05/23/17

Industrial Shares Lead Markets Higher

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Equities advanced as President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia netted deals that lifted industrial shares and crude pushed to a one month high before OPEC meets this week. There is now speculation the economy can weather the political turmoil and grow at a pace greater than the past 10 years.

How will President Trump fare at the upcoming G-7 and NATO meetings? Is speculation rising that he will have similar success in Europe as he has had in the Middle East?

This week the Minutes from the May FOMC meeting are released. Odds are rising that an interest rate increase is all but a certainty at the June meeting. To remind all, before the Comey firing, odds were at 100% that the overnight will be increased at the next Committee gathering.

As written many times, I believe society, the economy, the global order is in making a generational change. Most political scientists will agree such changes occur every 30-40 years and such is to be expected.

To most, change is frightening even if the status quo is uncomfortable. There will be winners and there will be losers.

It is against this backdrop that explains why I believe a macroeconomic and geopolitical thesis is required before making any decisions, a view that is inverse from the passivity investing strategy that is today dominating the markets.

Last night the foreign markets were up. London was up 0.16%, Paris was up 0.73% and Frankfurt was up 0.56%. China was down 2.21%, Japan was down 0.33% and Hang Sang was up 0.05%.

The Dow should open flat. The 10-year is flat at a 2.24% yield.

05/23/17

Best Buds Mueller and Comey Target Trump

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post, a mouthpiece for Obama holdovers in the CIA and other agencies, reports that “sources” say a current White House official is under investigation as “a significant person of interest” in Russia-gate, but that the sources “would not further identify the official.”

This is a case of anonymous officials talking about an anonymous official.

Interestingly, the term “person of interest” was used by the FBI against scientist Steven Hatfill in the post-9/11anthrax letters case. He was totally innocent and the Department of Justice paid him $5.8 million in damages.

After dismissing Hatfill and several others as suspects, the FBI blamed a dead U.S. Army scientist, Bruce Ivins. However, evidence indicates that the more likely culprits were al-Qaeda operatives who got the anthrax from a U.S. lab. The truth was too embarrassing for the FBI to reveal.

The new Russia-gate special counsel, former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, presided over this fiasco. What’s more, Mueller was sued for malfeasance in the case by FBI agent Richard Lambert who was put in charge of the anthrax investigation.

Yet, here is what we read about Mueller, who was FBI director under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama:

  • “Widely respected by members of both parties” and “an unflinching advocate for facts,” claims The New York Times.
  • “Skilled and upright,” writes Kimberley A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal.
  • “Widely respected” and “highly regarded by both parties,” writes Andrew McCarthy of National Review.
  • “Uniquely suited to the task,” says The Washington Post.

These comments reflect the consensus of what President Trump would call the “swamp.”

A New York Times editorial was titled “Robert Mueller: The Special Counsel America Needs.” Making no mention of the anthrax debacle, it called Mueller “one of the few people with the experience, stature and reputation to see the job through.”

A far different opinion is offered by Carl M. Cannon, executive editor and Washington Bureau chief of RealClearPolitics, who noted that the FBI director fired by Trump, James Comey, and Mueller “have a long history as professional allies. For Mueller to be brought in to investigate the behavior of the guy who sacked Comey seems a conflict of interest.”

Cannon pointed to their work on the anthrax case, saying, “Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people…”

Like Mueller, Comey, who was deputy attorney general, declared Hatfill guilty.

Leaving aside Comey’s mishandling of another major investigation, the Hillary emails, consider his conduct and behavior.

While President Trump has been attacked for calling Comey a “nut job” and “crazy,” Comey friend Benjamin Wittes says the former FBI director tried to hide in the curtains during a White House visit for a ceremony honoring law enforcement officials who provided security at the inauguration.

The New York Times reported, “Mr. Comey—who is 6 feet 8 inches tall and was wearing a dark blue suit that day—told Mr. Wittes that he tried to blend in with the blue curtains in the back of the room, in the hopes that Mr. Trump would not spot him and call him out.”

Was the 6 foot 8 inch Comey so crazy that he went to a White House event with Trump but tried to hide from him in the drapes?

Wittes, in his own words, says that Comey “felt that he could not refuse a presidential invitation, particularly not one that went to a broad array of law enforcement leadership. So he went. But as he told me the story, he tried hard to blend into the background and avoid any one-on-one interaction. He was wearing a blue blazer and noticed that the drapes were blue. So he stood in the back, right in front of the drapes, hoping Trump wouldn’t notice him camouflaged against the wall. If you look at the video, Comey is standing about as far from Trump as it is physically possible to be in that room.”

However, Comey was wearing a red tie that stood out like a sore thumb. His suit was darker than the drapes. Plus, Comey is so tall that he is hard to ignore, even with drapes behind him. Frankly this is nothing more than a diversion from the real issue—FBI corruption.

Reporters would rather write about the drapes than investigate the corruption under Comey and his predecessor, Mueller.

Who is Benjamin Wittes? He is the co-author of The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones—Confronting A New Age of Threat. He discusses the anthrax attacks in the book.

Five years after the FBI “closed” the case, Wittes doesn’t seem to accept the verdict that Bruce Ivins was the villain. He refers to Ivins as the FBI’s “suspect,” quickly adding, “or whoever else may have been responsible for the attacks.”

So why didn’t Comey reopen the case? One possible explanation is that he didn’t want to upset Mueller and the FBI officials who engaged in the cover-up. He had approved their targeting of, and conclusions about, Hatfill.

In return, Mueller, as special counsel in Russia-gate, can be expected to do Comey a big favor. He will not probe Comey’s malfeasance in using the phony “Trump Dossier” to investigate President Trump and his team. That is the real story—how Hillary donors financed by pro-Russian interests hired a former British agent to concoct an assortment of charges against Trump.

Mueller is a company man; he will protect the FBI and its former director and friend. The fix is in.

This is a far more important story than Comey hiding in the drapes. Writing about drapes may sound silly, but it is yet another way for the media to suggest that Comey was afraid of Trump trying to influence his inquiry into Russia-gate.

The story is not how Trump influenced the investigation, but rather how Comey used the phony “Trump Dossier” to go down dead-end roads and produce no results. It’s the anthrax investigation all over again.

Mueller’s job is to pump life into Comey’s fiasco, and turn the tables on Trump for firing Comey.

Meanwhile, corruption in the FBI goes unreported, and Congress fails to do adequate oversight of the intelligence community, which is supposed to keep us safe.

Retired Foreign Service officer and intelligence analyst Kenneth J. Dillon told Accuracy in Media, “My research on the 2011 anthrax mailings case suggests that Mueller was responsible for the suicide of the alleged but wrongly accused mailer, Bruce Ivins, as well as for the subsequent cover-up. Mueller appears to have lied to a Senate committee about Ivins, and destroyed key alibi evidence for him. The new FBI director needs to reopen the anthrax mailings investigation and get to the bottom of this shocking and outrageous case.”

Dillon’s research indicates that Ivins prepared the anthrax to test vaccines, but the anthrax was sent to various civilian labs, including one infiltrated by an al-Qaeda operative. The anthrax was transferred to another al-Qaeda operative, Abderraouf Jdey, and used in the attacks. “There was a very lax attitude in the pre-9/11 era relating to the handling of anthrax,” Dillon says.

Why would this fact be suppressed? “The FBI was embarrassed by the fact that they had detained Jdey in August of 2001 and had let him go,” he says. Jdey was free, not only to mail the anthrax letters but according to Dillon’s theory, he went on to become the shoebomber on Flight 587, which crashed on November 12, 2001, and was conveniently blamed on co-pilot error.

“If indeed Abderraouf Jdey brought down Flight 587 with a shoe bomb, the U.S. Government would have been deeply negligent in permitting an al Qaeda operative whose whereabouts were known to carry out this attack,” Dillon notes.

Mueller has fooled a lot of people. His appointment is good news for the Swamp but bad news for Trump.

Carl M. Cannon seems to think the outcome is preordained, noting the attitude of “official Washington” and what the “insiders” want to see happen—impeachment leading to Trump’s ouster.

Unless Trump picks a new FBI director who will get to the bottom of the FBI’s corruption by shining the light on the mishandling of the anthrax probe, Trump may be hiding in the drapes before the Russia-gate investigation is over.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.