Friday, October 21, 2016

WAG THE DOG 2016.... OBAMA + BEN RHODES

SCAN  THIS PACKAGE FOR CONTEXT….THEN READ  THE PARTS THAT INTEREST YOU



1.     The Model :  Wag the Dog

The phrase ‘Wag the Dog’ is used to indicate that attention is purposely being diverted from something of greater importance to something of lesser importance.

Example of Use: “He’s wagging the dog to keep you from discovering the truth about ________”


Remember the movie: " a tale of politics, power and Hollywood so outrageous it could be true! Two weeks before re-election, the President of the United States is accused of accosting a girl scout. Before the news reaches the media, his advisors call in a political consultant specializing in image rescues. What to do? Hire a Hollywood producer to create a war — distracting public attention from the scandal and rallying Americans to their President in surge of patriotic fever. “Today, that consultant is Ben Rhodes.

2.     The 2016 Scenario:

(a)Obama’s Conflict Tanked the Clinton E-mail Investigation 
 Andrew C. McCarthy  Edited & Summarized


The FBI showed  Huma Abedin an  e-mail exchange, over Clinton’s private account, between the then-secretary of state and a second person, whose name Abedin did not recognize. Abedin acknowledged that it was classified. Then the  FBI  did what the FBI is never supposed to do: The agents informed their interviewee (Abedin) of the identity of the second person. It was the president of the United States, Barack Obama, using a pseudonym to conduct communications over a non-secure e-mail system — something anyone with a high-level security clearance, such as Huma Abedin, would instantly realize was a major breach.

Obama had exchanged with then-secretary Clinton over the latter’s private e-mail account.  Obama had knowingly( on a smaller scale )engaged in the same misconduct that was the focus of the Clinton probe: the reckless mishandling of classified information.

 Clinton’s recklessness was systematic: She intentionally set up a non-secure, non-government communications framework, making it inevitable that classified information would be mishandled, and that federal record-keeping laws would be flouted. Obama’s recklessness, at least as far as we know, was confined to communications with Clinton — 

 Had Clinton been indicted, Clinton’s defense lawyers would have demanded the disclosure of the e-mails in order to show that Obama had engaged in the same misconduct, yet only she, not he, was being prosecuted. And as most experienced criminal-law lawyers understand (especially if they’ve read a Supreme Court case known as United States v. Nixon), it is an argument that Clinton’s lawyers would have won.


 When you’re a national-security official engaging in and making a written record of policy and strategy conversations with the president, the lack of classified markings on the documents you’ve created
[does] not alter the obvious fact that the information they contain [is] classified — a fact well known to any high government official who routinely handles national-defense secrets, let alone one who directly advises the president.

With Clinton’s e-mails, much of the   “born classified” under the terms of President Obama’s own executive order — EO 13526.  In section 1.1(d) of that order, Obama issued this directive: “The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.” In addition, the order goes on (in section 1.4) to describe other categories of information that officials should deem classified based on the damage to national security that disclosure could cause. Included among these categories: foreign relations, foreign activities of the United States, military plans, and intelligence activities.

Abedin knew, as the FBI agents who were interviewing her surely knew, that at least some of Obama’s pseudonymous exchanges with Clinton had to have crossed into these categories. They were born classified. This fact would profoundly embarrass Obama if the e-mails were publicly disclosed.

Hundreds of times, despite Clinton’s indignant insistence that she never sent or received classified information, the State Department has had to concede that her e-mails must be redacted or withheld from public disclosure because they contain information that is patently classified. But this is not a concession the administration is willing to make regarding Obama’s e-mails.

 It is why Obama, in stark contrast to his aforementioned executive order, made public statements pooh-poohing the fact that federal law forbids the mishandling of any intelligence secret. (“There’s classified, and then there’s classified,” he said, so cavalierly.) He had to take this position because he had himself effectively endorsed the practice of high-level communications through non-secure channels.

This is also why the Justice Department and the FBI effectively rewrote the relevant criminal statute in order to avoid applying it to Clinton. In his public statements about Clinton, Obama has stressed that she is an exemplary public servant who would never intentionally harm the United States. In rationalizing their decision not to indict Clinton, Justice Department officials (in leaks to the Washington Post) and the FBI director (in his press conference and congressional testimony) similarly stressed the lack of proof that she intended to harm the United States.

 However, the operative criminal statute does not call for proof of intent to harm the United States. It merely requires proof of gross negligence. This is entirely lawful and appropriate, since we’re talking about a law that can apply only to government officials who have a special duty to preserve secrecy and who have been schooled in the proper handling of classified information. Yet the Justice Department frivolously suggested that applying the law exactly the way it is written — something the Justice Department routinely tells judges they must do — would, in Clinton’s case, potentially raise constitutional problems.

To summarize,  (a) Obama knowingly communicated with Clinton over a non-government, non-secure e-mail system; (b) Obama and Clinton almost certainly discussed matters that are automatically deemed classified under the president’s own guidelines; and (c) at least one high-ranking government official (Petraeus) has been prosecuted because he failed to maintain the security of highly sensitive intelligence that included policy-related conversations with Obama. From these facts and circumstances, we must deduce that it is possible, if not highly likely, that President Obama himself has been grossly negligent in handling classified information.
That is why the Clinton e-mail scandal never had a chance of leading to criminal charges.


(b)  Congressional Democrats Call on FBI to Investigate Their Political Adversaries’ Kremlin Ties
Glenn Greenwald  8-31-16

Leading House Democrats on Tuesday sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey, which they promptly published, asking the agency to investigate whether the Trump campaign and the Russian government have entered into a joint plot “to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.” Although the House Democrats say they do not know whether such a conspiracy with Moscow exists, they say that “serious questions have been raised” — specifically about whether Trump supporters worked in tandem with Kremlin agents to hack Democratic Party computer systems, and “about overt and covert actions by Trump campaign officials on behalf of Russian interests.”
As grounds for their suspicions, these top Democrats cite…. statements Trump supporters made that are critical of the United States of America or advocate better relations with Moscow. These statements and policy views, these top Democrats suggest, demonstrate possible disloyalty to the United States, which should be investigated.
 The top Democrats also note that another Trump adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, “traveled to Moscow in December 2015 and joined Vladimir Putin at the head table during a dinner honoring the Kremlin-backed media network RT,” and then “gave a speech that was highly critical of the United States.” (The House Democrats do not mention that Gen. Flynn was appointed by President Obama in 2012 to head the Defense Intelligence Agency), and they are cryptic about whether they believe the general is a full-scale Russian operative or merely an unwitting Useful Idiot).
This letter was clearly part of a coordinated plan by Democrats to call for an FBI investigation into their domestic political adversaries for possible Russia links. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sent a similar letter to Comey yesterday asking him to investigate “evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.” Reid explicitly harkened back to the era of American politics when this type of rhetoric was common, saying that “the prospect of a hostile government [Russia] seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War.”
 President Obama’s former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul yesterday said “the Obama administration will need to respond” if Russians were involved in hacking state election centers, while the managing editor of a popular liberal blog announced that once the election is over, “let’s kick some ass on that front” — meaning Russia. Meanwhile, Democratic pundits are increasingly signaling to Americans that they should distrust the legitimacy and reliability of their democratic elections if Hillary loses because it will likely mean that Putin manipulated the votes by hacking to help Trump. 

Greenwald It’s mystifying, and more than a little disturbing (perhaps itself a bit suspicious), why these leading congressional Democrats would not avail themselves of[conducting their own investigation]  in order to uncover the latest domestic plots led by the Russians as a means of subverting American democracy.

(c )Rhodes’s  campaign to sell the Iran  deal

"We created an echo chamber,’ he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

From:THE ASPIRING NOVELIST WHO BECAME OBAMA’S FOREIGN-POLICY GURU  By DAVID SAMUELS MAY 5, 2016
The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false. Obama’s closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency. “It’s the center of the arc,” Rhodes explained to me two days after the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was implemented. He then checked off the ways in which the administration’s foreign-policy aims and priorities converged on Iran. “We don’t have to kind of be in cycles of conflict if we can find other ways to resolve these issues,” he said. “We can do things that challenge the conventional thinking that, you know, ‘AIPAC doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the Israeli government doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the gulf countries don’t like it.’ It’s the possibility of improved relations with adversaries. It’s nonproliferation. So all these threads that the president’s been spinning — and I mean that not in the press sense — for almost a decade, they kind of all converged around Iran.”
In the narrative that Rhodes shaped, the “story” of the Iran deal began in 2013, when a “moderate” faction inside the Iranian regime led by Hassan Rouhani beat regime “hard-liners” in an election and then began to pursue a policy of “openness,” which included a newfound willingness to negotiate the dismantling of its illicit nuclear-weapons program. The president set out the timeline himself in his speech announcing the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015: “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not.” While the president’s statement was technically accurate — there had in fact been two years of formal negotiations leading up to the signing of the J.C.P.O.A. — it was also actively misleading, because the most meaningful part of the negotiations with Iran had begun in mid-2012, many months before Rouhani and the “moderate” camp were chosen in an election among candidates handpicked by Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration. By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making. By eliminating the fuss about Iran’s nuclear program, the administration hoped to eliminate a source of structural tension between the two countries, which would create the space for America to disentangle itself from its established system of alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. With one bold move, the administration would effectively begin the process of a large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.
The nerve center for the selling of the Iran deal to Congress, which took place in a concentrated three-month period between July and September of last year, was located inside the White House, and is referred to by its former denizens as “the war room.”
Chad Kreikemeier, a Nebraskan who had worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, helped run the team, which included three to six people from each of several agencies, he says, which were the State Department, Treasury, the American delegation to the United Nations (i.e., Samantha Power), “at times D.O.D.” (the Department of Defense) and also the Department of Energy and the National Security Council. Rhodes “was kind of like the quarterback,” running the daily video conferences and coming up with lines of attack and parry. “He was extremely good about immediately getting to a phrase or a way of getting the message out that just made more sense,” Kreikemeier remembers. Framing the deal as a choice between peace and war was Rhodes’s go-to move — and proved to be a winning argument.
The person whom Kreikemeier credits with running the digital side of the campaign was Tanya Somanader, 31, the director of digital response for the White House Office of Digital Strategy, who became known in the war room and on Twitter as @TheIranDeal. Early on, Rhodes asked her to create a rapid-response account that fact-checked everything related to the Iran deal. “So, we developed a plan that was like: The Iran deal is literally going to be the tip of everything that we stand up online,” Somanader says. “And we’re going to map it onto what we know about the different audiences we’re dealing with: the public, pundits, experts, the right wing, Congress.” By applying 21st-century data and networking tools to the white-glove world of foreign affairs, the White House was able to track what United States senators and the people who worked for them, and influenced them, were seeing online — and make sure that no potential negative comment passed without a tweet.
 “People construct their own sense of source and credibility now,” she said. “They elect who they’re going to believe.” For those in need of more traditional-seeming forms of validation, handpicked Beltway insiders like Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Laura Rozen of Al-Monitor helped retail the administration’s narrative. “Laura Rozen was my RSS feed,” Somanader offered. “She would just find everything and retweet it.”
 In July 2012, Jake Sullivan, a close aide to Hillary Clinton, traveled to Muscat, Oman, for the first meeting with the Iranians, taking a message from the White House. “It was, ‘We’re prepared to open a direct channel to resolve the nuclear agreement if you are prepared to do the same thing and authorize it at the highest levels and engage in a serious discussion on these issues,’ ”
The White House point person during the later stage of the negotiations was Rob Malley,  who is currently running negotiations that could keep the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power. During the course of the Iran talks, Malley told me, he always kept in close contact with Rhodes. “I would often just call him and say, ‘Give me a reality check,’ ” Malley explained. “He could say, ‘Here is where I think the president is, and here is where I think he will be.’ ” He continued, “Ben would try to anticipate: Does it make sense policywise? But then he would also ask himself: How do we sell it to Congress? How do we sell it to the public? What is it going to do to our narrative?”
Malley is a particularly keen observer of the changing art of political communication; his father, Simon Malley, who was born in Cairo, edited the politics magazine Afrique Asie and proudly provided a platform for Fidel Castro and Yasir Arafat.

 As Malley and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

 Rhodes: “We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.” He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. “We drove them crazy,” he said of the deal’s opponents. ‘We created an echo chamber,’ he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.’



(d)Clinton Campaign, White House Coordinated Pro-Iran Deal Talking Points 
BY: Adam Kredo  October 10, 2016 
Leaked emails show effort to mislead public about Iran deal
Senior Clinton campaign officials were in direct contact with the White House to coordinate pro-Iran talking points in an effort to boost last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement, according to leaked emails that show the Obama administration and top figures in Clinton’s campaign played a role in promulgating information about the deal that later turned out to be factually inaccurate.
The emails, released late on Friday in a massive document dump by the hacker website WikiLeaks, show coordination between Hillary Clinton’s team and the White House, which spearheaded a massive effort to create what senior officials described as a pro-Iran “echo chamber” to mislead Congress and Americans about the nature of the agreement.
The director of national intelligence and Department of Homeland Security have accused “Russia’s senior-most officials” of hacking and leaking emails posted to WikiLeaks and other sites to influence and interfere with the 2016 election.
An April 2, 2015, communication sent from top White House press liaison Eric Shultz to Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri includes several pages of pro-Iran talking points that were later discovered to contain misleading information.
“Love it!!” Palmieri responded to Schultz’s email. She subsequently forwarded the information to leading Clinton aides, including Cheryl Mills, Brian Fallon, and Nick Merrill, among others.

The disclosure of these emails threatens to entangle the Clinton campaign in a growing scandal surrounding secret White House efforts to mislead Congress and the public about the nuclear deal. Congress has been investigating these efforts for months and has uncovered evidence the Obama administration inked several secret side deals with Iran, including the rollback of key sanctions on Tehran and a $1.7 billion cash payment.

…One senior congressional official familiar with investigations into the White House’s deception on the Iran deal told the Washington Free Beacon that these newly leaked emails reveal how the Clinton campaign served as a major cog in the Obama administration’s so-called “echo chamber.”

“This revelation is further evidence that the Clinton campaign is just an extension of the Obama White House,” the source said. “The fact that senior staff coordinated on selling the disastrous Iran deal is unsurprising but disturbing.”
“These are the very same bogus talking points that [top White House aide] Ben Rhodes bragged were used to mislead Americans about key points of the agreement,” the source added. “As Iran undermines the agreement at every turn, Hillary Clinton conjures up the exact same rationale as the administration to keep the deal in place. Now we know why.”

The talking points in question include erroneous information about how the deal could dismantle Iran’s nuclear program and stop its march towards a nuclear weapon. “American sanctions on Iran—for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, and its ballistic missile program—will be fully enforced,” the White House wrote in the guidance offered to the Clinton campaign.

This turned out to be untrue, as the Obama administration has permitted Iran to carry out multiple ballistic missile tests, saying that they are not a direct violation of current sanctions.

The White House talking points to Clinton further said the deal “would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.”
This also has turned out to be inaccurate. The deal permits Iran to carry out key research and development activities related to its nuclear program and the enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon.

The deal also permits Iran to continue construction on new light water nuclear reactors, which could provide Tehran with a second pathway to nuclear material.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration moved late Friday to dismantle another facet of key sanctions on Iran, despite its continued support for terror operations in the Middle East and ongoing research into ballistic missile technology.

Clinton’s vice presidential running mate Time Kaine claimed in a recent debate that Clinton helped “eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program,” a remark that ABC News dubbed as “false.”

Clinton Press Secretary Brian Fallon, who is included in the leaked emails, later went on Fox News to reiterate this claim, maintaining that “there is no question” the deal halted Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The White House’s pro-Iran press machine, which was helmed by Rhodes, received support from liberal billionaire George Soros and a network of non-profit organizations that funneled money to those who helped champion the deal in the public sphere.

(e) 50 Spies Say ISIS Intelligence Was Cooked …edited


In recent months, members of the Obama administration have sought to paint the fight against ISIS in rosy hues—despite the terror army’s seizure of major cities like Mosul and Fallujah.

More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials. 

“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.The complaints spurred the Pentagon’s inspector general to open an investigation into the alleged manipulation of intelligence. The fact that so many people complained suggests there are deep-rooted, systemic problems in how the  command charged with the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State assesses intelligence.

Two senior analysts at CENTCOM [supported by 50 other analysts, some of whom have complained about politicizing of intelligence reports for months]
signed a written complaint sent to the Defense Department inspector general in July alleging that the reports, some of which were briefed to President Obama, portrayed the terror groups as weaker than the analysts believe they are. THE REPORTS WERE CHANGED BY CENTCOM HIGHER-UPS TO ADHERE TO THE ADMINISTRATION’S PUBLIC LINE THAT THE U.S. IS WINNING THE BATTLE AGAINST ISIS AND AL NUSRA, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the analysts claim.
The accusations suggest that a large number of people tracking the inner workings of the terror groups think that their reports are being manipulated to fit a public narrative. 

 The analysts have accused senior-level leaders of changing their analyses to be more in line with the Obama administration’s public contentions. Some of those who complained were urged to retire.  Some agreed to leave.





(f)  Obama Kept Military Out of the Loop on Cash Payments to Iran 
Eli Lake   Bloomberg

One might think President Barack Obama would have asked his top military officials to weigh in on his administration’s  decision in January to send $400 million in cash to Iran. After all, Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, and terrorists prefer cash to wire payments because it's so difficult to track. And its armed forces have both directly and indirectly threatened the U.S. military in the Middle East.
But Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry did not consult Secretary of Defense Ash Carter or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford.
This news came out of a hearing Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Carter made it clear that he had been out of the loop. "We weren't involved in this," Carter said."
When Dunford was asked about the cash payments, he responded: “… it really was a political decision that was made to provide that money and I don’t think it's appropriate that I comment on that."
All of this is important for a few reasons. For starters, in response to repeated questions about the cash payment, which coincided with an intricate deal to release Americans detained in Iran, the State Department defended the decision by saying it went through an inter-agency process. At an August 4 briefing, State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner was asked about whether the payment was a form of ransom. Toner began by saying, "There's always an interagency discussion around any decision like this, and every relevant agency weighs in."
The disclosure that the Pentagon did not participate in the decision-making process also comes after reports that at least some lawmakers were not consulted about other payments to Iran. This week, the Weekly Standard reported that key members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including its chairman Senator Bob Corker, were not told about wire payments to Iran, even after Obama last month said the U.S. had to send cash because such wire payments were not possible. Politico reported this week that the U.S. had been wiring cash to Iranian banks long before the cash payments were flown to Iran.
The disclosure is also the latest example of how U.S. military leaders have been distancing themselves from Kerry's Middle East diplomacy. Senior military leaders could barely disguise their opposition to Kerry's latest cease-fire plan for Syria, which would have resulted in the U.S. cooperating with Russia to select bombing targets had a cessation of hostilities held for a week. It didn't. At the hearing Thursday, Dunford said the Pentagon had no plans to share any intelligence with Russia.
Most important in all of this, though, is that the fissures between the military and the White House, which have been growing since Obama's first term, are coming out in the open in his presidency's final months. Since leaving office, all three of Obama's prior defense secretaries have talked publicly about their frustrations with the White House.
Robert Gates, who was Obama's first secretary of defense, wrote a scathing memoir where he complained about being ordered around by senior White House staff. Leon Panetta, who headed the Pentagon between 2011 and 2013, told the New York Times Magazine earlier this year that he never saw the letters Obama sent to Iran's Supreme Leader, when he served as CIA director or secretary of defense. Panetta's successor, Chuck Hagel, told Foreign Policy last December that he believed the White House had set out to destroy him.

(g)U.S. Intelligence Chief Suggests Russia Was Behind Election-Linked Hacks 
Damian Paletta Sept. 20, 2016 


Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, said Tuesday evening that Russia has a tradition of interfering with elections.



 WASHINGTON—U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggested Russia was behind a recent computer hacking operation that stole records from the Democratic Party and then leaked thousands of documents online.

Mr. Clapper, speaking Tuesday evening at an event hosted by the Washington Post, said Russia has been conducting similar exercises since the 1960s targeting the U.S.

“It shouldn’t come as a big shock to people,” Mr. Clapper said. “I think it’s more dramatic maybe because now they have the cyber tools.”

Mr. Clapper’s comments were his most explicit to date connecting Russia to the hacking operation, which is believed to have been conducted over more than a year. Three internet outlets have leaked some of the stolen files since April, with some of the files proving embarrassing enough that their disclosure prompted the resignations of several top Democratic Party officials.

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HILLARY CLINTON HAS ACCUSED RUSSIA OF CONDUCTING THE CYBERATTACK OPERATION, BUT HER RIVAL, REPUBLICAN NOMINEE DONALD TRUMP, HAS SAID IT IS UNCLEAR WHO WAS BEHIND THE COMPUTER THEFT.

Russian officials have denied involvement in the hacks, though President Vladimir Putin has said the dissemination of the stolen records was a public service.

Mr. Clapper in recent weeks has declined to weigh in on Russia’s possible involvement, citing an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and intelligence officials. On Tuesday night, however, he spoke of Russia’s alleged involvement more openly.
“There’s a tradition in Russia of interfering with elections, their own and others,” Mr. Clapper said.

It is still unclear what Russia is trying to accomplish by leaking the stolen records online, he said.

“IT’S PROBABLY NOT REAL, REAL CLEAR WHETHER THERE’S INFLUENCE IN TERMS OF AN OUTCOME [OF THE NOVEMBER U.S. ELECTIONS] OR WHAT I WORRY ABOUT MORE—FRANKLY --IS JUST THE SOWING THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, WHERE DOUBT IS CAST ON THE WHOLE [ELECTION] PROCESS,” MR. CLAPPER SAID.


(h)Obama administration publicly blames Russia for DNC hack


The Obama administration on Friday publicly attributed recent political hacking incidents to the Russian government, calling the thefts an intentional effort to interfere with the U.S. election process.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence publicly blamed Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other political organizations this year.
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the agencies in a joint statement.

The hack and subsequent release of emails from the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and former Secretary of State Colin Powell were widely believed by security experts and many in the intelligence community to be the work of Russian intelligence.[?????]

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN UNDER FIERCE PRESSURE FROM LAWMAKERS — LED BY SENATE AND HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBERS DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CALIF.) AND ADAM SCHIFF (D-CALIF.), RESPECTIVELY — TO PUBLICLY ATTRIBUTE THE ATTACKS.

Some onlookers suspected that the White House was leery of publicly naming Russia in the DNC hack because it didn’t want to disrupt a fragile ceasefire deal in Syria. 

But Secretary of State John Kerry officially suspended negotiations with Russia over implementing such an agreement on Monday. And on Friday he called for a war crimes investigation of Russia and Syria for attacks in Aleppo. 

Washington has almost unanimously[ ???] treated Russian involvement in the attack on the DNC and other Democratic groups as fact after several forensics firms avowed that all the digital fingerprints pointed to a well-known Russian intelligence group known informally as Fancy Bear. 

“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,” the statement read.

Security experts have long believed that the previously-unknown hacker Guccifer 2.0 was a front for Russian interests, despite his claims to be a single Romanian hacker. He — or they — published the DNC and DCCC documents on a Wordpress blog set up shortly after the hacks. 

DCLeaks.com, which published the Powell emails, claims to be American but is also thought to be a Russian intelligence front. The anti-secrecy platform WikiLeaks also published the DNC emails, but would not reveal where it got them. 

The intelligence agencies also confirmed long-standing speculation that the attacks were an effort by the Russian government to meddle in the U.S. election — whether to simply sow doubt in the integrity of the process or to ensure an outcome favorable to the Kremlin. 


Some Democrats, including the Clinton campaign, have characterized the leak as an attempt by Russia to benefit GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, seen as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s preferred candidate. 

The administration did not offer specifics on Russia’s precise motivation.  
“These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process,” the administration said. “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.” 

The agencies said they were not ready to confirm that recent probing of state’s election systems were the work on Russian hackers, but urged caution. 


“I APPLAUD THE ADMINISTRATION'S DECISION TO PUBLICLY NAME RUSSIA AS THE SOURCE OF HACKS INTO U.S. POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS,” SAID SCHIFF.

(i)  NBC News: Obama Administration Plans Cyber Attack ‘Message’ to Moscow

The Obama administration is considering launching a covert cyber attack against Russia to retaliate for the country’s alleged interference in this year's presidential election, according to intelligence officials, with Vice President Joe Biden saying Friday that the White House is "sending a message" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Current and former intelligence officials, said to have direct knowledge of the plans, told NBC News in an an exclusive that the CIA has already been asked to deliver options for an operation to "embarrass" Putin and other Russian leaders.
They did not say what the CIA is planning, but told NBC that the agency has been selecting targets and making other preparations. Also, the agency has gathered documents to expose Putin’s tactics, the network said.

On Friday, Biden dismissed suggestions that the White House has failed to respond to Russia's interference, telling NBC's Chuck Todd that "we're sending a message," and "we have the capacity to do it."
“He'll know it and it will be at the time of our choosing and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact," said Biden, adding that he hopes the public will not know.

However, retired Gen. Jack Keane, now a Fox News military analyst, says he doubts Russia is afraid of Biden’s words or the potential threat of a cyber attack, as "we've never responded in kind to any provocation by the Russians, not to the annexation of Crimea, the expansion into Ukraine, military incursion in Syria, bombing the CIA-backed Syrian moderate rebels, the recent horrific war crimes committed against the Syrian people."

Russia, he told Fox News, is working in its own national interests.
"What the Russians want is a return to the world stage as a global power," said Keane. "They want to be taken seriously. They have serious economic and domestic problems at home. They're camouflaging some of that by a lot of the incidents that Putin is creating on that world stage. What it really comes down to is he really wants power. He's interested in forcing eventually the collapse of NATO. As much as he can humiliate and embarrass the United States, that is to his advantage because it weakens our relationships with our allies.”

The Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence last week released a statement charging Russia with directing attacks that exposed hacked emails in an attempt to interfere with the presidential election. The statement was Washington’s first official accusation against Moscow.

In the past, U.S. officials said any cyber attacks on important U.S. institutions would prompt a response, which could take the form of diplomatic or economic sanctions, or possibly cyber measures.

The United States should attack Russia’s ability to censor Internet traffic, while exposing Putin's financial dealings, Retired Admiral James Stavridis told NBC News' Cynthia McFadden, as "it's well known that there's great deal of offshore money moved outside of Russia from oligarchs" and the revelations would be "embarrassing."

Sean Kanuck, a former intelligence officer said it would be dangerous to accuse Russia of wrongdoing without following that up with action.

However, CIA officers who worked on Russian intelligence said the White House has often asked for covert action options, but then has abandoned the ideas over political decisions.

“If someone has decided, 'We've had enough of the Russians,' there is a lot we can do," one of the officials said, including reminding Russia that two can play its game.

Meanwhile, experts, including former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, said they doubt the United States will attack Russia’s networks.

"We don't want to set a precedent for other countries to do it as well, including against us," Morell said. “My own view is that our response shouldn't be covert -- it should overt, for everybody to see."

The officials told NBC the Obama administration is still weighing its options, whether to respond with measures such as cyber attacks or through economic sanctions. Meanwhile, the potential cyber operation is being prepared by a team with the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, documents indicate.

(j) Obama /Biden threats  to Russia are dangerous to the United States[[“NBC News: Obama Administration Plans Cyber Attack ‘Message’ to Moscow”]

a.Tension between the U.S. and Russia is at its highest point since the Cold War.

 United States and Russia have terminated the cooperation in Syria. The Russians have moved  advanced air  defense missiles  into Syria.  Since ISIS  has no    airborne capabilities this move constrains the United States and Israeli operations [up to now both have had free access to Syrian airspace].

Russia suspended their nuclear pact with the U.S. [10-3-16 Putin announced his decision to withdraw from the “landmark” US-Russia security pact which requires the disposal of plutonium - an essential ingredient in the making of nuclear weapons].

Civil defense authorities in Russia have just concluded a four-day  nation-wide drill( preparing citizens for the possibility of nuclear war). The exercise began on Tuesday and involved 40 million people across the country, including 200,000 rescue workers and just under 50,000 vehicles. 

b.    We have a lot more to lose than the Russians given our comparative dependence on networked systems. 

c.     The Soviet Russian bureaucracy is notorious for creating excuses and  scapegoats for failure.  This  US Threat gives Putin the opportunity to
  blame every economic shortfall and system failure on US interference and to utilize these failures as a means of mobilizing support  for him and his actions from the Russian people.

 d. Experts, including former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, state:"We don't want to set a precedent for other countries to do it as well, including against us," Morell said. "My own view is that our response shouldn't be covert -- it should overt, for everybody to see."

e.     The case against official Russia has not yet been proven, at least in public. The US public distrusts the  pronouncements of DHS about as much as they distrust the political appointees at Justice and the FBI.


(k)The Obama administration  officially accused Russia of attempting to interfere in the 2016 elections[including by hacking the computers of the democratic national committee and other political organizations]. This assertion  is   doubtful for several reasons (some of which will be presented here).

a. Some of the information released is embarrassing to  Putin and his inner circle: For example,Emails show Clinton ties to Russian oligarch under investigation( New emails show Clinton Foundation staff pushed Hillary Clinton’s State Department to approve a meeting between Bill Clinton and a powerful Russian oligarch as her agency lined up investors for a project under his purview).[ SARAH WESTWARD  9/12/16 ]. 

b.  Pres. Putin would  strongly prefer Hillary Clinton {as president compared to  Donald Trump.

(1) Hillary Clinton would   emasculate fracking -a great innovation in oil and gas extraction that has helped  America  make great strides  toward   becoming energy-sufficient[U.S. Now Has Largest Oil Reserves in the World, Thanks to Fracking July 7, 2016 by Jake Green ] Rather than banning fracking, she’s for pecking it to death through regulations.

This would  give  Putin a vast increase in the value of Russian petroleum exports and restore his   political and economic lock on  East European  energy supplies. It will also give  Iran  greatly increased petroleum income to finance its extensive terror and penetration operations throughout the world.

(2)From actual Clinton actions including the acceptance (by Obama and  Clinton) of Putin’s aggressive intervention  in Ukraine; the Iranian deal which permits Russia to sell advanced weaponry to Iran and receive hard currency (furnished by the United States); the strategy of co-opting with Russia and bringing Russia into the Middle East as a major player (as discussed in Obama’s Syria Policy Striptease Tony Badran The Tablet September 21, 2016 ).

 It is clear that Putin has had sufficient first-hand experience with Hillary Clinton to believe that the parameters and trendiness WAG by Barack Obama will continue under a Clinton administration. .

 ON THE OTHER HAND ,DONALD TRUMP IS AN UNKNOWN QUANTITY WHO MIGHT ACTUALLY FOLLOW THE ADVICE PROVIDED BY THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF.