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New York Times and CIA push ridiculous Putin ‘missing spy’ story (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 94.

Alex Christoforou

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The CIA and The New York times have teamed up to produce a gem of fake news.

The NYT is reporting that Kremlin sources working for the CIA have suddenly ‘gone quiet’ out of fear that they will face the same ‘Novichok’ fate as Sergei Skripal. The lack of ‘intelligence’ from the deeply embedded CIA sources within the Kremlin have left US intelligence is ‘in the dark’ about Russian intentions towards the November midterm elections.

According to The New York Times, US intelligence agencies got a “detailed assessment” of Russian meddling in the US 2016 presidential election, thanks “in large part to informants close to President Vladimir V. Putin and in the Kremlin who provided crucial details.”

Today, however, “the vital Kremlin informants have largely gone silent,” leaving the CIA and other US spy agencies “in the dark” about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions.

The CIA Kremlin spies tell the NY Times that Russia could be trying to “tilt” the US midterms, “simply to sow chaos,” or “generally undermine trust in the democratic process.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the ridiculous fake news propaganda reported by the New York Times in service to the CIA, so as to keep the Russia election meddling narrative in the spotlight up until the US midterm elections.

The CIA has no sources within an earshot of Vladimir Putin. If they did then we would not have a two year Russiagate fake news saga with endless intelligence leaks, as this would have outed and comprised any deeply embedded spies the CIA claims to have sitting next to the Russian president, capable of knowing when the order will be given for the troll farms in St. Petersburg to tweet more Black Lives Matter memes aimed at elevating Trump and disrupting America’s democracy.

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Via RT

Not for a moment do the authors, or their anonymous sources from inside the US spy community, contemplate the possibility that Russia might not be doing anything at all. That, however, would upset the apple cart of “Russian meddling” carefully built from smoke and mirrors since mid-2016, and that just wouldn’t do.

So the noble Times reporters embark on speculation: The sources have not been compromised or killed, they say, but are probably laying low due to a variety of reasons, all serving the US intelligence community’s narratives, of course.

One theory is that the “informants” have been intimidated by the March “poisoning” of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, UK – for which the British authorities never provided any evidence, and the US famously declared it needs none beyond its ally’s word.

Another explanation is also related to the Skripal affair: The mass expulsion of Russian diplomats, termed “spies” by the US and UK authorities, backfired when Russia expelled an equal number of US diplomatic personnel in retaliation – gutting the CIA’s capabilities in Moscow.

“The Russians kicked out a whole bunch of our people,” said John Sipher, a former CIA officer who once ran the agency’s Russia program. “Our station in Moscow is probably really small now and they are under incredible surveillance.”

The third theory tries to blame President Donald Trump’s supporters on the House Intelligence Committee, who revealed that the FBI used an informant against his presidential campaign advisors, and unmasked him as academic Stefan Halper. This, the authors say, may have had “a chilling effect on intelligence collection.”

At no point in the article do the authors or their named and unnamed sources even consider the possibility the whole “Russian meddling” story may have been a mirage conjured by then-CIA chief John Brennan, now a cable TV pundit offering a daily stream of invective against Trump. Brennan became a heroic martyr of the #Resistance recently, when Trump revoked his security clearance.

Barnes and Rosenberg actually give Brennan much credit for “Russiagate,” saying that his congressional testimony “backed up the accounts of the information provided by the current and former officials.” Which information? Which officials? They won’t tell, we just have to take their word for it.

Trouble is, the #Resistance is just as happy to take Putin’s wordwhen they think it favors their argument – that Trump is somehow an illegitimate president who is taking his orders from the Kremlin. That and the existence of Russia’s nefarious plans to meddle in US elections are treated as articles of faith by most mainstream US media; including the Times, clearly.

It is easy to get oneself tangled up when making complicated excuses. Thus Barnes and Rosenberg seemingly don’t notice that saying Russian informants “could still meet their CIA handlers outside Russia, further from Moscow’s counterintelligence apparatus” actually invalidates the whole “Skripal poisoning” line of argument. After all, Salisbury is a long way away from Moscow – but just next door to a British experimental chemical facility at Porton Down.

Halper doesn’t quite work either: He isn’t a Russian source, or even an intelligence asset, but an FBI agent-provocateur. Furthermore, his identity was not revealed by the House, but by US media outlets.

Occam’s razor would rule in favor of Sipher’s explanation about the expulsion gutting CIA capabilities. That is, provided there were ever any “Russian informants” with close Kremlin ties to begin with, and not made-up sources or self-serving rumor-mongers happy to tell the CIA whatever Brennan wanted to hear for a fistful of dollars, now laughing all the way to the bank.

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AM HantsStop Bush and Clinton311hwrvoza0dbHamletquest Recent comment authors
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AM Hants
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AM Hants

Interesting, when you look at the timing, plus, what Bruce Ohr had to say in his testimonial, together with Cohen’s lawyer back tracking on the Trump Tower meeting. Is that why so many are in a scramble to change the narrative?

Stop Bush and Clinton
Guest
Stop Bush and Clinton

If it were true, surely the CIA agents knew that job comes with the risk of being caught and punished?
It’s likely fake news, but even if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be Russian wrongdoing.

311hwr
Guest
311hwr

does anyone believe anything the jew york times says?

voza0db
Guest

Just another news show to entertain the plebe! But then again can’t expect anything different from CIA&CNN…

Hamletquest
Guest
Hamletquest

Yep, wake up and smell the bullshit. It never fails to amaze me the stupidity of the WMSM narrative about Russia. Of course if you want to maintain a spook-net of informants in Russia or elsewhere the last thing you want to do is launch into a tit for tat diplomatic expulsion programme. Duh…Are these people real? [Rhetorical question] It makes you think the whole thing is run for the money. Well it is, all the lies spread to the media and spun to the public has become a huge gravy train. That’s exactly why Brennan was so furious about… Read more »

sonnyboy1
Guest
sonnyboy1

“The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”– William Colby,
former director of the CIA (1973-1976).

We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American
public believes is false.– William Casey, CIA Director (former). The 2nd quote has been debunked on several websites, but the woman who heard him say it, stands by the quote.

regolo gellini
Guest
regolo gellini

I am not a religious man, quite the opposite since I am an atheist and yet I am beginning to start believing in some bible tales and one in particular, the one relating to the fact that god, before killing you, makes you lose your mind !
By all evidence this is happening to the CIA and the other 16 agencies that cost billions to the tax payers. Not to speak of CNN and the rest of the msm that has long ago lost their effing minds !

john vieira
Guest
john vieira

Said it when the ex incumbent announced it, as a ploy to deflect from the Wikileaks, which by the way HAVE NOT been disproved and the Seth Rich affair, that the Russian ‘hacking’ was a pile of “bovine excreta”. The fact that the “mainstream” bought into this vindicates my assessment that they have recruited malleable retards with the ability to read teleprompters with a straight face and ‘moue’ appropriately as required and scan materiel supplied by their ‘handlers’ to newsprint since at least Kosovo. Interesting that the Islamic Doctrine of Deception, ‘taqiyya’ has been adopted by the CIA (Brennan IS… Read more »

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Skripal and Khashoggi: A Tale of Two Disappearances

Two disappearances, and two different responses.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.

London’s case against Moscow has been marked by wild speculation and ropey innuendo. No verifiable evidence of what actually happened to Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia has been presented by the British authorities. Their claim that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned a hit squad armed with nerve poison relies on sheer conjecture.

All we know for sure is that the Skripals have been disappeared from public contact by the British authorities for more than seven months, since the mysterious incident of alleged poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian authorities and family relatives have been steadfastly refused any contact by London with the Skripal pair, despite more than 60 official requests from Moscow in accordance with international law and in spite of the fact that Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation with consular rights.

It is an outrage that based on such thin ice of “evidence”, the British have built an edifice of censure against Moscow, rallying an international campaign of further sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.

Now contrast that strenuous reaction, indeed hyper over-reaction, with how Britain, the US, France, Canada and other Western governments are ever-so slowly responding to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

After nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi regime is this week finally admitting he was killed on their premises – albeit, they claim, in a “botched interrogation”.

Turkish and American intelligence had earlier claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered on the Saudi premises by a 15-member hit squad sent from Riyadh.

Even more grisly, it is claimed that Khashoggi’s body was hacked up with a bone saw by the killers, his remains secreted out of the consulate building in boxes, and flown back to Saudi Arabia on board two private jets connected to the Saudi royal family.

What’s more, the Turks and Americans claim that the whole barbaric plot to murder Khashoggi was on the orders of senior Saudi rulers, implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latest twist out of Riyadh, is an attempt to scapegoat “rogue killers” and whitewash the House of Saudi from culpability.

The fact that 59-year-old Khashoggi was a legal US resident and a columnist for the Washington Post has no doubt given his case such prominent coverage in Western news media. Thousands of other victims of Saudi vengeance are routinely ignored in the West.

Nevertheless, despite the horrific and damning case against the Saudi monarchy, the response from the Trump administration, Britain and others has been abject.

President Trump has blustered that there “will be severe consequences” for the Saudi regime if it is proven culpable in the murder of Khashoggi. Trump quickly qualified, however, saying that billion-dollar arms deals with the oil-rich kingdom will not be cancelled. Now Trump appears to be joining in a cover-up by spinning the story that the Khashoggi killing was done by “rogue killers”.

Britain, France and Germany this week issued a joint statement calling for “a credible investigation” into the disappearance. But other than “tough-sounding” rhetoric, none of the European states have indicated any specific sanctions, such as weapons contracts being revoked or diplomatic expulsions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “concerned” by the gruesome claims about Khashoggi’s killing, but he reiterated that Ottawa would not be scrapping a $15 billion sale of combat vehicles to Riyadh.

The Saudi rulers have even threatened retaliatory measures if sanctions are imposed by Western governments.

Saudi denials of official culpability seem to be a brazen flouting of all reason and circumstantial evidence that Khashoggi was indeed murdered in the consulate building on senior Saudi orders.

This week a glitzy international investor conference in Saudi Arabia is being boycotted by top business figures, including the World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Britain’s venture capitalist Richard Branson. Global firms like Ford and Uber have pulled out, as have various media sponsors, such as CNN, the New York Times and Financial Times. Withdrawal from the event was in response to the Khashoggi affair.

A growing bipartisan chorus of US Senators, including Bob Corker, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Chris Murphy, have called for the cancellation of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as for an overhaul of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Still, Trump has rebuffed calls for punitive response. He has said that American jobs and profits depend on the Saudi weapons market. Some 20 per cent of all US arms sales are estimated to go to the House of Saud.

The New York Times this week headlined: “In Trump’s Saudi Bargain, the Bottom Line Proudly Stands Out”.

The Trump White House will be represented at the investment conference in Saudi Arabia this week – dubbed “Davos in the Desert” by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said he was attending in spite of the grave allegations against the Saudi rulers.

Surely the point here is the unseemly indulgence by Western governments of Saudi Arabia and its so-called “reforming” Crown Prince. It is remarkable how much credulity Washington, London, Paris, Ottawa and others are affording the Saudi despots who, most likely, have been caught redhanded in a barbarous murder.

Yet, when it comes to Russia and outlandish, unproven claims that the Kremlin carried out a bizarre poison-assassination plot, all these same Western governments abandon all reason and decorum to pile sanctions on Russia based on lurid, hollow speculation. The blatant hypocrisy demolishes any pretense of integrity or principle.

Here is another connection between the Skripal and Khashoggi affairs. The Saudis no doubt took note of the way Britain’s rulers have shown absolute disregard and contempt for international law in their de facto abduction of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. If the British can get away with that gross violation, then the Saudis probably thought that nobody would care too much if they disappeared Jamal Khashoggi.

Grotesquely, the way things are shaping up in terms of hypocritical lack of action by the Americans, British and others towards the Saudi despots, the latter might just get away with murder. Not so Russia. The Russians are not allowed to get away with even an absurd fantasy.

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US-China trade war heats up as surplus hits record $34 Billion (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 136.

Alex Christoforou

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According to a report by the AFP, China’s trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record $34.1 billion in September, despite a raft of US tariffs, official data showed Friday, adding fuel to the fire of a worsening trade war.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured sharply this year, with US President Donald Trump vowing on Thursday to inflict economic pain on China if it does not blink.
The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other’s goods mid-September, with the US targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of US goods.

“China-US trade friction has caused trouble and pounded our foreign trade development,” customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters Friday.

But China’s trade surplus with the US grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China’s customs administration. It was a 22 percent jump from the same month last year.

China’s exports to the US rose to $46.7 billion while imports slumped to $12.6 billion.

China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries including the US — logged a $31.7 billion surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

While the data showed China’s trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

China’s export jump for the month suggests exporters were shipping goods early to beat the latest tariffs, said ANZ’s China economist Betty Wang, citing the bounce in electrical machinery exports, much of which faced the looming duties.

“We will watch for downside risks to China’s exports” in the fourth quarter, Wang said.

Analysts say a sharp depreciation of the yuan has also helped China weather the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

“The big picture is the Chinese exports have so far held up well in the face of escalating trade tensions and cooling global growth, most likely thanks to the competitiveness boost provided by a weaker renminbi (yuan),” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

“With global growth likely to cool further in the coming quarters and US tariffs set to become more punishing, the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained,” he said.

According to Bloomberg US President Donald Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement isn’t that different from the North American Free Trade Agreement that it replaced. But hidden in the bowels of the new trade deal is a clause, Article 32.10, that could have a far-reaching impact. The new agreement requires member states to get approval from the other members if they initiate trade negotiations with a so-called non-market economy. In practice, “non-market” almost certainly means China. If, for example, Canada begins trade talks with China, it has to show the full text of the proposed agreement to the U.S. and Mexico — and if either the U.S. or Mexico doesn’t like what it sees, it can unilaterally kick Canada out of the USMCA.

Although it seems unlikely that the clause would be invoked, it will almost certainly exert a chilling effect on Canada and Mexico’s trade relations with China. Forced to choose between a gargantuan economy across the Pacific and another one next door, both of the U.S.’s neighbors are almost certain to pick the latter.

This is just another part of Trump’s general trade waragainst China. It’s a good sign that Trump realizes that unilateral U.S. efforts alone won’t be enough to force China to make concessions on issues like currency valuation, intellectual-property protection and industrial subsidies. China’s export markets are much too diverse:

If Trump cuts the U.S. off from trade with China, the likeliest outcome is that China simply steps up its exports to other markets. That would bind the rest of the world more closely to China and weaken the global influence of the U.S. China’s economy would take a small but temporary hit, while the U.S. would see its position as the economic center of the world slip into memory.

Instead, to take on China, Trump needs a gang. And that gang has to be much bigger than just North America. But most countries in Europe and East Asia probably can’t be bullied into choosing between the U.S. and China. — their ties to the U.S. are not as strong as those of Mexico and Canada. Countries such as South Korea, Germany, India and Japan will need carrots as well as sticks if they’re going to join a U.S.-led united trade front against China.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the escalating trade war between the United States and China, and the record trade surplus that positions China with a bit more leverage than Trump anticipated.

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Via Zerohedge Trump Threatens China With More Tariffs, Does Not Seek Economic “Depression”

US equity futures dipped in the red after President Trump threatened to impose a third round of tariffs on China and warned that Chinese meddling in U.S. politics was a “bigger problem” than Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

During the same interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, in which Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia if the Saudis are found to have killed WaPo reported Khashoggi, and which sent Saudi stock plunging, Trump said he “might,” impose a new round of tariffs on China, adding that while he has “great chemistry” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and noting that Xi “wants to negotiate”, he doesn’t “know that that’s necessarily going to continue.” Asked if American products have become more expensive due to tariffs on China, Trump said that “so far, that hasn’t turned out to be the case.”

“They can retaliate, but they can’t, they don’t have enough ammunition to retaliate,” Trump says, “We do $100 billion with them. They do $531 billion with us.”

Trump was also asked if he wants to push China’s economy into a depression to which the US president said “no” before comparing the country’s stock-market losses since the tariffs first launched to those in 1929, the start of the Great Depression in the U.S.

“I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our markets are open,” Trump said in the interview that aired Sunday. So far, the U.S. has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese imports totaling $250 billion, prompting China to retaliate against U.S. products. The president previously has threatened to hit virtually all Chinese imports with duties.

Asked about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, Trump quickly turned back to China. “They meddled,” he said of Russia, “but I think China meddled too.”

“I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, China … is a bigger problem,” Trump said, as interviewer Lesley Stahl interrupted him for “diverting” from a discussion of Russia.

Shortly before an audacious speech by Mike Pence last weekend, in which the US vice president effectively declared a new cold war on Beijing (see “Russell Napier: Mike Pence Announces Cold War II”), Trump made similar accusations during a speech at the United Nations last month, which his aides substantiated by pointing to long-term Chinese influence campaigns and an advertising section in the Des Moines Register warning farmers about the potential effects of Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile, in a rare U.S. television appearance, China’s ambassador to the U.S. said Beijing has no choice but to respond to what he described as a trade war started by the U.S.

“We never wanted a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests,” said China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai.

Cui also dismissed as “groundless” the abovementioned suggestion by Vice President Mike Pence that China has orchestrated an effort to meddle in U.S. domestic affairs. Pence escalated the rhetoric in a speech Oct. 4, saying Beijing has created a “a whole-of-government approach” to sway American public opinion, including spies, tariffs, coercive measures and a propaganda campaign.

Pence’s comments were some of the most critical about China by a high-ranking U.S. official in recent memory. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo got a lecture when he visited Beijing days later, about U.S. actions that were termed “completely out of line.” The tough words followed months of increases tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing that have ballooned to cover hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.

During a recent interview with National Public Radio, Cui said the U.S. has “not sufficiently” dealt in good faith with the Chinese on trade matters, saying “the U.S. position keeps changing all the time so we don’t know exactly what the U.S. would want as priorities.”

Meanwhile, White House economic director Larry Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will “probably meet” at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires in late November. “There’s plans and discussions and agendas” being discussed, he said. So far, talks with China on trade have been “unsatisfactory,” Kudlow said. “We’ve made our asks” on allegations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, he added. “We have to have reciprocity.”

Addressing the upcoming meeting, Cui said he was present at two previous meetings of Xi and Trump, and that top-level communication “played a key role, an irreplaceable role, in guiding the relationship forward.” Despite current tensions the two have a “good working relationship,” he said.

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BREAKING: Explosion in Crimea, Russia kills many, injuring dozens, terrorism suspected

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

The Duran

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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