01/15/17

The CIA’s War on Trump, Continued

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

01/13/17

Our Warmonger President and the Lapdog Press

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

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

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

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

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

The CIA and the Terrorists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Warnings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Declaration of War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator Kaine is Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump’s Challenges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

01/10/17

Report on Russian Hacking is a Political Hoax

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

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

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12/28/16

The CIA-Media-Academia Axis

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

As controversy swirled around President-elect Donald J. Trump’s battle with the CIA concerning its questionable intelligence product on Russian hacking, a strong defense of the agency and an attack on Trump came from Joshua Rovner of Southern Methodist University (SMU). Professor Rovner declared in a press release, “By ignoring intelligence, Trump risks policy tunnel vision.”

But the idea that the CIA’s “intelligence” was sacrosanct was put in question when it was suggested that Obama’s CIA director John Brennan was orchestrating what Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called a “hit job” on Trump. King said, “We have John Brennan—supposedly John Brennan—leaking to The Washington Post, to a biased newspaper like The New York Times, findings and conclusions that he’s not telling the intelligence committee…There should be an investigation of what the Russians did but also an investigation of John Brennan and the hit job he seems to be orchestrating against the president-elect.”

A press release sent to the media quoted the “expert” Rovner, the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security, as saying that Trump’s pick of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was “especially troubling” because of Flynn’s “extreme hostility towards the CIA—which he has called a political arm of the Obama administration…”

I was struck by the professor’s confidence in the CIA and wanted to question him about it. But he declined. “Dear Cliff,” he responded to my email request. “Unfortunately I’m not available. All the best, JR.” I asked if he would ever be available and that perhaps the particular day I offered for an exchange was not convenient. I never got an answer. No explanation was given for the refusal to be interviewed. But I suspect that he feared he would be questioned in a challenging manner and he realized his blind faith in the CIA would not hold up.

This is, unfortunately, what happens all too often at big universities, where professors are held up as “experts” on various subjects and offered to selected news organizations to back up pre-existing assumptions held by Big Media reporters. This is how professors get face time for the schools that employ them. The interviews are supposed to redound to the benefit of their universities.

Sometimes these appearances can backfire. Professor Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia runs a “Crystal Ball” political prediction service that said Hillary Clinton was going to crush Trump on Election Day. His erroneous prediction was also embarrassing to MSNBC, which had him on just before the election to talk about the drubbing Trump was going to receive. Oh well. Try, try again.

In the case of SMU, the school has an uplink facility located on campus for live TV, radio or online interviews. But Rovner was unavailable to support the view that the CIA was right and Trump was wrong. I can only surmise that he had visited the AIM website and determined we were not going to toss him softballs.

Both The Washington Post and The New York Times have waged war on Trump and Flynn over their lack of confidence in the CIA. Professors like Rovner constitute back-up for the media in this war.

But why would the professor be so critical of Trump and Flynn?

It turns out that Rovner signed an ad in The New York Times in 2015 that argues that the Obama administration’s agreement with Iran on its nuclear program “furthers American interests.” Rovner was one of a group of “national security scholars” from several prestigious universities who endorsed the deal.

Meanwhile, Trump and Flynn opposed the Iran nuclear deal.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) also opposed the deal, saying, “Iran has killed hundreds of U.S. soldiers, tried to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States, and is committed to annihilating Israel. This deal will guarantee Iran the capability to carry out its clear intent.”

The aforementioned attack in the United States is a reference to an attempted assassination of a Saudi official, Adel Al-Jubeir, while dining at Cafe Milano in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. in 2011. The plot was confirmed by officials of the Obama administration and Obama himself.

General James N. Mattis, nominated to be Trump’s Secretary of Defense, commented, “We caught them [Iran] in the act and yet we let them walk free.”

House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-CA), who is Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, opposed the Iran agreement, calling it appeasement and surrender.

The Rovner-signed ad endorsing the Iran deal, published in 2015, said, “We recognize that the regime in Tehran is repressive and pursues dangerous policies, but the nuclear deal does not prevent us from countering them.”

The ad said nothing about the plot to bomb the Georgetown café, which could have killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Americans.

Not surprisingly, CIA Director Brennan has urged Trump not to scrap the Iran agreement. “I think it would be the height of folly if the next administration were to tear up that agreement,” he told the BBC.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

12/21/16

Whose Side is the CIA On?

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

John Guandolo, founder of Understanding the Threat, examines the strange background and comments of Obama CIA director John Brennan. He says the agency is heavily infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. But he is hopeful that the incoming Trump Administration understands the problem and will take corrective action. Watch this blockbuster interview and take action. Go to www.understandingthethreat.com.

12/19/16

The CIA’s Dirty Tricks Against American Democracy

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

There is an easy way to determine who is a faithful Democratic Party hack in the media and who on the left maintains at least some independence from the party line. Long-time Democrat Bill Moyers thinks it’s an open-and-shut case that Russia’s Vladimir Putin intervened in the election to help Trump and that our democracy is in peril. The Intercept thinks the evidence is weak, and that the CIA may have some other reason for “squaring off directly against Trump.” What could that possibly be?

Could it be that CIA Director John Brennan fears that Trump as president could order an investigation into what the CIA has been up to under President Obama? What could that be? Could the CIA have been interfering in foreign elections, and if so, could such efforts have provoked Russian retaliation?

The folks at the Intercept are on the far-left, but have decided to maintain some semblance of objectivity when it comes to sensational claims of foreign interference in the 2016 campaign. However, the idea they propose—that the controversy can be solved by President Obama declassifying evidence—is not practical. Obama won’t do it, because the intelligence agencies always claim that disclosure will reveal sources and methods. If they do release “evidence,” it will be vague and mostly worthless, just like the stories in The Washington Post and New York Times, where these allegations initially surfaced. These stories are impossible to confirm or deny.

The CIA will want to hide its hand, not because the evidence may implicate Russia in election interference, but because the evidence we do have demonstrates that the CIA is currently interfering in the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That’s the story that cannot be told, and the one which threatens our democracy. The Times and Post are vehicles for this insidious effort.

We do know that CIA Director Brennan is a far-left extremist—just like Obama himself—who once voted for a Communist Party candidate, and whose sympathies for radical Islam are well-known. Questions persist about whether Brennan, an alumnus of Catholic Fordham University, converted to Islam and why he took his oath of office on a copy of the U.S. Constitution and not the Bible.

But rest assured. Snopes, one of those liberal entities that is now part of the Facebook operation to detect “fake news,” says Brennan’s conversion to Islam remains an “unsubstantiated rumor.” Snopes does, however, report that it is true that Brennan “was sworn in to his office not on a Bible but on a copy of the Constitution.” A photo exists of the occurrence.

The real “fake news” surrounds the claims that Putin intervened to help Trump. At a post-election crying session, Hillary Clinton said that Putin hated her because he associated her with protests against his rule in Russia, and he wanted to get even. Putin did accuse her of stoking the protests. But where is the evidence that the alleged hacking was payback? What’s more, is there evidence that the protests in Russia were inspired or funded by the U.S.? Perhaps that issue ought to be resolved.

Since we know that the Obama administration interfered in foreign elections in Canada and Israel, is it that incredible to believe that the Clinton State Department had a hand in the anti-Putin protests? We noted in a column that Obama had tried, but failed, to take out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but did succeed in taking down Canada’s Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a big supporter of Israel. Where was the media outcry over that?

An additional question is whether or not Obama used the CIA to interfere in foreign elections such as those in Russia, Canada or Israel.

It may be the case that the Democrats and their media allies have opened up an entire Pandora’s Box when it comes to interference in elections. Shouldn’t we “drain the swamp” here before we focus on what others have done to us?

The issue of U.S. interference in foreign elections is a matter that should be investigated by Congress if it goes forward with a probe into alleged Russian hacking into the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

If the inquiry regarding Russia determines that Putin wanted to destroy Hillary’s campaign and elect Trump, that doesn’t make Trump a dupe of the Russians. It may have just been a personal Putin vendetta against Hillary.

The real issue is what policies these two candidates would have pursued. We already know that Obama and Hillary staged a Russian reset that was a spectacular failure, and that Putin used this new development in relations between the U.S. and Russia to launch military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. So the former KGB chief running Russia knew he could get the better of Hillary if she became president.

Writing at Forbes, Paul Roderick Gregory looks at the evidence of how Trump poses a far greater threat to Putin, not in threatening military action against the Russian regime, but in seeking American energy independence. He says, “If Putin’s core objective is indeed to protect his petrostate, he would not root for Trump. The US fracking revolution has transformed the world energy market from $100 to $50 oil, has broken Russia’s dominance of the European natural gas market, and has plunged the economy into a prolonged ‘period of stagnation,’ as the Soviets used to call it. Under Trump, Putin can expect a second energy revolution, which will threaten Putin’s hold on power, which looks strong but is weaker than we think.” This is why there have been reports that the Russians are secretly subsidizing anti-fracking groups in the West.

Gregory says that if you look at the energy picture from Putin’s perspective, he would have preferred the Obama/Clinton policies that “blocked pipelines, imposed strict regulations on unconventional oil and gas, froze leases on federal lands, and used other anti-carbon actions” that had the ultimate effect of propping up the value of the oil resources of his shaky regime.

If the Democrats really wanted to take down Putin’s regime, they would abandon their anti-fossil fuel policies, give up on a “climate change” agreement that benefits our adversaries, and support the President-elect’s policies of growth and resource exploration and exploitation. Instead, they want to blather on about Putin’s hatred for Hillary, using anonymous CIA sources in the media to make a case for a narrow probe.

Let the investigations begin. Let them be far-reaching and broad. Let’s determine what Obama and Hillary’s State Department did not only to Russia, but to Israel and Canada as well. And let’s find out if the CIA was part of this destabilization effort.

If pursued by a Republican Congress with the guts to probe what really went on and get to the bottom of what the CIA has been up to, we may be looking at a scandal that could shake the foundations of the political party that has occupied the Oval Office for the past eight years. This might be the only way to teach the CIA a lesson about not interfering with the results of an American election.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

12/15/16

The Blood of Aleppo is on Obama’s Hands

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabbard made similar remarks on the House floor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tapper: Not directly, though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

12/15/16

Corrupt CIA Feeds Crooked Media

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Isn’t it strange how the left suddenly finds the CIA to be a worthwhile organization now that it has been turned into a weapon against Trump?

We need congressional investigations into the politicization of the CIA under John Brennan, whose claim to fame has been bringing sexual “diversity” to the agency. Perhaps he should have been doing his job, which is to defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Reuters reports, “The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.” Reuters reported that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (or ODNI) “does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations,” but “it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump.”

All of this flatly contradicts the fake news story in The New York Times that the CIA judgment on Russia was built on a “swell of evidence.” It is evidence not seen by other intelligence agenies and the FBI. Even the CBS Evening News reports that the “FBI has not concluded its investigation into this, but so far it is not siding with the CIA.”

Common sense tells you that Moscow was perfectly content to let Hillary win, and probably thought she would win. After all, Hillary sold out America to Moscow’s interests with a Russian reset that failed and opened the door to more Russian aggression. Her State Department also sold American uranium assets to Moscow. She was the perfect Russian dupe.

This whole discussion in the media about the Russians backing Trump is fake news.

The obvious conclusion is that Brennan is on a mission to overturn the election through propaganda and disinformation. This is not only the last gasp of sore losers but represents corruption of the intelligence process.

If the purpose of the Russian hacking was to undermine confidence in the American democratic process, as some “experts” originally thought, Brennan’s CIA is doing a good job of that.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes has sent a letter to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, saying, “On November 17, 2016, you told the Committee during an open hearing that the IC [Intelligence Community] lacked strong evidence connecting Russian govemment cyber-attacks and WikiLeaks disclosures, testifying that ‘as far as the WikiLeaks connection, the evidence there is not as strong and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the releases or when the data may have been provided.’ According to new press reports, this is no longer the CIA’s position.”

The WikiLeaks disclosures, of course, involved hacked emails from the Clinton campaign.

The CIA position” changed” because Brennan saw an opportunity to use the controversy againt Trump. Nunes refers to the CIA’s reported revision of information previously conveyed to this Committee.” Once again, we see evidence that the CIA is making things up.

There is no doubt that WikiLeaks has worked for the Russians. Julian Assange himself worked for the Russian propaganda channel RT. But that doesn’t constitute evidence that the emails were stolen by the Russians and given to WikiLeaks.

It now seems clear that the CIA is going far beyond what the evidence in its possession actually shows. This means that the original story in The Washington Post was based on misleading, if not false, information. That story was headlined, “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House.”

In short, the Post was duped by Brennan’s CIA. This constitutes a case of the intelligence community using a major media organ to mislead the American people. Since Post owner Jeff Bezos does business with the CIA, this is a matter of utmost concern.

In a statement, Nunes said, “Russia’s cyber-attacks are no surprise to the House Intelligence Committee, which has been closely monitoring Russia’s belligerence for years—as I’ve said many times, the Intelligence Community has repeatedly failed to anticipate Putin’s hostile actions. Unfortunately the Obama administration, dedicated to delusions of ‘resetting’ relations with Russia, ignored pleas by numerous Intelligence Committee members to take more forceful action against the Kremlin’s aggression. It appears, however, that after eight years the administration has suddenly awoken to the threat.”

Obama’s CIA director “woke up” because it was politically convenient for him to do so. He’s trying to exploit the Russian cyber attacks, which the CIA and other agencies failed to prevent, for political purposes.

Even more sensational than Brennan is former CIA official Michael Morell, who openly backed Hillary. He declared, “A foreign government messing around in our elections is, I think, an existential threat to our way of life. To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11.”

It seems clear at this point that the corruption in the media has spread to the CIA.

An investigation is certainly needed. It should be conducted into the various former and current CIA officials who have been using the agency and their associations with the agency to wage war against the duly-elected president of the United States.

It may turn out to be the case that the real government meddling in our elections has been from the Obama administration and its CIA.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

12/13/16

The CIA’s War on Trump

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

You couldn’t fault Donald J. Trump for concluding that the CIA is out to get him even before he starts his presidency. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd have all denounced him. Plus, former CIA operations officer Evan McMullin ran against him as an independent presidential candidate.

Obama’s director of the CIA is John Brennan, who recently disclosed that he voted for the Communist Party (CPUSA) ticket when he was in college. He was hired by the CIA anyway and quickly rose through the ranks, even though the CPUSA was funded by Moscow and known to provide cover for Soviet espionage activities.

The liberal media haven’t made Brennan’s disclosure into a scandal and didn’t call for any investigations of Obama’s CIA.

Clearly, having an “intelligence” connection doesn’t mean you are intelligent or have good judgment. Making “America First” is not a requirement for serving in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. You can have numerous skeletons in your closet and even be a transgender. If you have any doubts, consider reading the CIA’s “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (2016-2019).” It is Brennan’s masterpiece.

The line-up of former CIA personnel opposing Trump sounds impressive, except when you consider the fact that the CIA has a habit of getting things wrong. Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, once declared that “for a quarter century, the CIA has been repeatedly wrong about the major political and economic questions entrusted to its analysis.” Moynihan had introduced a bill to abolish the CIA. The late Lt. Gen. William Odom, then-director of the National Security Agency (NSA), said the CIA should be disbanded.

Trump critic Michael Hayden, who served as director of both the NSA and CIA, was on a list of “former national security officials” from Republican administrations who announced they wouldn’t vote for Trump. He was once photographed at a gala with former CIA and NSA analyst Edward Snowden, who stole and released classified information and is now living in Russia. Hayden can’t be faulted personally for that betrayal. But Snowden and other spy cases have to be considered when judging the reliability of products from the intelligence community, especially when they are transmitted anonymously through the press.

Under the headline, “CIA Judgment On Russia Built On Swell Of Evidence,” The New York Times reports that “many believe” there is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that the Russians tried to help Trump. The paper said “the conclusion that Moscow ran an operation to help install the next president is one of the most consequential analyses by American spy agencies in years.”

Such analyses can mean nothing and can, in fact, divert the attention of elected officials from the truth. Trump calls the verdict on alleged Russian involvement in the election “ridiculous.” It would not be the first ridiculous work product from the intelligence community. The CIA failed to predict the Soviet “collapse,” and then mistakenly assumed the collapse was real and not a strategic deception.

It is significant that The Washington Post, owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, broke the story about the CIA allegedly concluding that the Russians had somehow meddled in the U.S. elections by hacking into Democratic Party computers. The CIA has a $600 million contractwith Amazon Web Services.

Former Post publisher Katharine Graham reportedly gave a speech in 1988 at the CIA headquarters, where she said, “We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.”

If this was the case under Graham, the previous owner of the Post, how likely is it that such a relationship continues under an owner of a company that does business with the CIA?

Interestingly, Amazon CEO Bezos plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this Wednesday in New York. Perhaps Trump will ask Bezos whether the Post is being manipulated by political partisans in the Intelligence Community.

Trump has tweeted, “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” Or “fake news.”

In response to the CIA’s reported findings, the Trump transition office raised the matter of another mistake: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

The discredited analysis concluding that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is most closely associated with former CIA director George Tenet. A Clinton holdover, Tenet had told President George W. Bush that finding WMD was a “slam dunk.” He was photographedgiving an award to then-DIA intelligence analyst Ana Montes, who turned out to be a Castro spy. Again, Tenet is not personally responsible for this betrayal. But it is one of many spy cases that have corrupted the Intelligence Community.

President Bush’s problem was that he failed to clean house in the Intelligence Community before the war.

After he takes office, Trump should immediately clean house in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. But it may be the case that the charges being directed against him at the present time are designed to prevent just that. If Trump cleans house, he will be accused in the press of trying to purge intelligence officials with evidence of a Russian plot to elect Trump!

The American people have been saddled with an Intelligence Community that is full of what are called “insider spies.” The situation is so bad that a special paper has been published about a novel new way to deal with traitors. The idea is to provide a “safe refuge” and a secret process of “reconciliation” for them without threatening long prison terms or the death penalty. In this manner, the American people would hear nothing about spies being arrested and the damage they have done.

We know that the media picked sides in the presidential contest. Now we are seeing more evidence of how the CIA picked sides, to the point of engaging in what is an obvious effort to bring down the Trump presidency even before it begins.


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.