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Intelligence community says Russia will meddle in 2018 elections

The organizations that are constantly spying, detaining, torturing, plotting regime change, and lying about it all, both to the American public, and even to the Congress want us to accept their “intel” on alleged Russian meddling in American elections

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On Tuesday, Intelligence agency directors testified at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “Worldwide Threats” that Russia has been meddling in US elections “for years”, and will continue doing so, including the 2018 midterm elections. The list of intelligence directors included FBI director Christopher Wray, CIA director Mike Pompeo, National Intelligence director Dan Coats, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo, and Defense Intelligence Agency director Robert Ashley.

Dan Coats testified that “There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.”

“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means to influence, to try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Coats said at a hearing on worldwide threats.

Coats also said that  “We need to inform the American public that this is real … and that we are not going to allow some Russian to tell us how we’re going to vote”

“With respect to Russian influence efforts, let me be clear, the Russians utilize this tool because it is relatively cheap, it is low risk, it offers what they perceive as plausible deniability, and it has proven to be effective at sowing division” the intelligence director told the committee.

Pompeo echoed this sentiment, confident that Russian meddling efforts will be forthcoming during the midterm election cycle. The CIA director said “We have seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle here.”

NSA director Mike Rogers pointed out that measures need to be implemented in order “to ensure the American people that their vote is sanctioned and not manipulated in any way”, as the director anticipates that “This is not going to change or stop.”

Meanwhile, former CIA chief of station for Europe and Asia, John Sipher, says that realizing what the Russians are allegedly up to isn’t enough if proper steps can’t be taken to do something about it.

“They may uncover what the Russians are up to but they can’t really defend against it or take actions to deter it, unless the President supports a covert action effort to screw with the Russians, like with a cyber attack.”

“Tightening up our social media, protecting voter-registration systems and procedures—those things are beyond the ability or mandate of the Intelligence Community,” Sipher said. “And I don’t think we have done nearly enough to deter or defend against Russian attacks.”

The FBI continues to push the narrative that the Russians were and are doing much more than just social media manipulation. The head of the Bureau’s counterintelligence division, Bill Priestap, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Russians are hacking the voter systems, and that they can use data that they have stolen from those systems “in a variety of ways.” Given the open nature of the committee, he said “I can’t go into all of them here.”

He emphasized that while Russia had conducted operations targeting American elections “for years,” that the “scale and aggressiveness” of the 2016 interference campaign was thus far their most successful.

This same tune has previously been played by the DHS, whose head of cybersecurity, Jeanette Manfra, said in an interview with NBC News that the Russians had targeted 21 states’ voter-registration rolls during the 2016 election, and that they had been able to “successfully penetrate” a small number of them.

This chorus of the Intelligence Community doesn’t come as that much of a surprise. Russia has been a target of their attentions for decades, and their interests and propensity to lie about foreign threats is a matter that is well documented. It is a propensity that is willing to say and do anything that furthers the interests of the intelligence community and the political agendas of their benefactors.

It’s no secret that these organizations are constantly spying, detaining, torturing, plotting regime change, and lying about it all, both to the American public, and even to the Congress that is supposed to oversee their activities.

And yet, we are to give credence to this new alleged “threat” that has supposedly been a serious national security issue “for years”. And on top of this, it’s a threat that hasn’t been pointed out or addressed in all this time, which would essentially mean that this threat, which has been apparently treated very negligently, has gotten away with doing something as heinous as hacking presidential elections and influencing the public opinion through social media while on their watch.

We are expected to give credence to these organizations, who have plotted and masterminded the hacking or overthrow of dozens of democratically elected governments over the course of several decades, as even the Washington Post, the very publication that has been pushing the Russiagate conspiracy, admits?

We are expected to give credence to this collection of organizations who have been spying on us for many years while lying to us about it? They lie to us about how they deal with foreign threats. They even impede each other on their intelligence activities.

And their lies have gotten us into useless wars that led to more wars that led to even more war and led to more terrorism, death, displacement, and destruction. And we’re supposed to give them an encore? Their “intelligence”, which turned out to be false, prompted the federal government to ignore the international community and engage in a war that lasted for over a decade, resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, not to mention the aftermath, costed hundreds of billions of dollars, and the lives of thousands of american soldiers since the beginning of the last decade.

And we’re supposed to let them feed us “intelligence” about a “threat”, that has now all of the sudden been a “threat” for many years, with a media hyping up a phobia about it and the Pentagon setting up a new defense agenda aimed at this “threat”, together with the fears and phobias that certain segments of the population now feel, and we’re not supposed to see how this could get us into even more trouble? Are we just supposed to let this lead us to an Iraq War 2.0 on steroids with a nuclear power, namely Russia?

It’s time for President Trump to keep his promise to “drain the swamp”, and begin with the Intelligence and defense agencies. Not only will he save the American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, but also prevent further escalation of international tensions.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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