01/19/17

How Obama’s CIA Manipulated the Media

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The CIA and its media allies have thrown everything but the proverbial kitchen sink at President Donald J. Trump. Media bias, anonymous sources, and intelligence “garbage” have been on display. But the 25-page Intelligence Community report on alleged Russian hacking activities deserves special consideration, since a significant part of it relied on analysts hard at work watching broadcasts of Russia Today (RT) television. You wouldn’t know it by reading the report, but RT has historically been a mouthpiece of “progressives” favorable to the Democratic Party. Indeed, the Obama administration saw RT in the past as part of the “progressive” media organizations supporting left-wing causes.

Not only that, but RT was useful in disrupting the 2012 Republican presidential primary. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) dismissed my well-documented 2012 complaint about RT’s open support for libertarian Ron Paul and his pro-Russia views. We cited evidence that RT was funded by the Kremlin and prohibited under law from intervening in U.S. elections. The FEC dismissed the complaint, saying RT was a legitimate press entity and a U.S. corporation with First Amendment rights.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which supposedly monitors extremists, found nothing objectionable about RT when its own “Intelligence Report” Editor Mark Potok appeared on the April 26, 2010 edition of Russia Today’s “CrossTalk” program to discuss the rise of “right-wing” groups and so-called “Christian militias.” That was at a time when RT was seen as an important “progressive” outlet.

The Obama administration’s official concern about RT and other Russian activities came late, after years of inaction on complaints from Accuracy in Media and others about RT propaganda activities. The Russians suddenly became scapegoats for the loss of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. This new-found interest in the influence of the channel was a tip-off that the left-wing complaints about RT echoed in the Intelligence Community report are not to be taken seriously.

What should be cause for concern are the agents of influence in the media who disguise their CIA contacts as anonymous sources and were part of an intelligence community (IC) effort to discredit President Trump.

Who was Putin’s Candidate?

Looking at the election objectively, it is possible to say that Russian leader Vladimir Putin may have had a personal vendetta against the former U.S. secretary of state for some reason, stemming from allegations of U.S. meddling in Russian internal affairs. On the other hand, Putin may have preferred that Clinton become the U.S. president because her failed Russian “reset” had facilitated Russian military intervention in Ukraine and Syria, and he believed he could continue to take advantage of her.

In addition to the expansion under the Russian reset, the Russians obtained favored nation trading status under President Obama, giving them access to U.S. capital, and New START, a nuclear weapons agreement giving Moscow a strategic advantage.

Historically, the Russians have always found the Democrats to be friendlier to their global ambitions. Professor Paul Kengor broke a story on how “the liberals’ lover-boy,” Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), had “reached out to Victor Chebrikov at the KGB and Yuri Andropov at the Kremlin” to work against President Ronald Reagan.

One FBI memorandum examined “contacts between representatives of the Soviet Union and members of staff personnel of the United States Congress,” and listed several senators, including Ted Kennedy and George McGovern of South Dakota, the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972. Another was Walter Mondale of Minnesota, President Jimmy Carter’s vice president, who ran against President Reagan in 1984.

Our anti-Trump media accepted the January 6 report, “Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” because it was designed to convey the impression that Trump was favored by the Russians.

Such a charge was welcomed by the liberal media, in particular because it allowed them to divert attention away from the substance of the WikiLeaks revelations that showed how major journalists worked hand-in-glove with Hillary Clinton-for-president staffers. These disclosures were in emails hacked from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee. Yet, the IC report says that WikiLeaks, an alleged Russian agent, disseminated truthful information. “Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries,” the report says.

This is quite a turnaround for the Russians. In the past the Russians would alter or forge documents to make people look bad. This time, the Russians revealed the truth. For this reason, AIM published the article, “Thank you Vladimir Putin.” Of course, the Russians do not provide accurate and truthful information to their own people and they conduct propaganda and disinformation campaigns targeting foreign audiences. Their alleged illegal hacking into the private accounts of Americans cannot be justified. But Podesta and other Democrats can be criticized for failing to safeguard their own information and virtually inviting foreign hacking.

Russian intentions in allegedly providing the emails to WikiLeaks are a subject worthy of attention. But the conclusion that the Russians favored Trump over Clinton cannot be sustained by the evidence in the report. The IC report fails miserably in articulating how the Russians use dialectical maneuvers in playing both sides of the political street in the U.S.

RT’s Intervention in 2012

One of the glaring omissions in the report on Russian interference in “recent elections” is the failure to address the evidence that RT television was giving enormously favorable coverage in the 2012 presidential campaign to then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian with pro-Russia views on foreign policy. He ran in the Republican presidential primary.

One RT show featured libertarian host Adam Kokesh endorsing Paul and highlighting a “money bomb” fundraising campaign for him. Some political observers at the time believed that Paul’s campaign had the potential to undermine the Republican Party as it went into the 2012 campaign, and thereby help guarantee Obama’s re-election.

Of course, Obama won that election, after dismissing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia was a geopolitical threat to the United States. Obama had been caught on an open mic before the election promising to be “flexible” in changing his positions to benefit Russia. These comments provide more evidence that Obama was never the anti-Russian figure he postured as in the final days of his second term.

In understanding Russian motives and intentions, seven pages of the new IC report are devoted to RT television being a front for the Russian government. We’ve published dozens of stories over the years about RT’s service to the Moscow regime. So why didn’t the Obama Justice Department act on TV producer Jerry Kenney’s complaint that RT should register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and be labeled as foreign propaganda? That’s what the law requires.

This wasn’t the only documented case of Obama administration inaction on the Russian threat at that time. Kenney had alleged violations of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that had given foreign broadcasters such as RT access to taxpayer-funded public television stations. The FCC dropped the complaint when the TV stations amended their contract with MHz Networks, the distributor of RT, to allow the station to preempt the foreign programming.

The evidence is clear: Obama’s various federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the FCC and the FEC, refused to take any direct action against RT over the years when it was engaging in anti-Republican activities and supporting the progressive movement. But when they saw they could use RT as a weapon against Trump, they suddenly became concerned about foreign interference in the U.S. political process.

RT Backed Bernie

Although the IC report insists that the Russians had a “preference” for Donald J. Trump for president, we noted back in August of 2015 that RT’s Thom Hartmann, a leading American progressive, was backing “Bolshevik Bernie” Sanders for president. In 2016 Sanders appeared on RT with new RT hire, Ed Schultz, formerly of MSNBC.

Yet the intelligence community report makes no mention of RT programs backing Sanders, whose Russian connections included visiting the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. Sanders was a fellow traveler of the Moscow-controlled U.S. Peace Council.

The focus on Trump runs counter to the stated purpose of the report and reflects the political bias therein. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) says that “On December 9, 2016, President Barack Obama directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review and produce a comprehensive intelligence report assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections.” (emphasis added). Yet, nothing is said about RT’s involvement in the 2012 contest that Obama won.

The U.S. IC is described as “a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations, including the ODNI,” but only three were involved in the report. They were the CIA, FBI and NSA. It is generally believed that CIA Director John Brennan was the guiding force behind the Obama administration effort to blame the Russians for Trump’s election victory. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd had all denounced Trump. Former CIA operations officer Evan McMullin even ran against Trump as an independent presidential candidate.

It certainly looks as if the CIA interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Perhaps blaming the Russians was an attempt to get the attention off the agency.

Brennan was accused of converting to Islam when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. His CIA under Obama’s orders directed the shipment of arms to jihadist groups in the Middle East. At a congressional panel on diversity in hiring, he admitted voting Communist when he was in college.

His focus at the agency has been on hiring people with “diverse” backgrounds, such as transgenders, and he even signed a policy document on a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” for the years 2016 to 2019, beyond his tenure as director.

Rather than go down in history with a reputation for defending America, The Wall Street Journal reports that Brennan “would prefer his legacy be the way he fought to nurture a workforce that reflected America’s diversity.” The Journal added, “During his tenure he has put particular emphasis on promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers. He was the first CIA director to attend an annual social gathering of LGBTQ employees and has been known to wear a rainbow lanyard around the office as a symbol of solidarity.”

It looks like the focus on “diversity” in hiring has taken precedence over getting the facts right about foreign threats. Indeed, some observers, such as former FBI agent John Guandolo, have suggested that President Trump should abolish and replace the CIA with a new organization. “In 15 years they haven’t gotten a strategic analysis of the threat right—yet,” he told me in a recent interview.

Partners in Crime

The CIA will have to answer to its new director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump’s pick to run the agency.

But the media have a lot to answer for as well. If WikiLeaks has suddenly became a Russian front or conduit, why are American news organizations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post still included among the “partners” with WikiLeaks in distributing its information? Other partners include the British Guardian, The Intercept, The Nation, McClatchy, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, RT.

If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a Russian agent, why did major U.S. media organizations partner with him? Why did they not investigate him at that time? One of my groups did so, publishing the report, “Julian Assange: Whistleblower or Spy for Moscow?” At that time, Assange was considered a courageous whistleblower by the liberal press. They hailed WikiLeaks for releasing the classified documents that were stolen by Army intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning, whose sentence for espionage has been shortened by Obama.

In addition to these issues and questions, some parts of the report lend themselves to a far different interpretation of Russian motives in U.S. politics.

For example, the IC report notes that RT ran a story against fracking, a technique that has sparked U.S. oil and gas production. The report says, “RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.”

The 2016 Democratic Party platform is highly critical of fracking. So does this mean the Democrats are doing the bidding of Putin? The progressive movement is almost completely against fracking. Does that mean that the progressives are puppets of Putin?

Consider this exchange between Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Director of Intelligence James Clapper:

Cotton: There’s a widespread assumption, this has been expressed by Secretary Clinton herself since the election, that Vladimir Putin favored Donald Trump in this election. Donald Trump has proposed to increase our defense budget to accelerate nuclear modernization, to accelerate ballistic missile defenses, and to expand and accelerate oil and gas production which would obviously harm Russia’s economy. Hillary Clinton opposed or at least was not as enthusiastic about all those measures. Would each of those put the United States in a stronger strategic position against Russia?

Clapper: Currently, anything we do to enhance our military capabilities, absolutely.

Cotton: There is some contrary evidence, despite what the media speculates, that perhaps Donald Trump is not the best candidate for Russia.

By this objective measure of actual policies, Trump will prove to be more harmful to Russia than Hillary Clinton could ever hope to be.

The report notes that RT ran stories promoting the Occupy Wall Street movement. It says, “RT framed the movement as a fight against ‘the ruling class’ and described the current US political system as corrupt and dominated by corporations. RT advertising for the documentary featured Occupy movement calls to ‘take back’ the government. The documentary claimed that the US system cannot be changed democratically, but only through ‘revolution.’ After the 6 November US presidential election, RT aired a documentary called ‘Cultures of Protest,’ about active and often violent political resistance.”

We had noted RT’s favorable coverage of the Occupy movement. Of course, Occupy Wall Street was a left-wing political movement aligned with the progressives and even encouraged by President Obama. So does this mean that Obama was doing the bidding of the Russians?

RT Evades U.S. Law

The IC report explains how RT bypassed American laws such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act “by using a Moscow-based autonomous nonprofit organization to finance its US operations.” The report goes on, “According to RT’s leadership, this structure was set up to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act and to facilitate licensing abroad. In addition, RT rebranded itself in 2008 to deemphasize its Russian origin.” Still, the financing for the channel comes from the Russian government, the report says.

So RT is, and has been, a foreign state-funded entity that should be subject to federal oversight from agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FCC, and the FEC. Yet, only now, after Hillary Clinton has lost the presidential election, has the IC been ordered to release a public report on what the Russian channel has been doing in U.S. elections.

The only thing that has changed over the years is that RT is now somehow considered to be a factor in Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

“RT hires or makes contractual agreements with Westerners with views that fit its agenda and airs them on RT,” the report says. Of course, we’ve documented this for years. However, RT hosts like Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz are not Trump supporters or conservatives. They are progressives.

Over the years, the liberal media have treated Hartmann and Schultz as progressive heroes. A Politico article from 2013, “Thom Hartmann: View from the left,” didn’t even mention his work for RT.

Hartmann claims editorial control over his own show. But since the IC report says RT hires people whose views “fit” their agenda, a quick look at Hartmann’s RT website is worthwhile. It suggests that the Russians are interested in issues such as saving Obamacare and how the Trump presidency could bring on an economic crash.

Bashing Conservatives, RT-Style

It seems that RT has suddenly reverted to its anti-conservative style of coverage. Guests on Hartmann’s RT program come from the left and right, but mostly from the left. They have recently included:

  • Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council
  • Author Max Blumenthal
  • Media analyst and critic Jeff Cohen
  • Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
  • Chris Lewis of Public Knowledge
  • Alex Lawson of Social Security Works and Valerie Ervin of the Working Families Party
  • Democracy Spring Director Kai Newkirk and Sarah Badawi of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Years ago I had the opportunity to ask Hartmann face-to-face about his acceptance of Russian rubles to do his show. He tried to grab my camera to prevent me from taping his response.

If the liberal media are now truly concerned about Russian influence in the U.S. political process, rather than just using the issue as a weapon against Trump, they should take a look at Hartmann and his comrades on RT and review their own “partner” relationship with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

After this review is complete, they should take another look at the IC report and determine why and how agencies like the CIA became adjuncts of the Democratic Party with a partisan bias against the new Republican president.

Since we know that the media and the Democrats work hand-in-glove, perhaps it’s time to investigate the CIA’s relationship with the media.


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.

01/17/17

Will the Real Russian Agent Please Stand Up?

By: Cliff Kincaid – Accuracy in Media

The civil rights “icon,” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), has suddenly discovered the dangers of Russian influence in the U.S. political process. He tells Chuck Todd of NBC News, “I don’t see this President-elect [Donald J. Trump] as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

It will be interesting to see if Lewis disavows Russian manipulation of the civil rights movement. The movement began as a reasonable demand for equal rights for blacks, but was manipulated by outside agitators associated with the Moscow-funded Communist Party USA into becoming an instrument of Russian foreign policy.

The sad truth about Martin Luther King, Jr. is that his original mission of equal rights for black Americans changed later in life when he was surrounded by pro-Moscow communist advisers who turned him against the Vietnam War. A noble effort to save South Vietnam from communism was eventually defeated, not by the communist enemy on the military battlefield but by a Democratic Party-controlled Congress which terminated assistance to the government in Saigon. Vietnam became, and remains, a communist dictatorship.

Lewis became one of many black pawns in this Soviet scheme when he wrote for Freedomways—a propaganda organ of the Communist Party USA, and Soviet front organizations such as the World Peace Council—for 25 years. Freedomways was influential in the black community.

Lewis wrote a 1965 Freedomways article, “Paul Robeson: Inspirer of Youth,” about the famous actor and singer who had been a member of the CPUSA and admirer of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. In one of his more controversial statements, Robeson said that “American Negroes would never go to war against Russia,” because blacks loved Russia so much.

Today, however, blacks like Lewis are suddenly finding the Russians to be odious and obnoxious because they are perceived to have supported Trump.

The communist penetration and manipulation of the civil rights movement has been documented in the Operation SOLO documents still on the FBI website. They demonstrate that the Soviet Union illegally provided funding, reportedly more than $28 million, to the Communist Party USA, which then provided some of it to Freedomways. The documents are based on FBI informants, Morris and Jack Childs, who had infiltrated the highest levels of the CPUSA and had participated in meetings with foreign communist parties.

The presidency of Barack Obama proves that Martin Luther King, Jr. was not the last black figure to be manipulated by Moscow. In Obama’s case, it was Frank Marshall Davis, his mentor and suspected Soviet espionage agent. Strangely, Davis was recommended as a father figure for Obama by Obama’s own grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, who was reputed to be a CIA officer monitoring Davis’s communist activities.

It’s funny how the CIA did not issue any public warnings or alerts about the Russian influence on Obama before he took office in 2008. Nothing surfaced in the press from the CIA about Obama’s communist connections in Hawaii or Chicago.

It’s also strange that Dunham’s FBI file was conveniently destroyed in 1997.

As Obama leaves the presidency, it is relevant to go back in history to 2007, when Marxist writer Gerald Horne gave a speech, “Rethinking the History and Future of the Communist Party.” Horne mentioned how black CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis had gone to Hawaii in 1948 and had become friends with a “Euro-American family” that included a child “who goes by the name of Barack Obama…”

Notice the odd use of the phrase “who goes by the name of Barack Obama.”

Horne had said, “In his best-selling memoir ‘Dreams of my Father,’ [sic] the author [Barack Obama] speaks warmly of an older black poet, he identifies simply as ‘Frank,’ as being a decisive influence in helping him to find his present identity as an African-American, a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation—though you would never know it from reading so-called left journals of opinion.”

Horne’s reference to African-Americans as “a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation” reflects Moscow’s successful effort to manipulate the civil rights movement and divert some of its members into pro-Moscow causes, such as abandoning the people of South Vietnam to communism.

For his part, Obama has abandoned the people of Crimea and eastern Ukraine to the Russians. It’s Obama, not Trump, who ordered the CIA to support Syrian “rebels” and jihadists, only to provoke a Russian military intervention that has left Russia and its allies with major gains in the Middle East.

By any objective measure, the Russians have benefited nicely from the Obama presidency. Yet it’s Trump who stands accused by the Democrats and their media allies (and some conservatives) of being pro-Russian.

Having been left with a weakened U.S. military and foreign policy disasters around the globe, it’s no wonder that Trump wants to see if the Russians can be persuaded to stop their aggression. It may be a false hope, but he seems to think it is worth talking about. In any case, a U.S. military confrontation with Russia in Europe or the Middle East doesn’t make any sense at this time.

We’ve asked the question before, and it’s worthwhile to ask it again, as Obama leaves the presidency. Why was Gerald Horne’s speech about the history and “future” of the CPUSA? Was he saying something about Obama that only he and other CPUSA insiders knew? Did Horne know something special about Obama’s relationship with Davis? Indeed, had information about Obama been provided by Davis to other CPUSA members? And what did the CIA know about Obama’s communist connections to Davis and others?

Horne anticipated that Obama would go down in history because he understood that the CPUSA had been working in the black community for decades, laying the groundwork for Obama’s candidacy.

If Lewis really wants to expose Russian influence, let’s begin with an inquiry into how the CPUSA targeted black intellectuals, entertainers and politicians, by using a CPUSA-controlled and Soviet-funded journal called Freedomways. We can also take a look at Barack Obama’s connection to a Russian agent by the name of Frank Marshall Davis.

Somehow I doubt that John Lewis and his media sycophants will want to conduct a probe into that.


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.

01/15/17

The CIA’s War on Trump, Continued

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Echoing New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s warning that the intelligence community is out to “get” President-elect Trump, a Brookings Institution expert who served in the Clinton administration says that Trump’s treatment of his spies will “come back to bite him” in the form of “devastating” leaks to the media that will make him look foolish or incompetent.

Leaking by intelligence officials and analysts is, of course, illegal.

“The intelligence community doesn’t leak as much as the Pentagon or Congress, but when its reputation is at stake, it can do so to devastating effect,” says Daniel Benjamin of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Benjamin previously served as the principal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on counterterrorism and was embroiled in the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s failure to stop the massacre of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

Benjamin’s article, “How Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community will come back to haunt him,” did not refute the widely held belief that President Obama’s CIA and its director John Brennan were behind the recent leaks to The Washington Post and New York Times  depicting Trump as a Russian puppet. In fact, the implication is that the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community will seek further revenge on Trump if he continues to criticize them.

At his recent news conference, in regard to the leaks about his meetings with intelligence officials, Trump noted that “I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are classified and certified meetings and reports.”

But it appears that some intelligence officials believe they are above the law and can use illegal leaks to damage an elected President who has been critical of their work product.

In the most recent case, CNN and BuzzFeed were leaked a document offering unsubstantiated claims of Trump being sexually compromised by Russian officials. CNN summarized the document; BuzzFeed published the whole thing.

Trump denounced these leaks, with Director of the Office of National Intelligence James Clapper disclosing that he had called Trump about them and had declared his “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press…” He said that he and Trump “both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.”

Trump said Clapper “called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.”

“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [Intelligence Community],” Clapper said. However, he did not indicate what investigation, if any, he had conducted to make this determination.

“When something goes wrong—say a military deployment to combat jihadi insurgents in the Middle East blows up in the Trump administration’s face—the press will overflow with stories telling of intelligence reports that were ignored by the White House and briefings the president missed,” Benjamin wrote. Such stories, of course, would be based on illegal leaks.

“Imagine what an aggrieved intel community might do to a genuinely hostile president,” he said. Benjamin’s comments suggest that the intelligence community will use the media to blame Trump for things that go wrong in foreign affairs, in order to protect its own reputation.

Benjamin should know something about the relationship of the Intelligence Community to the news media. His bio says that he began his career as a journalist and held positions as the Germany bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Germany correspondent for Time magazine.

The Brookings expert said, “the CIA is usually one of the very first agencies to establish a relationship with new chief executives, because of the briefings it delivers before elections have even occurred and the beguiling prospect it offers of handling missions quietly and efficiently.”

It’s not clear what he means by this. The Obama CIA’s “covert” arms-running program in Syria has backfired in a big way, provoking a Russian military intervention, the loss of up to 500,000 lives, and a refugee crisis which threatens the future of Europe.

Benjamin speculated that Trump will ask the CIA to organize a covert operation to undermine the regime in Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, and that the agency will offer him options that don’t guarantee success and which he may have to reject. He wrote that “…it is an iron law of bureaucracy that no agency will knock itself out for a leader it deems capricious, especially one who cannot be relied on to defend his own if something goes wrong.”

“The answer from the intel community will never be no,” he said. “Instead, the planners will brief the president on three different approaches. Then they will assess the risk of failure for each at 60-80 percent, providing the Oval Office with a dare it cannot possibly accept. For some, of course, this could turn out to be a silver lining in otherwise dismal story.”

In short, the CIA will look for excuses not to proceed, and then get back to the business of leaking damaging stories to the press when terrorist incidents and other problems occur.

Is the CIA really the “invisible government” that the so-called “conspiracy theorists” have warned about? Is there a “deep state” that tries to run the government behind-the-scenes?

Articles like those of Daniel Benjamin, a journalist who became a Hillary Clinton operative in the counter-terrorism field, seem to be more damaging to the idea of American self-government than anything the Russians have been accused of doing.


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.

01/13/17

Our Warmonger President and the Lapdog Press

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

President Obama has moved the nation toward war with Russia, up to 500,000 are dead in Syria, Libya is a disaster, and Germany is welcoming a Muslim invasion of Europe that threatens the collapse of the European Union and NATO. Two million refugees are leaving the Middle East, some of them destined for the U.S.

Yet, Department of Defense News, an official Pentagon public relations outfit, released a story announcing that “Defense leaders hailed the commitment and accomplishments of departing commander in chief President Barack Obama in a formal military ceremony as he closes out his presidency.”

We were told that “During the ceremony, the president reviewed the troops from the five military branches, and received from [Defense Secretary Ashton] Carter the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. The event featured a 21-gun salute, and music from the U.S. Army Band ‘Pershing’s Own’ and the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.”

If we had anything approaching an honest and objective news media, Obama would not even have attempted such a spectacle, out of fear that he would become a laughingstock. He has presided over a humanitarian disaster in Syria, where American troops are now dying, and his no-win war on the Islamic State has never been approved by Congress.

The CIA and the Terrorists

PBS Newshour ran an interview with Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan, in which he said regarding Syria: “If we had a chance to do it over again, would there have been some adjustments and changes? I can’t speak for policy-makers. I’m not a policy-maker. But when I look back, in light of the way things evolved, I think that there could have been some adjustments to some of the policies, not just by the United States, but by other countries, in order to address this question earlier or, and not allow the ISILs and the Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaidas to gain momentum and steam and taking advantage of the destruction of that country.” Brennan went on to say, “…I think the way that the situation unfolded was—is regrettable.”

How does Obama’s CIA director get away with simply saying that the human misery and suffering in Syria spilling over into Europe are “regrettable?” Where is the accountability for this debacle? And on what legal and constitutional basis is America at war in Syria anyway?

Welcome to the world of what can be called media malpractice. Our media have fallen and they can’t get up. These matters of war and peace, life and death, are not significant enough to rise to the level of sustained media interest. After all, they might interfere with Obama’s approval ratings and tarnish his legacy.

It’s not as if the media don’t understand what Obama’s CIA has been doing. The Washington Post reported that a secret CIA operation to train and arm rebels in Syria had cost $1 billion by the middle of 2015. The Post said the program the CIA program set up in 2013 was “to bolster moderate forces.”

But according to Brennan on PBS, more radical groups joined the fight, leading to a “regrettable” situation.

If we had journalists trained in objective news reporting, we would have a media demanding accountability from the Obama administration over a “regrettable” policy that has spun out of control, leading to a human disaster of astounding proportions throughout the Middle East and Europe. Some are calling the Russian/Iranian/Syrian counterattack “genocide.”

On the left, fortunately, the media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has taken note of the fiasco, highlighting the fact that The Washington Post ran a column by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) insisting that the U.S. had “done nothing” in Syria. That’s nothing to the tune of $1 billion by the middle of 2015. FAIR wondered, as did I, whether the editors of the Post considered attaching a note to the McCain column stating that “the CIA has spent up to $1 billion a year on the Syrian opposition, or roughly $1 out of every $15 dollars the agency spends.”

Our Warnings

Back in 2013, this columnist warned that Obama’s Syria policy, which was supported by McCain, threatened to embolden al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria. That is precisely what happened.

When Brian Kilmeade of Fox News objected to “moderate” Syrian rebels yelling “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar,” McCain shot back: “Would you have a problem with an American or Christians saying ‘Thank God, Thank God?’ That’s what they’re saying. Come on! Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.”

“Jihad Watch” director Robert Spencer commented that “Allahu akbar” does not mean “Thank God.” Rather, he said, “It is a war cry which means ‘Allah is greater,’” and “is essentially a proclamation of superiority.” Spencer notes that it is the same cry that Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members shout as they kill Christians and destroy Christian churches.

At the time, however, many different publications, including Politico, The Huffington Post, Business Insider and Mediaite, ran stories about the exchange which claimed that McCain had somehow “shamed” Brian Kilmeade and Fox News, as if McCain knew what he was talking about and that Kilmeade had been exposed as an ignoramus.

Spencer wrote, “McCain’s appalling ignorance and Obama’s ongoing enthusiasm for all things Muslim Brotherhood, including the Syrian opposition, are leading the U.S. into disaster.”

That disaster has come to pass, not because the U.S. did “nothing,” as claimed by McCain, but because the U.S. did “something” to the tune of $1 billion and still failed. Now, McCain wants strong sanctions against Russia, over what he calls a hacking operation that constituted an “act of war” against the United States.

Using dubious “intelligence” reports, including one from the same CIA that engineered the Syrian disaster, Obama has announced sanctions against Russia and expulsions of Russian officials from the U.S.

No Declaration of War

Needless to say, Congress never declared war on Syria, in order to justify CIA funding of the “rebels” there. The Congress has also not declared war on the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, and yet we are at war in the Middle East against them, and American troops are dying on the battlefield.

In a matter-of-fact manner, The Washington Post recently reported, “In his first floor speech since he and Hillary Clinton lost the election, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) revived one of his signature issues Wednesday: urging Congress to authorize military force against the Islamic State terrorist group.”

That “signature issue” happens to involve the constitutional requirement that Congress alone can declare war. The term “signature” suggests that Kaine has made it into his own unique cause, and that other members don’t share his enthusiasm. The media certainly don’t care for what he is doing. After all, his analysis undermines the legal and constitutional basis of much of what Obama has been doing in the Middle East.

Is this not an issue about which the media, left and right, can agree: that the Obama administration and Congress should be held accountable when wars are conducted without proper authority? Does a Commander-in-Chief deserve the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and a 21-gun salute for going to war without the advice and consent of Congress?

In a speech paying tribute to Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton of Woodbridge, Virginia, who was killed in combat in Syria, Kaine highlighted “the costs of two and a half years of war against ISIL.” Kaine said, “I continue to believe, and I will say this in a very personal way as a military dad, that the troops we have deployed overseas deserve to know that Congress is behind this mission. As this war has expanded into two-plus years…more and more of our troops are risking and losing their lives far from home, I am concerned and raise again something I’ve raised often on this floor—that there is a tacit agreement to avoid debating this war in the one place it ought to be debated: in the halls of Congress.”

It has been reported that there are approximately 300 American troops on the ground inside Syria. Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton, 42, was killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in November near Ayn Issa, Syria.

Department of Defense News reported his death in a tiny story which carried the headline, “Department of Defense Identifies Navy Casualty.” He lost his life on Thanksgiving Day, November 24.

Senator Kaine is Right

The war against ISIS is based on the Congressional passage of the authorization for use of military force in September of 2001 to go after al-Qaeda for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. “We see that that authorization has been stretched way beyond what it was intended to do,” Kaine noted.

Demonstrating that he was not willing to get Obama off the hook, Kaine went on to say, “President Obama recently announced that the authorization is now going to be expanded to allow use of military action against al-Shabab, the African terrorist group—a dangerous terrorist group to be sure—but al-Shabab did not begin until 2007. So an original authorization that was very specific by this body to allow action against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks is now being used all over the globe against organizations that didn’t even exist when the 9/11 attack occurred.”

The New York Times reported Obama’s move in a matter-of-fact way under the headline, “Obama Expands War With Al Qaeda to Include Shabab in Somalia.” The Times explained, “The administration has decided to deem the Shabab, the Islamist militant group in Somalia, to be part of the armed conflict that Congress authorized against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to senior American officials.”

The paper acknowledged this “stretching of the 2001 war authorization against the original Al Qaeda to cover other Islamist groups in countries far from Afghanistan—even ones, like the Shabab, that did not exist at the time—has prompted recurring objections from some legal and foreign policy experts.” The Times added, “Under the 2001 authorization, the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with a specific organization, not every Islamist militant in the world. But that authority has proved elastic.”

So the Constitution is being disregarded in favor of the “stretching” of an old resolution that has proven to be “elastic.” How can weasel words like these be reported in a paper that is supposed to hold the government accountable?

Senator Kaine noted, “When the new Congress is sworn in in early January, I think 80 percent of the members of Congress were not here when the September 14, 2001 authorization was passed. So the 80 percent of us that were not here in 2001 have never had a meaningful debate or vote upon this war against ISIL.”

Kaine pointed out that when Obama spoke about “the need to go on offense against ISIL” in September of 2014, “it took him six months from the start of hostilities to even deliver to Congress a proposed authorization.”

Congress never acted on it and Obama continued the war anyway. Kaine added, “As my President knows, who not only is a Senator but a historian, the founding documents of this country are so unusual still today in making the initiation of war a legislative rather than an executive function.”

He went on to say that “…it seems to me to be almost the height of public immorality to force people to risk and give their lives in support for a mission we’re unwilling to discuss.”

Obama’s lawless and unconstitutional actions had actually begun earlier, when he waged a war on Libya that ultimately produced the Benghazi massacre of four Americans. My June 2, 2011, column had noted, “In the Senate, McCain, who has turned into an advocate for Al-Jazeera, has been an enthusiastic supporter of the war, conducted with the approval of the Arab League and the United Nations but not Congress. Al-Jazeera, committed to the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the region, openly backs the ‘pro-democracy fighters’ in Libya, playing down their links to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”

Syria was a virtual replay of the Benghazi debacle, only on a much larger scale.

What was happening in Libya, as Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi had documented, was that the U.S. under Obama had “switched sides” in the war on terror in favor of the terrorists.

The war in Libya was not only immoral but illegal and unconstitutional. But the media failed to acknowledge the facts. Under the War Powers Act, a president can go to war on his own only if there is an imminent threat to the U.S., and there is a 60-day deadline for the withdrawal of forces. Obama violated both provisions of the law. There was no direct or immediate threat to the U.S. from Libya, and Obama ignored the 60-day deadline for approval from Congress.

Yet in 2007 then-Senator Obama had loudly declared that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Trump’s Challenges

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s detractors claim he is entering the presidency in the midst of a constitutional crisis stemming from alleged Russian hacking into the email systems of Democratic Party politicians.

But we are already in a constitutional crisis caused by Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional actions. The failure of the media to hold Obama accountable for the wars which take the lives of members of the Armed Forces is a dramatic indication of how “media malpractice” goes beyond false facts and fake news.

The facts are not in dispute in regard to Obama’s actions that committed the U.S. to wars in the Middle East without the approval of Congress. The issue is clear-cut.

Obama, the alleged historian and legal scholar, doesn’t want to talk about that. Instead, at the military ceremony in his honor, he said, “Service members can now serve the country they love without hiding who they are or who they love.” In fact, Defense Secretary Carter has opened up the military, under Obama’s direction, even to the transgendered, with the Pentagon paying for their sex change operations.

This is what it has been all about for Obama—social experimentation and diversity, not fighting or winning wars. But his wars have not been without cost—in lives and refugees and more global terrorism.

Senator Kaine has been willing to go beyond political partisanship to demand that the Constitution be obeyed. Let’s hope that he finds a sympathetic ear in President Trump. It would be a way to move forward on a bipartisan basis to confront foreign dangers and threats.

The media’s dereliction of duty in matters of war and peace would then be exposed for all to see.


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.

01/12/17

Who Was Behind CNN’s “Fake News” on Trump?

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s January 3 show, “Let me tell you, you take on the Intelligence Community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this.” He was referring to President-elect Donald J. Trump’s criticism of the Intelligence Community. Asked what the Intelligence Community could or would do to Trump, Schumer said, “I don’t know.  From what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them.”

On Tuesday, January 10, we saw the response. It was obvious, based on what this top Senate Democrat had said, that the CIA used CNN to air unsubstantiated charges against Trump. CNN didn’t delineate the bizarre sexual nature of those charges; that was left to a left-wing “news” organization by the name of BuzzFeed, which posted 35 pages of scurrilous lies and defamation.

Demonstrating the sad state of ethical standards at CNN, Wolf Blitzer hyped the story into “breaking news,” when the allegations had been circulating for months, and Jake Tapper was brought on the air, “joining me with a major story we’re following right now.” Blitzer emphasized, “We’re breaking this story.” It was the beginning of CNN regurgitating what President-elect Trump called “fake news.”

What followed was a low point in Tapper’s career, as he willingly participated in a ginned-up controversy using anonymous sources to report on “information” about Trump that started falling apart shortly after CNN aired its “breaking news.”

“That’s right, Wolf, a CNN exclusive,” said Tapper, apparently unaware that he was recycling a document that had been passed around for months. It was CNN, which uses former CIA official Michael Morell as an on-air contributor, that ran with it. Morell has worked for Beacon Global Strategies, a firm founded by former Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines, since November 2013.

Trying to distance himself from the controversy, Morell went on CNN to refer to some of the information as “unverified” in the “private document.”

But the damage had already been done, and Morell knew it. CNN had manufactured a controversy over Trump yet again, demonstrating the truth of Schumer’s statement that the intelligence community would get back at Trump.

Ironically, CNN is a “partner” in an effort known as the First Draft Coalition that is dedicated “to improving practices in the ethical sourcing, verification and reporting of stories that emerge online.”

“CNN has learned that the nation’s top intelligence officials gave information to President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama last week about claims of Russian efforts to compromise President-elect Trump,” said Tapper. “The information was provided as part of last week’s classified intelligence briefings regarding Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 U.S. elections.”

Trying to pump up the “claims,” Jim Sciutto, Chief National Security Correspondent for CNN, said, “To be clear, this has been an enormous team effort by my colleagues here and others at CNN.” A team effort to verify what? It looks like they were handed a 35-page document from the CIA and decided to publicize it. They failed to reveal the details precisely because they could not verify the document.

Sciutto said, “Multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN that classified documents on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election presented last week to President Obama and to President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.”

Tapper brought in “the legendary Carl Bernstein”—a former reporter for The Washington Post who covered the Watergate scandal—who referred to:

  • A former British MI6 intelligence agent (anonymous).
  • A Washington political opposition research firm (anonymous) that was hired by clients (anonymous) who were opposed to Donald Trump’s candidacy in both the Republican and Democratic parties.
  • Washington researchers (anonymous) who had come across business ties of Trump in Russia with Russians (anonymous) that looked questionable to them. They (anonymous) wanted to develop the information further. They (anonymous) hired the former MI6 agent (anonymous) who they knew and had done previous business with.
  • “He [anonymous] began talking to Russian sources [anonymous] from his days in Russia and uncovered this information that’s now being considered by the American intelligence community.” (emphasis added).

So one of the Watergate reporters from The Washington Post had put his stamp of approval on the document by saying it was information that had been “uncovered,” rather than being made up. How did he know one way or the other? The answer is he didn’t.

Later, Tapper said the charges were “uncorroborated as of now,” indicating that they might be confirmed by somebody at some time in the future. There was “no proof” of the claims but “confidence by intelligence officials that the Russians are claiming this.” Again, no names were provided.

However, Bernstein came back to say that “this former MI6 intelligence agent with great experience in Russia and the former Soviet Union [anonymous], is known to have terrific sources of information [anonymous], has a track record with the United States in coordinating with United States intelligence agencies.”

He has “a track record with the United States in coordinating with United States intelligence agencies.” What exactly does this mean?

CNN was reporting “news,” since a two-page CIA summary of this dirt was attached to a classified CIA report on Russian hacking and election influence that was given to Trump last Friday, January 6. But it was “fake” in the sense that CNN had no way of knowing if the charges had been completely made up.

On this basis, the story could and should have turned against the Intelligence Community, with reporters asking why unverified information had been used against Trump and whether this was retaliation for his criticism. But this course of action by CNN would make it impossible for CNN reporters to go back to these same sources for scurrilous information and false charges in the future. This fact makes it abundantly clear that the news organization was being used by anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community, most likely the CIA.

Since CNN likes anonymous sources, I will use one of my own. “This is a classic CIA blackmail operation where the CIA under Director John Brennan uses someone else’s dirt for the blackmail, and postures themselves as ‘innocent’ in presenting it to Trump,” one observer of the Intelligence Community told me. This is certainly the real story—that an intelligence agency run by Obama’s CIA director would use an American television network to attack the President-elect with scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges.

This is how the Intelligence Community, in Schumer’s words, got back at Trump.

Is America a constitutional republic ruled by the people through their elected representatives? Or do the intelligence agencies rule America and try to blackmail our leaders?

The President-elect said it would be “a tremendous blot” on the record of the Intelligence Community if they did in fact release the document to the media. At another point, he said, “I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false” get released in that fashion to CNN and BuzzFeed.

CNN is “fake news,” Trump said, and BuzzFeed “is a failing pile of garbage.”

BuzzFeed is being kept alive by the giant media company Comcast, which recently invested $200 million in the “left-wing blog,” as incoming White House press secretary and Trump communications director Sean Spicer called it.

It was Comcast that figured in Trump adviser Peter Navarro’s campaign statement about the need to break up “the new media conglomerate oligopolies.”

Navarro declared that media conglomerates were “destroying an American democracy that depends on a free flow of information and freedom of thought,” adding, “Donald Trump will drain the swamp of corruption and collusion, standing against this trend and standing for the American people.”


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.

01/11/17

Obama’s Legacy of Endless Wars and Transgender Soldiers

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Left-wing Democrat Norman Solomon says fellow Democrats are “more interested in playing to the press gallery than speaking directly to the economic distress of voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who handed the presidency” to Donald J. Trump. Democrats should spend some time learning “how they’ve lost touch with working-class voters,” he says.

He is referring to how Democrats are saying what the media want to hear—that Trump was elected because of Vladimir Putin and the Russians. This was the claim first advanced by President Obama’s CIA in leaks to The Washington Post and The New York Times.

But this is not just a political dispute involving Democrats failing to understand why they lost to Trump. Solomon says “the emerging incendiary rhetoric against Russia is extremely dangerous” and “could lead to a military confrontation between two countries that each has thousands of nuclear weapons,” and which could trigger a “nuclear holocaust.”

Solomon, a former Democratic congressional candidate, says that Democrats, by “teaming up with the likes of Republican Senators John McCain (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC) to exert bipartisan pressure for escalation,” could help “stampede the Trump administration in reckless directions” and provoke Russia into a war.

There is no evidence that the Trump administration could be “stampeded” in that way. Trump has said repeatedly that he is not interested in a confrontation with Russia. What seems to be consuming the attention of the incoming Trump administration are the no-win wars with ISIS and al-Qaeda that Obama will leave behind, and the corruption in the Intelligence Community that has been responsible for claims that the U.S. is winning the war against radical Islam.

Trump’s new CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and participated in a congressional joint task force that documented in a report how U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) manipulated intelligence to downplay the threat from ISIS. Three months after Pompeo and his colleagues issued their report, he said that those responsible for downplaying the threat from ISIS had not yet been held accountable.

Pompeo said the manipulation of intelligence resulted from “an administration-wide understanding that bad news from Iraq and Syria was not welcomed.” He added, “Claims that ISIS was the ‘JV team’ and that al-Qaeda was ‘on the run’ were both a result—and a cause—of the politicization of intelligence at CENTCOM. This intelligence manipulation provided space for both ISIS and al-Qaeda to grow and it put America at risk.”

Obama, of course, was responsible for the claims that ISIS was the “JV team” and that al-Qaeda was “on the run.” He lied to the American people about progress in the war on terror.

Obama’s Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on December 15 that ISIS was “failing” and that “the campaign to defeat the terror group in Iraq and Syria is on track.” Five days earlier, Carter had announced that 200 additional American special operations troops would be heading to Syria to liberate Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital in Syria. That will bring the total number of U.S. troops in Syria to 500.

Obama’s war in Syria has never been authorized by Congress.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs magazine has published an article demonstrating that, after a defeat and a loss of territory, “ISIS members don’t simply give up their cause or switch their allegiance; they merely change their tactics,” reforming into small units conducting insurgency campaigns.

According to the article, these terrorists operate under different flags. The authors cite the case of an ex-Iraqi policeman who fought for al-Qaeda and later emerged under the ISIS banner. It is possible, the authors say, that “insurgent group numbers will only continue to increase, as will their power.” The authors say there is little room for optimism that the Baghdad regime being supported by the U.S. will address the sectarian grievances that fuel the conflict.

ISIS has expanded into Afghanistan, where a counterterrorism official says the terrorist group is “present in at least 11 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.”

Reflecting the deteriorating situation, Obama’s decision that the U.S. would draw down to 5,500 troops in the country has been changed. Now, approximately 8,400 military personnel will remain at the time that Trump takes office.

Fighting terrorists isn’t the only item on the agenda. American sailors deployed in Afghanistan underwent Transgender Policy Training in Kabul on November 24. According to an official press release, sailors were told about the policy that took effect on October 1, whereby they could “begin the process to officially change their gender in the Navy administrative systems following DoD policy and in accordance to the standards delineated.”

A website reflecting the views of Christian military officers described the training this way: “The US Navy began teaching its Sailors about women thinking they’re men, and vice versa, even as they’re deployed in Afghanistan—a nation, incidentally, in which transgenders would probably be tossed in jail or executed.”

Not to worry. The official Pentagon spokesman says the Afghanistan mission also remains “on track.”


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.

01/10/17

Report on Russian Hacking is a Political Hoax

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

The CIA says that Russian hackers released true information about Hillary Clinton. Horrors! Cliff Kincaid and Jerry Kenney analyze the “Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” in order to show how the CIA and other intelligence agencies are trying to subvert the Trump presidency with bogus claims. The CIA report proves the validity of what Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer meant when he said, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

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01/2/17

Obama’s Indifference to White “Deaths of Despair”

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

A Soros-funded faux Catholic group called Faith in Public Life is holding what it calls a “special briefing” on “Faithful Resistance to Rising White Nationalism,” featuring Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This exercise is designed to further demonize white Americans who are waking up to what President Obama has done to them during his eight years in office.

At Pearl Harbor, President Obama condemned “the tug of tribalism” and “the urge to demonize those who are different.” Yet his administration did little to stop the heroin epidemic that disproportionately affects white communities devastated by bad trade deals, open borders and the Democratic Party’s anti-industrial policies.

Several researchers are using the phrase “Deaths of despair” to refer to what is happening in the “heroin beltway” of America.

The Associated Press reports that preliminary death certificate data for 2015 showed that the U.S. death rate rose for the first time in a decade, and that experts say white death trends are likely the primary reason.

Rather than admit that Obama’s legacy turned many white Americans against the Democrats, groups like the SPLC are attempting to portray racial consciousness among white people as something to fear. The SPLC’s profiteering is designed to add to its $300 million endowment fund, built on the basis of previous scares.

Rather than face facts, Bill Clinton has complained about “angry white males” voting against his wife, while the “former” Marxist and CNN analyst Van Jones called the victory by Donald J. Trump a “whitelash.” MTV aired a “New Year’s Resolutions for White Guys” video designed to put white males in their place.

Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is offering a course on “The Problem of Whiteness,” while an assistant professor at Drexel University tweeted “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide.”

At the website of Accuracy in Academia, Spencer Irvine lists ten different examples of “anti-white rhetoric” and anti-white classes at colleges.

According to the SPLC, whites are just supposed to take it.

Jared Taylor of American Renaissance comments that white Americans are “beginning to realize that they need an advocate for their interests, so they start searching the internet for an honest look at the facts—and they find us.” He hopes to raise enough money to hire a reporter to cover various racial angles in developing stories, saying, “Groundbreaking pro-white journalism is exactly what American Renaissance—and the country—need.”

One can be sure the SPLC and other such organizations will object to this approach as “white nationalism” or “white supremacy,” and try to raise money in response.

But for those willing to understand the deteriorating conditions in many white communities, a good book is Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. A few correspondents, such as Jake Tapper of CNN, have discovered that Vance offers valuable insights that help explain Trump’s victory. During a recent interview, Vance highlighted how Trump had focused during the campaign on the heroin epidemic affecting white America in the Rust Belt states. “He really made it a focus of his campaign,” Vance said. “And people wanted that to be a focus of the campaign because they’re so worried about it in their lives.”

“Heroin overdose deaths are high across the United States, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest,” reports the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Nationally, overdose deaths more than tripled between 2010 and 2014, with the most recent available data reporting 10,574 people in the United States died in 2014 from heroin overdoses.”

Shannon Monnat, an assistant professor and research associate at Penn State University, has published a study, “Deaths of Despair and Support for Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election,” which found a strong vote for Trump in Rust Belt states with higher drug, alcohol and suicide mortality rates. The Trump support, she notes, was heavy in what her study called America’s new post-industrial “heroin beltway.”

I noted in a column in October how “most of America is witnessing the growing drug problem in their local communities,” but that major media commentators were turning a blind eye to it.

But people could see for themselves: Trump was talking about closing the border to drugs and illegal aliens, while Hillary was secretly promising a foreign bank that the U.S. border would remain open for business and trade deals.

It was this kind of indifference to real human suffering that led to Hillary’s defeat. She had to accept the consequences of the anti-white policies that Obama and the Democratic Party had put into place.


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.

12/30/16

Obama’s “Evidence” Against Russia Falls Flat

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The Democrats have been saying that there’s proof that the Russians hacked into Democratic Party computers for the purpose of obtaining and planting information that would help elect Donald J. Trump as president. But the proof wasn’t provided when President Obama issued an executive order and announced the expulsions of Russians from the U.S., and sanctions against Russian officials.

Still, our media were almost unanimous in saying that President Obama has proved his case and that Trump was out-of-step with what the evidence clearly showed.

For his part, Trump seemed in no hurry to come to any rash conclusions, saying he would meet with “leaders of the intelligence community” next week in order to be “updated on the facts of this situation.”

The facts were certainly in short supply when the media jumped to conclusions about the “evidence” released by the Obama administration.

A big question was timing. Kevin D. Freeman, an expert on economic and financial warfare between nations, has commented that the evidence indicates that the Obama team disregarded the threat of Russian hacking in the past “because they were confident that Secretary Clinton would win.” He called that “stunning.”

According to this line of reasoning, the Obama administration decided to blame the Russians only after Trump won the election, perhaps for the purpose of complicating the foreign relations priorities of the President-elect.

Whatever the motivation, the Obama administration’s “Joint Analysis Report” on alleged “Russian malicious cyber activity” is very weak and vague in key respects.

It would have been nice if reporters had read the pathetically thin report before concluding that there was substance to it, and that Trump was somehow derelict in not accepting what Obama had to offer.

Only four-and-a-half pages of the 13-page report purport to examine alleged Russian hacking activities. The rest of the report gives advice on how to provide security for computer networks.

It looked like the report was padded in order to make it seem more authoritative than it really was.

A separate White House press release went into some more detail, alleging that “the disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks are consistent with the Russian-directed efforts.” But being “consistent with” is not proof.

WikiLeaks released the emails from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The website DCLeaks.com was responsible for the embarrassing disclosures from within the George Soros network of organizations.

The new Obama report, described as “the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” includes a “DISCLAIMER” stating that it is “for informational purposes only,” and that the DHS “does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”

It sounded like the kind of warning that comes with a possibly defective product.

There’s no question that the Russians engage in cyber warfare. But the “facts” in the Obama report seemed unusually vague. It states that “The U.S. Government confirms that two different RIS [Russian civilian and military intelligence Services] actors participated in the intrusion into a U.S. political party,” but doesn’t even mention the Democrats.

The term “confirms” sounds authoritative. But how the “facts” were confirmed and by whom was not explained. The report, however, does include some fancy color diagrams and a list of names under which the Russian hackers supposedly operated.

The report says this alleged Russian campaign, designated as “GRIZZLY STEPPE,” was an activity by Russian civilian and military intelligence services and was “part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and private sector entities.”

If it was ongoing, why did it take so long for Obama to take action?

The report refers to one alleged Russian campaign that had “compromised the same political party,” again without saying it was the Democrats, and “was able to gain access and steal content, likely leading to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members.” The fancy term “exfiltration” means the unauthorized transfer of data from a computer. “The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed,” the report states, without saying who in the press was given the information and who or what leaked it.

“This activity by RIS is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens,” the report states. “These cyber operations have included spearphishing campaigns targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure entities, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations leading to the theft of information.”

The term “spearphishing” refers to emails that appear to be from individuals or businesses that a person knows, but which are actually from criminal hackers. The recipient is fooled into resetting a password on the account, enabling the hackers to extract credit card and bank account numbers, passwords, and other personal or financial information.

This appears to be what happened in the case of Clinton campaign chairman Podesta.

“Russia’s cyber activities were intended to influence the election, erode faith in U.S. democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of our electoral process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the U.S. government,” the White House claimed. “These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

But Obama’s “evidence” raises questions about the worth and value of the intelligence agencies that apparently provided it.

No wonder Trump wants to wait and see.


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.

12/28/16

Red Russia, the Red Jihad and Israel Under Siege

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Patrick Buchanan’s provocative column, “Is Europe’s future Merkel or Le Pen?” reflects a limited and bad choice for America and Europe. Both of these leaders serve Russian interests. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-immigration policies have destabilized Europe, leading to the rise of pro-Putin right-wing political parties. Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front party, one of those pro-Putin political parties, wants to destroy NATO, a long-time Russian goal.

The terrible choices facing the United States mean that we are in the biggest crisis the West has faced since World War II. The dilemma outlined by Patrick Buchanan means that the incoming Trump administration has to recognize that Germany, the most important country in Europe, is in the hands of a Russian agent of influence. Despite running as the candidate of the conservative-leaning Christian Democratic Union, Merkel has destabilized her country and much of Europe by facilitating a Muslim invasion. Her involvement in the Communist Party of East Germany, when it was a major base of Soviet espionage operations, goes a long way toward explaining her curious behavior.

In a column titled, “The Suicide of Germany,” Guy Millière writes, “The attack in Berlin on December 19, 2016 was predictable. German Chancellor Angela Merkel created the conditions that made it possible. She bears an overwhelming responsibility.” He notes, “When she decided to open the doors of Germany to hundreds of thousands of Muslims from the Middle East and more distant countries, she must have known that jihadists were hidden among the people flooding in. She also must have known that the German police had no way of controlling the mass that entered and would be quickly overwhelmed by the number of people it would have to control. She did it anyway.” (emphasis added)

The “she must have known” formulation is more evidence of a deliberate policy to destabilize Europe. She intends to run for re-election in 2017.

Labeled a “populist” by Buchanan, Marine Le Pen, the leading candidate for the presidency of France in 2017, talks a lot about French sovereignty but acts like a tool of Moscow. The Russia Today (RT) propaganda channel highlights her call for “closer ties with Russia” and opposition to U.S.-led NATO.

In events that have shocked the liberal media, Trump and/or his advisers have been reported to be meeting with representatives of European right-wing political parties, some of them pro-Putin. However, Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, has written in his own book that there is a “Russia connection” to Islamic terror networks and “many of the KGB’s safe houses, station headquarters, and secure communications networks were put at the disposal of terror groups.” This implicates Vladimir Putin, former officer and head of the KGB, in the conflicts that have spilled over into Europe and Israel.

Meanwhile, as commentators in the U.S. criticize the Obama administration for abstaining on the anti-Israel United Nations resolution, it is no surprise that Russia and China both voted for it. Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich did not miss the significance of this anti-Israel vote, commenting, “So Russia having illegally occupied Crimea and eastern Ukraine votes to condemn Israel for ‘occupied lands.’ We are supposed to be impressed.” He might have mentioned China’s own illegal seizures of territory.

“Russia has never ruled Israel,” notes one Israeli commentator, Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “but the Russian Army has never stood as close to Jerusalem as it does today.” Professor Efraim Inbar of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies tells the publication, “It should be remembered that Russia sides with Iran, supports Hezbollah, and even has relations with Hamas.”

Turkey, a member of NATO, has since joined with Russia and Iran, the new powers in the region, for talks. It has been forced into the arms of Russia because of the Obama administration’s failure to save Syria from Russian aggression that propped up an unpopular and repressive dictatorship. In truth, Obama help accelerate the conflict when he ordered his CIA to support “rebels” against the Syrian regime that were linked to jihadist groups. They were no match for the superior Russian and Iranian forces which intervened on the side of the Syrian regime. Up to 500,000 were killed.

Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will have symbolic value. But it does nothing to protect Israel from an attack by its regional enemies bearing Russian arms.

One way to turn the tide is to order the CIA out of the terror-supporting business and start shining the light on Russia’s historical links to Islamic terrorism, known as the Red Jihad. These connections, which still exist, are not only a threat to Israel but demonstrate that “Red Russia” is behind the immigration crisis and the Muslim invasion of Europe.

Obama is leaving the White House. His ability to damage Israel and other U.S. allies will soon end. But Putin has only just begun to fight. What’s at stake is the control of Europe and the entire Middle East.

If President Trump falls for Putin’s offers of a truce, he will demonstrate to his political enemies and even his supporters that he was in fact a dupe of the Russians.


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.