With every passing day, the United States government borrows yet another leaf from Nazi Germany’s playbook: Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Censorship. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. Indefinite detention. These are not tactics used by constitutional republics, where the rule of law and the rights of the citizenry should reign supreme. Rather, they are the hallmarks of authoritarian regimes, where the only law that counts comes in the form of heavy-handed, unilateral dictates from a supreme ruler who uses a secret police to control the populace. That danger is now posed by the FBI, whose laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, harassment, governmental overreach, abuse, misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, and that’s just based on what we know.
If their goal is to keep us safe, then law enforcement and the surveillance state failed at every step of the Parkland shooting.
They want us to give up more of our rights based on their complete failure?
(No one has yet shown how limiting ownership to law-abiding citizens will stop the actions of those who would break the law and commit the ultimate sin of murder, in a country with 300 million firearms in circulation.
FBI didn’t contact Google during probe on Florida shooter
The FBI was told of a threat accused Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz made on YouTube last September but never contacted the company to track down its source, missing an early indicator, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Friday.
Someone reported the online threat to the FBI and the bureau opened a counterterrorism investigation but closed it on Oct. 11 saying it never managed to identify the person behind the post.
It wasn’t until after last week’s school massacre that the FBI did track down the author and found it was the 19-year-old man now accused of slaying 17 people at his former high school, Mr. Grassley’s office said, after getting briefings from both the FBI and Google.
The FBI also missed a crucial tip from a caller in January. The person described Mr. Cruz as “mentally ill with violent tendencies,” Mr. Grassley’s office said. The caller said Mr. Cruz mutilated small animals and had pulled a rifle on his late mother, and had threatened more violence.
As the James Comey saga continues to unfold, the James Comey legend continues to unravel. The more we learn about his involvement in the deep state’s illicit targeting of President Trump, the more reason the American people have to question both his motives and his management as director of the FBI, the now-disgraced agency he headed before Trump fired him on May 16, 2017. Comey has left a trail of suspicious activities in his wake.
Comey now looms large over a burgeoning constitutional crisis that could soon overshadow Watergate at its worst. To deepen the crisis even further, it now appears some of Comey’s former FBI and Justice Department colleagues continue to protect him from accountability.
Three suspicious activities stand out, all intertwined: The so-called Comey Memos, Comey’s controversial testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee and Comey’s book deal.
After Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9, 2017, he arranged to give the New York Times a Feb. 14, 2017 memorandum he had written about a one-on-one conversation with Trump regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The New York Times published a report about the memo on May 16, 2017. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed the following day.
On June 8, 2017, Comey testified under oath before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he stated he authored as many as nine such memos. Regarding the Flynn memo, Comey admitted: “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter [for The New York Times]. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
Comey also testified about President Trump’s firing of him, and he detailed multiple conversations with President Trump, during which Comey confirmed he told President Trump three times that he was not a target of investigation. Judicial Watch is pursuing numerous FOIA lawsuitsrelating to Comey’s memoranda and FBI exit records as well a lawsuit for Justice Department communications about Comey’s Senate testimony. The American people deserve to know what, if any, complicity his former colleagues had in drafting that testimony and/or in engineering the appointment of Robert Mueller.
The day before Comey’s testimony, Fox News reported: “A source close to James Comey tells Fox News the former FBI director’s Senate testimony has been ‘closely coordinated’ with Robert Mueller…”. Comey may have violated the law in leaking his official FBI memos to the media, and it would be a scandal if Comey coordinated his Senate testimony with Mr. Mueller’s special counsel office.
That we have had to sue in federal court to discover the truth speaks volumes. The FBI has built a protective stonewall around Comey by refusing to release the Comey Memos and refusing to disclose records of communications between the FBI and Comey prior to and regarding Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intel Committee.
Since his forced departure from the FBI, Comey signed a book deal in August 2017, set for publication in April 2018, for which he reportedly received an advance in excess of $2 million. Given the fact that the FBI appears to be letting Comey get away with stealing and leaking official government documents and colluding with the special counsel to get Trump, even a trusting person must be suspicions about his book deal.
The FBI has fanned those suspicions by, you guessed it, adding a new layer to the protective stonewall around Comey. Again, Judicial Watch has been forced to sue a recalcitrant FBI for records, including but not limited to forms Comey was required to complete relating to prepublication review of the book by the FBI. Did Comey’s cronies give the fired FBI director a pass on this long-standing requirement? Is that why they are stonewalling the Judicial Watch FOIA?
Are The Clintons Behind The Whole Trump-Russia Collusion Story?
“It’s all a hoax.” That’s what my 62-year-old father, a Cruz-Rubio supporter, has been telling me since the very first time the media uttered, “Trump may have colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.”
I wasn’t so sure he was right. After news broke indicating Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had met with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 to get “dirt” on the Clinton camp, the situation for Trump looked worse than ever.
“It’s a hoax,” my father reassured me. “Maybe Trump Jr. did meet with the Russian lawyer, but there was no collusion. This is a plan put into place by the Clintons. You’ll see.”
“How can you possibly know that?” I responded. “You have absolutely no reason to believe it’s a hoax.”
“I’ve been watching the Clintons work for 30 years. That’s all the evidence I need,” he answered.
In the rollercoaster ride since word of the Veselnitskaya meeting first reached the public, there have been numerous ups and downs. Like most Americans, I’ve been left wondering exactly how far the Trump team was willing to go to win the 2016 election. Were they really open to trading away American interests, as the Clintons appeared to have done many times, to capture the White House?
Although there remains a possibility someoneon the Trump team struck a deal with Russian operatives in an effort to win the election, new revelations about the role the Clintons may have played in the infamous Christopher Steele dossier seem to suggest a large portion—and perhaps all—of the Trump-Russia narrative was invented by the Clintons, the Hillary Clinton campaign, or their sycophants.
The Steele Dossier Included Clinton Campaign Gossip
On Tuesday, Fox News reported that a recently unclassified (but still heavily redacted) memo from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) claimed, “Clinton associates were ‘feeding’ allegations to former British spy Christopher Steele at the same time he was compiling the controversial anti-Trump dossier paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.”
We already know Steele’s work on the dossier was being funded by Democrats and the Clinton campaign in the middle of the 2016 election, and a recent memo made public by the House Intelligence Committee says the FBI relied on Steele’s memo to obtain an important Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant from a federal judge.
The House memo also claimed the FBI did not disclose to the court that Democrats and Clinton had paid for the dossier. Further, the House memo showed the FBI relied in part on a news story to corroborate the findings of the Steele dossier, even though that report had also been based on information fed to reporters by Steele himself.
That’s Nowhere Near the End of It, Either
As damning as all this is—and it’s clearly damning—there’s even more evidence pointing to the Clintons’ involvement in the FBI’s investigation and the creation of the dossier. On Jan. 30, The Guardian reported its sources claim the FBI has also relied (and may still be depending on) a second dossier, this time written by Cody Shearer, a long-time Clinton associate who has ties to past Clinton campaign efforts to destroy opponents. Those efforts include California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who ran against Bill Clinton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the 1990s; Ross Perot, also a Clinton opponent from the 1992 election; and Gennifer Flowers, who accused Bill Clinton during the 1992 primaries of having an affair with her.
Additionally, although it’s unclear how many people connected to the Clintons may have been “feeding” information to Steele for his dossier, we know Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer received from Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal in September 2016 at least some of Shearer’s information and passed it along to Steele, who was then still working closely with the FBI. Winer also admitted he passed the information to another State Department official, who then gave it to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Blumenthal’s role in both dossiers is not an insignificant detail. Not only is Blumenthal an extremely close ally to Hillary Clinton, he is also closely linked to Shearer. Shearer worked with Blumenthal to help tear down Clinton opponents in the 1990s, and reportedly helped Blumenthal provide Hillary Clinton intelligence about the Libyan revolution in 2011.
According to Winer, who wrote an opinion article about his experiences for the Washington Post on Thursday, Steele said at the time Winer gave him the information from Blumenthal that the Shearer report and his own research had a lot of similarities. But, of course, there’s no way to know Winer is telling the truth. He was, after all, an important member of Obama’s State Department who says Blumenthal is an “old friend.”
So Here’s the Quick and Dirty Summary
Piecing all this together is difficult, but the broad strokes are as follows: (1) Much of the Trump-Russia collusion evidence comes from the Steele dossier. (2) The Steele dossier was created during the 2016 election, at the behest and funding of Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
(3) Grassley and Graham’s memo and Winer’s op-ed show Steele was given some information from at least one source tied directly to the Clintons. (4) The FBI is likely using a second dossier in its investigation, one authored by Cody Shearer. (5) Shearer has close ties to Blumenthal and the Clintons.
(6) Top officials at the FBI and Department of Justice, including members of the team working on the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, had ties to the Democratic Party; or the dossier; or expressed their dislike of Donald Trump, a conflict of interest for their work; or all three. For instance, DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS, which paid Steele to make the dossier while it was being created.
(7) The FBI used the Steele dossier and maybe even information from Shearer to get a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign team, but it failed to tell the FISA court of the dossier’s connection to the Clintons or that Blumenthal’s information reached Steele. (8) The vast majority of “evidence” supposedly linking Trump to Russia resulted directly or indirectly from the FISA warrant and the investigation that followed.
Hillary Clinton’s Fingerprints Are All Over The FBI’s Investigation Into Trump’s Russia Ties
Her campaign is linked to at least three separate pieces of information fed to the FBI, including the dossier the FBI used as a pretext to spy on a Trump campaign associate.
A significant part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s basis for investigating the Trump campaign’s Russia ties is looking more and more like a political hit job carried out by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Her campaign’s fingerprints are on at least three separate pieces of information fed to the FBI, including the Christopher Steele dossier Republicans say formed the basis of a secret warrant obtained to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
A former State Department official confirmed on the record Thursday that Clinton associates were funneling information to Steele as he was compiling a dossier commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign and DNC. That’s on top of the recent revelation that a top Department of Justice official fed the FBI information compiled by his wife, who was working for the firm Clinton and the DNC were paying to dig up dirt on Trump, Fusion GPS.
The dossier was quoted “extensively” in the FBI’s application to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, according to a memo released by Republicans on the House intelligence committee. In a January letter to the FBI made public this week, two Senate Republicans also said Steele’s information formed a “significant portion” of the warrant application.
“It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” Sens. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham wrote in the letter referring Steele to the FBI for a criminal investigation.
Taken together, here’s what we know so far about the extent of Clinton’s involvement in the FBI’s case.
1. Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal funneled information to the FBI through a contact at the State Department.
In an account published by The Washington Post, former State Department official Jonathan Winer describes how research compiled by a Clinton ally made its way into his hands and then to the FBI. Winer was in charge of combating transnational organized crime at the State Department under Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and returned under the Obama administration to work on international law enforcement. Between his two gigs, he became friends with Steele, who as a result began feeding information to the State Department, and tipped Winer off in Sept. 2016 to the Trump dossier he was compiling.
That same month, Winer met Blumenthal, who provided him with notes on Trump and Russia compiled by another Clinton insider, Cody Shearer. “What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele’s but appeared to involve different sources,” Winer writes in The Washington Post. He decided to show the notes to Steele, who told him the information could be used to corroborate his dossier. Steele walked away with a copy of the notes, which he provided to the FBI.
Shearer and Blumenthal, known respectively as “Mr. Fixer” and “Vicious Sid” in Clinton world, are staunch allies of the Clintons. Winer notes he didn’t know whether the information Blumenthal fed him was accurate, but says he fed it to Steel anyway because he was “alarmed at Russia’s role in the 2016 election.”
Grassley and Graham express concern in their criminal referral that Steele was “vulnerable to manipulation” while compiling his dossier on Trump, as he has admitted to meeting with at least four different news outlets during that time (in violation of an agreement he had with the FBI), and indicated he received unsolicited and unverified tips on Trump and included them in his dossier. “Simply put, the more people who contemporaneously knew that Mr. Steele was compiling his dossier, the more likely it was vulnerable to manipulation,” they wrote in their letter.
Of course, the Clinton network knew to some extent about the dossier, since Hillary’s campaign and the DNC had commissioned and funded the effort through Fusion GPS. Whether Blumenthal was planting bogus information to manipulate Steele or passing along what he regarded as a legitimate tip is unclear, but it’s certainly not a good look.
Regardless, this second unverified and unsolicited dossier made its way to the FBI thanks to the Clinton camp.
Note: Even if this was a staged event, the very real loss of life is an unspeakable tragedy for our country and each person involved. Our thoughts and prayers and deepest condolences go out to the victims and their families.
Initial media reports conflict with official narrative
In the following video a witness places suspect in different location from active shooting:
fire drill earlier that day
The shooting started with the fire alarm going off causing mass confusion since there had already been a fire drill that day:
Jim Gard’s math class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was just finishing up a review for a test Wednesday when “the fire alarm went off, which I thought was unusual because we’d just had a fire drill.”
Because they’d just had a fire drill, Gard told his students to wait a minute before leaving, but then “our administrator got on and said, ‘Evacuate the building,'” he told MSNBC on Wednesday night.
A superseding announcement quickly came, he said: “code red.” All but six of his students fled, Gard said; following protocol, he and the rest returned to the building, hid in a closet and “just turned the lights off, as you’re supposed to do in a code red — you know, an active shooter.”
SUSPICIOUS ACTING EYE WITNESSES EMERGE
These people get interviewed over and over by mainstream media and act strangely, like they’ve been given lines to recite which is why they’re called “crisis actors”:
Instant calls for limiting the rights of law abiding citizens
with no mention of how that would stop criminal acts:
Another shooting in our schools, today at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Yes, our children are resilient, but this is not a burden they should ever have to bear. My heart aches for these children & their families. #StopGunViolence
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 14, 2018
Too many families have lost someone to the senseless epidemic of gun violence. Congress has a moral responsibility to take common sense action to prevent the daily tragedy of gun violence in communities across America. #EnoughIsEnough
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) February 14, 2018
Maybe, just maybe, after 18 school shootings in America in just 43 days of 2018 the Congress might want to consider common-sense gun safety legislation and save innocent lives.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 14, 2018
Another senseless tragedy at an American school. My heart is with the victims and their families. When will we wake up? When will we take action to prevent these shootings from occurring? These tragedies are the new normal, and that should make all of us sick.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) February 14, 2018
How many more communities need to be traumatized by gun violence before Congress acts?
Do something. Lead.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 14, 2018
This attack comes on the heels of the released FISA memos and during an immigration debate that is leading to bad outcomes for the liberal/neocon deep state.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is less than 40 miles south of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago luxury resort that functions as Trump’s Camp David, making it very difficult for him to avoid the highly politicized backlash that is sure to manifest.
The FBI Was Warned
About A School Shooting Threat From A YouTube User Named Nikolas Cruz In September:
Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and frequent YouTube vlogger noticed an alarming comment left on one of his videos. “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” said a user named Nikolas Cruz.
The YouTuber, 36-year-old Ben Bennight, alerted the FBI, emailing a screenshot of the comment and calling the bureau’s Mississippi field office. He also flagged the comment to YouTube, which removed it from the video.
Agents with the bureau’s Mississippi field office got back to him “immediately,” Bennight said, and conducted an in-person interview the following day, on Sept. 25.
“They came to my office the next morning and asked me if I knew anything about the person,” Bennight told BuzzFeed News. “I didn’t. They took a copy of the screenshot and that was the last I heard from them.”
FBI agents contacted Bennight again Wednesday, after a 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, killing at least 17 people.
Though his name matches the YouTube user flagged in September, FBI officials would not say whether they have confirmed that the account belonged to Cruz.
But around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday — about 30 minutes after Cruz was taken into custody by police in Broward County — Special Agent Ryan Furr with the FBI’s Miami field office called Bennight and left him a voicemail.
“I think we spoke with you in the past about a complaint that you made about someone making a comment on your YouTube channel,” the agent said in the message, which Bennight provided to BuzzFeed News. “I just wanted to follow up with you on that and ask you a question with something that’s come up, if you wouldn’t mind giving me a ring.”
A few hours later, Bennight said, FBI agents in Mississippi visited him again in person, pressing for more information about the YouTube user Nikolas Cruz.
“They asked me if I knew who he was. I didn’t. I don’t,” Bennight said. “Then they left.”
When contacted by BuzzFeed News, Furr declined to comment on the call, and directed questions about the shooting to the FBI’s public affairs office. The office did not respond to multiple calls or emails Wednesday night.
Congressional investigators were rocked this weekend when the FBI notified them that five months of text messages from a top FBI investigator into the Trump campaign’s Russian connections had mysteriously vanished.
The FBI-issued cell phone of Peter Strzok, whose previous texts to his mistress (also an FBI employee) showed fierce hostility to Trump, suddenly had problems due to “software upgrades” and other issues — and voila — all the messages between the two from Dec. 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017 vanished. Strzok, who oversaw the Trump investigation from its start in July 2016, was removed from Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation last summer after the Justice Department Inspector General discovered his anti-Trump texts.
Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, notified a Senate committee that “data that should have been automaticallycollected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected.” The missing texts could have obliterated the remnants of credibility of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
Conservatives are caterwauling about the vanished evidence but this type of tactic has long been standard procedure for the FBI. Acting FBI chief Patrick Gray was forced to resign in 1973 after it was revealed that he had burned incriminating evidence from the White House in his fireplace shortly after the Watergate break-in by Nixon White House “plumbers.” Gray claimed he was resigning to preserve the “reputation and integrity” of the FBI — but that hasn’t worked out so well.
The FBI has a long history of “losing” evidence that would tarnish its halo. And for most of the agency’s history, judges and Congress have let the FBI sweep its dirt under the rug.
In the Ruby Ridge case, when an FBI sniper gunned down an Idaho mother holding her baby in 1992, the chief of the FBI’s Violence Crimes division was sent to prison for destroying evidence. When a Senate committee held hearings three years later, four FBI agents took the Fifth Amendmentrather than tell the incriminating truth about their activities on the Ruby Ridge case. A subsequent Senate report concluded that the five successive FBI reports of internal investigations of the episode “are variously contradictory, inaccurate, and biased. They demonstrate a reluctance on the part of the FBI initially to take the incidents at Ruby Ridge seriously.” Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-Wis.) complained, “I would be asked by the FBI to believe (Ruby Ridge) was almost a model of (good) conduct. The conclusion, is drawn, from … all the people we’ve heard, that no one did anything wrong of significance or consequence.”
The FBI suppressed mounds of evidence regarding its final assault on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. The FBI had always vehemently denied that it had any blame for a fire that killed nearly 80 people; six years after the attack, investigators found pyrotechnic rounds the FBI fired into the building before the conflagration erupted. Attorney General Janet Reno lashed out at the FBI for destroying her credibility.
Newsweek reported that, according to a senior FBI official, “as many as 100 FBI agents and officials may have known about” the military-style explosive devices used by the FBI at Waco, despite Reno’s and the FBI’s repeated denials that such devices were used. The FBI deceived Congress and a federal judge by withholding information that it had six closed-circuit television cameras monitoring the Davidians’ home throughout the siege. The resulting films could have the key information that could resolve the major issues of Waco but the FBI withheld the tapes for years, until they were impounded by U.S. marshals.
There is a growing consensus among many observers in Washington that the national security agencies have become completely politicized over the past seventeen years and are now pursuing selfish agendas that actually endanger what remains of American democracy. Up until recently it has been habitual to refer to such activity as the Deep State, which is perhaps equivalent to the Establishment in that it includes financial services, the media, major foundations and constituencies, as well as lobbying groups, but we are now witnessing an evolutionary process in which the national security regime is exercising power independently.
In a devastating critique former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer John Kiriakou has described how the Democratic Party, as part of its frenzied effort to bring down President Donald Trump, has embraced a whole group of former intelligence and law enforcement officers who appear to be on the same side in seeking a more responsible and accountable executive branch but who are in reality pursuing their own agenda.
Formerly intelligence and law enforcement agencies acted under the direction of the White House but without any political bias. Transitions from Democratic to Republican administrations were consequently seamless for the employees of CIA, FBI, DIA and the NSA, but this has changed. In the 2016 election a line-up of retired senior officers from those organizations openly supported the Clinton campaign and even went so far as to construct elaborate conspiracy theories regarding Trump and his associates, including the claim that Donald Trump is actually an agent of Russia.
The desire to discredit and ultimately delegitimize Trump even involved some active duty senior officers, including John Brennan, Director of CIA, who exploited Agency relationships with foreign intelligence services to develop information on Trump, and James Comey of the FBI who initiated an investigation of Trump’s associates. Both were involved in the later surfacing of the notorious Steele Dossier, a collection of fact mixed with fiction that sought to destroy the Trump presidency even before it began.
Kiriakou cites recent activity by Brennan as well as former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden as well as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, all of whom have been politically active. The three men appear frequently on television as self-described “senior statesmen,” but, as Kiriakou observes they are “…monsters who have ignored the Constitution…and international law. They have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.” They together with lesser figures like George Tenet, Jose Rodriguez, Michael Morell and John McLaughlin authorized technical spying on nearly everyone, torture, rendition of suspects so they could be tortured by others, random killing of “profiled” foreigners and targeted killing of American citizens. Brennan was in charge of a “kill list” for President Barack Obama.
Former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts meanwhile asks why liberal international organizations like Amnesty International are fundraising to oppose Trump when the real threat to a better and safer world and country is coming from the largely unaccountable “security agencies, the police, the neoconservatives, the presstitute media and the Republican and Democratic Parties?”
Antiwar activist Justin Raimondo also picks up the gauntlet, describing how the national security agencies and the Democratic Party have joined forces to create a totally false narrative that could lead to nuclear war. They and the media appear to truly believe that “…the country has been taken over by Vladimir Putin and the Russian State…Trump is an instrument in their hands, and the independence of the United States has been fatally compromised: the president and his top aides are taking their orders from the Kremlin.” He concludes that “Our intelligence agencies are at war with the executive branch of government…to reverse the  election results.” Raimondo believes that Trump is being particularly targeted because his unpredictability and populism threaten the wealth and power of the elites and he notes “If you think they’ve ruled out assassination you’re being naïve.”
Raimondo believes that something like a civil war is coming, with the war party Establishment fighting to defend its privileged global order while many other Americans seek a return to normal nationhood with all that implies. If true, the next few years will see a major internal conflict that will determine what kind of country the United States will be.
Second Person Of Interest Identified In Las Vegas Massacre
While the FBI’s official report on the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas – the deadliest in American history – a judge on Tuesday unsealed 300 pages of search warrant records, including a document that appears to validate claims that shooter Steven Paddock may have had help planning his attack.
That’s because the documents revealed, for the first time, a publicly identified “person of interest” whose name has thus far not been publicly reported as part of the investigation,the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“Until the investigation can rule otherwise, Marilou Danley and Douglas Haig have become persons of interest who may have conspired with Stephen Paddock to commit Murder with a Deadly Weapon,” according to the Metropolitan Police Department document, which was prepared in October.
Clark County Defies Order To Release Vegas Shooter Coroner’s Report
After months of radio silence, new information released earlier this week surrounding the investigation into Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock’s motive appears to have revived suspicions that another person was involved in the shooting.
The newly unsealed documents – which were unsealed by court order after journalists at the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media sued – revealed that the FBI is seeking a “person of interest” named Douglas Haig. Haig’s name had not previously been connected to the shooting. What’s more, according to what’s been widely cited as his LinkedIn page, Haig had “DOD Top Secret clearance” and worked for top weapons manufacturers and specialized in Military Ammunition, as we pointed out.
Haig’s connection to Paddock and the shooting is unclear, but in another confusing development, Clark County Nevada Coroner John Fudenberg is defying a court order to release the full autopsy report for Paddock – even though Paddock’s body was cremated in December.
According to the Daily Caller, District Court Judge Timothy Williams ordered the coroner Tuesday to immediately release the autopsy. Fudenberg is conferring with others in his office, and no date had been given for his compliance with the judge’s order, the corner’s office told The Daily Caller.
The office also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the report wouldn’t be released until it was “finalized.”
“The coroner’s office has fought to keep autopsy reports confidential,” according to the the Review-Journal.
It’s difficult to imagine what component of the autopsy could, at this point, be left unfinished; after all, Paddock’s body was destroyed weeks ago. And yet, the coroner has chosen to pay $32,000 in legal costs instead of turning over the final report.
“The shooter’s body was cremated Dec. 21. How can the autopsy report not be ‘finalized’ when the body was cremated more than five weeks ago?” Review-Journal Editor-in-Chief Keith Moyer publicly stated. “The law is squarely on the side of the public’s right to open government.”
An interim report released Jan. 8 gave only scant information about the autopsy and did not release either the autopsy or a toxicology report on Paddock.
“Preliminarily, the injuries noted were on the posterior of both calves and a gunshot wound to the upper palette inside the decedent’s mouth with obvious damage to the upper teeth,” the department stated.
“The cause of Paddock’s death was an internal gunshot wound and the manner of death was ruled a suicide,” the report concluded.
Exclusive: Arriving behind the anti-Trump “resistance” and the Russia-gate “scandal” is a troubling readiness to silence dissent in the U.S., shutting down information that challenges Official Narratives, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
A stark difference between today’s Washington and when I was here as a young Associated Press correspondent in the late 1970s and the early 1980s is that then – even as the old Cold War was heating up around the election of Ronald Reagan – there were prominent mainstream journalists who looked askance at the excessive demonization of the Soviet Union and doubted wild claims about the dire threats to U.S. national security from Nicaragua and Grenada.
Perhaps the Vietnam War was still fresh enough in people’s minds that senior editors and national reporters understood the dangers of mindless groupthink inside Official Washington, as well as the importance of healthy skepticism toward official pronouncements from the U.S. intelligence community.
Today, however, I cannot think of a single prominent figure in the mainstream news media who questions any claim – no matter how unlikely or absurd – that vilifies Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country. It is all Russia-bashing all the time.
And, behind this disturbing anti-Russian uniformity are increasing assaults against independent and dissident journalists and news outlets outside the mainstream. We’re not just entering a New Cold War and a New McCarthyism; we’re also getting a heavy dose of old-style Orwellianism.
Sometimes you see this in individual acts like HuffingtonPost taking down a well-reported story by journalist Joe Lauria because he dared to point out that Democratic money financed the two initial elements of what’s now known as Russia-gate: the forensic examination of computers at the Democratic National Committee and the opposition research on Donald Trump conducted by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.
HuffingtonPost never contacted Lauria before or after its decision to retract the story, despite a request from him for the reasons why. HuffPost editors told a BuzzFeed reporter that they were responding to reader complaints that the article was filled with factual errors but none have ever been spelled out, leaving little doubt that Lauria’s real “error” was in defying the Russia-gate groupthink of the anti-Trump Resistance. [A version of Lauria’s story appeared at Consortiumnews.com before Lauria posted it at HuffPost. If you want to sign a petition calling on HuffPost to restore Lauria’s article, click here.]
Other times, the expanding American censorship is driven by U.S. government agencies, such as the Justice Department’s demand that the Russian news outlet, RT, register under the restrictive Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires such prompt, frequent and detailed disclosures of supposed “propaganda” that it could make it impossible for RT to continue to function in the United States.
This attack on RT was rationalized by the Jan. 6 “Intelligence Community Assessment” that was, in reality, prepared by a handful of “hand-picked” analysts from the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency. Their report included a seven-page addendum from 2012 accusing RT of spreading Russian propaganda – and apparently this Jan. 6 report must now be accepted as gospel truth, no questions permitted.
However, if any real journalist actually read the Jan. 6 report, he or she would have discovered that RT’s sinister assault on American democracy included such offenses as holding a debate among third-party candidates who were excluded from the Republican-Democratic debates in 2012. Yes, allowing Libertarians and Greens to express their points of view is a grave danger to American democracy.
Other RT “propaganda” included reporting on the Occupy Wall Street protests and examining the environmental dangers from “fracking,” issues that also have been widely covered by the domestic American media. Apparently, whenever RT covers a newsworthy event – even if others have too – that constitutes “propaganda,” which must be throttled to protect the American people from the danger of seeing it.
If you bother to study the Jan. 6 report’s addendum, it is hard not to conclude that these “hand-picked” analysts were either stark-raving mad or madly anti-Russian. Yet, this “Intelligence Community Assessment” is now beyond questioning unless you want to be labeled a “Kremlin stooge” or “Putin’s useful idiot.” [An earlier State Department attack on RT was equally ridiculous or demonstrably false.]
And, by the way, it was President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who testified under oath that the analysts from the three agencies were “hand-picked.” That means that they were analysts personally selected by Obama’s intelligence chiefs from three agencies – not “all 17” as the American public was told over and over again – and thus were not even a full representation of analysts from those three agencies. Yet, this subset of a subset is routinely described as “the U.S. intelligence community,” even after major news outlets finally had to retract their “all 17” canard.
So, the myth of the intelligence community’s consensus lives on. For instance, in an upbeat article on Tuesday about the U.S. government’s coercing RT into registering as a foreign agent, Washington Post reporters Devlin Barrett and David Filipov wrote, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the network and website push relentlessly anti-American propaganda at the behest of the Russian government.”
In the old days, even during the old Cold War and President Reagan’s ranting about “the Evil Empire,” some of us would have actually examined the Jan. 6 report’s case against RT and noted the absurdity of these claims about “relentlessly anti-American propaganda.” Whether you want to hear the views of the Greens and Libertarians or not – or whether you like “fracking” and hate Occupy Wall Street – the opportunity to hear this information doesn’t constitute “relentlessly anti-American propaganda.”
The U.S. government’s real beef with RT seems to be that it allows on air some Americans who have been blacklisted from the mainstream media – including highly credentialed former U.S. intelligence analysts and well-informed American journalists – because they have challenged various Official Narratives.
In other words, Americans are not supposed to hear the other side of the story on important international conflicts, such as the proxy war in Syria or the civil war in Ukraine or Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians. Only the State Department’s versions of those events are permitted even when those versions are themselves propagandistic if not outright false.
For example, you’re not supposed to hear about the huge holes in the Syria-sarin cases, nor about Ukraine’s post-coup regime arming neo-Nazis to kill ethnic-Russian Ukrainians, nor about Israel’s evolution into an apartheid state. All right-thinking Americans are to get only a steady diet of how righteous the U.S. government and its allies always are. Anything else is “propaganda.”
Also off limits is any thoughtful critique of that Jan. 6 report – or apparently even Clapper’s characterization of it as a product of “hand-picked” analysts from only three agencies. You’re not supposed to ask why other U.S. intelligence agencies with deep knowledge about Russia were excluded and why even other analysts from the three involved agencies were shut out.
No, you must always think of the Jan. 6 report as the “consensus” assessment from the entire “U.S. intelligence community.” And you must accept it as flat fact – as it now is treated by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other mainstream news outlets. You shouldn’t even notice that the Jan. 6 report itself doesn’t claim that Russian election meddling was a fact. The report explains, that “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”
But even quoting from the Jan. 6 report might make an American reporter some kind of traitorous “Russian mole” whose journalism must be purged from “responsible” media and who should be forced to wear the journalistic equivalent of a yellow star.
The Anti-Trump/Russia Hysteria
Of course, much of this anti-Russian hysteria comes from the year-long fury about the shocking election of Donald Trump. From the first moments of stunned disbelief over Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the narrative was put in motion to blame Trump’s victory not on Clinton and her wretched campaign but on Russia. That also was viewed as a possible way of reversing the election’s outcome and removing Trump from office.
The major U.S. news media quite openly moved to the forefront of the Resistance. The Washington Post adopted the melodramatic and hypocritical slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” as it unleashed its journalists to trumpet the narrative of some disloyal Americans spreading Russian propaganda. Darkness presumably was a fine place to stick people who questioned the Resistance’s Russia-gate narrative.
An early shot in this war against dissenting information was fired last Thanksgiving Day when the Post published a front-page article citing an anonymous group called PropOrNot smearing 200 Internet news sites for allegedly disseminating Russian propaganda. The list included some of the most important sources of independent journalism, including Consortiumnews.com, apparently for the crime of questioning some of the State Department’s narratives on international conflicts, particularly Syria and Ukraine.
Then, with the anti-Russia hysteria building and the censorship ball rolling, Congress last December approved $160 million for think tanks and other non-governmental organizations to combat Russian propaganda. Soon, reports and studies were flying off the shelves detecting a Russian behind every article, tweet and posting that didn’t toe the State Department’s line.
The New York Times and other leading news organizations have even cheered plans for Google, Facebook and other technology companies to deploy algorithms that can hunt down, marginalize or eliminate information that establishment media deems “fake” or “propaganda.” Already Google has put together a First Draft coalition, consisting of mainstream media and establishment-approved Web sites to decide what information makes the cut and what doesn’t.
Among these arbiters of truth is the fact-check organization PolitiFact, which judged the falsehood about “all 17 intelligence agencies” signing off on the Russian “hacking” claim to be “true.” Even though the claim was never true and is now clearly established as false, PolitiFact continues to assert that this lie is the truth, apparently filled with the hubris that comes with its power over determining what is true and what is false.
But what is perhaps most troubling to me about these developments is the silence of many civil liberties advocates, liberal politicians and defenders of press freedom who might have been counted on in earlier days to object to this censorship and blackballing.
It appears that the ends of taking down Donald Trump and demonizing Vladimir Putin justify whatever means, no matter the existential danger of nuclear war with Russia or the McCarthyistic (even Orwellian) threats to freedom of speech, press and thought.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).