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Julian Assange holds press conference, calls CIA intelligence report an “embarrassment” for the United States

Julian Assange slams the recent ODNI report, calling it a “press release” and not an “intelligence report.”

Alex Christoforou

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WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange criticized the ODNI report describing it as ‘quite embarrassing to the reputations of the US intelligence services.’

RT reports on Assange’s comments…

Wikileaks held a press conference streamed live over Periscope…

Planet Free Will summarizes what was asked to Assange and what was answered, during the live stream and afterwards during a twitter Q&A…

Julian Assange slammed the recent report as a “press release”, stating that only about five pages of the report could be considered substantial content.

“The real question is whether the Russians hacked the Democratic party with the intention of favoring Donald Trump,” Said Assange [Paraphrase]. “Even if you accept that Russia hackers were involved, even if no evidence was presented in the report, what was the intent of those Russian attacks and do they connect to Wikileaks.”

Assange went on to confirm once again that the DNC emails and the Podesta emails were not provided by state actors.

He accuses that the report “deliberately obscures” the timeline of the email leak in regard to the timeframe in which Donald Trump became a serious contender for President. He notes that DNI director James Clapper himself has confirmed that the intelligence community does not know when Wikileaks obtained any of the emails.

Assange also took issue with the conflation of direct vote hacking and the possibility of information which caused a change in public opinion. He asserts that Donna Brazile and other DNC and Hillary campaign officials lied to the public by stating that the emails were “fake” and noted Wikileaks’ ten year accuracy record.

The conference then moved on to answering questions from the Twitter hashtag.

“On a scale of one to ten, how fabricated was the CIA report?”  Assange states that this is an interesting question, since by nature of the report, there is very little accusatory information and most of the content is speculative.

“Your whole premise has been that you don’t know sources and therefore can’t endanger them. Now you say you don’t know your source.” Assange denies that this statement was made, and asserted that the source is not a state party. He clarifies that Wikileaks treats their source information with care and wants to keep that record. He says that depending on the case, they can give more or less information without compromising their safety.

“Is Wikileaks sure that the go-between didn’t get the information from the Russians or a private hacking group on order from the Russians?” Assange stated that “we can’t play 20 questions with sources, for obvious reasons.”

In regards to many questions about “proof of life”, Assange states that it has been a difficult time for him with pressure from many sides, and that he will address the proof of life issue in a Reddit AMA tomorrow morning.

“What is the most important thing we can do before Obama leaves office?” Assange states his level of concern with destruction of records across agencies, and states that both Democrat and Republican governments have been guilty of destroying vital information. He asserts that destroying historical documents is a crime against humanity and our shared history. He asks whistleblowers to get ahold of data now and protect it.

“Julian, how are you doing? How is your health? How much longer will you survive in the embassy?” Assange states that “It’s a difficult environment to be in for six years without trial,” and that “On the other hand, I am committed to this work and it gives me energy to continue.”

“What would you say to people who see Wikileaks’ recent activity as an open endorsement of trump?” Assange states that before the election, he released an editorial (presumably this one) on behalf of Wikileaks which answered some of these concerns. He admits they all assumed Hillary was going to win, and goes on to explain that the conflict was mainly against the elite power class. He also asserts that he has concerns about Trump’s administration and calls many of his cabinet choices “poor” with “some interesting ones”. Trump will “loosen up” DC, he says – both positively and negatively.

“Do you think the intelligence report released by the CIA undermines the leak, or is this just growing pains of a major leak like this?” Assange states that Wikileaks like any publisher likes the attention on their materials, and the fact that the DNI report concluded the veracity and accuracy of their documents adds weight to the strength of the leaks. He states the content was what had the biggest impact.

“Is there a future for the FOIA in the present ‘fake news’ attack on the press and freedom of speech?” Assange calls the Freedom of Information Act a “formalized leak system” and states that there is a “hoover dam of information” that is being withheld due to Wikileaks being under investigation by the DOJ.

“Why don’t you explain why it would be hard for Russia to hack the votes. Explain the security, and how easy it would be.” Assange states that the media has put out a lot of misinformation leading people to believe the vote machines and vote counting infrastructure were breached. Though Assange criticizes electronic voting as not secure, he also states that the intelligence community has stated that this sort of hack did not occur.

“Why is there more focus on those who exposed the corruption instead of on the offenders?” Assange specifically notes Fox as one of the few mainstream outlets who actually covered the content – but gives the initial credit to the citizen journalists who found the most important information that was picked up later by broader media.

“Is there any truth to the rumour that Wikileaks had access to rnc data and chose not to leak?” “No, that’s false. Absolutely false.”

“How do you feel about trump cabinet picks that called for the death penalty for Wikileaks whistleblowers?” Assange states that many Republicans and Republican supporters were opportunists, but they were also mislead by the media and specifically the Obama administration that the Wikileaks releases led to the deaths of US soldiers. Assange states that this was proven to be false.

“Why do you think the US  media is receiving intelligence before President Elect Trump?” Assange states that this was a strategic move to ensure the American public was only receiving one narrative, and to make it more difficult for Donald Trump and Wikileaks to respond to the allegations. He states that had they released it on a Friday afternoon themselves, it wouldn’t have had the same effect. Particularly since by releasing it on a Thursday afternoon, including some classified information that was not later released to the public, they were able to further their own narrative. He slams the report once again stating that “This report is not really about facts, it’s about producing something that is not falsifiable and is intellectually bankrupt.”

“Do you believe whistleblowers will be safer in the upcoming administration, or will they continue to be persecuted?” Assange states that he believes they will continue to be persecuted, and that though there are some anti-DC elements of the upcoming administration, Trump will form his own establishment.

“No system of authority likes those who undermine it’s authority.” Said Assange.

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Why did Trump recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory?

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 116.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the reasons behind US President Trump’s sudden recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Following Trump’s statements as US President, acting Israeli Foreign Minister is saying that Trump will make it official and sign an executive order to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Syrian border territory on Monday.

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Via DW

Israel says White House officials are preparing an official document to codify support for Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights, which will be signed by US President Donald Trump on Monday.

The signing of the decree will be witnessed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during talks with Trump at the White House, Israel’s acting foreign minister, Israel Katz (pictured), said in a Tweet.

“Tomorrow, President Trump, in the presence of PM Netanyahu, will sign a decree recognizing Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan. Israel-US ties are closer than ever,” Katz said.

Israel seized the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, subsequently annexing it in 1981 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Trump’s tweet annoys allies

Trump broke with decades of US Middle East policy when he posted a Tweet on Thursday that said it was time to accept Israel’s widely-contested claim to the border territory.

The decision has been criticized by many US allies — Germany, Britain, France and the EU have all said they still consider the Golan Heights to be “occupied” by Israel.

Syria and other states in the region said the recognition, if confirmed, would violate international law.

Netanyahu has long pushed for Washington’s endorsement, and many analysts see Trump’s comments as a campaign gift ahead of Israel’s April 9 election.

In 2017, Trump drew condemnation throughout the Middle East when he recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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Russia Gives US Red Line On Venezuela

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The US State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Abrams is no ordinary diplomat. He is a regime-change specialist with a criminal record for sponsoring terrorist operations, specifically the infamous Iran-Contra affair to destabilize Nicaragua during the 1980s. His appointment by President Trump to the “Venezuela file” only underscores the serious intent in Washington for regime change in Caracas. Whether it gets away with that intent is another matter.

Moscow’s interlocutor, Sergei Ryabkov, is known to not mince his words, having earlier castigated Washington for seeking global military domination. He calls a spade a spade, and presumably a criminal a criminal.

The encounter in Rome this week was described as “frank” and “serious” – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange. The timing comes at a high-stakes moment, after Venezuela having been thrown into chaos last week from civilian power blackouts that many observers, including the Kremlin, blame on American cyber sabotage. The power grid outage followed a failed attempt by Washington to stage a provocation with the Venezuelan military over humanitarian aid deliveries last month from neighboring Colombia.

The fact that Washington’s efforts to overthrow the elected President Nicolas Maduro have so far floundered, might suggest that the Americans are intensifying their campaign to destabilize the country, with the objective of installing US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido. He declared himself “acting president” in January with Washington’s imprimatur.

Given that the nationwide power blackouts seem to have failed in fomenting a revolt by the civilian population or the military against Maduro, the next option tempting Washington could be the military one.

It seems significant that Washington has recently evacuated its last remaining diplomats from the South American country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the evacuation by saying that having US personnel on the ground “was limiting” Washington’s scope for action. Also, American Airlines reportedly cancelled all its services to Venezuela in the past week. Again, suggesting that the US was considering a military intervention, either directly with its troops or covertly by weaponizing local proxies. The latter certainly falls under Abrams’ purview.

After the Rome meeting, Ryabkov said bluntly: “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand. “No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other’s views,” he told reporters.

“A better understanding of the other’s views,” means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

The arrogance of the Americans is staggering. Abrams seems, according to US reporting, to have flown to Rome with the expectation of working out with Ryabkov a “transition” or “compromise” on who gets the “title of president” of Venezuela.

That’s what he no doubt meant when he said after the meeting “there was not a meeting of minds”, but rather he got “a better understanding” of Russia’s position.

Washington’s gambit is a replay of Syria. During the eight-year war in that country, the US continually proffered the demand of a “political transition” which at the end would see President Bashar al Assad standing down. By contrast, Russia’s unflinching position on Syria has always been that it’s not up to any external power to decide Syria’s politics. It is a sovereign matter for the Syrian people to determine independently.

Nearly three years after Russia intervened militarily in Syria to salvage the Arab country from a US-backed covert war for regime change, the American side has manifestly given up on its erstwhile imperious demands for “political transition”. The principle of Syrian sovereignty has prevailed, in large part because of Russia’s trenchant defense of its Arab ally.

Likewise, Washington, in its incorrigible arrogance, is getting another lesson from Russia – this time in its own presumed “back yard” of Latin America.

It’s not a question of Russia being inveigled by Washington’s regime-change schemers about who should be president of Venezuela and “how we can manage a transition”. Moscow has reiterated countless times that the legitimate president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro whom the people voted for last year by an overwhelming majority in a free and fair election – albeit boycotted by the US-orchestrated opposition.

The framework Washington is attempting to set up of choosing between their desired “interim president” and incumbent Maduro is an entirely spurious one. It is not even worthy to be discussed because it is a gross violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty. Who is Washington to even dare try to impose its false choice?

On Venezuela, Russia is having to remind the criminal American rulers – again – about international law and respect for national sovereignty, as Moscow earlier did with regard to Syria.

And in case Washington gets into a huff and tries the military option, Moscow this week told regime-change henchman Abrams that that’s a red line. If Washington has any sense of rationale left, it will know from its Syria fiasco that Russia has Venezuela’s back covered.

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

Now, the desperate Americans could still try more sabotage, cyber or financial. But their options are limited, contrary to what Trump thinks.

How the days of American imperialist swagger are numbered. There was a time when it could rampage all over Latin America. Not any more, evidently. Thanks in part to Russia’s global standing and military power.

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With RussiaGate Over Where’s Hillary?

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including ‘Miss’ Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller’s investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton’s ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary’s failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump’s guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that she has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin’ Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain

She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She’s worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there’s little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won’t give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that’s what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry.

It didn’t work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman’s resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further.

Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I’ve been convinced that it would come down to reputations.

Would the British MP’s vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU?

Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end?

Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn’t get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that HIllary’s blackmail is now worthless.

They don’t fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power.

The progressives that were convinced of Trump’s treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave.

Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops.

But the Democrats have a sincere problem. Their candidates have no solutions other than to embrace the crazy and go full Bolshevik. That is not a winning position.

Trump will kill them on ‘socialism.’

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled.

If they don’t do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, “No evidence of collusion.”

It’s clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point?

Comey? No. McCabe? No.

There is only one answer. And Obama’s people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that “Hillary would indict herself.” And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn’t win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable.

Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast.

If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it’s the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.

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