04/6/17

US Strikes Syria With 60 Tomahawk Missiles [VIDEO]

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

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

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

From Fox News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

04/6/17

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

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | I Have The Truth

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

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

From the Washington Examiner:

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

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

Tillerson added that “those steps are underway” already.

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

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

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

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

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

04/6/17

Nikki Haley Faces Off With Russia… “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” [VIDEO]

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

Nikki Haley surprised the heck out of me when she called Russia on the carpet at the United Nations over a monstrous chemical weapons attack allegedly carried out by Assad in Syria. “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” Haley asked, her eyes locked on the Russian ambassador. And that is the rub of the matter. Of course, Russia claims it was the rebels fault… that they stockpiled the weapons and when Assad blew up their warehouse, they were dispersed. You can’t trust anything the Russians say and I believe that is a monstrous lie.

We are very, very close to war now on multiple fronts. I actually think that we either need to have a trained Black Ops team take out that troll in North Korea, or we need to preemptively strike the Hermit Kingdom. We are now out of options. As for Syria, if we decide to go to war there, realize that we will not just be at war with Assad. We will be at war with Russia, China and Iran as well. Hello World War III. I have warned about this for years and we have finally arrived at the Eve of Destruction.

From Western Journalism:

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stared down her Russian counterpart in a fiery speech at the U.N. Security Council Wednesday, criticizing Russia for its continuing defense of the Syrian government following a suspected chemical weapons attack.

Haley held up photos of child victims as she recited eyewitness accounts of the attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib province on Tuesday.

“Men, women, the elderly and children gasping for their very last breath,” she told the Security Council. “And as first-responders, doctors and nurses rushed to help the victims, a second round of bombs rained down. They died in the same slow, horrendous manner as the civilians they were trying to save.”

How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” Haley asked, her eyes locked on the Russian ambassador.

Russia’s defense ministry argued that fault for the chemical weapon attack lies with Syrian rebels who oppose President Bashar al-Assad’s government. They said that a rebel-held warehouse producing and storing chemical weapons was destroyed during the bombardment by the Syrian Air Force, causing the release of the chemical agents that took the lives of over 100.

Nikki Haley is a pit bull. She’s tenacious and she stood toe to toe with her Russian counterpart over this and didn’t back down. She didn’t even flinch. I’m impressed. Even President Trump, who had been against doing anything in Syria, has had a change of heart. After you see what was done to children there, first you are shocked… then tears come to your eyes… then you get righteously angry. The games with Russia are about to end.

Death was not quick or easy for these people. It was a slow, agonizing monstrous way to die. Only a brutal tyrant could condone such a thing. Russia used the warehouse excuse to block a strongish Security Council response to the attack, a move that earned the country near-universal condemnation. “Time and time again Russia uses the same false narrative to deflect attention from their allies in Damascus,” Haley said during her speech. “The United States sees yesterday’s attack as a disgrace at the highest level and assurance that humanity means nothing to the Syrian government.” And that has been the brash truth all along.

Nikki Haley closed her speech with: “When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,” she said. “For the sake of the victims, I hope the rest of the Council is finally willing to do the same.” In other words, just as President Trump says that if China will not stop North Korea, we will… if the UN will not act on Syria, America will. See where this is going?

The “unacceptable” chemical weapons attack “crosses many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines,” Trump said during a joint press conference on Wednesday with King Abdullah of Jordan. “I will tell you that it has already happened, that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.” The drums of war are deafening now. America, are you ready?

04/6/17

When Will Russia Run Out Of Oil?

On a global level, 2015 and 2016 marked the lowest level of new conventional oil discoveries since 1952. In 2016, only 3.7 billion barrels of conventional oil were discovered, roughly 45 days of global crude consumption or 0.2 percent of global proved reserves. Globally, exploratory drilling fell by almost 20 percent in 2015 and fell even further in 2016. Russia’s exploration activities, which were hit not only by plummeting oil prices but also by a targeted sanctions regime, suffered a double blow during this period. In 2015, only seven new hydrocarbon discoveries were made in Russia, three of them in the Baltic Sea. In 2016, oil and gas companies in Russia discovered 40 prospective fields, however, the 3P reserves of the largest among them, Rosneft’s Nertsetinskoye, amounted to 17.4 million tons. This stands in stark contrast with pre-sanction period achievements, for instance, 2014’s largest find, Pobeda, is believed to contain 130 million tons of oil and 0.5TCm of gas.


Graph 1. Russia’s Oil Production 1970-2020 and Russia’s Deep-Hole Oil & Gas Exploration Drilling.

Source: Russian Central Bank, IEA, Russian Statistics Agency.

It is only logical that against such depressive trends, that people start to question the sustainability of Russia’s current oil-producing renaissance (Graph 1). When will Russia run out of oil? Were Sheikh Yaki Zamani’s “Stone age” simile to materialize, would Russia still be among the top producers when oil started its descent towards obsolescence?

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Russia states that not accounting for new discoveries, current oil reserves in Russia stand at 29 billion tons and under current consumption rates would be depleted by 2044 (its 2P gas reserves’ depletion would come about in more than 160 years). To this end, it would like to implement business-easing measures, e.g.: facilitate the issuance of licenses and to increase the size of the allotted subsoil block to a maximum of 500 km2 (which would mean a fivefold increase compared to existing regulations). The Ministry’s stimulating measures, however, should not obfuscate the fact that Russia still has vast amounts of untapped reserves waiting to be discovered. But where?

Frontiers

The future of Russian crude lies in oil that is more expensive, more geologically complex and further away from traditional regions of production. Just as West Siberia replaced the Volga-Urals Region in the 1970s as the Soviet Union’s main producing region, East-Siberia and offshore regions will overtake West-Siberia (which saw its share in the national output diminish from 71 percent in 2004-2005 to 57 percent currently). This change of “leaders” is long overdue as West-Siberia oil output was already expected to plummet in the 1990s, yet thanks to extended oil recovery methods and slower-than-expected development of other oil-rich regions it has managed to keep stable output numbers. Russia’s oil sector has been consistently hoodwinked by analysts, who, beginning from the early 1980s predicted an imminent production slump. The production fall did happen, reaching a low-point between 1996 and 1999 when production foundered to 301-305 million tons per year. The cause was to be sought in Russia’s overall economic depression, not in its dearth of resources.

Today, Russian companies are similarly constrained in tackling Russia’s three new oil frontiers – shale, Arctic and deep-water. It is no coincidence that U.S. and EU sanctions targeted the sales of technologies related to these sectors and not conventional – whilst Russian companies are well-equipped to deal with conventional fields, they relied heavily on Western know-how. Yet it is very unlikely that even a tightening of sanctions could stall Russia’s Arctic exploration activities for a longer period of time. Russia’s continental shelf contains most of the Arctic’s oil formations and approximately 60 percent of its undiscovered reserves. So far, the 3P reserves of Russia’s Arctic stand at 585 million tons and 10.4 TCm, yet most of its Arctic Seas were only superficially appraised. The Kara Sea, whose fields are almost exclusively gaseous, has been in the spotlight since the 1983 of the Murmanskoye gas field (120 BCm), yet the northern parts of the adjacent Barents Sea, which Russia’s Federal Agency on Subsoil Usage deems the most likely to yield top hydrocarbon discoveries in the next few years, are relative newcomers in prospective surveys.

Western oil & gas companies should be aware that the Russian government treats Arctic formations as resources of “federal significance” and it is unlikely to provide them a role other than that of a minority shareholder. There is more maneuvering room for oil formations in the riskier part of the Arctic – the as of yet impossible-to-assess Laptev and Chukchi Seas, where no large-scale surveying has been done. Moreover, after the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf acknowledged the Okhotsk Sea as a Russian enclave, the least-researched Russian sea can now be prospected and appraised. Still, the Russian Arctic, along with frontier zones like the Timano-Pechora Basin and the Yenisey-Khatanga Basin, will play an important role in keeping Russia among world’s top 3 oil producers in the next 40-50 years. Yet there is more, Russia’s oil future is not only more Arctic, but also more shale-related.Russia has been sitting on vast shale/tight oil reserves, which according to present data are second only to the United States. Yet it might easily surpass all its rivals, as the development of gigantic tight-oil formations, such as Bazhenov Suite, the largest shale deposit in the world covering a territory of more than 1 million km2 and assumed to contain at least 20 billion tons of oil, is still in its infant phase. The potential of the Abalak Suite underlying the Bazhenov, the Domanik Suite, stretching asymmetrically across the Volga-Urals Region from Perm to Orenburg, as well as many others, is still difficult to assess, yet virtually all of them are located in traditional oil-producing regions with a fully-established oil infrastructure. Although the first Bazhenov oil gush dates back to 1969, several factors have hindered the development of Russian tight oil, yet the principal among them was the availability of other, less-costly variants of production. The preference for easier-to-access, less costly formations is aptly reflected in Russia’s curbing of deep-hole exploration drilling (Graph 1).

As Russia’s tight oil needs at least an oil price level of 55-60 USD per barrel, bringing the first fields on-stream is still some way off as conventionals’ breakeven levels are in the 20-30 USD per barrel range. Despite a significant lag compared to the U.S. shale revolution, this might not be that unfavorable for Russia. It is expected that under the aegis of “import substitution”, Russian service companies might be fully up to the task to exploit Russia’s shale bounty by the 2020s, moreover, they are likely to work in an environment with significantly lower drilling costs, time and efficiency rates than their American counterparts in late 2000s (thus yielding more oil). By that time, perhaps, anti-Russian sanctions will be a yesteryear affair.

Lastly, one should not underestimate the tenacity of Russia’s conventional oil reserves, which thanks to enhanced oil recovery techniques and supplementary exploration will remain a force to be reckoned with. As demonstrated by the discovery of the Velikoye field in the Astrakhan Oblast (reserves estimated at 330 million tons of oil), Russia’s pre-salt layers, even in regions previously thought to be on the verge of depletion, might kickstart a new development vector in its energy matrix. As Russia’s Natural Resource Ministry cannot account for events that are still yet to happen, its 2044 depletion assumption reflects merely its inherent conservatism, not the country’s realistic capabilities. By all accounts, Russia will remain a major oil-producing nation throughout the entire XXIst century, with oil production moving to places that are further (north and east), deeper (both deepwater and pre-salt) and generally more costly.

Link to original article: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/When-Will-Russia-Run-Out-Of-Oil.html

By Viktor Katona for Oilprice.com

04/4/17

Grassley Wants Answers From The FBI… Why Were They Offering Money To A Spy? [VIDEO]

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

Sen. Charles Grassley is demanding answers on the Trump dossier that sought to smear the President. A point that should be examined closely is brought up here… why did the FBI offer to pay Christopher Steele for investigating Trump? Grassley wants an answer from Comey over that issue and fast. He’s particularly interested in Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his role in the Trump-Russia affair. Why is the FBI delving into partisan politics here? A few weeks before the FBI offered to pay Steele for the dossier, the Democrats also paid him. It looks like the FBI never followed through on payment to the spy, but they were all set to pay him. What is the story here?

The FBI and the Democrats were actively investigating a political opponent. Unless there is something solid there to indicate it is a national security issue (and a serious one), that is extremely unethical and perhaps illegal. I would also like to know if there were communications on this matter between the Clinton camp and the FBI. It appears there were, which makes Comey and the FBI look complicit and very, very bad.

From the Washington Examiner:

Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey demanding the story behind the FBI’s reported plan to pay the author of a lurid and unsubstantiated dossier on candidate Donald Trump. In particular, Grassley appears to be zeroing in on the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, indicating Senate investigators want to learn more about McCabe’s role in a key aspect of the Trump-Russia affair.

Grassley began his investigation after the Washington Post reported on February 28 that the FBI, “a few weeks before the election,” agreed to pay former British spy Christopher Steele to investigate Trump. Prior to that, supporters of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign had paid Steele to gather intelligence on Clinton’s Republican rival. In the end, the FBI did not pay Steele, the Post reported, after the dossier “became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials.” It is not clear whether Steele worked under agreement with the FBI for any period of time before the payment deal fell through.

“The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Comey dated March 28.

The fact that Obama would use law enforcement and intelligence agencies to further his political agenda does not surprise me in the least. But he should be held accountable for that. Hearings need to be convened over this surveillance of Trump and his associates. This is far more serious than Watergate ever was.

Grassley is gunning for McCabe. He noted that McCabe is already under investigation by the FBI‘s inspector general for playing a top role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation even though McCabe’s wife accepted nearly $700,000 in political donations arranged by a close Clinton friend, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, for her run for state senate in Virginia. “While Mr. McCabe recused himself from public corruption cases in Virginia… he failed to recuse himself from the Clinton email investigation,” Grassley wrote, “despite the appearance of a conflict created by his wife’s campaign accepting $700,000 from a close Clinton associate during the investigation.” McAuliffe is dirty as hell and here we are with Comey and the FBI again. Is it a coincidence he let Clinton walk during all this? I highly doubt it. All of the involved parties should be investigated at the very least and go to prison if found guilty of breaking the law here.

03/30/17

A Fake Bill to Promote Fake News

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

One of the more newsworthy aspects of the Democratic Party’s turnabout on Russia has been the introduction by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) of a bill to investigate Russian propaganda outlet RT (Russia Today) as a foreign agent. In fact, broadcaster Jerry Kenney had filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice back in 2011 alleging that RT and Al Jazeera were both violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by not disclosing in their propaganda broadcasts that they are agents of foreign powers.

However, former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, which supervises FARA, took no action.

Kenney told us, “Shaheen’s sudden concern about foreign influence operations rings a little hollow to me. Her bill seems more like a political prop to keep alive the fake news story of a Russia-Trump unholy alliance. It is a fake bill to perpetuate fake news.” He added, “As far as I know, the Department of Justice has all the tools it needs to enforce FARA. What it hasn’t had, at least under Obama, was the will to enforce it.”

Accuracy in Media has noted that RT hosts Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz are not Trump supporters or conservatives, but in fact are progressives connected to the Democratic Party. Schultz used to work for MSNBC.

In a brief interview I had with Hartmann, he refused to say how much the Kremlin paid him for his show on RT, “The Big Picture.” He then grabbed my camera.

In a January 19 article, we noted that AIM has published literally dozens of stories over the years about RT’s service to the Moscow regime. We asked, “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 and be labeled as foreign propaganda? That’s what the law requires.”

The answer is that RT didn’t become a problem for the liberals and the Democrats until they perceived that Moscow’s agents had deserted their cause, and that the Russian angle could be used for partisan political purposes against Republicans.

In that AIM article, I also noted that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) dismissed my well-documented 2012 complaint about RT’s open support for libertarian Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican presidential primary. 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.

Where was the outrage over that ruling?

The stated purpose of the Shaheen bill, the Foreign Agents Registration Modernization and Enforcement Act (S.625), is “to preserve the integrity of American elections by providing the Attorney General with investigative tools” to crack down on foreign agents who unlawfully influence our political process.

“We have good reason to believe that RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process,” said Shaheen. “The American public has a right to know if this is the case.”

The American public who have been reading AIM already know. Plus, RT once aired its own video showing Vladimir Putin reviewing its broadcast operations in Moscow.

It’s no secret that RT is Moscow-financed and run.

Kenney commented, “Now that the Democrats have lost the White House, Shaheen is shocked to see that foreign influence operations are going on here. Where has she been for the last few years as Obama’s DOJ refused to investigate Vladimir Putin’s Russia Today, Qatar’s Al Jazeera and Communist China’s CCTV (China Central Television)?”

Kenney notes that these foreign propaganda operations are packaged as “news” and have been airing on 30 taxpayer-supported public educational TV stations via the MHz Network Worldview, a network offering “international news and entertainment” in English. “To my knowledge, these ‘news’ channels still have not registered or published disclosures as required by FARA, even though there is ample evidence in the public domain that they are actually foreign government propaganda operations,” he says.

If Shaheen is so concerned about foreign influence, he went on to say, “why didn’t she do something to stop the FCC’s recent rule change that fast tracks 100 percent foreign ownership of America’s radio and TV broadcasters? In all fairness to Senator Shaheen, the Republicans didn’t oppose it, either.”

Kenney said that if the politicians in Washington are really serious about foreign influence operations in the U.S., they could veto the new FCC rule by using the Congressional Review Act.

The Shaheen bill has only three co-sponsors, with one, Senator Todd Young of Indiana, a Republican. Young’s involvement as a Republican fellow-traveler makes it a piece of “bipartisan legislation.”

If Shaheen is serious about exposing RT’s ties to Russia, perhaps she could ask fellow progressive Thom Hartmann to provide testimony about RT, including the facts and figures about his Moscow funding that he won’t talk about publicly.

It would be easy enough for him to show up at a Senate hearing. His “Big Picture” program is filmed live and broadcast from the RT America studios in Washington, D.C.


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.

03/28/17

Russia is a Threat, China Aggression is Under-Reported

By: Denise Simon | Founder’s Code

President Jimmy Carter gave away the Panama Canal which was officially transferred in 2000. Few know about the other canal project in Nicaragua, which is designed to be bigger and better. It was launched by a Chinese billionaire however, it appears the Chinese government is actually behind it.

Image result for china nicaragua canal

The whole matter is shrouded in secrecy while the Panama Canal is going through a huge expansion.

Image result for china militarize islands PBS

China has been creating islands in the South China Sea while other islands are a source of major dispute. China has been seen as militarizing the manufactured islands giving rise to concerns of major cargo and global shipping lanes. Could China be making a worldwide play to control commerce and sea transportation?

Chinese state firms have expressed an interest to develop land around the Panama Canal, the chief executive of the vital trade thoroughfare said, underlining China’s outward push into infrastructure via railways and ports around the world. China’s state firms have in recent years already chalked up investments in key logistics nodes, including Piraeus in Greece and Bandar Malaysia, a major development project that is set to be the terminal for a proposed high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. More here from Reuters.

So is there more to this under reported threat by China? Yes. For instance:

HONG KONG — When the United States Air Force wanted help making military robots more perceptive, it turned to a Boston-based artificial intelligence start-up called Neurala. But when Neurala needed money, it got little response from the American military.

So Neurala turned to China, landing an undisclosed sum from an investment firm backed by a state-run Chinese company.

Chinese firms have become significant investors in American start-ups working on cutting-edge technologies with potential military applications. The start-ups include companies that make rocket engines for spacecraft, sensors for autonomous navy ships, and printers that make flexible screens that could be used in fighter-plane cockpits. Many of the Chinese firms are owned by state-owned companies or have connections to Chinese leaders.

The deals are ringing alarm bells in Washington. According to a new white paper commissioned by the Department of Defense, Beijing is encouraging Chinese companies with close government ties to invest in American start-ups specializing in critical technologies like artificial intelligence and robots to advance China’s military capacity as well as its economy. More here from the New York Times.

Humm, need more? Both China and North Korea are known for hacking. China may have some obscure agreement with North Korea to hack selected global sites. As we know, North Korea is a threat as they are continuing to advance their missile program and super thrust rocket engines which are tied to their nuclear weapons program. China provides that communications, telecom and internet platform and servers for North Korea.

Image result for china hacking BBC

North Korea relies on China for Internet connectivity, partially due to longstanding ties between the two nations and partly because it has few options. North Korea borders just three countries: South Korea, with which it is still technically at war, Russia and China. The Chinese Internet is well developed and the Russian border is far from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, making China a good choice. Going back to 2014, the U.S. State Department was well aware of all these conditions between China and North Korea, still no solution by the Obama administration.

***

Hackers associated with the Chinese government have repeatedly infiltrated the computer systems of U.S. airlines, technology companies and other contractors involved in the movement of U.S. troops and military equipment, a U.S. Senate panel has found.

Cybersecurity expert Dmitri Alperovitch, chief technology officer with the security firm Crowdstrike, said China had for years shown a keen interest in th the logistical patterns of the U.S. military.

The investigation focused on the U.S. military’s ability to seamlessly tap civilian air, shipping and other transportation assets for tasks including troop deployments and the timely arrival of supplies from food to ammunition to fuel. U.S. authorities charged five Chinese military officers, accusing them of hacking into American nuclear, metal and solar companies to steal trade secrets.

Last month, Community Health Systems (CYH.N), one of the largest U.S. hospital groups, said Chinese hackers had stolen Social Security numbers and other personal data from some 4.5 million patients.

*** North Korea has an elite and secret hacking unit as well known as Bureau 121. The Department of Defense submitted a report to Congress on Bureau 121 using asymmetric warfare. North Korea also has an additional cyber unit known as Office 91.

Office 91 is thought to be the headquarters of North Korea’s hacking operation although the bulk of the hackers and hacking and infiltration into networks is done from Unit 121, which operates out of North Korea and has satellite offices overseas, particularly in Chinese cities that are near the North Korean border. One such outpost is reportedly the Chilbosan Hotel in Shenyang, a major city about 150 miles from the border. A third operation, called Lab 110, participates in much the same work.

There are also several cyberunits under North Korea’s other arm of government, the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Unit 35 is responsible for training cyberagents and is understood to handle domestic cyberinvestigations and operations. Unit 204 takes part in online espionage and psychological warfare and Office 225 trains agents for missions in South Korea that can sometimes have a cyber component. More here from PCWorld.

*** China is well aware of North Korea activities, while China has and is becoming more aggressive globally. There is clearly collusion, yet what is the West and in particular the United States prepared to do in response remains unclear. However, China did approve 38 Trump trademarks. President Trump meets with Xi Jinping, maybe we will know more in April.

03/26/17

Free Judge Napolitano!

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

BuzzFeed, described by Wikipedia as “a liberal American internet media company based in New York City,” is in the “donor spotlight” at the national news museum in Washington, D.C., known as the Newseum. The “honor” demonstrates how the media have changed and how low they have sunk.

A virtual property of Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, BuzzFeed has been a cog in the anti-Trump media machine.

The “donor spotlight” designation is strangely appropriate, since BuzzFeed disclosed the so-called “Trump Dossier” used by the intelligence community to smear President Trump. “The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors,” the social media site acknowledged while spreading the dubious claims.

By contrast, the John Peter Zenger exhibit located in the Newseum highlights a printer whose publication used the weapon of truth. The Newseum tells us, “German immigrant John Peter Zenger became a free-press hero before there was a First Amendment. On Nov. 17, 1734, the newspaper publisher was jailed for printing truthful articles in his New-York Weekly Journal accusing British Colonial governor William Cosby of being corrupt.”

The “Trump Dossier” released by BuzzFeed was concocted by a former British intelligence agent, and turned over to James Comey’s FBI. Around that time, in July of 2016, notes columnist Lawrence Sellin, the FBI launched its investigation of the unproven connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Comey told Congress that the Bureau has been actively investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin since “late July” of 2016.

“What a coincidence,” writes Sellin, a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the U.S. Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. This means that “the FBI investigation was based on highly questionable evidence” for which former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele reportedly “paid intermediaries who in turn paid sources for the information he used in the report.” In other words, he says, they were third-hand rumors from unidentified individuals. Sellin adds, “Remarkably, along with Trump’s political opponents, the Obama-Comey FBI planned to pay Steele to continue his work.”

The British link is significant. While Fox News commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano has been suspended for suggesting that the British NSA, known as GCHQ, had access to the surveillance information used against Trump, the two organizations do in fact have a history of working closely together.

This is shaping up as an example of how the Deep State operates, writes Sellin. In this case, intelligence arrangements are made “that open the possibility for government officials to skirt inconvenient national laws in order to surveil citizens and then use the products of that surveillance for political purposes.”

For raising necessary questions about this arrangement, Napolitano was reportedly banned from Fox News. He is the modern-day John Peter Zenger. However, his March 16 column, “Did Obama Spy on Trump?” is still on his website and looks increasingly relevant every day that passes.

This has been a major black mark for Fox News. Still, Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity are trying to cover the deepening scandal involving Obama administration surveillance of Trump and his associates.

The role that has been played by Comcast and its properties in the anti-Trump campaign is a teachable moment that allows us to reflect on the meaning of the First Amendment and how modern media have left behind the legacy of John Peter Zenger.

In contrast to Zenger, who used the weapon of truth against public officials, BuzzFeed used lies that were apparently devised for partisan political purposes by a foreign operative.

Referring to Comcast and others, Trump adviser Peter Navarro said during the campaign, “Donald Trump will break up the new media conglomerate oligopolies that have gained enormous control over our information, intrude into our personal lives, and in this election, are attempting to unduly influence America’s political process.”

BuzzFeed has been forced to apologize to one of those named in the Trump Dossier, in preparation for a suit filed against them.

By contrast, Zenger was found not guilty of seditious libel after his attorney, Alexander Hamilton, said, “It is not the cause of one poor printer, but the cause of liberty.”

Rather than being given a distinction as a valued donor, perhaps an exhibit in the Newseum should highlight BuzzFeed as an example of the politically-correct corporate media that today makes a mockery of First Amendment values.

At the same time, the Newseum should consider embracing the cause of freeing Judge Napolitano.

There’s no money in doing so. It would just be the right thing to do. It would be a reaffirmation of First Amendment values.


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.

03/22/17

Can Trump Save His Presidency and the Nation?

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

Geopolitical expert Jeff Nyquist talks with Cliff Kincaid about whether Trump can “drain the swamp” before the swamp swallows and takes him down. Nyqust analyses how the communists in the Democratic Party and Russia are working together, not in opposition. Will FBI Director James Comey charge Trump or his associates with being Russian agents? Why is Trump pouring more U.S. troops into Syria and Afghanistan? Can Europe survive with a Russian agent (Angela Merkel) running Germany?

03/8/17

Investigate This: Russia, Obama, Trump and Hillary

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

Once again the dominant media narrative has shifted overnight. Last week the media exploded with stories about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ admitted contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., the latest attempt to somehow derail and delegitimize the Donald Trump presidency. It is part of the narrative concocted by the Democrats and their allies in the media to claim that Trump won the election thanks in part to help from Russia. Collusion has been the word of choice, though no evidence has surfaced to support it.

The narrative changed over the weekend when President Trump sent out a series of tweets asserting that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped him “during the very sacred election process,” and that it was “Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

It turns out that the Obama administration, according to reports, did go to the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court to gain permission to spy, or electronically eavesdrop, or wiretap some members or elements of Trump’s campaign. They apparently were turned down back in June, and approved in October, after taking Trump’s name out of the request.

Former federal prosecutor and journalist for National Review Andy McCarthy examined how disingenuous the denial coming from an Obama spokesman was. In essence, it comes down to, “It depends on what the definition of ‘surveillance’ is,” and who is a “White House official.”

The media called foul after Trump’s tweets, and the word of the day became “baseless,” as in baseless accusations by Trump. They said he had “no evidence” to support these very serious charges against his predecessor, Barack Obama.

But the allegations of Russian influence were largely orchestrated by the Obama administration, and were ramped up when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in November. That is when he decided to impose new sanctions and expel Russian diplomats, which never would have happened if Hillary had won.

Now, using his group Organizing for Action (OFA), Obama intends to continue influencing the political scene with a shadow government apparatus. OFA has been coordinating with groups such as the Soros-linked Indivisible. “Obama is intimately involved in OFA operations and even tweets from the group’s account,” writes Paul Sperry for the New York Post. “Run by old Obama aides and campaign workers, federal tax records show ‘nonpartisan’ OFA marshals 32,525 volunteers nationwide.” It has also raised over $40 million, according to Sperry.

The New York Times recently reported that Obama’s intelligence agencies kept documents related to the alleged Russian influence operation “at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government—and, in some cases, among European allies.’”

In other words, President Obama wanted information potentially damaging to his successor kept at the forefront of the national discussion whenever possible. It could be even better for Obama if there were Congressional investigations; that might distract Trump from rolling back Obamacare or the unsigned Iran deal. The Times also reports that the administration “sent a cache of documents marked ‘secret’ to Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland days before the Jan. 20 inauguration.” These documents were shared with Congressional Republicans, as well.

It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration would be aggressive, since the Obama administration waged a war on leakers, prosecuting more cases than all previous administrations combined, while harassing numerous media figures.

But while Trump appears to have stumbled by not producing evidence to support his claim, in fact his move may result in changing the narrative once again. Now the investigation could include Obama’s and Hillary’s ties to the Russians. After all, the same Russian ambassador who met twice with then-Senator Sessions visited the Obama White House at least 22 times during Obama’s presidency, including four times in 2016. Were any of those meetings about presidential politics? Hillary’s ties to the Russians have been well documented, including the Uranium One deal and Skolkovo, the Silicon Valley of Russia that provided them with dual-use technology and handed millions of dollars to Hillary’s campaign manager, John Podesta.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) argued on Fox News Sunday this past weekend that based on statements from Trump’s Cabinet appointments, they will be much tougher on the Russians than the Obama administration, including Hillary. Cotton said:

“If you want to know what a pro-Russia policy would look like, Chris, here’s some elements of it. You’d slash defense spending. You’d slow down our nuclear modernization. You’d roll back missile defense systems. You would enter a one-sided nuclear arms control agreement. And you’d try to do everything you could to stop oil and gas production. That was Barack Obama’s policy for eight years. That’s not Donald Trump’s policy.”

He might have added that you empower Russia’s ally Iran with more than $100 billion dollars, and a pathway to becoming a nation with nuclear weapons, to go along with its current status as the number one state sponsor of terrorism.

We at Accuracy in Media find the allegations of Russian interference in the election to be flimsy at best.

And as Andy McCarthy points out in another piece, the new Obama/media narrative that his administration was never surveilling the Trump campaign for ties to Russia, cuts against what they have been arguing for months now:

“Now that we’re supposed to believe there was no real investigation of Trump and his campaign, what else can we conclude but that there was no real evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia…which makes sense, since Russia did not actually hack the election, so the purported objective of the collusion never existed.”

Monday night’s Nightline on ABC picked up on this theme, with reporter David Wright stating that “It’s important to note that there’s an equally outlandish narrative on the other side [besides Trump’s claim about Obama]. The other narrative, also in the mix, is that the Trump campaign may have colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election. Again, allegedly. No proof of that either. No smoking gun of collusion.”

Brian Ross then added that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he had seen no evidence of collusion when he left the government in January. With the Republicans controlling every committee in Congress, as well as the executive branch, they should be able to shape the scope of the investigations. We hope they are just and honest, as well as tough and fearless.


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.