BATTLE FOR REDACTED RUSSIAN HACKING REPORT
In news that should surprise no one, the colluder-in-chief’s administration “is refusing to release a redacted version of a key report President Barack Obama received in January on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” POLITICO reports citing court filings. According to POLITICO, “Then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made public an unclassified version of that report, but the Electronic Privacy Information Center brought a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit demanding a copy of the classified report given to Obama at the same time. EPIC said the unclassified version omitted ‘critical technical evidence’ that could help the public assess U.S. intelligence agencies’ claims that Russia did make efforts to affect the outcome of the 2016 race.” But on Monday the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Edward Gistaro said in a court filing, “that releasing the original report with classified information blacked out would be a field day for foreign intelligence operatives, including the very Russians the report accuses of undertaking the interference.” In other words, the intelligence community wishes to protect “sources and methods,” POLITICO reports. Trump also wishes to save his hide. Either way the public does not get the truth it is not fully ready and willing to accept, accept for a few of us who have knowledge of Russia’s methods and a pretty good idea of what we are looking at and many anti-Trump partisans – a far larger group. Either way, sucks for the truth and sunlight on it.
T REX WARNS LAVROV, WHITE HOUSE WARNS SYRIA + TRUMP DOESN’T CARE
The Daily Beast reports, “Hours before the White House issued an ominous warning to Syria’s dictator against launching another chemical assault, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave the same message to Bashar Assad’s patron in Moscow”. T Rex told his buddy Lavrov, “the U.S. sees that Russia and Syria may be prepping for another chemical weapons attack; and that there will be consequences if Assad follows through with it.” But Russia’s puppet in Washington instead “displayed what two White House officials characterized as relative indifference and passivity towards the subject, instead opting to focus his public and private energies towards fuming at his domestic enemies in the Democratic Party and the ‘fake news.’” Surprise! Trump only cares about himself not war crimes, especially since he is likely prepared to carry out a few of his own some day if this drags on into years, decades perhaps even. One official threw the orange lunatic under the bus and said, “The president cares more about CNN and the Russia story than [Syria] at the moment”. Meanwhile “The Russian foreign ministry emphasized a different aspect of Tillerson’s call,” because of course. “In a statement issued Monday summarizing the conversation between the two chief diplomats, Moscow said Lavrov urged Tillerson to prevent ‘provocations’ by the U.S. and its allies against ‘Syrian government forces carrying out operations against terrorists.’” See what that war on terror rhetoric has gotten us? Terrorists are like fake news, something to be evoked to discredit adversaries. The Daily Beast notes, “Hours after the Tillerson-Lavrov call, press secretary Sean Spicer’s own missive said vaguely that Assad and his military would ‘pay a heavy price’ for any ‘mass murder attack using chemical weapons.’ Spicer conspicuously did not mention Russia in his statement.” P.S. White House statements now resemble B-movies starring Trump and Kremlin favorites like Sylvester Stallone and Steven Seagal.
From The Daily Beast.
NEW GLOBAL RANSOMWARE ATTACK STARTS IN UKRAINE
The Washington Post reports, “A new wave of powerful cyberattacks hit Europe and beyond on Tuesday in a possible reprise of a widespread ransomware assault in May. Affected were a Russian oil giant, a Danish shipping and energy conglomerate, and Ukrainian government ministries, which were brought to a standstill in a wave of ransom demands. The virus even downed systems at the site of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, forcing scientists to monitor radiation levels manually.” According to The Washington Post, “Cyber researchers say that the virus, which was linked to malware called Petrwrap or Petya, used an ‘exploit’ developed by the National Security Agency that was later leaked onto the Internet by hackers,” working with WikiLeaks, the Russian intelligence asset. “The attack mainly targeted Eastern Europe but also hit companies in Spain, Denmark, Norway and Britain,” The Washington Post notes, adding, “the damage was worst in Ukraine.” The Washington Post reports, “Researchers at Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team, in Russia, estimated that 60 percent of infected computers were in Ukraine and 30 percent in Russia.” While suspicions in Ukraine fell on Russia, Russian oil giant Rosneft was also hit and “Photographs leaked to the news media from a Rosneft-owned regional oil company showed computers displaying ransomware demands similar to those in Ukraine,” The Washington Post reports. The last such global ransomware attack in May was attributed to North Korea.
From The Washington Post.
NATO TO SPEND $12 BILLION THIS YEAR; RUSSIA NOT TRUMP THE REASON
The AP reports, “NATO’s chief says U.S. allies are projected to spend around $12 billion more on defense this year, after President Donald Trump berated them for failing to boost military budgets,” albeit Russia not Trump is the reason for that as Trump is just a Russian puppet president. According to the AP, “Only the United States, Britain, Estonia, debt-burden Greece and Poland met NATO’s spending targets last year. Romania says it will meet the 2 percent of GDP guideline this year, while Latvia and Lithuania plan to in 2018.” Viva Baltika!
From the AP.
MANAFORT OFF THE SHORE: COVER YOUR ASS ON UKRAINE
Bloomberg reports, “Ukrainian prosecutors said they’d found no proof of illicit payments to U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager,” Paul Manafort, “from his work for the party of the nation’s ousted leader.” Last year, “Anti-corruption investigators in the ex-Soviet republic said,” they had found ledgers showing $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments between 2007 and 2012 earmarked for Paul Manafort from Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. But a probe uncovered no evidence, chief anti-graft prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytskyi told Ukrainian television.” Of course “The news follows last week’s visit by Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko to Washington, where he met Trump in the White House.” This is called you scratch my back and I will scratch yours. Unfortunately global corruption is a corrosive that when untreated metastasizes to infect the whole corpus of the globe. Also on Tuesday, The Washington Post reports, “A consulting firm led by Paul Manafort, who chaired Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for several months last year, retroactively filed forms Tuesday showing that his firm received $17.1 million over two years from a political party that dominated Ukraine before its leader fled to Russia in 2014.” According to The Washington Post, “Manafort disclosed the total payments his firm received between 2012 and 2014 in a Foreign Agents Registration Act filing”.
PODESTA MET WITH HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE YESTERDAY
The AP reports, “Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman has met with a House committee investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. John Podesta spoke with members of the House intelligence committee behind closed doors Tuesday. He told reporters afterward that he was ‘happy to cooperate’ but couldn’t say what questions he’d been asked or detail his answers.” Recall, “The hacking of Podesta’s personal email account and the release of those emails by WikiLeaks during the late stages of the campaign is one focus of the committee’s investigation,” the AP notes.
From the AP.
ROGER STONE TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE
Former Nixon aide and “Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone is set to appear July 24 before the House Intelligence Committee,” POLITICO reports, adding, “The hearing will be closed, said Stone’s lawyer, Robert Buschel.” Of interest to investigators on the House intelligence committee are Stone’s “communications last year with Moscow-linked hackers and WikiLeaks, which published personal emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.” POLITICO notes, Stone “talked in March about being in touch with ‘Guccifer 2.’” — the hacker persona that U.S. intelligence officials say is a Russian front for channeling stolen documents but who Stone insists is not a Moscow asset — and boasted during the campaign about his contact with WikiLeaks.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
REPUBLICANS HEAR MURMURS OF REAGAN’S LEGACY YET
Omertà to Trump and Russia has not stifled the last of Ronald Reagan’s legacy in the Duma, or the Congress rather, as Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois told POLITICO, “he is prepared to wage a rebellion and raise ‘holy hell’ in the face of new efforts by the White House and its allies to water down a bill enshrining into law tough sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s government.” But will he? Kinzinger is on the House foreign affairs committee but he is also “a rare voice inside the GOP willing to publicly critique the president of his own party on foreign policy,” because the rest have been neutered by fealty to power, the most powerful drug of all. Just say no, kids! But everyone is addicted to the Russian mafia state for whatever reason of likely kompramat be it money, black mail, girls, boys — none of them good reasons — as “a recent poll of Republicans suggested Putin was more popular with them than Obama.” That is remarkable; the Russia Party Republicans will take a murderer and a massive thief over an American president, largely because that president was black. America first unless black people are involved, amirite?
OF RUSSIA’S NEW AMBASSADOR TO US: UNDER EU SANCTIONS
The Washington Times reports on Anatoly Antonov, the incoming Russian Ambassador to the U.S., quoting military analyst Alexander Goltz, “He played a central role in the Kremlin’s deception to underreport the number of troops it had in the Crimea operation,” adding, “And for that, he is under sanctions by the EU.” Goltz said, “He is a 100 percent cynical guy.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH is only about 80-90 percent cynical, so maybe there is a chance of getting along with Antonov afterall. Ambassador Antonov will arrive in Washington where there is “zero trust,” except for among the traitor trash in the White House and his cronies who still pledge allegiance to the orange lunatic. And whoever else’s arm they have twisted into compliance with Russian mafia state wishes (paging Sean Hannity and Alan Dershowitz).
From The Washington Times.
TIME FOR TRUMP’S FAKE NEWS
The Washington Post reports, “The framed copy of Time Magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump’s golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.” The cover story was, “Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” And “Above the Time nameplate, there was another headline in all caps: “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS . . . EVEN TV!” Guess what: it’s bullshit. Fake news! “The Time cover is a fake,” The Washington Post reports. Turns out “There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time Magazine. And there was no issue at all in 2009 that had Trump on the cover.” “‘I can confirm that this is not a real TIME cover,’ Kerri Chyka, a spokeswoman for Time Inc., wrote in an email to The Washington Post.” The Washington Post notes that it “found that the fake cover had been hung in at least four of Trump’s 17 golf clubs.” Hilariously, “Trump has bragged that he’s been on more Time covers than anyone. ‘I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time Magazine,’ he said during a January speech at CIA headquarters” that was a scandalous act of desecration by a raging narcissist in front of a memorial wall for fallen agents. However, “That is wrong. Richard Nixon has appeared on far more than Trump.” Before politics, he was only on the cover once in 1989. That was a magical year for another reason: winds of change.
From The Washington Post.
WAS CNN SET UP TO GIVE TRUMP AMMO AGAINST THE NETWORK?
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump resumed beating his ‘fake news!’ drum Tuesday, going off on CNN after the network retracted a story about alleged ties between Trump’s allies and Russia.” Serious questions deserve to be asked as to whether CNN was deliberately set up to give Trump ammunition to use against the network he has attacked ad nauseum ever since it flipped from airing his rallies in full for ratings to doing its civic duty, in part, at times, because they do plenty for the orange lunatic yet by putting Kellyanne Conway and other pro-Trump shills on air yet, such as recent hire Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post’s chief normalizer. Of course Twitler used his baby thumbs to lash out “insinuating that there were other stories that merited retracting.” He also attacked their ratings, but he has been tremendous, big league for their ratings as CNN responded, in a tweet naturally, “CNN just posted its most-watched second quarter in history.” That is what this descent into authoritarianism is all about, right? Ratings. As long as Trump is making money and CNN is making money, and defense contractors are making money too, this dance on the ashes of our democracy and way of life is just a dance – for them. Or as W.B. Yeats asks in his appropriately titled poem, especially for use on this occasion, “Among Schoolchildren,” “How can we tell the dancer from the dance?” Answer: we cannot.
From The Washington Post.
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
SOME SAY THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PEACEFUL NUKES
CBS News reports, “A group of former officials from the U.S., Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom are calling on President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to collaborate on issues involving nuclear deterrence.” This is in defiance of TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s demand that if the Russians are going to nuke us they show some mettle and do it in broad daylight when we are all awake and can really enjoy the spectacle before our certain annihilation. However, CBS News reports, “The group, which includes former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Georgia, is urging Mr. Trump and Putin to take advantage of their first opportunity to meet in Hamburg, Germany next month to coordinate on a series of steps that reduce nuclear and other military risks and to prevent terrorist attacks.” Their letter begins, “The starting point could be a new Presidential Joint Declaration by the United States and the Russian Federation declaring that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. Sheesh that is not very exciting, scary, #winning, call it what you will. Where is the ratings coup drumming up fear in the populace in that? Who can make money off of de-escalation? CBS News reports the letter said, “Other steps both leaders could take, the group argued, involve increasing communication between their militaries, preventing terrorist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from acquiring radiological and nuclear material and reaching informal understandings about cyber dangers.” Islamists with nukes is like the sexiest thing that could ever happen to future Hollywood based-on-a-true-story productions and they want to take away that blockbuster potential? Fools! Anti-capitalist fools! CBS News reports, “officials who signed the letter are former British Defense Secretary Des Browne, former German Ambassador to the U.S. Wolfgang Ischinger,” who is now the chairman of the Munich Security Conference, “and former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.” This might protect us, but they should all know better. Think about the engines of capitalism and Hollywood, gentlemen, and reconsider!
From CBS News.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
COLBERT RETURNS TO AIR FROM RUSSIA WITH JOKES
Vanity Fair reports Colbert returned to the air Monday night after filming in Russia last week, promising to infuse future episodes with the footage he shot there which is still in the editing suite, but he had lots of jokes to make of his time in Russia. Colbert said, “It is good to be back in the U.S.A. I don’t know if you knew this, but I was in Russia last week. You know who did know I was in Russia? Russian intelligence. Hardcore fans, evidently. Followed me everywhere. Also got some attention from American intelligence. A couple guys seemed to pop up everywhere we went.” Colbert added, “Keep your eye on a comedian . . . I could be giving state secrets to the Russians. Oh, wait. Somebody’s already got that covered.” If Russians were not long suffering and America’s state was not infected with the Russian mafia state cancer, and this was all an elaborate farce, even a tragicomic one, it might be more possible to really laugh. Sadly, ignorant Americans – who represent the vast majority of Americans – can laugh because most, especially white people, have no idea what it is like to be stalked and followed and harassed by a state or its security forces. He did joke about his announcement that he was running for president, which he made while taking vodka shots on Russian TV. “All I said in that little clip there was that I was considering a run. If I decide to run, obviously, I’m not gonna ask the Russians to help my campaign. O.K.? I’d have my son-in-law ask them.”
From Vanity Fair.
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