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On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks dumped Part 1 — Year Zero — of Vault 7.
Each part of Vault 7 concerns the CIA.
This is going to be fun.
The WikiLeaks Twitter feed is particularly informative and educational on this topic. My favourite is this one:
Of course, very little of Vault 7 has made Big Media and their smaller acolytes:
Senator Rand Paul (R – Kentucky) thinks that the content will alarm the public:
ZeroHedge has the best summary of Vault 7, Part 1. A summary and excerpts follow. Emphases in the original:
A total of 8,761 documents have been published as part of ‘Year Zero’, the first in a series of leaks the whistleblower organization has dubbed ‘Vault 7.’ WikiLeaks said that ‘Year Zero’ revealed details of the CIA’s “global covert hacking program,” including “weaponized exploits” used against company products including “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
WikiLeaks tweeted the leak, which it claims came from a network inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.
Among the more notable disclosures which, if confirmed, “would rock the technology world“, the CIA had managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services such as Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to the statement from WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate Android phones and collect “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”
Another profound revelation is that the CIA can engage in “false flag” cyberattacks which portray Russia as the assailant. Discussing the CIA’s Remote Devices Branch’s UMBRAGE group, Wikileaks’ source notes that it “collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.
From this introduction it is clear that the average consumer can be monitored easily:
The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.
Just as important is the story that ‘Russia’ hacked the DNC and the US election. Could it be that ‘Russia’ is actually the CIA? Given Vault 7’s information, who would find that surprising?
In Europe, the CIA operates out of the US consulate in Frankfurt:
a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( “Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe” or CCIE) are given diplomatic (“black”) passports and State Department cover.
The strangest — and most sinister — CIA technology involves motor vehicles:
As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
This might explain the mysterious death of investigative journalist Michael Hastings in 2013. In 2015, WhoWhatWhy published an article positing that Hastings’s car turning into a fireball while he was behind the wheel was an assassination. Many thought such an accusation was the stuff of conspiracy theory, even though experts said it was possible. Emphases mine below:
At the time of Hastings’ death, counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post that it was possible that Hastings’ car had been hacked; that the known details of the crash were consistent with a car cyber attack.
“There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers”—including the United States—know how to remotely seize control of a car, Clarke said.
At the time, however, Clarke’s suggestion received little attention from the mainstream media. In the past two years, the issue of automobile cybersecurity has entered the mainstream arena.
Since 2013, scientists have proven the possibility of hacking a car, and lawmakers are revealing the lack of cybersecurity against these types of threats built into today’s digital cars.
“Your car may have as many as 30 separate electronic control units, some of them built for wireless access. Hackers have shown that they can disconnect brakes, kill acceleration and more—although most hacks currently require direct, wired access to the car’s systems. Even so, a lab technician turned off our test car while we were driving it—from a cell phone,” Chris Meyer, Vice President of Consumer Reports, said in an email to WhoWhatWhy.
This is worth noting:
At the time of his death, Hastings had been working on a story about CIA Director John Brennan. The president of Strategic Forecasting Inc. (“Stratfor”), a CIA contract global intelligence firm, has described Brennan in secret emails as someone on a “witch hunt” of investigative journalists. Brennan, of course, has denied these claims: a CIA spokesperson told reporter Kimberly Dvorak in an email that notwithstanding WikiLeaks, “any suggestion that Director Brennan has ever attempted to infringe on constitutionally-protected press freedoms is offensive and baseless.”
Is it possible that Brennan felt threatened by the content of Hastings’ would-be story? If yes, how would the CIA have responded to such an expose?
Hastings was worried that someone had tampered with his Mercedes. He told his friends and colleagues. Then:
Expert opinion was split in 2013 and in 2015 as to whether this was intentional or an accident.
No doubt Vault 7, Part 1 — Year Zero — will get people talking once more about Hastings’s horrific death.
Meanwhile, please be sure to read the ZeroHedge article in full. It is horrifying that an intelligence agency would commit all these acts against innocent civilians around the world.
Yesterday’s post concerned Melania Trump’s opening her husband’s February 18 rally in Melbourne, Florida with the Lord’s Prayer.
The following day, The_Donald — a welcoming forum for Trump supporters and ex-leftists — featured a long thread about the first lady’s call to prayer.
Most of The_Donald’s readers are Millennials and gamers. They also do not mince words. Sometimes their language is salty. Therefore, it was heartening to read their support of prayer.
Selected comments follow, demonstrating that perhaps the United States is returning to the Lord. And, as others know, where the US goes, the rest of the world often follows. Emphases mine below.
FullMetalSquirrel: Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
KrakNup (replied): It’s hard to believe that we can converse and post passages like this without being totally shut down. It’s been too many years since that was so.
GCMythix (further reply): Exactly, it’s amazing how this community is so open to all types of people. This is the first place on the internet I haven’t been completely disregarded for my faith. I’ve been made fun of and discredited just because of my beliefs and I’m so glad that we can come together as a nation. I’m glad atheists and Christians and those from every belief get along so well here🙂
An atheist chimed in:
Neo8Aeon (excerpted): I’m an atheist, spent much of 2 years ago explaining why atheism is better online and on forums, watched and read Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris and others and preached the message of rationality and science over all …
I love science and I’m still an atheist to the core, but I’m not of the anti Christian sect any more. I love what the Christian culture and values did in the America of my childhood. But for a few, highly over-publicized cases, the Christianity I’ve known has always been hate the sin, love the sinner, and we are all sinners, all worth loving.
Right now if the USA again moved toward prayer in schools, toward people who quoted the bible reverently, with malice toward none but charity for all I’d be on board for that. So I’ve become a pro-Christian atheist.
God Bless the USA!
Melania’s popularity went up with the act of prayer:
cequiceracera: I thought she seemed a little nervous, but was so glad she took the stage. I hope we hear more from her in the future!
Perhelion (reply): I think she will get used to it as she takes on more speaking roles as FLOTUS. But again, starting with the Lord’s Prayer won massive points with me. She may as well have walked on water today. That’s how highly I think of her now.
Another reader reminded the Left of America’s origins:
GoneGalt13: Reminder for triggering leftists: our official national motto is IN GOD WE TRUST. Also, for what it’s worth E Pluribus Unum refers to STATES. Out of many states, one country.
Some criticised the first lady’s detractors:
StillTraveling: Everyone on twitter talking about how she had to read it off a card…
They are retarded. English is not her first language. I’m sure she prays in her first language; therefore, it is to be expected that she would utilize the written English prayer to help her along.
ZippyTheChicken (reply): when you are not off the cuff like donald its always best to read off a card.. can you imagine if she missed a word the left would say horrible things.
the fact is … she said it.. and I have never heard anyone else in politics say it
FullMetalSquirrel (further reply): It is easy to get a prayer wrong though. I do this all the time in my head and have to start over. So stupid and mean.
I’ve gotta say, they will answer for mocking her for praying and it will be to the Lord himself.
From someone who was at the rally:
FL_MEGA_MAGA: I was there, it was awesome. DEUS VULT!
And from someone who wasn’t:
speaksdinosaur: I found myself doing the Sign of the Cross. Old habits die hard even if you’re not religious.
More positive comments followed:
Sleek_Bones: Finally, a president[ial] couple that worships the one and only.
locploc: It was a fantastic surprise. Very heart-warming.
dparks2010: For anyone who missed it – here’s a video which starts with Melania’s intro:
What a gorgeous and classy woman. I’m proud to have her as my First Lady.
ManOfTheInBetween: When was the last time you heard a Presidential family say something like this in public? Whether you believe or not we call all agree that the values of Christianity are valuable and benefited western culture. God Bless the USA!
In closing, some were inspired to seek a broader application in a time of growing unbelief:
FullMetalSquirrel: I am seriously thinking of starting a list of names of people here who say this or that they’re atheists and praying for them once a week at least.
My hope is always that people will find God and to do so in a way that doesn’t involve something painful or heart breaking.
ZippyTheChicken (reply, excerpted): you know I was thinking about that the other night .. the thing is everyone who says they are an atheist has all ready been told the good word and they intentionally reject the idea that God can exist.
Now I understand that they might not believe the bible and every word of it as hard core science .. that might be understandable.. some believers are exacting in their belief of every single word and there could be people that say that can’t actually be true.. well whatever .. let’s get past that …
But to reject God as a possibility? …
If you look at the atom it has very similar properties to a solar system.. there is the nucleus and orbiting planets which could be considered protons and then moons that represent electrons and then there are comets and asteroids that are similar to quarks …
The atom is infinitely small and the universe is infinitely large
you look into an atom and you find a quark.. well that quark can be divided..
you look at our solar system and you understand it is nothing in comparison to the milky way and then the milky way to the universe.
It’s just astounding .. and we believe that God said Let There Be Light….
I have 4 years of organic chemistry and many more of other sciences… I have been educated in engineering and taught it…. I have lectured at a half dozen Ivy League Schools to professors not students and I have known many people who are held up as the most brilliant in our society only to see that they are fricken idiots in some cases.
If someone uses science as a basis to reject God then they are an uneducated idiot.
If they follow the garbage that comes out of the mouth of someone like Bill Nye who was a failed Boeing Engineer that had a kids show on public access cable that was launched into a career because someone had to fill that spot of being the science guy… and he has no real scientific accomplishments of his own worth noting…
I mean its so exasperating and depressing to see someone reject God intentionally and then use Science or anything else as the basis to say God does not exist …
Accepting God is not Going to Church
its how you live your life
and Life is short.. 100 years or so at the most we get…
It is a job interview for Eternity
Eternity that is as vast and larger than the universe..
An eternity where you will find peace
God didn’t screw this world up People did
I deeply wish people would understand that God is real and that maybe God would show himself in their lives ..
But God Exists whether we believe or not
He was there before we were born and will be there for eternity
I say just do your best .. and only you know if you are doing your best.
And if you make a mistake or give into temptation .. ask for forgiveness and then try again to do your best.
It is evident that Melania Trump’s public recitation of the Lord’s Prayer last Saturday has inspired many people who normally would not discuss Christianity so openly. It has provoked useful and inspiring conversation.
It is also apparent that the Lord was working through her in that rally. Contrary to what a substantial minority of Americans think, the Lord is also working through her husband in leading the United States — and possibly other places in the world — to a more righteous and just future for all.
The Left are in disarray. I am not the first person to say that they are akin to a vicious animal that finds itself cornered. It will attack for survival. In the end, it will be subdued.
Right now, the president sees the lashing out.
In the end, he will overcome it.
However, that is a perilous task, one that 99% would not be able to accomplish. It demands physical resilience and mental strength.
Donald Trump needs the prayers of the faithful right now. The high echelon of the intelligence community opposes him. One of them said in an interview last week that Trump ‘better watch his mouth’. Some Democrats want the president to undergo a psychological examination. Another faction wants the government — elected by the people — to be declared illegitimate.
These are very dangerous times. The media aid and abet Democrats and the GOP establishment, both of which have much to hide. The media have their sins, too.
Ultimately, Donald Trump’s enemies fear he and his men will expose their heinous sins and crimes not only to Americans but also to the world.
This is why it is so important to pray that God protects Trump, his administration and their families. The truth must come out — and a thorough cleansing must take place.
There are too many theories about National Security Adviser Lieutenant General (ret’d) Michael Flynn’s resignation on Monday, February 13, 2017 and too much information unknown to the public.
Sure, Flynn’s name has been all over the media for weeks, but more than one element is likely to be involved in his departure. You decide.
Deep State and the Democrats
Just after the New Year, Democrat Charles E Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, told MNSBC’s Rachel Maddow in a discussion about President Trump’s rebuttal of notional Russian hacking:
Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.
There’s also another angle.
The Free Beacon analyses how Obama’s people feared Flynn would reveal more about the former president’s nuclear deal with Iran, so they set out to destroy him (emphases mine):
The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.
The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.
The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.
Leaks from within the White House
Close observers knew it was questionable whether Trump could use the Oval Office after the inauguration.
It was always likely — perhaps probable — that the Oval Office is or was bugged. No doubt, Trump had it swept prior to the inauguration. However, the success of the sweep depends on who did it and how thoroughly:
Then there are Obama appointees still in place because senators were slow in approving Trump’s key cabinet appointments. Rex Tillerson is now in place as Secretary of State. Jeff Sessions is now Attorney General. However, it will take some time for both to make their own staff appointments.
There could also be people close to Trump — his personally appointed staff — who are leaking to the media.
With regard to Flynn specifically, the Washington Post (WaPo) says that the retired general had discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak as early as December when he was part of the transition team. He would have been in New York at that point. New York magazine gives a summary:
Several current and former U.S. officials say National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed new sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration during conversations with that country’s ambassador in December. That may be illegal, and to make matters worse, it contradicts denials made by senior members of the Trump administration, including Vice-President Mike Pence.
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that nine current and former U.S. officials who had access to intercepted communications between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak say that Flynn made explicit references to election-related sanctions. Two said Flynn even urged Russia not to overreact. “Kislyak was left with the impression that the sanctions would be revisited at a later time,” said one former official.
When the Post asked Flynn on Wednesday if he ever discussed sanctions with Kislyak, he said no. Then, on Thursday, his spokesman walked that back, saying Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”
Flynn exchanged phone calls and texts with Kislyak a day before the Obama administration imposed new sanctions and expelled 35 Russian diplomats over the Kremlin’s alleged attempt to meddle in the U.S. election.
Those sanctions came during the Christmas holiday.
As Flynn’s conversations from December have been revealed, it is possible that Trump has a GOPe mole in his midst.
Trump is rightly concerned about who is leaking:
On February 14, WaPo featured quotes from conservatives who voiced their concerns about Trump transition and administration leaks:
“I think this really was the death by a thousand leaks,” Laura Ingraham, a conservative news commentator, said on Fox News. “The leaks that were coming out of this administration and the transition — before the administration — were at a level that I don’t remember seeing for quite some time.”
Not long before Trump tweeted, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said on Fox that “somebody in the nebulous intelligence community” would have had access to the information about Flynn’s calls.
“Who tapped the phones? Who is listening to it? Who leaked it? I think those are legitimate questions to ask,” Johnson said Tuesday morning.
The senator said he did not know whether those who leaked the information about Flynn broke the law, but he added: “Leaks of this nature are incredibly damaging to America, to our national security, and we need to look into it.”
On the opposite side of the political spectrum, The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald agrees:
That Flynn lied about what he said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was first revealed by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who has built his career on repeating what his CIA sources tell him. In his January 12 column, Ignatius wrote: “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking.”
That “senior U.S. government official” committed a serious felony by leaking to Ignatius the communication activities of Flynn. Similar and even more extreme crimes were committed by what the Washington Post called “nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls,” who told the paper for its February 9 article that “Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials.” The New York Times, also citing anonymous U.S. officials, provided even more details about the contents of Flynn’s telephone calls.
That all of these officials committed major crimes can hardly be disputed. In January, CNN reported that Flynn’s calls with the Russians “were captured by routine U.S. eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomats.” That means that the contents of those calls were “obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of [a] foreign government,” which in turn means that anyone who discloses them — or reports them to the public — is guilty of a felony under the statute.
Yet very few people are calling for a criminal investigation or the prosecution of these leakers, nor demanding the leakers step forward and “face the music” — for very good reason: The officials leaking this information acted justifiably, despite the fact that they violated the law. That’s because the leaks revealed that a high government official, Gen. Flynn, blatantly lied to the public about a material matter — his conversations with Russian diplomats — and the public has the absolute right to know this.
The trust issue
In January, the then-acting Secretary of State Sally Yates warned the White House that Flynn had not been entirely honest with Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
In his press briefing of February 14, Sean Spicer announced:
We’ve been reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to General Flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks, trying to ascertain the truth. We got to a point not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue, where a level of trust between the President and General Flynn had eroded to the point where he felt he had to make a change.
The President was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the Vice President and others. He was also very concerned in light of sensitive subjects dealt with by that position of national security advisors — like China, North Korea and the Middle East — that the President must have complete and unwavering trust for the person in that position.
The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the President to ask for General Flynn’s resignation. Immediately after the Department of Justice notified the White House Counsel of the situation, the White House Counsel briefed the President and a small group of senior advisors. The White House Counsel reviewed and determined that there is not a legal issue, but rather a trust issue.
During this process it’s important to note that the President did not have his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who he trusts immensely, approved by the Senate. When the President heard the information as presented by White House Counsel, he instinctively thought that General Flynn did not do anything wrong, and the White House Counsel’s review corroborated that.
… The issue here was that the President got to the point where General Flynn’s relationship — misleading the Vice President and others, or the possibility that he had forgotten critical details of this important conversation had created a critical mass and an unsustainable situation.
That’s why the President decided to ask for his resignation, and he got it …
Larry Johnson of No Quarter, who worked for the CIA then the State Department, wrote:
Sad day for Mike Flynn. The only thing he did wrong was not tell Vice President Pence the full truth. That’s it. He was well within his rights as the incoming National Security Advisor to talk to the Russians and to talk about any issue. The only thing he could not do was pass on classified information. That’s it. The people who insist he did something untoward with Russia are either woefully ignorant about the duties of the incoming Director of the NSC or are being deliberately disingenuous.
Another security expert, Richard A Moss, wrote about Flynn’s indiscretion in the way he communicated with the Russian ambassador. From WaPo:
Flynn resigned not because of his communications with the Russians, but rather because of his lack of discretion, misleading Vice President Pence about the nature of the exchanges, and, allegedly, opening himself up to blackmail by the Russians.
Moss goes on to explain how Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon co-ordinated Kissinger’s communications with the Russians during Nixon’s transition period between 1968 and 1969:
… Nixon and Kissinger synchronized the two back channels to the Soviets during the 1968 election and the transition period …
We know these details not because of the content of reportedly leaked FBI wiretaps, as in the case of Flynn, but because of good record keeping. Kissinger wrote detailed memorandums of his various back-channel exchanges and shared them with the president (and, occasionally, others who had a need to know). In Washington, political warfare is frequently fought on the battlefield of competing memorandums. Kissinger also had his staff make transcripts of his phone conversations, eventually off recordings of the calls, but initially by having a secretary write in shorthand by listening on a telephone with a muted microphone.
Flynn operated differently:
By contrast, Flynn’s inconsistency over the content of his conversations with Kislyak hurt his credibility and brought on scrutiny both inside and outside the White House.
Somewhat strangely for a career intelligence officer, Flynn also used insecure means of communication by talking on open telephone lines to Kislyak. In military-speak, he used poor communications security (COMSEC), which was apparently subject to FBI monitoring — and, hypothetically, foreign intelligence collection …
Flynn’s preference for the phone is ironic since Trump said a few weeks ago, “You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way.”
Ultimately, nearly 50 years ago:
Kissinger kept good records and he kept his boss, Nixon, informed. Fundamentally, back channels require the confidence of the person at the top. Kissinger understood this and became the indispensable man for Nixon’s foreign policy.
Flynn clearly lost the confidence of those at the top and had to go.
It should be noted that, on February 14, WaPo walked back earlier reports on the FBI and Flynn. This is at the end of a different article, not the one Richard A Moss wrote:
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Michael Flynn was the reported object of FBI investigations. This version has been updated.
Accuracy In Media states that the FBI cleared Flynn.
Is this important?
The double standard
We are seeing an egregious double standard in play.
The aforementioned article from The Intercept points out:
What matters is not the motive of the leaker but the effects of the leak. Any leak that results in the exposure of high-level wrongdoing — as this one did — should be praised, not scorned and punished.
However, keep in mind that those cheering Flynn’s resignation were blind to the transgressions on their own side for eight years:
It’s hard to put into words how strange it is to watch the very same people — from both parties, across the ideological spectrum — who called for the heads of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Tom Drake, and so many other Obama-era leakers today heap praise on those who leaked the highly sensitive, classified SIGINT information that brought down Gen. Flynn.
It’s even more surreal to watch Democrats act as though lying to the public is some grave firing offense when President Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, got caught red-handed not only lying to the public but also to Congress — about a domestic surveillance program that courts ruled was illegal. And despite the fact that lying to Congress is a felony, he kept his job until the very last day of the Obama presidency.
Unintended positive consequences
The Intercept goes on to say that this leak and Flynn’s resignation may work for Trump and the American public rather than against them:
numerous leaks have already achieved great good in the three short weeks that Trump has been president.
Trump knows, his staff know and the American public know.
As negative as these events appear right now, they could help Trump to ‘drain the swamp’.
I would put this right at the feet of John Brennan and Jim Clapper and I would go so far as to say the Obama White House was directly involved before they left. Ben Rhodes and those folks… The Democrats are behind this and some of the Republicans are involved with the leaks. So I say ‘Bring it on!’
Flynn’s replacement could be even better
One of the men being discussed as a replacement for Flynn is retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward.
Gateway Pundit reports that Harward served under then-General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis at US Central Command and that he speaks Farsi:
Harward could prove to be a much better candidate than Michael Flynn which would be disastrous for the left who just spent weeks trying to get Flynn removed.
Those of us who watched Trump put together his transition team late last year remember that Flynn did consulting work for Turkey and is pro-Erdogan. Geopolitical expert Joel Richardson wrote about that at the time:
… in a Facebook post on Dec. 7, Richardson called for the Trump administration to cut ties with Flynn, because “he’ll be gone within the first year.”
… Richardson blasted Flynn for reportedly owning a company that lobbied for an obscure Dutch company with ties to Turkey’s government and President Erdoğan himself. Richardson characterized the hiring of Flynn as a betrayal of Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” by removing lobbyists from government positions.
“On Election Day, Flynn published a fairly lengthy opinion piece, and a very strong opinion piece, in the online news website called The Hill, a real prominent website,” said Richardson. “Specifically, he was urging the U.S. to support Turkey and Turkey’s controversial president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. … Those who follow my program know I am no fan of President Erdoğan. He is a dictator and I am likening him to an emerging Adolf Hitler. … This guy is dangerous.”
Flynn’s temporary replacement is Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr.
To everyone who doubts Trump’s ability to rectify the situation, remember, he is there to win the war. Battles will be lost from time to time. Flynn’s departure is one of them. However, in the words of Machiavelli (H/T: The Conservative Treehouse):
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.
Onwards and upwards. MAGA!
The Deep State is about to be dismantled.
Donald Trump and the good guys will begin taking it down piece by piece.
Few people question the non-stop anti-Trump media narrative that began running in the summer of 2015. In their ignorance — and nearly everyone I know fits into this category — they continue to work on the mistaken assumption that everything they hear and read from Big Media must be true!
Big Media are there to protect the Deep State. They are part of it.
Does anyone think Donald Trump could have become a billionaire if he were a racist? Could he have starred in 14 successful seasons of The Apprentice if he were a bigot or a sexual predator? As he said at the Al Smith (Catholic Charities) dinner in October 2016: all the guests there were his friends until he decided to run for president.
Why did they suddenly turn against him? Because he is the man who wants to take down the Deep State.
Thanks to The Conservative Treehouse, I read an absorbing essay by Mike Lofgren, a former congressional staffer who wrote a book about his experience, The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted, which appeared in paperback in 2013.
Lofgren’s latest book is The Deep State, which went on sale in September 2016. One of the Amazon reviewers who gave it five stars says that Lofgren worked for John Kasich, a congressman at the time, now Governor of Ohio and the last Republican presidential candidate to drop out. Incidentally, Kasich is a never-Trump man. Lofgren went on to work for other Republicans in Congress but became disillusioned during the Bush II years — I can’t blame him — and retired.
What follows are excerpts and a summary from his February 2014 essay, ‘Anatomy of the Deep State’, which I highly recommend. Emphases mine below.
What is the Deep State?
Lofgren’s first footnote states:
 The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey and is said to be a system composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services, military, security, judiciary and organized crime. In British author John le Carré’s latest novel, A Delicate Truth, a character describes the Deep State as “… the ever-expanding circle of non-governmental insiders from banking, industry and commerce who were cleared for highly classified information denied to large swathes of Whitehall and Westminster.” I use the term to mean a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.
John Le Carre’s website has a synopsis of A Delicate Truth.
Qualifications for writing about it
Lofgren tells us he worked for 28 years as a congressional staff member and was on the fringes of the Deep State. However:
like virtually every employed person, I became, to some extent, assimilated into the culture of the institution I worked for, and only by slow degrees, starting before the invasion of Iraq, did I begin fundamentally to question the reasons of state that motivate the people who are, to quote George W. Bush, “the deciders.”
The reality of the Deep State
Lofgren gives this breakdown of how the Deep State works against the interests of the United States and the American people:
President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory. Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.
The Deep State is a shadow government. Using the word ‘establishment’ doesn’t begin to describe it:
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. 
Agencies and institutions involved
The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted. The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees. The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits to a few well-chosen words from the State’s emissaries.
Private enterprise is also part of the Deep State and increased its role after 9/11. This is, incidentally, why I do not like George W Bush. Not only did he say he wanted to be a dictator but he imposed the Patriot Act on the American people. The Act was never designed to protect them:
In a special series in The Washington Post called “Top Secret America,” Dana Priest and William K. Arkin described the scope of the privatized Deep State and the degree to which it has metastasized after the September 11 attacks. There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances — a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. While they work throughout the country and the world, their heavy concentration in and around the Washington suburbs is unmistakable: Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons — about 17 million square feet. Seventy percent of the intelligence community’s budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: The Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the government’s largest intelligence contractors. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business. These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Record or the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings.
Lofgren adds that Wall Street is an indispensable link, providing cash and lawyers. Prosecution of big banks is risky, he says, not only because they are powerful but also because the American or the world economy can be adversely affected. Furthermore:
It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee. 
The Deep State also has an outpost on the West Coast, Silicon Valley:
While the government could simply dragoon the high technology companies to do the NSA’s bidding, it would prefer cooperation with so important an engine of the nation’s economy, perhaps with an implied quid pro quo. Perhaps this explains the extraordinary indulgence the government shows the Valley in intellectual property matters.
Those involved in the Deep State, as we have seen over the past year in the presidential campaign, are from both political parties:
They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican. Domestically, whatever they might privately believe about essentially diversionary social issues such as abortion or gay marriage, they almost invariably believe in the “Washington Consensus”: financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor.
Why few people speak up
As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one …
No wonder so few people are whistle-blowers, quite apart from the vicious retaliation whistle-blowing often provokes: Unless one is blessed with imagination and a fine sense of irony, growing immune to the curiousness of one’s surroundings is easy. To paraphrase the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, I didn’t know all that I knew, at least until I had had a couple of years away from the government to reflect upon it.
Why this matters
The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction …
We are faced with two disagreeable implications. First, that the Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change. Second, that just as in so many previous empires, the Deep State is populated with those whose instinctive reaction to the failure of their policies is to double down on those very policies in the future …
If there is anything the Deep State requires it is silent, uninterrupted cash flow and the confidence that things will go on as they have in the past.
The past is now drawing to a close.
Where I disagree
At the beginning of his essay, Lofgren states:
As I wrote in The Party is Over, the present objective of congressional Republicans is to render the executive branch powerless, at least until a Republican president is elected (a goal that voter suppression laws in GOP-controlled states are clearly intended to accomplish).
He did not bargain on Donald Trump entering the race the following year. The GOPe have opposed him from the start and continue to do so. The latest is House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who says that he won’t be investigating voter fraud because it is non-existent. How can he say this after all the news stories past and present?! Chaffetz is protecting the Deep State. Trump will be investigating voter fraud through his own team.
Another part of the Deep State is the media, but, for whatever reason, Lofgren did not mention those institutions.
Ask yourself why they run such negative news on Donald Trump. They find him a threat. Stop believing what Big Media tell you.
What America lacks is a figure with the serene self-confidence to tell us that the twin idols of national security and corporate power are outworn dogmas that have nothing more to offer us. Thus disenthralled, the people themselves will unravel the Deep State with surprising speed.
Thank goodness for Donald Trump, the only American who can ‘drain the swamp’ and restore power to the American people.
This is going to be dangerous work. No one involved in the Deep State is going to go quietly. There are also nefarious activities going on within it that Trump and his team intend to uncover. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, please keep Donald Trump, his family as well as those working for him and the United States in your prayers.
This week a lengthy dossier and summary about Donald Trump circulated around the world.
It is fake. All of it.
On January 11, Investment Watch Blog (IWB) published an excellent, readable summary of it:
News about the new event including Russia broke the internet this morning. This time, it wasn’t about election hacks and the Democratic party. Instead, it was revealed that Russia is in possession of personal and financial information about Donald Trump. Apparently, the files also included info about Mr. Trump’s sex life. Just a few hours later, Kremlin denied having such files and the President-elect reacted on Twitter, accusing media of witch hunt and an unfair treatment.
The BuzzFeed website published a series of memos which have been floating around for months, containing terrible information about Mr. Trump. You can see those files here. Some allegations made in the memos refer to efforts to influence the elections as well as Trump’s sexual conduct as previously mentioned.
Apparently, it started with the 4chan forum (emphases mine):
The TownHall reports: “What’s worth talking about, however, are swirling claims on Reddit that 4chan users on the board /pol/ completely made the entire thing up. According to a variety of posts on the pro-Trump subreddit r/The_Donald, a user on /pol/, a 4chan board, made up the most salacious story in the report. He then mailed it to anti-Trump Republican strategist Rick Wilson, who then went to the CIA. The story was then included in the dossier published Tuesday by BuzzFeed News. If this is true, this effectively means that 4chan trolled the U.S. intelligence system and the majority of the U.S. media with what’s basically Donald Trump erotic fanfiction, which is terrifying.”
IWB posted the relevant screenshots from 4chan along with a tweet from Rick Wilson denying /pol/ — the political 4chan forum — was the source.
If these allegations turn out to be true, it would mean that Rick Wilson along with BuzzFeed and other media representatives who fed on this story lost their credibility in a single day.
Incidentally, the dossier named a Russian technology expert. However:
What probably happened
Any person or organisation who latched onto this phony dossier did so in an effort to delegitimise Donald Trump’s presidency. That includes Republicans, among them Arizona senator John McCain, who ran against Obama in 2008.
Strangely, an MI6 agent by the name of Steele appears to have been involved in compiling the dossier. The Mirror reports that he has gone into hiding. A ‘Trump insider’ told the BBC’s Daily Politics that British intelligence told him that Jeb Bush paid Steele to embellish the dossier; the more he wrote, the more he was paid.
This tweet summarises what probably happened. Note that it includes Evan McMullin, ex-CIA, who was the very marginal independent presidential candidate that the GOPe put up to sap Trump votes:
A commenter at The Conservative Treehouse gives a fuller possible scenario:
4Chan writes up a hoax.
Rick Wilson, GOPe political operative and massive Trump hater takes the bait.
Wilson disseminates the fake material to anyone who hates Trump.
Tries to get the media to report on it calling it “the thing” on Twitter.
The MSM won’t take the bait.
Steele uses the fake info in a fake report
That fake report is shopped around before the election and no one takes the bait.
With time running out to use the fake report, the uniparty Trump haters get the CIA/IC/FBI to happily launder the report and put their seals on it.
The CIA/IC/FBI tell Trump about the report but don’t show him any documents.
After they told Trump they (someone in the IC) leaked it to the media.
CNN runs with the fake leak.
Buzzfeed publishes the fake document.
And McCain takes the report to the FBI under the guise of doing something responsible but it’s really because he wants to hurt Trump as everyone knows the report is fake.
[Chuck] Schumer [Senate Minority Leader] knows the IC has a fake report and that a hit from the IC and telegraphs that it’s coming. Basically threatening Trump for days before the leak.
BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal
It should be noted that NBCUniversal is a significant shareholder in BuzzFeed, founded in 2006.
In August 2015, the media organisation invested $200m in the website, which could expand to other countries besides the United States. Over the next year:
NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed … embarked on a number of partnerships, including the latter producing video clips during the Summer Olympics.
The site also ventured into reporting more on politics and special investigations.
In October 2016, NBCUniversal invested an additional $200m.
Therefore, it is interesting that NBC carried a story on January 11 saying that Trump received no briefing on the fake dossier. Perhaps they figure their report could take the heat off BuzzFeed? Who knows?
The Hill reports:
President-elect Donald Trump was never briefed on the allegations that Russian intelligence services have collected compromising information on him, according to NBC and Trump’s transition team.
Officials prepared a two-page summary of unverified reports that have been circulating Capitol Hill for months in advance of their Friday meeting with Trump, an intelligence official told NBC, but never discussed it with him.
Trump supporters regularly call CNN the ‘Clinton News Network’.
On November 21, roughly two weeks after the election, Trump met privately at Trump Tower with a number of Big Media organisations, including CNN. The New York Post gave this account, excerpted below:
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing-down,” the source added.
A second source confirmed the fireworks …
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room, calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.
The Post says that Trump also had a go at NBC. Although he did not name their correspondents, it was clear to the ’30 or 40 people’ in the room that he was talking about Martha Raddatz — sitting there — and Katy Tur.
Trump’s press conference
On Wednesday, January 11, Trump held a press conference near the lifts in Trump Tower.
A noisy exchange took place between the president elect and CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who was extremely belligerent in the clip I heard. From The Conservative Treehouse:
• Jim Acosta: “Since you are attacking us, can you give us a question?”
• Trump replied “No, not you, your organization is terrible!”
• Acosta continued: “You are attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance to ask a question, sir?”
• Trump reminded Acosta: “don’t be rude.” “I’m not going to give you a question. I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!”
The Daily Mail‘s Quentin Letts, who must have watched a full-length video of the press conference, found it amusing. His is a rollicking write-up, but the problem is that Letts is missing out on the gravity of the situation and Trump’s growly demeanour. The fake dossier was an attempt to take Trump down. It was meant to serve as a precursor to impeachment.
As The Conservative Treehouse points out:
today’s final exposure of the corrupt media, specifically CNN and Buzzfeed, surrounding the false intelligence reports they used to create a completely false narrative – brings the end to a series of events as transparent as the GOPe “splitter strategy” which preceded it.
That ‘series of events’ amounted to a soft coup intended to keep Trump from the White House:
Slightly more than a week after winning the 2016 Presidential Election, the head of the NSA Cyber Command, Admiral Mike Rogers, went to New York and met with the new President-Elect Donald Trump inside Trump Tower.
A month prior to that specific visit, DNI Director James Clapper advised President Obama to fire Admiral Mike Rogers.
There is every indication, every reason to believe, that Admiral Rogers gave President-elect Donald Trump a very specific “heads up“; warning the incoming president of actions which would be undertaken by political operatives within the intelligence community to undermine the construct of the incoming administration.
All activity from that mid-November meeting through to now, points to Rogers giving advanced notice to Trump of a political intelligence scheme which culminated today with the public embarrassment of the those politicized intelligence agencies, operatives and their vessels for disinformation – the media.
Following the meeting with Donald Trump, it clearly appears Admiral Mike Rogers went back into the matrix and, as an outcome of his position, followed orders – but did so with an arms length approach. The NSA (Rogers) did not support the political intelligence “high confidence” narrative as it was constructed by James Clapper (DNI) and John Brennan (CIA).
What happened next
Shares in Time Warner, owner of CNN took a hit:
That happened despite CNN’s statement earlier that day, before the press conference:
CNN had tried to implicate Trump’s Special Counsel Michael Cohen in the dossier. Trump actually called Cohen to his office with his passport to see if he had been to Russia. Cohen had not.
The outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper quickly issued a statement denouncing the fake dossier:
Let us pray that this concludes these damaging shenanigans. There has never been a coup attempt in American history — until now.
Trump must start draining the swamp as soon as practicable later this month.
Perhaps this is not a coincidence after all. Perhaps the financial calendar we received was printed or edited after November 8, 2016 to include this quote for January 2017:
“As long as you’re going to be thinking away, think big.” (Donald Trump)
This photo from Jose Graterol Designs is an example of thinking big. It shows the company’s decoration of the Mar-a-Lago ballroom for Trump’s New Year’s Eve do in Palm Beach.
This tweet shows the bar in the Trump International Hotel — the Old Post Office — in Washington DC. Mr and Mrs Reince Priebus are on the right in the photo.
Priebus later tweeted:
It is encouraging to see God and blessings mentioned again in a New Year’s political message.
Nigel Farage opened his greeting by saying that if one had put a £10 accumulator on both Brexit and a Trump victory, one would have won £24m! He is highly optimistic about 2017, however, he said we mustn’t feel complacent after the British and American success in 2016:
Some supporters, such as this Latino in Florida, had an all-out New Year’s Trumpfest.
One commentator for American Thinker wrote:
Happy New Year to you all. It’s going to be a new day here in the nation’s capital and, I hope, around the country and world.
Hers is an excellent article well worth reading in full. I will come back to it in an upcoming post.
One of the comments that followed expressed the significance of Trump’s organising his cabinet away from Washington (emphases mine):
… Trump has already sent a message to the movers and shakers inside the beltway but I doubt if they caught it. The message is Trump has been wheeling and dealing from Trump Tower in New York which should send a chill down the spine of Washington, DC. Incorporated. The message is that everything inside the beltway is not that important after all … On January 20th Trump will be inaugurated and officialdom in DC will wish they had only Russian hackers with which to deal. Trump will use his office to force Congress to do their jobs for the first time in many years. Congress has spent the last 20 years doing the bidding of corporate America and it shows. Trump will also put the bureaucrats in their place. Trump will order a hiring freeze and massive tax cuts for individuals, businesses and corporations. I suspect that in a few short weeks Washington will get a wake up call and it won’t be at 3 AM. All the fake news will be replaced with what those in Washington will view as earthshaking developments. The interlude after the election provided the main stream media and official Washington one last opportunity to redeem themselves. But the MSM and establishment couldn’t resist showing their true colors for the last time. Now, it’s Trump’s turn.
However, Big Media do not understand. Ross Douthat, a regular columnist for The New York Times, still seems stumped by Trump’s victory:
EVERY January I write a column exploring my faulty analysis and failed prophecies from the preceding year. After last year’s installment, in which I explained how I had underestimated a certain celebrity tycoon, I received a note from Trump Tower — a clipping of the column, scrawled over with a markered note:
Thank you – Now I will work to get you to go a little bit further. Best wishes, Donald Trump.
A year has spun past since then, and whatever comes of the Trump presidency, he can claim at least one promise kept. That column described Trump as a remarkable political phenomenon who nonetheless could not win the Republican nomination, let alone become the president. Now just as he predicted, I must go further: Mea culpa, he could, he has, and I was wrong again.
But my error was different this year than last. In 2015 I underestimated the man himself: Before he descended the Trump Tower escalator into history, I had no idea that he had the savvy, the discipline, or the stamina to run an effective populist campaign.
By the time the actual primary voting began, though, I had a clear-enough handle on the nature of his populist appeal. What I misjudged in 2016 wasn’t Trump; it was the strength of the institutional forces standing between him and the presidency …
… my intellect and experience were wrong, and Trump’s Napoleonic intuitions were correct: The Republicans were all low-energy men underneath, and the liberal elites were as vulnerable to him as the Cameron Tories and Blairites were to Brexit.
Yes, this will be the running theme of 2017. And what was the end result? Trump trumped them all — and will continue to do so.
Sensible people in other countries will watch with interest.
More voters in Western countries — the French, the Dutch and, one hopes, the Germans — will want anti-globalist political leaders.
There is no guarantee that they will get them, but a rejection of the elites will become more popular this year.
Someone from south central Pennsylvania replied to Douthat:
Trump will not be gone in four years, he will be re-elected by a larger majority. The elites of both parties still don’t understand that their constant fattening at the public trough while the middle class evaporated and the poor became poorer and lost hope was the reason Donald Trump was elected and will be President for eight years. There was a clear choice between Obama / Hillary’s Socialist economic decay and America for the illegal aliens, vs Trump’s vision of an”America for Americans” and a strong U. S./ economy to be achieved by cutting business taxes so businesses would repatriate overseas profits to the U. S., cutting taxes, getting rid of excess regulations stifling American businesses, discouraging the entry of illegal aliens, encouraging industry (NOT government!) to provide more good jobs by improving the economic climate, by NOT punishing job creators in the private sector. Mr. Trump’s campaign was supported by the citizens of America’s heartland and American patriots, many of whom came out to vote for the first time or switched parties because they were tired of the party of the “working man” being the party of the elites and the socially odd.
Returning to the Trump quote at the top of this post and the exhortation to think big, a reader of The Conservative Treehouse had this to say. Although I was already on my own in the 1980s, living and working far from home, this mirrors my own Trump experience, which I can voice openly only online:
I can remember Donald Trump very well, from when I was a young man – a teenager in the 1980s. It was a time when you could see the positive spirit in America. It dripped from everything. People were proud, the economy was strong – people had options and choices in their lives. Being successful was not a dirty word – and it seemed as if anyone could achieve it – through work. That was always what I was taught, and that seemed to me to be the American Dream.
Trump was well known then, and to me, he represented that simple dream. Yes, he had a little bit to get started with, but so do a lot of people. Not everyone, but a lot do. A lot squander their opportunities.
I liked Trump then, and I like him now. When I saw him then (which was more rare), he seemed soft-spoken, sensible, direct – and proud of his accomplishments. I never saw a reason why he shouldn’t be. That’s always been my take.
So – I always liked the Donald …
Trump pulled a blinder with his rallies. They were a political epiphany for many.
Trump risked his life and his health to reach as many Americans as he could.
One CTH reader recalled the horror of the cancelled rally in Chicago in March 2016:
I was for Trump from day one but this rally was a seminal moment for me. I stood in line for hours. I was way up front. I felt so happy to be there and was having a blast with the people around me. I could hardly wait to see Trump in person. It was going to be awesome! But it wasn’t.
Instead of watching Trump speak I watched thugs rip signs out of peaceful peoples hands. I saw verbal/physical assaults and had to listen to those savages cheer when the rally was postponed. Afterwards I sat trapped in my car in the parking garage with my windows rolled up and doors locked while those scumbags blocked the exits. Then I had to drive past them flipping me off and throwing stuff at my car when the cops finally let us out two hours later. I had to endure all this simply because I wanted to hear a campaign speech. On the way home I made a solemn vow that I would do everything I could to get Trump elected and I never looked back …
I think it was during the second half of the primary (I can’t remember) Trump said … “I will always tell you the truth”. The first time he said this I burst out crying. I started to cry before I could figure out what the hell I was crying about. After years of being lied to by the other side and “our side” I was stunned. His words touched me.
I believed him. I still believe him.
MAGA and Happy New Year!!
There are people all over the West who still believe the lies from Big Media. I will begin exposing these soon, because some took place over the Christmas period.
To my fellow Britons, the French commentators I listen to on radio and anyone else who is ‘scared’ by a ‘literal Hitler’, stop paying so much attention to Big Media!
Look at other sources of news and analysis, too, if you truly are interested in what is happening politically in the United States: The Conservative Treehouse, The_Donald (independent), Hillary is 44 (an ex-Democrat from 2008) and No Quarter (another ex-Democrat from 2008, Trump-neutral but a former CIA man with excellent geopolitical analyses).
There isn’t a more self-sacrificing man on the world stage today than Donald Trump. Time will bear this out. This is what we can expect in less than three weeks’ time:
President-elect Trump is cutting short the usual inaugural parade and limiting the number of balls so he can hit the ground running.
That indicates to me he will start working the afternoon of his inauguration. The world can hardly wait.
The post-election events of just this week alone could be turned into a potboiler of a television series.
I feel bad for people who didn’t have the time (work, family) or inclination (closed-mindedness) to follow this election every day. Those who didn’t have the time are excused. The second group do not realise how serious the situation in the United States is today.
America is in grave danger. People who warned against Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 will be proven correct. Some news items in this post illustrate that.
Mischief afoot — fake news from Big Media
Last weekend, America’s news shows discussed at length stories in the Washington Post and New York Times that ‘intelligence officials’ (anonymous, but within the CIA) stated that the Russian government
hacked the U.S. election.
The Conservative Treehouse pointed out:
First, the media’s choice of wording is critical within both reports.
It is impossible to “hack an election“. What was hacked was the DNC email system, and John Podesta’s email. WikiLeaks published the content of both “hacks”.
Additionally, WikiLeaks has denied the source of the information was a foreign government.
Both The Washington Post and New York Times, simultaneously, published articles on Friday claiming anonymous sources within the CIA (note: intensely political CIA Chief John Brennan in charge) point to the Russian government as the originators of the hacking. However, both articles are written with very obtuse and non specific language intended to cover over the fact these reports are not actually stating the official intelligence community are making these specific claims.
All other media outlets subsequently take this illogically based presentation and spin their coverage whereby the “DNC hacked” becomes “the election hacked“.
On Monday, December 12 John Podesta responded to a request from 10 Democratic electors, including a daughter of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for more information about the CIA’s assertions that Russians were involved in affecting the outcome of the election.
That day, Politico reported (emphases mine):
“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” Podesta said in a statement Monday. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed” …
Podesta’s statement is the first public statement from the Clinton campaign raising questions about the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s victory.
… Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told POLITICO on Monday that Trump is a “potentially dangerous president.”
On Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey threw a spanner into the works:
In telephone conversations with Donald Trump, FBI Director James Comey assured the president-elect there was no credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee and the e-mails of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
What’s more, Comey told Trump that James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, agreed with this FBI assessment.
The only member of the U.S. intelligence community who was ready to assert that the Russians sanctioned the hacking was John Brennan, the director of the CIA, according to sources who were briefed on Comey’s conversations with Trump.
Later that day, Fox News reported lawmakers were furious that a House Intelligence Committee briefing on the matter was cancelled:
Anger on Capitol Hill boiled over Wednesday night after the intelligence community’s alleged “intransigence” forced the cancellation of a House Intelligence Committee briefing on claims of Russian interference in the U.S. election.
“Somebody has the time to leak it to The Washington Post and The New York Times, but they don’t have the time to come to Congress,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., a member of the committee, told Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” “It’s their job to come. They don’t have any choice. They have to come in, especially when they have created this.”
… Fox News was told the CIA Director John Brennan declined to provide a briefer, citing its focus on the full review requested by President Obama. The other agencies did not respond to the committee’s request, which is unusual given the panel is the most-senior committee with jurisdiction.
Larry Johnson, the founder of No Quarter, used to work for the CIA. He picked up on this story in his post, ‘John Brennan’s Failed Soft Coup?’ He wrote:
This should be setting off alarm bells throughout the U.S. Government, but especially within the intel community and the military. CIA Director John Brennan appears to have tried and failed to take out Donald Trump. It is his Agency that spread the lie that Russia made it possible for Trump to win the Presidency. This was not the idle opinion of some underling. Someone was given permission to tell elected Legislators a lie. A bald faced lie. Brennan, and no one else, bears ultimate responsibility for this lie.
When the news first broke last Friday that the CIA had told Senators that Russia essentially gave the election to Donald Trump the politicians and pundits infesting Washington were up in arms. Hell, even John McCain and Lindsay “Little Old Lady” Graham jumped on the hysteria bandwagon to voice outrage and threaten Russia. Tonight we learn that Brennan was lying.
There’s more at the link, but it is important to see this:
I have heard from knowledgeable friends that Clapper finally decided he would not walk the plank for John Brennan. Clapper has lied once before to the Senate and apparently felt that he could stomach no more lies. This isolated Brennan. He has no place to hide now. He could have sent a briefer who would have had to endure the indignity of admitting that the CIA had no hard evidence to buttress its speculation that Russia favored Trump.
This is more than a lie folks. This represents the first time in my life that the Director of the CIA has tried to intervene and disrupt a Presidential election. Brennan should be immediately dismissed and he should pray to God (or Allah) that he is not prosecuted for sedition. Given his prior service as the Chief of Station in Saudi Arabia, one begins to wonder if he has been protecting the interests of America or serving those of a foreign power?
This also completely destroys the Democrat effort to gather support to brief the Electors, who have no security clearances. How in the world can you justify briefing Electors when you are refusing to brief members of Congress who do have the clearances?
In today’s Washington Post, John Podesta blamed the FBI — and people connected with Donald Trump — for Hillary’s loss:
Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.
Podesta’s picture accompanying the article is priceless. Sorry, the Democrats have only themselves to blame. The Podesta WikiLeaks made it abundantly clear that the Democrats — and Hillary — do not like everyday Americans. They also do not like each other.
On the Russian interference front, I have seen reports this week that a British MP said Russians were to blame for Brexit. Someone in Germany thought the Russians could be influencing their election set for next year. Don’t believe it for a moment!
The faithless elector — more fake news from Big Media
Chris Suprun is a Republican elector for Texas. He doesn’t want to vote for Donald Trump, the voters’ choice in that state. Not voting for the winner in one’s state makes one a ‘faithless’ elector.
He is one of a handful of ‘Hamilton electors’ who take the moral high ground. The expression ‘Hamilton elector’ did not surface until this year. These people claim to be voting in the manner of Alexander Hamilton, instrumental in establishing the Electoral College in the infancy of the United States.
Suprun probably thought he had it made when the New York Times published his op-ed on December 5 listing the many reasons why Trump is no good.
He lives in the Dallas area and works as a paramedic.
He wrote some interesting things, including these gems:
Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation.
I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.
Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again.
Rule No. 1 for electors: vote for the winning candidate in your state. Each elector signs a pledge to do just that. Any elector who has a problem with that should stand down. (I couldn’t be an elector. I was for Gore in 2000. I could not have cast a vote for W then or in 2004.)
The next day, Americans made their responses known. YourVoice Radio host Bill Mitchell rightly said Suprun should be stripped of his electorship. Mitchell took a poll asking what the public thought. 98% of the 4601 participants said he should be withdrawn as an elector.
A man from Texas started a petition on Change.org to demand that very thing. Unfortunately, it is still 14,000+ votes shy of the necessary 50,000. The Electoral College vote takes place on Monday. Still, it was worth a try and a decent effort.
On December 8, Suprun appeared on Tucker Carlson, who confronted him over his soi-disant description of ‘moral elector’. He told Carlson that several other electors have contacted him and they have had very interesting conversations:
Discussing the upcoming vote with other EC Republican electors could be interpreted as an ‘ILLEGAL electoral college coup d’état’. Such actions could give rise to charges of treason, rebellion, insurrection or sedition.
The following day, news emerged that the media contact company Suprun had on his Twitter account is Van Jones’s (former Obama adviser) PR firm. Did they come up with ‘Hamilton elector’ and ‘moral elector’?
After tweets about Megaphone Strategies appeared, Suprun listed a different media contact on his Twitter page. Texas ABC television news affiliate WFAA contacted both firms:
Two public relations firms he has hired – Megaphone Strategies and Fenton Communications – responded to our requests for an interview saying: “Suprun’s schedule is jammed packed.”
But that wasn’t all. His first responder story turned out to be bunk:
on at least two occasions over the last couple years at crowded Major League Baseball games, Suprun has been introduced as a 9/11 veteran before throwing out first pitches.
“He claimed to be a first responder with the Manassas Park [Virginia] Fire Department on September 11, 2001 and personally told us stories ‘I was fighting fire that day at the Pentagon.’ No, I was on a medic unit that day at the Pentagon and you make a phone call to Manassas Park and you find out that he wasn’t even employed there until October 2001,” said a first responder who knows Suprun and only agreed to speak about him if his identity was concealed.
The City of Manassas Park confirmed to WFAA that it hired Suprun on October 10, 2001, one month after the 9/11 attacks.
The fire chief there added that his department never even responded to the Pentagon or any of the 9/11 sites.
And there is more, much more. His CV is littered with lies:
It shows he was, at the time this story aired on WFAA, a paramedic with Air Methods air ambulance service. But Christina Brodsly, a spokeswoman for that company, said he is not an employee there.
Suprun also claims to currently be a paramedic with Freedom EMS in Dallas. But records from the Texas Department of State Health Services indicate there’s no such company. A firm with that name used to exist in Houston, but it went out of business in 2008, according to DSHS.
The article goes on to say that Chris Suprun — upholder of the nation’s morality when it comes to voting for a president — has been bankrupt for most of the past five years. He was released from bankruptcy supervision only this month.
The story isn’t over yet, though. On December 12, Gotnews revealed that this moral guardian depends on his wife to work to pay off their $200,000 debt owed to various creditors. Suprun and his wife have three young children.
Gotnews got digging. While Mrs Suprun is busy working to support the family, her moralistic husband has been surfing on the cheating website Ashley Madison:
According to the data, Suprun joined Ashley Madison in February 2012, just six months after joint-filing for bankruptcy with his wife, Dianne Michelle Suprun, in September 2011, and paid for an “affair guarantee” in September 2012.
Where did he get the money?
An “affair guarantee”, which costs $249 today, is a discounted “package” for “credits” that allow men to chat with potential cheating partners on the website. Suprun, who had three kids under the age of 10 at the time, listed himself on the site as “attached male seeking female.”
Gotnews tells us:
Even though he used a throw-away e-mail address and changed his birth date by a few days, the Ashley Madison credit card data is unmistakably Suprun …
There’s only one Stephen Christopher Suprun, from Texas, born in March 1974, and the P.O. box is one of many P.O. boxes registered to Stephen Christopher Suprun that can be found with a quick search of any public records database.
It’s also the same P.O. box used for Suprun’s “Never Forget 9/11” charity, which he still lists on his Twitter profile …
There’s more at the link.
And this upstanding man — someone who has lied about his career, being a 9/11 first responder and also registered with a cheater’s website — has a problem voting for Donald Trump?
News becomes ‘performance art’
Tucker Carlson recently had another guest from Newsweek. Kurt Eichenwald appeared, alleging that Trump had been in a mental hospital for treatment in the 1980s or early 1990s. Eichenwald explained some of the background but spent nine minutes avoiding giving a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether the president elect actually was a patient.
Carlson rightly accused Eichenwald of ‘filibustering’, winding down the time so he wouldn’t have to give an answer to a topic he himself raised as the issue he wanted to discuss. He never did give an answer and accused Carlson of interrupting him. Eichenwald ended by saying he had an important message from the CIA. He never delivered that, either. Meanwhile, he occasionally waved around a white binder that read ‘Tucker Carlson Falsehoods’.
This interview was very strange indeed. Carlson called it ‘performance art’ and ‘the craziest interview’ he’d ever done, which it probably was:
The_Donald has more, including partial transcripts of the dialogue.
And it didn’t end when he got off air. A bizarre series of tweets ensued. Someone also sent him an assault gif, which Eichenwald’s ‘wife’ said, using his account, gave him a seizure. (The assault gifs are linked to in the aforementioned The_Donald thread. Don’t look. They are potentially dangerous for people prone to seizures.) It’s unclear whether his wife was actually tweeting on his behalf. Then Eichenwald couldn’t find the all-important CIA message. Let’s hope it wasn’t sensitive information!
This man appears to have a peculiar journalistic past with regard to an incident involving investigating pornography (more here). That was in 2007. This year, he was a big water carrier for Hillary Clinton and is sure there is a link between Trump and the Kremlin. He got aggressive about the issue with a fellow journalist in October and began tweeting repeatedly about it.
Faithful electors in the majority
Regardless of Chris Suprun, two reports state that the electors are highly likely to be faithful to the process and to their states’ voters.
Politico reports that Suprun is the only faithless Republican elector we know about. The Republican National Committee (RNC) is contacting their electors to ensure they will be voting for Trump. the article goes on to say that the RNC routinely contacts them after presidential elections. However, this year, there’s a difference as the Democratic National Committee has also been contacting GOP electors in an effort to discourage them from voting for Trump.
Trump currently has 306 electoral votes. He needs 270 to win:
If 37 Republican electors rejected him, he’d fall below the 270-vote threshold necessary to become president, sending the election to the House of Representatives for a January vote.
Democrats are attempting to persuade Republican electors to vote for someone like John Kasich of Ohio instead of Trump. However, Kasich said he does not want electoral votes.
Being a faithless elector is not a light matter in some states. Utah:
binds electors to support the candidate who won the statewide popular vote, as the most prominent reason he won’t consider voting for someone other than Trump. Similar laws exist in 29 states, including 14 where Trump won.
The penalties for violating these laws vary widely, with some states carrying no penalty at all, some issuing modest fines, and some requiring immediate replacement of electors. One state, New Mexico, treats “faithless” electoral votes as felonies.
Two Republican electors have already resigned, but still have until the day of the Electoral College vote to change their minds. If they do not turn up on the day in their respective state capitals, they will be replaced with alternates.
Business Insider reported that the Associated Press was able to contact all 538 electors and interview 330 of them:
finding widespread Democratic aggravation with the electoral process but little expectation that the hustle of anti-Trump maneuvering could derail him. For that to happen, Republican-appointed electors would have to stage an unprecedented defection and Democrats would need to buck tradition, too, by peeling away from Hillary Clinton and swinging behind a consensus candidate in sufficient numbers.
Business Insider tells us that Bret Chiafalo of Everett, Washington, co-founded Hamilton Electors. He said that the goal of the group is to steer electors away from the two main party candidates to a third party candidate. However, electors say the group’s tactics leave something to be desired:
“We got a stack of letters from idiots,” said Republican elector Edward Robson, 86, a Phoenix homebuilder.
Fellow elector Carole Joyce, 72, a state committeewoman in Phoenix and retired public-health nurse, was more charitable.
“They’ve caused me great distress on my computer, that’s for sure,” she said.
On a brighter note, Deplorable Dave from New York not only has a fun countdown calendar but also a highly useful blog page of Trump appointees with the briefest of comments by each name. He updates it every day. It’s well worth visiting between now and the inauguration.
There aren’t many open posts left, which is good. That means the Trump administration can be up and running by January 20.
The Conservative Treehouse has timely analyses of new and potential appointments. Trump has drawn heavily on senior military officers. Former Navy SEAL Commander Ryan Zinke is the latest; he is likely to be the new Secretary of the Interior.
What is also interesting is that Trump is approaching conservative media personalities such as Monica Crowley, appointed to the National Security Council, and Kimberly Guilfoyle as his potential White House press secretary.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s thank you tour ends this weekend.
Trump has three appearances. He will hold a rally in Orlando on Friday evening. On Saturday afternoon, he will media at the airport in Mobile, Alabama. Then he will meet Pence an hour later in the city’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the final rally.
On Monday, December 19, the Electoral College will vote. Although the votes are not counted in the House of Representatives until early January, the media often give an indication before then of the expected result. If credible news appears, I’ll provide an update.