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U.S. Intelligence meddles in U.S. Presidential election: backs Hillary Clinton, tries to stop Donald Trump

The fact and evidence free statement by US intelligence that Russia was behind the DNC leak is an attempt to swing the US Presidential election in Hillary Clinton’s favour and amounts to the direct interference of US intelligence in a democratic US election.

Alexander Mercouris

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The single most important event of the US Presidential election took place last week and to my knowledge it has gone completely unreported.

This was not the video tape of Donald Trump’s grotesque and deeply offensive sexual banter from 2005. 

It was the public confirmation that an intelligence agency is directly interfering in an ongoing US Presidential election. 

The intelligence agency in question is not however that of Russia as is being reported.  It is that of the United States itself.

To understand why this is so, consider the statement US intelligence published last week on the subject of alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and of other US agencies involved in the election.  It reads as follows:

“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

(bold italics added)

The statement is an implicit admission that US intelligence has no evidence to back its allegations of Russian hacking. 

It is merely “confident” – not “sure” – that it is the Russians who are behind the hacking, and it is clear from the statement that it arrived at this conclusion purely through inference: because the hacks supposedly were “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts”.

US intelligence assumes the Russians were behind the hack not because it knows this to be so but in part because of what it believes Russian motives to be.

The statement backs its claim with a textual trick.  It says “the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia”.  It then immediately follows these words with the words “for example”. 

These lead to the expectation that an actual example of such Russian “tactics and techniques” is about to follow.  Instead what is provided are the fact free words “to influence public opinion there”. 

The words “for example” lend nothing to the meaning of the statement, which would be exactly the same without them.  These two words as used in the statement are actually meaningless.   That is a sure sign that their presence in the statement is intended to confuse the casual reader, and that this is true of the statement as a whole.  

The words are designed to create a subliminal impression to a casual reader that the Russians have been caught doing this sort of thing before, without however providing a single actual example when this was the case.

Demonstrating how thin the case of Russian government actually is, the statement then goes on to say

“Some states have also recently seen scanning and probing of their election-related systems, which in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company. However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”

(bold italics added)

In other words US intelligence admits the mere fact servers operated by a Russian company may have been used for “scanning and probing” – and presumably also for hacking – is not in itself proof of the involvement of the Russian government.

This is consistent with what I have heard, which is that skilled and well-resourced hackers can use compromised machines to carry out hacks by remote access, and that the mere discovery that a particular machine has been used in a hack does not in and of itself implicate the owner.   (I should stress I am not an expert in this field and I may have misunderstood this.  However it appears to be what US intelligence is saying).

This part of the statement seems to me intended to prevent challenges to the eventual outcome of the election based on US intelligence’s claims of Russian hacking.  US intelligence does not want to be drawn into post-election arguments about the validity of the election outcome, which might lead to demands that it make public its “evidence” of Russian hacking.  In the process US intelligence however casts doubt on what is almost certainly the only actual evidence it has of Russian state involvement in the hacking.

In summary, the statement is a mere statement of opinion, it is not a statement of fact, and the evidence upon which it is based is threadbare. 

Moreover since the DNC hack is a criminal offence, it is a statement of opinion made about a matter which is presumably being investigated by the police. 

The relevant police agency is presumably the FBI, which significantly is not a co-author of the statement. 

That in turn begs a host of questions: has the FBI been shown the “evidence” upon which US intelligence expresses its opinion and has made the statement?  Has it asked to see this “evidence”?  Was it invited to co-author the statement?  What does the FBI think of the public involvement of US intelligence in a domestic criminal matter which falls within the FBI’s exclusive competence?

If the statement is merely a statement of opinion based on inference of which guesses about Russian “motivations” apparently form a major part, and one which moreover concerns a matter which is or ought to be the subject of investigation by the police and not therefore the subject of this sort of comment, why was it published at all?

The short answer is in order to help Hillary Clinton win the US Presidential election. 

To that end the statement fulfils two purposes: firstly, it discredits the content of any leaks that might otherwise damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign by lending credence to her claim that they are part of a Russian ‘dirty tricks’ campaign against her; and secondly, it lends credence to the claim popularised by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and by Hillary Clinton’s supporters in the media that Donald Trump is Putin’s candidate and that Putin is trying to help him win the election. 

That the second is one of the purposes of  statement is proved by its reference to US intelligence’s “belief” that the leak was authorised by “Russia’s senior-most officials”.  This is clearly intended to refer to Putin, and is intended to give the impression that Putin himself personally authorised the DNC leak in order to damage Hillary Clinton and to help Trump win the election and become President.

US intelligence has meddled in elections in other countries on numerous occasions starting with the Italian parliamentary elections of 1948

To my knowledge this is however the first occasion that US intelligence has directly and publicly meddled in a US national election, acting to help one candidate defeat another. 

It matters not whether this was done by US intelligence on its own initiative, or whether it was pressured to do so by officials of the Obama administration or of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Either way the disturbing truth must now be faced: the practice of US intelligence meddling in and trying to influence national elections has now been imported home to the US.

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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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Via RT


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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