defending why Cuba wasn’t allowed to attend, the United States found itself in the new position of being celebrated. U.S. diplomats participated in Cuban-hosted talks that helped end Colombia’s 40-year civil war. Cuban health care workers helped us stamp out the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
While Trump did not take dramatic steps to restrict travel, he made it more difficult. U.S. travelers now have to go through the absurd process of figuring out if a hotel they’re staying at is owned by the Cuban military, which applies to most of Old Havana. Ominous language about requiring Americans to document their activities, and warning that they could be audited, will have a chilling effect. Despite rhetoric about supporting Cuban entrepreneurs, any reduction in travel is going to hit them—common sense suggests that someone who stays at a military-owned hotel will also ride in taxis, eat in restaurants, and shop at stores owned by ordinary Cubans. Those are the Cubans that Trump is hurting—not hotel owners who will still welcome tourists other countries.
The consequences in Latin America, and around the world, are even worse. Critics of Obama’s opening accused us of making concessions to the Cuban government. But by restoring diplomatic relations, we brought about a symbolic end to the U.S.-Cuban conflict even though we did not lift the embargo or return Guantanamo Naval Base. It’s not a “concession” to allow Americans to travel and do business somewhere. But Trump just gave the Cuban government a huge concession: Even though he didn’t fully reverse Obama’s policy, Cuba will now claim the high ground in a renewed ideological conflict with the U.S., and will find support for that position around the world.The instinct for isolation that Trump embraced will fail. Ironically, the hard-liners who pressed Trump to make these changes are only condemning themselves to future irrelevance. Polls show that over 70 percent of Americans—including a majority of Republicans—support lifting the embargo. Younger Cuban Americans are far more likely to support lifting the embargo than their parents and grandparents. Fifty-five senators have co-sponsored a bill to lift the travel ban, and Republicans from states that depend on agriculture want to promote business in Cuba. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that a poll showed 97 percent of the Cuban people supporting normalization with the United States.Donald Trump is delivering his remarks on Cuba at the Manuel Artime Theater, named for a leader of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. He couldn’t have found a better symbol for the past. But ultimately, the past must give way to the wishes of the people. Fidel Castro is dead. A new generation, in Cuba and the United States, doesn’t want to be defined by quarrels that pre-date their birth. The embargo should—and will—be discarded. Engagement should—and will—prevail. That is why Trump’s announcement should be seen for what it is: not as a step forward for democracy, but as the last illogical gasp of a strain of American politics with a 50-year track record of failure; one that wrongly presumes we can control what happens in Cuba. The future of Cuba will be determined by the Cuban people, and those Americans who want to help them, not hurt them.https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/cuba-trump-obama-opening/530568/

Story 2: Political Elitist Establishment vs. The American People — Three Sticks Mueller Hires Clinton and Obama Donors and Lawyers For Elite Political Hit Squad Targeting President Trump For Fake Obstruction of Justice —  Trump Should Fire Mueller and Initiate A Justice Department and FBI Investigation of Barack Obama,Valery Jarrett, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Susan Rice, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Their Staffs For Massive Criminal Activity Including Miss Handling Of Classified Documents and Destruction of Government Records, Public Corruption, Obstruction of Justice and Using Intelligence Community To Spy on American People Including Republican Candidates and Trump For Political Purposes — Videos

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Image result for trump tweets june 16, 2017 They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice

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Image result for cartoons on obama spying on trump and american peopleImage result for cartoons on obama spying on trump and american peopleTrump lashes out over reported obstruction of justice probe

President Trump now under INVESTIGATION for obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller 6/14/2017

Gingrich calls for special counsel to probe special counsel

Anderson Cooper CNN Panel on reports that President Trump is now under investigation by Robert Mueller

Jay Sekulow on The Laura Ingraham Show (6/16/2017)

Jared Kushner’s business dealings now under investigation by Robert Mueller 6/15/2017

HANNITY – FIRE ROBERT MUELLER. Massive conflicts of interests

Trump confidant Christopher Ruddy says Mueller has ‘real conflicts’ as special counsel

What Would Happen If President Donald Trump Tried To Fire Robert Mueller? | For The Record | MSNBC

Rosenstein says only he can fire special counsel

Mark Levin: Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice (June 15 2017)

Rush Limbaugh: It wouldn’t bother me if Trump fired special counsel Robert Mueller… (06-13-2017)

Should Mueller recuse himself from the Trump-Russia inquiry?

Roger Stone: Mueller Coached Comey For Last Week Testimony

Roger Stone The Fix Is In, Mueller Hired To Indict The President

Mueller is Out for Trump’s Head! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Ben Shapiro: Jeff Sesstios hearing, Trump’s Cabinet meeting, Can Bob Mueller be fired & other topics

Trump Has Discovered Why Deep State Is Desperate To Stop Him

Tom Fitton discusses Prosecution of Trump, Pursuit of Comey Memos, & Lawsuit over Obama Shakedown

Justice department names Robert Mueller as special counsel in Russia investigation

Mueller assembles elite team of prosecutors

Newt Gingrich – On Special Counsel “THESE ARE BAD PEOPLE” – GMA

Michele Malkin & Lou Dobbs Target The Deep Deep Dark State Cabal That Is Rosenstein,Mueller & Comey

You Gotta Watch Jay Sekulow The President’s Lawyer Prosecute The Case Against The Deep State

Lou Dobbs & Legal Expert Delineate The Number Of Crimes Comey & Mueller Have Already Committed

Jay Sekulow The President’s Lawyer Explains Why Trump Must Clean His Legal House Now! 6 / 14 / 2017

Lou Dobbs : Is the left trying to overthrow Trump’s presidency? : 6/15/2017

Should President Trump fire special counsel Mueller?

“It’s Utterly Outrageous!” Tucker and Ann Coulter React to Comey Testimony

Fox and Friends : Ingraham slams ‘fake news’ about Trump firing Mueller : 6/13/2017

Lou Dobbs : Lt. Col. Shaffer: White House needs to get on the offensive : 6/13/2017

Lou Dobbs : Rep. Biggs: We need to turn the tables on Trump’s enemies : 6/13/2017

Trump dropped biggest bombshell on Loretta Lynch: Judge Napolitano

Judge Jeanine Talks To Jay Sekulow On Why Comey My Face Serious Legal Matters

Russia Collusion is a total hoax – 6/9/2017 – with Victor Davis Hanson

BREAKING: Kellyanne Reveals Sick Thing Special Counsel Mueller Is Doing to Trump. Should He Be Fired

Report: Mueller Team Investigating Trump Has Major Obama-Hillary Ties

Calls for Special Counsel Mueller to Step Down or Recuse.

A New Interview with Kellyanne Conway! She is So Good!

Ann Coulter Finally Weighs in on the James Comey Thimgamabob!

Must See… The Always Amazing Ann Coulter Tear It Up On Tucker 6 / 2 / 2017

Should the special counsel’s probe be shut down?

Gohmert: “Get Rid of Mueller – He Created All Kinds of Problems …”

Gohmert: ‘We Have a Conspiracy Remaining Afoot in Department of Justice’

Gohmert: ‘There’s So Much Collusion – Real Collusion in the Justice Department’

Gohmert on Comey Hearing: “He was 100% Loyal to Loretta Lynch & Hillary Clinton”

Gohmert on Comey: ‘The More We Find Out, This Guy Needed To Go’

As Calls Get Louder To Investigate Loretta Lynch So Do The Calls For Mueller Firing

Hume: Mueller-Comey friendship raises an ethical question

Sen Rand Paul Speaks on Gingrich: GOP “DELUSIONAL” to think Mueller Will Be Fair. #RandPaul

While Most Sing Mueller’s Praises, Louie Gohmert Says He’s a Big Problem!

Trump dropped biggest bombshell on Loretta Lynch: Judge Napolitano

Kurtz: Mueller on the hot seat

Gregg Jarrett: Mueller should resign as special counsel

Lou Dobbs : Rep. Gohmert: James Comey is loyal to Lynch and Clinton : 6/8/2017

Cavuto : Can Democrats move beyond James Comey and the Russia probe? : 6/9/2017

Lou Dobbs : Chris Farrell: Comey’s testimony proved he is a dirty cop : 6/8/2017

Will media admit they were ‘dead wrong’ about Russia?

Leftist Host Chris Matthews Admits Russia Collusion Narrative Destroyed

Roger Stone: It Is Time For Us To Go On Attack

 

Rosenstein warns Americans to ‘exercise caution’ about anonymous reports

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Thursday evening that Americans should “exercise caution” before believing anonymously sourced reports, an apparent reference to ongoing leaks surrounding the investigation into alleged connections between Russian officials and President Trump’s campaign.

“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,'” Rosenstein said in a statement, “particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated.”

Though Rosenstein’s statement did not reference the Russia investigation specifically, it was released hours after the Washington Post reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner — Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law — over his finances and business dealings.

ROBERT MUELLER APPOINTMENT TO LEAD RUSSIA PROBE WINS BIPARTISAN PRAISE

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, did not comment on the Post report when reached by Fox News, but did say that the special counsel’s office “has undertaken stringent controls to prohibit unauthorized disclosures that deal severely with any member who engages in this conduct.”

Trump and his supporters have repeatedly complained about leaked reports about the progress of Mueller’s investigation, many of which have appeared in either the Post or The New York Times.

On Wednesday, the Post reported that Mueller was examining whether Trump has tried to obstruct justice and was seeking interviews with three administration officials: Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Michael Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, the former NSA deputy director.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump’s personal lawyer, responded Wednesday evening to the Post report by saying: “The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.”

The Post report cited anonymous sources who were briefed on requests made by investigators. It was not immediately clear whether the FBI was the source of the information.

The president himself took to Twitter Wednesday morning to complain about the “phony story” in the Post, then did so again in the afternoon to question why Hillary Clinton’s conduct during the probe of her private email server was not under more scrutiny.

Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller special counsel in the Russia investigation last month, testified to lawmakers Tuesday that he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire Mueller and that he is confident that Mueller will have “the full independence he needs” to investigate thoroughly.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/16/rosenstein-warns-americans-to-exercise-caution-about-anonymous-reports.html

 

CORRECTED: Three members of Mueller’s team have donated to Democrats

CORRECTED: Three members of Mueller's team have donated to Democrats
© Greg Nash

Three members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team on the Russia probe have donated to Democratic presidential campaigns and organizations, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Jeannie Rhee, a member of Mueller’s team, donated $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign PAC Hillary for America. 

Andrew Weissmann, who serves in a top post within the Justice Department’s fraud practice, is the most senior lawyer on the special counsel team, Bloomberg reported. He served as the FBI’s general counsel and the assistant director to Mueller when the special counsel was FBI director.

Before he worked at the FBI or Justice Department, Weissman worked at the law firm Jenner & Block LLP, during which he donated six times to political action committees for Obama in 2008 for a total of $4,700.

James Quarles, who served as an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, has donated to over a dozen Democratic PACs since the late 1980s. He was also identified by the Washington Post as a member of Mueller’s team.

Starting in 1987, Quarles donated to Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis’s presidential PAC, Dukakis for President. Since then, he has also contributed in 1999 to Sen. Al Gore’s run for the presidency, then-Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) presidential bid in 2005, Obama’s presidential PAC in 2008 and 2012, and Clinton’s presidential pac Hillary for America in 2016.

He also donated to two Republicans, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) in 2015 and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in 2005.

The political affiliations of Mueller’s team have been spotlighted by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) an ally of Trump.

After initially hailing Mueller’s appointment as special counsel, Gingrich questioned for former FBI director’s ability to be impartial on Monday because of “who he is hiring.”

Michael R. Dreeben, who serves as the Justice Department’s deputy solicitor general, is working on a part-time basis for Mueller, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The FEC database shows a donation from a Michael W. Dreeben in 2006 of $1,000 dollars to Hillary Clinton’s Senate political action committee (PAC), Friends of Hillary. But a spokesman for the special counsel said this is not the Dreeben working for Mueller, who has a different middle initial. The FEC database identifies the Dreeben who made the contribution as deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department.

Several of the figures on Mueller’s team are well known and respected for their work at the Department of Justice.

Dreeben has reportedly received bipartisan praise for his handling of the department’s criminal appellate cases, the Post reported.

Weissmann is well-known for his work in the investigation on Volkswagen cheating on their diesel emissions tests, which they pleaded guilty to earlier this year.

Mueller, who formerly served as FBI director, was first appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2001.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel last month.

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 10:03 a.m. to reflect the special counsel spokesman’s statement that Dreeben did not give a donation to Clinton. 

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/337428-four-top-legal-experts-on-muellers-team-donated-to-democratic-causes

 

TWEET STORM

Trump Declares War on Rosenstein: ‘He Has No Qualms About Throwing Him Under a Bus’

With one tweet, the president confirmed he’s under investigation and put the man in charge of that investigation on blast.

President Donald Trump woke up on Friday and decided to publicly confirm that he is under criminal investigation—and to put his deputy attorney general in the line of fire.

After 48 hours of Trump’s allies lobbing allegations of illegal “deep state” leaks and fake-news hit jobs, Trump took to Twitter and corroborated a Wednesday report by The Washington Post that he is the target of a federal investigation into potential obstruction of justice after firing FBI Director James Comey.

“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!” Trump wrote, apparently referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Since Rosenstein is the senior Justice Department official overseeing the inquiry after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

Trump has stewed with anger at the Justice Department over the Russia probe, to the point where Sessions had reportedly offered his resignation. For his part, Sessions testified to the Senate on Tuesday that he was merely concurring with Rosenstein when he assented to firing Comey.

“He’s furious at Rosenstein, but the list of his people who enrage him is ever-growing,” a longtime Trump confidant, who recently spoke to the president, told The Daily Beast. “He has no qualms about throwing [Rosenstein] under a bus.”

That single tweet threatens to upend the administration’s legal and public-relations strategies surrounding an FBI probe into alleged Russian election-meddling that has expanded in recent months to include an obstruction investigation and a probe of the finances of Trump aides and associates.

 A frustrated senior Trump administration official quipped in response to the tweet, “Has anyone read him his Miranda rights?” The implication being that Trump would do well to remain silent on the issue of his own criminal investigation.

Officials spoke on the condition of anonymity so as to speak freely.

Trump digs hole, keeps going

The escalation of the probe is packed with irony. Trump’s insistence that he was not personally under investigation led him to fire the man leading the probe, which ensured a special prosecutor, which ensured Trump came personally under investigation. Now, in raging against circumstances his actions brought about, Trump has given Mueller another building block for the investigation.

“It’s clear that this tweet has not been vetted by his [Trump’s] attorney,” said former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “In addition to confirming that he is under investigation, the tweet makes a factual statement regarding the president’s decision to fire James Comey, which is a subject of the investigation. You can bet that when the president testifies regarding his role in Comey’s firing, he will be asked about this tweet.”

Mueller will inevitably investigate the exact circumstances leading to the Comey firing, which he is likely to interview both Trump and Rosenstein—now in conflict with each other—about.

Even Trump’s senior aides blame the president for bringing the obstruction inquiry upon himself and the White House.

“The president did this to himself,” one senior administration official told The Daily Beast on Wednesday.

In recent weeks, the president has become increasingly convinced that forces in the FBI and the “deep state” are “out for his scalp,” as one White House aide described it. This sentiment is shared by some of his closest advisers, including his chief strategist Steve Bannon.

One senior White House official told The Daily Beast that the Trump tweet was directed, of course, specifically at Rosenstein. The official noted that it reflects what the president has been venting privately for the past couple of days regarding the “irony” of Rosenstein having a role in the sacking of Comey and his current role in the investigations that have taken over as Trump’s main obsession.

The line, according to the White House official, is emerging as one of President Trump’s preferred talking points and complaints.

Another White House official said Friday morning that they are not shocked anymore whenever the president goes off script during early-morning tweetstorms, and for “all the heartburn and misery” they might cause internally, senior aides and advisers should all have a tough callus at this stage in the presidency.

“If you haven’t made this a settled factor in your morning routine, why are you still here?” the official asked, rhetorically.

But while the president is stewing, the White House is still trying to maintain its official separation from dealing with the fallout from the investigation. Instead they’re directing press inquiries to Trump’s personal lawyer.

Asked to clarify that Trump’s tweet was referring specifically to Rosenstein, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders told The Daily Beast: “Best to contact Marc Kasowitz and his team for all questions related to this matter.”

Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, took it as a direct threat to the deputy AG.

“I’m growing increasingly concerned that the president will attempt to fire not only Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible obstruction of justice, but also Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein who appointed Mueller,” she said in a statement.

Can or should Rosenstein stay?

Former Justice Department officials said that Trump’s tweet has put Rosenstein, who just months ago enjoyed a sterling reputation, in an untenable position. At the minimum, Rosenstein is likely to come under overwhelming pressure to recuse himself from his role overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump.

A former senior DOJ official said Trump’s tweet accuses Rosenstein of lying to Congress. Trump claims Rosenstein “told me to fire the FBI Director!” Shortly after Comey was fired, Rosenstein said in a statement to Congress that the memo said was “not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination,” even though he “thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader” for the FBI.

“The question is, is this a bridge too far for Rod?” the former official said.

The last time the White House characterized Rosenstein as the hatchet man, he “drew a line in the sand,” as the official put it, and reportedly threatened to resign. Shortly after, Trump told NBC News that he would have fired Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s memo.

Still, it’s undeniable that Rosenstein’s memo aided Trump in firing Comey. That means the senior Justice Department official responsible for Mueller’s investigation is also a likely witness in that investigation.

“It’s long seemed to me that Rosenstein would inevitably have to recuse himself in this investigation, because he was a witness to the events surrounding the firing of James Comey and may have participated in the firing of Mr. Comey,” Mariotti continued.

“This latest statement by the president may hasten Rosenstein’s recusal or put pressure on Rosenstein to step aside or step down.”

Rosenstein has quietly acknowledged that he may need to step aside, according to ABC News. He has already testified to a House panel that he is in consultation with Justice Department ethics officials to determine if his recusal is necessary.

“You don’t recuse yourself from an investigation because a subject of the investigation is accusing you of misconduct,” said Ed Dowd, a former U.S. Attorney who helped run the special counsel investigation of the Waco raid. “This may be putting pressure on Rosenstein to say, ‘Do I really need this?’ It may be putting pressure on him to get out, but that is not a proper reason to recuse himself, there’s no question about that.”

“It should not have an effect on him in terms of recusing himself. He should not recuse himself based on tweets by someone who’s under investigation”

It has been a spectacular fall for Rosenstein. As recently as February, pillars of the legal establishment breathed a sigh of relief when the highly respected prosecutor became deputy attorney general. Instead, they have watched in horror as he wrote a legal memo in May at Trump’s request that was widely seen as a pretext for firing the FBI chief. Brookings Institution scholar Ben Wittes, editor of the influential legal blog Lawfare and a friend of Comey’s, has speculated that Rosenstein might have given Trump the “loyalty” assurance the president sought unsuccessfully from the ex-FBI director.

As respected as Rosenstein was, he also has a reputation for ambition. The view of him in legal circles, according to a former Justice Department official who wished to remain anonymous, is, “he’s wanted to be the DAG [deputy attorney general] for a long, long time.”

Should Rosenstein recuse himself—or lose his job—the next Justice Department official in line to oversee the Mueller probe is Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, who was legal-policy chief in the George W. Bush-era department and more recently served on the government’s privacy watchdog, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The conservative Brand has a reputation, former colleagues say, for extreme intelligence and integrity. Of course, the same used to be said of Rosenstein.

During one of his rare public appearances as FBI director, he laid out his position on the tyranny of the law: “We live in dangerous times, but we are not the first generation of Americans to face threats to our security,” he explained. “Like those before us, we will be judged by future generations on how we react to this crisis. And by that I mean not just whether we win the war on terrorism, because I believe we will, but also whether, as we fight that war, we safeguard for our citizens the very liberties for which we are fighting.”

Unlike many in Washington, where such sentiments can often sound like platitudes, he really means it. As former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, who has known Mueller for more than 30 years, explained to me, “People are smart not to test him on those issues.” Larry Thompson, who, like Comey, also served as deputy attorney general under Ashcroft, told me, “When he has a point of view, you know it’s held honestly and openly. There’s no subterranean agenda.”

Mueller overall sees little gray in the world; he’s a black-or-white guy, right or wrong. His father, who was captain of a World War II Navy sub chaser, impressed on him early the importance of credibility and integrity. “You did not shade or even consider shading with him,” Mueller recalls, and ever since, matters of honor and principle had been simple. “Occasionally he’ll be a pain in the ass because he’s so strait-laced,” his late college friend and one-time FBI counselor Lee Rawls told me years ago. “There have been a couple of instances I’ve advocated cowardice and flight, and he wouldn’t have it.”

Cowardice and flight is indeed not Mueller’s style. After he and Rawls graduated from Princeton in the 1960s, before Vietnam had become the political and cultural flash point that it did later in the decade, Mueller volunteered to join the Marines and fight—earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with valor for his role in an intense firefight. In Officer Candidate School, his only demerit came in a trait that would be familiar to anyone who later dealt with him as FBI director and one that should, again, worry the Trump White House today: Robert Swan Mueller III received a D in “Delegation.”

Mueller’s longtime friend Tom Wilner explained to me, “Bob’s the best of the old prep school tradition. He stands for service, integrity and has the confidence to never bend. He doesn’t do anything for himself.”

“The things that most of us would struggle with the most come relatively easy to him because his moral compass is so straight,” one aide at the FBI told me, with reflection and envy. “It’s got to be quite comforting in its own way.”

Mueller was at home at the FBI in part because it removed any hint of partisanship. The FBI, Mueller believes, is the government’s honest broker—an agency free of political interference and pressure, priding itself on objectivity and independence. “You’re free to do what you think is right,” he told me. “It’s much easier than if you have to consider the political currents.”

He had a deep appreciation as director for the bureau’s traditions and its esprit de corps. He famously, almost religiously, wore white shirts and dark suits as director—the picture of a stereotypical Hoover-era G-man—and would even gently mock aides and agents who dared to show up in his office wearing, horror of horrors, pink or even blue shirts. I long attributed his habit to his personal style and strait-laced nature, but, after he finished as director, I once asked him: Why the cult of the white shirt? He answered more philosophically than I’d ever seen him speak before—explaining that he knew he was leading the FBI through a period of wrenching change, converting it to a global intelligence agency focused around counterterrorism, and that he felt it important to keep recognizable totems of the past in place—like the tradition of the white shirt—to help agents understand it was still the same FBI they’d signed up to join.

***

A year after the showdown over STELLAR WIND, Comey journeyed from the Justice Department up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Fort Meade, Maryland, the headquarters of the NSA. His speech that day was purportedly in recognition of Law Day, but it carried a coded message for those few in the room who knew what had transpired in the showdown of the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

The nation of the United States, Comey explained, was a country of laws, not men. Public officials swore oaths to the Constitution, not to the president. It’s the job of the lawyers, he explained, to remove the looming crisis from a decision and examine how it will look down the road.

He then continued with words that echo more than a decade later and presage the weeks to come on Capitol Hill, where he will once again be in his element. “We know that our actions, and those of the agencies we support, will be held up in a quiet, dignified, well-lit room, where they can be viewed with the perfect, and brutally unfair, vision of hindsight,” he told the gathered NSA crowd. “We know they will be reviewed in hearing rooms or courtrooms where it is impossible to capture even a piece of the urgency and exigency felt during a crisis.”

That perfect hindsight, he argued was why the most important thing in a lawyer’s life was understanding the test of history. As he said, “‘No’ must be spoken into a storm of crisis, with loud voices all around.”

Sometime soon, in a quiet, dignified, well-lit room on Capitol Hill, Jim Comey’s going to get another chance to explain why he said no. And while he does, Bob Mueller will be toiling away, reaching deep into the government and the annals of the Trump campaign, to understand exactly what transpired last year and the events that led up to Comey’s firing.

Even at 72, Mueller has plenty of energy left—where his predecessor Louis Freeh had the same chief of staff for nearly his entire tenure, Mueller burned through chiefs of staff almost every year. “He drives at such speed that he can burn up people around him,” Comey told me of Mueller. “Some people burn people up because they’re assholes. Bob burns them up by sheer exertion.”

The night of the STELLAR WIND showdown, Mueller arrived at the hospital moments after the White House aides departed after they were unable to get Comey or Ashcroft to reauthorize the program. Mueller spoke briefly with Comey in the hallway and then entered Ashcroft’s hospital room.

“Bob, I don’t know what’s happening,” the confused attorney general told him.

“There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s tested, and you passed your test tonight,” Mueller replied, comfortingly.

While Comey and Mueller might have both thought that they had aced their biggest challenge in the early 2000s, keeping the nation safe after 9/11, as it turns out, they’re both now embarking on what history will likely remember as their ultimate test.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece misidentified the mafia boss Comey prosecuted. His name was John Gotti.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/18/james-comey-trump-special-prosecutor-robert-mueller-fbi-215154

Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say

Special counsel investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice
The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials to determine whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said. (Patrick Martin, McKenna Ewen/The Washington Post)
The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.

Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey’s firing.

Five people briefed on the interview requests, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said that Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI.

The NSA said in a statement that it will “fully cooperate with the special counsel” and declined to comment further. The office of the director of national intelligence and Ledgett declined to comment.

The White House now refers all questions about the Russia investigation to Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz.

“The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal,” said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Kasowitz.

The officials said Coats, Rogers and Ledgett would appear voluntarily, though it remains unclear whether they will describe in full their conversations with Trump and other top officials or will be directed by the White House to invoke executive privilege. It is doubtful that the White House could ultimately use executive privilege to try to block them from speaking to Mueller’s investigators. Experts point out that the Supreme Court ruled during the Watergate scandal that officials cannot use privilege to withhold evidence in criminal prosecutions.

The obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president began days after Comey was fired on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter. Mueller’s office has taken up that work, and the preliminary interviews scheduled with intelligence officials indicate that his team is actively pursuing potential witnesses inside and outside the government.

The interviews suggest that Mueller sees the question of attempted obstruction of justice as more than just a “he said, he said” dispute between the president and the fired FBI director, an official said.

With the term whirling around Washington, a former federal prosecutor explains what to know about the criminal charge of obstruction of justice. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Investigating Trump for possible crimes is a complicated affair, even if convincing evidence of a crime were found. The Justice Department has long held that it would not be appropriate to indict a sitting president. Instead, experts say, the onus would be on Congress to review any findings of criminal misconduct and then decide whether to initiate impeachment proceedings.

Comey confirmed publicly in congressional testimony on March 20 that the bureau was investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Comey’s statement before the House Intelligence Committee upset Trump, who has repeatedly denied that any coordination with the Russians took place. Trump had wanted Comey to disclose publicly that he was not personally under investigation, but the FBI director refused to do so.

Soon after, Trump spoke to Coats and Rogers about the Russia investigation.

Officials said one of the exchanges of potential interest to Mueller took place on March 22, less than a week after Coats was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the nation’s top intelligence official.

Coats was attending a briefing at the White House with officials from several other government agencies. When the briefing ended, as The Washington Post previously reported, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Coats told associates that Trump had asked him whether Coats could intervene with Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe, according to officials. Coats later told lawmakers that he never felt pressured to intervene.

A day or two after the March 22 meeting, Trump telephoned Coats and Rogers to separately ask them to issue public statements denying the existence of any evidence of coordinationbetween his campaign and the Russian government.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the president’s requests, officials said.

It is unclear whether Ledgett had direct contact with Trump or other top officials about the Russia probe, but he wrote an internal NSA memo documenting the president’s phone call with Rogers, according to officials.

As part of the probe, the special counsel has also gathered Comey’s written accounts of his conversations with Trump. The president has accused Comey of lying about those encounters.

Mueller is overseeing a host of investigations involving people who are or were in Trump’s orbit, people familiar with the probe said. The investigation is examining possible contacts with Russian operatives as well as any suspicious financial activity related to those individuals.

Last week, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had informed Trump that there was no investigation of the president’s personal conduct, at least while he was leading the FBI.

Comey’s carefully worded comments, and those of Andrew McCabe, who took over as acting FBI director, suggested to some officials that an investigation of Trump for attempted obstruction may have been launched after Comey’s departure, particularly in light of Trump’s alleged statements regarding Flynn.

“I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that’s an offense,” Comey testified last week.

Mueller has not publicly discussed his work, and a spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

Accounts by Comey and other officials of their conversations with the president could become central pieces of evidence if Mueller decides to pursue an obstruction case.

Investigators will also look for any statements the president may have made publicly and privately to people outside the government about his reasons for firing Comey and his concerns about the Russia probe and other related investigations, people familiar with the matter said.

Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that he was certain his firing was due to the president’s concerns about the Russia probe, rather than over his handling of a now-closed FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, as the White House had initially asserted. “It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Comey said. “I was fired, in some way, to change — or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.”

The fired FBI director said ultimately it was up to Mueller to make a determination whether the president crossed a legal line.

In addition to describing his interactions with the president, Comey told the Intelligence Committee that while he was FBI director he told Trump on three occasions that he was not under investigation as part of a counterintelligence probe looking at Russian meddling in the election.

Republican lawmakers seized on Comey’s testimony to point out that Trump was not in the FBI’s crosshairs when Comey led the bureau.

After Comey’s testimony, in which he acknowledged telling Trump that he was not under investigation, Trump tweeted that he felt “total and complete vindication.” It is unclear whether McCabe, Comey’s successor, has informed Trump of the change in the scope of the probe.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-for-possible-obstruction-of-justice/2017/06/14/9ce02506-5131-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.ddf5961ef89d

Eight Laws Hillary Clinton Could Be Indicted For Breaking

Photo of Kenneth P. Bergquist

KENNETH P. BERGQUIST
Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret)

As a former Justice Department official, I have, of late, been asked by both Democratic and Republican friends whether Hillary Clinton could be indicted for her email related actions. The simple answer is yes — she, and perhaps some of her senior staff, could be indicted for violating a number of federal criminal statutes. But for reasons that will be discussed later, it is unlikely that she will be.

Nevertheless, it is well worth discussing the various criminal provisions of federal law that she and others may have been violated based on mainstream news reports. Remember that news reporting can be incorrect or incomplete — and that Hillary Clinton, and anyone else involved, deserves every presumption of innocence. Also keep in mind that an indictment is not a conviction but rather the informed opinion of a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe one or more violations of federal criminal statutes have transpired.

This intellectual and legal research exercise should commence with a brief review of the basics of criminal jurisprudence: There are two elements of a criminal offense: the prohibited conduct as defined in statute; and the mens rea or mental intent of the individual or individuals engaging in the prohibited conduct. Thus, to gain a conviction on a criminal count in an indictment, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) the prohibited conduct occurred, (2) the prohibited conduct was undertaken by the defendant, and (3) the defendant had the requisite mens rea or intent at the time.

1.) 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information
18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information

A federal prosecutor would naturally focus first on the most serious allegations: willfully transmitting or willfully retaining Top Secret and Compartmented (TS/SCI) material using a private server system. The individual who transmits and the individual who receives and retains TS/SCI information on a private server jointly share the culpability for risking the compromise and exploitation of the information by hostile intelligence services. The prosecutor’s charging document would likely include felony counts under 18 U.S. Code § 793 and under 18 U.S. Code § 798 against each transmitting individual as well as separate counts against each receiving and retaining individual. Violation of either provision of the U.S. Code cited above is a felony with a maximum prison term of ten years.

The prohibited conduct is the insecure transmission of highly classified information, as well as the receipt and retention of highly classified information in an unapproved manner. The requisite mens rea is the willful commission of the prohibited conduct and the knowledge that compromised information could result in prejudice or injury to the United States or advantage to any foreign nation. Proof of intent to disclose the classified information is not required.

2.) U.S. Code § 1924 – Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material

If the federal prosecutors are of a charitable disposition and an accused person has been cooperative, the felony charges under 18 U.S. Code § 793 and 18 U.S. Code § 798 may be “pled-down” to a single or to multiple misdemeanor counts under 18 U.S. Code § 1924. A misdemeanor conviction would probably result in a period of probation and a less significant fine. The prohibited conduct is the unauthorized removal of classified information from government control or its retention in an unauthorized location. The mens rea required is the intent to remove from government control or the intent to store the classified information in an unauthorized location.

3.) 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) — Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

To sustain a charge under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b), a federal prosecutor need only prove that the accused transferred and held the only copies of official government records (whether classified or not), the very existence of which was concealed from government records custodians. The mens rea required is that an accused knows that official government records were transferred or removed from the control of government records custodians. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) is a felony with a maximum prison term of three years.

4.) 18 U.S. Code § 641 – Public money, property or records

Again, if the federal prosecutors are of a charitable disposition and accused has been cooperative, the felony charges under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) can be “pled down” to a misdemeanor under 18 U.S. Code § 641. The prohibited conduct is the conversion of official records (whether classified or not) to the accused’s exclusive use and the mens rea is simply the intent to do so. Conviction on the lesser misdemeanor charge would likely result in a period of probation and the imposition of a fine.

5.) 18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees

If it can be proven that an accused destroyed, withheld, or concealed the existence of official records being sought under subpoena by a committee of Congress, the accused can be convicted of obstruction under 18 U.S. Code § 1505. The prohibited conduct includes destruction, concealment and withholding of documents, thereby impeding or obstructing the committee’s rightful pursuit of information. The mens rea is knowledge of the committee’s interest in obtaining the official records in the accused’s custody or control. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1505 is a felony with a maximum prison term of five years.

6.) 18 U.S. Code § 1519 — Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations

If it can be proven that an accused knowingly concealed the existence of official records being sought by the Department of State Inspector General (DOS/IG) or by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), such accused can be convicted of obstruction. The prohibited conduct is the concealment and withholding of documents that impede or obstruct an investigation. The mens rea is the intent to conceal or withhold. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1519 is a felony with a maximum prison term of twenty years.

7.) 18 U.S. Code § 1031 — Fraud against the United States
18 U.S. Code § 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio or television
18 U.S. Code § 1346 — Definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud”
18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to defraud the United States

If it can be proven that an accused arranged for the Department of State to hire an Information Technology (IT) specialist to primarily administer and maintain a private server system owned by the accused, then the accused can be convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and probably wire fraud. The prohibited conduct is having the United States pay an employee salary and/or official travel funds for performing private services on behalf of accused. The mens rea is simply the knowledge of the employee’s status as a public servant and that the government was not fully reimbursed for the costs to the government of such services. The wire fraud conviction can be sought if it can be proven that accused used electronic means of communication in undertaking such scheme or artifice to defraud.

8.) 18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to commit a federal offense

If any accused and any third party can be proven to have colluded in any violation of federal, criminal law, then all involved can be charged with criminal conspiracy as well as being charged with the underlying offense.

Indictment?

The old adage, that a good prosecutor can get a ham sandwich indicted, is bad news for any public servant who risks the compromise of classified information or otherwise violates any of the other federal criminal statutes listed above. Specifically, this Administration has a history of vigorously prosecuting and winning convictions in the mishandling of classified information and other criminal violations of the public trust.

However, Hillary Clinton is anything but a ham sandwich; and she knows it. She and her senior aides will not even be formally investigated by this Justice Department, much less indicted. The president will allow Hillary Clinton and her aides to “tough it out” for as long it is politically possible. However, if and when the political and public opinion costs of a “tough it out” tactic become too great, President Obama will simply use that famous pen of his to issue a succinct pardon and make formal mockery of the concept of equal justice.

Kenneth Bergquist served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice during the Reagan Administration and serves now aspro bono legal counsel to the Special Operations Education Fund (OPSEC).

http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/21/eight-laws-hillary-clinton-could-be-indicted-for-breaking/

Yes, There Could Be Serious Legal Problems if Obama Admin Involved in Illegal Surveillance

President Trump recently tweeted claiming that former President Obama wiretapped him during his campaign. One can only imagine how nuts the media would have gone if the roles had been reversed: President Trump wiretapping either Obama or the Clintons, though his DOJ could have authority to do just that given the expansive leaks of intelligence information by Obama and Clinton supporters the last few months. Heck, he could wiretap the media at this point, legally and legitimately, as the sources of these unlawful leaks, for which Obama himself set precedent. Do liberals understand what Pandora’s Box Obama opened up by Obama using the powers of the NSA, CIA and FBI to spy on his political opponents? Even Nixon never did that.

If the stories are correct, Obama or his officials might even face prosecution. But, we are still early in all of this and there are a lot of rumors flying around so the key is if the reports are accurate. We just don’t know at this time. The stories currently are three-fold: first, that Obama’s team tried to get a warrant from a regular, Article III federal court on Trump, and was told no by someone along the way (maybe the FBI), as the evidence was that weak or non-existent; second, Obama’s team then tried to circumvent the federal judiciary’s independent role by trying to mislabel the issue one of “foreign agents,” and tried to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “courts”, and were again turned down, when the court saw Trump named (an extremely rare act of FISA court refusal of the government, suggesting the evidence was truly non-existent against Trump); and so, third, Obama circumvented both the regular command of the FBI and the regularly appointed federal courts, by placing the entire case as a FISA case (and apparently under Sally Yates at DOJ) as a “foreign” case, and then omitted Trump’s name from a surveillance warrant submitted to the FISA court, which the FISA court unwittingly granted, which Obama then misused to spy on Trump and many connected to Trump. Are these allegations true? We don’t know yet, but if any part of them are then Obama and/or his officials could face serious trouble.

Can a President be charged with a crime? Only once out of office. While in office, impeachment remains the exclusive remedy in order to avoid a single judicial branch trying to overturn an election, such as a grand jury in any part of the country could. Once out of office, a President remains immune from civil liability for his duties while President, under a 1982 decision of the United States Supreme Court. However, as the Nixon pardon attests, nothing forecloses a criminal prosecution of the President after his presidency is complete for crimes against the country. Obama, the Constitutional lawyer, should know that.

What crimes could have been committed? Ironically, for Democrats falsely accusing Attorney General Sessions, perjury and conspiracy to commit perjury, as well as intentional violations of FISA. Rather shockingly, no law currently forbids misusing the power of the presidency to spy on one’s adversaries. What the law does forbid is lying to any judicial officer to obtain any means of surveillance. What the law does forbid, under criminal penalty, is the misuse of FISA. Both derive from the protections of the Fourth Amendment itself. Under section 1809, FISA makes it a crime for anyone to either “engage in” electronic surveillance under “color of law” under FISA without following the law’s restrictions, or “disclose” or “use” information gathered from it in contravention of the statute’s sharp constrictions.

FISA, 50 USC 1801, et seq., is a very limited method of obtaining surveillance authority. The reason for its strict limits is that FISA evades the regular federal court process, by not allowing regularly, Constitutionally appointed federal judges and their magistrates to authorize surveillance the Fourth Amendment would otherwise forbid. Instead, the Chief Justice handpicks the FISA court members, who have shown an exceptional deference to the executive branch. This is because FISA court members trust the government is only bringing them surveillance about pending terror attacks or “grave hostile” war-like attacks, as the FISA statute limits itself to. Thus, a FISA application can only be used in very limited circumstances.

One important reminder about electronic surveillance. Occasionally, a law enforcement officer will hear or see or record information not allowed by the warrant, but incidental or accidental to otherwise lawful surveillance. Their job is to immediately stop listening, stop recording, and to delete such information. This is what you occasionally see in films where the agent in the van hears the conversation turn away from something criminal to a personal discussion, and the agent then turns off the listening device and stops the recording. Such films simply recognize long-standing legal practice.

FISA can only be used for “foreign intelligence information.” Now that sounds broad, but is in fact very limited under the law. The only “foreign intelligence information” allowed as a basis for surveillance is information necessary to protect the United States against actual or potential “grave” “hostile” attack, war-like sabotage or international terror. Second, it can only be used to eavesdrop on conversations where the parties to the conversation are a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. An agent of a foreign power cannot be a United States person unless they are knowingly involved in criminal espionage. No warrant is allowed on that person unless a FISA court finds probable cause the United States person is knowingly engaged in criminal espionage. Even then, if it involves a United States person, special steps must be taken to “minimize the acquisition and retention, and prohibit the dissemination, of non publicly available information concerning un-consenting United States persons.”

This includes procedures that require they never identify the person, or the conversation, being surveilled, to the public where that information is not evidence of a particular crime. Third, the kind of information sought concerns solely information about a pending or actual attack on the country. That is why the law limits itself to sabotage incidents involving war, not any form or kind of “sabotage,” explicitly limiting itself to those acts identified in section 105 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

This bring us to Watergate-on-Steroids, or #ObamaGate. Here are the problematic aspects of the Obama surveillance on Trump’s team, and on Trump himself. First, it is not apparent FISA could ever be invoked. Second, it is possible Obama’s team may have perjured themselves before the FISA court by withholding material information essential to the FISA court’s willingness to permit the government surveillance. Third, it could be that Obama’s team illegally disseminated and disclosed FISA information in direct violation of the statute precisely prohibiting such dissemination and disclosure. FISA prohibits, under criminal penalty, Obama’s team from doing any of the three.

At the outset, the NSA should have never been involved in a domestic US election. Investigating the election, or any hacking of the DNC or the phishing of Podesta’s emails, would not be a FISA matter. It does not fit the definition of war sabotage or a “grave” “hostile” war-like attack on the United States, as constrictively covered by FISA. It is your run-of-the-mill hacking case covered by existing United States laws that require use of the regular departments of the FBI, Department of Justice, and Constitutionally Senate-appointed federal district court judges, and their appointed magistrates, not secretive, deferential FISA courts.

Out of 35,000+ requests for surveillance, the FISA court has only ever rejected a whopping 12. Apparently, according to published reports, you can add one more to that — even the FISA court first rejected Obama’s request to spy on Trump’s team under the guise of an investigation into foreign agents of a pending war attack, intelligence agents apparently returned to the court, where, it is my assumption, that they did not disclose or divulge all material facts to the court when seeking the surveillance the second time around, some of which they would later wrongfully disseminate and distribute to the public. By itself, misuse of FISA procedures to obtain surveillance is itself, a crime.

This raises the second problem: Obama’s team submission of an affidavit to to the FISA court. An application for a warrant of any kind requires an affidavit, and that affidavit may not omit material factors. A fact is “material” if it could have the possible impact of impacting the judicial officer deciding whether to authorize the warrant. Such affidavits are the most carefully drawn up, reviewed, and approved affidavits of law enforcement in our system precisely because they must be fully-disclosing, forthcoming, and include any information a judge must know to decide whether to allow our government to spy on its own. My assumption would be that intelligence officials were trying to investigate hacking of DNC which is not even a FISA covered crime, so therefore serious questions arise about what Obama administration attorneys said to the FISA court to even consider the application. If the claim was “financial ties” to Russia, then Obama knew he had no basis to use FISA at all.

Since Trump was the obvious target, the alleged failure to disclose his name in the second application could be a serious and severe violation of the obligation to disclose all material facts. Lastly, given the later behavior, it is evident any promise in the affidavit to protect the surveilled information from ever being sourced or disseminated was a false promise, intended to induce the illicit surveillance. This is criminalized both by federal perjury statutes, conspiracy statutes, and the FISA criminal laws themselves.

That raises the third problem: it seems the FISA-compelled protocols for precluding the dissemination of the information were violated, and that Obama’s team issued orders to achieve precisely what the law forbids, if published reports are true about the administration sharing the surveilled information far-and-wide to promote unlawful leaks to the press. This, too, would be its own crime, as it brings back the ghost of Hillary’s emails — by definition, FISA information is strictly confidential or it’s information that never should have been gathered. FISA strictly segregates its surveilled information into two categories: highly confidential information of the most serious of crimes involving foreign acts of war; or, if not that, then information that should never have been gathered, should be immediately deleted, and never sourced nor disseminated. It cannot be both.

Recognizing this information did not fit FISA meant having to delete it and destroy it. According to published reports, Obama’s team did the opposite: order it preserved, ordered the NSA to search it, keep it, and share it; and then Obama’s Attorney General issued an order to allow broader sharing of information and, according to the New York Times, Obama aides acted to label the Trump information at a lower level of classification for massive-level sharing of the information. The problem for Obama is simple — if it could fit a lower level of classification, then it had to be deleted and destroyed, not disseminated and distributed, under crystal clear FISA law. Obama’s team’s admission it could be classified lower, yet taking actions to insure its broadest distribution, could even put Obama smack-middle of the biggest unlawful surveillance and political-opponent-smear campaign since Nixon. Except even Nixon didn’t use the FBI and NSA for his dirty tricks.

Watergate would have never happened if Nixon felt like he could just ask the FBI or NSA to tape the calls. This is Hoover-esque abuses of the kind Bob Woodward pal, former FBI Assistant Director Mark Felt (otherwise known as Deep Throat), routinely engaged in at the FBI until convicted and removed from office. (You didn’t know that Deep Throat was really a corrupt part of Deep State, did you? Guess who ran the famous COINTELPRO? That’s right — Deep Throat. How would the public have reacted if they knew the media had been in bed with the deep state all the way back then? Maybe that was the reason Woodward, Bernstein and Bradley kept Deep Throat’s identity secret all those years?)

Democrats may regret Sessions’ recusal, as his replacement is a mini-Sessions: a long-respected, a-political, highly ethical prosecutor, Dana Boente, whose reputation is well-warranted from his service at the Tax Division, and who won’t be limited by any perceived ties to Trump, given his prior appointment by Obama. Obama himself appeared scared of Boente, as he removed Boente from the successor-to-Sessions position during the lame-duck part of Obama’s presidency, but Trump restored Boente to that role earlier this month. Democrats may get the investigation they wanted, but it may be their own that end up named in the indictment.

Robert Barnes is a California-based trial attorney whose practice focuses on tax defense, civil rights and First Amendment law. You can follow him at @Barnes_Law

http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/yes-obama-could-be-prosecuted-if-involved-with-illegal-surveillance/

The Endless Ironies of Donald J. Trump

by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON June 13, 2017 4:00 AM @VDHANSON

Pandemonium can be a revivifying purgative.

Here are the ironies of Donald Trump as president. 1) For the Left (both Political and Media)

The Left was mostly untroubled for eight years about the often unconstitutional abuses of Barack Obama — given that they saw their shared noble aims as justifying almost any means necessary to achieve them.

There was the not uncommon Rice-Gruber-Rhodes-Holder sort of deception (on Benghazi, on the conduct of Bowe Bergdahl, on the Affordable Care Act, the Iran deal, on Fast and Furious, etc.) — a required tactic because so much of the Obama agenda was antithetical to the wishes and preferences of the American electorate and thus had to be disguised and camouflaged to become enacted.

There was the pen-and-phone mockery of established federal law (the suspension of the ACA employer mandate, the Chrysler creditor reversal, the non-enforcement of federal immigration law, the institutionalization of sanctuary-city nullification).

There was the constant mythmaking (from faux red lines, deadlines, and step-over lines to the fatuity of the Cairo Speech and Iran-deal harangues). There were the abuses of presidential power (the surveillance of journalists, the selective release of the bin Laden trove to pet journalists, the likely surveilling, unmasking, and leaking through reversed targeting of political enemies).

No one worried much when Obama promised on a hot mic to Medvedev that he would be more flexible with the Russians after his reelection, as if they were to conform to a desired sort of behavior in service to Obama that would earn them dividends from him later on — the kind of unapologetic partisan “collusion” that would have earned Trump a Comey-induced indictment.

No one cared that Obama pulled all peacekeepers out of Iraq and thereby ruined what the surge had saved.

Nor did anyone fret much about the serial scandals at the GSA, the VA, the IRS, and the Secret Service, or his disastrous reset policy with Russia and the implosion of the Middle East or the strange spectacles of Obama’s interview with GloZell or polarizing Oval Office guests, such as the rapper whose album cover portrayed celebrations over a dead white judge.

True, none of these were impeachable or even major offenses. But all of them recalibrated the bar of presidential behavior.

So along came the next Republican president, empowered by Obama’s exemptions to do almost anything he wished, albeit without the thin exculpatory veneer of Ivy League pretension, multicultural indemnity, and studied smoothness.

In biblical “there is a season” fashion, for every sermon about not building your business, making too much money, or profiting at the wrong time, there was a Trump retort to profit as never before.

For every too-frequent gala golf outing of a metrosexual Obama decked out in spiffy attire, there is a plumper Trump swinging away, oblivious to the angry pack of reporters that Obama once so carefully courted. For every rapper with an ankle bracelet that went off in the White House, there is now a White House photo-op with Ted Nugent.

For every executive-order suspension of federal immigration enforcement, there is an executive-order corrective.

For every lecture on the crusades, sermons on Western genocidal history, apology tour, or Islamic mythmaking, there is an American Greatness pride in everything.

The progressive ironies continued.

If the media were to be believed when they insisted that Obama was a “god,” or that he was the smartest man ever to achieve the presidency, or that the first lady was Jackie Kennedy incarnate, or that Obama was capable of sending electrical shocks down a reporter’s leg or was sure to be a brilliant president on the basis of his pants crease or because he talked in the manner of Washington elites, then surely it could not be believed when Trump was smeared as a veritable dunce, crook, buffoon, and naïf worthy of impeachment or that his wife (fluent in several languages) was an airhead former escort girl.

By their former unhinged adoration and obsequiousness, progressives and the media undermined all future credibility in their unhinged venom and loathing of Donald Trump. Now they live with the reality that by elevating Obama into a deity, they unleashed their own worst nightmare and have reduced themselves to irrelevance.

In the end, no one believes the current venom of a CNN or a New York Times precisely because no one could have believed their prior slavish adulation.

Anderson Cooper has become Keith Olbermann, as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer meld into Maxine Waters: now malevolent rather than previously sycophantic, but in their extremism still no more credible in 2017 than they were in 2009. 2) For the Orphaned Never Trump Right (as Overrepresented in the Punditocracy as Underrepresented in the Electorate)

Even the most die-hard Never Trump conservative has had to make some adjustments. Despite assurances that Trump would not get the nomination, he did. Despite assurances that he could never be elected, he was. Despite prognostications that Trump was a liberal wolf hiding in conservative fleece, Trump’s appointments, his executive orders, his legislation pending before the Congress, his abrupt withdrawal from the Paris global-warming accords, his fierce support for vouchers, his pro-life advocacy, and his immigration normality were so far orthodoxly conservative.

Most Never Trumpers now concede that something had gone terribly wrong with their top-down party, although they resent that it was raucous billionaire Donald Trump who administered the diagnosis.

Despite suspicions that Trump’s appeal to the working class was nursed on racism, fanatic nationalism, xenophobia, and nativism, the appeal instead grew from a shared disgust with blue-stocking Republicans who were perceived in word and deed as little different from coastal Democratic look-alikes. Most Never Trumpers now concede that something had gone terribly wrong with their top-down party, although they resent that it was raucous billionaire Donald Trump who administered the diagnosis.

Where Never Trump conservatives worried that Trump was too uninformed or too reckless (e.g., pulling out of an “obsolete” NATO, rejecting Article 5 of the NATO alliance, starting a trade war with China, or erecting tariffs in 1920s style), Trump was forced to separate his past rhetoric from present reality — confirming in a way his transparent art-of-the-deal negotiating style of asking for twice what he could acceptably settle for, or acting unhinged to unsettle negotiators, enemies, and rivals. Given these surprises, the Never Trump position has now receded to a simpler proposition: The uncouth character of Donald J. Trump is not worth the conservative agenda that he may well enact, as we all will eventually and inevitably learn. Or how can conservative moralists stomach such a supposedly immoral incarnation of their own views? Such a paradox hinges on four corollaries, many of them dubious.

One: The ideological trajectory of a probable 16 years of Obama–Hillary Clinton progressive transformation of the country was never as dangerous as turning over executive power to someone as purportedly uncouth and unpredictable as Trump.

Two: Trump’s character defects were like none other in a previous American president (which would include John Kennedy’s pathological and dangerous womanizing, Lyndon Johnson’s in-office profiteering and crudity, Richard Nixon’s disrespect for truth and the law, Bill Clinton’s demonstrable White House sex escapades and lying under oath) and thus would cancel out the entire gamut of renewed energy production, deregulation, tax reform, deterrent foreign policy, Obamacare reform, and the sort of Cabinet appointment that will prune back the deep state.

Three: Ideas matter more than politics and governance. Being 51 (or far more) percent preferable is still either not being preferable at all or at least not enough to warrant pragmatic assent.

Four: Even snarky and “see, how I was right” attacks on Trump from the right keep conservatism honest, rather than implode it in the manner that the Left most assiduously avoids. (Was there ever a “Never Hillary” movement after the Democratic convention to protest her pollution of the Democratic National Committee?)

For now, the fallback position of “I told you so” hinges on Trump’s proving, in a downward spiral, far more recklessly obstreperous in the future than he has been so far, and on his agenda’s either fossilizing or reverting to his own 1980s liberal outlook. 3) Always Trump There are few ironies for Always Trumpers who supported Trump from well before the primaries. They wished an iron wrecking ball to be thrown into the deep-state glass, and they certainly got what they wished for. The uncouthness of Trump is not vulgarity for them. It’s the necessary tough antidote to what they see as the polished crudity of the elite class, who are quite indecent in their sanctimonious lectures on amnesties or globalized free but unfair trade — while having the personal means of navigating around the deleterious consequences of their own advocacy. Trump’s nihilistic and self-destructive tweets are yet again, for the Always Trumpers, the Semtex that helps blow up the entire spectacle of the feeding frenzy Washington press conference, the embarrassment of the White House Correspondents Dinner, the soft-ball televised interview, and the moral preening of television’s talking heads. Dr. Sawbones Trump smelled a festering wound, ripped off the scab, and proclaimed that the exposure would aerate and cure the gangrenous mass below. For the Always Trumpers, without the Trump shock, we would never have fully appreciated just how politically crude a Stephen Colbert really was, or just how obscene was a Tom Perez or

3) Always Trump There are few ironies for Always Trumpers who supported Trump from well before the primaries. They wished an iron wrecking ball to be thrown into the deep-state glass, and they certainly got what they wished for. The uncouthness of Trump is not vulgarity for them. It’s the necessary tough antidote to what they see as the polished crudity of the elite class, who are quite indecent in their sanctimonious lectures on amnesties or globalized free but unfair trade — while having the personal means of navigating around the deleterious consequences of their own advocacy. Trump’s nihilistic and self-destructive tweets are yet again, for the Always Trumpers, the Semtex that helps blow up the entire spectacle of the feeding frenzy Washington press conference, the embarrassment of the White House Correspondents Dinner, the soft-ball televised interview, and the moral preening of television’s talking heads. Dr. Sawbones Trump smelled a festering wound, ripped off the scab, and proclaimed that the exposure would aerate and cure the gangrenous mass below. For the Always Trumpers, without the Trump shock, we would never have fully appreciated just how politically crude a Stephen Colbert really was, or just how obscene was a Tom Perez or a Senator Gillibrand, or how rankly partisan was a Chuck Schumer or how incapacitated a Nancy Pelosi. Dr. Sawbones Trump smelled a festering wound, ripped off the scab, and proclaimed that the exposure would aerate and cure the gangrenous mass below — however crudely administered the remedy without analgesics. In this view, Trump’s ostensibly counterproductive outbursts and Twitter rants are the unpleasant castor oil that was long ago needed to break up and pass on a constipated, corrupt, and incestuous elite.

4) Trump, Better Far Than the Alternative Lastly, there are the conservatives and Republicans (well over 90 percent) who voted for Trump on the grounds that, while he may not have been preferable to most of the alternatives in the primary, he most certainly was in the general election. For these pragmatists, there are both pleasant and occasionally worrisome ironies. On the upside, it seems clear that Trump is not just conservative to his word, but, in the first 100 days, conservative in terms of policy to a degree unlike any other Republican president or presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan. Mitt Romney would not have yanked the U.S. out of the jerry-rigged Paris climate accord. John McCain would not have appointed a Neal Gorsuch or proposed to radically recalibrate the tax code. Neither of the two Bushes would have felt politically secure enough to shut down the border to illegal immigration; neither would have pressed to finished the border wall. None since Reagan would have made the sort of conservative appointments at the cabinet and bureaucratic level as has Trump. If Trump were really a namby-pamby conservative, the sheer hatred of Trump the person by the progressive Left has had the predictable effect of making him against everything his loudest enemies are for. For the realist Trump supporters, Trump’s tweets or outbursts are often regrettable and occasionally bothersome, but not so much because they demonstrate an unprecedented level of presidential indecency. (Cynical realists with knowledge of history accept what FDR or JFK was capable of, and thus what they said in private conservations, and occasionally out loud.) Trump’s sin, then, is that he more often says out loud what prior presidents kept to their inner circle. Rather, their worry is more tactical and strategic: Trump, the bull-in-the-china-shop messenger, breaks up too much of the vital message of Trump. In public, they may cringe at Trump’s excesses (though enjoying in private how he forces sanctimonious progressives to melt down), but their worry over Trump’s overkill is mostly from the fear that no mortal 70-year-old male, without a traditionally loyal support staff, but with unhealthy sleep and diet habits, and under the stress of historic vituperation, could see through such an ambitious conservative agenda. They are worried, then, that the 24/7 and extraneous fights that Trump picks will eventually undo him, and with his demise will go his entire conservative resurgence for a generation. They admire enormously Mike Pence but concede that he would have been neither nominated nor elected. And should Trump fall, Pence would be unable amid the nuclear fallout to press the conservative agenda further. And yet there is some doubt even here as well. Trump’s tweets can be as prescient as they are reckless.

Take the infamous “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” and substitute “Obama administration” for Obama, and “surveil” for “wires tapped,” and Trump’s tweet about the former president’s intelligence agencies improperly monitoring him may yet prove in a broad sense correct.

In other words, cringe-worthy Trump behavior so often is the lubricant that oils his success against cringe-worthy opponents, turning upside down the Heraclitean axiom that character is destiny, or rather redefining it, because Trump’s targets so often were hubristic and deserved the nemesis sent their way.

For the realist Trump supporters, Trump’s tweets or outbursts are often regrettable and occasionally bothersome, but not so much because they demonstrate an unprecedented level of presidential indecency. (Cynical realists with knowledge of history accept what FDR or JFK was capable of, and thus what they said in private conservations, and occasionally out loud.)

Trump’s sin, then, is that he more often says out loud what prior presidents kept to their inner circle. Rather, their worry is more tactical and strategic: Trump, the bull-in-the-china-shop messenger, breaks up too much of the vital message of Trump. In public, they may cringe at Trump’s excesses (though enjoying in private how he forces sanctimonious progressives to melt down), but their worry over Trump’s overkill is mostly from the fear that no mortal 70-year-old male, without a traditionally loyal support staff, but with unhealthy sleep and diet habits, and under the stress of historic vituperation, could see through such an ambitious conservative agenda.

They are worried, then, that the 24/7 and extraneous fights that Trump picks will eventually undo him, and with his demise will go his entire conservative resurgence for a generation.

They admire enormously Mike Pence but concede that he would have been neither nominated nor elected. And should Trump fall, Pence would be unable amid the nuclear fallout to press the conservative agenda further. And yet there is some doubt even here as well. Trump’s tweets can be as prescient as they are reckless. Take the infamous “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” and substitute “Obama administration” for Obama, and “surveil” for “wires tapped,” and Trump’s tweet about the former president’s intelligence agencies improperly monitoring him may yet prove in a broad sense correct. In other words, cringe-worthy Trump behavior so often is the lubricant that oils his success against cringe-worthy opponents, turning upside down the Heraclitean axiom that character is destiny, or rather redefining it, because Trump’s targets so often were hubristic and deserved the nemesis sent their way.

It may not be that Trump earns hatred for unnecessary provocation and vitriol, but instead that he or any other Republican would have earned such venom anyway; thus his own searing tactics and narcissistic belief in his own destiny are predicated on the assumption that his unhinged enemies will vaporize first. And he may be right. James Comey has underestimated Donald Trump every bit as much as Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama did. In the end, the pragmatists apparently believe conservatives will hang together or hang separately.

Never have so many bright people proved so dense.

Never have polls and politics proved so unreliable or partisan. Never have unintended consequences so replaced predictable results.

Yes, we are in chaos, but we sense also that the pandemonium is purgative of the worse that prompted it — and it is unpleasant mostly because it has so long been overdue.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, to appear in October from Basic Books.

 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448562/donald-trump-ironies-wrecking-ball-long-overdue-may-benefit-country

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The Pronk Pops Show 851, March 3, 2017, Story 1 : Trump Russian Connection: All Noise — No Evidence — Fake News Of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Low Life Losers — It Is Not A One Variable World! — Videos — Story 2: Who Are Real Red Russian Agents of Influence? — Who Lost The Crimea To Russia? — Who Gave Iran A Pathway To Nuclear Weapons? — Obama and Jarrett — Videos — Story 3: Real News, Real Evidence, Real Crimes of Destruction of Government Document, Mishandling of Classified Documents, Perjury, Obstruction of Justice (Also By Department of Justice), Conspiracy, Public Corruption of Hillary Clinton — Awaiting Trump Telephone To Attorney General Jeff Session To Appoint Special Prosecutor — Videos

Posted on March 4, 2017. Filed under: Benghazi, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Employment, Fast and Furious, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Hillary Clinton, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Immigration, Impeachment, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, IRS, Law, Life, News, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Russia, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Science, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Weapons, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1 : Trump Russian Connection: All Noise — No Evidence — Fake News Of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Low Life Losers — It Is Not A One Variable World! — Videos —

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions press conference. Mar 2. 2017.

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Democrats & GOP War Hawks Align in Lunatic Russia Manipulation of American People

Published on Mar 3, 2017

Sources & Links Below, Click SHOW MORE:
Despite not producing ONE piece of tangible, objective evidence that Russia interfered with our elections, Democrats have aligned with Neo-conservative War Hawks to launch five investigation into Trump/Russia campaign connections. The Russia narrative has been one of the UGLIEST and most dishonest political manipulations in modern political history. Taking down Trump by promoting war and covering for their own corruption is traitorous behavior. Put quite plainly, this is lunatic.
Corporate Media’s FREE Campaign to Donald Trump:
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/up…
Pied Piper Email:
http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-h…
Glenn Greenwald Five Points on Russia Article:
https://theintercept.com/2017/02/28/t…
Full Article on How No Real Case Has Been Made On Russia:
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/14/h…
https://t.co/sAwvNAtUh6
These are Sane Progressive Videos Covering the Russia Spin/Each has a LONG list of sources in description relevant to today’s content:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh0EA…
On the Election Hacking & Dem Primary Fraud:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOpkN…
On John McCain & the Lie of Russia Hacking Grid:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9zwJ…
Michael Flynn Story:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsF-t…
On the Geo-Political Motivations of Russia Sanctions by Obama:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuFu…
On Hillary Clinton’s Russia Connections MUCH Deeper than Trumps:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbBxr…
Example of Absurdity of Russia Insanity, Russia was GOing to Frame Clinton for Election Fraud from Washington Post:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0kA2…
Russia Lies were Used to Unconstitutionally Place Elections Under Critical Infrastructure of Department of Homeland Security:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN-cY…

MUST WATCH NOW… Tucker Carlson Goes Thermonuclear On Rep Adam Schiff … Over Russian Hacking

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Trump Slams ‘Fake News’ CNN! | Louder With Crowder

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Tucker Carlson Gets to the Bottom of Russian Hacking Conspiracy with Huffpo Writer

Donald Trump brands Democrats ‘hypocrites’ over Russian links

 Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the U.S.
 Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. CREDIT: CLIFF OWEN/AP

President Donald Trump branded Democrats “hypocrites” over calls for an investigation into his administration’s contacts with Russia, posting a photograph on the internet of one of the opposition party’s leaders sharing doughnuts and coffee with Vladimir Putin.

It came after half a dozen Trump officials and advisers were revealed to have met Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington, in the six months before the president took office.

Mr Trump responded by posting the picture on Twitter showing Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the US Senate, smiling alongside Mr Putin during his trip to New York in 2003.

The president said: “We should start an immediate investigation into Senator Schumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!”

View image on Twitter

We should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!

Not satisfied with that, then president then pointed the finger at Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/nancy-pelosi-sergey-kislyak-meeting-235653 

Photo published for Photo contradicts Pelosi's statement about not meeting Kislyak

Photo contradicts Pelosi’s statement about not meeting Kislyak

The Democratic House leader sat with the Russian ambassador and other officials in 2010.

politico.com

Mr Schumer said he would “happily talk under oath” about his encounter with Mr Putin, and asked Mr Trump: “Would you?”

It came as Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser,became the latest figure drawn into the web of entanglements with Russian officials that has plagued the new administration.

The 36-year-old husband of Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, was present at a previously undisclosed meeting between Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s former national security adviser, and Mr Kislyak at Trump Tower in New York in December.

Mr Flynn resigned last month after it emerged he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his communications with Mr Kislyak. In the December meeting the Russian diplomat reportedly entered Trump Tower by a back entrance and spoke for between 10 and 20 minutes.

The White House said the intention was to “establish a line of communication” with the Russian government. One official called it an “inconsequential hello” and said Mr Kushner had not met Mr Kislyak since.

On Thursday Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any future investigation examining communications between Trump officials and Moscow.

He did so after it was revealed he had himself spoken twice to Mr Kislyak and not revealed it during the confirmation hearing for his new post.

Mr Sessions was accused of “lying under oath” by Democrats in Congress who called on him to resign.

Several other Trump campaign advisers – national security advisers JD Gordon and Walifd Phares, and former foreign policy adviser Carter Page – also spoke with Mr Kislyak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last July, it emerged.

Mr Gordon said there was nothing inappropriate about them having done so.

The Kremlin indicated its disappointment and frustration at how the uproar was blocking progress on US-Russian relations, including on the issues of Syria and combating terrorism.

It furiously denied allegations that Mr Kislyak, who emerged as the central figure in a controversy, was a spy. Senior intelligence officials told CNN the amiable career diplomat, at one time the Russian envoy to Nato, was suspected of being one of Russia’s top espionage recruiters in Washington.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded by saying: “Recruiting? Oh my God! Stop spreading lies and false news. He is a well-known, world-class diplomat.

“I’ll open a military secret for you – it’s the diplomats’ jobs to have contacts in the country they are posted to.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Mr Kislyak was doing his job meeting senior US officials.

He added: “This strongly resembles a witch hunt or the times of McCarthyism which we thought were long over in the United States as a civilised country.”

Steve Hall, former former chief of Russian operations for the CIA, said: “Ambassador Kislyak is clearly an aggressive guy, getting out there and talking to as many people as he possibly can, that’s what Vladimir Putin wants him to do.”

Mr Hall added: “It’s an interesting effect he had on people. They have meetings with him and then they forget. It’s pretty amazing.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/03/donald-trump-brands-democrats-hypocrites-russian-links/

Story 2: Who Are Real Red Russian Agents of Influence?  — Who Lost The Crimea To Russia? — Who Gave Iran A Pathway To Nuclear Weapons? — Obama and Jarrett — Videos —

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Wayne Madsen Bombshell: Barack Obama Conclusively Outed as CIA Creation – Alex Jones Tv 1/3

Wayne Madsen Bombshell: Barack Obama Conclusively Outed as CIA Creation – Alex Jones Tv 2/3

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Agent of influence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An agent of influence is an agent of some stature who uses his or her position to influence public opinion or decision making to produce results beneficial to the country whose intelligence service operates the agent.[1] Agents of influence are often the most difficult agents to detect, as there is seldom material evidence that connects them with a foreign power,[2] but they can be among the most effective means of influencing foreign opinion and actions as they hold considerable credibility among the target audience.[3] Most commonly they serve the interests of a foreign power in one of three ways: either as a controlled agent directly recruited and controlled by a foreign power; as a “trusted contact” that consciously collaborates to advance foreign interests but are not directly recruited or controlled by a foreign power; or as a “useful idiot” that is completely unaware of how their actions further the interests of a foreign power.[4]

The term “agent of influence” is often used to describe both individuals and organizations engaged in influence operations. Individuals engaged in this type of influence operation may serve in the fields of journalism, government, art, labor, academia, or a number of other professional fields.[5] Cultural opinion makers, nationalists, and religious leaders have also been targeted to serve as individual agents of influence.[6]

In addition to individual agents of influence, front organizations can serve the interests of a foreign power in this capacity.[7] Some Cold War examples of front organizations serving as agents of influence, focusing largely on the Soviet side, were many “peace” groups: the Christian Peace Conference, the International Organization of Journalists, the World Federation of Scientific Workers, the World Federation of Trade Unions, the International Institute for Peace, and the World Peace Council.[8] When individuals join such organizations in good faith but are in fact serving the interests of a foreign elite, their affiliation becomes infiltration, and cumulatively the organization serves as an agent of influence.[9]

U.S. government definitions

  • An agent of some stature who uses his or her position to influence public opinion or decision making to produce results beneficial to the country whose intelligence service operates the agent (Air Force Office of Special Investigations Manual 71-142).[10]
  • A person who is directed by an intelligence organization to use his or her position to influence public opinion or decision-making in a manner that will advance the objective of the country for which that organization operates (Counterintelligence Glossary—Terms & Definitions of Interest for Department of Defense Counterintelligence Professionals).[10]
  • An individual who acts in the interest of an adversary without open declaration of allegiance and attempts to exercise influence covertly, but is not necessarily gathering intelligence or compromising classified material, is known as an agent of influence (Historical Dictionary of Cold War Counterintelligence).[10]
  • An agent operating under intelligence instructions who uses his or her officialdom or public position, and other means, to exert influence on policy, public opinion, the course of particular events, the activity of political organizations and state agencies in target countries (KGB Lexicon: The Soviet Intelligence Officer’s Handbook, edited by KGB archivist Vasiliy Mitrokhin).[10]
  • The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was enacted in 1938, and 22 U.S.Code § 611 et seq provides detailed definitions of what constitutes an agent of influence.[11]

Characteristics

text

Leon Trotsky, who popularized the term “fellow traveller” in 1924. Trotsky would state: “As regards a ‘fellow-traveller’, the question always comes up—how far will he go?”[12]

The primary characteristic that distinguishes agents of influence from spies is the lack of absolute control exercised by the foreign power on an agent of influence. According to Angelo Codevilla, the work of an agent of influence “can be far more valuable, subtle, and dangerous than that of a mere spy”.[13] As witnessed in the Cold War through “fellow travelers“, the best agents of influence were those whose interests paralleled that of the aggressor’s and needed little if any coordination.[14] A foreign power can rarely exercise complete control over an agent of influence, as these agents possess their own preferences and motivations; the most proven way to cultivate the desired results is for a foreign power to choose and develop an agent of influence whose interests already align with their own.[14]Overlooking an agent of influence’s different motivations can have negative consequences, as witnessed in World War I, when German political warfare strategists sent Vladimir Lenin back to St. Petersburg in an effort to foster domestic instability and get Russia out of the war in 1917.[14] Since Lenin had different motivations and interests than the German government at the time, he acted in a manner not suited to German interests, and grew so powerful that his party was instrumental to bringing down Imperial Germany.[14]

Excessive efforts to control or exploit agents of influence can also have negative consequences. Such agents are best seen as strategic or tactical allies, and efforts to exercise too much control over them may result in the loss of an influence asset.[14] Excessive exploitation of these agents can lead to their exposure by forcing them to take questionably one-sided positions, as witnessed in the exposure of Norwegian Arne Treholt.[15] Because these agents exercise influence, their positions and opinions are not wholly secret, but the level to which they coordinate activities with a hostile power is likely to be kept secret.[16]

Agents of influence are most effective because they bring with them a sense of credibility among the target audience, and they use this credibility to convey a story or manipulate a situation in favor of the foreign power with which they share common preferences and motivations.[3] This credibility makes agents of influence so effective that, according to Angelo Codevilla, using these agents is an act of war “in the same sense that armies crashing across border or airplanes dropping bombs are acts of war because their results can be as intrusive or conclusive as the results of armies or bombs.”[17]

Known Agents Of Influence

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Accused agent of influence and convicted spy Arne Treholt

Individuals operating as an agent of influence may serve in the fields of journalism, government, art, labor, academia, or a number of other professional fields.[5] Cultural opinion makers, nationalists, and religious leaders have also been targeted to serve as individual agents of influence.[6] The following are some notable individuals that have been accused of being foreign agents of influence. The list is not exhaustive but is meant to show the wide range in which such agents can operate. As previously noted, proving someone is an agent of influence is among the most difficult endeavors, even for the most skilled counterintelligence officers.[2]

  • Alger Hiss – an agent of influence and spy.[18] At the time of his exposure he had significant support among US politicians and only went to jail for lying under oath about passing documents to the Soviet Union.[18]
  • Harry Hopkins – debate continues today over whether enough evidence persists to accuse him of being a Soviet agent of influence, but he was largely responsible for fostering pro-Soviet views within the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.[19]
  • Arne Herløv Petersen – used as a Soviet agent of influence in Norway for over 10 years, he mainly focused on various means of manipulating Danish public opinion.[20]
  • Arne Treholt – he was exposed as a result of overuse as an agent of influence in taking blatantly one-sided arguments over Norway’s northern border.[15]
  • Rose O’Neal Greenhow – Confederate spy and accused agent of influence working among the British.[21]
  • William Stephenson – assumed British agent of influence working in the US in the era of World War II.[22]
  • Harry Dexter White – According to confessed spies and FBI informants Whitaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bentley, Harry Dexter White was accused of being a Soviet agent of influence working in the US as an Assistant Secretary of Treasury.[23] He was accused of fostering animosity between the US and Japan in an effort to advance Russian interests.[24] He was also accused of influencing the climate so that Russia could gain disproportional representation in the United Nations and delaying aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek in an effort to facilitate the communist takeover of the government.[24]In his book Treasonable Doubt, R. Bruce Craig questions whether this accusation is true, largely relying on the White’s pivotal role in the founding of the Bretton Woods system to point that some key achievements of his career were staunchly anti-Communist in nature.[23] As mentioned earlier, however, it is among the most difficult tasks to prove someone is an agent of influence.[2] As noted by Dr. James C. Van Hool, joint historian of the US Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency, debate over White’s status as an agent of influence continues to this day.[23]
  • Peter Matthiessen Writer and former covert CIA operative who admittedly established the Paris Review as a front for his agency activities.[25][26]

Organizational functioning

Main article: Communist front

In addition to individual agents of influence, front organizations can serve the interests of a foreign power in this capacity.[7] When individuals join such organizations in good faith but are in fact serving the interests of a foreign elite, their affiliation becomes infiltration, and cumulatively the organization serves as an agent of influence.[9] It is important to note, however, that not all front organizations focus exclusively on influence operations, as some have more specific objectives (intelligence collection, etc.). The Cold War is a recent example of increased use of not only front organizations, but of front organizations being used as agents of influence to alter the target nation’s belief system and policies on the international stage.[27]

The use of organizations as agents of influence during the Cold War is a recent example that serves to illustrate how frequently front organizations were used in an attempt to alter the perceptions and actions of a foreign nation and its public. A Communist front organization is an organization identified to be a front organization under the effective control of a Communist party, the Communist International or other Communist organizations.[28] Lenin originated the idea in his manifesto of 1902, “What Is to Be Done?“. Since the party was illegal in Russia, he proposed to reach the masses through “a large number of other organizations intended for wide membership and, which, therefore, can be as loose and as public as possible.”[29] Generally called “mass organizations” by the Communists themselves,[30] these groups were prevalent from the 1920s through the 1950s, with their use accelerating during the Popular Front period of the 1930s.

Starting in 1939, Attorney General Biddle began compiling a list of Fascist and Communist front organizations. It was called “Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations” (AGLOSO), but was not at first made public.[31]Political pressures from Congress forced President Harry S. Truman to act.[32] Truman’s Attorney General Tom C. Clark expanded the list, which was officially authorized by presidential Executive Order 9835 in 1947 and was administered by the new Loyalty Review Board. The Board became part of the Civil Service Commission.[33] The list was used by federal agencies to screen appointments during the Truman Administration. The program investigated over 3 million government employees, of whom 300 were dismissed as security risks. Adverse decisions could be appealed to the Loyalty Review Board, a government agency set up by President Truman.[34][35]

The Loyalty Review Board publicized the previously secret Attorney General’s list in March 1948 as a “List of Communist classified organizations.” The list gave the name and date founded, and (for active groups) the headquarters, and chief officers.[36]

text

This is a picture of the Ministry of Finance in East Berlin, adorned for a session of the World Peace Council on May 24, 1954. The German Federal Archive notes that the original caption, which describes the “extraordinary” session, may in retrospect be “erroneous, biased, obsolete or politically extreme.”

In 1955, SSIS published a list of what it described as the 82 most active and typical sponsors of communist fronts in the United States; some of those named had literally dozens of affiliations with groups that had either been cited as Communist fronts or had been labelled “subversive” by either the subcommittee or the House Committee on Un-American Activities.[39]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_of_influence

BOMBSHELL: BARACK OBAMA CONCLUSIVELY OUTED AS CIA CREATION

The Story of Obama: All in The CompanyPREFACEAlex Jones & Aaron Dykes
Infowars.com
August 18, 2010

“Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father — my grandfather — was a cook, a domestic servant to the British. But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.”
– Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address

Far from being the mere ‘son of a goat herder’ (as he deceptively paraded during and even before his candidacy), strong evidence has emerged that President Barack Obama is the product of the intelligence community. Investigative reporter and former NSA employee Wayne Madsen has put together an extensive three-part (and growing) series with conclusive proof and documentation that Barack Obama Sr., Stanley Ann Dunham, Lolo Soetoro and President Barack Obama himself all hold deep ties to the CIA and larger intelligence community. And that’s just the beginning.

After his election, President Obama quickly moved to seal off his records via an executive order. Now, after two years of hints and clues, there is substantial information to demonstrate that what Obama has omitted is that his rare rise to power can only be explained by his intelligence roots. However, this is more than the story of one man or his family. There is a long-term strategic plan to recruit promising candidates into intelligence and steer these individuals and their families into positions of influence and power. Consider that it is now declassified former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was recruited into MI5 before becoming a labour leader, or that George H. W. Bush not only became CIA director in 1976 but had a deeper past in the organization. While we may never know many pertinent details about these matters, one thing that is certain is that the American people have never been told the truth about who holds the real power, nor who this president– and likely many others– really is. Thus, we urge everyone to read Wayne Madsen’s deep report and seek the truth for yourself.

——————-

The Story of Obama: All in The Company (In Three Parts)

Wayne Madsen
Wayne Madsen Report
August 18, 2010

PART 1: The Story of Obama: All in The Company (Part I)

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen has discovered CIA files that document the agency’s connections to institutions and individuals figuring prominently in the lives of Barack Obama and his mother, father, grandmother, and stepfather. The first part of his report highlights the connections between Barack Obama, Sr. and the CIA-sponsored operations in Kenya to counter rising Soviet and Chinese influence among student circles and, beyond, to create conditions obstructing the emergence of independent African leaders.

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From 1983-84, Barack Obama worked as Editor at Business Internation Corporation, a Business International Corporation, a known CIA front company.

President Obama’s own work in 1983 for Business International Corporation, a CIA front that conducted seminars with the world’s most powerful leaders and used journalists as agents abroad, dovetails with CIA espionage activities conducted by his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham in 1960s post-coup Indonesia on behalf of a number of CIA front operations, including the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ford Foundation. Dunham met and married Lolo Soetoro, Obama’s stepfather, at the East-West Center in 1965. Soetoro was recalled to Indonesia in 1965 to serve as a senior army officer and assist General Suharto and the CIA in the bloody overthrow of President Sukarno.

Barack Obama, Sr., who met Dunham in 1959 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii, had been part of what was described as an airlift of 280 East African students to the United States to attend various colleges — merely “aided” by a grant from the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation, according to a September 12, 1960, Reuters report from London. The airlift was a CIA operation to train and indoctrinate future agents of influence in Africa, which was becoming a battleground between the United States and the Soviet Union and China for influence among newly-independent and soon-to-be independent countries on the continent.

The airlift was condemned by the deputy leader of the opposition Kenyan African Democratic Union (KADU) as favoring certain tribes — the majority Kikuyus and minority Luos — over other tribes to favor the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), whose leader was Tom Mboya, the Kenyan nationalist and labor leader who selected Obama, Sr. for a scholarship at the University of Hawaii. Obama, Sr., who was already married with an infant son and pregnant wife in Kenya, married Dunham on Maui on February 2, 1961 and was also the university’s first African student. Dunham was three month’s pregnant with Barack Obama, Jr. at the time of her marriage to Obama, Sr.

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The CIA allegedly recruited Tom M’Boya in a heavily funded “selective liberation” programme to isolate Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta, who the American spy agency labelled as “unsafe.”

KADU deputy leader Masinda Muliro, according to Reuters, said KADU would send a delegation to the United States to investigate Kenyan students who received “gifts” from the Americans and “ensure that further gifts to Kenyan students are administered by people genuinely interested in Kenya’s development.’”

Mboya received a $100,000 grant for the airlift from the Kennedy Foundation after he turned down the same offer from the U.S. State Department, obviously concerned that direct U.S. assistance would look suspicious to pro-Communist Kenyan politicians who suspected Mboya of having CIA ties. The Airlift Africa project was underwritten by the Kennedy Foundation and the African-American Students Foundation. Obama, Sr. was not on the first airlift but a subsequent one. The airlift, organized by Mboya in 1959, included students from Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland.

Reuters also reported that Muliro charged that Africans were “disturbed and embittered” by the airlift of the selected students. Muliro “stated that “preferences were shown to two major tribes [Kikuyu and Luo] and many U.S.-bound students had failed preliminary and common entrance examinations, while some of those left behind held first-class certificates.”

Obama, Sr. was a friend of Mboya and a fellow Luo. After Mboya was assassinated in 1969, Obama, Sr. testified at the trial of his alleged assassin. Obama, Sr. claimed he was the target of a hit-and-run assassination attempt after his testimony.

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CIA-airlifted to Hawaii, Barack Obama Sr., with leis, stands with Stanley Dunham, President Obama’s grandfather, on his right.

Obama, Sr., who left Hawaii for Harvard in 1962, divorced Dunham in 1964. Obama, Sr. married a fellow Harvard student, Ruth Niedesand, a Jewish-American woman, who moved with him to Kenya and had two sons. They were later divorced. Obama, Sr. worked for the Kenyan Finance and Transport ministries as well as an oil firm. Obama, Sr. died in a 1982 car crash and his funeral was attended by leading Kenyan politicians, including future Foreign Minister Robert Ouko, who was murdered in 1990.

CIA files indicate that Mboya was an important agent-of-influence for the CIA, not only in Kenya but in all of Africa. A formerly Secret CIA Current Intelligence Weekly Summary, dated November 19, 1959, states that Mboya served as a check on extremists at the second All-African People’s Conference (AAPC) in Tunis. The report states that “serious friction developed between Ghana’s Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah and Kenyan nationalist Tom Mboya who cooperated effectively last December to check extremists at the AAPC’s first meeting in Accra.” The term “cooperated effectively” appears to indicate that Mboya was cooperating with the CIA, which filed the report from field operatives in Accra and Tunis. While “cooperating” with the CIA in Accra and Tunis, Mboya selected the father of the president of the United States to receive a scholarship and be airlifted to the University of Hawaii where he met and married President Obama’s mother.

An earlier CIA Current Intelligence Weekly Summary, secret, and dated April 3, 1958, states that Mboya “still appears to be the most promising of the African leaders.” Another CIA weekly summary, secret and dated December 18, 1958, calls Mboya the Kenyan nationalist an “able and dynamic young chairman” of the People’s Convention party who was viewed as an opponent of “extremists” like Nkrumah, supported by “Sino-Soviet representatives.”

In a formerly Secret CIA report on the All-Africa Peoples Conference in 1961, dated November 1, 1961, Mboya’s conservatism, along with that of Taleb Slim of Tunisia, are contrasted to the leftist policies of Nkrumah and others. Pro-communists who were elected to the AAPC’s steering committee at the March 1961 Cairo conference, attended by Mboya, are identified in the report as Abdoulaye Diallo, AAPC Secretary General, of Senegal; Ahmed Bourmendjel of Algeria; Mario de Andrade of Angola; Ntau Mokhele of Basutoland; Kingue Abel of Cameroun; Antoine Kiwewa of Congo (Leopoldville); Kojo Botsio of Ghana; Ismail Toure of Guinea; T. O. Dosomu Johnson of Liberia; Modibo Diallo of Mali; Mahjoub Ben Seddik of Morocco; Djibo Bakari of Niger; Tunji Otegbeya of Nigeria; Kanyama Chiume of Nyasaland; Ali Abdullahi of Somalia; Tennyson Makiwane of South Africa, and Mohamed Fouad Galal of the United Arab Republic.

The only attendees in Cairo who were given a clean bill of health by the CIA were Mboya, who appears to have been a snitch for the agency, and Joshua Nkomo of Southern Rhodesia, B. Munanka of Tanganyika, Abdel Magid Shaker of Tunisia, and John Kakonge of Uganda.

Nkrumah would eventually be overthrown in a 1966 CIA-backed coup while he was on a state visit to China and North Vietnam. The CIA overthrow of Nkrumah followed by one year the agency’s overthrow of Sukarno, another coup that was connected to President Obama’s family on his mother’s side. There are suspicions that Mboya was assassinated in 1969 by Chinese agents working with anti-Mboya factions in the government of Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta in order to eliminate a pro-U.S. leading political leader in Africa. Upon Mboya’s death, every embassy in Nairobi flew its flag at half-mast except for one, the embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

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Jomo Kenyatta, first President of Kenya.

Mboya’s influence in the Kenyatta government would continue long after his death and while Obama, Sr. was still alive. In 1975, after the assassination of KANU politician Josiah Kariuki, a socialist who helped start KANU, along with Mboya and Obama, Sr., Kenyatta dismissed three rebellious cabinet ministers who “all had personal ties to either Kariuki or Tom Mboya.” This information is contained in CIA Staff Notes on the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, formerly Top Secret Umbra, Handle via COMINT Channels, dated June 24, 1975. The intelligence in the report, based on its classification, indicate the information was derived from National Security Agency intercepts in Kenya. No one was ever charged in the assassination of Kariuki.

The intecepts of Mboya’s and Kariuki’s associates are an indication that the NSA and CIA also maintain intercepts on Barack Obama, Sr., who, as a non-U.S. person, would have been lawfully subject at the time to intercepts carried out by NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

(Continued below)

PART 2: Special Report. The Story of Obama: All in The Company – Part II

In Part I of this WMR special report, we revealed the connections between Barack Obama, Sr. and the CIA-affiliated Airlift Africa project to provide college degrees to and gain influence over a group of 280 eastern and southern African students from soon-to-be independent African nations to counter similar programs established by the Soviet Union and China. Barack Obama Sr. was the first African student to attend the University of Hawaii. Obama Sr. and Obama’s mother Stanley Ann Dunham met in a Russian language class in 1959 and they married in 1961.

The African airlift program was administered by Kenyan nationalist leader Tom Mboya, a fellow Luo tribe mentor and friend of the senior Obama. According to CIA documents described in Part I, Mboya also served the CIA in ensuring that pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese African nationalists were stymied in their attempt to dominate pan-African nationalist political, student, and labor movements.

One of Mboya’s chief opponents was Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, who was ousted in a CIA-inspired coup in 1966, one year before to Obama Sr’s son, Barack Obama, Jr. and his mother joined Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian who Obama’s mother met at the University of Hawaii in 1965, when President Obama was four years old.

In 1967, Obama and his mother joined her husband in Jakarta. In 1965, Lolo Soetoro had been called back from Hawaii by General Suharto to serve as an officer in the Indonesian military to help launch a bloody CIA-backed genocide of Indonesian Communists and Indonesian Chinese throughout the expansive country. Suharto consolidated his power in 1966, the same year that Barack Obama, Sr.’s friend, Mboya, had helped to rally pro-U.S. pan-African support for the CIA’s overthrow of Nkrumah in Ghana in 1966.

East-West Center, University of Hawaii,  and CIA coup against Sukarno

Ann Dunham met Soetoro at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii. The center had long been affiliated with CIA activities in the Asia-Pacific region. In 1965, the year that Dunham met and married Soetoro, the center saw a new chancellor take over. He was Howard P. Jones who served a record seven years, from 1958 to 1965, as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia. Jones was present in Jakarta as Suharto and his CIA-backed military officers planned the 1965 overthrow of Sukarno, who was seen, along with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), as allies of China.

When Jones was chancellor of the East-West Center, he wrote an article for the Washington Post, dated October 10, 1965, in which he defended Suharto’s overthrow of Sukarno. Jones was “invited” by the Post to comment on the Suharto coup, described as a “counter-coup” against the Communists. Jones charged that Suharto was merely responding to an earlier attempted Communist-led coup against Sukarno launched by Lt. Col. Untung, “a relatively unknown battalion commander in the palace guard.”

Jones’s article, which mirrored CIA situation reports from the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, continued by stating that the alleged leftist coup on September 30 “came within an inch of succeeding through the assassination of six of the top military command. It might well have succeeded had not Defense Minister Nasution and a number of other senior generals also maked for assassination acted fast in a dramatic counter-coup.” Of course, what Jones did not inform the Post’s readers was that the Suharto “counter-coup” had been assisted with the strong help of the CIA.

Sukarno never blamed the Communists for the assassination of the army generals nor did the Indonesian Cabinet, where the second= and third-ranking leaders of the PKI were present. The possibility that the assassination of the generals was a CIA/Suharto “false flag” operation to affix blame on the PKI cannot be ruled out. Two days after Suharto’s coup, a CIA “rent-a-mob” burned down the PKI headquarters in Jakarta. As they marched past the U.S. Embassy, which was also the site of the CIA station, they yelled out, “Long live America!”

Untung later said that when he became aware that Suharto and the CIA were planning a coup on October 5, 1965 — Indonesian Armed Forces Day — forces loyal to him and Sukarno moved first. Jones described this as “typical Communist propaganda.” Suharto moved against Sukarno on October 1. Jones iterated that “there was not an iota of truth . . . in the accusation that the CIA was working against Sukarno.” History has proven otherwise. Jones accused the Communists of taking advantage of Sukarno’s failing health to beat out the other candidates to succeed him. The goal, according to Jones, was to have PKI boss D.N. Aidit succeed Sukarno. Sukarno did not die until 1970, while under house arrest.

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A CIA paper, formerly classified Secret and undated, states “Sukarno would like to return to the status quo ante-coup. He has refused to condemn the PKI or the 30th September Movement [of Lt. Col. Untung]; instead, he calls for unity of Indonesia and asks that no vengeance be taken by one group against the other. But, he has not succeeded in forcing the Army to abandon its anti-PKI activities and, on the other hand, he has bowed to their demand by appointing its single candidate General Suharto as head of the Army.” Suharto and Barry Obama Soetoro’s step-father Lolo Soetoro would ignore Sukarno’s call for no vengeance, as hundreds of thousands of Indonesians would soon discover.

The mass murder by Suharto of Indonesian Chinese is seen in the CIA paper’s description of the Baperki Party: “the leftist Baperki Party, with its major strength in rural areas, is largely Chinese-Indonesian in membership.” A CIA Intelligence Memorandum, dated October 6, 1966 and formerly classified Secret, shows the extent of the CIA’s monitoring of the anti-Sukarno coup from various CIA agents assigned as liaisons to Suharto’s army units surrounding the Presidential Palace in Bogor and at various diplomatic posts around the country, including the U.S. Consulate in Medan, which was keeping track of leftists in that Sumatran city and, which, in an October 2, 1965, Intelligence Memo, reported to the CIA that the “Soviet consul-general in Medan has a plane standing by that could be used for evacuation of Soviet citizens from Sumatra.” The October 6 memo also warns against allowing Untung from developing a following in Central Java.

A CIA formerly Secret “Weekly Summary Special Report” on Indonesia, dated August 11, 1967, and titled “The New Order in Indonesia,” reports that in 1966, Indonesia re-aligned its economy in order to receive International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance. The CIA reports its is happy with the new triumvirate ruling Indonesia in 1967: Suharto, Foreign Minister Adam Malik, and the Sultan of Jogjakarta, who served as minister for economics and finance. The report also rejoices in the outlawing of the PKI, but states it “retains a significant following in East and Central Java,” where Ann Dunham Soetoro would largely concentrate her later efforts on behalf of USAID, the World Bank, and the Ford Foundation, all front activities for the CIA to “win the hearts and minds” of the Javanese farmers and artisans.

A CIA Intelligence Memorandum, formerly Secret and dated July 23, 1966, clearly sees the Muslim Nahdatul Ulama party {NU), the largest party in Indonesia and Muslim, as a natural ally of the United States and the Suharto regime. The report states that helped Suharto put down the Communists in the post-coup time frame, especially where the NU was strongest: East Java, where Obama’s mother would concentrate her activities, and North Sumatra and parts of Borneo. An April 29, 1966, formerly Secret CIA Intelligence Memorandum on the PKI states: “Moslem extremists in many instances outdid the army in hunting down and murdering members of the party [PKI] and its front groups.”

Dunham and Barry Soetoro in Jakarta and USAID front activities

Having A Supply Of Healthy Foods That Last Just Makes Sense

Dunham dropped out of the University of Hawaii in 1960 while pregnant with Barack Obama. Barack Obama Sr. left Hawaii in 1962 to study at Harvard. Dunham and Obama divorced in 1964. In the fall of 1961, Dunham enrolled at the University of Washington while caring for her infant son. Dunham was re-enrolled at the University of Hawaii from 1963 to 1966. Lolo Soetoro, who Dunham married in March 1965, departed Hawaii for Indonesia on July 20, 1965, some three months prior to the CIA’s coup against Sukarno. Soetoro, who served Suharto as an Army colonel, was clearly called back from the CIA-connected East-West Center to assist in the coup against Sukarno, one that would eventually cost the lives of some one million Indonesian citizens. It is a history that President Obama would like the press to ignore, which it certainly did during the 2008 primary and general election.

In 1967, after arriving in Indonesia with Obama, Jr., Dunham began teaching English at the American embassy in Jakarta, which also housed one of the largest CIA stations in Asia and had significant satellite stations in Surabaya in eastern Java and Medan on Sumatra. Jones left as East-West Center chancellor in 1968.

In fact, Obama’s mother was teaching English for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which was a major cover for CIA activities in Indonesia and throughout Southeast Asia, especially in Laos, South Vietnam, and Thailand. The USAID program was known as Lembaga Pendidikan Pembinaan Manajemen. Obama’s mother, painted as a free spirit and a “sixties child” by President Obama and people who claimed they knew her in Hawaii and Indonesia, had a curriculum vitae in Indonesia that contradicts the perception that Ann Dunham Soetoro was a “hippy.”

Dunham Soetoro’s Russian language training at the University of Hawaii may have been useful to the CIA in Indonesia. An August 2, 1966, formerly Secret memorandum from the National Security Council’s Executive Secretary Bromley Smith states that, in addition to Japan, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, the Suharto coup was welcomed by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies because its created a non-aligned Indonesia that “represents an Asian counterweight to Communist China.” Records indicate that a number of CIA agents posted in Jakarta before and after the 1965 coup were, like Dunham Soetoro, conversant in Russian.

Dunham Soetoro worked for the elitist Ford Foundation, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Bank Rakyat (the majority government-owned People’s Bank of Indonesia), and the CIA-linked USAID while she lived in Indonesia and later, Pakistan.

USAID was involved in a number of CIA covert operations in Southeast Asia. The February 9, 1971, Washington Star reported that USAID officials in Laos were aware that rice supplied to the Laotian Army by USAID was being re-sold to North Vietnamese army divisions in the country. The report stated that the U.S. tolerated the USAID rice sales to the North Vietnamese since the Laotian Army units that sold the rice found themselves protected from Communist Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese attack. USAID and the CIA also used the supply of rice to force Laotian Meo tribesmen to support the United States in the war against the Communists. USAID funds programmed for civilians injured in the war in Laos and public health care were actually diverted for military purposes.

In 1971, the USAID-funded Center for Vietnamese Studies at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale was accused of being a CIA front. USAID-funded projects through the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities (MUCIA) — comprising the Universities of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan State — were accused of being CIA front projects, including those for “agricultural education” in Indonesia, as well as other “projects” in Afghanistan, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand, and South Vietnam. The charge was made in 1971, the same year that Ann Dunham was working for USAID in the country.

In a July 10, 1971, New York Times report, USAID and the CIA were accused of “losing” $1.7 billion appropriated for the Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS) program in South Vietnam. CORDS was part of the CIA’s Operation Phoenix program, which involved CIA assassination and torture of South Vietnamese village elders and Buddhist clerics. USAID money was also directed to the CIA’s proprietary airline in Southeast Asia, Air America. In Thailand, USAID funds for the Accelerated Rural Development Program in Thailand were actually masking a CIA anti-Communist counter-insurgency operation. USAID funds programmed for public works projects in East Pakistan in 1971 were used for East Pakistan’s military fortifications on its border with India, in the months before the outbreak of war with India, in contravention of U.S. law that prohibited USAID money for military purposes.

In 1972, USAID administrator Dr. John Hannah admitted to Metromedia News that USAID was being used as a cover for CIA covert operations in Laos. Hannah only admitted to Laos as a USAID cover for the CIA. However, it was also reported that USAID was being used by the CIA in Indonesia, Philippines, South Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea. USAID projects in Southeast Asia had to be approved by the Southeast Asian Development Advisory Group (SEADAG), an Asia Society group that was, in fact, answerable to the CIA.

The U.S. Food for Peace program, jointly administered by USAID and the Department of Agriculture, was found in 1972 to be used for military purposes in Cambodia, South Korea, Turkey, South Vietnam, Spain, Taiwan, and Greece. In 1972, USAID funneled aid money only to the southern part of North Yemen, in order to aid North Yemeni forces against the government of South Yemen, then ruled by a socialist government opposed to U.S. hegemony in the region.

One of the entities affiliated with the USAID work in Indonesia was the Asia Foundation, a 1950s creation formed with the help of the CIA to oppose the expansion of communism in Asia. The East-West Center guest house in Hawaii was funded by the Asia Foundation. The guest house is also where Barack Obama Sr. first stayed after his airlift from Kenya to Hawaii, arranged by the one of the CIA’s major agents of influence in Africa, Mboya.

Dunham would also travel to Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, and Thailand working on micro-financing projects. In 1965, Barack Obama Sr. returned to Kenya from Harvard, with another American wife. The senior Obama linked up with his old friend and the CIA’s “golden boy” Mboya and other fellow Luo politicians. The CIA station chief in Nairobi from 1964 to 1967 was Philip Cherry. In 1975, Cherry was the CIA station chief in Dacca, Bangladesh. Cherry was linked by the then-U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh, Eugene Booster, to the 1975 assassination of Bangladesh’s first president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and members of his family.

The hit on “Sheikh Mujib” and his family was reportedly ordered by then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Bangladesh was also on the micro- and macro-financing travel itinerary of CIA-linked Ann Dunham.

CIA banking and Hawaii

Meanwhile, Dunham Soetoro’s mother, Madelyn Dunham, who raised young Obama when he returned to Hawaii in 1971 while his mother stayed in Indonesia, was the first female vice president at the Bank of Hawaii in Honolulu. Various CIA front entities used the bank. Madelyn Dunham handled escrow accounts used to make CIA payments to U.S.-supported Asian dictators like Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, South Vietnamese President Nguyen van Thieu, and President Suharto in Indonesia. In effect, the bank was engaged in money laundering for the CIA to covertly prop up its favored leaders in the Asia-Pacific region.

One of the CIA’s major money laundering fronts in Honolulu was the firm of Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham & Wong (BBRDW). After the CIA allowed the firm to collapse in 1983  amid charges that BBRDW was merely a Ponzi scheme, Senator Daniel Inouye of the US Senate Intelligence Committee said the CIA’s role in the firm “wasn’t significant.” It would later be revealed that Inouye, who was one of the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens’s best friends in the Senate, was lying. In fact, BBRDW was involved heavily in funding covert CIA programs throughout Asia, including economic espionage against Japan, providing arms for Afghan mujaheddin guerrillas in their war against the Soviets and covertly supplying weapons to Taiwan. One of BBRDW’s principals was John C. “Jack” Kindschi, who, before he retired in 1981, was the CIA station chief in Honolulu. BBRDW’s chairman Ron Rewald had a counterfeit college degree certificate provided for the wall of his office by the CIA’s forgery experts and his name was inserted in university records as an alumnus.

A false history for BBRDW was concocted by the CIA claiming the firm had operated in Hawaii since it was a territory. President Obama is currently plagued by allegations that he has fake college and university transcripts, a phony social security number issued in Connecticut, and other padded resume items. Did Hawaii’s fake BBRDW documents portend today’s questions about Obama’s past?

BBRDW conducted its business in the heart of Honolulu’s business district, where the Bank of Hawaii was located and where Obama grandmother Madelyn Dunham ran the escrow accounts. The bank would handle much of BBRDW’s covert financial transactions.

Obama/Soetoro and the “years of living dangerously” in Jakarta

It is clear that Dunham Soetoro and her Indonesian husband, President Obama’s step-father, were closely involved in the CIA’s operations to steer Indonesia away from the Sino-Soviet orbit during the “years of living dangerously” after the overthrow of Sukarno. WMR has discovered that some of the CIA’s top case officers were assigned to various official and non-official cover assignments in Indonesia during this time frame, including under the cover of USAID, the Peace Corps, and the U.S. Information Agency (USIA).

One of the closest CIA contacts for Suharto was former CIA Jakarta embassy officer Kent B. Crane. Crane was so close to Suharto after “retiring” from the CIA, he was reportedly one of the only “private” businessmen given an Indonesian diplomatic passport by Suharto’s government. Crane’s company, the Crane Group, was involved in supplying small arms to the military forces of the United States, Indonesia, and other nations. A foreign policy adviser to Vice President Spiro Agnew, Crane was later nominated as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia by President Ronald Reagan but the nomination was dead-on-arrival because of Crane’s dubious links to Suharto. The ambassadorship would instead go to John Holdridge, a close colleague of Kissinger. Holdridge was succeeded in Jakarta by Paul Wolfowitz.

Suharto’s cronies, who included Mochtar and James Riady of the Lippo Group, would later stand accused of funneling over $1 million of illegal foreign contributions to Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

President Obama has twice postponed official state visits to Indonesia, perhaps fearful of the attention such a trip would bring to the CIA connections of his mother and Indonesian step-father.

In the 1970s and 80s, Dunham was active in micro-loan projects for the Ford Foundation,  the CIA-linked East-West Center, and USAID in Indonesia. One of the individuals assigned to the U.S. embassy and helped barricade the compound during a violent anti-U.S. student demonstration during the 1965 Suharto coup against Sukarno was Dr. Gordon Donald, Jr. Assigned to the embassy’s Economic Section, Donald was responsible for USAID micro-financing for Indonesian farmers, the same project that Dunham Soetoro would work on for USAID in the 1970s, after her USAID job of teaching English in Indonesia. In a 1968 book, “Who’s Who in the CIA,” published in West Berlin, Donald is identified as a CIA officer who was also assigned to Lahore, Pakistan, where Dunham would eventually live for five years in the Hilton International Hotel while working on microfinancing for the Asian Development Bank.

Another “Who’s Who in the CIA” Jakarta alumnus is Robert F. Grealy, who later became the director for international relations for the Asia-Pacific for J P Morgan Chase and a director for the American-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. J P Morgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon is being mentioned as a potential replacement for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, whose father, Peter Geithner, was the Ford Foundation’s Asia grant-selector who funneled the money to Ann Dunham’s Indonesian projects.

CIA Black Projects and Hawaii

While in Pakistan, Dunham’s son Barack visited her in 1980 and 1981. Obama visited Karachi, Lahore, and Hyderabad, India during his south Asia visits. It was during the time period that the CIA was beefing up its anti-Soviet operations in Afghanistan from Pakistan.

A January 31, 1958, heavily-redacted formerly Secret NOFORN [no foreign dissemination] memorandum for CIA Director Allen Dulles from the Deputy Assistant Director of the CIA for Research and Reports [name redacted] reports on a fact-finding mission to the Far East, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East from November 17 through December 21, 1957.

The CIA Office of Research and Reports (ORR) chief reports a meeting with the staff of retired Army General Jesmond Balmer, a senior CIA official in Hawaii, about requests by the Commander-in-Chief Pacific (CINCPAC) for “a number of detailed, time-consuming research studies.” The ORR chief then reports about a CIA “survey of students at the University of Hawaii who have both Chinese language and research ability.” The ORR chief also reports that at a South-East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) Counter Subversion Seminar at Baguio, Philippines held from November 26-29, 1957, the Economic Subcommittee discussed an “economic development fund” to combat “Sino-Soviet Bloc subversive activities in the area and a consideration of possible counter-measures which might be employed.”

The Thailand and Philippines delegations were pushing hard for U.S. funding for an economic development fund, which may have provided the impetus for later USAID projects in the region, including those with which Peter Geithner and Obama’s mother were intimately involved.

Although CIA geo-political covert operations at the University of Hawaii are well-documented, the agency’s darker side of research and MK-UKTRA type operations has not generally been associated with the University of Hawaii.

A series of formerly Confidential CIA memoranda, dated May 15, 1972, points to the involvement of both the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the CIA, and the University of Hawaii in the CIA’s behavioral science program. The memos are signed by then-Deputy Director of the CIA Bronson Tweedy, the chief of the Intelligence Community’s Program Review Group (PRG) [name redacted], and CIA Director Richard Helms. The subject of the memos is “ARPA Supported Research Relating to Intelligence Product,” The memo from the PRG chief discusses a conference held on May 11, 1972, attended by Lt. Col. Austin Kibler, ARPA’s Director of Behavioral Research. Kibler was the chief for ARPA research into behavior modification and remote viewing. Others mentioned in the PRG chief’s memo include CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence Edward Proctor, the CIA Deputy Director for Science and Technology Carl Duckett, and Director of the Office of National Estimates John Huizenga.

In 1973, after CIA Director James Schlesinger ordered a review of all CIA programs, the CIA developed a set of documents on various CIA programs collectively called the “Family Jewels.” Most of these documents were released in 2007 but it was also revealed that Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, the CIA’s director of MKULTRA, the agency’s behavior modification, brainwashing, and drug testing component, had been ordered by Helms, before he resigned as CIA director, to be destroyed. Duckett, in one memo from Ben Evans of the CIA to CIA Director William Colby, dated May 8, 1973, conveys that he “thinks the Director would be ill-advised to say he is acquainted with this program,” meaning Gottlieb’s drug testing program under MKULKTRA.

Senior Gerald Ford administration officials, including Chief of Staff Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, ensured that after the production of the “Family Jewels” documents, no CIA revelations were made about CIA psychological behavior-altering programs, including MKULTRA and Project ARTICHOKE.

The May 15, 1972, set of memos appears to be related to the CIA’s initial research, code named SCANATE, in 1972 into psychic warfare, including the use of psychics for purposes of remote viewing espionage and mind control. The memo discussed Kibler from ARPA and “his contractor,” which was later discovered to be Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California.

In a memo from CIA Director Helms to, among others, Duckett, Huizenga, Proctor, and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, which later inherited reote viewing from the CIA under the code name GRILL FLAME, Helms insists that ARPA had been supporting research into behavioral science and its potential for intelligence production “for a number of years” at “M.I.T., Yale, the University of Michigan, U.C.L.A., and University of Hawaii and other institutions as well as in corporate research facilities.”

The role of the University of Hawaii in CIA psych-war operations continues to this day.  The chief of research for DIA’s Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC) Behavioral Sciences Program, Dr. Susan Brandon, who was reportedly involved in a covert program run by the American Psychological Association (APA), Rand Corporation, and the CIA to employ “enhanced interrogation” techniques, including sleep and sensory deprivation, intense pain, and extreme isolation on prisoners held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan and other “black prisons,” received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Hawaii. Brandon also served as assistant director of Social, Behavioral, and Educational Sciences for the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the George W. Bush White House.

The CIA’s close connections to the University of Hawaii continued to the late 1970s, when the former President of the University of Hawaii from 1969 to 1974, Harlan Cleveland, was a special invited speaker at CIA headquarters on May 10, 1977. Cleveland served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from 1961 to 1965 and Lyndon Johnson’s ambassador to NATO from 1965 to 1969 before taking up his position at the University of Hawaii.

A CIA Director of Training memo dated May 21, 1971, reports on the active recruitment of a U.S. Marine officer who was entering graduate school at the University of Hawaii.

The Family of Obama and the CIA

There are volumes of written material on the CIA backgrounds of George H. W. Bush and CIA-related activities by his father and children, including former President George W. Bush. Barack Obama, on the other hand, cleverly masked his own CIA connections as well as those of his mother, father, step-father, and grandmother (there is very little known about Obama’s grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, who was supposedly in the furniture business in Hawaii after serving in Europe during World War II). Presidents and vice presidents do not require security background checks, unlike other members of the federal government, to hold office. That job is left up to the press. In 2008, the press failed miserably in its duty to vet the man who would win the White House. With the ties of Obama’s parents to the University of Hawaii and its links to MKULTRA and ARTICHOKE, a nagging question remains: Is Barack Obama a real-life “Manchurian Candidate?”

(Continued below)

PART 3: August 19, 2010 — SPECIAL REPORT. The Story of Obama: All in the Company — Add one more Obama family member to the CIA payroll. Part III

WMR previously reported on the CIA links of President Obama’s mother, father, step-father, grandmother to the CIA. Not much is known about Obama’s grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, who Obama mistakenly referred to as “his father” in two speeches, one recently to the Disabled American Veterans.

What is officially known about Stanley Armour Dunham is that he served with the 9th Air Force in Britain and France prior to and after the D-Day invasion. After the war, Dunham and his wife, Madelyn and his daughter Stanley Ann — Obama’s mother — moved to Berkeley, California; El Dorado, Kansas; Seattle; and Honolulu. Armour Dunham is said to have worked for a series of furniture stores.

Obama maintains that his mother and father first met in a Russian-language class at the University of Hawaii in 1959. However, a photograph has emerged of Stanley Armour welcoming Barack Obama, Sr., complete with traditional Hawaiian welcoming leis, from Kenya. Obama, Sr. was the only Kenyan student airlifted to Hawaii as part of the CIA-inspired Airlift Africa project that saw Obama and 279 other students from British eastern and southern African colonies brought to the United States for college degrees prior to their homelands gaining independence from Britain. The students were selected by Kenyan nationalist leader Tom Mboya who would later conduct surveillance for the CIA at pan-African nationalist meetings. Mboya was particularly focused on two African leaders who were seen as too close to the Sino-Soviet bloc, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Sekout Toure of Guinea.

Stanley Armour Dunham with Barack Obama, Sr. at welcoming ceremony to Hawaii. The presence of two US Navy personnel indicates the plane may have landed at Hickam Air Force Base, an indication of the U.S. government’s and CIA’s role in the Airlift Africa project.

The photograph of Armour Dunham with Barack Obama, Sr., indicates that the “furniture salesman” in Hawaii was, in fact, working with a CIA-funded project to rapidly educate aspiring politicians to serve in post-independence African governments to counter Soviet- and Chinese-backed political leaders in the region.

There is a strong reason to believe that Armour Dunham worked in the 1950s for the CIA in the Middle East. An FBI file on Armour Dunham existed but the bureau claimed it destroyed the file on May 1, 1997. Considering the sour relations between the FBI and CIA during the Cold War, it is likely that Armour Dunham was being monitored by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in the same manner as a number of other CIA officials and agents were being surveilled. Similarly, the pre-1968 passport records of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, were destroyed by the State Department.

There is a photographic clue that the Dunhams may have been assigned by the CIA to Beirut, Lebanon in the early 1950s. A photograph of Obama’s mother and grandparents has emerged that shows Stanley Ann Dunham wearing what may be a school uniform with the insignia of “NdJ,” which stands for the College Notre-Dame de Jamhour, a private Jesuit Catholic French language school in Beirut, Lebanon. Graduates of the school include three former presidents of Lebanon, Amine Gemayel, Bashir Gemayel, and Charles Helou, all of whom maintained close relations with Washington.

Did Obama’s mother [left] go to a private school in Lebanon in the early 1950s while her father [middle] worked for the CIA in Beirut?

There is also the curious nature of President Obama’s Social Security Number, issued in Connecticut, a state where there is no other evidence of his ever being a resident. Adding to the mystery is a New York City address for a “male” named Stanley Ann Dunham,  235 E. 40th St Apt 8F, New York NY 10016-1747. The address is a few blocks away from the address of the Ford Foundation. Ann Dunham did work briefly in New York for the Ford Foundation.

On August 9, 2010, WMR reported, “In a December 19, 1971, article in the Boston Globe by Dan Pinck, [a historian and former OSS officer] titled ‘Is everyone in the CIA?’ it is alleged that identifying US Agency for International Development (USAID) officers as CIA agents was a ‘reasonably accurate accounting of certain leading operatives and associates of the CIA.’ President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro worked for USAID in rural Java in Indonesia. Pinck’s article was a review of a 1968 book, ‘Who’s Who in the CIA’ published in Berlin.”

WMR has obtained a rare copy of “Who’s Who in the CIA,” from England. The book, published in West Berlin in 1968, lists some 3,000 CIA agents and agents-of-influence around the world.

The book also contains a reference to one CIA operative whose area of primary place of operation was Mercer Island, Washington. He was retired Air Force General Don Zabriskie Zimmermann, who was the Chief Engineer for the Boeing Company in Seattle. Before retiring from the Air Force, Zimmermann was the Air Force Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Development in Foreign Countries. Ann Stanley Dunham reportedly graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1960 and met Obama later that year in a Russian language class after  her parents moved to Hawaii. Stanley Ann’s mother, Madelyn Dunham, worked at a Boeing plant in Wichita, Kansas during World War II.

The book lists the number of CIA agents in countries during the 1950s and 60s where Obama’s father, mother, step-father Lolo Soetori, and allegedly, his grandmother and grandfather worked:

Indonesia  

Jakarta   64

Surabaya  12

Medan  8

Hollandia  1

Kenya

Nairobi  19

Mombassa  2

Lebanon

Beirut  61     (including one agent also assigned to Jakarta, Lahore, and Karachi and another assigned to Lahore)

Hawaii

Honolulu   6  (one agent also assigned to Canton Island and another was fluent in French, Stanley Ann Dunham spoke French, Urdu, Bahasa Indonesian, and she studied Javanese at the University of Hawaii, in addition to Russian).

COMMENT: We commend Wayne Madsen for his vast exposé of Barack Obama’s true background. Madsen will appear on the Alex Jones Show tomorrow THURSDAY AUGUST 19 at 1 PM EST / 12 NOON CST, to reveal even more bombshell details of his deep research into this matter. Tune in for this vital info and visit the Wayne Madsen Report for further details.

http://www.infowars.com/bombshell-barack-obama-conclusively-outed-as-cia-creation/

Story 3: Real News, Real Crimes of Destruction of Government Document, Mishandling of Classified Documents, Obstruction of Justice, Conspiracy, Public Corruption of Hillary Clinton — Awaiting Trump Telephone To Attorney General Jeff Session To Appoint Special Prosecutor — Videos 

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When Jeff Sessions called for special prosecutor on Fox

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Hillary Clinton’s MASSIVE MELTDOWN If that f ing bastard wins, we all hang from nooses!

Special prosecutor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A special prosecutor generally is a lawyer from outside the government appointed by an attorney general or, in the United States, by Congress to investigate a government official for misconduct while in office. A reasoning for such an appointment is that the governmental branch or agency may have political connections to those it might be asked to investigate. Inherently, this creates a conflict of interest and a solution is to have someone from outside the department lead the investigation. The term “special prosecutor” may have a variety of meanings from one country to the next, from one government branch to the next within the same country, and within different agencies within each government branch. Critics of the use of special prosecutors argue that these investigators act as a “fourth branch” to the government because they are not subject to limitations in spending, nor do they have deadlines to meet[citation needed].

United States[edit]

Attorneys carrying out special prosecutor functions in either federal or state courts of the United States are typically appointed ad hoc with representation limited to one case or a delineated series of cases that implicate compelling governmental interests, such as: Fraud (SEC, Complex, Cybercrime, Mortgages), Public Corruption, Money Laundering & Asset Forfeiture, Civil Rights, Racketeering Across State lines, Environmental Protection, National Security, Tax & Bankruptcy, Organized Crime, or International cases where the US is a party).see, USDOJ (SDNY) website.

Federal appointment[edit]

Special prosecutors in courts of the United States may either be appointed formally by one of the three branches of government in a criminal proceeding, or when dictated by federal law or regulation, or informally in civil proceedings, and also by one of the three branches of government, or by a non-governmental entity to prosecute alleged unlawful conduct by government agents. When appointed by the judicial branch to investigate and, if justified, seek indictments in a particular judicial branch case, the attorney is called special prosecutor.[1] When appointed/hired particularly by a governmental branch or agency to investigate alleged misconduct within that branch or agency, the attorney is called independent counsel.[2] When appointed/hired by the state or political subdivision to assist in a particular judicial branch case when the public interest so requires, the attorney is called special counsel.[2] When appointed/hired by an organization, corporation, person or other non-governmental entity to investigate and, if justified, seek indictments against one or more government officials for acts committed under color of law, the attorney may be called special counsel or special prosecutor, but not independent counsel.[2]

On January 3, 1983, the United States federal government substituted the term independent counsel for special prosecutor.[3] Archibald Cox was one of the most notable special prosecutors. However, special prosecutor Archibald Cox today would be called independent counsel Archibald Cox in the United States.

The term is sometimes used as a synonym for independent counsel, but under the former law authorizing the independent counsel, the appointment was made by a special panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Ethics in Government Act expired in 1999, and was effectively replaced by Department of Justice regulation 28 CFR Part 600, under which Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed to look into the Plame affair.

State appointment[edit]

Special prosecutors are required and utilized by local State governments in circumstances similar to those requiring their need in federal jurisdictions, but are appointed at the state level with greater frequency and often in cases where a conflict of interest arises, and at times to avoid even the mere appearance that one or more conflict of interests exists. Special prosecutors in local state governments may be appointed by a judge, government official, organization, company or citizens to prosecute governmental malfeasance and seek indictments for individual acts taken under color of state law.[4] Unlike courts with federal jurisdiction where terms such as “special counsel” and “independent counsel” specifically appear and are uniformly defined by law & regulations, in state jurisdictions where legal terms & definitions inherently vary from state to state, the umbrella term special prosector is generally accepted and the term most often used by state courts and tribunals.

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) Prosecutor.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) Counsel.
  3. Jump up^ United States Public Law 97-409 (January 3, 1983) as enacted from A bill to change the coverage of officials and the standards for the appointment of a special prosecutor in the special prosecutor provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, and for other purposes.
  4. Jump up^ Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) Prosecutor.

Further reading[edit]

  • Doyle, James (1977). Not Above the Law: the battles of Watergate prosecutors Cox and Jaworski. New York: William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0-688-03192-7.

External links[edit]

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The Pronk Pops Show 843, February 21, 2017, Story 1: VICTOR DAVIS HANSON Nails The Big Lie Media and The Threat of Lying Lunatic Left Losers and Deep State Moles and Leakers — JFK Secret Societies Speech Warning — Seven Days In May — Videos — Story 2: The Power Elite’s Greatest Fear — President Trump Succeeds With A Booming Economy of Peace and Prosperity — Videos

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Story 1: VICTOR DAVIS HANSON Nails The Big Lie Media and The Threat of Lying Lunatic Left Losers and Deep State Moles and Leakers — Videos

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Seven Days in February

 by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON February 20, 2017 7:31 PM @VDHANSON

Trumps’ critics, left and right, aim to bring about the cataclysm they predicted.

A 1964 political melodrama, Seven Days in May, envisioned a futuristic (1970s) failed military cabal that sought to sideline the president of the United States over his proposed nuclear-disarmament treaty with the Soviets.

Something far less dramatic but perhaps as disturbing as Hollywood fiction played out this February. The Teeth-Gnashing of Deep Government Currently, the political and media opponents of Donald Trump are seeking to subvert his presidency in a manner unprecedented in the recent history of American politics. The so-called resistance among EPA federal employees is trying to disrupt Trump administration reform; immigration activists promise to flood the judiciary to render executive orders inoperative.

Intelligence agencies had earlier leaked fake news briefings about the purported escapades of President-elect Trump in Moscow — stories that were quickly exposed as politically driven concoctions. Nearly one-third of House Democrats boycotted the Inauguration. Celebrities such as Ashley Judd and Madonna shouted obscenities to crowds of protesters; Madonna voiced her dreams of Trump’s death by saying she’d been thinking a lot about blowing up the White House.

But all that pushback was merely the clownish preliminary to the full-fledged assault in mid February.

Career intelligence officers leaked their own transcripts of a phone call that National Security Advisor–designate Michael Flynn had made to a Russian official.

The media charge against Flynn was that he had nefariously talked to higher-ups in Russia before he took office. Obama-administration officials did much the same, before Inauguration Day 2009, and spoke with Syrian, Iranian, and Russian counterparts. But they faced no interference from the outgoing Bush administration.

No doubt the designated security officials of most incoming administrations do not wait until being sworn in to sound out foreign officials. Most plan to reset the policies of their predecessors. The question, then, arises: Why were former Obama-administration appointees or careerist officials tapping the phone calls of an incoming Trump designate (and Trump himself?) and then leaking the tapes to their pets in the press? For what purpose?

Indeed, Trump’s own proposed outreach to Russia so far is not quite of the magnitude of Obama’s in 2009, when the State Department staged the red-reset-button event to appease Putin; at the time, Russia was getting set to swallow the Crimea and all but absorb Eastern Ukraine. Trump certainly did not approve the sale of some 20 percent of North American uranium holdings to Russian interests, in the quid pro quo fashion that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did, apparently in concert with Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation — and to general indifference of both the press and the intelligence community.

Why were former Obama-administration appointees or careerist officials tapping the phone calls of an incoming Trump designate and then leaking the tapes to their pets in the press?

In addition, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that career intelligence officers have decided to withhold information from the president, on the apparent premise that he is unfit, in their view, to receive it. If true, that disclosure would mean that elements of the federal government are now actively opposing the duly elected president of the United States. That chilling assessment gains credence from the likelihood that the president’s private calls to Mexican and Australian heads of state were likewise recorded, and selected segments were leaked to suggest that Trump was either trigger-happy or a buffoon.

Oddly, in early January, Senator Charles Schumer had essentially warned Trump that he would pay for his criticism of career intelligence officials. In an astounding shot across his bow, which was followed up by an onslaught in February, Schumer said: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. . . . So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Schumer was evidently not disturbed about rogue intelligence agencies conspiring to destroy a shared political enemy — the president of the United States. What surprised him was how naïve Trump was in not assessing the anti-constitutional forces arrayed against him.

Trump-Removal Chic

The elite efforts to emasculate the president have sometimes taken on an eerie turn. The publisher-editor of the German weekly magazine Zeit raised the topic on German television of killing Trump to end the “Trump catastrophe.” So did British Sunday Times columnist India Knight, who tweeted, “The assassination is taking such a long time.” A former Obama Pentagon official, Rosa Brooks, recently mused about theoretical ways to remove Trump, including a military coup, should other avenues such as impeachment or medically forced removal fail: “The fourth possibility is one that until recently I would have said was unthinkable in the United States of America: a military coup, or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders.”

The Atlantic now darkly warns that Trump is trying to create an autocracy. Former Weekly Standard editor in chief Bill Kristol suggested in a tweet that if he faced a choice (and under what surreal circumstances would that happen?) between the constitutionally, democratically elected president and career government officials’ efforts to thwart or remove him, he would come down on the side of the revolutionary, anti-democratic “deep state”:

“Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it [emphasis added], prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

No doubt some readers interpreted that as a call to side with anti-constitutional forces against an elected U.S. president. Hollywood stars such as Meryl Streep equate the president with brownshirts and assorted fascists. A CNN reporter announced that Trump was Hitlerian; another mused about his plane’s crashing. Prominent conservative legal scholar Richard Epstein recently called for Trump to resign after less than a month in office, largely on grounds that Trump’s rhetoric is unbridled and indiscreet — although Epstein cited no indictable or impeachable offenses that would justify the dispatch of a constitutionally elected president. Earlier, Republican columnists David Frum and Jennifer Rubin had theorized that the 25th Amendment might provide a way to remove Trump from office as unfit to serve. The New Republic published an unfounded theory, based on no empirical evidence, alleging that Trump suffers from neurosyphilis and thus is mentally not up to his office.

Former president Barack Obama — quite unlike prior presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, who all refrained from attacking their successors — is now reportedly ready to join the efforts of a well-funded political action committee to undermine the Trump presidency.

The Police Need Policing

Fake news proliferates. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Elijah Cummings recently attacked departing national-security advisor Michael Flynn by reading a supposed Flynn tweet that was a pure invention. Nor did Trump, as reported, have a serious plan to mobilize “100,000” National Guard troops to enforce deportations.

Other false stories claimed that Trump had pondered invading Mexico, that his lawyer had gone to Prague to meet with the Russians, and that he had removed from the Oval Office a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. — sure proof of Trump’s racism. Journalists — including even “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post — reposted fake news reports that Trump’s father had run a campaign for the New York mayorship during which he’d aired racist TV ads. Celebrities and writers have attacked Trump’s eleven-year-old son Barron as a sociopath-to-be.

Nor is the Trump family immune from constant attack. Daughter Ivanka Trump was recently cornered on an airline flight, while traveling with her three young children three days before Christmas, and bullied by a screaming activist passenger. Her private fashion business is the target of a national progressive-orchestrated boycott. Celebrities and writers have attacked Trump’s eleven-year-old son Barron as a sociopath-to-be or as a boy trapped in an autistic bubble. First Lady Melania Trump sued the Daily Mail after it trafficked in reports that she had once been a paid escort — a lie that was recently recirculated by a New York Times reporter.  Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka are routinely smeared as anti-Semites and fascists. One Trump critic berated Gorka as a Nazi sympathizer for wearing a commemorative medal once awarded his father for his role in the resistance to the Communist takeover of Hungary. What has the often boisterous Trump done in his first month to earn calls for his death, forced removal, or resignation? Dangerous Style or Substance?

The stock market is reaching all-time highs. Polls show business optimism rising. The Rasmussen poll puts Trump’s approval rating at 55 percent.

Compared with Obama in 2009, at the same point in his young administration, Trump has issued about the same number of executive orders. For all his war on the press, Trump has so far not ordered wiretaps on any reporter on the grounds that he is a “criminal co-conspirator,” nor has he gone after the phone records of the Associated Press — Barack Obama’s Justice Department did both, to little notice in the media.

Trump’s edicts are mostly common-sense and non-controversial: green-lighting the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, freezing federal hiring, resuming work on a previously approved wall along the Mexican border, prohibiting retiring federal officials from lobbying activity for five years, and pruning away regulations.

His promises to deport illegal aliens with past records of criminal activity or gang affiliation have, by design, sidestepped so-called dreamers and the illegal aliens who are currently working, without criminal backgrounds, and with some record of lengthy residence.

In his executive order to temporarily suspend immigration from seven war-torn Middle East states, Trump channeled Barack Obama’s prior targeting of immigration trouble spots. At first, Trump’s order was poorly worded and clumsily ushered in; then it was reformulated. It is supported by the public but nonetheless earned a hysterical response from federal judges who seemed to invent new jurisprudence stating that foreign nationals abroad enjoy U.S. constitutional protections.

On more substantive reforms, such as repealing Obamacare, reforming the tax code, and rebuilding infrastructure, Trump awaits proposed legislation from the Republican congressional majority. By all accounts, Trump’s initial meetings or phone calls with British, Israeli, Japanese, and Russian heads of states have gone well.

Trump has had fewer Cabinet appointees bow out than did Barack Obama. Most believe that the vast majority of his selections are inspired. The nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch was a widely praised move. The defense secretary, retired general James Mattis has echoed Trump’s earlier calls for European NATO members to step up and meet their contracted obligations to the alliance.

Clearly in empirical terms, nothing that Trump in his first month in office has done seems to have justified calls for violence against his person or his removal from office. What then accounts for the unprecedented venom?

1) As we saw from his recent free-wheeling press conference, Trump’s loud, take-no-prisoners style is certainly anti-Washington, anti-media, anti-elite, and anti-liberal. He often unsettles reporters with bombast and invective, when most are accustomed to dealing with career politicians or fellow liberal officeholders who share their same beliefs. As part of Trump’s art-of-the-deal tactics, he often blusters, rails, and asks for three times what he might eventually settle for, on the expectation that critics of his style will be soon silenced by the undeniable upside of his eventual achievements. This is a long-term strategy that in the short term allows journalists to fault the present means rather than the future ends. Trump’s unconventional bluster, not his record so far, fuels the animosity of elites who seek to delegitimize him and fear that their reputations and careers can be rendered irrelevant by his roughshod populism. He also has reminded the country that some of the mainstream media and Washington–New York elite are often mediocre and boring.

2) The Democratic party has been absorbed by its left wing and is beginning to resemble the impotent British Labour party. Certainly it no longer is a national party. Mostly it’s a local and municipal coastal force, galvanized to promote a race and gender agenda and opposed to conservatism yet without a pragmatic alternative vision. Its dilemma is largely due to the personal success but presidential failure of Barack Obama, who moved the party leftward and yet bequeathed an electoral matrix that will deprive future national candidates of swing-state constituencies without compensating for that downside with massive minority turnouts, which were unique to Obama’s candidacy. The Democratic party bites its tail in endless paroxysms of electoral frustration — given that the medicine of broadening support to win back the white poor and working classes is deemed worse than the disease of losing the state governorships and legislatures, the Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.

3) Usually conservative pundits and journalists would push back against this extraordinary effort to delegitimize a Republican president. But due to a year of Never Trump politicking and opposition, and Trump’s own in-your-face, unorthodox style and grating temperament, hundreds of Republican intellectuals and journalists, former officeholders and current politicians — who shared a common belief that Trump had no chance of winning and thus could be safely written off — find themselves without influence in either the White House or indeed in their own party, over 90 percent of which voted for Trump. In other words, the Right ruling class is still in a civil war of sorts. It is no accident that many of those calling for his resignation or removal are frustrated that, for the first time in a generation, they will have no influence in a Republican administration or indeed among most Republicans. For some, the best pathway to redemption is apparently to criticize Trump to such an extent that their prior prophecies of his preordained failure in the election will be partially redeemed by an imploding presidency. It is no accident that many of those calling for his resignation or removal are frustrated that, for the first time in a generation, they will have no influence in a Republican administration or indeed among most Republicans. Yet, in private, they accept that Trump’s actual appointments, executive orders, and announced policies are mostly orthodox conservative — a fact that was supposed to have been impossible.

4) Since 2000, what might have been seen as irrational and abnormal has become institutionalized and commonplace: record U.S. debt approaching $20 trillion, chronic trade deficits, an often destructive globalization, Hoover-era anemic economic growth, polarizing racial identity politics, open borders, steady growth in the size of government, sanctuary cities, unmet NATO obligations abroad, crumbling faith that the European Union is sustainable and democratic, and a gradual symbiosis between the two parties, both of which ignored the working classes as either demographically doomed or as a spent force of deplorables and irredeemables (or both).

Trump’s efforts to return politics to the center — enforce existing laws, complete previously approved projects, rein in government regulations and growth, recalibrate U.S. alliances to reflect current realities, unapologetically side with friends and punish enemies — were viewed as revolutionary rather than as a return to conventionality, in part because they threatened status quo careers and commerce. Trumpism is more or less akin to the Gingrich-Clinton compromises of the early 1990s or to what Reagan often did rather than what he sometimes said. But what was then bipartisan and centrist today appears revolutionary and nihilistic.

For now, chic Trump hatred and sick talks of coups — or worse — hinge on economic growth. If Trump’s agenda hits 3 percent GDP growth or above by 2018, then his critics — progressive shock troops, Democratic grandees, mainstream media, Never Trump Republicans — will either shift strategies or face prolonged irrelevance.

But for now, ending Trump one way or another is apparently the tortured pathway his critics are taking to exit their self-created labyrinth of irrelevance.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445091/never-trumpers-subvert-presidency-talk-coup-impeachment-assassination

Seven Days in May

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Seven Days in May
theatrical release poster

Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Produced by Edward Lewis
Screenplay by Rod Serling
Based on the novel by
Fletcher Knebel
& Charles W. Bailey II
Starring
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Ellsworth Fredricks A.S.C.
Edited by Ferris Webster
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • February 12, 1964(Washington, DC)
Running time
118 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.2 million
Box office $3,650,000 (rentals)[1]

Seven Days in May is a 1964 American political thriller motion picture about a military-political cabal‘s planned take-over of the United States government in reaction to the president’s negotiation of a disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. Directed by John Frankenheimer, it stars Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, and Ava Gardner. The screenplay was written by Rod Serling based on the novel of the same name by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, published in September 1962.[2]

Background

The book was written in late 1961 and into early 1962, during the first year of the Kennedy administration, reflecting some of the events of that era. In November 1961, President John F. Kennedy accepted the resignation of vociferously anti-Communist General Edwin Walker who was indoctrinating the troops under his command with personal political opinions and had described former President Harry S. Truman, former United States Secretary of State Dean Acheson, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and other recent still-active public figures as Communist sympathizers.[3] Although no longer in uniform, Walker continued to be in the news as he attempted to run for Governor of Texas and made speeches promoting strongly right-wing views. In the film version of Seven Days in May, Fredric March, portraying the narrative’s fictional President Jordan Lyman, mentions General Walker as one of the “false prophets” who were offering themselves to the public as leaders. (Accused John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald purportedly fired rifle shots into the home of General Walker in April 1963.[4])

As they collaborated on the novel, Knebel and Bailey, who were primarily political journalists and columnists, also conducted interviews with another controversial military commander, the newly appointed Air Force Chief of Staff, Curtis LeMay, an advocate of preventive first-strike nuclear option.[5][6]

President Kennedy had read Seven Days in May shortly after its publication and believed the scenario as described could actually occur in the United States. According to Frankenheimer in his director’s commentary, production of the film received encouragement and assistance from Kennedy through White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, who conveyed to Frankenheimer Kennedy’s wish that the film be produced and that, although the Pentagon did not want the film made, the President would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot outside the White House.[7]

Plot

The story is set in the early 1970s, ten years in the future at the time of the film’s 1964 release, and the Cold War is still a problem (in the 1962 book, the setting was May 1974). U.S. President Jordan Lyman has recently signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union, and the subsequent ratification has produced a wave of public dissatisfaction, especially among the President’s opposition and the military, who believe the Soviets cannot be trusted.

As the debate rages, a Pentagon insider, United States Marine Corps Colonel Martin “Jiggs” Casey (the Director of the Joint Staff), becomes suspicious of behavior among the Joint Chiefs of Staff and comes to a shocking conclusion: the Joint Chiefs, led by the charismatic Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, intend to stage a coup d’etat to remove President Lyman and his cabinet in seven days. According to the plan, an undisclosed Army combat unit known as ECOMCON (Emergency COMmunications CONtrol) will seize control of the country’s telephone, radio, and television networks, while Congress is prevented from implementing the treaty.

Although personally opposed to President Lyman’s position, Casey, implied to be a lawyer in private life, is appalled by the unconstitutional cabal and alerts the President of the potential threat. Lyman forms a small inner circle of trusted advisors and friends to investigate, including Secret Service White House Detail Chief Art Corwin, Treasury Secretary Christopher Todd, advisor Paul Girard, and U.S. Senator Raymond Clark of Georgia.

Casey makes the pretense of a social visit to General Scott’s former mistress, the vulnerable Ellie Holbrook, in New York City to ferret out potential secrets that can be used against him. The aging, alcoholic Clark is sent to El Paso, Texas, to locate the supposed “Site Y” military base, while Girard leaves for the Mediterranean to obtain a written confession from Vice Admiral Farley C. Barnswell, who is believed to have declined participation in the coup. Girard gets the written confession, but is killed when his flight crashes into a mountain in Spain, while Senator Clark is taken captive by conspirator Colonel Broderick upon finding the secret base and is held incommunicado. The senator convinces Colonel Mutt Henderson, the base’s deputy commander and nonparticipant in the coup, to help him escape. They succeed, though when Clark makes a call to the President, Henderson is arrested by Scott’s men.

A meeting with Scott is scheduled in the Oval Office, with the President confronting him and demanding his resignation and that of all Joint Chiefs involved in the plot. Scott initially denies any guilt, claiming that the President had verbally approved the secret base in Texas, before freely challenging the treaty, arguing it would weaken the U.S. and lead to an attack by the Soviets. Lyman counters with the suggestion that a military coup could result in a preemptive strike by Moscow. Scott is unmoved, stating that he feels the American people are behind him and his position. Lyman considers using the blackmail letters, but decides against it, and allows Scott to leave.

Shortly thereafter, Scott briefs the other three Joint Chiefs, demanding they stay in line and reminding them that the president does not seem to have the evidence they would need for charging them with treason. Somewhat reassured, the others agree to stick to the plan to appear on all television and radio networks simultaneously on Sunday to denounce the President. However, Lyman first holds a press conference where he demands the resignation of Scott and all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, interrupted only by an attaché from the U.S. Embassy in Spain bringing Barnswell’s hand-written confession, recovered from the plane crash. A copy is given to Scott and the other officers in on the plot, who have no choice but to resign and call off the coup. The ending has Lyman addressing the American people on the country’s future.

Cast

  • Andrew Duggan as Colonel William “Mutt” Henderson, friend of Jiggs Casey
  • Hugh Marlowe as Harold McPherson, T.V. commentator who is one of the conspirators
  • Whit Bissell as Senator Fred Prentice, another conspirator
  • Helen Kleeb as Esther Townsend, secretary to the president
  • George Macready as Chris Todd, member of the president’s cabinet
  • Richard Anderson as Colonel Ben Murdock, also a conspirator
  • Bart Burns as Art Corwin, head of Secret Service

Unbilled speaking roles (in order of appearance)[edit]

  • Malcolm Atterbury (Horace, president’s physician: “Why, in God’s name, do we elect a man president and then try to see how fast we can kill him?“)
  • Jack Mullaney (“All properly decoded in 4.0 fashion and respectfully submitted by yours truly, Lieutenant junior grade, Dorsey Grayson.“)
  • Charles Watts (Stu Dillard, Washington insider: “Oh, Senator, pardon me, come along, I want you to meet the wife of the Indian ambassador.“)
  • John Larkin (Colonel John Broderick, one of the conspirators: “Well, well, well, if it isn’t my favorite jarhead himself, Jiggs Casey.“)
  • Colette Jackson (Girl in Charlie’s Bar, near secret base in Texas: “You wonder what the country’s comin’ to. All those boys sittin’ up in the desert never seein’ no girls. Why, they might as well be in stir.“)
  • John Houseman (Vice Admiral Farley C. Barnswell, declined conspirator: “I’m sorry, sir. I can only recount to you the situation as it occurred. I signed no paper. He took nothing with him.“)
  • Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr. (Captain Ortega, commander at airplane crash site in Spain: “There were only two American nationals on board — a Mrs. Agnes Buchanan from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a Mr. Paul Girard. His destination was Washington.“)
  • Fredd Wayne (Henry Whitney, official from American embassy in Spain: “You find any effects of the Americans? Anything at all?“)
  • Tyler McVey (General Hardesty, another conspirator: “Barney Rutkowski, Air Defense. He’s screaming bloody murder about those twelve troop carriers dispatched to El Paso.“)
  • Ferris Webster [editor of Seven Days in May] (General Barney Rutkowski: “There’s some kind of a secret base out there, Mr. President, and I think I should have been notified of it.“)

Character names

Other than the billing, “Also starring Ava Gardner as Eleanor Holbrook”, none of the other characters are identified by name in the credits, thus although Kirk Douglas‘ “Jiggs Casey” and Andrew Duggan‘s “Mutt Henderson” are described in the book as having the given names of “Martin” and “William”, respectively, those names are never mentioned in the film. Also, while Rod Serling’s screenplay names the head of the White House Secret Service as “Art Corwin”, in the film he is only referred to as “Art” or “Arthur”. The surname “Corwin” was a tribute to the radio drama writer Serling described as his idol, Norman Corwin,[8] while the given name “Art” was a nod to Serling’s personal favorite, Art Carney, who played a fictionalized version of Serling in Serling’s autobiographical 1959 Playhouse 90 drama, “The Velvet Alley”, as well as the reincarnated Santa Claus, “Henry Corwin”, in “The Night of the Meek“, Serling’s 1960 Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone.

Cast members whose participation has been noted in various sources[edit]

  • At the 35th Academy Awards on April 8, 1963, while Seven Days in May was still in its pre-production and casting stages, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?s Victor Buono was one of the four unsuccessful nominees vying for Best Supporting Actor. His name appears on a list of actors engaged for the production, but there is no confirmation of his actual participation in the filming.
  • On September 17, 1963, as Seven Days in May was in initial production days, ABC showcased the premiere episode of its new TV series, The Fugitive, which prominently featured one-armed bit player Bill Raisch in the iconic, non-speaking, intermittent role of the killer. He is also listed among those who were scheduled to play a part in the filming, but whether he ultimately did has not been confirmed. Raisch was previously used by Kirk Douglas for a notorious scene in his 1960 film epic Spartacus in which, playing a Roman soldier, Raisch had a specially-fitted prosthetic arm chopped off in battle. Douglas engaged him again for a dramatic fight scene in his 1962 modern-day western Lonely Are the Brave.
  • Although he cannot be discerned in the release version of Seven Days in May, minor supporting actor Leonard Nimoy, who gained stardom three years later, in 1966, as Star Treks Mr. Spock, likewise appears in the production company’s casting list among the unbilled actors whose services were retained for this film.[9]

Production

Kirk Douglas and director John Frankenheimer were the moving forces behind the filming of Seven Days in May; the film was produced by Edward Lewis through Douglas’s company Joel Productions and Seven Arts Productions. Frankenheimer wanted the screenwriter to be a partner in the production, and Rod Serling agreed to this arrangement. Douglas agreed to star in it, but he also wanted his frequent co-star Burt Lancaster to star in the film as well. This almost caused Frankenheimer to back out, since he and Lancaster had butted heads on Birdman of Alcatraz two years earlier. Only Douglas’s assurances that Lancaster would behave kept the director on the project.[10] Ironically, Lancaster and Frankenheimer became close friends during the filming, while Douglas and the director had a falling out.[11][12] Frankenheimer was also very happy with Lancaster’s performance, and noted in the long scene toward the end between Lancaster and March, probably his all-time favourite directed scene, that Lancaster was “perfect” in his delivery and that no other actor could have done it better.[13] Most of the actors in the film Frankenheimer had worked with previously, a directorial preference. Frankenheimer, in the DVD commentary for the film, stated that he would not have made the movie any differently decades later and that it was one of the films he was most satisfied with.[13] He saw it as a chance to “put a nail in the coffin of McCarthy“.[13]

Many of Lancaster’s scenes were shot later on as he was recovering from hepatitis.[13] The filming took 51 days and according to the director the production was a happy affair, and all of the actors and crew displayed great reverence for Fredric March.[13] Ava Gardner, whose scenes were shot in just six days, however, thought that Frankenheimer favored the other actors over her and Martin Balsam objected to his habit of shooting off pistols behind him during important scenes.[10] Frankenheimer remarked that she was a “lovely person” and overwhelmingly beautiful, but at times “difficult” to work with.[13] Interiors for Seven Days in May were shot at the Paramount studios in Hollywood, and on location in Paris, France, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Arizona and in California’s Imperial Valley.[14][15] The director had formerly been in the military and had been inside the Pentagon so didn’t have to conduct much research for the film; he stated that the sets were totally authentic, praising the production designer.[13] In addition, many of the scenes in the film were loosely based on real-life events of the Cold War to provide authenticity.[16]

Supercarrier Kitty Hawk in 2002

In an early example of guerrilla filmmaking, Frankenheimer photographed Martin Balsam being ferried out to the supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk, berthed at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego (standing in for Gibraltar), without prior Defense Department permission. Frankenheimer needed a commanding figure to play Vice-Admiral Farley C. Barnswell and asked his friend, well-known producer John Houseman to play him, to which he agreed, on condition that he have a fine bottle of wine (which is seen during the telephone scene), although he was uncredited for it. It was Houseman’s American acting debut, and he would not appear onscreen again until his Oscar-winning role in 1973’s The Paper Chase. Frankenheimer also wanted a shot of Kirk Douglas entering the Pentagon, but could not get permission because of security considerations, so he rigged a movie camera in a parked station wagon to photograph Douglas walking up to the Pentagon. Douglas actually received salutes from military personnel inasmuch as he was wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine Corps colonel.[17] Several scenes, including one with nuns in the background, were shot inside Washington Dulles International Airport which had recently been built, and the production team were the first ever to film there.[13] The alley and car park scene was shot in Hollywood, and other footage was shot in the Californian desert in 110 degree heat. The secret base and airstrip was specially built in the desert near Indio, California, and they borrowed an aircraft tail in one shot to make it look like a whole plane was off the picture.[13] Originally the script had Lancaster die in a car crash at the end after hitting a bus, but finally this was edited out in favour of a small scene of him departing by taxi which was shot on a Sunday in Paris after the filming of the train scene in France.[13]

Getting permission near the White House was easier. Frankenheimer said that Pierre Salinger conveyed to him President Kennedy‘s wish that the film be made, “these were the days of General Walker” and, though the Pentagon did not want the film made, the president would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot a staged riot outside the White House.[18] Kirk Douglas recalled President Kennedy approving of the making of the film.[19] The director considered the scene in which Douglas’s character visits the president to be a masterful scene of acting which would have been technically very difficult for most actors to sustain.[13] He had done similar scenes on many television shows, and every camera angle and shot was extensively planned and rehearsed as was the acting in the scene by the actors. Frankenheimer paid particular attention to ensuring that the three actors in the scene were all in focus for dramatic impact. Many of Frankenheimer’s signature shots were used in scenes such as this throughout the film, including his “depth of focus” shot with one or two people near the camera and another or others in the distance and the “low angle, wide-angle lens” (set at f/11) which he considered to give “tremendous impact” on a scene.[13]

Some efforts were made in the film to have the movie appear to take place in the near future, for instance the use of the then-futuristic technology of video teleconferencing, and of the use of (more exotic) foreign cars in place of (more ordinary) American cars. The film also featured the then recently issued M16 rifle.

David Amram, who had previously scored Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate, originally provided music for the film; however Lewis was unsatisfied with his work. Jerry Goldsmith, who had worked with the producer and Douglas on Lonely are the Brave and The List of Adrian Messenger, was signed to rescore the project (although a brief source cue by Amram remains in the finished film). Goldsmith composed a very brief score (lasting around 15 minutes) using only pianos and percussion; he later scored Seconds and The Challenge for Frankenheimer.[20] In 2013 Intrada Records released Goldsmith’s music for the film on a limited edition CD (paired with Maurice Jarre‘s score for The Mackintosh Man – although that film was produced by Warner Bros. while Seven Days in May was theatrically released by Paramount, the entire Seven Arts Productions library was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1967, meaning both films are now owned by WB).

Alternate ending

According to Douglas, an alternate ending was shot, but discarded:

General Scott, the treacherous Burt Lancaster character, goes off in his sports car, and dies in a wreck. Was it an accident or suicide? Coming up out of the wreckage over the car radio is President Jordan Lyman’s speech about the sanctity of the Constitution.[12]

This alternate ending echoes the novel, which ends with the apparent vehicular suicide of Senator Prentice.

Reception

Seven Days in May premièred on 12 February 1964, appropriately in Washington, D.C.[21] It opened to good critical notices and audience response.[10]

The film was nominated for two 1965 Academy Awards,[22] for Edmond O’Brien for “Best Actor in a Supporting Role”, and for “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration/Black-and-White” for Cary Odell and Edward G. Boyle. In that year’s Golden Globe Awards, O’Brien won for “Best Supporting Actor”, while Fredric March, John Frankenheimer and composer Jerry Goldsmith received nominations.

Frankenheimer won a Danish Bodil Award for directing the “Best Non-European Film” and Rod Serling was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for “Best Written American Drama”.

Evaluation in film guides

Steven H. Scheuer’s Movies on TV (1972–73 edition) gives Seven Days in May its highest rating of 4 stars, recommending it as “[A]n exciting suspense drama concerned with politics and the problems of sanity and survival in a nuclear age”, with the concluding sentences stating, “[B]enefits from taut screenplay by Rod Serling and the direction of John Frankenheimer, which artfully builds interest leading to the finale. March is a standout in a uniformly fine cast. So many American-made films dealing with political subjects are so naive and simple-minded that the thoughtful and, in this case, the optimistic statement of the film is a welcome surprise.” By the 1986–87 edition, Scheuer’s rating was lowered to 3½ and the conclusion shortened to, “which artfully builds to the finale”, with the final sentences deleted. Leonard Maltin’s TV Movies & Video Guide (1989 edition) gives it a still lower 3 stars (out of 4), originally describing it as “[A]bsorbing story of military scheme to overthrow the government”, with later editions (including 2014) adding one word, “[A]bsorbing, believable story…”

Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever follows Scheuer’s later example, with 3½ bones (out of 4), calling it “[T]opical but still gripping Cold War nuclear-peril thriller” and, in the end, “[H]ighly suspenseful, with a breathtaking climax.” Mick Martin’s & Marsha Porter’s DVD & Video Guide also puts its rating high, at 4 stars (out of 5) finding it, as Videohound did, “[A] highly suspenseful account of an attempted military takeover…” and indicating that “the movie’s tension snowballs toward a thrilling conclusion. This is one of those rare films that treat their audiences with respect.” Assigning the equally high rating of 4 stars (out of 5), The Motion Picture Guide begins its description with “[A] taut, gripping, and suspenseful political thriller which sports superb performances from the entire cast”, goes to state, in the middle, that “proceeding to unravel its complicated plot at a rapid clip, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY is a surprisingly exciting film that also packs a grim warning”, and ends with “Lancaster underplays the part of the slightly crazed general and makes him seem quite rational and persuasive. It is a frightening performance. Douglas is also quite good as the loyal aide who uncovers the fantastic plot that could destroy the entire country. March, Balsam, O’Brien, Bissell, and Houseman all turn in topnotch performances and it is through their conviction that the viewer becomes engrossed in this outlandish tale.”

British references also show high regard for the film, with TimeOut Film Guides founding editor Tom Milne indicating that “[C]onspiracy movies may have become more darkly complex in these post-Watergate days of Pakula and paranoia, but Frankenheimer’s fascination with gadgetry (in his compositions, the ubiquitous helicopters, TV screens, hidden cameras and electronic devices literally edge the human characters into insignificance) is used to create a striking visual metaphor for control by the military machine. Highly enjoyable.” In his Film Guide, Leslie Halliwell provided 3 stars (out of 4), describing it as “[A]bsorbing political mystery drama marred only by the unnecessary introduction of a female character. Stimulating entertainment.” David Shipman in his 1984 The Good Film and Video Guide gives 2 (out of 4) stars, noting that it is “[A] tense political thriller whose plot is plotting”.

Remake

The film was remade in 1994 by HBO as The Enemy Within with Sam Waterston as “President William Foster”, Jason Robards as “General R. Pendleton Lloyd”, and Forest Whitaker as “Colonel MacKenzie ‘Mac’ Casey”. This version followed many parts of the original plot closely, while updating it for the post–Cold War world, omitting certain incidents, and changing the ending.

See also

References

Notes

  1. Jump up^ “Big Rental Pictures of 1964”, Variety, p. 39, 6 January 1965.
  2. Jump up^ “Seven Days in May” (Kirkus Reviews, September 10, 1962)
  3. Jump up^ “Armed Forces: I Must Be Free…” (Time Magazine, November 10, 1961)
  4. Jump up^ United States. Warren Commission (1964). Report of the Warren Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. McGraw-Hill Book Company. pp. 282–.
  5. Jump up^ Stoddard, Brooke C. “Seven Days in May: Remembrance of Books Past” (Washington Independent Review of Books, November 27, 2012)
  6. Jump up^ Steed, Mark S. “Seven Days in May by Knebel and Bailey – Book Review” (An Independent Head, October 26, 2013)
  7. Jump up^ Kakutani, Michiko. Kennedy, and What Might Have Been: ‘JFK’s Last Hundred Days’ by Thurston Clarke, page 95 (The New York Times, August 12, 2013)
  8. Jump up^ Romano, Carlin, Inquirer book critic. “He Was So Outspoken About TV He Was Called Its Leading Critic in 1961. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 2, 1993)”
  9. Jump up^ Tom. “Missing Cast Members” (The Old Movie House, February 8, 2012)
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b c Stafford, Jeff, Seven Days in May (article), TCM.
  11. Jump up^ Frankenheimer, John and Champlin, Charles. John Frankenheimer : A Conversation Riverwood Press, 1995. ISBN 978-1-880756-13-3
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Douglas, Kirk. The Ragman’s Son. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l Frankenheimer, John, Seven Days in May DVD Commentary, Warner Home Video, May 16, 2000
  14. Jump up^ IMDb Filming Locations
  15. Jump up^ Notes, TCM.
  16. Jump up^ Antulov, Dragan. “All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review Seven Days In May” (All-Reviews, 2002)
  17. Jump up^ Pratley, Gerald. The Cinema of John Frankenheimer London: A. Zwemmer, 1969. ISBN 978-0-302-02000-5.
  18. Jump up^ Arthur Meier Schlesinger (1978). Robert Kennedy and His Times. ISBN 978-0-7088-1633-2.
  19. Jump up^ Seven Days in May commentary as part of the Kirk Douglas Featured Collection at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
  20. Jump up^ Scott Bettencourt, liner notes, soundtrack album, Intrada Special Collection Vol. 235
  21. Jump up^ Overview, TCM.
  22. Jump up^ “Seven Days in May”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-25.

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Days_in_May

With NAFTA in Trump’s crosshairs, Mexico’s border factories brace for the unknown

February 21 at 6:45 PM

If you sleep on a memory foam mattress, chances are good that its fabric cover was made here in a small factory in this desert border town on the westernmost edge of Texas.

Well, here and over there, across the Rio Grande in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city where pieces of fabric cut in El Paso are stitched together and shipped back across the border. The supply of cheap labor in Mexico has fueled the rise of manufacturing plants dotting the border known as maquiladoras.

The journey of this mattress cover, from El Paso to Ciudad Juarez and back, illustrates the far-reaching tentacles of free trade and its impact on the border economy and across the United States. It’s a journey now fraught with tension as President Trump moves to renegotiate — or even unilaterally withdraw the country from — the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has allowed maquiladoras to flourish but that Trump and some Rust Belt communities blame for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Perhaps no one knows the complex implications of trade agreements better than a family whose prosperity and company profits were built on their promises. MFI International is a U.S. textiles manufacturing firm that has operated on the border for three decades. Now, in a moment of uncertainty and flux, the tweaking of any trade deal will change the foundation on which the company runs as well as the economic fates of two cities that are inextricably linked.

“We are in the desert where things don’t look that green, but what makes our area very fertile is our people on both sides of the border who work in the manufacturing industry,” said Cecilia Levine, who, along with her husband and son, owns MFI International. “Every job in Mexico produces jobs in the United States.”

Altering NAFTA could raise another complexity — the higher prices likely to follow would make U.S. companies less competitive against manufacturers overseas.

“Stopping NAFTA doesn’t stop the flow of goods coming in from China,” Levine said.

NAFTA, which Trump has called “the worst trade deal in history,” set the foundation for the current economic ecosystem in border towns by allowing companies in the United States to send raw materials to their plants in Mexico for assembly and import the finished product back to the United States — generally without paying duties.

The result for consumers: finished goods at a lower price.

On a recent morning in an industrial park on the eastern outskirts of town, rolls of bound cloth waited to be inspected and processed by the 100 or so workers in MFI’s El Paso plant. A worker used a knife to manually cut patterns from a three-inch stack of polyester material as cumbia music echoed through the factory.

Once the pieces for the mattress cover are cut, they are loaded onto semi-trucks bound for Ciudad Juarez, where workers earning less than half the salary of their U.S. counterparts sew the pieces together.

‘Economies are intertwined’

Cecilia Levine used to cross the U.S.-Mexico border four to six times each day.

She started manufacturing plus-size fashion in Ciudad Juarez with a six-person plant in 1986, seeking to take advantage of a previous customs rule that allowed U.S. materials to enter Mexico duty free as long as the manufactured products were exported back to the United States. Within a couple years, her factory had grown to 260 workers.

Then a single mom, she recalled her daily routine of piling her three young children in the car and driving from their El Paso home over the bridge to Ciudad Juarez to open the factory by 6:30 each morning before schlepping them back to El Paso in time for school. Her American children grew up in the factories, doing their homework, learning to sew and driving forklifts.

Shortly thereafter, she met Lance Levine, who had just moved his vacuum cleaner filter factories from New York and Illinois to El Paso and Ciudad Juarez to better compete with the Asian market. He was expanding manufacturing to include other goods such as jock straps and baby carriers. She snagged a contract away from him to make slippers, and they fell in love. She sold her company and joined his, as the chief of operations.

Business boomed after NAFTA came into force in 1994. In addition to lowering tariffs among the United States, Canada and Mexico, the trade agreement created a common set of rules, regulations and practices among the countries. That made companies feel more comfortable about the long-term stability of the U.S.-Mexico relationship, prompting them to invest in manufacturing operations along the border, Lance Levine said.

Maquiladora employment in Mexico grew 86 percent in the first five years after the onset of ­NAFTA, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. MFI ­expanded the number of workers in both its El Paso and Ciudad Juarez plants.

Then China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, opening up the world economy for Chinese exports. Nearly all textiles manufacturing migrated to China, where production costs were much smaller in comparison.

“We got killed. Virtually the entire textile industry in the U.S. was destroyed. We just couldn’t compete with Chinese prices,” said Lance Levine, accusing China of currency manipulation and government subsidies that he said prevented fair competition. “Our trade policies just allowed that to happen.”

At the time, Lance Levine sat on an International Trade Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commerce Department. Cecilia Levine served on President George W. Bush’s Export Council. Together they raised concerns to the U.S. government about American businesses losing their competitive edge to China. Cecilia even traveled to China with then-
Commerce Secretary Donald Evans to meet with the Chinese government about leveling the playing field — to no avail.

“It was like a nightmare. All our baby products went away. Clothing went away. Home furnishings went away,” Cecilia Levine said. “Other companies that only made pants and shirts disappeared. But we were flexible. If I’d only known how to make jeans and those jeans went away, I could have sat there and cried. I learned to make something else.”

MFI switched to manufacturing larger products, such as mattress and couch covers, that would cost more to transport from China to the United States.

The Levines’ concerns over unfair foreign competition is reflected in Trump’s trade rhetoric. Trump has already withdrawn the United States from the ­Trans-Pacific Partnership, a ­12-nation trade agreement designed during the Obama administration to help the countries compete against China’s growing economic clout. But Trump argued that the deal would have put U.S. workers at a disadvantage to cheaper labor in countries that were also part of the deal, such as Vietnam. Instead, Trump has threatened to impose high tariffs on Chinese, as well as Mexican, goods.

Economists say NAFTA has benefited the United States overall and that raising tariffs would risk sparking a trade war and wreak havoc on the manufacturing supply chain. Slapping a 35 percent import tariff, as Trump has threatened with Mexico, would be “bad for growth, bad for business, bad for jobs,” said Caroline Freund, senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

Freund chalks up Trump’s talk of high tariffs and withdrawal from NAFTA as negotiating ploys. A more likely scenario floated by the administration, she said, would be to push for rules mandating that a higher percentage of parts and materials originate in North America in order for traded products to be exempt from tariffs. That would limit imported materials from Asia, where MFI gets much of its fabric.

But even that change could have negative consequences, ­Freund said, “making production less efficient and making our companies less competitive globally,” she said.

Others are more supportive of the Trump administration’s attempt to renegotiate NAFTA. Raising the requirement for parts originating in North America would encourage foreign companies to locate production plants in North America and prevent “free-riding imports” from China and elsewhere, said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

MFI currently imports about 20 percent of its cloth from Asia because it’s cheaper than domestic cloth. Certain types of material are no longer available in the United States because the textiles mills have either closed or moved to Asia over the past two decades, said Lance Levine. Even most of the U.S. fabric used by MFI is woven or knit from Asian yarn.

Still, Lance Levine said, finished goods are arriving in the United States from China at a lower cost than the materials themselves. Unless the United States increases tariffs on those finished products, U.S. manufacturers would still lose, Levine said, because renegotiating NAFTA to raise the percentage of materials sourced from North America would result in higher priced mattresses made in the United States and Mexico.

Already, MFI produces some “Made in the USA” mattress covers completely assembled in El Paso for mattress companies who request them — at a higher cost.

“If my products were to become more expensive, I guarantee you my clients are going to buy where they can get equal products at lower cost,” Levine said. “They have to be competitive worldwide. This is not as easy as it first seemed on the campaign trail. There are a lot of sensitive negotiations here.”

Cross-border trade existed in this region long before NAFTA and will continue no matter what Trump does, Cecilia Levine figures. One of her great-grandfathers traded cattle with Mexico. Another operated gold mines in Mexico as well as luxury department stores in both the United States and Mexico. Her father ran cotton gins in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua and sold Pima cotton to the United States.

International trade, she said, is in her blood — and the country’s.

“Mexico makes the perfect partner with the U.S.,” she said. “Our economies are intertwined.”

‘The stakes are very high’

In an industrial park in Ciudad Juarez, about a 20-minute drive from MFI’s El Paso factory, workers sit in clusters surrounded by plastic crates overflowing with pieces of cloth. Some sew covers for a major memory foam mattress brand, assembling zippers, adding labels, topstitching fabric panels. Others do the same for a start-up “bed-in-a-box” company. Altogether, MFI produces mattress covers for seven U.S. memory foam bedding companies.

A child Jesus doll, Santo Nino de Atocha, watches over them from his perch on a little wooden chair nailed to the white cinder block wall. So does Saint Jude, a saint of miracles — as well as a screen displaying their productivity in real time.

The factory’s 650 workers come in two shifts — the first from 6 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., the second until half past midnight, five days a week. They are paid by seniority and skill set, with a seamstress earning, on average, $147 a week including benefits.

Many of the employees have been with MFI for more than 20 years, met their spouses here and witnessed Cecilia’s children grow up in the factory. Now her son, Lawrence Wollschlager, is taking over the family business as MFI International’s president and chief operating officer. When he walks onto the factory floor, cutting a striking figure in his well-tailored suit and brown and blue leather oxford shoes, the women pretend to swoon over their sewing machines.

But workers have been harder to find these days. Maquiladoras in Ciudad Juarez were short about 30,000 workers in 2016, according to local business associations. That deficit has dropped dramatically in 2017, to between 3,000 and 6,000, according to the Industria de Exportación, a nonprofit representing Mexican export companies, because companies are not growing as quickly given the uncertain political and economic climate.

While many workers moved to Ciudad Juarez from elsewhere in Mexico for these factory jobs, thousands more moved out in recent years when the city was racked by violence. The crime has subsided, and “vacantes” signs advertising job openings have sprung up on fences around the industrial parks. An increase in auto manufacturing plants contributed to the worker shortage, Wollschlager said, as well as an aging workforce. Young people in Mexico simply don’t find factory work to be all that attractive these days, he said.

To lure workers from the south, maquiladoras in Ciudad Juarez began offering benefits such as two square meals a day and transportation from their homes to the factories. The commute to MFI’s plant on refurbished school buses painted white could stretch to more than two hours amid afternoon traffic. The factory also offers workers a chance to complete their elementary and secondary educations, with lessons squeezed in before or after their shifts.

The worker shortage in the north recently prompted MFI to open a second Mexico plant farther south, in Jimenez, Chihuahua, where the company employs close to 100 operators.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 6 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico. Many are on the border; a 10 percent increase in manufacturing on the Mexican side increases employment in El Paso by 2.8 percent, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In addition to factory work making parts for the supply chain of cars, medical devices and electronics, thousands of U.S. warehousing and logistics jobs are driven by cross-border operations.

In Ciudad Juarez, the number of maquiladoras has risen by more than 40 percent since NAFTA to 327 plants today, according to research by the University of Texas at El Paso Border Region Modeling Project.

But the business community here is on edge. More than two dozen business leaders and mayors recently penned a letter to Congress warning that retreating from NAFTA would cripple trade and cause recessions in border communities and elsewhere in the United States.

Uncertainty over NAFTA has frozen investments in the region, with hiring and land purchases slowing, said Jon Barela, chief executive of the Borderplex Alliance, a nonprofit focused on promoting economic opportunity in El Paso, Ciudad Juarez and southern New Mexico. In one week alone, he said, at least a dozen companies have frozen capital investments on both sides of the border, delayed hiring and canceled factory orders from U.S. suppliers as well as transportation contracts with trucking companies.

“The stakes are very high,” Barela said. “For decades the two nations have worked to develop a relationship that Trump has blown apart in a matter of a week.”

‘Difficult to stay open’

Delighted whoops and hollers erupt from a sewing cluster in another corner of MFI’s Ciudad Juarez plant. Geronimo Renteria, a 62-year-old nicknamed “El Gallo” (The Rooster), entertains his colleagues with his realistic clucking and crowing. Renteria stood out in his white fedora, which he’s allowed to wear only on Fridays because he and his colleagues go dancing after work.

Renteria said he came to MFI three years ago because he likes to sew. Previously he was making wiring harnesses for airplanes at another maquiladora. That factory did not allow him to wear his fedora.

“A lot of other companies don’t take the elders. If you’re 50, forget it. But here, we embrace the elders,” said Cecilia Levine.

It would be a mistake to think that all these jobs in Ciudad Juarez would return to El Paso if the United States pulled out of ­NAFTA, she said. What would more likely happen, she said, is that the mattress companies, too, would decamp for China, taking the jobs in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso along with them.

“It would be very difficult to stay open,” she said. “You are talking about a U.S. company that would suffer.”

Once the mattress covers are complete, workers load crates of finished covers into the back of a semi-truck, ready to return to El Paso. From there, the covers will be shipped to various mattress companies around the United States to be stuffed with memory foam and sold in stores.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/with-nafta-in-trumps-crosshairs-mexicos-border-factories-brace-for-the-unknown/2017/02/21/f91a3960-ee49-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html?utm_term=.777dba3e7ba1

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The Pronk Pops Show 841, February 17, Story 1: President Trump’s First Press Conference Part 2: President Trump Speaks Directly To The American People — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Educates The Big Lie Media (Democratic Newspapers and Television Networks) with Fake News Spinning Propaganda — Trump to news media: The public doesn’t believe you anymore! — Trump On Offense vs. Big Lie Media On Defense — President Trump Wins With Working Americans — Buy American and Hire American — Videos

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 Story 1: President Trump’s First Press Conference Part 1: President Trump Speaks Directly To The American People — Videos — 

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President Donald Trump Full Press Conference Addresses Ties to Russia, Leaks, and “Fake News” 2/16

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Sorry media — this press conference played very different with Trump’s supporters

 Far from dead, he was positively exuberant. His performance at a marathon press conference was a must-see-tv spectacle as he mixed serious policy talk with stand-up comedy and took repeated pleasure in whacking his favorite pinata, the “dishonest media.”

“Russia is a ruse,” he insisted, before finally saying under questioning he was not aware of anyone on his campaign having contact with Russian officials.

Trump’s detractors immediately panned the show as madness, but they missed the method behind it and proved they still don’t understand his appeal. Facing his first crisis in the Oval Office, he was unbowed in demonstrating his bare-knuckled intention to fight back.

He did it his way. Certainly no other president, and few politicians at any level in any time, would dare put on a show like that.

In front of cameras, and using the assembled press corps as props, he conducted a televised revival meeting to remind his supporters that he is still the man they elected. Ticking off a lengthy list of executive orders and other actions he has taken, he displayed serious fealty to his campaign promises.

Trump goes on marathon rant against the media

Sure, sentences didn’t always end on the same topic they started with, and his claim to have won the election by the largest electoral college margin since Ronald Reagan wasn’t close to true.

Fair points, but so what? Fact-checkers didn’t elect him, nor did voters who were happy with the status quo.

Trump, first, last and always, matches the mood of the discontented. Like them, he is a bull looking for a china shop. That’s his ace in the hole and he played it almost to perfection.

The immediate impact of his performance is likely to calm some of the jitters among Republicans in congress and supporters elsewhere, especially after the beating he took in the last few days.

On Monday night, Trump suddenly removed Gen. Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, over circumstances that still are not entirely clear. And on Wednesday, his nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, withdrew after Republicans said he didn’t have the votes to be confirmed.

Combined with courts blocking his immigration and refugee order, unflattering leaks of confidential material from intelligence agencies and numerous demands for investigations into any Russian connections, Trump’s fast start suddenly hit a wall.

Just three weeks into his term, Democrats, in and out of the media, smelled blood. Many already were going for the kill.

They won’t get it, at least now. Trump bought himself time yesterday.

Yet those determined to bring him down won’t give up, and the insidious leaks of secret material suggest some opponents are members of the permanent government who are willing to use their position and the media to undermine him.

Indeed, the most serious leaks seem to vindicate a warning that Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer made in early January after Trump criticized leaders of the spook agencies.

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told an interviewer. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

That incredible statement reflects what a dangerous game rogue agents are playing. The world is on fire yet the president is the target of partisan revenge in his own government. It’s a scandal and it’s outrageous, but it’s a fact that Trump must confront.

Finding the leakers and prosecuting them, which he promises to do, is part of the solution.

rAnother part comes Saturday, when Trump takes his solo act to Florida for a massive public rally. It’s smart for him to get out of Washington and soak in the enthusiasm of the populist movement he leads.

He should do it regularly, and also hold smaller, town-hall style forums where ordinary citizens can ask him questions in more intimate settings. Any way he can speak directly to the American people and hear from them democratizes his presidency and reduces the power of big biased media and the Washington establishment.

Yet the only sure and lasting way to keep ahead of the lynch mob is by producing results. Success will be Trump’s savior.

And nothing says success like jobs, jobs, jobs. Getting the economy to reach lift-off speed is essential so it can deliver the good-paying jobs and prosperity that he promised and the nation needs.

While Republican honchos in congress say they’re getting ready to move on tax cuts and replacing ObamaCare, nothing will happen without presidential leadership. That means Trump’s fate is in his own hands and he must keep himself and his White House team focused on delivering an economic revival.

If he does that, the lynch mob will be left holding an empty rope.

http://nypost.com/2017/02/16/sorry-media-this-press-conference-played-very-different-with-trumps-supporters/

At Boeing, Trump returns to an economic message after a week of controversy

February 17 at 2:35 PM

Trump promises focus on jobs, lower taxes in speech at Boeing factory

President Trump promised to work to keep manufacturing companies in the U.S., and to lower taxes for businesses, speaking at the unveiling of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Feb. 17 in North Charleston, S.C. (The Washington Post)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — When President Trump took the stage here Friday to mark the launch of Boeing’s newest aircraft, it was a scene reminiscent of his airplane hangar rallies during the presidential campaign.

Except, instead of his “Trump” branded Boeing 757 parked in the background, Boeing’s newest product, the Dreamliner 787-10, glittered in the sun behind him, and off to the side stood Trump’s new ride, Air Force One.

Trump’s somewhat unusual appearance at the launch event for the company’s highly anticipated version 10 of the Dreamliner wasn’t to roll out new economic policy or even push a specific economic agenda item. Instead, it seemed that Trump was there to boost the company with a presidential endorsement for its American-made fleet, and he in turn would be the face of a major milestone for one of the country’s largest job creators.

“We’re here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing,” Trump said. “We’re also here today to celebrate jobs. Jobs!”

“Jobs is one of the primary reasons I’m standing here as president, and I will never ever disappoint you. Believe me,” he added.

Trump’s visit to the Boeing plant also comes at a time when the Trump administration is struggling to establish a greater sense of order and focus after weeks of distractions and negative headlines.

The White House has aimed to structure his daily schedule with at least one jobs-focused meeting each day. But much of that has been overshadowed by several all-consuming stories, the most damaging of which was the ouster of Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on Monday.

Questions about the Trump administration and campaign’s ties to Russia have only intensified after multiple media reports revealed that Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, despite Flynn’s statements to the contrary.

Friday’s event on the manufacturing floor of Boeing’s South Carolina plant offered Trump a much-needed opportunity to reset his administration and refocus an economic-based message.

“You look at what’s happening with jobs. You look at what’s happening with plants moving back to this country. All of a sudden they’re coming back,” Trump said. “As your president, I’m going to do everything that I can to unleash the power of the American spirit and put our great people back to work.

“This is our mantra, buy American and hire American.”

A few months ago, it seemed that Trump’s relationship with Boeing was on the rocks before it even really began.

As president-elect, Trump launched into a Twitter fight with the company and its chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, over the cost of a new fleet of presidential airplanes that would be used as Air Force One. Quickly, Boeing relented, promising to bring down the plane’s costs after meetings with Trump.

Less than a month into his presidency, Trump is back to Boeing on a decidedly more positive note.

“That plane, as beautiful as it looks, is 30 years old,” Trump said, pointing to the Boeing 747 that serves as Air Force One. “What can look so beautiful at 30?”

The turnabout is emblematic of Trump’s preferred mode of dealing with America’s largest and most powerful businesses. It reflects the degree to which Trump has already changed the terms of engagement with the business community, quickly creating an incentive structure where businesses are rewarded with praise from the highest office in the land when they roll out jobs or cost savings for taxpayers — and credit him for influencing their decision-making.

Over the past several weeks, chief executives including Intel’s Brian Krzanich traveled to the White House to announce new American jobs, thanks to fresh “confidence” in the economy spurred by the new administration.

“They’re keeping and bringing thousands of jobs back to our country because the business climate, they know, has already changed,” Trump said, highlighting jobs announcements from automakers Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler. “We will see more and more of that across the country as we continue to work on reducing regulations, cutting taxes — including for the middle class, including for everyone, and including for businesses.”

In this setting, Trump seems at his most comfortable.

Here, Trump reveled in his electoral victory and the adulation of a supportive crowd in a state that he won in both the Republican primary and the general election.

“This was going to be a place that was tough to win, and we won in a landslide,” Trump declared.

As the restive crowd of Boeing employees waited for hours for Trump to arrive, some cheered when his name was mentioned in the preshow. “Make America Great Again” hats and T-shirts dotted the sea of people on the plant’s manufacturing floor where more than 5,000 employees were gathered.

He toured the new Dreamliner with Boeing executives and could be seen sitting in the plane’s cockpit after his speech.

On Saturday, Trump plans something of a repeat performance in what the White House is dubbing the first “campaign” event of his presidency, at an airplane hangar rally in Melbourne, Fla.

Among some Boeing employees, the reception to Trump was reserved, but optimistic.

Leif Anderson, who started working at the factory six years ago after leaving the Air Force, sat Thursday night at the bar at Domino Lounge, a pool hall three miles from the Boeing plant, smoking cigarillos and sipping a shot of Crown Royal apple whiskey alongside a glass of Bud Lite.

Anderson said he voted for Trump more out of loyalty to the Republican Party, but is “not jumping to conclusions” about the president as a leader.

“I’m really curious to see what he does,” said Anderson, who leads a group of workers at the Boeing plant installing the planes’ interiors. He hopes that Trump’s economic policies succeed, which he said would help his own career along with the country as a whole.

“If he does good, then I’m going to do good,” Anderson said.

Elliott Slater, a Boeing mechanic, took the day off Friday and did not attend Trump’s speech, saying he wanted to avoid the traffic.

“I didn’t vote for him, either.” said Slater, a veteran of the Navy. “He’s not my president. He’s got to earn my respect.”

Slater, who supported the union’s unsuccessful vote to organize the plant in Wednesday’s election, said that Trump would support companies over workers. “He’s definitely pro businesses, being a business man himself. … That’s fine, but you know, how does the business treat its workers?”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/17/at-boeing-trump-returns-to-an-economic-message-after-a-week-of-controversy/?utm_term=.208a463653aa

Trump signs bill undoing Obama coal mining rule

Trump signs bill undoing Obama coal mining rule
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President Trump on Thursday signed legislation ending a key Obama administration coal mining rule.

The bill quashes the Office of Surface Mining’s Stream Protection Rule, a regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste that officials finalized in December.

The legislation is the second Trump has signed into law ending an Obama-era environmental regulation. On Tuesday, he signed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution undoing a financial disclosure requirement for energy companies.

Both the mining and financial disclosure bills are the tip of a GOP push to undo a slate of regulations instituted in the closing days of the Obama administration. The House has passed several CRA resolutions, and the Senate has so far sent three of them to President Trump for his signature.

Regulators finalized the stream protection rule in December, but they spent most of Obama’s tenure writing it.The rule is among the most controversial environment regulations the former administration put together. The coal mining industry said it would be costly to implement and lead to job losses across the sector, which is already suffering from a market-driven downturn in demand for its product.

At the signing, Trump called the regulation “another terrible job killing rule” and said ending it would save “many thousands American jobs, especially in the mines, which, I have been promising you — the mines are a big deal.”

“This is a major threat to your jobs and we’re going to get rid of this threat,” he added. “We’re going to fight for you.”

Republicans on Congress, especially from Appalachia, supported that argument and sought to block the rule several times before finally passing the CRA resolution this month.

“In my home state of Kentucky and others across the nation, the stream buffer rule will cause major damage to communities and threaten coal jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the bill passed. “We should heed their call now and begin bringing relief to coal country.”

Environmentalists supported the administration rule, saying it would protect waterways from pollution and preserve public health. They have criticized the GOP for repealing environmental rules in the name of supporting coal mining jobs, but doing little else to help displaced workers in mining areas.

“If you want to help miners, then come address their health and safety and their pension program,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said during floor debate on the measure.

“You can protect the coal industry here with special interests and the amount of lobbying they do, or you can step up in a process and have a regulation that works for the United States of America so the outdoor industry and sportsman and fishermen can continue to thrive.”

The Senate this week sent Trump a CRA resolution blocking a gun sales regulation. Members could soon take up a measure undoing a methane rule for natural gas drilling operations on public land.

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/319938-trump-signs-bill-undoing-obama-coal-mining-rule

Dan Coats Announced as Trump’s Pick for Director of National Intelligence

President-Elect Trump Goes on Tweetstorm for Better Russia Relations 1:38

President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats to serve as national intelligence director, his transition team announced Saturday.

Coats, would need to be confirmed by Senate for the role, served eight years in the House of Representatives and two years in the Senate. During the George W. Bush administration, he served as U.S. ambassador to Germany.

“I’m very confident that Senator Dan Coats is the right choice to serve as Director of National Intelligence,” President-elect Trump said in a statement. “Dan has clearly demonstrated the deep subject matter expertise and sound judgment required to lead our intelligence community.”

As director of national intelligence, Coats would serve as the head of the United States’ intelligence community and be the president’s principal adviser on the issue.

Image: Trump to name Dan Coats as Director of national intelligence
Indiana Senator Dan Coats speaks briefly with the press following his meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, New York, USA, 30 November 2016 AALBIN LOHR-JONES / POOL / EPA

Coats will succeed James Clapper, who recently testified in front of Congress that Russia had stepped up its cyber espionage operation in an attempt to undermine the election. A redacted report about the hack and its goals was released on Friday.

First elected to the Senate in 1990 in a special election that filled the seat vacated by Dan Quayle — who departed the Senate to serve as George H. W. Bush’s vice president — Coats won reelection in 1992 before retiring from the Senate in 1998. He then was nominated to serve as U.S. ambassador to Germany in 2001, arriving there mere days before the Sept. 11 terrorism attack.

After departing as ambassador four years later, Coats worked as a prominent lobbyist in Washington D.C. and then decided to run for his former Senate seat in 2010 — an election he won.

Coats again announced his retirement from government in November 2015.

Most recently while in the Senate, Coats served as the chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and as a member of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

“If confirmed as Director of National Intelligence, he will provide unwavering leadership that the entire intelligence community can respect, and will spearhead my administration’s ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm,” Trump added in his statement.

“I’m pleased to hear the President-elect has nominated my colleague and friend Dan Coats to be the next head of our Intelligence Community,” said Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “Dan’s experience as a valued member of the Senate Intelligence Committee will help to guide him as the next Director of National Intelligence.”

In the past year as a senator, Coats has introduced six bills. Only two simple resolutions passed: The first recognized the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the other commemorated the bicentennial of the state of Indiana.

Coats will lead an intelligence community that already has a rocky relationship with the president-elect, as Trump has continued to float doubts about the community’s findings in the Russia hacking investigation.

While testifying before the Armed Services Committee, Clapper stopped short of calling Russia’s interference in the election an act of war, saying that was something for lawmakers to discern.

However, the committee’s chairman, John McCain (R-AZ), maintained that the attack was alarming.

“Every American should be alarmed by Russia’s attacks on our nation. There is no national security interest more vital to the United States of America than the ability to hold free and fair elections without foreign interference,” McCain said in his opening statement during the hearing. “That is why Congress must set partisanship aside, follow the facts, and work together to devise comprehensive solutions to deter, defend against, and, when necessary, respond to foreign cyberattacks.”

On Twitter, Donald Trump seemed more concerned with the intelligence community’s findings that pertained to the legitimacy of his election rather than Russia’s involvement.

Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only “stupid” people, or fools, would think that it is bad! We…..

The president-elect has maintained a belief that the United States should “move on” from the attack, adding on Saturday that the country will have a good relationship and will work together with Russia under his administration.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/dan-coats-announced-trump-s-pick-director-national-intelligence-n704231

CNN’s Jeff Zucker on Covering Donald Trump — Past, Present, and Future

By Gabriel Sherman

At his press conference last week, President-elect Trump refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, denouncing the network as a purveyor of “fake news.” Trump’s ire was in response to CNN’s explosive report that U.S. intelligence chiefs had briefed Trump on claims that the Kremlin had collected compromising information on him. In the wake of CNN’s report, BuzzFeed published the unedited, and unverified, opposition-research dossier referenced in the intel briefing, which included lurid allegations about Trump’s behavior and his campaign’s ties to Russia.

On Tuesday morning, I sat down with CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker for a wide-ranging discussion about that controversial scoop, Trump’s threat to press freedom, and why he’s not worried about losing access to the White House.

After Trump attacked CNN for reporting on the intelligence chiefs’ briefing on the Russian dossier, you issued a strongly worded statement defending your story. What made CNN decide to publish reporting on the existence of the dossier?
I actually think this was a pretty easy call in terms of its news value. The fact is, the top four intelligence chiefs of the United States decided to include in their briefing to the president and president-elect a two-page summary of allegations involving the president-elect. That is newsworthy by any definition.

Even if the allegations themselves weren’t verified?
We didn’t pass judgment on the allegations. We reported we had not been able to corroborate them. But the news was that the two most powerful people in the world had been briefed on the existence of these allegations.

I was at the press conference at Trump Tower, where Trump’s incoming press secretary Sean Spicer and Trump himself denounced CNN and BuzzFeed as fake news. What do you think of BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the complete dossier?
They made a decision for themselves, and they have to live with it. I’m not going to pass judgment on their decision. We did not think it was appropriate for us given that we had not been able to corroborate the allegations.

It’s just unfortunate that the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimizejournalism.

When you have the president-elect saying, “Don’t trust CNN, it’s fake news,” is that harmful?
It’s just unfortunate that the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimize journalism and an organization that plays such a vital role in our democracy. I think he’s entitled to his opinion, but it’s — to use one of his favorite words — sad.

Over the weekend, it was reported that Trump is considering moving reporters out of the West Wing. How worried are you about Trump’s attacks on the press?
As Tim Russert said, the role of the media is the accountability of government. I think the press plays a much more important role in this administration. Their willingness and inclination to cherry-pick facts, conflate and inflate things, will make covering this administration very challenging. That means our role is more important than ever. We think that CNN has a job to do, which is to hold their feet to the fire. They may not like it, but they should respect it.

Acosta didn’t get to ask a question at last week’s press conference. The first question went to Fox News, and Breitbart got to ask a question. Are you concerned about getting access to Trump?
I think the era of access journalism as we’ve known it is over. It doesn’t worry me that Donald Trump hasn’t done an interview with CNN in eight months. I think our credibility is higher than ever, and our viewership is higher than ever, and our reporting is as strong as ever. One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus — and that’s CNN. The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake.

Wouldn’t Trump say that’s what Twitter is for? He can shape his own perception.
If he’s relying on Twitter to shape his own perception in the capitals of the world then I think he’s making a big mistake.

How does CNN plan to cover Trump’s tweets?
I think we should look at his tweets on a case-by-case basis, just like we’d look at the comments of any president, and make an editorial decision on which ones to report, discuss, and cover. So I don’t think we should knee-jerk-cover every tweet just as we didn’t knee-jerk-cover every comment Barack Obama made. We should use our editorial judgment.

I noticed that Trump is sitting down with Fox & Friends. And in recent days, he’s given interviews to The Wall Street Journal and the Times of London, both Murdoch papers. What do you think of Trump’s alliance with Murdoch?
I think you’re trying to goad me here. But you’ve made the right observation. Look, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that friendly outlets have been the ones that have ended up with the interviews with Donald Trump. Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London — the fact that they’re all Rupert’s publications — I don’t think it’s any coincidence those are the outlets that ended up with the interviews.

It was reported that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were at Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve. They said it was because they were trying to get an interview with Trump. Was it appropriate for journalists to attend the president-elect’s private party?
I think in that case, optically, it would have been a lot better to have just made a phone call and ask for the interview.

Trump’s feud with CNN is ironic, in a way, because you have perhaps more history with him than any media executive. Some people say you made Trump’s presidential run possible with The Apprentice. Did you?
It’s true I put him on television with The Apprentice in 2004. I’ve never run away from that. But in no way do I think that’s why he’s the president. You have to give the guy credit. He ran a campaign that worked.

So you don’t ever regret that the Trump phenomenon arguably started with you?
No. Listen, I don’t regret putting The Apprentice on television.

Another irony of the current antagonism is that CNN has sometimes been perceived as being too close to Trump. You got a lot of flak for covering his speeches in full during the primaries and for hiring his former campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski. What do you think of the criticism?
We didn’t bend over backward for Trump; we did what we felt was in the best interest of our viewers and readers to understand the story. The reason we hired a number of voices to reflect the Trump point of view was to help the audience understand who he was, where he was coming from, and what he was thinking. Given the results of the election, it turns out we were exactly right to do so. We had a much better sense on our air what the Trump point of view was than most others.

Were you in touch with Trump regularly throughout the campaign?
Obviously we’ve known each other for a long time. Just because I’ve known somebody for more than 15 years doesn’t mean they get a pass.

So how often did you talk to him?
Probably once a month?

Do you still talk to him?
I haven’t talked to him in more than a month.

Some criticized the Ivanka Trump special that aired on CNN as an effort to curry favor with the White House. Was it?
I don’t think we’re the only news organization that did a profile of Ivanka Trump. That’s silly. Let’s remember the stories we’ve broken in the last week: the original story on the intelligence briefing; the fact that Monica Crowley was a plagiarist; the fact that Congressman Price may have broken the law on his stocks; the fact that Trump’s pick for Labor was having second thoughts … All those stories were broken by CNN. Tell me another news organization that’s broken more news on Donald Trump in the last week? Please.

Your corporate owner Time Warner is currently going through an $85 billion merger with telecom giant AT&T. Trump has suggested he may try to block the deal because it would concentrate too much media power in one company. Have you spoken with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes about that?
No. It’s one of the things I respect about Time Warner and Turner: their understanding of CNN’s independence. There’s been absolutely no conversations or anything of the sort between us and Time Warner.

Some have suggested that CNN might have to be spun off in order to have the deal approved by Trump’s Justice Department. Are you worried about that?
No.

You had the biggest night in cable-news history on Election Night, 13 million viewers. What’s your plan to maintain ratings in 2017?
Our viewership continues to be significantly higher than it was a year ago and frankly much higher than we expected it to be. There’s been no evidence of any falloff at all. I think people are coming to us because they know we’ll report both sides of the story. We expected we’d be down 25 percent from last year because you had all the election nights, debates, and conventions, but if the first three weeks of this year are any indication, I’m not so sure it will be down that much.

In December, the Drudge Report reported you were wooing Megyn Kelly. Did you try to hire her?
I had one conversation with Megyn about coming to CNN in prime time. It never got serious, it never got real.

What do you think of her move to NBC?
I wish her nothing but success. I think NBC News is a great fit for her and she’ll be a big star there.

During the Bush years, MSNBC saw its ratings skyrocket by being the voice of opposition. Since Election Day, MSNBC has held on to much of its election-year audience, suggesting the network might enjoy similar success during the Trump years. What’s your assessment of MSNBC?
I think all of the cable-news networks are healthy and vibrant and at a good place in the history of cable news. In terms of audience, there’s a clear No. 1, a clear No. 2, and a clear No. 3. In terms of reporting and breaking news, there’s only one true cable-news network.

So, what would be the best scoop now? If CNN got Trump’s tax returns would you report them?
If we could verify they were real and legitimate, just like any other news organization, we would report on them. Sure.

* This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

** Disclosure: I am an MSNBC contributor.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/cnns-zucker-on-covering-trump-past-present-and-future.html

The Reason Why There Are More Leaks Traced To Former President Obama and Violating American Citizens Right To Privacy Under The Fourth Amendment To U.S. Constitution

WASHINGTON — In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch signed the new rules, permitting the N.S.A. to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information,” on Jan. 3, after the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., signed them on Dec. 15, according to a 23-page, largely declassified copy of the procedures.

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.

“This is not expanding the substantive ability of law enforcement to get access to signals intelligence,” said Robert S. Litt, the general counsel to Mr. Clapper. “It is simply widening the aperture for a larger number of analysts, who will be bound by the existing rules.”

But Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the move an erosion of rules intended to protect the privacy of Americans when their messages are caught by the N.S.A.’s powerful global collection methods. He noted that domestic internet data was often routed or stored abroad, where it may get vacuumed up without court oversight.

“Rather than dramatically expanding government access to so much personal data, we need much stronger rules to protect the privacy of Americans,” Mr. Toomey said. “Seventeen different government agencies shouldn’t be rooting through Americans’ emails with family members, friends and colleagues, all without ever obtaining a warrant.”

The N.S.A. has been required to apply similar privacy protections to foreigners’ information since early 2014, an unprecedented step that President Obama took after the disclosures of N.S.A. documents by the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden. The other intelligence agencies will now have to follow those rules, too.

Under the new system, agencies will ask the N.S.A. for access to specific surveillance feeds, making the case that they contain information relevant and useful to their missions. The N.S.A. will grant requests it deems reasonable after considering factors like whether large amounts of Americans’ private information might be included and, if so, how damaging or embarrassing it would be if that information were “improperly used or disclosed.”

The move is part of a broader trend of tearing down bureaucratic barriers to sharing intelligence between agencies that dates back to the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In 2002, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court secretly began permitting the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. to share raw intercepts gathered domestically under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

After Congress enacted the FISA Amendments Act — which legalized warrantless surveillance on domestic soil so long as the target is a foreigner abroad, even when the target is communicating with an American — the court permitted raw sharing of emails acquired under that program, too.

In July 2008, the same month Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act, President George W. Bush modified Executive Order 12333, which sets rules for surveillance that domestic wiretapping statutes do not address, including techniques that vacuum up vast amounts of content without targeting anybody.

After the revision, Executive Order 12333 said the N.S.A. could share the raw fruits of such surveillance after the director of national intelligence and the attorney general, coordinating with the defense secretary, agreed on procedures. It took another eight years to develop those rules.

The Times first reported the existence of those deliberations in 2014 and later filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for documents about them. It ended that case last February, and Mr. Litt discussed the efforts in an interview at that time, but declined to divulge certain important details because the rules were not yet final or public.

Among the most important questions left unanswered in February was when analysts would be permitted to use Americans’ names, email addresses or other identifying information to search a 12333 database and pull up any messages to, from or about them that had been collected without a warrant.

There is a parallel debate about the FISA Amendments Act’s warrantless surveillance program. National security analysts sometimes search that act’s repository for Americans’ information, as do F.B.I. agents working on ordinary criminal cases. Critics call this the “backdoor search loophole,” and some lawmakers want to require a warrant for such searches.

By contrast, the 12333 sharing procedures allow analysts, including those at the F.B.I., to search the raw data using an American’s identifying information only for the purpose of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence investigations, not for ordinary criminal cases. And they may do so only if one of several other conditions are met, such as a finding that the American is an agent of a foreign power.

However, under the rules, if analysts stumble across evidence that an American has committed any crime, they will send it to the Justice Department.

The limits on using Americans’ information gathered under Order 12333 do not apply to metadata: logs showing who contacted whom, but not what they said. Analysts at the intelligence agencies may study social links between people, in search of hidden associates of known suspects, “without regard to the location or nationality of the communicants.”

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.

The change would relax longstanding restrictions on access to the contents of the phone calls and email the security agency vacuums up around the world, including bulk collection of satellite transmissions, communications between foreigners as they cross network switches in the United States, and messages acquired overseas or provided by allies.

The idea is to let more experts across American intelligence gain direct access to unprocessed information, increasing the chances that they will recognize any possible nuggets of value. That also means more officials will be looking at private messages — not only foreigners’ phone calls and emails that have not yet had irrelevant personal information screened out, but also communications to, from, or about Americans that the N.S.A.’s foreign intelligence programs swept in incidentally.

Civil liberties advocates criticized the change, arguing that it will weaken privacy protections. They said the government should disclose how much American content the N.S.A. collects incidentally — which agency officials have said is hard to measure — and let the public debate what the rules should be for handling that information.

“Before we allow them to spread that information further in the government, we need to have a serious conversation about how to protect Americans’ information,” said Alexander Abdo, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer.

Robert S. Litt, the general counsel in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that the administration had developed and was fine-tuning what is now a 21-page draft set of procedures to permit the sharing.

The goal for the final rules, Brian P. Hale, a spokesman for the office, said in a statement, is “to ensure that they protect privacy, civil liberties and constitutional rights while enabling the sharing of information that is important to protect national security.”

Until now, National Security Agency analysts have filtered the surveillance information for the rest of the government. They search and evaluate the information and pass only the portions of phone calls or email that they decide is pertinent on to colleagues at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. And before doing so, the N.S.A. takes steps to mask the names and any irrelevant information about innocent Americans.

The new system would permit analysts at other intelligence agencies to obtain direct access to raw information from the N.S.A.’s surveillance to evaluate for themselves. If they pull out phone calls or email to use for their own agency’s work, they would apply the privacy protections masking innocent Americans’ information — a process known as “minimization” — at that stage, Mr. Litt said.

Executive branch officials have been developing the new framework and system for years. President George W. Bush set the change in motion through a little-noticed line in a 2008 executive order, and the Obama administration has been quietly developing a framework for how to carry it out since taking office in 2009.

The executive branch can change its own rules without going to Congress or a judge for permission because the data comes from surveillance methods that lawmakers did not include in the main law that governs national security wiretapping, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

FISA covers a narrow band of surveillance: the collection of domestic or international communications from a wire on American soil, leaving most of what the N.S.A. does uncovered. In the absence of statutory regulation, the agency’s other surveillance programs are governed by rules the White House sets under a Reagan-era directive called Executive Order 12333.

Mr. Litt declined to make available a copy of the current draft of the proposed procedures.

“Once these procedures are final and approved, they will be made public to the extent consistent with national security,” Mr. Hale said. “It would be premature to draw conclusions about what the procedures will provide or authorize until they are finalized.”

Among the things they would not address is what the draft rules say about searching the raw data using names or keywords intended to bring up Americans’ phone calls or email that the security agency gathered “incidentally” under the 12333 surveillance programs — including whether F.B.I. agents may do so when working on ordinary criminal investigations.

Under current rules for data gathered under a parallel program — the no-warrant surveillance program governed by the FISA Amendments Act — N.S.A. and C.I.A. officials may search for Americans’ information only if their purpose is to find foreign intelligence, but F.B.I. agents may conduct such a search for intelligence or law enforcement purposes. Some lawmakers have proposed requiring the government to obtain a warrant before conducting such a search.

In 2013, The Washington Post reported, based on documents leaked by the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden, that the N.S.A. and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, had tapped into links connecting Google’s and Yahoo’s data centers overseas and that the American spy agency had collected millions of records a day from them. The companies have since taken steps to encrypt those links.

That collection occurred under 12333 rules, which had long prohibited the N.S.A. from sharing raw information gathered from the surveillance it governed with other members of the intelligence community before minimization. The same rule had also long applied to sharing information gathered with FISA wiretaps.

But after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration began an effort to tear down barriers that impeded different parts of the government from working closely and sharing information, especially about terrorism.

In 2002, for example, it won permission, then secret, from the intelligence court permitting the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the N.S.A. to share raw FISA wiretap information. The government did not disclose that change, which was first reported in a 2014 New York Times article based on documents disclosed by Mr. Snowden.

In August 2008, Mr. Bush change d 12333 to permit the N.S.A. to share unevaluated surveillance information with other intelligence agencies once procedures were developed.

Intelligence officials began working in 2009 on how the technical system and rules would work, Mr. Litt said, eventually consulting the Defense and Justice Departments. This month, the administration briefed the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent five-member watchdog panel, seeking input. Before they go into effect, they must be approved by James R. Clapper, the intelligence director; Loretta E. Lynch, the attorney general; and Ashton B. Carter, the defense secretary.

“We would like it to be completed sooner rather than later,” Mr. Litt said. “Our expectation is months rather than weeks or years.”

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The Pronk Pops Show 816, January 12, 2017, Story 1: National Security State Interventionist Elites Oppose Trump Foreign Policy of Non-Intervention — CIA Covert Operations and Special Forces — American Empire of The Warfare and Welfare State or American Republic of The Peace and Prosperity Economy — Videos — Story 2: Warmongering Neocons Banging The War Drums — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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Story 1: National Security State Interventionist Progressive Elites Oppose Trump’s Foreign Policy of Non-Intervention — CIA Covert Operations and Special Forces — American Empire of The Warfare and Welfare State or American Republic of The Peace and Prosperity Economy — Videos

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IN JANUARY, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” That warning was issued prior to the decade long escalation of the Vietnam War, three more decades of Cold War mania, and the post-9/11 era, all of which radically expanded that unelected faction’s power even further.

This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as “Fake News.”

Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.

The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest. There are a wide array of legitimate and effective tactics for combatting those threats: from bipartisan congressional coalitions and constitutional legal challenges to citizen uprisings and sustained and aggressive civil disobedience. All of those strategies have periodically proven themselves effective in times of political crisis or authoritarian overreach.

But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.

Beyond all that, there is no bigger favor that Trump opponents can do for him than attacking him with such lowly, shabby, obvious shams, recruiting large media outlets to lead the way. When it comes time to expose actual Trump corruption and criminality, who is going to believe the people and institutions who have demonstrated they are willing to endorse any assertions no matter how factually baseless, who deploy any journalistic tactic no matter how unreliable and removed from basic means of ensuring accuracy?

All of these toxic ingredients were on full display yesterday as the Deep State unleashed its tawdriest and most aggressive assault yet on Trump: vesting credibility in and then causing the public disclosure of a completely unvetted and unverified document, compiled by a paid, anonymous operative while he was working for both GOP and Democratic opponents of Trump, accusing Trump of a wide range of crimes, corrupt acts and salacious private conduct. The reaction to all of this illustrates that while the Trump presidency poses grave dangers, so, too, do those who are increasingly unhinged in their flailing, slapdash, and destructive attempts to undermine it.

 

FOR MONTHS, the CIA, with unprecedented clarity, overtly threw its weight behind Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and sought to defeat Donald Trump. In August, former acting CIA Director Michael Morell announced his endorsement of Clinton in the New York Times and claimed that “Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” The CIA and NSA director under George W. Bush, Gen. Michael Hayden, also endorsed Clinton, and went to the Washington Post to warn, in the week before the election, that “Donald Trump really does sound a lot like Vladimir Putin,” adding that Trump is “the useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow, secretly held in contempt, but whose blind support is happily accepted and exploited.”

It is not hard to understand why the CIA preferred Clinton over Trump. Clinton was critical of Obama for restraining the CIA’s proxy war in Syria and was eager to expand that war, while Trump denounced it. Clinton clearly wanted a harder line than Obama took against the CIA’s long-standing foes in Moscow, while Trump wanted improved relations and greater cooperation. In general, Clinton defended and intended to extend the decadeslong international military order on which the CIA and Pentagon’s preeminence depends, while Trump — through a still-uncertain mix of instability and extremist conviction — posed a threat to it.

Whatever one’s views are on those debates, it is the democratic framework — the presidential election, the confirmation process, congressional leaders, judicial proceedings, citizen activism and protest, civil disobedience — that should determine how they are resolved. All of those policy disputes were debated out in the open; the public heard them; and Trump won. Nobody should crave the rule of Deep State overlords.

Yet craving Deep State rule is exactly what prominent Democratic operatives and media figures are doing. Any doubt about that is now dispelled. Just last week, Chuck Schumer issued a warning to Trump, telling Rachel Maddow that Trump was being “really dumb” by challenging the unelected intelligence community because of all the ways they possess to destroy those who dare to stand up to them:

And last night, many Democrats openly embraced and celebrated what was, so plainly, an attempt by the Deep State to sabotage an elected official who had defied it: ironically, its own form of blackmail.

 

BACK IN OCTOBER, a political operative and former employee of the British intelligence agency MI6 was being paid by Democrats to dig up dirt on Trump (before that, he was paid by anti-Trump Republicans). He tried to convince countless media outlets to publish a long memo he had written filled with explosive accusations about Trump’s treason, business corruption and sexual escapades, with the overarching theme that Trump was in servitude to Moscow because they were blackmailing and bribing him.

Despite how many had it, no media outlets published it. That was because these were anonymous claims unaccompanied by any evidence at all, and even in this more permissive new media environment, nobody was willing to be journalistically associated with it. As the New York Times’ Executive Editor Dean Baquet put it last night, he would not publish these “totally unsubstantiated” allegations because “we, like others, investigated the allegations and haven’t corroborated them, and we felt we’re not in the business of publishing things we can’t stand by.”

The closest this operative got to success was convincing Mother Jones’s David Corn to publish an October 31 article reporting that “a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country” claims that “he provided the [FBI] with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump.”

But because this was just an anonymous claim unaccompanied by any evidence or any specifics (which Corn withheld), it made very little impact. All of that changed yesterday. Why?

What changed was the intelligence community’s resolution to cause this all to become public and to be viewed as credible. In December, John McCain provided a copy of this report to the FBI and demanded they take it seriously.

At some point last week, the chiefs of the intelligence agencies decided to declare that this ex-British intelligence operative was “credible” enough that his allegations warranted briefing both Trump and Obama about them, thus stamping some sort of vague, indirect, and deniable official approval on these accusations. Someone — by all appearances, numerous officials — then went to CNN to tell them they had done this, causing CNN to go on-air and, in the gravest of tones, announce the “Breaking News” that “the nation’s top intelligence officials” briefed Obama and Trump that Russia had compiled information that “compromised President-elect Trump.”

CNN refused to specify what these allegations were on the ground that they could not “verify” them. But with this document in the hands of multiple media outlets, it was only a matter of time — a small amount of time — before someone would step up and publish the whole thing. Buzzfeed quickly obliged, airing all of the unvetted, anonymous claims about Trump.

Its editor-in-chief Ben Smith published a memo explaining that decision, saying that—- although there “is serious reason to doubt the allegations” — Buzzfeed in general “errs on the side of publication” and “Americans can make up their own minds about the allegations.” Publishing this document predictably produced massive traffic (and thus profit) for the site, with millions of people viewing the article and presumably reading the “dossier.”

One can certainly object to Buzzfeed’s decision and, as the New York Times notes this morning, many journalists are doing so. It’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario where it’s justifiable for a news outlet to publish a totally anonymous, unverified, unvetted document filled with scurrilous and inflammatory allegations about which its own editor-in-chief says there “is serious reason to doubt the allegations,” on the ground that they want to leave it to the public to decide whether to believe it.

But even if one believes there is no such case where that is justified, yesterday’s circumstances presented the most compelling scenario possible for doing this. Once CNN strongly hinted at these allegations, it left it to the public imagination to conjure up the dirt Russia allegedly had to blackmail and control Trump. By publishing these accusations, BuzzFeed ended that speculation. More importantly, it allowed everyone to see how dubious this document is, one the CIA and CNN had elevated into some sort of grave national security threat.

 

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY after it was published, the farcical nature of the “dossier” manifested. Not only was its author anonymous, but he was paid by Democrats (and, before that, by Trump’s GOP adversaries) to dig up dirt on Trump. Worse, he himself cited no evidence of any kind, but instead relied on a string of other anonymous people in Russia he claims told him these things. Worse still, the document was filled with amateur errors.

While many of the claims are inherently unverified, some can be confirmed. One such claim — that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen secretly traveled to Prague in August to meet with Russian officials — was strongly denied by Cohen, who insisted he had never been to Prague in his life (Prague is the same place that foreign intelligence officials claimed, in 2001, was the site of a nonexistent meeting between Iraqi officials and 9/11 hijackers, which contributed to 70% of Americans believing, as late as the fall of 2003, that Saddam personally planned the 9/11 attack). This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that “the FBI has found no evidence that [Cohen] traveled to the Czech Republic.”

None of this stopped Democratic operatives and prominent media figures from treating these totally unverified and unvetted allegations as grave revelations. From Vox’s Zach Beauchamp:

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Stunning and believable narrative in leaked docs describing alleged rift in Kremlin over meddling in US elections https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html pic.twitter.com/qY2TuSM5Fc

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Meanwhile, liberal commentator Rebecca Solnit declared this to be a “smoking gun” that proves Trump’s “treason,” while Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas sounded the same theme:

While some Democrats sounded notes of caution — party loyalist Josh Marshall commendably urged: “I would say in reviewing raw, extremely raw ‘intel’, people shld retain their skepticism even if they rightly think Trump is the worst” — the overwhelming reaction was the same as all the other instances where the CIA and its allies released unverified claims about Trump and Russia: instant embrace of the evidence-free assertions as Truth, combined with proclamations that it demonstrated Trump’s status as a traitor (with anyone expressing skepticism designated a Kremlin agent or stooge).

 

THERE IS A REAL DANGER here that this maneuver can harshly backfire, to the great benefit of Trump and to the great detriment of those who want to oppose him. If any of the significant claims in this “dossier” turn out to be provably false — such as Cohen’s trip to Prague — many people will conclude, with Trump’s encouragement, that large media outlets (CNN and BuzzFeed) and anti-Trump factions inside the government (CIA) are deploying “Fake News” to destroy him. In the eyes of many people, that will forever discredit — render impotent — future journalistic exposés that are based on actual, corroborated wrongdoing.

Beyond that, the threat posed by submitting ourselves to the CIA and empowering it to reign supreme outside of the democratic process is — as Eisenhower warned — an even more severe danger. The threat of being ruled by unaccountable and unelected entities is self-evident and grave. That’s especially true when the entity behind which so many are rallying is one with a long and deliberate history of lying, propaganda, war crimes, torture, and the worst atrocities imaginable.

All of the claims about Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and ties to Trump should be fully investigated by a credible body, and the evidence publicly disclosed to the fullest extent possible. As my colleague Sam Biddle argued last week after disclosure of the farcical intelligence community report on Russia hacking — one which even Putin’s foes mocked as a bad joke — the utter lack of evidence for these allegations means “we need an independent, resolute inquiry.” But until then, assertions that are unaccompanied by evidence and disseminated anonymously should be treated with the utmost skepticism — not lavished with convenience-driven gullibility.

Most important of all, the legitimate and effective tactics for opposing Trump are being utterly drowned by these irrational, desperate, ad hoc crusades that have no cogent strategy and make his opponents appear increasingly devoid of reason and gravity. Right now, Trump’s opponents are behaving as media critic Adam Johnson described: as ideological jelly fish, floating around aimlessly and lost, desperately latching on to whatever barge randomly passes by.

There are solutions to Trump. They involve reasoned strategizing and patient focus on issues people actually care about. Whatever those solutions are, venerating the intelligence community, begging for its intervention, and equating their dark and dirty assertions as Truth are most certainly not among them. Doing that cannot possibly achieve any good, and is already doing much harm.

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president-elect-using-unverified-claims-as-dems-cheer/

How The CIA vs Donald Trump War Is Just Getting Started

CIA vs. Donald Trump

[Written by Rachel Blevins]

Just when you think things can’t get crazier with Donald Trump, they do! With these latest developments from the CIA and from U.S. representatives, we are seeing the early signs of an all-out war between the president-elect and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Recent comments from Sen. Chuck Schumer during a recent interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC reveal everything you need to know about what is currently happening behind the scenes in Washington D.C.   “When you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday getting back at you,” Schumer said. “Even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, it is being really dumb.”

Did anyone else catch the fact that with that Schumer is essentially saying that if Trump dares to challenge the CIA, it will retaliate against him?    Of course, if you know the true history of the CIA, you know that their reputation is incredibly low as it is, because they create clandestine operations that overthrow democratically elected leaders. They sabotage governments, they sabotage policies, they work for global elites and they torture people. They are known for doing god-awful things in secret, and getting away with it because of their power.

Following Schumer’s hints that the CIA would retaliate against Trump, former CIA Director James Woolsey announced that he is quitting Trump’s transition team. Many people questioned why he was there in the first place. He is a neo-conservative who pushed for war in Iraq, blamed Iraq for 9/11, and was a key member of the Project for the New American Century. Woolsey is also adamantly against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, and when I confrontedhim about Operation Mockingbird in 2011, he lied through his teeth.

This all comes as a “hyped up” Senate hearing on alleged Russian hacking failed to lead to any concrete evidence. While there was no evidence presented confirming that the Russian government was involved in the U.S. election, they did provide information on some Ukrainian malware code, which could have been purchased by anyone anonymously online.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper added to the fear campaign on Thursday, when he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and said that the alleged Russian interference went far beyond a cyberattack.

“While there has been a lot of focus on the hacking, this is actually part of a multifaceted campaign that the Russians mounted,” Clapper told the committee.

In addition to all of the disinformation, we’re learning that the FBI is blaming Russia when they haven’t even examined the DNC servers, and instead relied on a report produced by a DNC contractor.

What we’re seeing is very clear. We’re seeing the CIA, a clandestine group that has committed horrible atrocities all over the world in secret, versus Donald Trump, a very strong personality who has not backed down. There will be a confrontation, and we will be covering exactly what happens when these two forces collide.

What do you think about this story, and what elements do you think are being overlooked or ignored? Let us know in the comments section!

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http://wearechange.org/cia-vs-donald-trump-war-just-getting-started/

Trump Dossier Spotlights Russian History of ‘Kompromat’

Diplomats, politicians and bureaucrats have been embarrassed by leaks of compromising material

Unverified allegations in a dossier on President-elect Donald Trump include a claim that Russian officials obtained evidence that could potentially be used for blackmail. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on Wednesday.
Unverified allegations in a dossier on President-elect Donald Trump include a claim that Russian officials obtained evidence that could potentially be used for blackmail. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on Wednesday. PHOTO: DRUZHININ ALEXEI/ZUMA PRESS

MOSCOW—The public airing of a dossier Tuesday on President-elect Donald Trump casts a spotlight on Russia’s dark art of kompromat, the practice of collecting compromising material on prominent individuals for the purposes of blackmail.

The dossier is packed with unverified allegations, including a claim that Russian officials obtained evidence of Mr. Trump with prostitutes and kept the information in reserve as potential blackmail.

Mr. Trump has dismissed the reports. “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday. “One last shot at me.”

President-elect Donald Trump says allegations made about him in an unverified dossier prepared by ex-British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, are completely fabricated. WSJ’s Jason Bellini breaks down what we know about the material and the person behind it. Photo: Getty.

The Kremlin has denied any link to the dossier, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the reports “pulp fiction,” according to Russian news agencies.

Kompromat, a contraction of the Russian phrase “compromising materials,” has a rich history in Russia dating back to the Soviet era. Diplomats, politicians and bureaucrats have all been embarrassed by leaked videos or other material.

While blackmail is by no means unique to Russia, the deployment of kompromat is a regular feature in the country’s bare-fisted domestic politics.

Early last year, the pro-Kremlin television network NTV aired hidden-camera footage of Mikhail Kasyanov, leader of the opposition party Parnas. The footage appeared to show Mr. Kasyanov carrying on an affair with another party member and gossiping about other opposition politicians.

Mr. Kasyanov declined to comment on the video and the use of hidden cameras. The footage, aired ahead of parliamentary elections in September, made Russia’s embattled opposition appear fractured, divided and insignificant. His party didn’t win enough votes to be represented in parliament.

Footage aired last year on a pro-Kremlin network appeared to show opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov carrying on an affair. Mr. Kasyanov, shown here in December, declined to comment.
Footage aired last year on a pro-Kremlin network appeared to show opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov carrying on an affair. Mr. Kasyanov, shown here in December, declined to comment. PHOTO: SHCHERBAK ALEXANDER/ZUMA PRESS

Valery Solovyov, a political analyst and historian at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said the Russian government has a long history of collecting dossiers on dissidents, potential adversaries and political opponents.

“Of course the Kremlin collects compromising material,” he said. “The tradition goes back to the Soviet KGB, and now that material is collected through special services and journalists.”

Journalists, particularly ardently pro-Kremlin TV channels, were used during protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2010-2012 to accuse opposition figures of nefarious deeds, such as collaborating with the U.S. Department of State, then headed by former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Journalists collected kompromat on the opposition as well as distributed materials given to them.

Mr. Solovyov, however, said that only a smattering of the compromising material collected is used against others. Less still comes to light publicly, he added.

“If it is quality and reliable, then it’s best for secret blackmail,” he said.

Kompromat, which might seem the stuff of B-grade spy thrillers, is also used as a tool in diplomatic squabbles with other countries. Western diplomats posted to Russia are trained to avoid sexual entrapment: A married diplomat caught in an extramarital affair, for instance, could be blackmailed into revealing secrets.

The U.S. State Department formally lodged a complaint in 2009, when the Russian-language website Komsomolskaya Pravda posted footage of a man it claimed to be an American diplomat visiting a prostitute. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said at the time the diplomat was the “subject of a smear campaign using the Russian press,” using a fabricated video.

In a country with a rich history of surveillance as a tool of political repression, where security services are feared and respected, kompromat carries a particular resonance.

The fear of surveillance is ingrained in the habits of many Russians, whether or not they are actually being monitored. Russians often have a morbid humor about hidden cameras and it isn’t unusual to hear the phrase, “This isn’t a conversation to have over the phone”

To some Russians, the attention around the Trump dossier is playing out like a Russian political drama. Yuri Skuratov, Russia’s former top prosecutor, said he doubted that the Trump dossier was real.

“This is nothing more than a political act,” he said. “It’s written ideally for the losing side of the election. This is all hype, and for the American reader it tries to explain why Trump suddenly started to have good ties with Russia.”

Mr. Skuratov himself was a victim of compromising material after he began looking into charges of corruption by then-president Boris Yeltsin and his associates. In 1999, a video was aired in which someone who resembled him was filmed in bed with two women. The next year he was dismissed from his position by the country’s upper house of parliament.

The former prosecutor maintains the man in the video wasn’t him.

“It was done in order to take me away when I started to investigate corruption of Yeltsin and his circle,” Mr. Skuratov said. “It was done to get me fired and away from the investigation.”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-dossier-spotlights-russian-history-of-kompromat-1484171169

Story 2: Warmongering Neocons Banging The War Drums — Videos

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Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Who are the NeoConservatives?

What Is Neoconservatism? Writings on Politics, Economics, Culture, Literature, Education (1995)

National Review’s Neoconservative Agenda

War Party : Documentary on the Neoconservative War Party

Neoconservatives Want Hillary Over Trump

The Danger of Neoconservatism – Ron Paul

The Greatest Danger to America is The Danger From Within

Busting Myths: Trump is NOT a Non-Interventionist

Sen. Marco Rubio questions Rex Tillerson (C-SPAN)

DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay

Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea (Cato Institute Book Forum, 2011)

Betrayal Of The Constitution-An Expose of the Neo-Conservative Agenda

America Needs a Self-Interested Foreign Policy

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The Pronk Pops Show 810, December 8, 2016, Story 1: Astronaut and Senator John Glenn Dies At 95 — The Right Stuff — Godspeed, John Glenn — Videos

Posted on December 8, 2016. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Countries, Defense Spending, Education, Government Spending, History, Human, Investments, John Glenn, Life, Media, News, Nuclear Weapons, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Senate, Space, Space Flights, Transportation, U.S. Space Program, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Astronaut and Senator John Glenn Dies At  95 — The Right Stuff — Godspeed, John Glenn — Videos

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Remembering John Glenn, space pioneer and American statesman

John Glenn Dead at 95 | Remembering the First American To Orbit Earth

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The John Glenn Story (1963)

Senator John Glenn – Biography

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Friendship 7 & Astronaut John Glenn – 1962 NASA Educational Documentary – WDTVLIVE42

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Published on Oct 11, 2013

From the 1983 Phillip Kaufman film “The Right Stuff” with Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris & Dennis Quaid. The film tells the story of the Mercury Seven Astronauts.

Chuck Yeager breaks The Sound Barrier (from THE RIGHT STUFF)

The Right Stuff (edited last scene) – Absolutely Awe-Inspiring !!

Mercury Capsule Without a Window

The Right Stuff – Glenn’s Launch Aborted

The Right Stuff. Godspeed Ed Harris – I mean, John Glenn.

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The Right Stuff (Part 2)

The Right Stuff (Part 3)

The Right Stuff (Part 4)

The Right Stuff (Part 5)

The Right Stuff (Part 6)

The Right Stuff (Part 7)

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Godspeed, John Glenn

John Glenn, American hero, aviation icon and former U.S. senator, dies at 95

By Joe Hallett

The Columbus Dispatch  •  Thursday December 8, 2016 5:35 PM

His legend is otherworldly and now, at age 95, so is John Glenn.

An authentic hero and genuine American icon, Glenn died this afternoon surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus after a remarkably healthy life spent almost from the cradle with Annie, his beloved