Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘intelligence’

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: Jeff Sessions’ Honesty Questioned

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 16, 2017

Despite all the “best intentions,” United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Republican, and former Senator from Alabama, cannot keep the questions from coming. Our nations Intelligence Services have clearly identified involvement by a foreign government, specifically, Russia, in our 2016 General Election, to specifically sway voters for Donald Trump. Furthermore, those same intelligence agencies have also identified successful hacking efforts 39 states’ voter databases. These are not mere accusations. There is hard-core, irrefutable demonstrable evidence. Furthermore, Russia – though some say it no longer a “communist” nation – is NOT an American ally, nor will they ever be. Even before the rise and “fall” of communism in Russia, that nation and it’s leaders had NEVER been our “friends.” Consider also this fact: Even though Russia may no longer claim they are “communist,” the Russian political leaders now in power are the very same ones who were in power when Russia “was” communist. It reminds me of a song by “The Who” entitled Won’t Get Fooled Again” which states in part, “Meet new boss… same as the old boss.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former Republican Senator from Alabama, is sworn in before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Lobbyist For Russian Interests Says He Attended Dinners Hosted By Sessions

Richard Burt contradicts Jeff Sessions’ testimony that he didn’t believe he had contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests during Trump’s campaign

An American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign, apparently contradicting the attorney general’s sworn testimony given this week.

Sessions testified under oath on Tuesday that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign. But Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, who has represented Russian interests in Washington, told the Guardian that he could confirm previous media reports that stated he had contacts with Sessions at the time.

“I did attend two dinners with groups of
former Republican foreign policy officials
and Senator Sessions.”

– Richard Burt, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany
during Reagan administration, and
Russian lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

Asked whether Sessions was unfamiliar with Burt’s role as a lobbyist for Russian interests – a fact that is disclosed in public records – or had any reason to be confused about the issue, Burt told the Guardian that he did not know.

Several media reports published before Trump’s election in November noted that Burt advised then candidate Trump on his first major foreign policy speech, a role that brought him into contact with Sessions personally.

Burt, who previously served on the advisory board of Alfa Capital Partners, a private equity fund where Russia’s Alfa Bank was an investor and last year was lobbying on behalf of a pipeline company that is now controlled by Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy conglomerate, first told Politico in October that he had been invited to two dinners that were hosted by Sessions last summer, at Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Is Not Now, Nor Has It Ever Been, The United States’ “Friend”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 1, 2017

Recently, in response to posts of the images herein, some made remarks pursuant to Americans’ involvement in Russian matters. More specifically, they concerned visits by retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn’s December 2015 visit to Russia in December, and Rex Tillerson’s 2013 award by Vladimir Putin.

A: “But not from made up stories…..”

In 2013, Vadimir Putin (LEFT) personally awarded Rex Tillerson (RIGHT) with Russia’s Order of Friendship medal, which is the highest honor Russia bestows on foreign citizens, and is given to foreigners whom the Russian government believes have helped Russia and its people.

Me: “The image of United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Putin is from Putin’s award to him with Russia’s Order of Friendship medal in 2013.

“Here’s another goodie!

“Michael Flynn and Vladimir Putin at a 2015 dinner for the RT news channel in Moscow. RT is Russia’s propaganda “news” agency, along with “Sputnik.” Photograph: Michael Klimentyev/ Sputnik/Kremlin/EPA”

A: “You can also find where Obama and his cronies met with Russians too”

Me: When President Obama met with Putin at the G8 and G20 summits, it was in his official capacity as President and world leader.

“When Mike Flynn met with Putin December 10, 2015, he did so as a private citizen/civilian, because he retired from the Army in April 2014 after he had been fired from his position as Director of Defense Intelligence Agency because, which as Colin Powell had been told by Defense Intelligence Agency director Vincent R. Stewart, was because Flynn was “abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc.”

Michael Flynn (seated LEFT, holding device to ear) and Vladimir Putin (seated RIGHT) at a December 10, 2015 dinner for the RT news channel in Moscow. RT is Russia’s propaganda “news” agency, along with “Sputnik.” Photograph: Michael Klimentyev/ Sputnik/Kremlin/EPA

“After he retired from the Army, Flynn went to work for RT, which is the Russian government-supported propaganda agency. Flynn is also a Registered Foreign Agent with the Justice Department.

“In their January 2017 report “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” America’s intelligence agencies reported that RT was “The Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet” and that RT America is set up as an autonomous nonprofit organization “to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”

“Same thing for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – who has never held public office or trust – he was a private citizen when Putin awarded him Russia’s Order of Friendship medal.

“And let me tell you something and make it EXPLICITLY CLEAR:
Anyone friendly to Russia is Read the rest of this entry »

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All Trumped Up Over The FISA Court

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 6, 2017

Imagine, or pretend for a moment that you were President of the United States.

You would be literally be “the boss of” and have access to a vast trove of over 14 different American Intelligence & National Security agencies.

If so desired, you could watch video of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, see photographs of his corpse and burial at sea, and examine the report made of his DNA following his death and capture. By virtue of the Office of the President, there would be virtually nothing to which you would not entitled to know, or view in the agencies of the United States government. You would be able to see the code-named TOP SECRETS of our government. You would have full and unfettered access to the highest levels of secret information… including Nuclear Access Codes.

The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, State, and Justice, along with all their myriad divisions and offices – ALL Executive level agencies – which includes the FBI, US Marshals Service, Secret Service, DEA, ATF, Coast Guard, and more – would ALL be under your ultimate control, and you would be their Boss.

The CIA is an independent agency.

Because the FBI and the NSA are Executive level offices/agencies, it is NOT a stretch to imagine that the President ~COULD~ Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions Lied Under Oath Orally And In Writing In Attorney General Confirmation Hearings

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 2, 2017

As part of the Confirmation process for Attorney General,

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions takes oath before his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in his Confirmation Hearing as United States Attorney General.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R) takes oath before his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in his Confirmation Hearing to be United States Attorney General.

in January, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked nominee Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for answers to written questions, one which was: “Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?”

Sessions wrote a one-word response: “No.”

During the Confirmation Hearings before the Judiciary Committee on January 10, Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) asked Senator Sessions, “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”

Senator Jeff Sessions stated, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Jeff Sessions: “I did not have communications with the Russians.” (C-SPAN)

Justice Department officials said that Sessions met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak: Privately on Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian Meddling in U.S. Presidential Election: How Should Congress Proceed?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 2, 2017

There is clear, unambiguous evidence that “Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.”

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment that has been provided to the President and to recipients approved by the President.”

A header appears upon EVERY page and states: “This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.”

Several “Key Judgments” are made in the report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which is dated 6 January 2017.

Among them:
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President elect-Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

• We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

• Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency.

• Further information has come to light since Election Day that, when combined with Russian behavior since early November 2016, increases our confidence in our assessments of Russian motivations and goals.

Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations — such as cyber activity — with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.” Russia, like its Soviet predecessor, has a history of conducting covert influence campaigns focused on US presidential elections that have used intelligence officers and agents and press placements to disparage candidates perceived as hostile to the Kremlin.

• Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 US presidential election, including targets associated with both major US political parties.

• We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks.

• Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards. DHS assess es that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.

• Russia’s state-run propaganda machine contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.

We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.

—//—

Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking

 President Obama in December. Some in his administration feared that intelligence about Russian interference in the 2016 election could be covered up or destroyed. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

President Obama in December. Some in his administration feared that intelligence about Russian interference in the 2016 election could be covered up or destroyed. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, ADAM GOLDMAN and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

MARCH 1, 2017

WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.

Then and now, Mr. Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and at one point he openly suggested that American spy agencies had cooked up intelligence suggesting that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration.

At the Obama White House, Mr. Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that underscored the deep anxiety with which the White House and American intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Moscow.

It also reflected the suspicion among many in the Obama White House that the Trump campaign might have colluded with Russia on election email hacks — a suspicion that American officials say has not been confirmed. Former senior Obama administration officials said that none of the efforts were directed by Mr. Obama.

 President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Credit Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik


President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Credit Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik

Sean Spicer, the Trump White House spokesman, said, Read the rest of this entry »

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Flynn Lied To Pence, Pence Repeated Flynn’s Lie, Flynn Quit, Trump Loves Flynn

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency; official portrait

Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, USA

Vice President Mike Pence, official portrait

Vice President Mike Pence, USA

Here’s how Trump rewards those who look out for our Nation’s Security.

REMEMBER:
Before Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Advisor…

Before the Inauguration, when Flynn was asked about his calls and texts with the Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, he lied to Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

A former administration official said the Justice Department warned the White House in January that Flynn had not been fully forthright about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, and because of that, the Justice Department feared that he could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., agreed with Acting Assistant Attorney General Sally Q. Yates that:

Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the United States since 2008.

Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the United States

Official portrait, John O. Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, March 8, 2013 – January 20, 2017.

John O. Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency, USA 3/8/13 – 1/20/17

1.) “Flynn had put himself in a compromising position”;
2.) Could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail;
3.) That he had been deliberately misleading about his interactions with Russia’s ambassador;
4.) That VP-elect Pence had a right to know that he had been misled, and;
5.) Recommended that POTUS Trump be warned.

Trump then fired Yates.

Flynn publicly stated that when he was Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, he traveled to Moscow in 2013, and there met Kislyak, who continued to communicate with Flynn during, and after the Presidential campaign.

When it became known that Read the rest of this entry »

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Whoah, Nellie! FTC Investigation into @FaceBook’s @Instagram buyout may delay IPO

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 10, 2012

It’s entirely unusual for so many people to voluntarily relinquish so much private information. As well, FaceBook has deliberately deceived many people with their  (lack of) “privacy” policy. In this information era, people are becoming the commodity. But, it’s always been true, that if you don’t want folks to know about it, don’t share it.

Probe may delay Facebook Instagram deal

May 10, 2012 7:13 pm

By April Dembosky in San Francisco

FaceBook's Instagram buyout raises FTC eyebrows

The United States Federal Trade Commission will be investigating FaceBook’s US$1Billion buyout of Instagram. The logos of the Facebook (L) and Instagram (C) apps are pictured on an IPhone in Cologne, Germany, 09 April 2012.The social network Facebook, flush with cash as the company steers toward public trading scooped up the Instagram mobile photo-sharing application for about 1 billion dollars in cash and stock, on 09 April 2012. San Francisco, USA, based Instagram, with more than 30 million users, is one of the most popular free photo-sharing application on Apple’s App store. EPA/Rolf Vennenbernd

A competition probe into Facebook’s $1bn acquisition of photo-sharing service Instagram threatens to postpone the closure of the deal beyond the second quarter, the target set by the company in its initial public offering documents.

The Federal Trade Commission has launched the investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, and has already begun collecting information from at least one of the social network’s largest competitors. The process could also further slow Facebook’s already lagging mobile strategy.

The competition probe – routine for any deal more than $66m – is likely to take six to 12 months, according to several experts. But Facebook said in its IPO documents last month that it expected the deal to close in the second quarter.

“That’s terrifically optimistic,” said David Balto, a former policy director at the FTC who now works as an anti-trust lawyer.

Competition experts expect that the Instagram merger will ultimately be approved, but they believe regulators will apply close scrutiny to the deal because of the steep price that Facebook paid and the high profile of the companies.

“They’re going to want to take some months to investigate and understand the market and other players,” Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School, said. “And there may be more parties with an interest in submitting information.”

Facebook has acknowledged that Read the rest of this entry »

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