01/20/17

Dear FBI: You may want to check these assassination threats on President Trump’s life

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Threatening tweet.

When President Donald Trump won the election, assassination threats abounded on Twitter:

The ones compiled by this author were all deleted, but can still be seen here. For the sake of history, here are the tweets that will likely be deleted as well:

Here is a (long) list of more examples:  Continue reading

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.

01/19/17

Obama’s Iranian Nuke Deal is a Major Challenge for Trump

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

No matter how false and misleading it is to cite the Iran deal as “signed,” when it is little more than a set of unenforceable political commitments, the news media continue to publish fake news arguing that somehow Iran and the P5+1 have agreed on a single text of the deal. In reality, the Iranian parliament endorsed a different version of the deal than was supposedly accepted by the P5+1, and the JCPOA was agreed upon without signatures or signatories.

Now President Obama is using a news organ of the U.S. government, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, to sell the narrative that this is a signed deal. “Rohani has been accused of overhyping the agreement and being duped by Washington and five other world powers at the negotiating table,” reports Frud Bezhan for RadioLiberty. “In many ways, it mirrors the situation in the United States, where supporters have fended off consistent opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), in which Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, since it was signed in July 2015” (emphasis added). In other words, American critics should stop complaining because the Iranians don’t believe the deal benefited them either.

How can the author of that article not know that the Iran deal was not actually signed? It was the State Department’s Julia Frifield who sent a letter to Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) saying that the Iran deal is “not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document.” Rather, she wrote, this deal represents “political commitments” between Iran and other nations. How, exactly, can policymakers politically commit to something that the parties have not agreed on in writing, validated by signatures? There is no such document, and this news article is little more than government-funded propaganda.

Even The New York Times admits that the parties had to parse out different interpretations when it reported in January of last year that Iran and the United States had not yet agreed on “details of what kind of ‘advanced centrifuges’ Iran will be able to develop nearly a decade from now.” This, the Times stated, was “the kind of definitional difference that can undermine an accord”—yet these details were being worked out months later than when the agreement was supposedly signed.

“But as the first anniversary of implementation day approaches on January 16, Rohani has been saddled by the high expectations he set, as Iran’s economy continues to struggle and the great boost in foreign investment and other benefits he envisioned has so far failed to materialize,” reports RadioLiberty. There are a number of different landmarks in how the Iran Deal is supposed to be implemented, which allows the Obama administration to acknowledge multiple anniversaries of the deal.

For example, the White House celebrated July 14, 2016 as the first year anniversary of this unsigned deal. “Today marks one year since the conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal…by representatives of the United States, Iran, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, and the European Union,” read President Obama’s statement. “Over the last year, the Iran Deal has succeeded in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, avoiding further conflict and making us safer.”

But there are multiple anniversaries that the administration, as well as the compliant press, can use to their political advantage, highlighting Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement. After all, there is the day of the agreement (July 14, 2015), Adoption Day (October 18, 2015), and Implementation Day (January 16, 2016). The Hill, in particular, published a news story on the anniversary this week which exclusively cites President Obama, and no other sources. In other words, this January anniversary is yet another chance for the mainstream media to produce more propaganda in favor of the unsigned and unenforceable deal.

“Today marks the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—a deal that has achieved significant, concrete results in making the United States and the world a safer place,” reads President Obama’s statement this week. The Washington Times reports that Obama used the one-year anniversary to warn “Americans—chief among them President-elect Donald Trump—that unraveling the agreement would bring ‘much worse’ consequences.” In other words, Obama is willing to lie to the public about the contents of the deal in order to salvage his foreign policy legacy from Trump’s future actions.

Obama is on the same page with Iranian President Hassan Rohani, who had harsh words for President-elect Trump. On Tuesday, Rohani said that talk of renegotiating the deal was “meaningless,” and that he “doesn’t think [Trump] can do much when he gets to the White House.”

Trump has nominated Rep. Pompeo to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Pompeo, in response to the letter he received from the State Department, said that the deal was “nothing more than a press release and just about as enforceable.” Yet Obama continues to claim, again and again, that the Iran Deal will make the world safer. The opposite is true: Iran, under this deal, has been given a pathway to develop nuclear weapons.

I recently asked Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a great friend of Israel, how this is a deal if it’s not signed. He said that “theoretically it wasn’t signed, but it was agreed to.” Theoretically? He said that it was a matter of semantics. “It was a bad deal,” he told me. “It doesn’t matter whether it was signed or not, it was a bad deal.”

Perhaps there is another anniversary that Obama should be celebrating—coordinating ransom money to the Iranians. According to The Wall Street Journal, “The U.S. Treasury Department wired the money [$1.7 billion] to Iran around the same time its theocratic government allowed three American prisoners to fly out of Tehran….The announcements coincided with the implementation of the nuclear agreement with Iran, lifting international economic sanctions in exchange for Iran curtailing its nuclear program.” President Obama claimed that this wasn’t a ransom payment—but the proximity to the release of U.S. prisoners demonstrates that this was, in fact, nothing short of buying off the Iranians.

If Obama wishes to celebrate, and the media continue to applaud, the anniversary of this terrible, unsigned agreement, then both parties must take ownership of how the ransom money sent to Iran—and sanctions relief—emboldens this totalitarian, theocratic regime.

Obama continues to appease the Iranians, opposing Congress’ recently renewed Iran Sanctions Act. The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama “decided to let the legislation imposing U.S. restrictions on Iran’s missile program become law without his signature” and that the law had overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress. In fact, the vote in the Senate was 99-0. In response, Rohani “ordered the development of a nuclear-powered system for ships, a move described as retaliation for the sanctions extension,” yet Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, claimed that “Iran’s decision does not violate the nuclear deal.”

What, exactly, would violate this unsigned, unenforceable agreement? The fact that the parties have not signed this agreement, and that Iran has a different conception of the deal, means that Iran’s belligerence, and the deceit from both Iran and the Obama administration, amounts to a very challenging mess for the incoming Trump administration. Will the “art of the deal” prevail, or is a military confrontation inevitable?


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.

01/18/17

AIM Editor on Cavuto about Trump and the Media

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media Editor Roger Aronoff was a guest on “Cavuto Coast to Coast” on January 13 on the Fox Business Network. The topic was how the mainstream media came to the defense of CNN after their confrontation with President-elect Donald Trump during his press conference last week, yet said little when President Barack Obama repeatedly attacked Fox News.

“When you saw the situation with [CNN’s] Jim Acosta the other day, it reminded me of when George Bush had a shoe thrown at him,” said Aronoff. “We haven’t seen it in these last eight years. And generally, there’s been very little support for Fox as this administration has attacked Fox. But there was immediately support for CNN.”

President Obama has blamed Fox News for poor polling numbers and Democrat losses during the election. “…[A]fter the election he referred to Fox in ‘every restaurant and bar and big chunks of the country,’” said Aronoff. “That’s why the Democrats lost, he thinks.”

Reporters are using unverified claims to tar Trump’s presidency before it begins, even if the charges may be baseless. “They’re throwing out through innuendo this scurrilous report which was nothing but opposition research,” said Aronoff. “A number of facts that we know to be wrong. And then this got leaked by the intelligence community.”

“I was struck by something Carl Bernstein said on the panel that night,” said Aronoff. “He said, ‘Look, do we know if this is true, do we know if any of it’s true? No we don’t. But here we are talking about it anyway.’”

Aronoff argued that Trump wasn’t in conflict with the intelligence community as a whole, just with the political appointees. “This is so political, coming from the top,” he said. “And I think we have to realize that, if Hillary [Clinton] had won this election, there would be no 35 Russians expelled, there would be no investigation into the FBI and [Director James] Comey, there would be no investigation into the Russian hacking.”

It is also suspicious that Obama has done little about this recent leak. “Why isn’t Obama saying we’re going to investigate who’s leaking this information?” asked Aronoff. As AIM has pointed out, Obama has a track record of going after journalists who print leaked information, as well as their sources. But this time the President has not signaled that he will go after the culprits.

You can watch the segment here:

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.

01/13/17

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.

01/11/17

The Top Ten Misreported and Underreported Stories of 2016

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

As we look back on 2016, we would like to highlight some of the American media’s worst abuses that occurred during the past year, including coverage of the very divisive election campaign. We have picked ten stories in which the media were either derelict in their duty to report the truth, or sold a false or biased narrative to the public that furthered the left’s agenda. In other cases, the media missed the story altogether or made excuses for their own biased reporting. We could easily have picked additional stories that meet those criteria, but arbitrarily chose to look at ten, in no particular order.

  1.    Presidential Election Coverage
  2.    Hillary Clinton Email / National Security Scandal
  3.    Clinton Foundation / Pay for Play
  4.    Rigged FBI Investigation
  5.    Obama’s Legacy Failures
  6.    Iran Nuclear Deal
  7.    Obamacare
  8.    The Economy
  9.    Terror Attacks in the United States (Islamic Terror)
  10.    Benghazi 
  1. Presidential Election Coverage

Erroneous Election Predictions

The mainstream media repeatedly predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election—and by a wide margin. The New York Times, in particular, gave Clinton an 85 percent chance of winning on election night. “Hillary Clinton today is more likely to win in a landslide that would not only have an impact on this race but realign the country politically to some extent, than Trump is to win at all,” argued Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin. Similarly, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said that “This could be tight, or it could be a landslide for Hillary.” The media pundits were all, very, very wrong.

Now that Clinton has lost, postmortems of the election abound: media pundits blame fake news, FBI Director James Comey’s FBI investigation, WikiLeaks, and the alleged Russian interference in the election. Hillary apparently had nothing to do with her own defeat. The fact that she won by more than 2.5 million votes means that the Russians failed, if their goal was to help Trump win the most votes. Surely they didn’t expect that Trump would be the winner if he lost the popular vote by such a margin. The mainstream media have become “election results deniers.” This fuels their anti-Trump bias and demonstrates why they called the election for Clinton, who was a very flawed candidate, even in the eyes of most Democrats.

“The inescapable fact is that most of the mainstream media got it wrong because they simply couldn’t believe that Americans would elect someone like Donald Trump,” wrote Mathew Ingram for Fortune. “Denial can be a powerful drug.” Yet even Ingram blames fake news for the outcome.

Many in the mainstream media have also been guilty of reporting their own fake or misleading stories. Their fascination with exposing fake news writers revolves around the desire to prove that their own reporting is above reproach, and should be trusted. That is especially true now when their credibility is in short supply after their flawed election predictions.

The so-called mainstream media have no corner on the truth, and it’s clear that when someone challenges their left-wing agenda, their first reaction is to try to destroy the challenger at any cost. The name-calling, caterwauling, crying and disgust will continue on the left, as they figure out how to pick up the pieces and move forward.

Continue reading

01/11/17

Political Witch Hunt: Intelligence Report Surfaces On Trump… Why You Should Doubt It

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

Intelligence allegations have surfaced against Donald Trump involving the Russians. My readers know that I consider Russia to be a stone cold enemy and I have been very concerned on how chummy Trump is with Putin, but just let me state for the record, I think all of this is bullcrap. I am linking the actual report here, so you can read it for yourself. It is 35 pages long. There are inconsistencies and downright errors in this. There are also allegations of Trump and prostitutes in Russia defiling a bedroom where the Obama’s stayed. I don’t believe a bit of it. The report is in the Russian style of mixing facts and fallacies, but it does not ring true. And I don’t believe that Donald Trump would ever be this stupid. This is a hatchet job from the left, not only against Donald Trump, but to make our intelligence agencies look like fools.

Russia is denying all of this completely and Donald Trump is saying it’s an outright lie. I believe them and considering how I feel about Russia, that should mean something. The media and the intelligence agencies have had this information since August. So, why wouldn’t they release it until now? I know Harry Reid wanted to air it, but they sat on it. Now, the left wants to use it to destroy Trump as he comes into the Presidency. Very convenient, don’t you think? And I have much more for you on this.

From the Daily Mail:

Russia has denied ‘completely fake’ allegations that it has a blackmail file on Donald Trump containing footage of him watching prostitutes in a Moscow hotel bed.

U.S. officials allegedly included a two-page synopsis of ‘kompromat’ – Russian for compromising material – as part of their security briefing of Trump on Friday.

The material, described by Trump as ‘fake’ and a ‘political witch hunt’, was based on memos compiled by a British intelligence operative who was considered ‘credible’ by the U.S. intelligence community, CNN reported.

The document claims Russian sources told the operative that they had extensive material on the now president-elect – including a secret film of him in the suite where President Obama stayed in Moscow, watching prostitutes committing degrading sex acts on the bed where the president slept.

But Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin , dismissed the reports as a ‘complete fabrication and utter nonsense’.

What is believed to be the 35-page document itself was published by Buzzfeed, which pointed out that it contained errors. Little of its contents can be independently verified, while there has been no official confirmation of the details of the briefing.

Denying even the existence of a ‘kompromat’ on Trump, Peskov said this morning: ‘This information does not correspond to reality and is no more than fiction.’

A so-called anonymous retired MI6 British intelligence officer gave this damning evidence to John McCain, who then provided it to the FBI. The left is now screaming that Comey should be lynched because he went after Weiner and did not go after this. There is a good reason he didn’t go after this… it smells of being a political witch hunt. Don’t get me wrong… Russia does blackmail, extort and murder… but it would not be done this way. There is no credible evidence out there that Trump is controlled by Russia. I’ve looked… hard and I have not found it. So, until I see real credible and verifiable evidence, I’m not going to defame the man.

Donald Trump won this election fairly and Russia had nothing to do with Clinton losing. She sucked… period. According to CNN, the briefings, which included the documents of incendiary material, were presented by the country’s most senior intelligence chiefs – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. But they are all yet to comment on the matter. They are all going to wind up looking like utter fools over this, although they didn’t present it as facts, just evidence Russia was meddling.

Tell me what you think this sounds like – it is repulsive and frankly, not credible:

The document states that Trump had declined ‘sweetener’ real estate deals in Russia that the Kremlin lined up in order to cultivate him. The business proposals were said to be ‘in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament’.

Russian authorities tried to ‘exploit Trump’s personal obsessions and sexual perversion’ in order to compromise him.

The document also referenced Trump’s ‘(perverted) conduct’ at the presidential suite of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow, where the President and First Lady Michelle Obama ‘whom he hated’ had stayed.

It cited ‘Source D’ as saying Trump’s conduct included hiring prostitutes ‘to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him.’ It says the hotel was known to be under the control of Russia’s FSB, with hidden cameras and microphones.

Now, here is where the CIA, FBI and every other alphabet agency may have been rick-trolled by the left. A post on 4Chan now claims that the infamous “golden showers” scene in the unverified 35-page dossier, allegedly compiled by a British intelligence officer, was a hoax and fabricated by a member of the chatboard as “fanfiction,” then sent to Rick Wilson, who proceeded to send it to the CIA, which then put it in their official classified intelligence report on the election. They didn’t source it, they just included it. Unbelievable.

Now, I don’t know if that is true… just as I don’t know if the whole thing is a made up smear job against Trump. But, it has the feel of being true. You’ll have to judge for yourself. Here’s a summary of what may have gone down:

On january 10, Buzzfeed posted a story under the byline of Ken Bensinger, Mark Schoofs and Miriam elder titled “these reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia” and posted a link to a document alleging, among other things, that russia has been cultivating trump for 5+ years, that trump has been in constant contact with the kremlin for information on his opponents, and perhaps most inflammatory, that there are many recorded instances of blackmail of trump in sexual misconduct. A prominent claim is that trump rented the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in moscow, where he knew that the Obamas had slept in; he them hired a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden shower’ (pissplay) on the bed and in the room. https://www.buzzfeed.com/kenbensinger/these-reports-allege-trump-has-dee…
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984/Trump-Intelligence-Al…

Noted #nevertrump voice Rick Wilson later commented on twitter, stating that the report “gave a new meaning to Wikileaks” (https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/818982395202379777) and that the report was the reason everybody was fighting so hard against the election of Trump. (https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/818983514335047680)

The remarkable thing? It’s all fake. And not only fake; it’s a prank perpetuated by 4chan, on Rick Wilson himself. A post on 4chan on october 26 stated “mfw managed to convince CTR and certain (((journalists))) on Twitter there’ll be an October surprise on Trump this Friday” along with a picture of a smug face with a hash name. http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/94704894/#94705224

on november 1, a person without a picture but is assumed to be the same person posted “So they took what I told Rick Wilson and added a Russian spy angle to it. They still believe it. Guys, they’re truly fucking desperate – there’s no remaining Trump scandal that’s credible.” https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/95568919/#95571329

on january 10, moments after the story broke and began to gain traction on social media, a person with the same smug grin face, and the same hash title for the picture, stated “I didn’t think they’d take it so far.” http://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/106514445#p106520376

This story has taken on something of a life of it’s own. Going through Rick Wilson’s twitter, you can find many different stories from the time that he had shown the story to a wide number of anti-trump news sources, trying to find a news organization that would actually publish the story. During that time period, he referred to it often as ‘the thing’, and often playing coy with followers on the content with the story with anybody who was not also a #Nevertrumper. Unconfirmed sources has people as high up as John McCain giving the story to FBI Director James Comey to attempt to verify the story. Given that Rick Wilson runs in Establishment circles, it is not an impossible scenario that long-serving senators are falling for what amounts to a 4chan troll trump supporter creating an ironic October Surprise out of wholecloth to punk a GOPe pundit who derogatorily referred to them as single men who masturbate to anime.

This whole thing is a horrid joke and what is worse, it takes fake news to a new level and it makes anything coming from the intelligence agencies questionable. Just what Barack Obama and the left wanted all along. It will also follow Trump and hound him throughout his presidency even though it is a lie and a smear campaign. As for CNN and BuzzFeed… doesn’t anyone source their stories for real facts anymore? Just asking.