04/13/17

Just Who Was the Russian Agent After All?

Accuracy in Media

A Special Report from the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism; Cliff Kincaid, Director.

Ever since President Trump’s missile strike on Syria on April 6, which angered Russia’s Vladimir Putin, The Washington Post has ever-so-subtly backed away from its robotic “Russian interference to help elect Trump” claims, asserted with absolute certainty. The Post now, on April 7, calls it the “alleged” Russian efforts to “interfere in the 2016 presidential race.” The Post no longer sounds so sure of itself and its anonymous anti-Trump intelligence agency sources.

The U.S. strike on a Syrian air base not only demonstrates that Trump will take decisive action against a Russian client state, but that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, is the real Russian dupe, for making an admittedly flawed agreement with Russia that allowed Syria to keep (and use) some of its chemical weapons.

With the narrative that Trump is/was a Russian agent fading fast, perhaps the media will now get serious about exploring the abundant evidence that the real scandal is the political surveillance of Trump and his associates by the outgoing Obama administration. What’s more, the direct evidence points to Obama’s personal role. The motive? Covering up Obama’s own deals with the Russians on Syria and Iran.

In Syria, Obama had armed one side of the Syrian civil war, through CIA arms shipments to the “rebels,” and had then struck a deal with Russia that gave the appearance of having removed all of the chemical weapons from the arsenal of the other side. The resulting civil war has cost 500,000 lives and left President Trump with a series of bad options. He decided to strike the Shayrat Syrian airbase when he was informed that aircraft from that base conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4.

On top of this, Trump is also facing the prospect of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, supposedly limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons development, coming completely apart. In this case, Obama once again joined with the Russians in actually safeguarding a Russian client’s weapons arsenal through an agreement claiming to achieve the opposite.

As we noted in July 2015, Obama actually thanked Putin for bringing about the Iran deal. We said at the time, “This demonstrates something worse than the deal itself and the real nature of the Iranian threat. Putin should thank Obama because the U.S. is helping Iran, Russia’s client state, get tens of billions of dollars in international financial aid. Down the line, Russia gets U.S. approval to supply more weapons to the anti-American regime.”

The Smoking Gun

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) says that what he calls the “smoking gun” revelations about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice unmasking Trump team names from NSA wiretap databases are “actually eerily similar to what President Trump accused them of” in tweets on March 4. (MSNBC, April 4.)

They point directly to President Obama. Rice surely must have informed her boss during the more than one year period of her “unmasking” Trump campaign and transition team names in NSA wiretap reports on numerous occasions.

Obama’s right-hand adviser Rice herself points to Obama. In the middle of a long MSNBC interview on April 4 discussing Rice’s “unmasking” of names in reports of intercepted Trump team-Russia communications and those communications with no connection to Russia, Rice was evasive but kept dragging Obama into the mix. She never says, for example, that she did unmasking on her own without ever informing Obama, or that she kept it all to herself.  She never says that.

Instead, Rice kept implicating Obama whenever she could, while minimizing her own role as somehow a passive one. Rice said that Obama ordered the compilation of intelligence reports on Russian hacking and election interference, which implied that the reports included the unmasked name of Trump adviser Gen. Michael Flynn in wiretap intercept reports of phone calls with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. This is what MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell had been asking Rice about.

MSNBC kept pressing Rice about the NSA-intercepted Flynn conversations with the Russian ambassador in December 2016, which Rice kept trying to dodge until Andrea Mitchell brought up the intercepted Flynn/Russian ambassador “conversations” (plural) one last time, noting that it was after the Obama sanctions and expulsion of Russian spy-diplomats.

Rice finally replied by taking it back to August 2016, and confirming Obama knew about it and was “concerned,” saying:

“Well, Andrea, from basically August [2016] through the end of the [Obama] administration [in January 2017] we were hearing more and more—getting more and more information about Russian interference in our electoral process. It was of grave concern to all of us in the national security team of the President [Obama] and the President himself….

“So YES there was a pace of reporting that accelerated as the Intelligence Community got more and more information on that and shared it with U.S. [Obama] officials…I can say that from when this first came to light in intelligence channels to when the administration ended we got more and more information” (emphasis added except “YES” was Rice’s voice emphasis; bracketed [ ] clarifications added).

The Nature of the Spying

Senator Paul explained that today’s “wiretapping” mainly means “reverse targeting” of existing digital taps that already massively eavesdrop on everyone’s communications, then searching the databases of transcripts, not physically tapping wires to phones. (AIM made the same points in its Special Reports on March 18 and April 4.)

These were not wiretaps about Russia or “incidental collection” on legitimate foreign intelligence subjects, though they may have begun that way. It was clearly procured for partisan political purposes to spy on the Trump opposition using the full weight of the U.S. government’s NSA spying apparatus (or NSA facilities used by the British GCHQ.)

According to Rep. Peter King (R-NY) of the House Intelligence Committee—who was briefed on the contents of the wiretap reports on the Trump campaign and his associates obtained by Rice and other Obama officials—they were like a private investigator’s file, with nothing on Russia-type intelligence:

“This [NSA wiretap] is information about their everyday lives. Who they were talking with, who they were meeting, where they were going to eat… just trying to lay out a dossier on somebody. Sort of like in a divorce case where lawyers are hired, investigators are hired to just find out what a person is doing from morning until night and then you try to piece it together later on” (bracketed [ ] clarification added).

The former Obama defense official and Hillary campaign adviser, Evelyn Farkas, proudly admitted during an MSNBC interview on March 2 that she had urged her “former colleagues” to collect and spread the NSA wiretap intelligence on Russia and Trump and “that’s why you have the leaking!” She had been “getting winks and nods from inside” the Obama administration since last summer, she said in an earlier interview.

MSNBC queried Farkas in response to the just-breaking New York Times March 1 story on Obama officials spreading around the government all the wiretap surveillance data on Trump and associates such as Gen. Flynn, and MSNBC had the Times article up on the video screen.  President Trump then tweeted on March 4 that Obama had his “‘wires tapped’” (two words).

The fake news media have ridiculed Trump for claiming anyone “wiretapped” him, insinuating he had said Obama physically tapped his phone wires—when he said no such thing. He merely used simplified terminology in quotes for a short tweet, rather than a book-length definition. FISA law as it stands today talks about “wire” taps or interception, even though it is understood to apply to digital communications (50 U.S. Code 1801 et seq.).

Putin Had No Motive 

In an unnoticed piece in Politico on December 12, 2016, Evelyn Farkas, a Russia expert, inadvertently tripped up the entire leftist narrative on the (bogus) Trump-Russia plot, and in effect admitted that Putin had no motive to hack DNC emails and help Trump get elected to be a Russian ally.

This was just a month after the election, so it is fresh in terms of application to the campaign leading up to it. Farkas wrote in Politico:

“For domestic political reasons, Putin needs the United States as its public enemy, given Russia’s current and foreseeable economic situation, and Russian presidential elections are coming up in 2018” (emphasis added).

Farkas explained that any positive “reset” of U.S.-Russia relations by President Trump as a result of purported Putin blackmail of Trump, making Trump his “puppet,” would be “very temporary” because Putin needs the U.S. as his “public enemy,” domestically and internationally (Trump and U.S. make it “international”). Putin doesn’t want good relations with the U.S. even with Trump as its President, according to Farkas.

Farkas apparently still believes Trump may be Putin’s “puppet” but her Russia analysis contradicts her narrative and that of the Democrat/media/intelligence juggernaut against Trump, that it is all a plot to get a pro-Russian president into the Oval Office. President Trump’s missile strike against Russia’s ally, Syria, contradicts that narrative.

Other observers have also noticed a complete lack of any evidence that Putin wanted to interfere in the U.S. election to help Trump win. The New York Review of Books on January 9 published this analysis of the report of the U.S. Intelligence Community (actually only 3 to 5 out of 17 agencies that make up the IC) on Russian interference that had claimed without a shred of evidence that Putin “ordered” the intervention to help Trump get elected.

The author is a Russian-American journalist, Masha Gessen, a hostile anti-Trump ideologue. Yet she candidly admits (in January 9 and March 6 articles):

“…the entirety of the evidence the [U.S. Intelligence Community] report offers to support its estimation of Putin’s motives for allegedly working to elect Trump: [is] conjecture based on other politicians in other periods, on other continents—and also on misreported or mistranslated public statements.”

“…the joint intelligence report on Russian interference in the campaign…is, plainly, laughable…the protracted national game of connecting the Trump-Putin dots is an exercise in conspiracy thinking.”

“Both of these appointments [Gen. McMaster and Russia expert Fiona Hill]—and the fact that sanctions [against Russia] remain in place six weeks into Trump’s fast-moving presidency—contradict the ‘Putin’s puppet’ narrative (as does the fact that Russian domestic propaganda has already turned against Trump). But such is the nature of conspiracy thinking that facts can do nothing to change it.”

“If…[Trump is impeached], it will have resulted largely from a media campaign orchestrated by members of the [U.S.] intelligence community—setting a dangerous political precedent that will have corrupted the public sphere and promoted paranoia” (emphasis added; bracketed [ ] clarifications added).

To sum up: No evidence, and no motive, is known for Russia hacking the DNC/Podesta emails to elect Trump or interfere with the election to defeat Hillary and support Trump. No smoking gun evidence, not even a whiff of smoke.

Surely such a “smoking gun” would have leaked by now—since Lt. General Flynn’s trivial conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak on December 29, intercepted by NSA digital wiretap, leaked within weeks to David Ignatius of The Washington Post—and got Flynn fired. That was just a few words saying that the Trump administration will deal with Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian “diplomats” (spies) later, with not a hint of any promises or relief, and no mention even of the word “sanctions” (evidently leading Flynn to forget the conversation).

The fact that no “smoking gun” has leaked or even been hinted at makes us suspect that in fact the unmasked NSA wiretap transcripts actually prove the opposite of the leftist Democrat Party narrative—that they record positive evidence that Trump and his associates were not colluding with Russia, that they had nothing to do with the hacking or leaking of the DNC or the Podesta/Hillary emails or any Russian interference in the election.

Obama’s Motive

It seems that the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory was designed to cover or excuse the illegal surveillance of Trump and his associates by the Obama administration. One of the motives may have been that Obama was fearful that the deals he struck with Putin on Syria and Iran would come unraveled. He had to know that he and his associates, including Susan Rice and former Secretary of State John Kerry, would look like dupes of the Russians for making such flawed agreements.

In order to brace for these developments, the idea was hatched to accuse Trump and his associates of being the Russian dupes, using their innocent contacts with Russian officials or businessmen as the excuse for surveillance. This made Trump look like the Russian dupe and Obama as the tough guy with Putin.

But the conversations captured in NSA digital wiretaps are turning out to be the opposite of the Democrat/media narrative. The remarks between Trump associates and Russian officials make it clear that no real relationship existed, that no insidious conspiracy was in play, that public events such as the WikiLeaks email releases were annoyances, that the “Trump dossier” was known to be fake, etc.

In fact, The New York Times has been forced to admit that the only thing anyone has turned up even in “intercepted calls” and “phone records” are benign “multiple contacts between Trump associates and Russians who serve in or are close to Mr. Putin’s government.”

Note in The New York Times quotes how the phony “Trump dossier” is always dragged in because the leaked NSA wiretaps show nothing, even on their face, that is incriminating or damaging to Trump, and only the “dossier” can (purportedly) supply that.

This was in The New York Times on March 3, the day before President Trump tweeted about the Obama “‘wire tapping’” against him, when it was still heroic in the left-wing narrative to admit to leaking highly classified NSA intelligence to try to destroy the President:

“Current and former American officials have said that phone records and [NSA-type] intercepted calls show that members of Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.”

“There have been courtesy calls, policy discussions and business contacts [in the intercepted phone calls of Trump campaign and associates], though nothing has emerged publicly indicating anything more sinister. A dossier of allegations on Trump-Russia contacts, compiled by a former British intelligence agent for Mr. Trump’s political opponents, includes unproven claims that his aides collaborated in Russia’s hacking of Democratic targets” (emphasis added; paras. reordered; bracketed [ ] clarification added).

“Former diplomats and Russia specialists say it would have been absurd and contrary to American interests for the Trump team to avoid meetings with Russians, either during or since the campaign.”

Intelligence agency officials have consistently denied finding any evidence for such Trump collusion with the Russians despite furious efforts to prove it in order to take down President Trump. The best anyone has come up with is the stupid claim that some internet “IP addresses” of attempted hackings trace back to Russian IP domains, when anyone with the slightest tech savvy knows that expert hackers cover their tracks to prevent such easy tracing, and even plant false trails (such as those pointing to, for example, Russian IP internet addresses).

No one has traced any specific hacking attempt to specifically attempt to capture the DNC emails, only alleged hacking attempts against the main DNC computer system. DNC emails are separated from the DNC computer system by the usual email client firewalls.

Trump himself pointed that out last year when these falsehoods first surfaced, that the supposed “Russian hackers” could be someone in New Jersey, etc., and that sophisticated hackers would not get caught digitally. Recently, the CIA’s hacker tools for planting false trails and the concealment of cybertraces were themselves leaked or hacked to WikiLeaks, causing worldwide consternation.

The pernicious misuse of the fake “Trump dossier” as an investigative “roadmap” by the FBI has been reported by The New York Times for months (with less dramatic prose than the BBC’s). (New York Times, January 20, February 14.) Instead, the Times should be investigating and exposing the “dossier’s” glaringly obvious fraudulent nature and the political motives behind its compilation and release. The NSA’s (and/or British GCHQ’s) “actively monitored” surveillance of Trump communications reportedly has been justified on the basis of this fake sex tape “dossier.”

Thus, the Obama digital Watergate burglary even invades the bedroom, albeit in the fictional narrative of the “dossier.”

04/8/17

Nikki Haley Receives Text At UN: “Thank you for what you said today. It’s so good to see America lead.”

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

Nikki Haley received a surprise text at the United Nations. It allegedly said, “Thank you for what you said today. It’s so good to see America lead.” I’m not surprised she got that text. For all I know, that could have been Israel sending it, but it is indeed good to see actual leadership in America again. I know that many Trump supporters don’t agree with me. They claim we should not be the global police and should not interfere in other country’s affairs. I’ve got news for all of you… what happens globally affects America period. You may not want conflict or war, but other countries don’t give a damn about that. You may not believe in war, but it believes in us.

We have waited years for various gassing attacks in Syria to be investigated and for the United Nations to do something, anything and we are still waiting. I think that what President Trump did this week was the right thing to do and it sent not only Syria, but Russia, Iran, China and North Korea a strong message that there is a new sheriff in town and he doesn’t play with red lines and rhetoric. He’s deadly serious about stopping our enemies and have no doubt that Syria, Russia, Iran, China and North Korea are just that… American enemies. Grow up… this isn’t some theoretical reality where we can just turn our back on the world. This is real life and we have to stop these evil blackhats before they attack America. Hesitation is viewed as weakness and acquiescence.

From the Independent Review Journal:

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley boldly confronted Russia and Syria during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday, staring down the Russian ambassador in moment that went viral.

“How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” she asked the Russian ambassador in front of the world.

Later that night, Haley made an appearance at the Women in the World Summit in New York City and revealed the text message she subsequently received from another member of the U.N. Security Council.

“Thank you for what you said today. It’s so good to see America lead,” the text reportedly read.

Haley insinuated that the message was meaningful to her because leading is exactly “what we’re trying to do.”

There is nothing that will move a heart like watching dozens of children… babies… die horrifically. Assad and the Russians could care less. Given the opportunity, they would use that tactic anywhere they land if it won them power, wealth, real estate and natural resources. Nikki Haley is right here. It is long past time we act like the world leaders we are. No nation building… but when tyrants kill the innocent and rage unabated and someone needs to step in, we have a moral obligation to do so. And we have a military presence that should show strength, not the cowardice the Obama administration mandated.

“The way you lead is to make sure they know what you’re for, they know what you’re against, and they never question where you are,” Haley added. Exactly right. You actually LEAD, you don’t vacillate. President Trump’s actions this week in response to a chemical attack by Assad against his own, shows a definitive shift in America military policy. And don’t say, “Well, it could have been the rebels!” No, it wasn’t. They would have no way of dispersing those chemical agents since they don’t have planes and Assad and Russia always blame these actions on their victims. It’s right out of their playbooks.

Our allies are cheering the action and breathing a huge sigh of relief. Our enemies are calling it an act of aggression. It’s an act as old as time. But President Trump is no ‘lead from behind’ president as Barack Obama was. Peace through strength has once again taken center stage.

04/7/17

Cruise missile strike in Syria: Assad regime – and Russia – on notice

By: J.E. Dyer | Liberty Unyielding

USS Ross (DDG-71) launches a Tomahawk missile at Syria’s Shayrat Air Base from the Med, 7 Apr 2017. (Image: USN, PO3 Robert S. Price)

In the early morning hours of 7 April in Syria – between 8 and 10 PM Eastern on 6 April, in the U.S. – two U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers began launching Tomahawk cruise missiles at an air base in Syria just east of the city of Homs.  In total, the ships launched at least 59 cruise missiles.  All were reportedly directed at the single air base, indicating the attack was meant to take the facility out of operation.

President Donald Trump, in a recorded address (video below), explained that USS Ross (DDG-71) and USS Porter (DDG-78) were striking the air base in Syria from which the chemical weapons attack that inflicted ghastly damage on civilians in Idlib Province was launched on Tuesday.

The target, according to the latest reporting, was Shayrat Air Base, located about 15 miles southeast of Homs.  Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin indicated in the 10 PM hour that the Pentagon would be providing a track of the Syrian Su-24 Fencer – a tactical bomber – that it says conducted the chemical weapons attack on 4 April.  In other words, the U.S. military has direct evidence that the attacking aircraft was a Syrian bomber jet.  (This is not only feasible, it’s probable and routine.)

Shayrat Air Base was never one of Assad’s biggest, most developed bases.  It is overshadowed by T4 air base (often referred to as Tiyas Air Base) further east, which has been the front line of the fight against ISIS for some months now.

Overview of area where Shayrat Air Base was struck with U.S. cruise missiles 7 Apr 2017. (Google map; author annotation)

But Shayrat has seen a lot of use for combat logistics in the last 18 months.  The Russians persistently denied it, but there have been numerous reports that they made improvements to Shayrat in 2015 in order to use it as a base.  And Arabic and social media have recorded Russian helicopters making use of Shayrat as an interim base for logistics stops, including mission refueling.  (Fox reports that the U.S. military used its hotline with Russian forces to give them warning of the attack.)

Some reporting has indicated that the Iranians have delivered weapons and materiel there too, and that “Iranian squadrons” were to operate from the base once it was improved by the Russians.  (The Iranian presence in T4/Tiyas has been better documented.)

(See The Tower’s report here.)

The Russians’ use of the base means, at a minimum, that the U.S. has put Russia as well as the Assad regime on notice that there will be no tolerance for chemical weapons attacks.

Syrian facilities implicated in 4 April chemical weapons attack in Idlib Province. (Google map; author annotation)

Shayrat’s use for launching a chemical weapons attack makes sense, given its proximity to the Al-Furqlus storage facility for Assad’s chemical weapons, which is located about 11 miles north-northwest of Shayrat Air Base, just east of Homs.  Shayrat itself stored chemical weapons prior to 2011, and given its regular operational use, probably has chemical weapons prepared for deployment located next to the taxiways on occasion.  It is not thought to be a main storage site now, however.

Notably, the Israeli Air Force is long thought to have attacked another chemical weapons facility in south Homs, closer to the city center, in 2013.

And the IAF reportedly attacked a Syrian air base between Homs and Palmyra the night of 16-17 March, when the Syrian regime launched anti-air missiles at the IAF strike-fighters.  The base in question was thought to be T4, and the reason for the attack: an Iranian delivery of special weapons intended for Hezbollah.

The U.S. engagement in Syria – which ramped up last month with the deployment of Marines to Raqqa – has thus clearly entered a new phase.  Since 2014, our air activities in Syria have been limited to attacking emergent ISIS targets, almost all in northern Syria.  U.S. forces have been kept out of the fight in western Syria, where Russia and Iran have ruled the roost.

Now, however, we have struck into the heart of Assad’s center of gravity: the part of Syria where he maintains his operational strength and hosts the principal regional outpost of Iran.  The corridor from Damascus to Homs is Assad’s core.  Iran has made use of it as a line of communication with Hezbollah and Hamas for decades.

At the moment, we have no preview of any further military intentions for U.S. forces in this part of Syria.  The U.S. reportedly intends to reenergize the Geneva talks on Syria and negotiate to get Assad removed from power – something it would have been preferable to do in 2011, if we had had an administration with the vision and competence for it.  It’s not clear how feasible it will be in 2017.

The backlash from tonight’s work hasn’t been previewed yet either.  I don’t fear for regional “stability,” which isn’t likely to change much merely from the cruise missile attack.  But within a couple of weeks, the overall conditions for negotiation will have changed, because of the scramble set off by the U.S. action.  It will be interesting to see how Trump’s team takes the challenge on.

It can’t do worse than Obama’s.  My sense at the moment is that Trump – if he wants to – can quickly assume the “catbird seat” that Putin has been angling to occupy in settling the future of Syria.  Most of the various players – Turkey, the Arabs (the Saudis, Jordan, Egypt), Iraq – would be enthusiastic about having a strong America to act as a great-power broker.  Russia can live with it, if Trump accepts that Russia has legitimate interests in Syria.  I think Trump would do that.

The wild card will be Iran.  But I’d expect Iran to try to lie low for now in Syria, and avoid losing too much rather than try to keep it all by keeping Assad in power, through some confrontational means.  Iran has fingers in a lot of pies now, and usually takes the long view.  Unless Trump starts striking targets in Lebanon, Iran is probably prepared to let even Assad go, if that’s what it takes to keep the U.S. out of deeper political and military involvement in Syria.

The ball is very much in Trump’s court now.  For my money, he needs, at the moment, to keep a rally going.  The conditions aren’t right yet for a decisive point against anyone – other than perhaps Assad.

USS Porter goes through her paces in this video from DOD.  Stick with it for the best smoke plumes.

04/6/17

US Strikes Syria With 60 Tomahawk Missiles [VIDEO]

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

I started to hear rumors of this late today and it has now happened. My sources say that the US launched 60 Tomahawk missiles at Syria just a short time ago. This is in response to a chemical weapons attack this week that killed 83 people… including 25 children and at least 350 injured. President Trump had said earlier today that something needed to be done. At the same time Rex Tillerson warned the Russians that we would be moving against Assad and to choose who they side with carefully. No time was wasted and now we wait to see if we actually took out Assad and what the repercussions militarily will be.

I understand that two different airfields were taken out, so I doubt that Assad was ‘removed’ from his position of power, but we’ll see. The missiles took out large portions of the military infrastructure there in Syria. Destroyers in the Mediterranean launched the missiles into Syria. This happened fast and I predicted it earlier today. However, I didn’t see it happening this fast. I am now getting other reports from CNN and a friendly source that it was 60 missiles. Our warships have been training for two days for this, so this was decided right after the attack. I have also heard that Iran sent two transports to remove personnel from Syria. Russia was pulling people out as well.

From Fox News:

The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield early Friday in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians.

The Tomahawk missile strikes destroyed portions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military infrastructure. Fox has learned there was one primary target an airbase in Shayrat, located outside Homs, a US official tells Fox News

The military plans called for 43 Tomahawks to be fired from the USS Porter and USS Ross. The two Destroyers in the Med can carry 70 Tomahawks altogether.

US defense officials tell Fox the two warships have been training for the past two days to execute this mission.

“Our forward deployed ships give us the capability to quickly respond to threats… these strikes in Syria are a perfect example – this is why we’re there,” said a Navy official.

“Our forward deployed ships give us the capability to quickly respond to threats,” said a Naval official. “These strikes in Syria are a perfect example – this is why we’re there.” From President Trump earlier today: “I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes and shouldn’t have happened and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” Trump told reporters traveling on Air Force One to Florida, where he was holding a two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The strike came as Trump was hosting Xi in meetings focused in part on another pressing US security dilemma: North Korea’s nuclear program. Trump’s actions in Syria could signal to China that the new president isn’t afraid of unilateral military steps, even if key nations like China are standing in the way. This acts also as an obvious warning to both China and North Korea… we are no longer playing games.

This may be what I have predicted which is full scale war. It will all depend on how the new Axis of Evil: Russia, China and Iran react to the strike. Things are about to get hot militarily. Buckle up America.

04/6/17

Rex Tillerson Warns Assad That America Is Coming For Him… Puts Russia And Iran On Notice [VIDEO]

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | I Have The Truth

The Trump administration has undergone a major shift in policy towards Syria and Assad in the last 24 hours. After a horrific chemical attack on Syrians by Assad, Rex Tillerson is now saying that the US is organizing a coalition to remove Assad from power there. This goes directly against the Russians and Iranians who have provided cover for Assad from the beginning. I have sources informing me that the US military watched a Syrian fixed wing aircraft drop the bombs that hit a hospital with a nerve agent and this was after the first chemical weapon bomb was dropped. The aircraft used was likely a Russian aircraft that was on loan to Assad. The evidence that the White House and State Department has seen on this attack is damning and monstrous.

“It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime,” Tillerson said. Yes, it is… and if we step into this, Americans need to realize this is not just a fight against Assad and ISIS. The minute we commit military might in this fight, we take on the Russians, Iranians and Chinese. In other words, this could be a world war and there will be no turning back. Our military leaders have been predicting this for some time. And don’t forget, we have the North Korean problem to deal with and soon. This is the new Axis of Evil I have written on for years now. The time to dance is upon us.

From the Washington Examiner:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that steps are “underway” to organize an “international community effort” to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, a major policy shift triggered by the latest chemical weapons attack in the country’s ongoing civil war.

“With the acts that he has taken, it would seem that there would be no rule for him to govern the Syrian people,” Tillerson told reporters. “The process by which Assad would leave is something that I think requires and international community effort, both to first defeat ISIS within Syria, to stabilize the Syrian country to avoid further civil war, and then to work collectively with our partners around the world through a political process that would lead to Assad leaving.”

Tillerson added that “those steps are underway” already.

It’s a marked shift from last week, when Tillerson told reporters in Turkey that Assad’s future would be up to the Syrian people — an apparent departure from former President Barack Obama’s stated position that he had to leave power. And it adds a new layer of complexity to Tillerson’s upcoming trip to Moscow, as Russia has provided Assad with major military and diplomatic support.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government is now indicating that Assad might not enjoy “unconditional support” from them, as they disclaimed responsibility for the Syrian gas attack. “It is not correct to say that Moscow can convince Mr. Assad to do whatever is wanted in Moscow,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “This is totally wrong.” So, there is a slim chance that the Russians may back down. I doubt the Iranians will, but we will see. A show of force from the US under the Trump administration may be enough to contain this. I have my doubts.

“There is no doubt in our minds and the information we have supports that the Syria, the Syrian regime under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad, are responsible for this attack,” Tillerson said. As I pointed out earlier, they have intel we have not seen and I understand there is no doubt on this at all now. The US blames Assad for a chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, a rebel-controlled town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province. The attack left 72 people dead and possibly hundreds more wounded. Originally, it was claimed that the rebels had hidden chemical weapons in a warehouse and that when blown up, they spread. But that is being disproven as I write this. The rebels also have no way of dispersing a chemical weapon even if they had one.

Tillerson was asked whether the US is considering military strikes against the Syrian government: “We are considering an appropriate response for this chemical weapons attack, which violates all previous U.N. resolutions, violates international norms and long-held agreements between parties including the Syrian regime, the Russian government and all other members of the Security Council,” he said. According to a CNN report today, members of Congress told the network that President Donald Trump has told them the US has considered a military response to the gas attack as one of its options. CBS reported that military options could include cruise missile strikes from Navy ships targeting command and control operations, suspected chemical weapons facilities and military forces.

“…we think its time that the Russians really need to think carefully about their continued support of the Assad regime,” Tillerson said Wednesday. “Those who defend and support him, including Russia and Iran, should have no illusions about Assad or his intentions. Anyone who uses chemical weapons to attack his own people shows a fundamental disregard for human decency and must be held accountable,” Tillerson added. We are quickly running out of options and the war drums are ever louder now. Assad should know that America is preparing to come for him and soon.

12/15/16

The Blood of Aleppo is on Obama’s Hands

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

It’s amazing how CNN’s talking heads can devote so much time to the “scandal” of Donald J. Trump’s sons participating in interviews of cabinet picks, but can’t connect the dots between the bloody tragedy in Aleppo and President Barack Obama’s pro-terrorist policy in the Middle East.

During the day on Wednesday, we saw CNN repeatedly air gruesome film footage of the massacre of civilians in Aleppo by the Russians and their Iranian and Syrian puppets. Not once did any CNN talking head bother to point out that Obama’s policy of intervention, through support of terrorist groups in Syria who are losing the war, may have had a role in the unfolding massacre.

In a scandal that makes the alleged Russian hacking of Democratic emails appear minor by comparison, a Democratic member of the U.S. House has taken to the House floor to say that Obama’s CIA has been aiding the Islamic terrorist groups ISIS and al-Qaeda for the purpose of overthrowing the Syrian regime.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced legislation to curb the Obama administration’s pro-terrorist policy, calling it the Stop Arming Terrorists bill (H.R. 6405).

A member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gabbard served two tours of duty in the Middle East, and continues her service as a major in the Army National Guard.

In a December 8 press release, Gabbard said, “Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”

By U.S. government she means the Obama administration.

Specifically, she named the CIA, saying, “The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.”

Gabbard made similar remarks on the House floor.

Since Gabbard is a Democrat, these seem to be extraordinary allegations that cannot be dismissed as partisan sniping from Obama’s political enemies. Can it be that Obama is arming terrorists at a time when the U.S. is supposed to be fighting them? This seems like insanity, even treason.

You may recall that Obama once threatened the Syrian regime not to cross a “red line” in its offensive military operations. The “red line” today is covered with the blood of people in Aleppo because Obama never enforced it. All he did was support terrorist and other groups opposed to the regime. They are losing the war.

Is it actually true that Obama has been arming terrorists through the CIA? It’s interesting to point out that Gabbard quoted news accounts from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

But these papers did not make this into even a minor scandal. The media have now moved on to the CIA’s allegations against Trump and the Russians. It’s a convenient change of subject that is designed to shield Obama’s legacy from the evidence of how he contributed to the conflict, and did nothing to stop a massacre, once his side began to lose.

On Jake Tapper’s CNN show on December 8, the issue got some attention, as Tapper seemed caught off-guard and was unfamiliar with what Obama’s CIA has been doing in the region. This is the exchange with Gabbard that took place:

Tapper: You say [loopholes] have allowed American taxpayer dollars to fund terror groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria. Are youare you suggesting that the U.S. government is funding these terrorist groups?

Gabbard: I’m not only suggesting it. This isthis is the reality that we’re living in.

Tapper: Not directly, though.

Gabbard: Most Americansyou know, if you wereI were to go and provide money, weapons, or support or whatever to a group like Al Qaeda or ISIS, you would immediately be thrown in jail. However, the U.S. government has been providing money, weapons, intel assistance and other types of support through the CIA, directly to these groups that are working with and are affiliated with Al Qaeda and ISIS.  

Tapper: So, you’re saying the CIA is giving money to groups in Syria, and those groups are working with Al-Nusra and ISIS.

Gabbard: There arethere have been numerous reports from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets who have declared that these rebel groups have formed these battlefield alliances with Al Qaeda…essentially [it] is Al Qaeda groups [that] are in charge of every single rebel group on the ground fighting in Syria to overthrow the Syrian government.  

Tapper: And the U.S. government says they vet the groups that they give money to very, very closely. And that you’re wrong, there are not alliances between groups that the American taxpayers fund and these other groups. Obviously, they all are fighting Assad.

Gabbard: I beg to differ. Evidence has shown time and time again that that is not the case, that we are both directly and indirectly supporting these groups who are allied with or partnered with Al Qaeda and ISIS, in working to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad. And we’ve also been providing that support through countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to do that.

Obama’s alleged support for terrorism does not get the kind of attention that the media, led by The Washington Post and New York Times, lavish on anonymous charges from unnamed intelligence officials regarding Russia supposedly helping Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Obama’s CIA director John Brennan has said in the past that he will not sanction the waterboarding of terrorists to get information about their plans. “I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,” Brennan said. By institution, he means the CIA.

No wonder he won’t use controversial interrogation tactics on terrorists to prevent terrorist attacks. According to Gabbard, his CIA is arming the same terrorists for the specific purpose of carrying out terrorist attacks.

Perhaps the President-elect talked about this subject with Gabbard when she visited him at Trump Tower. Perhaps Trump wants to know what the CIA has been doing.

It appears that Rep. Gabbard is an independent and dissident voice in the Democratic Party who is willing to blow the whistle on a Democratic President whose pro-terrorist policies are resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands.

Let’s face it: the media don’t care about Obama arming terrorists because he’s Obama and has to be allowed to get away with policies that would result in another president of another political party being impeached.

CNN would rather talk about Donald J. Trump, Jr. sitting in a meeting to discuss cabinet picks.

Never mind that the Obama policy, designed to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, was an embarrassing failure, and that thousands of innocent civilians are paying the price in blood.

Our media will move on so that Obama’s benevolent legacy can be preserved.


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.

12/13/16

Aleppo: Tell Our Story After We Are Gone

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Update as of 2:24 EST, December 13, 2016, a truce and a cease fire announced.

The Syrian government has established control over eastern Aleppo, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday. More from CNN.

It was October of 2016, that I interviewed Abdulkafi Al-Hamdo that is mentioned weeks later, today, in this article. He told me the same then, don’t cry for us, tell our story. You could hear the reckoning in his voice, his time on earth was short. (Segment 2) Barack Obama and John Kerry own this genocide and hence should be the mantle of their policy legacy.

 

Last Rebels in Aleppo Say Assad Forces Are Burning People Alive

As the Syrian dictator’s coalition captures the last rebel-held neighborhoods, residents are bidding the world farewell and opposition media says mass atrocities have already begun.

DailyBeast: Amid celebratory gunfire and cheers from Assad loyalists, foreign militias under Iranian command and troops loyal to the regime on Monday captured about 90 percent of the opposition-held areas of eastern Aleppo.

The last hope of the besieged rebels, most of whom seem to have withdrawn in the face of certain defeat, had been to receive reinforcements or resupplies from their counterparts in the southern and western suburbs. That option has now been foreclosed upon as these routes are completely interdicted by the regime.

The triumphal takeover of the citadel of the Syrian revolution followed a day of intense bombing of houses and apartment buildings, destroying so many that it was impossible to determine the death toll. The neighborhoods of Bustan al-Qasr, al-Kallasa, al-Farod and al-Salhin in the Old City, as well as Sheikh Saed, in the southern district, are all now under regime control.

The Syrian Civil Defense, or White Helmets, an internationally renowned team of first responders, said more than 90 bodies of people presumed to be still alive are under debris and that its volunteer staff reported they could hear the voices of children trapped in the rubble of their houses.

A member of the group in Aleppo told al-Arabiya TV on Monday night that men, women, and children were huddling and crying in the streets and at the gates of empty buildings in the few neighborhoods that remained in the hands of the opposition. He described the situation as hopeless, because precision munitions and indiscriminate barrel bombs had destroyed the city’s medical facilities, ambulances, and fuel supply.

Unconfirmed reports, circulated by opposition media, suggest that mass atrocities have already begun, such as the summary executions of 17 in al-Kalaseh neighborhood, 22 in Bostan al-Kasrand, and the immolation of four women and nine children on al-Firdous Street. The Daily Beast could not independently confirm these figures.

The official Syrian news agency SANA claimed that eight people were killed and 47 were injured in regime-held Aleppo after opposition fighters bombed the city. Most of the victims were women and children, according to the agency.

Activists and residents of the ever-dwindling opposition pocket, an urban islet of about five square kilometers and home to as many as 100,000 people, spent the day signing off from social media, asking journalists to tell their story, and warning of their impending demise.

The Daily Beast was able to get in touch with Abdulkafi Al-Hamdo, a university teacher in the besieged city. The brief conversation was as follows:

TDB: “I hope you’re safe.”

AA: “I don’t think I will be tomorrow.”

TDB: “Do you expect all the remaining besieged neighborhoods will fall by tomorrow?”

AA: “No. Except over the body of every civilian. I won’t surrender my body, and my wife, and my daughter to the Assad regime without defending them… I hope that you’ll tell everyone what I’m saying.”

On a publicly visible WhatsApp feed belonging to the Aleppo Siege Media Center, al-Hamdo was more fatalistic. “Doomsday is held in Aleppo,” he said. “People are running don’t know where. People are under the rubble alive and no one can save them. Some people are injured in the streets and no one can go to help them [because] the bombs are [falling on] the same place.”

Award-winning blogger and activist Marcell Shehwaro, a native of Aleppo, shared on Facebook a message from one of her most “peaceful” and least-sectarian friends. “No Marcell, don’t worry,” it read. “I will kill myself, I won’t let them arrest me.”

Lina al-Shamy, a 26-year-old woman, posted a video of herself to Twitter. Speaking in fluent English, al-Shamy said: “To everyone who can hear me. We are here exposed to a genocide in the besieged city of Aleppo. This may be my last video. More than 50,000 civilians who rebelled against the dictator, al-Assad, are threatened with field executions or dying under bombing. According to activists, more than 180 people have been field executed in the areas the regime has recently retook control of by Assad’s gangs and the militias that support them. The civilians are stuck in a very small area that doesn’t exceed two square kilometers. With no safe zones, no life, every bomb is a new massacre. Save Aleppo, save humanity.”

Jouad al-Khateb had a similar message—one hesitates to call it valedictory— for the world. In Arabic, he told the camera: “Behind me is the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood. Since last night up to the present moment, it is being bombed with every kind of weapon; vacuum rockets, missiles. The rockets have not stopped since last night. The people coming out of Bustan al-Qasr are telling me it’s become a city of ghosts. More than 20 families remain under the rubble across various districts.” The White Helmets were unable to reach any of the victims, al-Khateb added.

“My message to those watching: Just stop the waterfall of blood for us. We don’t want to leave the besieged areas. Just stop the waterfall of blood. It’s as if this has become very normal for the international community, you know, a rocket falls, 20 or 30 people are killed, under the rubble, they can’t pull them out—that’s a totally normal thing. In any case, there’s no space for graves to bury them in. Let them be buried under the buildings. I think this will be my last video, because we’ve gotten bored of talking, bored of speeches.”

Al-Khateb was interrupted by a loud groaning sound.

“That’s a barrel bomb,” he said, referring to one of the regime’s most notorious improvised munitions, a metal canister filled with high explosives and shrapnel, which are dropped indiscriminately from helicopters.

Another trapped resident, Ameen al-Halabi, boasted on Facebook, “I’m waiting for death or imprisonment by the Assad forces. I would rather die on the soil of my land than be arrested by their faithless militias.” Al-Halabi asked his friends to forgive him if this was the last message he wrote.

On several rebel chat forums on the popular messaging application Telegram, there were calls for the youth of Syria to wage “jihad” against the conquerors of Aleppo, if only to defend the honor of women who had allegedly been raped in the course of the Assadist blitzkrieg.

Whether or not that particular war crime has yet occurred in Aleppo—though human-rights monitors have documented mass rape in Syrian regime prisons since the start of the conflict—the call for holy war against the regime may yet take hold. For this reason, the CIA and Joints Chiefs of Staff earlier advised the Obama administration that the fall of eastern Aleppo, apart from being a humanitarian catastrophe, would also constitute a counterterrorism threat to the United States. The radicalization of survivors is all but a foregone conclusion.

As for those already radicalized, they’ve had a remarkably auspicious week. While the regime was focused on reclaiming Aleppo, ISIS, or the self-proclaimed Islamic State, was able to completely retake another ancient Syrian city, Palmyra, which it had lost, to much international fanfare, last March.

Despite the gravity of the day’s events, and the many breaches of international law that led to the collapse of the rebel-held area, U.S. political leaders were slow to comment. President Obama has watched in silence as Russia and the Assad regime have committed what Secretary of State John Kerry called crimes against humanity, and Donald Trump has not once publicly mentioned the word “Aleppo” on his favorite social-media platform, Twitter, since being elected president of the United States a month ago. Kerry even meekly invited the Kremlin over the weekend to show “a little grace” in how it recaptured eastern Aleppo.

“The Holy Quran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as—it is as if he has killed all mankind. And the Holy Quran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.”

So did Obama tell a receptive audience in Cairo, in 2009, in a much-scrutinized maiden speech of his administration. (The second line in this sacred allusion, as it happens, is also the mantra of the now-helpless White Helmets.)

The president who came to office promising to repair the breach between the United States and the Islamic world, putatively caused by the war on terror and the invasion and occupation of Iraq, is now set to leave office having done little to stop to the slaughter or displacement of millions in Syria or the wholesale destruction of one of Islam’s most venerated cities.

02/29/16

Is Trump a Sleeper Agent for Moscow?

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The media are having a field day over the fact that former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke supports Donald Trump for president. Trump has disavowed him. But why does Duke support Trump in the first place? It really has nothing to do with appeals to white voters. The significance of Duke’s support for Trump consists of their similar views on Russia.

Trump has spoken highly of Russian President Vladimir Putin, describing him as a strong leader who defends Russian interests and who could be an ally of the United States, especially in the Middle East. Duke believes much the same thing, and has a personal relationship with a long-time adviser to Putin who has devised an anti-American “Eurasian” alliance that includes Iran in the Middle East.

Those like Republican Senator Jeff Sessions (AL) who endorse Trump because he sounds tough on immigration have an obligation to understand how Trump’s deference to Russian aggression in the Middle East will only increase the flow of immigrants into Europe and the United States.

Continue reading

10/18/15

Hillary Clinton and the “Dark Forces” in Benghazi

By: Cliff Kincaid
America’s Survival

Kenneth Timmerman

Kenneth Timmerman, author of Dark forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi, looks at Hillary Clinton’s next scheduled appearance before the Benghazi special committee and the Iranian nuclear deal. He cites evidence that the Iranians were behind the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans on September 11, 2012. In addition, Timmerman says Iran was involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks. Timmerman also discusses Russian backing for Iran and the Russian role in attacking the opponents of Assad in Syria. Timmerman also looks at: Will Russia attack the Kurds? And who are the Kurds? Is Obama a Muslim? Will Israel strike Iran?