We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!! May all of our 2017 activities be good works.
No additional blog entries are anticipated at this web site before January 2017.
Here is the best reporting yet on the so-called Russian hack of DNC emails. And guess who published it today—RT.COM in interviewing William Binney, one of America's foremost experts on NSA systems and methodologies. Read it all, don't skip a single word.
The latest narratives about Russia, Putin, and computer hacks read like focused western propaganda. It all seems to be innuendo and unsubstantiated allegations emanating from "unnamed senior officials" inside America's "intelligence" agencies. Wisely one might say "let us see the evidence, show us the proof".
Today BBC led with "Russians hacked my email - US Republican". Once clicked the bold print became "Top US Republican Senator Graham accuses Russia of hacking his email"—instantly morphing from espoused fact to personal accusation in one easy mouse click. The piece's essence is what Senator Graham "believes". Politicians believe the politically expedient—especially in announcements to the press.
That ludicrous BBC article cites as its source an NBC article underpinned by comments "quoting two unnamed senior officials" who believe with "a high level of confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved to interfere in America's presidential election. The authors even explain what they believe a "high level of confidence" means inside spook circles so the reader will "get it" and "understand" this to be tantamount to irrefutable proof. Nonetheless their two unnamed confidantes likely are the operatives working round the clock to sell this bogus narrative to the general public.
In any case the most chilling recent anti-Russian articles imply publication of purloined truths to be treason. Today RT.COM gave exposure to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's comments that media outlets publishing the contents of Democratic National Committee's (DNC) emails were "arms of Russian intelligence" presumably since they allowed the American people to see what U.S. politicians are up to. Toward real democracy, the importance of the transparency of the content of those emails cannot be overstated
Relevantly back in June 2001 The New York Times (NYT) published a very good op-ed about first amendment issues using the Pentagon Papers (Papers) era for a backdrop. That op-ed mentions that when the NYT first published the Papers, Dr. Kissinger said 'It's treasonable, there's no question''. A few days later President Nixon said "'My God, can you imagine The New York Times doing a thing like this 10 years ago?'' Then the op-ed asks "what had changed?"
Here is the partial answer:. "In the old days in Washington the press respected the confidence of officials because it respected their superior knowledge and good faith. But the [Vietnam] war had shown that their knowledge was dim, and respect for their good faith had died with their false promises and lies." Replace [Vietnam] with [Middle East] and note that some things never change. Although nowadays mainstream press is collusive, seldom adversarial.
Lately in the U.S. there is wide-spread fashionable mainstream media (MSM) coverage about "fake news". The Washington Post even produced fake news about fake news. Overall the generally consistent narratives maintain that non-western media outlets are propagandists and internet-based outlets frequently are outright liars—characteristics shared with traditional news organizations worldwide. Some articles have even suggested that Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails published online might be counterfeit despite having been made available through Wikileaks and Julian Assange, neither of whom has misled us to date—unlike more traditional sources.
The west has dominated English language information outlets at least since WWII and pre-Internet western narratives were largely unchallenged. Consequently, as their numbers dwindled amid corporate consolidations, MSM entities became incrementally emboldened to take liberties with facts in promoting agendas. From the Tonkin Gulf incident to Saddam's weapons of mass destruction official narratives manipulated essentially compliant news organizations who in turn bamboozled the general public. Regrettably the promotion of unsubstantiated narratives is now western habit. Most recently this was showcased in 2016 election coverage which ironically culminated in Newsweek's premature "Madam President" cover. Relevantly The New York Times (NYT) has announced plans to "re-dedicate" itself to honest reporting.
Nonetheless rapid advances in communications technologies along with new paradigms of social discourse have gutted the west's de facto information monopoly and are promising a steady stream of fact-based alternative narratives. In the past decade RT.COM for example has built an enormous worldwide following by reporting more fact with less spin than the western competition and by reporting stories and slants that the west avoids. Also RT seldom cites "unnamed sources who are not authorized" to discuss a subject—a refreshing credibility departure from the west's now frequent unsubstantiated citations.
Official western knee-jerk reactions to these new competitive threats are to label non-western alternative narratives as propaganda irrespective of merit and to label the highly regarded RT.COM as Russian propaganda agents. It appears that much of today's fake news buzz was instigated by Clinton's organization in perpetuating the tale that Russia was behind the DNC email leaks and that those email revelations were a Russian state action sanctioned by Vladimir Putin in order to help Donald Trump win the Presidency. That bogus narrative is fashionable fake news and pure propaganda.
Ignoring facts and without critical analysis many western MSM outlets took-up the cry that the American intelligence community "has determined" Russian operatives to be the undisputed culprits and election tampering to be the goal. All of this seems to have begun when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Mr. Credibility himself a privileged public liar exiting in January alongside his savior POTUS, announced the DNC hacks held characteristics "consistent with" Russian operations [as well as every other analogous cyber episode]. As late as September 21st he was credited this way: "It's probably not real, real clear whether there's influence in terms of an outcome [of the upcoming elections] - or what I worry about more, frankly - is just the sowing the seeds of doubt, where doubt is cast on the whole [election] process."
Nonetheless about 2 weeks later, 30 days before the election, the Department of Homeland Security and the "Office" of the Director of National Intelligence sowed their own seeds of doubt—presumably a last-ditch effort to bolster Hillary—by issuing a joint unsubstantiated statement saying "The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process"—ludicrously tying Russia to DNC hacks and electioneering using pure speculation and biased wishful thinking in a fashion unworthy of professional spooks unless engaged in blatant propaganda efforts while attempting to cast doubt on the whole election process.
And the CIA, grand masters of deceit and proud purveyors of propaganda, very recently jumped on the blame Russia bandwagon despite Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and member of the Trump transition team, saying "I'll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there's clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence - even now. There's a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that's it". There is no real proof whatsoever.
In fact the best journalistic reporting on this subject remains that of CNN Money from July 26, 2016: "this mysterious persona [hacker] is hiding behind computer servers that seem to be based in France. But the person is actually using the Russian computer service Elite VPN. This doesn't mean this person is Russian, or that the hack came from Russia. In fact, ThreatConnect researchers acknowledged there's no connection here to the Russian government. It's the latest piece of latest evidence that points to Russia". Five months later it's still the best concrete evidence available.
Nevertheless despite the absence of hard proof and additional investigative efforts, yellow journalism has hyped the Russian story around the world. Atypically we agree wholeheartedly with President-elect Donald Trump who said "These are the same people that [sic] said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction [and links to Al-Qaeda]". In reality the likelihood of Russia being behind the DNC hacks is slim to none. Julian Assange, truth seeker by avocation, recently confirmed that Russia is not the Wikileaks source. The CIA can claim "links" between the hacker(s) and Russia when both reside on the same planet.
Further dividing the thoughtful camp from the emotional, President Obama publicly has called for a review by America's "intelligence" communities regarding election season hacking. The review is to be completed before POTUS and Clapper leave office. Certainly this unusual high-profile announcement spawns a milieu where "doubt is cast on the whole [election] process"—precisely the major concern expressed earlier by James Clapper. Anti-Russian narratives may not be wise, productive, or reasonably honest, but they do beg attention from both believers and non-believers. So exactly what the Democrats led by lame-ducks POTUS and Clapper might have up-sleeve remains to be seen.
Here's a breath of fresh air: a statement posted today on the U.S. Army's web site says in part that the Army "will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota". Despite not being the end of this story this certainly is a long overdue step in the right direction.
Sacred burial grounds of the Sioux are threatened by the pipeline and we believe the sanctity of this land to be on a sacred par with the holiest of Christian sites. Mutual respect and deference to the beliefs of others, tolerance, is prerequisite to lasting peace everywhere yet seems contemporarily lacking in prevalent religions worldwide.
The Standing Rock Sioux Nations, along with other American Indian tribes and sympathizers, for months have been protesting the pipeline's construction for both environmental and religious reasons. Coincidentally the easement denial—for environmental reasons—was announced within days of the first arrivals of "Veterans Stand for Standing Rock", U.S. military veterans tacitly supporting the constitutional rights and treaty provisions granted to all First Americans.
It remains to be seen how this episode will play out under a Trump administration but for now the rule of law appears rejuvenated in this specific case. The Army 's web site also says that Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army's Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, noted "The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing". She also was credited this way: "consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis"—a tiny interim victory for humanity and an enormous leap toward civility for the U.S. Army's Civil Works.
If you don't know anything about retired CIA official Ray McGovern click HERE and get cursorily aquainted. Having an individual with his credentials propitiously agree with our positions on Julian Assange's unwarranted western captivity is inspiring.
Neither of us believes Assange to be guilty of anything at all in Sweden and both of us understand the de facto feudal relationships between Sweden, the U.K., and the United States. Assange's extradition dilemma is concisely explained in THIS link while the political pressures and collusion currently keeping him illegally corralled are implicit in Ray McGovern's interview with RT.COM.
In part he says: "after I saw all this going on, I suggested that there should be a burial, a requiem, a funeral for the Magna Carta because it is no longer addressed by rogue nations, such as the UK and the US." And he closes the RT interview beautifully: "I'll add one more thing here: my Catholic worker friends in Los Angeles have a bumper sticker, and it says: 'Jesus loves WikiLeaks!'. And they have a little quotation from Luke's gospel, which says: 'Nothing that is hidden remains hidden, everything will be revealed'".
U.S.intelligence is working 24/7 to delay that inevitable outcome as long as possible.
President-elect Donald Trump has solicited input to help prioritize issues to be addressed in the first 100 days of his administration. We encourage everyone to participate in showing the new administration which items on the survey list are important to the citizenry. The survey is reached here: Trump's 100-Day Plan of Action Survey.
The text of the President-elect's solicitation letter is in our initial post regarding this survey. Today there are about 50 calendar days remaining until inauguration ao let YOUR priorities be known while there is still time.