09/17/20

SecDef Says China, Russia Have ‘Weaponized Space’

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: Now we are beginning to understand the creation of the new military branch known as the Space Force and further it is important to embrace the work of NASA and SpaceX.

Is the Space Force Necessary? If Done Correctly, Yes | CyberDB

A year ago, two intelligence agencies have recently released documents that describe in general terms the nature of the threat. Russia and China are developing kinetic and non-kinetic means designed to disrupt, degrade, and destroy U.S. space systems. Mechanisms being tested include directed energy weapons such as lasers, spacecraft that can physically manipulate satellites, terrestrial anti-satellite munitions, jammers that can disrupt uplinks and downlinks, and cyber tools that can impair satellites, ground stations, and the equipment of warfighters reliant on space-based systems.

For instance, China is believed to possess 120 intelligence and reconnaissance satellites, many of which are operated by the People’s Liberation Army to track the movements of U.S. forces. Russia only possesses about 20 such satellites. And while Russia pioneered development of systems for hacking and attacking U.S. space systems, it is China that is continually increasing its outlays for counterspace technologies. For example, Beijing tested an anti-satellite weapon in 2007 and has continued refining that technology.

With a typical Army combat brigade containing 2,000 pieces of equipment dependent on space systems to function, this is a serious matter. In wartime, counterspace attacks could prevent the joint force from accessing GPS signals vital to the operation of smart bombs, block the transmission of critical intelligence, and even impede the ability of the president to receive timely warning of a nuclear attack. The nation’s entire global military posture could be degraded by disruption of links traveling through orbital assets. More here from Forbes

The U.S. plan for a Space Force risks escalating a 'space arms race'

China and Russia have introduced weapons to space, including killer satellites, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Wednesday.

“In space, Moscow and Beijing have turned a once peaceful arena into a warfighting domain,” Esper said.

“They have weaponized space through killer satellites, directed energy weapons, and more in an effort to exploit our systems and chip away at our military advantage.”

Directed energy weapons use converted chemical or electrical energy and focus it on a target, resulting in physical damage. Weapons used by the U.S. military include systems that use high energy lasers.

Directed energy weapons can be very effective against swarm attacks, a Pentagon official said in 2018.

“We often think about directed energy as large lasers, and I’ve certainly been involved with some of that for decades, but we also have high power microwaves which can be very effective as what we call an electronics kill,” Dr. Michael D. Griffin, undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, said at the time.

NTD Photo

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson inspects new technologies being developed and tested at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility and USS Desert Ship, a land-based launch facility designed to simulate a ship at sea, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., on Jan. 25, 2017. (Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Elliott Fabrizio)

“That sort of thing—it’s really hard to envision handling swarming attacks by purely kinetic means—so that’s one of the future threats that I think we face.”

Killer satellites are satellites with the capability to kill and destroy.

***

Esper said America’s competitors and adversaries “exploit cyberspace to undermine our security without confronting our conventional strengths.”

“They do this all in an increasingly gray zone of engagement that keeps us in a perpetual state of competition. The national defense strategy guides us as we adapt the force to this challenging complex security environment by status quo and continue outpacing the competition,” he added.

But strong investment is enabling the military to move forward with developing hypersonic weapons and other modern tools.

“Thanks to our largest research and development budget in the department’s history, we are advancing critical technologies to maintain our military edge in areas such as hypersonic weapons, directed energy and autonomous systems,” Esper said.

Esper was speaking during the Air Force Association’s Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.

Following an increase of $3.6 billion, the Department of Defense’s budget for research and development was $95.3 billion in fiscal year 2019, according to its financial report (pdf).

President Donald Trump’s administration officially launched Space Force late last year, establishing it as a sixth branch of the military.

“Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital,” Trump said when signing legislation that included funding for the branch.

The Defense Space Strategy, released earlier this year, outlines what the United States needs to do to achieve a “comprehensive military advantage” in space within 10 years.

Three key objectives are identified for the Space Force: to maintain America’s space superiority; to provide space support to all joint military operations; and to “ensure space stability”—or to deter aggression and uphold international agreements in space with a persistent presence, similar to how the Navy polices international waters.

Esper said he’s proud of the progress made in implementing the strategy, which will “ensure our dominance across all domains.”

Esper spoke a day after Gen. John Raymond, who heads Space Force.

Raymond revealed that the force’s Space Based Infrared System satellites were used to detect Iranian missiles aimed at American war planes in January.

Raymond praised the 2nd Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.

“They operated the world’s best missile warning capabilities and they did outstanding work, and I’m very very proud of them,” he said at the conference.

Trump had said “an early warning system that worked very well” helped avoid U.S. casualties but didn’t disclose the nature of the system.

09/9/20

Gen. Vallely on Antifa, the Insurrection Act, and Civil Disorder in America

By: Citizens Commission on National Security

U.S. Army Major General Paul Vallely (Ret.) speaks out on REELTalk with Audrey Russo. They discuss the current state of affairs regarding the civil unrest in major cities across the country. Should President Trump invoke the Insurrection Act? What has been the reaction to Antifa by city leaders where violent rioting and looting has erupted?


09/9/20

Debate = Vindman is the Whistleblower not Ciaramella

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Head fakes or rather deep fakes everywhere. Remember there was some robust chatter claiming that Ukraine was the genesis of the Trump impeachment process? Looks like he could be more right than wrong…

Hat tip to Byron York:

The most interesting thing about Byron York’s exhaustively reported and richly detailed new impeachment book, “Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishment’s Never-Ending War on Trump,” is that the whistleblower who filed the official complaint that got impeachment rolling isn’t ever identified.

It turns out that the heated discussion over the whistleblower, who was previously identified by Real Clear Investigations as the CIA’s Eric Ciaramella, was a diversion from allowing the American people to understand who was the actual instigator of the failed effort to oust President Donald Trump from office.

Rather than being a witness who independently supported the claims of the whistleblower, the National Security Council’s Lt. Col Alex Vindman was the driving force behind the entire operation, according to the book’s interviews with key figures in the impeachment probe and other evidence. The whistleblower’s information came directly from Vindman, investigators determined.

“Vindman was the person on the call who went to the whistleblower after the call, to give the whistleblower the information he needed to file his complaint,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.

“For all intents and purposes, Vindman is the whistleblower here, but he was able to get somebody else to do his dirty work for him,” explained one senior congressional aide.

Vindman was the only person at the National Security Council (NSC) listening in on the infamous call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to be concerned by it. Vindman immediately began talking to his identical twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, who also worked at the NSC. The twins both complained to NSC Counsel John Eisenberg. Alex Vindman talked about it with his direct supervisor Tim Morrison, who was also on the call. He talked about it with another NSC lawyer, Michael Ellis.

Vindman’s identical twin may be called in impeachment probe

Vindman Twins

Vindman testified that he talked to only two people outside the NSC. One was George Kent, a State Department official who dealt with Ukraine. He refused to say who the other person was. Both Vindman and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led the impeachment proceedings, strenuously resisted any attempt by investigators to discuss who the other individual was, admitting only that it was a member of the “intelligence community,” the same nebulous descriptor used for the whistleblower.

In his complaint, the whistleblower claimed “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call” described to him the contents of the conversation. It is unclear if he was sourcing his knowledge  just to multiple Vindmans or any other White House officials.

The description of the call appeared to come from the White House’s rough transcript, which Vindman helped prepare. It repeated Vindman’s unique interpretation of the call as seeking foreign interference in a campaign. It mentioned that lawyers had been informed, and Vindman had done just that. The complaint also included information from public news reports.

At first Schiff publicly promised that the whistleblower would testify and that any attempt by the White House to thwart that would be fought vigorously. But then news broke that Schiff’s office had worked with the whistleblower prior to him filing his complaint. Schiff switched his stance to refusing to allow the whistleblower to testify. What’s more, he refused to allow any investigation into how the Ukraine investigation began.

The real instigator of the Ukraine investigation, Vindman, testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on October 29, 2019, and returned to the House in November for public testimony. York writes that Vindman’s extensive testimony was more complex than news reports suggested.

Vindman repeatedly said that he viewed Trump’s phone call with Zelensky as “wrong,” but he was unable to articulate precisely why. He expressed frustration that the elected president was pushing a foreign policy at odds from the “interagency consensus” of the bureaucracy that he felt should control foreign policy.

Vindman admitted under questioning that he had thrice been offered the prestigious position of defense minister for the Ukraine government. Despite his focus on Ukraine at the NSC, Vindman did not appear knowledgeable about well-established Ukrainian corruption problems. Vindman is a Ukrainian American. He grew hostile with members who sought to understand exactly to whom he had disclosed the phone call.

Using detailed information from interviews with White House officials, members of Congress, and their key staff, York shows how Republicans had to deal with Rep. Adam Schiff’s determination to hide from the American public not just who the whistleblower was but anything about the process that led to the whistleblower complaint.

But Schiff’s behavior inadvertently confirmed how the whistleblower found his information. Every time that members asked about the second non-NSC person Vindman disclosed the call to, Schiff and other Democrats would direct the witness to not answer in order to “protect the whistleblower.” York writes:

Could that have been any clearer? The Republican line of questioning established that: 1) Vindman told two people outside the NSC. 2) One of them was George Kent. And 3) The other was in the Intelligence Community but could not be revealed because Democrats did not want to identify the whistleblower. It did not take a rocket scientist to conclude that that unidentified other person was the whistleblower.

York shows that one of the reasons Republicans stopped pressing the issue was that while they opposed Vindman pushing his own foreign policy goals over the president’s, they respected his military service. “Republicans saw Vindman as a loyal American who had strong and inflexible views on what U.S. policy toward Ukraine should be and who was offended, and spurred to action, when the President of the United States appeared to change them,” York writes.

When Vindman retired from the Army in July 2020, media reports claimed he did so because of a hostile work environment. He had been transferred from the NSC in February 2020, following Trump’s acquittal on the charges that Vindman’s complaints instigated. Vindman received no punishment for his insubordination and disobeying of a direct order to not work with Congress on impeachment.

Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishment’s Never-Ending War on Trump” was released today.

09/5/20

Irregulars and Militias – Are Militias Still Legal in Texas?

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

(Image: The Concord Minute Man of 1775, a monument created by Daniel Chester French)

The most uncomplicated definition of Militia – military force composed of ordinary citizens.

The question has been asked, “Are Militia groups legal in the State of Texas”?

“From 1903 to present, following the Militia Act of 1903, the Texas Militia is legally empowered by Title 32 of the United States Code and Article 4, Section 7 of the Constitution of the State of Texas to “execute the laws of the state, to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions”.

Wikipedia addressed the topic of Unorganized Reserve Militia as follows:

“Militias thus can be either military or paramilitary, depending on the instance. Some of the contexts in which the term “militia” can apply include: forces engaged in a defense activity or service, to protect a community, its territory, property, and laws, the entire able-bodied population of a community, town, county, or state available to be called to arms…

a private (non-governmental) force not necessarily directly supported or sanctioned by its government, (emphasis added)

an irregular armed force that enables its leader to exercise military, economic, or political control over a subnational territory within a sovereign state, an official reserve army composed of citizen soldiers known as the militsiya, a select militia composed of a small, non-representative portion of the population…

The definition is wide open for interpretation; however, that one line, “a private (non-governmental) force not necessarily directly supported or sanctioned by its government”, leaves such an interpretation up to the individual rather than leaving that interpretation up to the government.

Wikipedia went on to include:

“Within the United States, since approximately 1992, there have been a number of private organizations that call themselves militia or unorganized militia.  In states such as Texas, the state constitution classifies male citizens between the ages of 17 and 45 to belong to the “Unorganized Reserve Militia”.  The Texas constitution also grants the county sheriff and the governor of the state the authority to call upon the unorganized reserve militia to uphold the peace, repel invasion, and suppress rebellion, similar to the early “Texas Rangers”.”

It should be noted that the age limitation mentioned as 17 to 45 represent those individuals who can be drafted according to the mandates of the Governor of the State of Texas; however it does not preclude the involvement of individuals who are younger than 17 or older than 45 from being able to serve voluntarily if they so desire.

Other points of interest brought out through further links provided include the following statement:

“Most militia organizations envisage themselves as legally legitimate organizations authorized under constitutional and statute law, with reference to state and federal law of an “unorganized militia”.  Others subscribe to the “insurrection theory” which describes the right of the body politic to rebel against the established government in the face of tyranny. (In the 1951 case Dennis v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the insurrection theory, stating that as long as the government provides for free elections and trials by jury, “political self-defense” cannot be undertaken.)”

Bare in mind much of the article related to militia groups focused on those groups formed to respond against governmental tyranny, real or perceived rather than on citizen groups organized to maintain law and order being threatened by domestic terrorists such as Antifa and/or BLM thugs.

So…If a group of local citizens living in a small community organized themselves into an Unorganized Militia for the purpose of defending their lives and property from those who would violate the laws of the State of Texas, such a non-sanctioned group would be within their Second Amendment Rights as protected by our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Since their militia does not fall into the “insurrection theory” aspect alluded to in the above paragraph, that portion does not apply (even though the Supreme Court got that one wrong; but that’s a whole other article).

The Lone Star Watchmen Militia is an unorganized militia group in Texas which apparently fits the legal parameters which other communities might consider as they work to protect each other’s lives and property.  The following was copied from their website:

“Lone star Watchmen is a Texas Mutual Defense Group. We are Second Amendment based (first and foremost) and are sworn supporters of the United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution. Our Mission is clearly defined as providing for the protection and survival of our families, communities and ultimately Texas through medical, tactical support/security and survival training.

First and foremost we are your average American citizens. We are your citizen soldiers who are always ready to serve.  We are doctors and lawyers; firemen, EMT and police; teachers and tradesmen; retirees and young families like everyone else in your local community.  We come together as a group united by our moral beliefs, and our loyalty to our Constitution and Texas. We live by and support what the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights decrees.

We are not revolutionaries. We are not a hate group. We are not Anti-Government. We are, however, in favor of promoting education and resources for the protection against Tyranny and the corruption of Government officials, bad and unconstitutional legislation.

The word Militia has been linked to many negative groups in the past so now is a good time to learn the truth. We are not a militia- because you are already a part of the Militia.

Everyone is welcome regardless of age, race, religion, gender or political affiliation provided you believe in our great country and the Constitution being the supreme law of our land.  We are a diverse group of ordinary citizens with a love for our Country and for Texas.  We promote the Constitution as a way of life and the only medium for our lives.  Our forefathers fought for us to have this Constitution and we will carry the torch of liberty they lit for us and our future generations.”

That should be enough information to validate the legality of forming a militia group as long as their stated purpose is to uphold the Constitution and Laws of the State of Texas.


t-f-stern-1Self-Educated American, Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer and, most recently, a retired self-employed lock­smith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since January of 2005.

09/4/20

The Curious Connection Between America’s Foreign Wars and the Enemies Within

By: Cliff Kincaid

Let’s understand why a liberal magazine known as The Atlantic would release an anonymously-sourced unsubstantiated story about President Trump allegedly making offensive comments about wounded and fallen soldiers. It has everything to do with misdirection. The magazine knows that Joe Biden’s record on war and peace is scandalous. That means the media have to talk about something else.

Before the story was issued, a liberal outlet released an article, “Joe Biden, don’t let Donald Trump run as the antiwar candidate!” The left was afraid that Trump would run in the last days of the campaign as an anti-war peace candidate and that Biden’s record of support for wars in Iraq, Serbia, Syria, and Libya, would backfire on him.

Under these circumstances, the only option, as we have seen numerous times over the last three years, is to smear Trump with a made-up story. They hope news consumers will be misled and confused.

One possible charge that could stick against Trump is that he may have referred to former Senator and GOP presidential candidate John McCain as a loser. Trump has said something similar about Mitt Romney. They are both losers, in his view, because they both lost winnable races against Barack Hussein Obama. Hence, both McCain, the 2008 candidate, and Romney, the 2012 candidate, are losers. By contrast, Trump is a winner, having defeated Obama’s former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.

McCain not only lost to Obama but then turned around and distributed the phony Russia dossier to hurt Trump. The whole story was told by Allan Ryskind in his Washington Times column, “Did Sen. McCain ‘collude’ with Russia?” The long-time Human Events editor noted that McCain secured “opposition research on Mr. Trump from Putin-friendly sources” and didn’t seem to care that “current and ex-Russian intelligence officials and the FSB (formerly the KGB), provided some of the document’s most damning contents.”

Let’s be completely honest. The media never admired McCain for his Vietnam War service and years being held as a POW by the communists. They admired him because he was a “maverick” who frequently took the liberal line. His use of the dossier played right into their hands, perhaps deliberately so.

If the media will peddle a phony dossier based on Russian sources about Trump, there is nothing they won’t say or do. They don’t care about our troops or the fact that they have been sacrificed by the Bush-Clinton-Obama-Biden Administrations in wars in Iraq, Serbia, Syria, and Libya. What the media care about is destroying Trump.

The war in Afghanistan, launched after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has raged for nearly 19 years, making it the longest war in American history. More than 2,400 U.S. service members have died in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001 to topple the Taliban, which was protecting al Qaeda, while more than 20,000 have been wounded in action.

President Trump has been withdrawing U.S. forces and wants them down to as little as 4,000 by the November 3 election. He’s also pulling them out of Iraq, a war Biden vigorously supported and then lied about.

If Trump can be faulted for anything, it’s the failure to clean house at the FBI, which failed to solve the anthrax mailings which occurred after the 9/11 terrorist attacks staged by al Qaeda.

Retired Foreign Service officer and intelligence analyst Kenneth J. Dillon did extensive research on the case and concluded  that then-FBI director Robert Mueller “was responsible for the suicide of the alleged but wrongly accused mailer, Bruce Ivins, as well as for the subsequent cover-up.”

That’s the same Robert Mueller who ran the Russia probe based on the phony dossier.

Dillon’s research indicates that Ivins prepared 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.

Dillon adds that, “The news media have not reported key aspects of the al Qaeda theory of the case, but there have been articles on the putative possession of anthrax by the intending September 11, 2001 hijackers while they were in Florida and on al Qaeda’s biowarfare projects in Afghanistan.”

In his research, Dillon explains that the FBI not only failed to stop 9/11 but  the anthrax attacks as well, and there arose “compelling reasons” for the Bush Administration (and subsequent administrations) “to avoid a reinvestigation of the events of 2001 and specifically what had gone on inside the U.S. Government in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks.” In other words, there was a massive cover-up.

None of this should be that surprising. There were cover-ups before this, including such scandals as the FBI/ATF armed assaults on Randy Weaver’s home and family at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the Waco religious compound in Texas (both are covered in a very good Netflix series).

One can argue that the post 9/11 anthrax terrorist attacks were the result of a real “inside job,” involving stolen anthrax from a U.S. lab, and a cover-up was launched, stemming from the influence of what we today call the “Deep State,” led then by the same Robert Mueller called upon to cover-up malfeasance by the FBI in the Russia-gate matter. It was another scandal that made government “experts” look foolish or worse.

Continuing to send troops to Afghanistan, supposedly to root out terrorists, when the federal government can’t “solve” the mystery of the anthrax attacks, even though they can be traced to al Qaeda operatives on US soil, makes no sense.

Trump is wise to quickly dismiss the fake news attacks, continue his policies of bringing the troops home, and concentrate on the real enemies that occupy positions of power in both the Deep State and the military-industrial complex.

As news consumers, we have an obligation to see through the propaganda and understand that the anti-Trump attacks are coming from people who have a lot to hide. They are the “national security experts” who have failed to protect our nation and send our young people off to never-ending and no-win wars.

09/4/20

War is the Big Issue of the Campaign

By: Cliff Kincaid

It may be the sleeper issue of the 2020 presidential campaign – trigger-happy Joe Biden’s record of support for the disastrous Iraq War and his repeated lies about his role in starting that war.

But like those offering excuses for Nancy Pelosi going to a beauty parlor that is closed to ordinary people, many “progressives” are prepared to overlook Biden’s war-mongering past because their allegiance to the Democratic Party supersedes their commitment to ending foreign wars.

This came up during the Republican National Convention when Senator Rand Paul said, “Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War, which President Trump has long called the worst geopolitical mistake of our generation. I fear Biden will choose war again. He supported the war in Serbia, Syria, Libya.”

That’s a lot of war.

Even the liberal “fact-checking” website PolitiFact rated Paul’s remarks as “mostly true,” with the caveat that Biden claimed that on one occasion he privately questioned military action.

Biden was essential to the Iraq War going forward.

After President Bush went to war in Iraq, with the strong support of then-Senator Joe Biden, he rewarded former CIA Director George Tenet with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The invasion of Iraq, launched in part on the basis of false information provided by Tenet’s CIA, was justified by the argument that American troops were helping to build a democratic and lasting government in Baghdad that would stabilize the area and reduce the terrorist threat. Instead, the invasion led to the Iranian domination of Iraq and the rise of ISIS.

In an article in The American Conservative, Daniel McCarthy wrote, “The Iraq War launched by the Bush administration (with the support of Democrats like Joe Biden, of course) destroyed the Saddam Hussein regime that had kept a check on Iranian power. More than that, it destabilized Iraq, and ultimately Syria as well, in ways that created channels for wider Iranian influence.”

Biden has claimed that the declaration of war on Iraq, titled, “Authorization for the Use of Force,” was not an authorization for President Bush to invade Iraq and go to war. But that’s not the only lie he has told.

CNN reported that, in response to an Iowa voter who expressed concern about Biden’s foreign policy record, the former vice president said that he opposed the Iraq War “from the very moment” it began in 2003. That was another lie. Even CNN noted this lie, in an article, “Biden again dishonestly suggests he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning.” CNN stated, “It’s false that Biden opposed the war from the moment Bush started it in March 2003. Biden repeatedly spoke in favor of the war both before and after it began.”

Incredibly, CNN added that Biden’s campaign had previously said that he “misspoke” when he made a similar claim. Bernie Sanders accused Biden of “rewriting history” over his vote for the war.

The record is clear: Biden lied repeatedly about going to war and doesn’t seem to know when he lies and when he tells the truth. This is a sign of brain damage.

Biden co-sponsored a resolution supporting the invasion and declared, “I do not believe this is a rush to war. I believe it is a march to peace and security. I believe that failure to overwhelmingly support this resolution is likely to enhance the prospects that war will occur …”

A mini-documentary,  “WORTH THE PRICE? Joe Biden and the Launch of the Iraq War,” explores what the Institute for Public Accuracy calls “Biden’s pivotal role in backing the invasion with disastrous results.” Produced and directed by Mark Weisbrot and narrated by Danny Glover, it examines Biden’s role as the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 2002. Weisbrot wrote an op-ed for The Guardian, declaring, “[Biden] had a power much greater than his own words. He was able to choose all 18 witnesses in the main Senate hearings on Iraq. And he mainly chose people who supported a pro-war position.”

Weisbrot wrote, “The Iraq War has been a prominent, even decisive issue, in some recent US presidential elections. It played a significant role in the surprise presidential primary victory won by a freshman senator from Illinois named Barack Obama in 2008. His heavily-favored Democratic primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, had voted in the US Senate to authorize the war, and Obama didn’t let her forget it during that contest.”

Foreign policy expert Stephen Zunes wrote an article, “Would Joe Biden, Like Hillary Clinton, Lose to Donald Trump Over the Iraq War?.” He argued that Biden’s role in getting the war authorization through the Democratic-controlled Senate has “raised serious questions regarding his electability.”

The “WORTH THE PRICE?” website is still a worthwhile stop for those interested in Biden’s commitment to the military-industrial complex. But it’s too late for the “progressives” to stop Biden from getting the nomination. And we are now learning that Biden’s foreign policy team is laying the groundwork for another war in Syria if Biden wins in November.

One political operative, Jacob Jeremiah “Jake” Sullivan, is a prominent Democratic foreign policy adviser to Joe Biden and previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign. He claims that, “During his tenure as vice president, Joe Biden led the effort to end the Iraq War,” ignoring his role in authorizing that war.

Sullivan noted that Biden is “the parent of a service member who deployed to Iraq” and “he understands the risks our troops take to keep our country safe. Sending them to fight overseas is not an academic exercise for Joe Biden — it’s deeply personal.”

That was a reference to Beau Biden, an Iraq war veteran who died from brain cancer. Another son, Hunter, was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine.

As of August 31, 2020, the Pentagon’s casualty report estimates total American deaths in Iraq at 4,431, with 31,994 wounded in action. There have been tens of thousands of civilian casualties and the war has cost the U.S. $2 trillion.

President Trump has been withdrawing U.S. forces and says that the number of troops in Iraq will drop from the current 5,200 down to 3,500. “We’re down to a very small number of soldiers in Iraq now,” Trump said, “We defeated the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria.”

The current US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue is based on the continuing drawdown of U.S. forces.

Branko Marcetic, the left-wing author of a book about Biden, Yesterday’s Man, argues that “Biden holds significant responsibility for the bloodshed that has engulfed Iraq and the surrounding region since the invasion.” He notes that Rep. Seth Moulton, who also ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, had called for Biden to admit he was wrong for voting for the war.

What’s more, a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll showed more than 40 percent of participants between eighteen and twenty-nine were less likely to back Biden because of it. That includes millions of men, ages 18 through 25, who are required to register for the Selective Service and a draft to wage war.

There is a push by some “progressives” who support Biden to change the males-only draft registration system to include women. But while women don’t have to currently register for the draft, they can volunteer for the military and go to war in foreign countries.

Like their male counterparts, they can judge Trump’s opposition to never-ending foreign wars with Biden’s lies about his role in making the Iraq War possible.

The conclusion is that Trump is the anti-war candidate.

As Senator Paul said, “President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home. Madison once wrote, ‘No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continuous warfare.’ I’m proud to finally see a president who agrees with that.”

08/31/20

NK Hackers are Robbing Banks Around the World

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer:

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday called the United States a “mastermind of cybercrime” as it responded to a report detailing Pyongyang’s efforts to hack banks.

In an English-language statement posted on the ministry’s website, a spokesperson for the country’s “National Coordination Committee for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism” denied the regime’s link to any online criminal activities, claiming there was no truth to the “preposterous rumors” circulated by the United States.

The U.S. Treasury Department and three federal agencies including the FBI said in an alert issued Wednesday that hackers attempted to initiate fraudulent money transfers and ATM “cash-outs” from multiple countries that appeared to be part of the North’s “extensive, global cyber-enabled bank robbery scheme.” More here.

US govt warns of North Korean hackers targeting banks ...

The BeagleBoyz have made off with nearly $2 billion since 2015, and they’re back to attacking financial institutions after a short lull in activity:

The BeagleBoyz, part of the North Korean government’s hacking apparatus, are back to targeting banks around the world after a brief pause in activity.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released an alert with details of how the BeagleBoyz have made off with an estimated $2 billion in fiat and cryptocurrency since 2015, along with details on how financial institutions can protect themselves against their known patterns of attack.

Along with the theft of massive amounts of money that the United Nations believes is used for North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, the robberies also pose a serious risk to financial institutions’ reputations, their operations, and public confidence in banking, CISA said.

The BeagleBoyz aren’t typical cybercriminals either: They conduct “well-planned, disciplined, and methodical cyber operations more akin to careful espionage activities,” CISA warns. “Over time, their operations have become increasingly complex and destructive. The tools and implants employed by this group are consistently complex and demonstrate a strong focus on effectiveness and operational security.”

The group has used a variety of approaches to gaining initial access: Spear phishing, watering holes, social engineering, malicious files, and even contracted third-party hacking groups have been used for initial penetration.

Once inside a network, the BeagleBoyz have again used a wide variety of approaches to meet their objectives, establish a persistent presence, evade defense, and harvest credentials of privileged users.

CISA said that the BeagleBoyz appear to seek out two particular systems in a financial institution’s network: It’s SWIFT terminal and the server hosting the payment switch application for the bank. They map networks using locally-available administrative tools, deploy a constantly evolving list of command and control software, and ultimately try to make off with any possible money they can get their hands on via fraudulent ATM cashouts.

“After gaining access to either one or both of these operationally critical systems, the BeagleBoyz monitor the systems to learn about their configurations and legitimate use patterns, and then they deploy bespoke tools to facilitate illicit monetization,” CISA said.

It isn’t known if the BeagleBoyz have successfully targeted a US-based financial institution, and CISA’s report suggests they’ve been active primarily in other parts of the world. That doesn’t mean they won’t attempt to break into a US-based bank: Everyone in the cybersecurity arm of the financial industry should be alert.

Protecting against the BeagleBoyz

CISA makes the following mitigation suggestions based on particular industry:

All financial institutions:

Institutions with retail payment systems:

  • Require chip and PIN for all transactions
  • Isolate payment system infrastructure behind multiple authentication factors
  • Segment networks into separate, secure enclaves
  • Encrypt all data in transit
  • Monitor networks for anomalous behavior

Institutions with ATMs or point-of-sale devices:

  • Validate issuer responses to financial request messages
  • Implement chip and PIN for debit transactions

These suggestions come along with general good security habits such as enforcing strong password policies, keeping all systems up to date, disabling all unnecessary services on workstations, scanning documents and emails for potentially malicious code, and staying up to date on the latest threats.

08/30/20

Biden’s Backers Planning Another Middle East War

By: Cliff Kincaid

President Trump departed from his prepared remarks, in accepting the Republican presidential nomination, when he said about the Obama-Biden Administration, “Remember this: They spied on my campaign, and they got caught. Let’s see now what happens.” This was a topic that deserves far more attention from the president in a public forum, perhaps an address from the Oval Office.

Alluding to the military-industrial complex, another major component of the bureaucracy, Trump said, “Unlike previous administrations, I have kept America OUT of new wars — and our troops are coming home.”

History will show that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower originally blew the whistle on the military-industrial complex, and Trump did the same with the Deep State.  Both of these bureaucratic monstrosities have united against Trump.

What the reaction to Trump has proven is that the intelligence community works with the military-industrial complex to get America involved in the affairs of other nations, creating chaos that leads to more wars and therefore more demands for American involvement. Trump has resisted their demands because he knows these wars weaken America and cost the lives of our brave soldiers.

In little-noticed remarks, Biden foreign policy adviser and former Obama official Anthony Blinken said, referring to Syria, “The U.S. is AWOL, we’re not in it. The Russians are in it. The Turks are in it. The Iranians are in it. We’re not. I can tell you this. I can’t guarantee success. I can guarantee that in a Biden administration, we’d at least show up.”

What this means, in practical terms, is military intervention on behalf of the Marxist Kurds, a movement created by a Soviet KGB agent, Abdullah Ocalan, and trying to carve out a new international Antifa nation of Rojava. As I noted last year, “The Obama policy of funding the Marxist PKK is what Trump has effectively stopped with his withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria.” The Obama/Biden policy could plunge us into a military confrontation with NATO member Turkey.

The sentence, “I can’t guarantee success,” is another recipe for another no-win war, coming on the heels of Barack Hussein Obama having ordered his CIA director John Brennan to fund and equip jihadists in Syria, producing a civil war that has already cost more than 500,000 lives. Trump has been trying to extricate America from this dangerous conflagration. Biden wants to get us back in the middle of it.

Under Joe Biden, we can expect more wounded warriors, who will be ordered to fight for one faction of Muslims over another. It is a no-win situation that has no favorable outcome for America.

In other significant remarks at the RNC, Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, said that the post gave him access to information that “made me sick to my stomach.” He was talking about the Deep State and Obama/Biden spying on the Trump campaign.

What we needed to hear from Grenell is what exactly made him sick to his stomach. He couldn’t be confirmed to his post so he had to occupy the position on a temporary basis. What he saw, during that brief period of time, was enough to make him sick.

We know the treason he saw up close must have been nauseating. It is sickening to any American, even on the outside observing this subversion, who respects our form of government. But how bad is it?

The suspicion is that intelligence agencies were using information obtained from secret recordings made by pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and that Epstein was himself an intelligence operative. Bill Clinton, an Epstein associate who flew on his private plane, is still so revered in the Democratic Party that he spoke at their convention, just as photos leaked showing him getting a massage from a young woman.

At this late stage, the fourth year of the Trump presidency, we are still waiting for the villains and culprits in the scandal known as Obamagate to be brought to justice. Only one FBI lawyer has been forced to plead guilty to one charge.

Trump’s comment about Obamagate, “Let’s see now what happens,” is simply not acceptable, coming as it does from the president of the United States as he still tries to save our country from the Deep State cabal.

It may make us all sick to our stomachs, but we have a right to know and are entitled to truth and justice. We have already waited too long.

The media smear those who recognize how Washington really works as “Q” conspiracy theorists, and demand that Republicans disavow the notion that there is a high-level conspiracy of corrupt officials and power brokers working to undermine our nation, perhaps using occult forces.

But Christians who take their Bible seriously understand that demonic forces are real. And whether Karl Marx was a Satanist or not, as one new book, The Devil and Karl Marx, discusses in some detail, he was a sick and demented individual who went down in history as a destroyer of nations and architect of mass murder.  He is one of the main forces inspiring death and destruction on America’s streets.

In his letter to President Trump, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, Carlo Maria Viganò, said, “In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness.” He referred to the children of darkness being associated with the Deep State, “which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days…”

What the Trump presidency has proven, in a dramatic manner that has shocked and angered many, is that there is a “Deep State” of U.S. intelligence agencies and other like-minded bureaucrats who didn’t want him to win, and wanted him out of office before he completed his first term. And now we know that they want him out because they are planning to escalate American military involvement in the Middle East, bringing the world to the brink of an apocalypse involving Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. The Blinken phrase “We’d at least show up” is how one of Obama’s former officials justifies returning to this quagmire.

If Obama vice-president Joe Biden wins the presidency, the opportunity for justice for the former Obama officials with blood on their hands is gone. “Let’s see now what happens” will be something we will remember in the future, as we may wonder why Obama and his henchmen escaped accountability. Time is running out.

Some say Trump’s RNC speech was too long. In fact, we need a speech from the president just as long or longer on the subject of the enemies within. It should be televised, in the same way President Eisenhower gave the nation that dramatic warning about the military-industrial complex.

Eisenhower’s speech was his final address from the Oval Office. Let’s hope that a Trump speech on the Deep State is not his farewell address as Biden and the Obama holdovers prepare to take the reins of power and plunge our nation into another war.

*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org.

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.