08/19/20

Now They Want a Trump Crimes Commission

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Yup, both Congressman Eric Swalwell and Joy Reid of MSNBC are calling for a post-Trump presidency Crimes Commission. Be careful what you ask for considering the work being done by AG Barr, John Durham, and John Bash, not to mention the work of Senators Graham and Johnson. Timing is everything in Washington DC… lots to still be revealed. This comes on the heels of the Senate Intelligence (bi-partisan) report on Russia and the Trump campaign. Betcha Joy Reid hardly read it at all.

You gotta wonder if Reid or Swalwell have even considered ALL the crimes of the Obama administration or just a few of the Biden family clan… those from say, Iraq or Ukraine or China.

How about this –>

The “U.S.-China Strong” group was founded to continue two Obama-era initiatives known as “100,000 Strong” and “1,000,000 Strong,” both of which sought to increase the number of Americans studying in China and introduce China-focused curricula into American schools.

The programs were promoted by the Obama-Biden administration despite valid concerns over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sanctioned espionage, intellectual property theft, and propaganda.

Repeatedly praised by then-Vice President Biden, the initiative is no longer able to tap into U.S. tax dollars and now collaborates with a host of CCP-linked – and in some cases wholly-owned – entities including the Bank of China and Confucius Institutes. More here.

Joe Biden to Authoritarian Chinese President: U.S. Only ...

But read on…

The Blaze reports: MSNBC host Joy Reid floated the idea of a potential future Biden administration establishing a “Trump Crimes Commission” to investigate President Donald Trump’s actions while in office — and perhaps even during his campaign, Mediaite reported.

Such a move would be unprecedented in American politics, as it is a longstanding norm that successors do not use their authority to investigate former political opponents.

Reid, an outspoken Trump critic, made the suggestion Tuesday night while discussing the final release of the bipartisan Senate report on Russian interference in the 2016 election with former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

“It strikes me in just reading through this that Paul Manafort did to the United States what he had previously done to Ukraine,” Reid said. “He had messed with their elections in the past in order to put a [Russian President Vladimir] Putin puppet in charge. And now you have a president who is ruminating apparently on meeting with Vladimir Putin in New York, has talked about putting him back in the G7, and seems to be doing everything — you know, if there was a Christmas list that Vladimir Putin would have put together, it couldn’t have gotten any better than what Donald Trump is doing.”

Reid is not the first to float such an idea. Journalist Andrew Feinberg and MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner have also called for a crimes commission to be empaneled, along with Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California.

***

Rhodes, in response to Reid’s prompting, essentially agreed with the proposition but with a few caveats about how it would look and how it should be executed.

“There is no question in my mind, Joy, that there has to be an accountability process if Joe Biden wins, to protect the integrity of our democracy,” he said. “It’s not about getting revenge. It’s not about going after political opponents. That’s what Donald Trump does. It’s about sending a message that if you collude with, facilitate, coordinate with a foreign adversary and hacking private materials and releasing them that there are going to be consequences.”

He added: “We cannot just say we’re going to turn the page. We have to deal with this as a country. And so I really think it’s essential that we have some accountability process if Joe Biden wins the election.”

08/19/20

Chinese Regime Rushes to Destroy Files Overseas

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

In part: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has directed certain overseas Party cells to destroy sensitive documents and safeguard Party secrets, in response to heightened scrutiny in the West of the regime’s covert activities abroad, an internal document obtained by The Epoch Times reveals.

A notice issued in August by China’s state-owned oil giant China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) instructed that the company’s overseas offices in more than ten countries, including Australia and Canada, must “urgently destroy or transfer sensitive documents” relating to “overseas Party-building activities.”

China National Petroleum Corporation - Barco

Party-building activities overseas, according to New York-based China commentator Qin Peng, refer to the CCP’s efforts to expand its global influence. Under this program, Chinese consulates can instruct Chinese multinational companies to carry out tasks beyond their business operations, such as collecting intelligence, stealing sensitive information, and influencing local officials, he said.

The notice said that important documents that can’t be easily destroyed may be given to the Chinese embassy in Cambodia for safekeeping.

It also directs the company’s Party members not to divulge sensitive information to local law enforcement.

“When subject to foreign investigations, Party members and cadres must abide by [the principle of] ‘strictly guarding Party secrets,’” the document said. “This is an iron rule and discipline.”

The directive was a response to recent actions by the United States and other Western governments, the document said, citing an incident in Australia where authorities searched and seized mobile phones and computers of Chinese diplomatic personnel because they contained material relating to the CCP. It did not provide further detail about this incident.

The United States has in recent months escalated efforts in combating Chinese espionage and malign influence activities. The Trump administration in July ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, saying the diplomatic outpost was a “hub of spying and intellectual property theft.” Federal agents also made a string of arrests of suspected undercover Chinese military officers studying in the country, who prosecutors say are part of a broader network spanning 50 U.S. cities.

The regime’s covert foreign influence operations have also come under the spotlight in many democracies, particularly in Australia, where the government has stepped up actions targeting Chinese influence in politics and university campuses.

Nicholas Eftimiades, a former senior U.S. intelligence official and author of the book “Chinese Intelligence Operations,” told The Epoch Times that the incident in Australia may have referred to an unreported seizure by border officials at the country’s ports of entry, or the recent raid of a Chinese-Australian’s home as part of an investigation into Chinese foreign interference.

Going Underground

The notice said the United States, the U.K., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand were “highly sensitive countries,” and directed staff in those countries to delete all Party-building materials from electronic devices and destroy physical files. Where documents can’t be destroyed, they should be “sealed and stored” in a secure location or handed over to the Chinese embassy in Cambodia, the document instructed.

In Australia and Canada, CNPC staff are to report to their local Chinese consulate the status of how they have dealt with “sensitive urgent information,” the notice said.

The document also demands that all the company’s overseas party organizations, particularly those located in Malaysia, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, should “proactively accept the leadership role of the Party committee at Cambodia’s Chinese embassy.”

The instructions also emphasized limiting public exposure of overseas Party activities. It prohibited events from being promoted on Chinese social media such as Weibo and WeChat and issuing public reports of such activities. Communications about Party members or organizations and reports on Party-building activities should be sent via encrypted channels. Party members were also banned from raising the Chinese national flag, wearing the Party badge, and displaying the content of Party activities on notice boards.

Chinese diplomats return from Houston consulate shut by US ...

In addition, when holding Party-building activities, staff are not to disclose the identities of Party members and their Party positions, the notice said.

‘Damage Control’

Eftimiades said that it’s very likely this directive was issued to other state-owned enterprises. The notice, he said, revealed an “extraordinary global operation to protect information, to restrict activities so that they don’t come up on the radar of foreign governments.”

James Carafano, vice president of the Heritage Foundation’s institute for national security and foreign policy, said this move would not be surprising given that the regime is likely anticipating much more scrutiny from Western countries.

“If there’s one thing they’re really good at, it’s covering up their tracks,” Carafano told The Epoch Times.

The notice also reveals the close cooperation between the regime and state-owned companies, Eftimiades said.

“A huge dimension of this is the role of the consulates in directing and coordinating the activities of state-owned enterprises abroad,” he said.

The Chinese regime also publicly reveals how Chinese consulates preside over overseas Chinese companies.

A document on “risk prevention guidelines” for overseas Chinese companies, found on the website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, points out that companies must register with their local consulates and accept their “guidance and management.”

In the event of sudden “safety-related incidents,” Chinese companies must do their public relations under the guidance of corresponding consulates and related Chinese agencies, to “positively guide the public opinion.”

In March 2019, Qi Yu, secretary of the Party committee at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held a meeting, during which the committee said Chinese consulates should “enhance their political understanding…in order to better serve” the Party.

While the document suggests the CCP has become more cautious, countries shouldn’t let up their guard, Qin warns, adding that as these activities go underground, the Chinese regime is likely to engage in more covert actions, and it’s a long-term threat that countries shouldn’t dismiss.

08/19/20

N. Korea has 60 Nuclear Bombs, 5000 Tons of Chemical Weapons

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

An Army report has the following information in part regarding North Korea:

A new assessment made by the United States Department of the Army estimates that the North Korean regime is in possession of massive amounts of conventional and non-conventional weapons that they are “highly likely” to use in specific circumstances, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

The assessment was published in a report entitled “North Korean Tactics,” and attributes North Korea’s huge armaments program to a desire to “prevent other countries from contemplating regime change.” Apparently, Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, took note of what happened to his Libyan counterpart Muammar Gaddafi and “does not want something similar to happen” to him. (Gaddafi was killed by rebel Libyan forces after a multi-national force including NATO countries attacked Libya with the stated goal of imposing an arms embargo, sanctions, and an assets freeze against regime leaders.)

According to the report, North Korea already has between 20 and 60 nuclear bombs and “the capacity to produce six new devices each year.” It also boasts the world’s third-largest stockpile of chemical weapons – between 2,500 and 5,000 tons of various substances – and is engaged in research into biological warfare as well. “Only one kilogram of anthrax could kill up to 50,000 people in Seoul,” the capital of South Korea, the report’s authors note.

Another ongoing source of concern is North Korea’s Cyber Warfare Guidance Unit, which employs over 6,000 computer hackers who “can successfully conduct invasive computer warfare activities from the safety of its own territory.” North Korean operatives are known to already be operating in several foreign countries including Belarus, China, India, Malaysia, and Russia.

Negotiations between the United States and North Korea broke down entirely following an unproductive summit between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in February 2019.

Further details in the report to Congress include:

North Korea’s military “uses tactics based on former Soviet or current Russian doctrine, Chinese developments, lessons learned, and observation of recent military actions,” according to a new US Army manual on the subject.

“While North Korea maintains large amounts of military equipment, much of it is outdated making it quantitatively superior to most armies but qualitatively inferior,” the new manual said. See North Korean Tactics, Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 7-100.2, 24 July 2020.

But North Korea has proved resourceful in other areas, including offensive cyber warfare.

“The primary organization responsible for computer warfare in North Korea is Bureau 121, which fielded at least 1,000 elite hackers in 2010 who focused on other countries’ computer systems. This number is likely much higher now” and includes “cyberspace teams [deployed] in foreign countries.”

And not least of all, “The country’s possession of a nuclear arsenal and its pursuit of missile technology are attempts to ensure that external powers do not interfere with its internal affairs for fear of a nuclear reprisal,” the Army manual said.

“North Korea is constantly adapting and evolving its capabilities,” the Army said.

***

Formed in the late 1990s, Bureau 121 is unit 121 of the General Bureau of Reconnaissance in North Korea’s military (now made up of 6000 hackers).

Part of the unit is sometimes known as the DarkSeoul Gang, according to a report by Reuters.

Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, North Korea puts a lot of its cash into Bureau 121.

North Korea is still technically at war with South Korea and cyber-warfare is arguably its best weapon. Coming from a defector in 2015, more details were provided to the BBC.

There is an official training school for the younger hacking applicants.

North Korea's Bureau 21 cyber-warriors trained up for ...

Students are sent to the Military school after graduating from Geumseong Middle School in the capital. A report on the cyber threat written by US Major Steve Sin in 2009 revealed that Unit 121 had a base in Chilbosan Hotel, in Shenyang, China, from where they could launch their attacks. The 164-room three-star hotel is jointly owned by the North Koreans and Chinese. More details here.