12/6/16

Trump Assembles a War Cabinet to Meet Foreign Threats

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

war

With the selections of General James N. “Mad Dog” Mattis as Secretary of Defense and Lt. General Michael T. Flynn as national security adviser, President-elect Donald J. Trump has indicated that he is prepared to meet foreign threats from Russia, China, and global Islam. Indeed, Flynn argues in his book, The Field of Fight, that the U.S. is facing a “working coalition” of enemies that includes radical Islamists, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The subtitle, How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, suggests that radical Islam is the main enemy. But the content of the book suggests something else—that Russia and China are behind this “enemy alliance” of countries and movements trying to destroy us.

“We face a formidable group of terrorists and hostile countries, and we’ve got to be better prepared to compete or we will need to be ready to destroy them,” says Flynn.

Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has been known for his criticism of President Obama for failing to identify radical Islamists as the enemy. But his book expands the list of enemies to Russia, which seems like a strange pick since Flynn had appeared at the Russia Today (RT) propaganda channel’s 10th anniversary celebration in Moscow, sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Flynn’s co-author, Michael Ledeen, dismisses concern about Flynn’s attendance at the RT dinner, saying, “He attended a conference in Moscow, and ended up sitting next to the Russian dictator.” That conference was sponsored by a Moscow-funded channel described as KGB-TV by a leading Soviet defector because of its transmission of Russian government propaganda and disinformation.

Ledeen said that Flynn’s critics should read their book to understand his real views on Russia, and that he is not being soft on the Russians.

In an interview, Flynn disclosed that he had previously made another surprising appearance in Russia and “was the first U.S. officer ever allowed inside the headquarters of the GRU [Russian military intelligence].” He explained, “I was able to brief their entire staff. I gave them a leadership OPD. [Professional development class on leadership] and talked a lot about the way the world’s unfolding.”

Whatever he told the GRU and whatever the motivation for accepting a paid trip to Moscow to celebrate RT, Flynn’s book does in fact identify an “enemy alliance” against America, with its “most active and powerful members” being Russia and Iran. He sees “an alliance between Radical Islamists and regimes in Havana, Pyongyang, Moscow, and Beijing.” He calls it “an international alliance of evil countries and movements that is working to destroy us.”

Did he warn Russia against becoming another Evil Empire when he lectured the GRU? If so, they are ignoring Flynn, since the Russian/Iranian/Syrian alliance is consolidating power by moving through Aleppo, and may ultimately threaten Saudi Arabia.

Making America great again may require a military confrontation with Russia and its client states in the region.

Making America great again may also require confronting China, whose communist rulers are so sensitive about their own illegitimate rule that they are objecting to a telephone call between the President-elect and the President of Taiwan (Free China).

One thing not in dispute is that Flynn thinks that the administration he served, headed by Barack Obama, tried to accommodate our enemies, selling out American interests in the process. Consider these quotes from the book:

  • Obama “has shown great sympathy for anti-American ‘revolutionaries,’ and abandoned friendly tyrannies such as Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt and Zine Ben Ali’s Tunisia.”
  • “Obama has done his damndest to forge alliances with Hugo Chavez, before his death, the Castro brothers, and Ali Khamenei, but they and their cronies have all responded by redoubling their efforts to defeat us.”
  • Obama turned his back on the pro-democracy Green Movement in Iran because he was “heavily invested in secret outreach” to the Iranian regime.
  • Obama “has tiptoed around open criticism of Vladimir Putin’s many aggressive actions.”
  • The Obama Administration’s “open hostility to Israel” has been damaging to U.S. national security.

Flynn writes that “I find it simply incredible that an American president should believe a strategic alliance with Iran to be more attractive than our traditional embrace of Israel.”

As an intelligence officer, Flynn must understand this is not just “incredible” and the result of accidental policies, but rather a deliberate effort to undermine the United States and its traditional alliances. Indeed, if Flynn wants to turn things around, he will have to lead a purge of the Clinton and Obama agents in the Pentagon and other agencies who have been deliberately withholding information about the nature of the threats and how our lives are in peril from an “enemy alliance” that Obama has been supporting as President of the United States.

Flynn’s own DIA was previously home to one of Fidel Castro’s top spies, the DIA’s senior Cuban analyst, Ana Belen Montes, who was charged with having served as a Cuban agent from 1985 to 2001.

Flynn ran the Pentagon’s spy agency from July 22, 2012 to August 7, 2014, and he says some material was left out of the book for security reasons. Yet, he drops a blockbuster on page 143, writing about a “Russian connection” to radical Islam.

Here’s what he says: “As is so often the case when looking at the battlefield, I also found a Russia connection. When the Soviet empire fell, there were a lot of unemployed KGB officials scrambling to make a living. They were a perfect fit with the terror networks, had few moral compunctions about cooperating with violent anti-American organizations (they’d been doing it for decades), and over the few years many of the KGB’s safe houses, station headquarters, and secure communications networks were put at the disposal of terror groups.”

For whatever reason, Flynn does not draw a direct line between these KGB officials and the former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin, running Russia. But he notes that “Putin has done a lot for the Khamenei regime” in Iran.

Flynn says we need an ideological offensive against our enemies, of the kind run by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the CIA against communism. The Achilles heel in this analysis is that the OSS and CIA were infiltrated by enemy agents, and the collapse or fall of communism was a strategic deception. To make matters worse, we recently learned that Obama’s CIA director John Brennan had voted for the Communist Party ticket in 1976 and was nevertheless hired by the agency in 1980. It’s clear that standards for hiring intelligence officers have been dramatically lowered.

The DIA spy, Ana Montes, was herself a left-winger and a campus radical before she joined the Pentagon spy agency in 1984. She was a “true believer” in communism, as a book about the case documents. She wrote DIA policy papers playing down the threat posed by Castro’s Cuba.

“Communism lost mass appeal when the Soviet Empire fell,” writes Flynn. But this is not really the case, as we have seen in the sympathetic coverage of Castro after his death. There are still more than 100 communist parties around the world, including a dozen in the United States. China, North Korea and Cuba are still officially communist countries. Venezuela and Nicaragua are run by Marxists.

In facing this “formidable group of terrorists and hostile countries,” Flynn calls for a “better strategy” and “better intelligence,” but admits that in terms of a U.S. response, “We are slow, and we can’t keep secrets very well…”

“The CIA, FBI, and NSA have over their lifetimes each discovered several individuals who, for monetary or ideological reasons, committed espionage on behalf of foreign nations,” notesDr. Jeffrey T. Richelson. “Those individuals have included Aldrich Ames, James Nicholson, Edward Lee Howard, Jack Edward Dunlap, William H. Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell, and Ronald Pelton.”

We could add former CIA and NSA analyst Edward Snowden to the list.

The biggest in the history of the DIA was Montes, who is not mentioned in the Flynn book.

Nevertheless, Flynn’s book is a welcome change from the head-in-the-sand attitude of so many in and out of government who have failed for a variety of reasons to talk about “moles” in our intelligence agencies, and who refuse to acknowledge foreign threats.

Flynn says he was fired in 2014 as director of the DIA for telling a congressional committee “that we were not as safe as we had been a few years back.” General Mattis was relieved of his command by the Obama administration because he was “hawkish on Iran,” The New York Times reports.

The success of the Trump administration in foreign policy will depend on whether General Mattis, Lt. General Flynn, the designated CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), and other national security officials, are able to enforce loyalty to America in the bureaucracy and weed out the spies.

“America First” has to be more than a campaign slogan; it has to be a requirement for U.S. foreign policy and applying for a federal job.


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.

01/7/16

Inside the Russian Propaganda Machine

By: Cliff Kincaid
America’s Survival

Guy Taylor, who covers intelligence matters for the Washington Times, discusses how foreign propaganda channels are making mincemeat of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. One of them, Russia Today (RT), featured former DIA chief Michael T. Flynn at its 10th anniversary conference, seated next to Vladimir Putin. Russian propaganda is sometimes picked up by the Drudge Report. Will Congress fix the broken U.S. Government broadcasting system?

12/17/15

Moscow’s Five-Star Treatment of a Three-Star Army General

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

This is a special report from the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism

Before he left for Moscow to speak at a Russia Today (RT) conference, the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) inked a deal to write a book about how to defeat America’s enemies in the Middle East. The title of the forthcoming book by Lt. General Michael T. Flynn (Ret.) is, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.

But Flynn’s attendance at the RT “gala celebration,” including a special seat at the head table at the anniversary dinner, suggests that this retired officer, who attained a three-star rank during a 33-year Army career, views Russia as a potential U.S. ally in the war on terror.

In announcing his new book, Flynn said, “I am writing this book for two reasons: first, to show that the war is being waged against us by enemies this administration has forbidden us to describe: radical Islamists. Second, to lay out a winning strategy that is not passively relying on technology and drone attacks to do the job. We could lose this war; in fact, right now we are losing. The Field of Fight will give my view on how to win.”

We need military officials willing to fight and win. But Flynn’s participation in the RT anniversary celebration raises questions about what the DIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies know, or think they know, about the Russian role in global conflict and RT’s role in propaganda and disinformation.

What we can say for sure at this point is that it was not an accident that the former head of the DIA showed up in Moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a TV channel that serves the interests of Moscow’s intelligence establishment. Flynn was right in the middle of the “Field of Fight,” and he must surely have known what he was getting into. It’s not called KGB-TV for nothing.

RT’s Disinformation Themes

In trying to attract and confuse an American audience, RT regularly features Marxist and radical commentators in the U.S. such as Noam Chomsky, Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and 9/11 “inside job” advocate and radio host Alex Jones. It is preferable for the Russians to use foreigners, especially Americans, to make their propaganda points. Flynn is probably the most important American ever snared in RT’s web. He has added propaganda value because of his impressive background and years of service in the U.S. Army.

The RT conference was held at a time when the Russian regime was determined to divert global attention away from its military intervention on behalf of its long-time client state of Syria. Research analyst Hugo Spaulding of the Institute for the Study of War notes that Russia’s current air campaign in Syria “is focused on targeting Syrian armed opposition groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rather than ISIS.” The Syrian Network for Human Rights reportsthat Russian military strikes in Syria have killed hundreds of civilians during the course of bombing hospitals, bakeries, and markets. The result has been increasing refugee flows into Turkey and Europe.

RT, however, promotes a different version of reality, a “false narrative,” as Spaulding calls it. Indeed, that is the purpose of RT—to whitewash military aggression by the Russian state and focus attention on what the United States and its allies are supposedly doing in the world.

“Russian Air Force destroys 29 ISIS camps in Syria in 24 hours,” was the headline over a typical RT story about Syria. The channel portrays Russian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke to the RT 10th anniversary dinner, as a devout Christian fighting radical Islam.

However, Russia’s open war on the ethnic Turkmen fighting the Assad regime in Syria was something that NATO member Turkey could not ignore. The Turkish shoot-down of a Russian war plane flying through Turkey’s airspace became major news and the first incident in a developing confrontation that shows no sign of ending. RT immediately went to work claiming that Turkey was benefiting from ISIS oil. The U.S. Treasury Department countered with evidence showing that Syria’s Assad is buying ISIS oil through a Russian agent.

The Honey Trap

In addition to using Americans as props and pawns, RT relies heavily on glitzy graphics and beautiful women as anchors and correspondents to promote its propaganda. RT knows what it’s doing, having run a story titled, “From Russia with lust: Femme fatal Anna Chapman, to Russian mail-order brides, to our very own RT correspondents. Americans are infatuated with Russian women!”

It is noteworthy that RT openly cited Chapman, a sexy Russian spy who was seducing an unnamed cabinet official in the Obama administration in an effort to obtain classified information. She was caught, pleaded guilty, and was expelled from the U.S. in 2010. However, she returned to Russia and was honored with an award by none other than Vladimir Putin himself.  Chapman had reportedly tried to seduce NSA defector Edward Snowden.

One of RT’s attractive female anchors, Sophie Shevardnadze, the granddaughter of former Soviet bureaucrat Eduard Shevardnadze, was tasked with interviewing Flynn during the conference, which was held at Moscow’s historic five-star luxuryMetropol Hotel. Flynn appeared on a special edition of her RT show, Sophie & Co, where he appeared grateful for the opportunity, saying, “…thank you so much for inviting me and having me here.”

In her interview with Flynn, Shevardnadze did not disappoint, echoing the Russian line on the Middle East by blaming the U.S. and its allies for conflict and violence. Rather than attack Putin’s military interventions in Ukraine and Syria, Flynn responded by saying that the U.S. and Russia have “to move forward” together.  Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from July 2012 to April 2014, said on RT that “…in order for us to not move to a greater level of conflict between the great nations of the world, we have to come to grips of how do we work together, how do we take interests, interests that are converging. So we have a whole set of converging interests that we are seeing right now, and unless we understand it, we’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to make tactical mistakes that are going to lead to strategic consequences.”

He claimed that Russia has faced terrorism from Muslims within, as if Russia, like the U.S., is a victim of radical Islam. He said, “…there are some in this country that know this enemy from having dealt with it in Chechnya and Dagestan and other places. This is a very, very deadly enemy that we’re facing, and it’s not just hundreds or thousands, these numbers are much greater.”

In fact, as veteran Moscow correspondent David Satter and others have documented, what sometimes appears to be Islamic terrorism in Russia can be carried out with the approval—or even at the direction of—the Kremlin, in order to justify greater repression by the Putin regime. For example, the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that served to solidify Vladimir Putin’s control of the country, and justify the war against the former Soviet republic of Chechnya, wereproven to be the work of agents of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, a successor to the old KGB.

Moscow’s Role in Terrorism

Could Moscow in fact be behind much of the conflict in the Middle East, including the rise of ISIS? If Flynn has rejected this theory out of hand, it wouldn’t be the first time in history that the U.S. intelligence community failed to understand and appreciate Moscow’s role in international terrorism.

Flynn’s announced co-author, or collaborator, on his new book, Michael Ledeen, has a deep understanding of the Middle East, knowledge of how the old Soviet Union operated, and how remnants of that regime guide Russian foreign policy today. Ledeen worked as a consultant to the National Security Council, Department of State, and Department of Defense during the Reagan administration, when Soviet involvement in global terrorism was highlighted and exposed.

Ledeen’s 2003 book, The War Against the Terror Masters, describes the impact of communist disinformation and deception in the conduct of foreign policy.

Ledeen wrote about the discovery of Soviet moles in the CIA, such as Aldrich Ames and Harold Nicholson, and the discovery of one such mole in the FBI, Robert Hanssen. Ledeen writes, “The discovery that Soviet moles had been at work at the highest levels of the American intelligence community had particular importance in our efforts to combat the terror masters. Agency [CIA] analysts had long insisted that there was no conclusive evidence of Soviet involvement in international terrorism. One now had to wonder if that conclusion had been fed to us through the KGB moles in our midst.” Ledeen writes about how the intelligence community ignored inside information provided by Soviet defectors, such as theMitrokhin documents, which exposed the nature of Soviet-backed international terrorism, as well as the identities of “thousands of foreign agents—Western politicians, journalists, movie makers, military officers, and diplomats.”

Soviet KGB operations continued after the “collapse” of the Soviet Union in the hands of its successor agencies, the FSB and SVR. The book Comrade J examines the activities of Russian master spy, Sergei Tretyakov, who handled all Russian intelligence operations against the U.S. while serving under cover from 1995 to 2000 at Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Since intelligence operations continued as if nothing had happened, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, why isn’t it reasonable to assume that the Russians maintained contacts with international terrorist groups?

To his credit, Flynn has been very critical of the role of Russia’s close ally in the Middle East—Iran. In June 2015 testimony, after his retirement, he cited Iranian cooperation with North Korea, China and Russia, and pointed with alarm to the “resurgence of Russian and Chinese influence” in the Middle East. He said Russian assistance to Iran was a part of the problem, noting that “After all, the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr is Russian-built, the two countries work very closely together in Syria, and Russia is providing Iran with an effective antiaircraft system that could be deployed against any aircraft seeking to destroy the nuclear program.”

However, in the RT interview with Sophie Shevardnadze, Flynn’s criticism of Iran was couched in terms of getting all of the Arab and Muslim countries in the region to behave. He merely said “…Iran cannot continue to go the way it’s going” because it was contributing to the conflict.

The Birth of RT

The Russians have gotten far more sophisticated, especially in the field of global propaganda and information. But the reality of what is happening behind the scenes came to public attention when two RT employees, Elizabeth Wahl and Sara Firth, resigned in disgust at the propaganda that they were ordered to spew on the air. For example, the Russian managers ordered “news” that was designed todepict the Ukrainian government in a bad light and mask Russian military interference in that country, including the shoot-down and destruction of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was carrying almost 300 people.

Putin at RT 10th 2

At the RT anniversary dinner on Thursday night, Putin made no mention of those embarrassing resignations. Instead he presented the channel as a free and independent news entity featuring “creative” people who are serving the global public interest. He said to his audience (including Lt. Gen. Flynn), “You compete on the same playing field as international news giants, and are already beating them according to many parameters. In some regions of the world, you have higher ratings than traditional news organizations that have long been operating in the international information market.”

The speech was laughable, considering the Kremlin funding and control of the channel. Yet, it was posted on the president of Russia’s website, along with photographs of the affair. Moscow is obviously proud of what it has accomplished, with the cooperation of foreigners who appear on the channel and give it credibility.

The participation of a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the event was a major coup for RT. Film and photos of his participation will help the Russians in their ongoing propaganda campaign to depict the state-funded entity as simply a respectable source of alternative news and opinion that offers different views.

Showing the continuity between the old Soviet Union and Russia, former Soviet President Gorbachev was in attendance at the Thursday night dinner. He “congratulated RT and expressed his admiration for the network,” the channel reported. Outside the event, Gorbachev called the channel a “big success.”

The Case of Edward Snowden

Flynn’s attendance at the RT conference was shocking not only because Putin is an evil ruler whose regime murders opposition figures and truly independent journalists, but because Flynn was critical in the past about the damage done by NSA defector Edward Snowden, who escaped to Russia and now lives under Putin’s protection.

Flynn said in January 2014 that Snowden’s disclosures have caused “grave damage to our national security.” He added that “the greatest cost” of his disclosures will be “the cost in human lives on tomorrow’s battlefield or in someplace where we will put our military forces…when we ask them to go into harm’s way.”

It appears that the information stolen by Snowden has contributed significantly to the advances of the enemies and adversaries of the United States. Since his defection, Russia conducted a surprise invasion of Ukraine; Communist China mounted a series of cyber warfare attacks; and ISIS has gained ground in the Middle East and around the world. The bloody terrorist assaults in Paris and San Bernardino were carried out by plotters who clearly benefitted from Snowden’s revelations and were careful to plan their attacks using encrypted communications apps, such as Telegram, which was developed by a Russian, Pavel Durov.

RT has consistently portrayed Snowden as a whistleblower, and ran what was apparently intended as a humorous promotional ad in connection with the 10th anniversary celebration. It imagined that the NSA defector would return to the U.S. and be elected U.S. president. The ad shows an elderly Barack Obama in the year 2035 complaining about RT’s “propaganda.”

Snowden apparently wasn’t at the RT celebration, but former Russia Today TV star, Julian Assange, appeared via videotape from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He was interviewed by the well-known American “progressive” commentator, Thom Hartmann, who is paid by Moscow to host an RT show that appeals to liberals and left-wingers. Incredibly, the issue being discussed was the “right to privacy”—a right that doesn’t exist in Russia itself. Assange was the recipient of massive leaks from former U.S. Army analyst Bradley Manning, who is becoming a woman named Chelsea while serving a prison term for espionage.

Obama’s Support for Terrorism

One issue raised in RT’s interview of Flynn was a heavily-censored 2012 DIA memo that has been interpreted by many as confirmation that the U.S. and some of its allies had armed the terrorist groups in the Middle East that eventually became ISIS. According to the memo, these groups were seen as effective in countering the Russia/Iran/Syria axis in the area. The memo also described China as backing the Syrian regime.

Flynn’s criticism of this policy since he left the DIA has been made in different venues, including in interviews with Al Jazeera and Der Spiegel. As Flynn has correctly indicated, it is apparent that Obama’s policy in the Middle East has been a disaster. The Benghazi terrorist attacks in Libya, which cost the lives of four Americans, came to pass after the U.S. “switched sides in the war on terror,” as areport from the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has demonstrated. But just as the Obama administration must be held accountable for arming terrorists, so too must the role of the Putin regime in fostering terrorism be exposed.

In addition to the evidence of an FSB role in domestic terrorism, a defector from the Russian intelligence agency has just confirmed Russia’s role in creating ISIS by recruiting former members of Saddam Hussein’s security services. The former FSB officer told Ukrainian journalist Andriy Tsaplienko that “the Russian special services believed that if a terrorist organization was set up as an alternative to Al-Qaeda and it created problems for the United States as Donbas does for Ukraine now, it would be quite good.” Donbas is the name for the region of Ukraine that has been the staging area for terrorists from Russia, organized by the FSB, to seize territory and undermine Ukraine’s central government. Once again, Russia has demonstrated its commitment to global conflict rather than peace and reconciliation.

The FSB defector said that in order to create ISIS, the Russians selected former officers of the Iraqi army and members of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party. All of them had graduated from Moscow-based “educational institutions,” he said, referring to the time when the Saddam Hussein regime was in a close alliance with the Soviet Union. The overthrow of the Saddam regime was a huge blow to Russian influence in the Middle East. Iran and the Assad regime are the only firm Russian allies left in the region.

Russians Fighting for Terrorist Groups

The Daily Beast ran an article, “Russians Are Joining ISIS in Droves.” But the idea advanced by The Daily Beast that these terrorists are a threat to Russia is not borne out by the evidence. It seems like they are more of a threat to the rest of the world, especially the United States. In what could be seen as an observation or a threat, Putin himself publicly acknowledged that there are an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Russians fighting for ISIS. By contrast, FBI Director James Comey has estimated that approximately 250 Americans have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS. These potential terrorists are believed to be threats to America.

On December 3rd, the U.S. Justice Department announced that Irek Ilgiz Hamidullin, a Russian national and former Russian army tank commander, had been sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison for conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers and bring down an American helicopter, as well as for “conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and several other charges relating to an attack that he led against U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan in November 2009.”

It is telling that the U.S., not the Russian authorities, prosecuted him. Perhaps the U.S. was reluctant to turn him over to Moscow. This is reminiscent of the case of the Russian arms dealer and former Soviet military officer Viktor Bout, the legendary “Merchant of Death” who is serving a 25-year sentence in U.S. federal prison. Bout was lured out of Russia, where he was living openly, and arrested in a sting operation in Thailand by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Some of the weapons Bout was selling were for communist Colombian terrorists to use against Americans.

RT has covered the Bout case relentlessly, always in a manner critical of the United States for apprehending and prosecuting him. RT has even highlighted how Bout’s wife has set up The Road Home Foundation to facilitate the return to Russia of Bout and other Russians convicted of crimes abroad.

In another sensational case, the Boston Marathon bombing was carried out by two brothers from Russia, but the Russian connection was immediately discounted on the ground that the Russians had reportedly warned U.S. authorities about the bombers’ travels back and forth to the old Soviet Union. Curiously, RT ran claims by their mother back in Russia that the terrorists were “set up” by the FBI.

It is indeed strange how a Russian connection seems to surface in some of these most sensational terrorism cases.

In the more recent San Bernardino attack, we have a case of two Russian beautiesmarried to Muslim men. A Russian blonde beauty had married into the terrorist’s family, and another Russian woman had married Enrique Marquez, a convert to Islam who bought the weapons used in the massacre.

Nuclear Jihad?

In his June 2015 testimony, Flynn acknowledged that the U.S. intelligence community has had a “mixed” record in one important area—“tracking clandestine nuclear weapons programs.” In this context, it is significant that in his December 9 testimony to Congress, FBI director James Comey made a passing reference to how the bureau had disrupted “a nuclear threat in Moldova,” an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic. There is much more to the story and it directly involves the criminal regime in Moscow.

The story came to light in October, when the Associated Press disclosed that “gangs with suspected Russian connections” had tried on several occasions to “sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists.” AP said the latest known case came in February this year, “when a smuggler offered a huge cache of deadly cesium—enough to contaminate several city blocks—and specifically sought a buyer from the Islamic State group.”

In a follow-up report, the Center for Public Integrity said the nuclear material in the various cases “appeared to have the same origin—a restricted military installation in Russia.” It added that “no one in the West knows exactly who has this nuclear explosive material, and where they may be.”

The group concluded, “It’s a mystery that so far has stumped America’s best spying efforts, in no small measure because the government of Russian president Vladimir Putin has refused to provide needed information on the case—or even to acknowledge that some of the country’s nuclear explosive materials are missing.”

Don’t look for RT to get to the bottom of this.

10/7/15

Putin’s “Moral Clarity” Disguises Evil Intent

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

We as a nation are discussing ways to isolate and treat mental illness in society. How do we identify those who are mentally ill and get them help? These questions are also relevant on the world stage, as Russian President Vladimir Putin poses as the savior of the world.

You know that moral confusion is taking hold in society when a conservative website hails Vladimir Putin for his “moral clarity” in the War on Terror, and compares him to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yet, Dr. Robin McFee, who generally focuses on Weapons of Mass Destruction preparedness as well as medical matters, writes that Putin, who has invaded Ukraine and is now backing the Assad dictatorship in Syria with troops and weapons, “has emerged as the go to global statesmen [sic] on the world stage” because he gave a U.N. speech describing chaos in the Middle East resulting from President Obama’s policies.

Both Obama and Putin have created instability in the Middle East, but that doesn’t mean that one is a statesman and the other is not. It may mean that they are both working in tandem to reduce American influence in the region, just as they partnered on behalf of a nuclear deal with Iran.

Regarding their U.N. speeches, McFee wrote, “Both Netanyahu and Putin shared a refreshing moral clarity, presenting an unvarnished snapshot of the world as it is, the threats awaiting us, and gave an unfiltered insight into the challenges they face, as well as approaches each will take in the protection of their respective nation’s interests and sovereignty.”

The idea that Putin is a leader we should admire is a notion that is nonsensical on its face. He gave asylum to NSA defector Edward Snowden, who still lives in Russia. In a recent edition of The Intelligencer, the journal of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), Peter Oleson writes about how Snowden’s disclosures have facilitated the activities of the Islamic State—a group that Putin claims he opposes—along with other American enemies and adversaries.

Oleson, a former assistant director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) who served as senior intelligence policy advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense Policy, writes, “The damage to US intelligence has been extensive. Snowden leaked the identities of over 1,000 targets of US intelligence and 31,000 files revealing what US policymakers want intelligence to provide (i.e., a list revealing what the US doesn’t know). His releases contain sufficient detail to identify US and allied intelligence officers. He revealed previously secret details of the US intelligence budget.”

He goes on, “Perhaps even more significant is the exposure of specific sources and methods and techniques US intelligence uses. Snowden has exposed how the US tracks terrorists via e-mails, social media, and cell phones.”

These are some of the same terrorists running wild in the Middle East that Putin says he opposes.

Indeed, Oleson notes that “The MI-5 head warned that the Snowden leaks undermined British security as concerns grow over British Islamists fighting in Syria. He also revealed the hacking techniques of NSA’s Tailored Access Office, the group that focuses on difficult electronic targets. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has altered his communications to avoid detection. Electronic eavesdropping techniques used against Al Qaeda in Iraq no longer work.”

Summarizing the damage Snowden has done, Oleson concludes that Snowden is a traitor to the United States and quite possibly a spy.

There are other reasons to categorically reject the notion that Putin is a statesman who sees the world like Israel’s Netanyahu. The Russians created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to destroy Israel. Israel has been terrorized by Soviet/Russian trained terrorists for decades.

But Putin, a former KGB colonel, wanted the world to forget this record of backing international terrorism when he spoke to the U.N.

McFee approvingly quotes Putin as saying in his U.N. speech, “We believe that any attempts to play games with terrorists, let alone to arm them, are not just short-sighted. This may result in the global terrorist threat increasing dramatically and engulfing new regions, especially given that Islamic State camps train militants from many countries, including the European countries.”

She then adds, “Beyond a few glaringly obvious issues, like Russian influence in Iran, and criminal money laundering, nevertheless, Putin highlights important facts.”

“Russian influence in Iran?” Is that how Russian sponsorship of the Iranian regime and its nuclear weapons program is best described?

Relegating “Russian influence in Iran” to a throwaway line ignores the terrorism this alliance has meant for the Middle East and the world. It is the Iranian relationship with Syria and Russia that Putin is determined to support in the Middle East. Iranian-supported terrorist groups are just as lethal as the Islamic State, and Netanyahu knows it. That’s why he has pleaded with Putin, to no avail, to look the other way when Israel bombs Syrian and Iranian supply lines for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The fact that Putin invaded Ukraine, and that his separatist forces brought down a civilian airliner over areas they control, should also disabuse us of any notion that he is a moral statesman on the world stage. Of course, Putin also kills journalists and opposition figures. But particularly gruesome ways of killing, such as the poisoning of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, are reserved for those who spill secrets about Putin and his KGB comrades. Litvinenko disclosed Russian training of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

McFee’s praise for Putin’s “moral clarity on radical Islam at the U.N.” ignores the evidence that the Russians have their fingerprints all over the activities of the Islamic State, not only through facilitating Snowden’s disclosures but through the provision of actual manpower.

The Homeland Security Committee’s recent report on foreign fighters in the Islamic State lists Russia as number four among the top 10 countries of origin. Russia has supplied 1,700 fighters. The United States isn’t even in the top 10. Russia has done little to stop this flow of people to the Islamic State, suggesting that some are leaving under the watchful eye of Putin’s intelligence services. One Islamic State military commander is, in fact, considered a Russian plant.

Russia may not control every faction of the Islamic State, but it’s a sure bet that Putin’s intelligence operatives are in charge of at least some of them. It is significant that initial Russian airstrikes were determined to be hitting opponents of Assad, not Islamic State fighters.

As we have seen by the intervention in Syria, the Islamic State serves Russian interests by giving Putin the opportunity to act decisively on behalf of the Syrian regime, which also benefits Iran. Putin comes out on top no matter which side wins and looks like a statesman in the process. At least he looks that way to some.

It’s time to face reality: Putin is a bloodthirsty killer whose only concern is building up Russian power and damaging the interests of the United States. Disgust for Obama should not blind people to that fact.

It’s time to identify Putin as not only mentally unstable, but so bloodthirsty that he constitutes a threat to the Middle East, America and the world. Putin’s nuclear weapons buildup is so alarming that our top generals have called Russia an “existential threat” to the United States.

We’ve identified the problem. So who among the presidential candidates has a plan to rid the world of this lunatic before thousands, or even millions, of Americans die?

05/20/15

Mike Morell Attempts to Repair His Damaged Credibility

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Mike Morell, the former Deputy CIA Director and Acting CIA Director, is out with a new book, and has been making the rounds on virtually every TV network. This is supposed to be his time to set the record straight, but he has apparently decided not to do that. Instead, his truthful revelations are mixed in with obvious falsehoods, so it becomes difficult to distinguish one from the other.

We noted his difficulty with the truth back in this 2014 column by former CIA officer Clare Lopez, in which she cited, among other things, that Morell and then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice met with several Republican senators about the editing process that the Benghazi talking points had gone through before Rice used them on the five Sunday morning shows, just days after the attacks in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Lopez, in her column titled “Benghazi and the Politicization of Intelligence,” wrote:

Under questioning from the senators about the talking-points editing process, Morell tried to blame the FBI for cutting the reference to al-Qa’eda terrorism; he said the FBI didn’t want to compromise an ongoing criminal investigation. When Graham called the FBI and told them what Morell had said, ‘they went ballistic,’ Graham said in an interview with Fox News. ‘Confronted with this, Morell changed his statement and admitted that he, and the CIA, had been responsible after all.’

Although Morell has made statements undermining Hillary Clinton and President Obama on other intelligence issues, he is actively assisting both the mainstream media and the Obama administration in an effort to ignore and revise the 2012 events in Benghazi with his new book The Great War of Our Time.

“One of the most striking aspects of Morell’s chapters on Benghazi is his dogged insistence that the attacks were simply the result of a mob spinning out of control,” writes Steven Hayes for The Weekly Standard. “But Morell maintains that the attacks were not planned and claims, repeatedly and bizarrely, that the attackers did not necessarily want to harm Americans.”

This, Hayes notes, does not match the Abu Khatallah indictment, which contends that the objective of the attackers in Benghazi was tokill United States citizens at the Mission and the Annex.”

A Defense Intelligence Agency email, obtained by Judicial Watch and made public on May 18, shows that the DIA reported on September 16, 2012 that the terrorist attack had been planned 10 or more days prior by Al Qaeda.

“The memo was copied to the National Security Council, the State Department and the CIA,” reports Catherine Herridge of Fox News. “A third DIA memo, dated Oct. 5, 2012, leaves no doubt that U.S. intelligence agencies knew that weapons were moving from Libya to Syria before the attack that killed four Americans.”

Morell refused to comment on the flow of weapons to Syria during his recent Fox News interview with Bret Baier, host of Special Report. Morell’s carefully crafted chapters on Benghazi, a total of 47 pages, deceive so systematically and so completely as to create an entirely false account of these events. He seeks to rewrite history by contradicting other witnesses. All evidence supporting this scandal that is not ascribed to the White House’s stonewalling efforts is reduced to spurious claims or myths.

But it is his word against those on the ground that night—from Gregory Hicks to the former Libyan president, including the security contractors and diplomatic security agents. Morell’s own account is irredeemably sullied by the fact that he won’t even admit to conversations he’s had concerning the CIA’s Benghazi talking points.

“I told my colleagues that I had some concerns about the talking points and that I knew other agencies did as well,” he writes of his controversial participation in a Deputies Meeting. “I did not say what my concerns were. I concluded by saying I would edit the talking points myself and share them with the relevant deputies before sending them to the Hill. McDonough simply said, ‘Thank you, Michael.’” McDonough is Denis McDonough, then-Deputy National Security Advisor, now White House Chief of Staff.

Contrast this with email records obtained by Judicial Watch, and you find that Morell’s assertions prove entirely false. “On the SVTS [call], Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy editing hand to them,” states an administration email from September 15, 2012. “[Morell] noted that he would be happy to work with Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to develop appropriate talking points. McDonough, on Rhodes’ behalf, deferred to Sullivan.” Rhodes is Ben Rhodes, former Obama speechwriter, Deputy National Security Advisor, and brother of David Rhodes, the president of CBS News.

“It was agreed that Jake would work closely with the intelligence community (within a small group) to finalize points on Saturday that could be shared with HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence],” it continues.

In order for there to be an agreement, there must first be a conversation involving multiple parties. And the details of this email clearly demonstrate that there was more of a discussion with others than Morell would like to admit.

But the mainstream media aren’t interested in asking Morell about his factual inaccuracies or contradictions.

During a Q&A, Michael Hirsh of Politico asked Morell a softball question on Benghazi, saying, “You say the CIA reevaluated its security posture in Benghazi after that but it’s unclear why State did not do more. Can you explain?”

This approach revealed that Hirsh hadn’t done any independent research, and was hoping that the Benghazi scandal could be “explained” away by the most authoritative—and, in this case, incredibly biased—administration source.

Politico also published an article by Morell, which claims to be “The Real Story of Benghazi.”

Hirsh’s question doesn’t even reflect Morell’s actual statements. “It was only …after the tragedy of 9/11/12…that we learned that only a few security enhancements had been made” at the Special Mission Compound, writes Morell.

Members of the Annex Security Team write in their book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, that status updates between them (at the CIA Annex) and the Special Mission Compound (located about one mile from the Annex) occurred “usually every Friday.” Does Morell really expect his readers to believe that these two facilities, located so close together, were not aware of each others’ security efforts? Hirsh apparently does.

By informing his readers about unreleased video footage from the night of the attack at the Special Mission Compound (SMC), Morell seeks to establish himself as a first-hand expert on what happened there. He is not. But because the video footage is not available to others, it is impossible to independently verify the facts.

For Politico to have taken Morell at his word without fact-checking is no better than citing anonymous administration officials.

“Some of the attackers were armed with small arms; many were not armed at all,” Morell writes. “No heavy weapons were seen on the videotape.” This contradicts another account, from the book Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi by Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz, which maintains that “Some of the attackers carried RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] slung over their shoulders, apparently to be used on the armored doors of the safe haven and the TOC [Tactical Operations Center] or to repel any counterattack. The DS [Diplomatic Security] agents knew they were facing superior firepower.”

“…definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who—who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their—since their arrival, said former Libyan President Mohammed al Magariaf on September 16, 2012 on CBS’ Face the Nation.

But, according to Morell, this is merely a “myth,” a false perception “that the attacks were well organized, planned weeks or even months in advance.”

“What’s more, the failure to anticipate and prevent such attacks would be, by definition, an intelligence failure,” writes Steven Hayes. Such a failure would reflect badly on the CIA, and therefore Morell himself.

Morell contends that there was no tactical warning for the attacks. Instead, “We routinely sent such cables each year on the anniversary of 9/11—but we did want our people and their US government colleagues to be extra vigilant.”

“Be advised, we have reports from locals that a Western facility or US Embassy/Consulate/Government target will be attacked in the next week,” reads the warning described in 13 Hours.

Morell recounts the stand down order with as much dishonesty as his description of the secret Deputies Meeting. “While these calls were being made, the response team was frustrated that it was not moving out,” he writes. “Although the delay was no more than five to eight minutes, I am sure that to those involved it must have seemed like forever.” But, he writes, it wasn’t ordered by anyone up the chain of command and was totally justified.

Morell’s account doesn’t even address whether the security team left with CIA Chief of Base “Bob’s” blessing or otherwise. They did not. And, according to the 13 Hours account, at least 20 minutes “had elapsed since the operators had first mustered at Building C.”

In a firefight, 20 minutes can be an eternity. AST Member Kris Paronto told Fox News’ Bret Baier last year that, without the delay, “Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes.”

Admitting as much would concede the CIA’s role in the overall dereliction of duty. Yet Nick Romeo writes for the Christian Science Monitor that although “it’s clear that he wants to defend the reputation of the agency” Morell has credibility because he notices “the many weaknesses and flaws in the design and function of intelligence agencies.”

However, when it comes to the death of four Americans—where it counts—Morell perpetuates the cover-up.

After leaving the CIA in 2013, Morell joined Beacon Global Strategies, started by Hillary Clinton’s “principal gatekeeper”—as described by The New York Times—Philippe Reines. The company serves as a sort of Clinton government-in-waiting. Thus, Morell’s statements become even that much more suspect due to a conflict of interest, while trying to protect Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House.

And the dereliction of duty could have been prevented. Chief of Base “Bob” had already been given an opportunity to see the February 17 Martyrs Brigade’s lack of action earlier that year when they failed to come to the aid of another operator and Tyrone Woods during an altercation with a group they believed to be Ansar al Sharia. Woods himself later became a September 11, 2012 casualty. Even the Accountability Review Board notes that on the day of the attacks, the militia “had stopped accompanying Special Mission vehicle movements in protest over salary and working hours.”

But it is easier to ignore and marginalize the Benghazi scandal than for journalists to do independent research. Case in point, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed Morell on May 13 about ISIS and the Osama bin Laden operation, but did not ask him about his false Benghazi narrative.

If Morell has so transparently lied about the death of four Americans and the resulting administration cover-up, why, exactly, should the media trust him on other matters?

05/18/15

US Intel knew about weapons going from Benghazi to Syria

From Hot Air:

And quite a bit more, including the potential for ISIS to rise to seize ground and declare a caliphate. In a memo from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to the National Security Council, the CIA, and the White House five days after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, the DIA concluded that the attack had been planned for more than a week and was retribution for an American drone strike that had killed a senior al-Qaeda leader in June 2012. Moreover, the attack had been planned for the anniversary of 9/11 as a propaganda coup for AQ and its affiliate behind the attack, and not just a coincidence as the White House later claimed (via The Right Scoop):

The date of the DIA conclusion (produced by a FOIA lawsuit from Judicial Watch) is remarkable for at least one reason. First, September 16 is an infamous date in the Benghazi timeline, as the date on which Susan Rice did a full Ginsburg to insist that the attack resulted from a spontaneous demonstration tied to an obscure YouTube video. Even though the DIA directly contradicted those talking points supplied by the White House to Rice, they continued to insist on using them for another two weeks, including Hillary Clinton. During that period, the Obama administration kept saying that they had no indication that this was a terrorist plot, even though the president of Libya insisted that it was a planned attack on one of the same shows on which Rice appeared.

As Catherine Herridge and Martha McCallum point out, the memo tells a lot more of the story than we knew before. The consulate and its intelligence operation nearby was keeping an eye on weapons transfers to anti-Assad forces in Syria, one of the proposed reasons why the US would have kept a consulate open in that city for so long. This was taking place at the same time that a number of American politicians were demanding more open support for rebels in Syria, a move that had support from Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta at the time according to Panetta’s memoir, but which Obama himself was reluctant to embrace — publicly, at least. Mike Morell insisted last week that the US took no part in that weapons movement, but did we need a consulate just to conduct passive intel on arms trafficking?

Why keep up the pretense? Obama was in the middle of an election, and didn’t want to acknowledge that he’d been caught with his pants down. And he may well have wanted to avoid answering questions about secret arms programs to anti-Assad rebels, especially given how that turned out in Syria and Iraq.

Speaking of which, the part about the rise of ISIS is even more interesting. The DIA tried to warn Congress about the threat in January 2014, which is when Obama compared them to the “jayvees.” Sixteen months before that, the DIA had predicted exactly what would happen with the group formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, right down to their declaration of a caliphate in the area that the US had fought so hard to wrest from their control in 2006-8. This memo makes it look as though both Obama and Clinton made a habit of getting caught with their pants down, and concocting cover stories when the failures became too obvious to ignore.

Fox: Newly released Benghazi documents show Obama admin lied about attack

Smoking gun! Hillary knew of Benghazi attack 10 days in advance