1052: Proof Trump is Broke

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 10m
July 19th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Don Tomaso Di Toronto, Sir Onymous of Dogpatch & Lower Slobbovia, Sir Jimmy James of the Flatlanders, Margrit Drees, Andrew Wang, Sir Tin Death the Sun-Bleached Knight, Baronet Sir American Carnage, Sir GQ, Baron of Maryland, William Messing, Ken Burkett

Associate Executive Producers: Michael DeLozier, Mark Mclenna, Sir Otaku, Baron of Northeast Texas & the Red River Valley, Anonymous, Sir Malinowski, Aaron Heath, Lincoln Hamond, Guido Smit, Marvin N Burkholder, Sir Dingus of the Burning River., Logan Shaide, Carwin Chambliss, Nicole Kupon

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat


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Any Collusion?
Polygraph Counter Measures
Dear Adam,
Please keep my name anonymous if you use this on the show. I
am a dude name Ben working Department of Defense work that involves a polygraph
and recently undertook the procedure. I was accused of using countermeasures
during my polygraph.
It is interesting that the Congressman featured on the shows
clips discussing Peter Strzok not only brought up Peter's last polygraphs, but
at one point specifically asks if the agent had ever failed or was accused of
using COUNTER-MEASURES in a polygraph.
The polygraph world is considerably concerned with the use
of counter-measures in polygraphs after a long string of insider threats that
committed crimes against the country even after using polygraphs. There use has
been repeatedly brought into question on whether they are truly capable of
eliminating threats to the country. Much like any industry dependent on the
government continuing to fund them, the polygraph industry is lobbying hard
that any use of countermeasures can be detected and are. While they cannot
PROVE that countermeasures are used, they will often use this as an excuse to
rule out any candidate they dislike sometimes arbitrarily.
They go so far as if they accuse you of using
countermeasures, there first step is to coax an admittance. Which is then
stripped of personal information, and used as evidence to the validity of
The congressman's question asking Mr. Strzok if he had ever
been accused of countermeasures is a tell that it is likely his polygraph
official did indeed accuse him of such. This would immediately blackball him
from the polygraph community.
It is shameful that agencies continue to rely on bunk
science boosted by lobbying to protect our country. The very fact they are
willing to accuse someone of countermeasures outlines that the machine is in no
way accurate or considered valid in the eyes of the scientific communication.
Instead, it is a tool used to implement interrogations and nothing more.
I you have any questions i'll answer what I am capable of ,
but I wanted to point out that very odd use of that term by the congressman
In the morning to ya.
Magnitsky Documentary-Browder
A few months ago you explained what the Magnitsky Act was
all about but I forgot the details. Now that Putin has mentioned Browder at the
press conference a lot of people seem to be talking about a documentary on the
Magnitsky Act produced by a Norwegian company.
It doesn't seem to be officially available outside of
Norway and it doesn't seem to be on Youtube either. It's two and a half hours
long. But you can get it directly from the producer if you ask him, see links
below. Apparently you'll get a secret link to Vimeo to watch the full
the director of the documentary wrote:
"As Putin names Browder as the main wanted man for
white collar crimes, the world's rushed to learn who Browder is. He's less
known in Germany than in the English-speaking world. Yet German TV coproduced a
film they then censored under Browder's pressure" [LINK]
that [LINK] above, in german -- llonng article in german:
the producer explains:
" We sell broadcast rights to TV channels in
specific territories/timeframes. Releasing on Youtube would violate existing
sales agreements, expose us to losses and potentially block future sales in
other territories. There is a geoblocked release coming up in Norway. "
"Those interested in seeing the Norwegian
documentary film that shows why Browder's Magnitsky story doesn't add up can
ask for a link on torstein@piraya.no
"A personalised screener of the film that Kasparov
and Bill Browder do not want you to see can be gotten from me. I'm the film's
producer. Please send an email to torstein@piraya.no
Send him an e-mail, I'm sure he'll be happy to send you a
link or perhaps even a dvd
a 1 minute trailer:
The Magnitsky Act - Behind the Scenes - trailer -
" What started as a drama about a Russian police
plot to steal a billion dollars from a US financier and to murder his faithful
tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, has become a real life investigation of
contradicting versions of the crime. The Magnitsky Case is central for the
policy of blacklisting bad guys from Putin's Russia ("Magnitsky
List"), which was then adopted by the West in retaliation for Russia's
actions in Ukraine. Shockingly for the film's director, dissident and Putin
basher Andrei Nekrasov, the official Western story turns out to have serious
flaws. "
'Russia Insider' news report / short interview with the
director, 2 minutes:
the page on the Norwegian Film Institute
and a page on an international distributor website:
a review:
"At the end of the film we understand that this
story was concocted by William Browder to cover up his own criminal theft of
the money in question, that Magnitsky was not a whistleblower, but on the
contrary was likely an assistant and abettor to the fraud and theft that
Browder organized"
The Daily Beast's hit piece on Andrei Nekrasov:
How an Anti-Putin Filmmaker Became a Kremlin Stooge
Browder's pressure to stop the distribution of the
A Blacklisted Film and the New Cold War
Who Is Bill Browder, Kremlin Foe Singled Out in Putin's Offer? - The New York Times
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:54
William F. Browder, an American-born financier now based in Britain, leaving an anti-graft prosecutor's office in Madrid in May. Credit Francisco Seco/Associated Press LONDON '-- President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia made a surprise offer to Robert S. Mueller III, the special prosecutor investigating Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, at the news conference on Monday concluding the summit meeting between him and President Trump.
The Kremlin, Mr. Putin said, would allow Mr. Mueller and his team to travel to Russia and be present at the questioning of 12 Russian military intelligence officers the special counsel indicted last week for hacking into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and the emails of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman.
In exchange, however, the United States would have to permit Russian law enforcement officials to take part in interrogations of people ''who have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia.'' He singled out one man: William F. Browder.
A London-based financier who led a global human rights crusade against the Kremlin that has resulted in sanctions being leveled against numerous Russian officials, Mr. Browder, 54, is a source of deep frustration for the Kremlin, which has gone to great lengths to shut him down. In May, he was arrested and briefly detained in Spain by officers acting on a Moscow-issued Interpol red notice, the sixth the Russians have filed against him.
During the presidential campaign, a Kremlin-linked lawyer tried to interest the Trump campaign in allegations against Mr. Browder during a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York with members of the Trump campaign, who had been promised damaging information about the Clinton campaign. That meeting has become a focus of Mr. Mueller's investigation.
Mr. Putin on Monday detailed on television a variation of some of the allegations that the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, brought to the Trump Tower meeting '-- namely that some of Mr. Browder's associates had funneled $400 million to the Clinton campaign with money illegally moved out of Russia.
''Business associates of his have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia,'' Mr. Putin said. ''They never paid any taxes. Neither in Russia nor in the United States. Yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent huge amounts of money, $400 million, as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.''
Additionally, Mr. Putin declared, ''we have solid reason to believe that some intelligence officers accompanied and guided these transactions.''
Mr. Putin offered no evidence to support his claims about money moving to the Clinton campaign, let alone with assistance from intelligence officers.
Yet his claims in some ways echoed allegations that have been leveled by Mr. Trump and his supporters about financial corruption by Mrs. Clinton and her campaign, as well as the contention that sinister forces within a bureaucratic ''deep state'' had sought to thwart his election victory.
Mr. Trump later called Mr. Putin's suggestion of an investigative quid pro quo ''an incredible offer,'' though how such reciprocity would work was unclear. Mr. Browder long ago gave up his American passport in favor of British citizenship.
In a phone interview on Monday, Mr. Browder said that Mr. Putin's denunciation was just another sign of the Kremlin's unhappiness with the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law that Mr. Browder championed, in which the United States imposed sanctions against Russia.
''It's a true affirmation of the fact that we've found Putin's Achilles' heel with the Magnitsky Act,'' Mr. Browder said. ''He's basically lost it, emotionally, because his own money in the West is now being seized under that Magnitsky Act.''
Out of safety concerns, Mr. Browder, who holds a British passport, would not say where he was located. But he said he did not believe Mr. Putin's remarks put him in any greater danger.
''America is a rule-of-law country, and I think that the rule of law will protect me,'' he said.
Mr. Browder expressed puzzlement over what Mr. Putin might have been referring to on Monday when he claimed that Mr. Browder's associates steered $400 million to Mrs. Clinton's campaign.
''This is just part of their weird non-fact-based emotional reaction,'' Mr. Browder said. ''He has become unhinged.''
By Mr. Putin's first term in office, Mr. Browder, who co-founded Hermitage Capital Management, had risen to become the largest portfolio investor in Russia, with more than $4 billion under management as of 2005. Along the way, he ran afoul of the Kremlin by becoming a fierce critic of weak corporate governing standards.
In November 2005, Mr. Browder was turned back after arriving in Moscow for a business trip, and was later declared a ''threat to national security'' as a result of his battle against corporate corruption.
Russian authorities then raided his offices, seized Hermitage's investment companies and used them to fraudulently obtain $230 million in tax rebates. When the firm's tax lawyer, Sergei L. Magnitsky, investigated the crime, he was arrested by the same officers he had implicated and imprisoned. He died nearly a year later at age 37, the result, Mr. Browder claims, of months of torture.
Since then, Mr. Browder has devoted much of his life to seeking justice for Mr. Magnitsky. His campaigning led Congress to adopt the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act in 2012, which imposed visa sanctions on and froze the assets of those involved in Mr. Magnitsky's detention. The legislation was the first time the United States had sanctioned Russia in 35 years; Mr. Browder has urged the European Union to adopt similar legislation.
Mr. Browder's efforts have infuriated the Kremlin, which has sought out different avenue to thwart him. In 2013, Mr. Browder was convicted of tax fraud in absentia by a Russian court.
He then faced a new fight, as Russia sought to get British courts to find and freeze his assets and enforce a civil judgment against him in Russia.
Russia has pushed several times to get Interpol to issue arrest orders against Mr. Browder, and it announced this summer that it would try yet again.
In the summer of 2016, though, the Kremlin tried another approach. Ms. Veselnitskaya, a lawyer with ties to the country's powerful prosecutor general, approached the Trump campaign with an offer of help. At a meeting at Trump Tower, attended by Mr. Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, and the campaign's chairman, Paul Manafort, Ms. Veselnitskaya presented a memo that detailed the claims against Mr. Browder, and alleged that his lobbying in the United States had gained traction because of the political connections of the principals in one of the firms that invested with him, Ziff Brothers Investments.
''According to information we have, the Ziff brothers took part in financing both Obama election campaigns,'' stated the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. ''It cannot be ruled out that they took part in financing the campaign of Hillary Clinton.''
The memo does not offer any specific data to support those conclusions, and public records do not support the notion that any of the Ziffs, or their firm, were among the leading financial supporters of Mrs. Clinton's campaign.
Federal Election Commission records indicate that the Ziffs and their immediate family had donated only about $35,000 to Mrs. Clinton's various committees over the years. And federal election laws limit the amount that individuals can donate directly to campaigns to $2,700 per election.
Taken together, the brothers behind the firm '-- Daniel, Dirk and Robert Ziff '-- combined with their spouses and parents have donated nearly $5 million to Democratic and Republican campaigns and committees since the 1980s, including $1.1 million to the Democratic National Committee.
The Ziff Brothers firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It was not clear from where Mr. Putin derived the $400 million figure, or whether he was referring to the Ziffs or possibly other donors as well. Former Clinton campaign officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Members of the Trump campaign team said they struggled to understand the significance of the information offered by Ms. Veselnitskaya, and the meeting wrapped up quickly. Ms. Veselnitskaya initially denied any ties to the Russian government, but has since said she has worked as an ''informant'' for Russian prosecutors.
Last month, Russia's prosecutor general, Yuri Chaika, seemed to foreshadow Mr. Putin's move in Helsinki.
''I think in the near future, stronger efforts will be taken by Russia in the international arena,'' he said. Mr. Chaika added that the Russian government would not allow Mr. Browder ''to sleep soundly.''
In Helsinki, Mr. Putin said that Mr. Mueller would be welcome to come to Russia. But the price would be William Browder.
''We can meet you halfway,'' he said.
Follow Michael Schwirtz and Kenneth P. Vogel on Twitter: @mschwirtz and @kenvogel.
Michael Schwirtz reported from London, and Kenneth P. Vogel from Washington. Sewell Chan contributed reporting from New York, Andrew E. Kramer from Moscow and Katie Rogers from Helsinki, Finland.
A version of this article appears in print on
, on Page
of the New York edition
with the headline:
Putin Singles Out Critic In an Offer to Mueller
. Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe
Bill Browder, President Putin's Person of Interest
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 14:13
 Bill Browder, Person of Interest  “I’m not even an American citizen,” Browder told Fox News. “I’m a British citizen and have lived here for 29 years.” Browder, who was tried in absentia, believes the Kremlin would like to harm him as well since he has been successful in his efforts to punish those he believes responsible for Magnitsky's death. As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.When Michail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union was deposed and Boris Yeltsin was chosen as the leader of the Russian Federation, a wholesale looting of Russia was unleashed by the Bush family and London interests.What arose was the Oligarchs who became billionaires over night and brought Russia to her knees in economic collapse by foreign power control. When Vladimir Putin became President, this former KGB official put an end to the Oligarch Looting, and from that point on in history Mr. Putin has been a target of the international financiers, as Russia protected her oil, mineral and trade assets from foreign control.This is what has been behind Russiagate from the start. The leveraging of Russia through Obama oil wars, trade sanctions and other indictments to force Russia to hand her assets over for looting and investment to London and New York.Once you understand that since the communist revolution o 1917 which murdered the Czars, thee entire purpose of the Schiff and Rothschild banking groups has been how to manage Russia for the greatest economic exploitation.What needs to be understood at this point in the Queen of England fleeces thee entire commonwealth. The Clintons and Obama have done nothing but line their pockets in being in the White House in millions handed to them. Just because Vladimir Putin has a Russian deal  where he either is worth billions or is not worth billions, is between him and the Russian People, and what someone is calling crooked like Bill Browder, only  means he is not getting his piece of that financial pie, like the various banking interests in the west. If they were, then Robert Mugabe can destroy Rhodesia and communists can slaughter Whites in South Africa, because those who deposit their money to the globalists, can do whatever they want. Let them be like Colonel Khadaffi, and  he gets a bullet in his head from the French as Americans look on cheering.d Putin also suggested that he would allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller to observe interviews of the 12 recently indicted Russian intelligence officers if the US would allow Russian authorities to interview Bill Browder, a political opponent of Putin's who has been effectively exiled from Russia. Putin said he suspects that US intelligence officials may have been involved in channeling $400 million from Browder to Clinton's campaign."Business associates of Browder...they made $1.5 billion in Russia but never paid any taxes...they gave money to Hillary Clinton's campaign. We have reason to believe that some intelligence officers guided these transactions. And we would have an interest in interviewing them."If Vladimir Putin's charge is correct, and the Russians are the ones who were providing the correct financial information on 9 11, this would be standard CIA front policy. Mark Rich laundered billions for the globalists from Saddam Hussein and the Clintons as did most Europeans got a 60 million dollar cut out of that.From the start of Russiagate, the one nation with their nationals who keep popping up is England. It was English MI6 fake intelligence, fake contacts, fake Crowdstrike blaming of Russia, and now a British fund operator in Russia, who is in America, is the person that Vladimir Putin names, after Browder had his interests started claiming about fraud transactions in Russia.Once again, it is about getting your cut. Bill Clinton did not cut in the financiers on a uranium deal in the stans and they gave the presidency to Birther Hussein as punishment. Putin does not had over Russia, so they make Ukraine an issue and slam a car into his car on the expressway and murder Putin's driver.It has all been the status quo of pressuring Russia, fomenting trouble, it appearing in the propaganda media as legitimate story, and it is how we are all led around, until it is someone like Donald Trump or Sebastian Kurz who appears by the vote of the people.Several weeks ago Russian state television broadcast hidden camera recordings of Navalny’s first meeting with Carl Bildt, former Swedish premier and foreign minister, best known in this part of the world for leading the Eastern Partnership program aimed at removing former Soviet republics, notably Ukraine, from the Russian sphere of influence. We are told Navalny was next a useful aid to U.S. authorities in compiling a list of high Russian judicial and penal administrative officials for inclusion in the Magnitsky List on the basis of their alleged involvement in the torture and murder in detention of Browder’s erstwhile accountant, Sergei Magnitsky. One document from 2010 indicates Navalny received large sums of money, at one point a $300,000 payment, from his overseas handlers to apply his skills with social media and disseminate a positive spin on American sanctions to Russia’s liberals and creative classes. The objective was to undermine popular trust in the courtsThink about this in an English subject, hidden in America, declaring economic warfare on the leader of Russia. Can you do something like this? Does FOX or other media outlets drop everything and give you coverage?The answer is no, so it points to in all of this that Bill Browder knows a bit more and is a bit more connected than any of us. He knows things that if Roger Stone said them Robert Mueller would be indicting Stone, but Browder garners no interest from Mueller.That points to the deep state in another asset in this Russiagate scam.BILL BROWDER: We HAVE to hit Putin where it hurts - in his ...That is why I know we HAVE to hit Putin where it hurts - in his wallet, says BILL BROWDER, ... MI6 spook who recruited Skripal in a Spanish strip club 'had... dailymail.co.uk /news/article-5486489/BILL-BROWDER- Browder is the literal source being quoted in all of this apparently that Vladimir Putin is richer than God. He is the source that says Putin runs a mafia that gains 50% for him all of Russian transactions. Again that is Russian business and why it is evil when Putin is not breaking laws in Russia, while George Soros destroys the British Pound, steals the gold of Romania, starts a war in running Jews out of Georgia, and starts murderous riots in America, which is all illegal, is part of this menagerie of the leverage to get Putin to hand over Russia to financial criminals.Former Russia fund manager Bill Browder says Putin is worth $200 billion. If that’s true, it would mean that Putin is the richest man in the world - worth more than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, combined.Browder, the former CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in July last year, as a key element of the probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.Browder had hired Russian attorney Sergei Magnitsky to investigate official corruption, but Magnitsky died in Russian custody in 2009, leading to the U.S. Magnitsky Act sanctions in 2012.According to Browder, with the arrest of Russia’s then more powerful oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in July 2003, Putin became the “biggest oligarch in Russia and the richest man in the world, and my anti-corruption activities would no longer be tolerated.“After Khodorkovsky’s conviction, the other oligarchs went to Putin and asked him what they needed to do to avoid sitting in the same cage as Khodorkovsky. From what followed, it appeared that Putin’s answer was, ‘Fifty percent’. He wasn’t saying 50 percent for the Russian government or the presidential administration of Russia, but 50 percent for Vladimir Putin personally,” Browder told the Senate.Russia gets robbed repeatedly and people never note it. Cyprus when it raided bank accounts, was after Russian money. People forget about that criminal act against Russia.Cyprus bailout deal with EU closes bank and seizes large ...Mar 25, 2013 · Cyprus bailout deal with EU closes bank and seizes ... many of them Russian ... Those with smaller deposits will see their accounts transferred to Bank of Cyprus. https://www.theguardian.com /world/2013/mar/25/cyprus-bailout America got a sweetheart deal in taking Russian uranium for pennies and then selling it in electric power Americans for billions. This kind of swindle of Russia take place periodically, but those behind it never get a visit from Robert Mueller.U.S. nuclear power plants to get more Russia uranium | ReutersU.S. nuclear power reactors will be able to obtain more supplies of Russian enriched uranium for fuel, under a trade deal signed by the two countries late on Friday. https://www.reuters.com /article/us-russia-usa-uranium/u- The reality is that Bill Browder was tried in abstention in Russia. President Vladimir Putin has  offered a reciprocal agreement with Robert Mueller, that Mueller can have access to Russians if America allows equal access to criminals in America. That is a most acceptable trade as Russians should indict as Robert Mueller has done, all these Americans who have been swindling Russia and placing fraudulent charges against Vladimir Putin, such as John Brennan who ran this entire Russiagate smear against Donald Trump and  Vladimir Putin. Russia needs to indict Brennan, Peter Strzok, James Comey, Andrew McCabe and  whoever else was involved in this that Rod  Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions are protecting for the deep state, and they deserve their day in court in Moscow, as what is good for Robert Mueller is equally good for the People of Russia.It is evident that Bill Browder gained a fortune out of Russia, which means money taken out of Russia, and money that was not paid for in Russian taxes. The Russians have evidence to suspect that the CIA was involved in the laundering of money to Hillary Clinton's campaign. It is time to turn this all over to Russian investigators in Moscow by extraditing all of these known associates.America is not the only nation which has a right to investigating crimes against her. Russia has that same right an it is time that Russians apply their justice in the same way that American leftists are applying their justice to Russians.It is only fair.Nuff SaidagtG
INSURANCE: Hours After FBI Found Classified Hillary Emails on Weiner Laptop, Peter Strzok's Wife Was Promoted to Director of SEC Enforcement '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 19:03
Featured PoliticsINSURANCE: Hours After FBI Found Classified Hillary Emails on Weiner Laptop, Peter Strzok's Wife Was Promoted to Director of SEC EnforcementHours after the FBI found classified Hillary Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop, the wife of the FBI agent running the high-profile probe was promoted to a powerful position in the Securities and Exchange Commission, FBI sources said.
This case keeps getting worse for the FBI and embattled agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigator on the Clinton probe. His wife Melissa Hodgman was promoted to deputy director of SEC's Enforcement Division literally hours after Strzok and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were debriefed about the Clinton emails found on Weiner's computer.
The FBI's original warrant for Weiner's laptop was issued in late September 2016 and a subsequent warrant was issued on Oct. 30, 2016 so that the FBI could use Huma Abedin's & Hillary's classified emails as evidence in the re-opened Clinton probe.
Hodgman was promoted Oct. 14, 2016, literally hours after investigators started to examine the laptop's contents for Clinton emails and assorted files, federal sources confirm.
Federal sources said the FBI field office in New York, who handled the original Weiner warrant for then-US Attorney Preet Bharara, reported to Strzok and McCabe that they had found evidence pertaining to the Hillary Clinton email case on Oct. 12, 2016, federal sources said.
About 36 hours later, Hodgman was promoted in the SEC.
The Wall Street Journal's reporting on the laptop case confirms the early October timeline divulged to True Pundit by FBI sources.
The latest development began in early October when New York-based FBI officials notified Andrew McCabe, the bureau's second-in-command, that while investigating Mr. Weiner for possibly sending sexually charged messages to a teenage minor, they had recovered a laptop. Many of the 650,000 emails on the computer, they said, were from the accounts of Ms. Abedin, according to people familiar with the matter.
Two weeks after Hodgman's appointment, the FBI secured a subsequent search warrant to use Hillary and Huma emails from the 650,000 warehoused on the computer as evidence.
Strzok has been a lightning rod of controversy recently. He also was a key player in U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of President Donald Trump and Russia. But Strzok was kicked off that team after texts were uncovered between himself and FBI's Lisa Page that were malicious to Trump, Trump's family members, and conservatives in general. Over 10,000 texts between the duo paint a collective picture of two partisan liberals who supported Hillary Clinton '-- at the same time Strzok was supposed to be investigating Clinton as part of a allegedly sweeping criminal probe.
Strzok and Page also were having an extramarital affair. Both are married.
Now it is discovered Strzok's wife was promoted to a very powerful position in the SEC, with oversight of which securities and financial crime cases get forwarded to the FBI, DOJ for prosecution.
Perhaps Hodgman's promotion was merely happenstance?
''There are no coincidences here,'' one FBI source told True Pundit. ''Not with this crew. They wanted his wife in that SEC slot for a reason.''
But why?
Enter the Clinton Foundation.
We now know what the FBI knew after they seized the laptop during a search warrant at Weiner and Huma Abedin's Manhattan residence: There were thousands of documents on the laptop related to the Clinton Foundation, including offshore financial records.
With that evidence '-- as well as thousands more of classified emails linked to Hillary on the laptop '-- FBI sources said agents and brass knew immediately the Bureau would likely reopen the criminal case against Clinton. And ex-Director James Comey did just that two weeks later.
Hence the rush to get an insurance policy in place at the SEC in case things heated up on the white-collar crime side.
With Hodgman at the SEC and Strzok at the FBI it would be virtually impossible to even know what cases linked to the Clinton Foundation had criminal merit, if each were trying to keep all things Clinton-related quiet.
But Charles Ortel, an expert on the financial dealings and filings of the Clinton Foundation believes having chess pieces in place at the SEC and FBI were only a smaller part of a much larger game for the Clintons.
''The Clinton ''business plan'' to monetize government is broader than simply gaming one agency''they saw an opportunity to create unregulated globalist government and seeded many organizations with like-minded persons, some of whom were simply naive, but all of whom ultimately are corrupt,'' Ortel said.
Ortel, a private investor and writer who exposes large complex international frauds, understands the labyrinth of the Clinton Foundation's international scams. And while the foundation itslef is not a public company which would fall under the SEC's regulatory umbrella, it's finances remain entwined with dozens of public entities that do.
Ortel has laid out many of these relationships on CrowdSource the Truth on YouTube every Sunday, dissecting the complex financial schemes of the Clinton Foundation.
Ortel said having a hook inside the SEC would certainly benefit Hillary Clinton.
''The SEC is a civil agency that only prosecutes criminal cases in concert with the DOJ,'' Ortel said. . ''It is a prime instrument that can be monetized readily '-- lawyers there typically migrate to jobs as partners in uni-party law firms, so they can, it seems, be managed to favor politically connected donors from both parties.''
This amounts to a very sophisticated white collar protection racket of sorts. If there were illicit contributions to the Clinton Foundation from publicly-traded entities in any country '-- even companies listed on foreign stock exchanges '-- the SEC still wields a tremendous amount of power to sanction, sue, or refer criminality to the FBI.
And what about if a prospective donor to the Clinton Foundation has an ongoing problem with the SEC? Or the SEC has frozen certain assets of a donor.
The Clintons have the juice to make all that go away or to protect donors from the SEC and FBI oversight and essentially ''fix'' problems of their billionaire and millionaire benefactors and further rig the system.
''The IRS (Lois Lerner and others) is the prime place where the Clintons (and Obamas, and Bushes) need allies to insulate their ''foundations'' from attention, and using the DOJ and state AGs from prosecutions,'' Ortel said.
A modern-day mafia.
SEC.gov | Melissa Hodgman Named Associate Director in SEC Enforcement Division
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 19:03
Washington D.C., Oct. 14, 2016 '--
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Melissa Hodgman has been named Associate Director in the SEC's Enforcement Division. Ms. Hodgman succeeds Stephen L. Cohen, who left the SEC in June.
Ms. Hodgman began working in the Enforcement Division in 2008 as a staff attorney. She joined the Market Abuse Unit in 2010 and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2012.
Ms. Hodgman has investigated or supervised dozens of enforcement recommendations spanning a variety of misconduct, including:
The SEC's first case against a brokerage firm for failing to file SARs when appropriate.Fraud charges against a Wall Street CEO and his company, family members, and business associates accused of secretly obtaining control and manipulating the stock of Chinese companies they were purportedly guiding through the process of raising capital and becoming publicly-traded in the United States.Fraud and other related charges against China North East Petroleum Holdings, its CEO, President and former Chairman of the Board of Directors, and others arising from their alleged diversion of offering proceeds to the personal accounts of corporate insiders and their immediate family members and fraudulent conduct in connection with at least 176 undisclosed related-party transactions.Charges against Charles Schwab Investment Management, Charles Schwab & Co., and two executives for making misleading statements regarding the Schwab YieldPlus Fund and failing to establish, maintain and enforce policies and procedures to prevent the misuse of material, nonpublic information.Ms. Hodgman has led the Enforcement Division's Cross-Border Working Group, which provides expertise and assistance of matters with international actors and implications. Ms. Hodgman also co-founded and served as the enforcement representative on the Chair's Attorney Honors Program, and is a member of the Enforcement Division's hiring committee at its Washington D.C. headquarters.
''Melissa has supervised and investigated a broad range of noteworthy and first-of-their-kind cases across the spectrum of the securities industry and involving misconduct located around the world,'' said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division. ''She has distinguished herself with her excellent judgment and creativity, and I am pleased to have her join the senior ranks of the Enforcement Division.''
Ms. Hodgman said, ''I am honored by this appointment and look forward to continuing our tradition of pursuing tough but fair enforcement actions in complex and cutting-edge cases, especially matters involving cross-border issues and efforts to hold gatekeepers accountable for breaches of their professional standards.''
Before joining the SEC staff, Ms. Hodgman worked as an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Washington. Ms. Hodgman earned her masters of law with distinction in securities and financial regulation in 2007 from Georgetown University Law Center, her law degree with high honors from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994, and her bachelor of science degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1990. Ms. Hodgman received the Ellen B. Ross Award as well as an SEC Chairman's Award in 2010.
Oil $100 for Aramco
I'm a dude-named-ben/coder at a data analytics company for
the oil and gas industry. I don't know much about the industry itself, but I
can tell by how many people are willing/wanting to talk to our sales guys that
because oil keeps flirting with $80/barrel everyone has loosened up their purse
strings. This has been a blessing and a curse as people are finally in the
mindset to go looking for new software to aid their growth and new ventures
teams, but its also a time when people get starry-eyed with big ideas of what
they could do with the perfect solution (sorry, small tangent).
I was going through the Trump/Putin summit, when Putin came
back with this response about Oil/Gas.
At 30 seconds is the meat of the clip. As much as Trump may
be complaining on Twitter to OPEC that oil is too expensive, and trying to get
Germany to by American LNG instead of Russian, the current prices are GREAT for
the industry. It's in the sweet spot.
After fracking was common place American drilling companies
figured out how to make money at $40/barrel. It was painful, there were massive
layoffs, Software budgets of tens of millions were slashed and the industry
found out exactly what was the minimum software purchase needed to be for a new
startup, or a mid-sized upstream company. At $50/barrel companies were
white-knuckled shuffling around deck chairs to play at trying to be efficient.
But at $70+ the reigns are just loose enough that VPs are spending a little bit
of time dreaming of how to put together their ideal build out, in terms of
staffing, in terms of land, in terms of software, in terms of new methods they
want to investigate. If we go much higher we're going to hit the problem of no
nose to grindstone and people letting perfect be the enemy of good.
So back to Trump and Putin. Neither of them want the price
to go lower, but they'd both be interested to see the price rise a little
higher. Trump is of course holding out for $100/barrel to get Aramco to go
public (as I learned from No Agenda).
EU, Russia and Ukraine in Berlin for gas talks | Euronews
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:05
Germany is hosting talks between Kiev and Moscow on the future transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.
Delegations from Gazprom and its Ukrainian counterpart Naftogaz were in Berlin on Tuesday, as well as Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak and Ukraine's foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin.
The negotiations were brokered by the European Commission.
European Commission Vice President MaroŠŠefčovič said that talks will continue in September.
In the tensions between Moscow and Kiev, the European Union is firmly on the side of Ukraine politically. At the same time, it is is heavily dependent on Russian gas economically, especially the host country Germany. The EU receives 32% of its gas from Russia, though not all of that comes via Ukraine.
According to Thierry Bros, a researcher at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, this puts the EU in a tricky position.
"The question here for EU citizens is how are we going to get our Russian gas post-2019, if there is no contract?" Mr Bros told Euronews. "This is where I think the Commission has an 'enabler' position and is able to bring those two parties to the table to try to find what is going to be political and economical solution."
Russian gas piped through Ukraine to the EU brings Ukraine 3 billion US dollars a year in transit fees. But the Nord Stream 2 pipeline could transport gas directly from Russia to Germany. Gazprom has already started bypassing Ukraine. The EU wants to preserve Ukraine's financial position.
A deal needs to be reached before the current agreement expires next year on the 31st of December.
All the while Russia and Ukraine remain at loggerheads over the annexation of Crimea, which the EU continues to recognise as sovereign Ukrainian territory, and a simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine, in which Kiev accuses Moscow of meddling.
Russia Liquidates Its US Treasury Holdings | Zero Hedge
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:23
Last month we showed that as Trade Wars began in April, the world's central banks and other official institutions dumped more Treasuries than in any month since January 2016, some $48.3BN, perhaps over concerns of others selling first, and precipitating a sharp move higher in yields. Fast forward one month later to May, when according to the latest just released Treasury International Capital (TIC) update, in May the selling of Treasurys by official entities continued, with another $24BN sold in the month of May, when yields continued to rise and eventually hit the 2018 highs of 3.11%.
But while the selling of Treasuries was to be expected - after all someone had to sell aggressively to push yields sharply higher in April and May - the question was who.
What we showed last month, is that contrary to some speculation, it wasn't Beijing, because after shedding a modest $6BN in April, China actually bought $1.2BN in Treasurys in May, leaving its holdings largely unchanged over the past month.
And while Japan did sell $12BN in TSYs in April, it more than made up for its in May when it purchased $17.5BN, bringing its total to $1048.8BN in May, which means that over the past two month, Japan was a net buyer of US paper.
Meanwhile, the third most prominent holder, hedge funds, aka "Cayman Islands", bought for a second consecutive month, adding another $5BN.
* * *
So if the usual suspects were buying, who was selling?
Here is the answer.
Readers may recall that last month we first reported that for all the confusion about sharply higher yields in April, the explanation was simple: it was Vladimir Putin who liquidated a whopping half of Russia's Treasury holdings, which declined by $47.4BN to just $48.7BN - the lowest since 2008 - from $96BN in March.
But wait, it gets better, because as Trump continued to jawbone about more sanctions targeting Russia, Putin did not stop and in May he continued what was an outright liquidation of Russia's TSY holdings, which plunged by another $40BN, or 82%, from $48.7BN to just $9BN in May. Keep in mind this was over $100BN at the start of the year.
It appears that When Putin warned he would diversify Russia's state reserves -out of Treasurys - he was serious.
And this is what a very politically motivated liquidation of Treasury holdings looks like.
In other words, in just two months, Russia sold a whopping $81BN in treasurys, a liquidation flow that was likely responsible for much if not all the blow out in rates over the period. Because what else happened as Russia was liquidating 85% of its Treasury holdings in 2 months? 10Y yields soared from 2.7% at the start of April to the 7 year high of 3.11% in late May.
At that point, yields tumbled again as traders freaked out over Trump's escalating trade war with China, and proceeded to rush into deflationary safety.
So just like last month, we can't help but wonder - as the Yuan-denominated oil futures were launched, trade wars were threatened, and as more sanctions were unleashed on Russia - if this wasn't a dress-rehearsal, carefully coordinated with Beijing to field test what would happen if/when China also starts to liquidate its own Treasury holdings.
FBI official overseeing election-meddling task force leaves agency: report | TheHill
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 12:24
Senior FBI official Jeffrey Tricoli has left his position overseeing a government task force that's been looking into Russian interference in U.S. elections, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Tricoli, who had been at the FBI for 18 years, reportedly left last month to take a job with Charles Schwab Corp.
His departure raises questions about how the government plans to address the issue of election meddling, particularly with the midterm elections less than four months away.
Tricoli did not respond to requests for comment by the Journal.
News of his exit comes just days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly conspiring to influence the 2016 presidential election by hacking U.S. systems.
FBI Director Christopher Wray convened the foreign influence task force last year, telling lawmakers he wanted to "get ahead" of Russian interference in upcoming elections.
"Needless to say, I take any effort to interfere with our election system by Russia or any other nation state or any non-nation state extremely seriously because it strikes right at the heart of who we are as a country," Wray said at the time. "We're focused very much forward-looking at the next couple of election cycles."
The task force's responsibilities include coordinating activities between the FBI and state, federal and private organizations, according to the Journal. However, sources told the Journal that the group has not made much progress.
"So far there has not been a lot of substance yet from the task force," a congressional intelligence panel staffer told the Journal.
IMPLODE: FBI Agent overseeing election-meddling task force abruptly Quits; Walks Out Days After Mueller's Sham Indictments '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:14
Politics SecurityIMPLODE: FBI Agent overseeing election-meddling task force abruptly Quits; Walks Out Days After Mueller's Sham IndictmentsSideways. That is how the FBI is now running, as folks head for the hills and greener career pastures amid the chaos.
Senior FBI official Jeffrey Tricoli has left his position overseeing a government task force that's been looking into Russian interference in U.S. elections, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Tricoli, who had been at the FBI for 18 years, reportedly left last month to take a job with Charles Schwab Corp.
His departure raises questions about how the government plans to address the issue of election meddling, particularly with the midterm elections less than four months away.
Tricoli did not respond to requests for comment by the Journal.
News of his exit comes just days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly conspiring to influence the 2016 presidential election by hacking U.S. systems.
Help Support True Pundit's Independent Voice by Contributing Today! TheHill
Mueller All but Ignores the Other Russian Hack Target: the GOP | RealClearInvestigations
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:37
Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election wasn't as one-sided as Special Counsel Robert Mueller charges in his latest indictment.
The Russian military spy agency that Mueller says hacked the Democratic National Committee also penetrated the computer systems of the Republican National Committee using fake emails in a phishing scheme, U.S. officials say.
This evidence challenges the narrative, now reinforced by Mueller's indictments, that Russia's scheme was solely aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton.
''RNC emails were stolen through the same spearphishing scams used against Democrats,'' a senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the investigation told RealClearInvestigations. ''In fact, prominent Republicans were targeted and similarly victimized by the disclosure of sensitive emails during the campaign.''
The indictment acknowledges this on page 13: ''The Conspirators also released documents they had stolen in other spearphishing operations, including those they had conducted in 2015 that collected emails from individuals affiliated with the Republican Party.''
John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
But that is the only mention of Russian attacks against Republicans in the 29-page indictment that focuses on the targeting and victimization of key Democrats, including the chairman of the Clinton campaign, John Podesta, as well as Democratic institutions, such as the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Unlike information detailing attacks on Democrats, the indictment does not detail the "manner and means" by which the Russian conspirators allegedly carried out the theft against Republicans. Nor does it name the defendants said to be directly involved in those crimes as it does in the case of the various Democratic breaches.
Moreover, the reference makes it seem as if only individual Republicans, not the GOP's headquarters in Washington, were targeted and that those attacks occurred before the 2016 election campaign.
In fact, U.S. intelligence officials say the attackers penetrated GOP organizations at both the national and state levels, as well as the individual level, and successfully ''exfiltrated" Republican emails during the 2016 election cycle. They add that Trump officials themselves were targeted by Russian intelligence late in 2016, often by phishing schemes, in which fraudulent emails seemingly from trusted sources (e.g. the government, banks or Google) are sent to gain access to personal information.
Mueller's office would not say whether the criminal breaches of GOP organizations carried out by the same bad Russian actors were investigated by his team with the same level of forensic analysis and scrutiny as the Democrat-related cybercrimes.
''We'll decline to comment beyond the indictment,'' Special Counsel's Office spokesman Peter Carr said.
The Justice Department, which is working with the Mueller investigation, has compelled congressional committees investigating Russian election interference to redact information about Russian intrusions at the RNC and other Republican targets from their reports, claiming it is classified at the highest levels.
Former FBI Director James Comey.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File
Open-source reporting corroborates the Republican intrusions. In January 2017 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, for example, then-FBI Director James Comey offered some scraps of information.
Responding to Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who asked ''Was the Trump campaign hacked by the Russians?'' Comey replied, ''I want to be thoughtful about what I say in open setting, but there was evidence that there was hacking directed at state-level [Republican] organizations, state-level [Republican] campaigns, and the RNC.''
Comey added, ''There is no doubt that they hit an RNC [email] domain.'' However, he testified Russian actors were not able to collect ''current" emails, suggesting more valuable RNC data was better protected from such cyberthreats than those secured by the DNC.
Russian hackers ''got far deeper and wider into the DNC than the RNC,'' Comey testified, even though they used similar methods of infiltration. ''Spearphishing techniques were used in both cases,'' he said, "but there's no doubt they were more successful in [penetrating] the DNC."
President Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation": ''I heard that they were trying, or people were trying, to hack into the RNC too. The Republican National Committee. But we had much better defenses. I've been told that by a number of people. We had much better defenses, so they couldn't.''
Reince Priebus, former RNC chairman and Trump chief of staff.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
Reince Priebus, RNC chairman at the time,'¯ said that the Russian efforts against the GOP were less effective because his operatives did a better job of securing their computer networks (although Comey testified that Russians did succeed in stealing and releasing current information from state GOP offices in 2016).
"It just so happened that the DNC had nearly no defenses on their system, and when they were warned multiple times by the FBI, they didn't respond,'' Priebus said in January 2017.
Mueller's indictment alleges that the Russian defendants' phishing operation to steal victims' passwords and gain access to their computers ''targeted over 300 individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign, DCCC and DNC.'' The highest ranking was Podesta, who saw more than 50,000 of his personal emails dumped into the public domain after he clicked on a phony security notification from Google. (The alleged Russian spoof instructed him to change his password by clicking the embedded link, thereby opening the door to his account.)
U.S. officials say Russian efforts went far beyond attacks on party officials. All told, they say, Russia's cyber espionage operation targeted more than 4,000 other American victims during the 2016 election cycle using the same technique.
Colin Powell, phishing victim.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
One of them'¯ was '¯former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who fell for the same ''Google'' email phishing scam that tricked Podesta and '¯whose '¯subsequently leaked emails '¯contained negative characterizations of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.'¯
The Mueller indictment also states flatly that the hacking entity calling itself Guccifer 2.0 and a website called DCLeaks.com are both Russian government fronts. But it does not mention that in June 2016, just before the GOP convention in Cleveland, Guccifer 2.0 released 237 pages of damaging information on Trump, '¯including opposition research accusing the Republican frontrunner of raping his ex-wife.'¯ The hacked research, titled the ''Donald Trump Report,'''¯ delved into '¯Trump's personal life and portrayed him as a '¯''misogynist.''
Although the Obama administration's intelligence report on Russian interference in the 2016 election asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally'¯ ordered the hacking operations ''with the goal of hurting Clinton's candidacy and ultimately helping to elect Trump,'''¯ it also acknowledged in passing that Republicans were likewise targeted.
The Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) published in January 2017 found that Russian hackers targeted ''both major US political parties'' and collected against both ''primary campaigns,'' adding, ''Russia collected on some Republican-affiliated targets.''
Led by the FBI and CIA, the Obama administration also assessed that Moscow was targeting the incoming Trump administration for additional hacking. The last page of its ICA report revealed that Moscow continued its "spearphishing campaign" after Trump won the election by targeting "U.S. government employees'' with the likely purpose of gathering intelligence ''on the incoming administration's goals and plans."
Details about the Russian targeting of Trump and Republicans have been systematically buried, Hill sources say, even in congressional reports released by Republicans.
For instance, the Justice Department classified evidence of GOP intrusions and thereby shielded it from public view in nearly eight fully blacked-out pages of the House Intelligence Committee's recently released "Report on Russian Active Measures.'' The heavily redacted material is contained in the section titled, ''Russia Attacks the United States.''
Hill sources say Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence panel, is seeking to declassify the material. They maintain the information is being hidden because "it undermines the key assumption" undergirding the Trump-Russia ''collusion'' narrative.
The special counsel appears to be contributing to this "cover-up,'' a House investigator for the Republican majority said, speaking only on condition of anonymity. Even as Mueller's indictment confirms Russian hackers targeted Republican ''individuals," it stops short of saying they attacked the Republican campaign along with the Democratic campaign.
While focusing on Russian efforts against Democrats, Muller's latest indictment does not support the notion promulgated by the Obama administration that Putin sought "to help Trump win.'' Rather, Mueller simply found that ''the object of the conspiracy was to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election."
Officials close to the investigation say that is because Mueller's office has found no solid evidence to support the notion that Moscow meddled in the election to aid Trump. They note that as in past U.S. elections where Russia ran influence operations '-- dating back to the 1990s -- its aim primarily has been to sow discord and create chaos in the American political system, and not necessarily to favor one candidate over another.
What Mueller's Latest Indictment Reveals About Russian and U.S. Spycraft
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:33
For example, the spear-phishing emails that John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chair, and others received included links to the URL shortening service Bitly. The Bitly account that created these links was registered using the email address ''dirbinsaabol@mail.com.'' The attackers used that same email address to create an account on a provider where they leased a server, which they paid for using an ''online cryptocurrency service'' (based on the wording of some instructions quoted in the indictment, I think the service in question may be BitPay). This same cryptocurrency account was used to pay for registering the domain name dcleaks.com. This means that whoever was behind the spear-phishing campaign (and thus the DCCC and DNC hacks) also bought the domain name dcleaks.com, and also leased this server.
Before I bring up another example, here's a quick note about how virtual private networks, or VPNs, work. VPNs can be used to conceal your internet protocol, or IP, address. When you connect to a website, for example twitter.com, while connected to a VPN, that website learns your VPN's internet address and not your real internet address.
Someone used ''the same pool of bitcoin funds'' to pay for a Malaysian VPN service, as well as a Malaysian server to host the dcleaks.com website, the indictment states. Months later, someone logged into the @Guccifer_2 Twitter account from that same Malaysian VPN account. This confirms that the same people who are behind dcleaks.com also have access to the @Guccifer_2 Twitter account.
What isn't mentioned in the indictment is that, on one occasion, someone reportedly logged into the @Guccifer_2 Twitter account without connecting to a VPN service first, revealing their real IP address. ''Working off the IP address,'' the Daily Beast stated in March, ''U.S. investigators identified Guccifer 2.0 as a particular GRU officer working out of the agency's headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow.''
Russian Hackers May Have Leased Infrastructure From U.S. Providers Who Talked to InvestigatorsTo take over first the DCCC network and then the DNC network, GRU hackers, according to the indictment, used a spear-phishing email, which tricked the recipient into entering their password on a malicious site. They then used the victim's credentials to access DCCC's internal network and installed custom malware called X-Agent on ''at least ten DCCC computers,'' according to the indictment. Soon thereafter, the indictment states, the hackers pivoted to DNC's network. From one of the DCCC computers, the Russian hackers allegedly ''activated X-Agent's keylog and screenshot functions to steal credentials of a DCCC employee who was authorized to access the DNC network.'' Armed with DNC login credentials, they were able to access ''approximately thirty-three DNC computers.'' Once on the DNC network, they compromised DNC's Microsoft Exchange Server, gaining access to thousands of emails.
After someone hacks a computer and installs spyware, the attacker then sends commands to the spyware to send data back to them. This is typically done by connecting to a computer known as a command and control, or C2, server.
According to the indictment, the computer that the Russians leased to act as X-Agent's C2 server was located in Arizona. After they had allegedly infected computers in the DCCC network with X-Agent, they logged into this C2 server in order to issue commands to specific hacked computers to log keystrokes and take screenshots.
The indictment goes so far as to specify exactly what data was collected on this C2 server, and at what times. For example, it says that on April 14, the Russians surveilled a DCCC employee's computer for eight hours, during which time they captured ''communications with co-workers and the passwords she entered while working on fundraising and voter outreach projects.''
In the midst of the hack, the DNC discovered what was going on and hired security firm CrowdStrike to investigate it for them. On June 15, CrowdStrike published a blog post, scarce on details, announcing the compromise of the DNC network and attributing the hack to Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, code names for the GRU hacking units.
Five days after CrowdStrike's blog post, according to the indictment, the Russians allegedly deleted all of the logs from their C2 server that ''documented their activities,'' including their login history.
The fact that the U.S. government had access to the keystrokes and screenshots collected by the C2 server, and even knew at what point in time the GRU agents deleted the activity logs and login history from the server, leads me to believe that the hosting provider likely started to cooperate with the investigation, including possibly sharing snapshots of the hard drive connected to the C2 server. This would allow the investigators to have access to this information.
It also appears that the hackers were unaware that the DNC was on to them until after CrowdStrike published their findings. They appeared to have deleted logs from their C2 server after U.S. investigators already had access to it.
In addition to leasing a server in Arizona, the Russians also allegedly leased a separate server in Illinois that they used for a separate piece of malware called X-Tunnel, which was responsible for compressing and then uploading gigabytes of stolen documents from the DCCC and DNC networks to the server in Illinois ''through encrypted channels.'' It is possible that government investigators obtained information from the hosting provider they leased this server from, as well.
Several Other Companies Must Also Have Talked to InvestigatorsThe quantity of technical details related to GRU's 2016 cyberattacks show that the U.S. government has some impressive capabilities. But the primary capability they appear to have used wasn't technical, it was legal: the subpoena. The U.S. government can compel companies to hand over data.
Based on reading the indictment, I think that the U.S. government almost certainly received data from Bitly, Twitter, Facebook, Google, WordPress, and probably from several other companies, including BitPay or other cryptocurrency payment processors, VPN providers, VPS hosting providers, and domain name registrars, among others. (Twitter and WordPress declined to comment. BitPay said, ''BitPay has received subpoenas from U.S. government agencies but how the information is to be used or why it is requested is not shared with us.'' Facebook and Google did not respond to a request for comment.)
With access to all of the information that companies have related to specific accounts, like IP addresses the attackers used to login to services from, time stamps of when they were active, copies of emails and direct messages sent, and potentially images of the hard drives attached to servers used in the attack, it's possible to paint a very detailed picture.
The U.S. Likely Compromised At Least Two GRU Officers' ComputersOne thing that stood out while reading the indictment is how many times the document mentioned exactly what one of the defendants, GRU cyber operations officer Ivan Yermakov, was researching on the internet, and when:
''On or about March 28, 2016, YERMAKOV researched the names of Victims 1 and 2 and their association with Clinton on various social media sites.''''For example, beginning on or about March 15, 2016, YERMAKOV ran a technical query for the DNC's internet protocol configurations to identify connected devices.'', ''On or about the same day, YERMAKOV searched for open-source information about the DNC network, the Democratic Party, and Hillary Clinton.'', ''On or about April 7, 2016, YERMAKOV ran a technical query for the DCCC's internet protocol configurations to identify connected devices.''''During that time, YERMAKOV researched PowerShell commands related to accessing and managing the Microsoft Exchange Server.''''On or about May 31, 2016, YERMAKOV searched for open-source information about Company 1 [CrowdStrike] and its reporting on X-Agent and X-Tunnel.''How could the U.S. investigators have access to this information? Two explanations come to mind. The most likely is that the National Security Agency compromised Yermakov's computer and regularly logged his keystrokes or accessed his browser history. Another explanation would be that Yermakov used Google while logged into an account to do these searches, and the investigators learned his search history from Google. I find the latter to be less convincing because the search engine Yandex is much more popular in Russia, and are GRU officers really stupid enough to use California-based Google?
Another defendant, Anatoly Kovalev, an officer assigned to a different GRU cyber unit, was mentioned only in connection to attacks on the U.S. election infrastructure, not on the Democrats specifically. But one mention stood out:
''In or around August 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert about the hacking of SBOE 1 [State Board of Election 1, probably the state of Illinois] and identified some of the infrastructure that was used to conduct the hacking. In response, KOVALEV deleted his search history. KOVALEV and his co-conspirators also deleted records from accounts used in their operations targeting state boards of elections and similar election-related entities.''How could U.S. investigators know that Kovalev deleted his search history, as well as records belonging to multiple online accounts? Again, I believe the most likely scenario is that the NSA compromised his computer, accessed his browser history, and perhaps logged his keystrokes and took screenshots from his computer using a C2 server of their own.
My guess is that after GRU's fatal mistake, logging into the @Guccifer_2 Twitter account from their Moscow-based IP address, U.S. investigators learned who worked in that office, what their roles were in the hack, and ultimately, infected some of their workstations with malware to gather further evidence.
Metal shelves for crypto-currency mining.
Photo: Eugene Odinokov/Sputnik via AP
The U.S. Government Is Very Good at Tracking BitcoinThe indictment accuses the Russians of conspiring to ''launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.''
Far from being anonymous, bitcoin transactions are stored forever in a public ledger known as the blockchain that's open for anyone on the internet to inspect. An account that holds bitcoin is called a ''wallet,'' but unlike traditional bank accounts, bitcoin wallets are just a number '-- they don't include the identity or name of the owner. Because of this, if you're able to acquire bitcoin anonymously, as the Russian defendants allegedly tried to do, you can spend it on anything without the transactions being linked to you.
But it turns out, this is much harder than it seems.
One method to gain access to bitcoin anonymously is to ''mine'' it, which involves devoting large amounts of computer power toward solving math problems on random numbers over and over again until you're lucky enough to get a correct answer, in which case, a lot of money is added to your bitcoin wallet. According to the indictment, the Russians allegedly mined their own block of bitcoin. The indictment also alleges that the Russians used other methods to obtain bitcoin anonymously, including ''purchasing bitcoin through peer-to-peer exchanges, moving funds through other digital currencies, and using pre-paid cards.'' The latter method refers to buying prepaid gift cards, debit cards, or other similar cards from physical retail stores using cash, and then anonymously reselling them on the internet in exchange for bitcoin.
One complication to using bitcoin anonymously is payment processors. While it's not necessary for bitcoin transactions, many websites that accept bitcoin as a type of payment use companies such as BitPay or Coinbase to help them process it. These payment processors often attach the buyer's email address and IP address to transactions.
The use of these payment processors, along with reusing the same email address for different transactions, helped the U.S. investigators follow the money. They were likely also helped by looking at what was purchased in bitcoin transactions.
For example, the indictment states the hackers used their freshly mined bitcoin to purchase dcleaks.com from a Romanian domain name registrar, and that a U.S.-based payment processing company was involved in the transaction. Because the block of bitcoin was used to purchase dcleaks.com, that block must be controlled by GRU officers, and any other transactions from that same block also must have also originated from the GRU.
U.S. investigators could have linked the pool of bitcoin that the Russians mined to DCLeaks via information from the domain registrar, the cryptocurrency payment processor, or even just from the email account that would have received notifications and receipts from these two companies.
The Government Captured DMs and Emails Between WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0; WikiLeaks Encouraged Misinformation About SourceAccording to the indictment, on June 22, WikiLeaks sent a message to Guccifer 2.0 (the indictment doesn't specify on which platform) asking that they ''[s]end any new material [stolen from the DNC] here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.''
On July 6, WikiLeaks asked again: ''if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after,'' adding that ''we think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary '... so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.''
On July 14, Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to WikiLeaks that included an encrypted attachment named ''wk dnc link1.txt.gpg.'' But the body of the email was plaintext '-- unencrypted and vulnerable to interception by third parties. The indictment says that the unencrypted body explained that ''the encrypted file contained instructions on how to access an online archive of stolen DNC documents.'' Four days later, WikiLeaks responded to this email in another plaintext email, saying that it had received ''the 1Gb or so archive'' and would release the documents that week.
On July 22, WikiLeaks published a database containing the hacked DNC emails.
The indictment doesn't publish the full text of this exchange of private messages and emails, although it seems clear from quotations in the indictment that Mueller's team possesses them. They are consistent, in both content and typo-ridden style, with previous leaked Twitter direct messages between WikiLeaks and its closest supporters. Surely WikiLeaks understood that its Twitter DMs and plaintext emails with its source, Guccifer 2.0, would eventually come to light.
Two and a half weeks after publishing the DNC emails, while being interviewed on a Dutch television show, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange encouraged a conspiracy theory that DNC staffer Seth Rich, who had just recently been killed in what the D.C. police say was a botched robbery, was his source for the DNC emails. After stating WikiLeaks sources face danger, Assange alluded to Rich's shooting, and again alluded to the risks faced by WikiLeaks sources, before stating ''we don't comment on who our sources are.''
''Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material, and often very significant risks,'' Assange said. ''There's a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, who was shot in the back, murdered, just a few weeks ago, for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.''
WikiLeaks did not respond to a request for comment.
Whistleblower Reality Winner Is in Prison for Leaking Essentially the Same Information Now Being Used as Evidence Against Russian OfficersIn the Trump administration's first leak prosecution, 26-year-old former NSA contractor Reality Winner was indicted under the Espionage Act for disclosing a classified document to a news organization. The news organization in question is widely reported to be The Intercept, which published a top-secret document describing in detail a GRU plot to hack American election vendor VR Systems, and then target its customers '-- local election officials in swing states '-- with a spear-phishing campaign.
At least some state election officials learned about GRU's spear-phishing attack from reading about it in the news, not from the federal government '-- prompting two of them, North Carolina and Virginia, both VR Systems customers, to begin searching their internal emails for evidence of being targeted by the spear-phishing campaign.
Two and a half weeks before Mueller's office issued the indictment against these 12 GRU officers, Winner entered into a plea deal with the Justice Department, pleading guilty to one count of violating Section 793 of the Espionage Act and agreeing to serve 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
FBI '-- Shawn Henry Named Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:00
Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named Shawn Henry as the executive assistant director (EAD) of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch (CCRSB). Mr. Henry will succeed Assistant Deputy Director T.J. Harrington. Mr. Henry most recently served as assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office.
''I am confident that under Shawn's leadership, CCRSB will continue to sharpen its strategic focus and coordinated efforts with state, local, and international partners to address new and emerging international and domestic criminal and cyber threats to our nation's security'' said Director Robert Mueller.
Since February 2010, Mr. Henry has served as assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office, which is where he began his career with the FBI in 1989, investigating a variety of matters, focusing primarily on public corruption and serving as a member of the SWAT team.
In his 21 years with the Bureau, Mr. Henry has served in a variety of capacities at FBI Headquarters and in the field. Among his many assignments Mr. Henry has served as: a supervisory special agent in the Public Corruption Unit; chief of the Computer Investigations Unit in the National Infrastructure Protection Center; field supervisor of the Computer Crimes Squad for the FBI's Baltimore Field Office; assistant inspector and team leader in the Inspection Division; assistant special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office; and chief of the Executive Staff for the National Security Branch.
In 2007, Mr. Henry was named deputy assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division, with program management responsibility for all FBI computer investigations worldwide. He was an original member of the National Cyber Study Group, which developed the Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative (CNCI). In September 2008, Mr. Henry became assistant director of the Cyber Division, where he played a central role in restructuring the FBI's cyber strategy and investigative programs.
Mr. Henry has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Hofstra University in New York, and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S. - The New York Times
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:13
A filing cabinet broken into in 1972 as part of the Watergate burglary sits beside a computer server that Russian hackers breached during the 2016 presidential campaign at the Democratic National Committee's headquarters in Washington. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.
His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named ''the Dukes,'' a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.
The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government's best-protected networks.
Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for ''the Dukes'' and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion. By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks '-- in part because he wasn't certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.
''I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call,'' Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo, obtained by The New York Times, that detailed his contact with the F.B.I.
It was the cryptic first sign of a cyberespionage and information-warfare campaign devised to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, the first such attempt by a foreign power in American history. What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump.
Like another famous American election scandal, it started with a break-in at the D.N.C. The first time, 44 years ago at the committee's old offices in the Watergate complex, the burglars planted listening devices and jimmied a filing cabinet. This time, the burglary was conducted from afar, directed by the Kremlin, with spear-phishing emails and zeros and ones.
An examination by The Times of the Russian operation '-- based on interviews with dozens of players targeted in the attack, intelligence officials who investigated it and Obama administration officials who deliberated over the best response '-- reveals a series of missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of the cyberattack.
The D.N.C.'s fumbling encounter with the F.B.I. meant the best chance to halt the Russian intrusion was lost. The failure to grasp the scope of the attacks undercut efforts to minimize their impact. And the White House's reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.
The low-key approach of the F.B.I. meant that Russian hackers could roam freely through the committee's network for nearly seven months before top D.N.C. officials were alerted to the attack and hired cyberexperts to protect their systems. In the meantime, the hackers moved on to targets outside the D.N.C., including Mrs. Clinton's campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, whose private email account was hacked months later.
Even Mr. Podesta, a savvy Washington insider who had written a 2014 report on cyberprivacy for President Obama, did not truly understand the gravity of the hacking.
Image Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, incorrectly legitimized a phishing email sent to the personal account of John D. Podesta, the campaign chairman.By last summer, Democrats watched in helpless fury as their private emails and confidential documents appeared online day after day '-- procured by Russian intelligence agents, posted on WikiLeaks and other websites, then eagerly reported on by the American media, including The Times. Mr. Trump gleefully cited many of the purloined emails on the campaign trail.
The fallout included the resignations of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the D.N.C., and most of her top party aides. Leading Democrats were sidelined at the height of the campaign, silenced by revelations of embarrassing emails or consumed by the scramble to deal with the hacking. Though little-noticed by the public, confidential documents taken by the Russian hackers from the D.N.C.'s sister organization, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, turned up in congressional races in a dozen states, tainting some of them with accusations of scandal.
Image President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia during a reception last week at the Kremlin in Moscow. Credit Pool photo by Alexei Nikolsky In recent days, a skeptical president-elect, the nation's intelligence agencies and the two major parties have become embroiled in an extraordinary public dispute over what evidence exists that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.
Many of Mrs. Clinton's closest aides believe that the Russian assault had a profound impact on the election, while conceding that other factors '-- Mrs. Clinton's weaknesses as a candidate; her private email server; the public statements of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, about her handling of classified information '-- were also important.
While there's no way to be certain of the ultimate impact of the hack, this much is clear: A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.
''There shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's mind,'' Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of United States Cyber Command, said at a postelection conference. ''This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily,'' he said. ''This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.''
For the people whose emails were stolen, this new form of political sabotage has left a trail of shock and professional damage. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a key Clinton supporter, recalls walking into the busy Clinton transition offices, humiliated to see her face on television screens as pundits discussed a leaked email in which she had called Mrs. Clinton's instincts ''suboptimal.''
''It was just a sucker punch to the gut every day,'' Ms. Tanden said. ''It was the worst professional experience of my life.''
The United States, too, has carried out cyberattacks, and in decades past the C.I.A. tried to subvert foreign elections. But the Russian attack is increasingly understood across the political spectrum as an ominous historic landmark '-- with one notable exception: Mr. Trump has rejected the findings of the intelligence agencies he will soon oversee as ''ridiculous,'' insisting that the hacker may be American, or Chinese, but that ''they have no idea.''
Mr. Trump cited the reported disagreements between the agencies about whether Mr. Putin intended to help elect him. On Tuesday, a Russian government spokesman echoed Mr. Trump's scorn.
''This tale of 'hacks' resembles a banal brawl between American security officials over spheres of influence,'' Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote on Facebook.
Over the weekend, four prominent senators '-- two Republicans and two Democrats '-- joined forces to pledge an investigation while pointedly ignoring Mr. Trump's skeptical claims.
''Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyberattacks,'' said Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed.
''This cannot become a partisan issue,'' they said. ''The stakes are too high for our country.''
A Target for Break-InsSitting in the basement of the Democratic National Committee headquarters, below a wall-size 2012 portrait of a smiling Barack Obama, is a 1960s-era filing cabinet missing the handle on the bottom drawer. Only a framed newspaper story hanging on the wall hints at the importance of this aged piece of office furniture.
''GOP Security Aide Among 5 Arrested in Bugging Affair,'' reads the headline from the front page of The Washington Post on June 19, 1972, with the bylines of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
Andrew Brown, 37, the technology director at the D.N.C., was born after that famous break-in. But as he began to plan for this year's election cycle, he was well aware that the D.N.C. could become a break-in target again.
There were aspirations to ensure that the D.N.C. was well protected against cyberintruders '-- and then there was the reality, Mr. Brown and his bosses at the organization acknowledged: The D.N.C. was a nonprofit group, dependent on donations, with a fraction of the security budget that a corporation its size would have.
''There was never enough money to do everything we needed to do,'' Mr. Brown said.
The D.N.C. had a standard email spam-filtering service, intended to block phishing attacks and malware created to resemble legitimate email. But when Russian hackers started in on the D.N.C., the committee did not have the most advanced systems in place to track suspicious traffic, internal D.N.C. memos show.
Mr. Tamene, who reports to Mr. Brown and fielded the call from the F.B.I. agent, was not a full-time D.N.C. employee; he works for a Chicago-based contracting firm called The MIS Department. He was left to figure out, largely on his own, how to respond '-- and even whether the man who had called in to the D.N.C. switchboard was really an F.B.I. agent.
''The F.B.I. thinks the D.N.C. has at least one compromised computer on its network and the F.B.I. wanted to know if the D.N.C. is aware, and if so, what the D.N.C. is doing about it,'' Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo about his contacts with the F.B.I. He added that ''the Special Agent told me to look for a specific type of malware dubbed 'Dukes' by the U.S. intelligence community and in cybersecurity circles.''
Part of the problem was that Special Agent Hawkins did not show up in person at the D.N.C. Nor could he email anyone there, as that risked alerting the hackers that the F.B.I. knew they were in the system.
Image An internal memo by Yared Tamene, a tech-support contractor at the D.N.C., expressed uncertainty about the identity of Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the F.B.I., who called to inform him of the breach.Mr. Tamene's initial scan of the D.N.C. system '-- using his less-than-optimal tools and incomplete targeting information from the F.B.I. '-- found nothing. So when Special Agent Hawkins called repeatedly in October, leaving voice mail messages for Mr. Tamene, urging him to call back, ''I did not return his calls, as I had nothing to report,'' Mr. Tamene explained in his memo.
In November, Special Agent Hawkins called with more ominous news. A D.N.C. computer was ''calling home, where home meant Russia,'' Mr. Tamene's memo says, referring to software sending information to Moscow. ''SA Hawkins added that the F.B.I. thinks that this calling home behavior could be the result of a state-sponsored attack.''
Mr. Brown knew that Mr. Tamene, who declined to comment, was fielding calls from the F.B.I. But he was tied up on a different problem: evidence suggesting that the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mrs. Clinton's main Democratic opponent, had improperly gained access to her campaign data.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz, then the D.N.C.'s chairwoman, and Amy Dacey, then its chief executive, said in interviews that neither of them was notified about the early reports that the committee's system had likely been compromised.
Shawn Henry, who once led the F.B.I.'s cyber division and is now president of CrowdStrike Services, the cybersecurity firm retained by the D.N.C. in April, said he was baffled that the F.B.I. did not call a more senior official at the D.N.C. or send an agent in person to the party headquarters to try to force a more vigorous response.
''We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana,'' Mr. Henry said. ''We are talking about an office that is half a mile from the F.B.I. office that is getting the notification.''
''This is not a mom-and-pop delicatessen or a local library. This is a critical piece of the U.S. infrastructure because it relates to our electoral process, our elected officials, our legislative process, our executive process,'' he added. ''To me it is a high-level, serious issue, and if after a couple of months you don't see any results, somebody ought to raise that to a higher level.''
The F.B.I. declined to comment on the agency's handling of the hack. ''The F.B.I. takes very seriously any compromise of public and private sector systems,'' it said in a statement, adding that agents ''will continue to share information'' to help targets ''safeguard their systems against the actions of persistent cybercriminals.''
By March, Mr. Tamene and his team had met at least twice in person with the F.B.I. and concluded that Agent Hawkins was really a federal employee. But then the situation took a dire turn.
A second team of Russian-affiliated hackers began to target the D.N.C. and other players in the political world, particularly Democrats. Billy Rinehart, a former D.N.C. regional field director who was then working for Mrs. Clinton's campaign, got an odd email warning from Google.
''Someone just used your password to try to sign into your Google account,'' the March 22 email said, adding that the sign-in attempt had occurred in Ukraine. ''Google stopped this sign-in attempt. You should change your password immediately.''
Mr. Rinehart was in Hawaii at the time. He remembers checking his email at 4 a.m. for messages from East Coast associates. Without thinking much about the notification, he clicked on the ''change password'' button and half asleep, as best he can remember, he typed in a new password.
Image A screenshot of the phishing email that Billy Rinehart clicked on, unknowingly giving Russian hackers access to his account. The New York Times has redacted Mr. Rinehart's email address.What he did not know until months later is that he had just given the Russian hackers access to his email account.
Hundreds of similar phishing emails were being sent to American political targets, including an identical email sent on March 19 to Mr. Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign. Given how many emails Mr. Podesta received through this personal email account, several aides also had access to it, and one of them noticed the warning email, sending it to a computer technician to make sure it was legitimate before anyone clicked on the ''change password'' button.
''This is a legitimate email,'' Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, replied to another of Mr. Podesta's aides, who had noticed the alert. ''John needs to change his password immediately.''
With another click, a decade of emails that Mr. Podesta maintained in his Gmail account '-- a total of about 60,000 '-- were unlocked for the Russian hackers. Mr. Delavan, in an interview, said that his bad advice was a result of a typo: He knew this was a phishing attack, as the campaign was getting dozens of them. He said he had meant to type that it was an ''illegitimate'' email, an error that he said has plagued him ever since.
Image Mr. Podesta, center, with Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's closest aide, in Brooklyn the day after the election. Hackers gained access to tens of thousands of Mr. Podesta's emails. Credit Dave Sanders for The New York Times During this second wave, the hackers also gained access to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then, through a virtual private network connection, to the main computer network of the D.N.C.
The F.B.I. observed this surge of activity as well, again reaching out to Mr. Tamene to warn him. Yet Mr. Tamene still saw no reason to be alarmed: He found copies of the phishing emails in the D.N.C.'s spam filter. But he had no reason, he said, to believe that the computer systems had been infiltrated.
One bit of progress had finally been made by the middle of April: The D.N.C., seven months after it had first been warned, finally installed a ''robust set of monitoring tools,'' Mr. Tamene's internal memo says.
Honing Stealthy Tactics Image The headquarters of the Russian F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., in Moscow. Credit Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press The United States had two decades of warning that Russia's intelligence agencies were trying to break into America's most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.
Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first ''everyone was unable to connect the dots,'' said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King's College in London who has studied the attack.
Investigators gave it a name '-- Moonlight Maze '-- and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.
Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.
But for years, the Russians stayed largely out of the headlines, thanks to the Chinese '-- who took bigger risks, and often got caught. They stole the designs for the F-35 fighter jet, corporate secrets for rolling steel, even the blueprints for gas pipelines that supply much of the United States. And during the 2008 presidential election cycle, Chinese intelligence hacked into the campaigns of Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain, making off with internal position papers and communications. But they didn't publish any of it.
The Russians had not gone away, of course. ''They were just a lot more stealthy,'' said Kevin Mandia, a former Air Force intelligence officer who spent most of his days fighting off Russian cyberattacks before founding Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm that is now a division of FireEye '-- and the company the Clinton campaign brought in to secure its own systems.
The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia's war with Georgia.
But American officials did not imagine that the Russians would dare try those techniques inside the United States. They were largely focused on preventing what former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned was an approaching ''cyber Pearl Harbor'' '-- a shutdown of the power grid or cellphone networks.
But in 2014 and 2015, a Russian hacking group began systematically targeting the State Department, the White House and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ''Each time, they eventually met with some form of success,'' Michael Sulmeyer, a former cyberexpert for the secretary of defense, and Ben Buchanan, now both of the Harvard Cyber Security Project, wrote recently in a soon-to-be published paper for the Carnegie Endowment.
The Russians grew stealthier and stealthier, tricking government computers into sending out data while disguising the electronic ''command and control'' messages that set off alarms for anyone looking for malicious actions. The State Department was so crippled that it repeatedly closed its systems to throw out the intruders. At one point, officials traveling to Vienna with Secretary of State John Kerry for the Iran nuclear negotiations had to set up commercial Gmail accounts just to communicate with one another and with reporters traveling with them.
Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia's cooperation in negotiations over Syria.
''We'd have all these circular meetings,'' one senior State Department official said, ''in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn't happen.''
So the Russians escalated again '-- breaking into systems not just for espionage, but to publish or broadcast what they found, known as ''doxing'' in the cyberworld.
It was a brazen change in tactics, moving the Russians from espionage to influence operations. In February 2014, they broadcast an intercepted phone call between Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state who handles Russian affairs and has a contentious relationship with Mr. Putin, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the United States ambassador to Ukraine. Ms. Nuland was heard describing a little-known American effort to broker a deal in Ukraine, then in political turmoil.
They were not the only ones on whom the Russians used the steal-and-leak strategy. The Open Society Foundation, run by George Soros, was a major target, and when its documents were released, some turned out to have been altered to make it appear as if the foundation was financing Russian opposition members.
Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.
The attacks ''were not fully integrated military operations,'' Mr. Sulmeyer said. But they showed an increasing boldness.
Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear Image Supporters of President-elect Donald J. Trump at a ''thank you'' rally last week in Des Moines. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times The day before the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in April, Ms. Dacey, the D.N.C.'s chief executive, was preparing for a night of parties when she got an urgent phone call.
With the new monitoring system in place, Mr. Tamene had examined administrative logs of the D.N.C.'s computer system and found something very suspicious: An unauthorized person, with administrator-level security status, had gained access to the D.N.C.'s computers.
''Not sure it is related to what the F.B.I. has been noticing,'' said one internal D.N.C. email sent on April 29. ''The D.N.C. may have been hacked in a serious way this week, with password theft, etc.''
No one knew just how bad the breach was '-- but it was clear that a lot more than a single filing cabinet worth of materials might have been taken. A secret committee was immediately created, including Ms. Dacey, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Brown and Michael Sussmann, a former cybercrimes prosecutor at the Department of Justice who now works at Perkins Coie, the Washington law firm that handles D.N.C. political matters.
''Three most important questions,'' Mr. Sussmann wrote to his clients the night the break-in was confirmed. ''1) What data was accessed? 2) How was it done? 3) How do we stop it?''
Mr. Sussmann instructed his clients not to use D.N.C. email because they had just one opportunity to lock the hackers out '-- an effort that could be foiled if the hackers knew that the D.N.C. was on to them.
''You only get one chance to raise the drawbridge,'' Mr. Sussmann said. ''If the adversaries know you are aware of their presence, they will take steps to burrow in, or erase the logs that show they were present.''
Image Michael Sussmann, a Washington lawyer and former cybercrime prosecutor at the Justice Department, received an email in late April confirming that the D.N.C.'s computer system had been compromised.The D.N.C. immediately hired CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm, to scan its computers, identify the intruders and build a new computer and telephone system from scratch. Within a day, CrowdStrike confirmed that the intrusion had originated in Russia, Mr. Sussmann said.
The work that such companies do is a computer version of old-fashioned crime scene investigation, with fingerprints, bullet casings and DNA swabs replaced by an electronic trail that can be just as incriminating. And just as police detectives learn to identify the telltale methods of a veteran burglar, so CrowdStrike investigators recognized the distinctive handiwork of Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear.
Those are CrowdStrike's nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear '-- the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for ''advanced persistent threat'' '-- may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike's co-founder and chief technology officer.
It was Cozy Bear, CrowdStrike concluded, that first penetrated the D.N.C. in the summer of 2015, by sending spear-phishing emails to a long list of American government agencies, Washington nonprofits and government contractors. Whenever someone clicked on a phishing message, the Russians would enter the network, ''exfiltrate'' documents of interest and stockpile them for intelligence purposes.
''Once they got into the D.N.C., they found the data valuable and decided to continue the operation,'' said Mr. Alperovitch, who was born in Russia and moved to the United States as a teenager.
Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up '-- first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia's military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta's email.
Attribution, as the skill of identifying a cyberattacker is known, is more art than science. It is often impossible to name an attacker with absolute certainty. But over time, by accumulating a reference library of hacking techniques and targets, it is possible to spot repeat offenders. Fancy Bear, for instance, has gone after military and political targets in Ukraine and Georgia, and at NATO installations.
That largely rules out cybercriminals and most countries, Mr. Alperovitch said. ''There's no plausible actor that has an interest in all those victims other than Russia,'' he said. Another clue: The Russian hacking groups tended to be active during working hours in the Moscow time zone.
To their astonishment, Mr. Alperovitch said, CrowdStrike experts found signs that the two Russian hacking groups had not coordinated their attacks. Fancy Bear, apparently not knowing that Cozy Bear had been rummaging in D.N.C. files for months, took many of the same documents.
In the six weeks after CrowdStrike's arrival, in total secrecy, the computer system at the D.N.C. was replaced. For a weekend, email and phones were shut off; employees were told it was a system upgrade. All laptops were turned in and the hard drives wiped clean, with the uninfected information on them imaged to new drives.
Though D.N.C. officials had learned that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had been infected, too, they did not notify their sister organization, which was in the same building, because they were afraid that it would leak.
All of this work took place as the bitter contest for the Democratic nomination continued to play out between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders, and it was already causing a major distraction for Ms. Wasserman Schultz and the D.N.C.'s chief executive.
''This was not a bump in the road '-- bumps in the road happen all the time,'' she said in an interview. ''Two different Russian spy agencies had hacked into our network and stolen our property. And we did not yet know what they had taken. But we knew they had very broad access to our network. There was a tremendous amount of uncertainty. And it was chilling.''
The D.N.C. executives and their lawyer had their first formal meeting with senior F.B.I. officials in mid-June, nine months after the bureau's first call to the tech-support contractor. Among the early requests at that meeting, according to participants: that the federal government make a quick ''attribution'' formally blaming actors with ties to Russian government for the attack to make clear that it was not routine hacking but foreign espionage.
''You have a presidential election underway here and you know that the Russians have hacked into the D.N.C.,'' Mr. Sussmann said, recalling the message to the F.B.I. ''We need to tell the American public that. And soon.''
The Media's Role Image Supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign protested at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times In mid-June, on Mr. Sussmann's advice, D.N.C. leaders decided to take a bold step. Concerned that word of the hacking might leak, they decided to go public in The Washington Post with the news that the committee had been attacked. That way, they figured, they could get ahead of the story, win a little sympathy from voters for being victimized by Russian hackers and refocus on the campaign.
But the very next day, a new, deeply unsettling shock awaited them. Someone calling himself Guccifer 2.0 appeared on the web, claiming to be the D.N.C. hacker '-- and he posted a confidential committee document detailing Mr. Trump's record and half a dozen other documents to prove his bona fides.
''And it's just a tiny part of all docs I downloaded from the Democrats networks,'' he wrote. Then something more ominous: ''The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to WikiLeaks. They will publish them soon.''
It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee's network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.
Guccifer 2.0 borrowed the moniker of an earlier hacker, a Romanian who called himself Guccifer and was jailed for breaking into the personal computers of former President George W. Bush, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and other notables. This new attacker seemed intent on showing that the D.N.C.'s cyberexperts at CrowdStrike were wrong to blame Russia. Guccifer 2.0 called himself a ''lone hacker'' and mocked CrowdStrike for calling the attackers ''sophisticated.''
But online investigators quickly undercut his story. On a whim, Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, a writer for Motherboard, the tech and culture site of Vice, tried to contact Guccifer 2.0 by direct message on Twitter.
''Surprisingly, he answered right away,'' Mr. Franceschi-Bicchierai said. But whoever was on the other end seemed to be mocking him. ''I asked him why he did it, and he said he wanted to expose the Illuminati. He called himself a Gucci lover. And he said he was Romanian.''
That gave Mr. Franceschi-Bicchierai an idea. Using Google Translate, he sent the purported hacker some questions in Romanian. The answers came back in Romanian. But when he was offline, Mr. Franceschi-Bicchierai checked with a couple of native speakers, who told him Guccifer 2.0 had apparently been using Google Translate as well '-- and was clearly not the Romanian he claimed to be.
Cyberresearchers found other clues pointing to Russia. Microsoft Word documents posted by Guccifer 2.0 had been edited by someone calling himself, in Russian, Felix Edmundovich '-- an obvious nom de guerre honoring the founder of the Soviet secret police, Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky. Bad links in the texts were marked by warnings in Russian, generated by what was clearly a Russian-language version of Word.
When Mr. Franceschi-Bicchierai managed to engage Guccifer 2.0 over a period of weeks, he found that his interlocutor's tone and manner changed. ''At first he was careless and colloquial. Weeks later, he was curt and more calculating,'' he said. ''It seemed like a group of people, and a very sloppy attempt to cover up.''
Computer experts drew the same conclusion about DCLeaks.com, a site that sprang up in June, claiming to be the work of ''hacktivists'' but posting more stolen documents. It, too, seemed to be a clumsy front for the same Russians who had stolen the documents. Notably, the website was registered in April, suggesting that the Russian hacking team planned well in advance to make public what it stole.
In addition to what Guccifer 2.0 published on his site, he provided material directly on request to some bloggers and publications. The steady flow of Guccifer 2.0 documents constantly undercut Democratic messaging efforts. On July 6, 12 days before the Republican National Convention began in Cleveland, Guccifer released the D.N.C.'s battle plan and budget for countering it. For Republican operatives, it was insider gold.
Then WikiLeaks, a far more established outlet, began to publish the hacked material '-- just as Guccifer 2.0 had promised. On July 22, three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks dumped out 44,053 D.N.C. emails with 17,761 attachments. Some of the messages made clear that some D.N.C. officials favored Mrs. Clinton over her progressive challenger, Mr. Sanders.
That was no shock; Mr. Sanders, after all, had been an independent socialist, not a Democrat, during his long career in Congress, while Mrs. Clinton had been one of the party's stars for decades. But the emails, some of them crude or insulting, infuriated Sanders delegates as they arrived in Philadelphia. Ms. Wasserman Schultz resigned under pressure on the eve of the convention where she had planned to preside.
Mr. Trump, by now the Republican nominee, expressed delight at the continuing jolts to his opponent, and he began to use Twitter and his stump speeches to highlight the WikiLeaks releases. On July 25, he sent out a lighthearted tweet: ''The new joke in town,'' he wrote, ''is that Russia leaked the disastrous D.N.C. e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me.''
But WikiLeaks was far from finished. On Oct. 7, a month before the election, the site began the serial publication of thousands of private emails to and from Mr. Podesta, Mrs. Clinton's campaign manager.
The same day, the United States formally accused the Russian government of being behind the hackings, in a joint statement by the director of national intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security, and Mr. Trump suffered his worst blow to date, with the release of a recording in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women.
The Podesta emails were nowhere near as sensational as the Trump video. But, released by WikiLeaks day after day over the last month of the campaign, they provided material for countless news reports. They disclosed the contents of Mrs. Clinton's speeches to large banks, which she had refused to release. They exposed tensions inside the campaign, including disagreements over donations to the Clinton Foundation that staff members thought might look bad for the candidate and Ms. Tanden's complaint that Mrs. Clinton's instincts were ''suboptimal.''
''I was just mortified,'' Ms. Tanden said in an interview. Her emails were released on the eve of one of the presidential debates, she recalled. ''I put my hands over my head and said, 'I can't believe this is happening to me.''' Though she had regularly appeared on television to support Mrs. Clinton, she canceled her appearances because all the questions were about what she had said in the emails.
Ms. Tanden, like other Democrats whose messages became public, said it was obvious to her that WikiLeaks was trying its best to damage the Clinton campaign. ''If you care about transparency, you put all the emails out at once,'' she said. ''But they wanted to hurt her. So they put them out 1,800 to 3,000 a day.''
The Trump campaign knew in advance about WikiLeaks' plans. Days before the Podesta email release began, Roger Stone, a Republican operative working with the Trump campaign, sent out an excited tweet about what was coming.
But in an interview, Mr. Stone said he had no role in the leaks; he had just heard from an American with ties to WikiLeaks that damning emails were coming.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin's government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton's candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.
In a series of email exchanges, Mr. Assange refused to say anything about WikiLeaks' source for the hacked material. He denied that he had made his animus toward Mrs. Clinton clear in public statements (''False. But what is this? Junior high?'') or that the site had timed the releases for maximum negative effect on her campaign. ''WikiLeaks makes its decisions based on newsworthiness, including for its recent epic scoops,'' he wrote.
Mr. Assange disputed the conclusion of the Oct. 7 statement from the intelligence agencies that the leaks were ''intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.''
''This is false,'' he wrote. ''As the disclosing party we know that this was not the intent. Publishers publishing newsworthy information during an election is part of a free election.''
Image Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, disputed intelligence agencies' conclusion that the email leaks were ''intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.'' Credit Steffi Loos/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images But asked whether he believed the leaks were one reason for Mr. Trump's election, Mr. Assange seemed happy to take credit. ''Americans extensively engaged with our publications,'' he wrote. ''According to Facebook statistics WikiLeaks was the most referenced political topic during October.''
Though Mr. Assange did not say so, WikiLeaks' best defense may be the conduct of the mainstream American media. Every major publication, including The Times, published multiple stories citing the D.N.C. and Podesta emails posted by WikiLeaks, becoming a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.
Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy '-- political campaigns and independent media '-- to his own ends. The media's appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.
''What was really surprising to me?'' Ms. Tanden said. ''I could not believe that reporters were covering it.''
Devising a Government Response Image The D.N.C. headquarters in Washington. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times Inside the White House, as Mr. Obama's advisers debated their response, their conversation turned to North Korea.
In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North's young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.
In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony's own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North's internet connections.
As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, ''it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,'' said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of ''kompromat,'' their term for compromising information.
But a formal ''attribution report'' still had not been forwarded to the president.
''It took forever,'' one senior administration official said, complaining about the pace at which the intelligence assessments moved through the system.
In August a group that called itself the ''Shadow Brokers'' published a set of software tools that looked like what the N.S.A. uses to break into foreign computer networks and install ''implants,'' malware that can be used for surveillance or attack. The code came from the Tailored Access Operations unit of the N.S.A., a secretive group that mastered the arts of surveillance and cyberwar.
The assumption '-- still unproved '-- was that the code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in ''The Godfather'' where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.
The N.S.A. said nothing. But by late August, Admiral Rogers, its director, was pressing for a more muscular response to the Russians. In his role as director of the Pentagon's Cyber Command, he proposed a series of potential counter-cyberstrikes.
Image Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of United States Cyber Command, pressed for a more muscular response to the Russians. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times While officials will not discuss them in detail, the possible counterstrikes reportedly included operations that would turn the tables on Mr. Putin, exposing his financial links to Russia's oligarchs, and punching holes in the Russian internet to allow dissidents to get their message out. Pentagon officials judged the measures too unsubtle and ordered up their own set of options.
But in the end, none of those were formally presented to the president.
In a series of ''deputies meetings'' run by Avril Haines, the deputy national security adviser and a former deputy director of the C.I.A., several officials warned that an overreaction by the administration would play into Mr. Putin's hands.
''If we went to Defcon 4,'' one frequent participant in Ms. Haines's meetings said, using a phrase from the Cold War days of warnings of war, ''we would be saying to the public that we didn't have confidence in the integrity of our voting system.''
Even something seemingly straightforward '-- using the president's executive powers, bolstered after the Sony incident, to place economic and travel sanctions on cyberattackers '-- seemed too risky.
''No one was all that eager to impose costs before Election Day,'' said another participant in the classified meeting. ''Any retaliatory measures were seen through the prism of what would happen on Election Day.''
Instead, when Mr. Obama's national security team reconvened after summer vacation, the focus turned to a crash effort to secure the nation's voting machines and voter-registration rolls from hacking. The scenario they discussed most frequently '-- one that turned out not to be an issue '-- was a narrow vote in favor of Mrs. Clinton, followed by a declaration by Mr. Trump that the vote was ''rigged'' and more leaks intended to undercut her legitimacy.
Donna Brazile, the interim chairwoman of the D.N.C., became increasingly frustrated as the clock continued to run down on the presidential election '-- and still there was no broad public condemnation by the White House, or Republican Party leaders, of the attack as an act of foreign espionage.
Ms. Brazile even reached out to Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, urging him twice in private conversations and in a letter to join her in condemning the attacks '-- an offer he declined to take up.
''We just kept hearing the government would respond, the government would respond,'' she said. ''Once upon a time, if a foreign government interfered with our election we would respond as a nation, not as a political party.''
But Mr. Obama did decide that he would deliver a warning to Mr. Putin in person at a Group of 20 summit meeting in Hangzhou, China, the last time they would be in the same place while Mr. Obama was still in office. When the two men met for a tense pull-aside, Mr. Obama explicitly warned Mr. Putin of a strong American response if there was continued effort to influence the election or manipulate the vote, according to White House officials who were not present for the one-on-one meeting.
Later that day, Mr. Obama made a rare reference to America's own offensive cybercapacity, which he has almost never talked about. ''Frankly, both offensively and defensively, we have more capacity,'' he told reporters.
But when it came time to make a public assertion of Russia's role in early October, it was made in a written statement from the director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security. It was far less dramatic than the president's appearance in the press room two years before to directly accuse the North Koreans of attacking Sony.
The reference in the statement to hackings on ''political organizations,'' officials now say, encompassed a hacking on data stored by the Republicans as well. Two senior officials say the forensic evidence was accompanied by ''human and technical'' sources in Russia, which appears to mean that the United States' implants or taps in Russian computer and phone networks helped confirm the country's role.
But that may not be known for decades, until the secrets are declassified.
A week later Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sent out to transmit a public warning to Mr. Putin: The United States will retaliate ''at the time of our choosing. And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.''
Later, after Mr. Biden said he was not concerned that Russia could ''fundamentally alter the election,'' he was asked whether the American public would know if the message to Mr. Putin had been sent.
''Hope not,'' Mr. Biden responded.
Some of his former colleagues think that was the wrong answer. An American counterstrike, said Michael Morell, the former deputy director of the C.I.A. under Mr. Obama, has ''got to be overt. It needs to be seen.''
A covert response would significantly limit the deterrence effect, he added. ''If you can't see it, it's not going to deter the Chinese and North Koreans and Iranians and others.''
The Obama administration says it still has more than 30 days to do exactly that.
The Next Target Image President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. walked back toward the White House after delivering remarks about the election results last month. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking '-- the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin's motive.
Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?
In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.
What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. ''The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,'' Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, ''Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.''
But Russia has by no means forgotten its American target. On the day after the presidential election, the cybersecurity company Volexity reported five new waves of phishing emails, evidently from Cozy Bear, aimed at think tanks and nonprofits in the United States.
One of them purported to be from Harvard University, attaching a fake paper. Its title: ''Why American Elections Are Flawed.''
Correction:Editors' Note: An earlier version of the main photograph with this article, of a filing cabinet and computer at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, should not have been published. The photographer had removed a framed image from the wall over the filing cabinet '-- showing a Washington Post Watergate front page '-- because it was causing glare with the lighting. The new version shows the scene as it normally appears, with the framed newspaper page in place.
CrowdStrike Closes $100 Million Series D Financing Round
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:14
The go-to company to stop breaches exceeds $1 billion in valuation; validates AI cloud-based endpoint protection as the new standard for endpoint security
Irvine, CA '' May 17, 2017 '' CrowdStrike® Inc., the leader in cloud-delivered next-generation endpoint protection, today announced that the company has completed a $100 million Series D financing round, led by existing investor Accel. Other CrowdStrike investors CapitalG (formerly Google Capital) and Warburg Pincus are also participating in this round, along with new investor March Capital Partners and Telstra, a CrowdStrike customer. Following the closing of this round, the company's total funding raised is $256 million with a valuation of over $1 billion dollars.
This round of funding will accelerate CrowdStrike's explosive global growth and help the company meet the spiking demand for its CrowdStrike Falcon® platform, the new standard for endpoint protection. As organizations are looking to replace their antivirus (AV) with more effective and forward-looking solutions, CrowdStrike's cloud-based endpoint protection platform has emerged as the clear choice for customers around the world, displacing many legacy technologies and next-generation AV point products. With endpoint deployments in 176 countries, CrowdStrike Falcon processes 40 billion security events a day, aggregating one of the biggest threat databases in the industry.
CrowdStrike is the leader in applying artificial intelligence/machine learning to endpoint security, providing unmatched prevention of malware and malware-free attacks on and off the network. By running its artificial intelligence/ machine learning algorithms in the cloud and on the endpoint, CrowdStrike's prevention engine sets a new standard in the industry for highly effective protection and ensures minimal false positives and extremely low performance overhead on the endpoint.
''CrowdStrike's rapid market penetration has been one of the most impressive things we've seen. Accel was one of the company's first investors, and the company's emergence as a leader in the next generation of enterprise security is why we wanted to lead this round and support the world-class CrowdStrike leadership team,'' said Sameer Gandhi, partner at Accel. ''The investment will enable CrowdStrike to build on the incredible momentum the company has experienced globally and expand its presence in domestic and international markets to meet the demand for its platform and services.''
CrowdStrike has significantly increased its core customer base, and expanded operations in EMEA, APAC, and Latin America. CrowdStrike's corporate growth and fast-yielding financial performance include:
476 percent growth in new endpoint protection platform (EPP) subscriptions, year-over-year382 percent growth in endpoint protection platform (EPP) subscriptions for Fortune 500 customers, year-over-year400 percent growth in the number of $1 million or greater transactions, year-over-year253 percent growth in endpoint protection platform (EPP) sensors deployed, year-over-yearMore than 10 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies worldwide leverage CrowdStrike's technology and services''I couldn't be more pleased to deepen our relationships with existing investors and add another high-caliber firm like March Capital to our team. As we continue to drive our revolutionary platform to market, this substantial financial backing will allow us to expand engineering, sales, marketing, and operational resources to maintain our position as the industry leader in endpoint security and grow at an even faster rate,'' said George Kurtz, CrowdStrike's co-founder and chief executive officer. ''I can't think of more powerful validation for our technology and vision than having our existing investors deciding to double down on their backing and being the only company in our industry that is funded by three customers.''
To learn more about the funding, read a blog post from George Kurtz, co-founder and chief executive officer of CrowdStrike.
Supporting Quotes:
Mark Sherman, managing director of Telstra Ventures
''As one of CrowdStrike's first customers, we have been impressed by the innovation and effectiveness of the Falcon platform. CrowdStrike has played an important role as part of Telstra's security program. Also we have already successfully introduced CrowdStrike to some of our business customers and we are excited to strengthen our partnership through this investment.''
Jamie Montgomery, co-founder of March Capital
''At March Capital, we are looking for industry outliers and true innovators who are ready to establish themselves as the market leaders in their respective industries. CrowdStrike is the embodiment of a successful innovator in cybersecurity '' impressive sales and growth trajectory, unique and compelling approach to solving the security challenge, and a highly experienced and talented management team. We couldn't be more thrilled to invest in their success.''
Gene Frantz, partner at CapitalG
''Prior to investing in CrowdStrike, we evaluated the entire endpoint protection market and found CrowdStrike's approach and technology to be absolutely best-in-class in offering an end-to-end platform, fully powered by the cloud, coupled with security services and threat intelligence for a complete approach to endpoint protection. CrowdStrike brings forward a compelling combination of strategic vision, differentiated technology, and high product efficacy '' all delivering long-term business value for customers and the company itself.''
About CrowdStrike®
CrowdStrike is the leader in cloud-delivered next-generation endpoint protection. The CrowdStrike Falcon® platform offers instant visibility and protection across the enterprise and prevents attacks on endpoints on or off the network. CrowdStrike Falcon deploys in minutes to deliver actionable intelligence and real-time protection from day one. Falcon seamlessly unifies next-generation AV with best-in-class endpoint detection and response, backed by 24/7 managed hunting. Its cloud infrastructure and single-agent architecture take away complexity and add scalability, manageability, and speed. CrowdStrike Falcon protects customers against all cyber attack types, using sophisticated signatureless artificial intelligence/machine learning and Indicator-of-Attack (IOA) based threat prevention to stop known and unknown threats in real-time. Powered by the CrowdStrike Threat Graph', Falcon instantly correlates 40 billion security events from across the globe to immediately prevent and detect threats.
There's much more to the story of how Falcon has redefined endpoint protection but there's only one thing to remember about CrowdStrike: We stop breaches.
Learn more: https://www.crowdstrike.com/
Follow us: Blog | Twitter
(C) 2017 CrowdStrike, Inc. All rights reserved. CrowdStrike®, CrowdStrike Falcon®, CrowdStrike Threat Graph', CrowdStrike Falcon Prevent', Falcon Prevent', CrowdStrike Falcon Insight', Falcon Insight', CrowdStrike Falcon Discover', Falcon Discover', CrowdStrike Falcon Intelligence', Falcon Intelligence', CrowdStrike Falcon DNS', Falcon DNS', CrowdStrike Falcon OverWatch', and Falcon OverWatch' are the trademarks of CrowdStrike, Inc. All other brands, products, or service names are or may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.
Media ContactIlina DimitrovaCrowdStrike202.340.0517
Memo to the President Ahead of Monday's Summit '' Consortiumnews
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:06
Ray McGovern and Bill Binney have written an open letter to President Trump ahead of Monday's summit.
With Friday's indictments of Russian intelligence officers, Ray McGovern and Bill Binney have written an open letter to President Trump making clear that the ''evidence'' behind the indictments is as fraudulent as the intelligence alleging WMD in Iraq. It is being published exclusively here ahead of the Trump-Putin summit on Monday.
BRIEFING FOR : The President
FROM: Ray McGovern, former CIA briefer of The President's Daily Brief, and William Binney, former Technical Director at NSA
SUBJECT: Info Your Summit Briefers May Have Missed
We reproduce below one of our most recent articles on ''Russia-Gate,'' which, in turn, draws from our Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity Memorandum to you of July 24, 2017.
At the time of that Memorandum we wrote:
''Forensic studies of ''Russian hacking'' into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer. After examining metadata from the ''Guccifer 2.0'' July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device.
Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack .''
'' We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI,'' we wrote. However, we now have forensic evidence that shows the data provided by Guccifer 2.0 had been manipulated and is a fabrication.
We also discussed CIA's cyber-tool ''Marble Framework,'' which can hack into computers, ''obfuscate'' who hacked, and leave behind incriminating, tell-tale signs in Russian; and we noted that this capability had been employed during 2016. As we pointed out, Putin himself made an unmistakable reference to this ''obfuscating'' tool during an interview with Megan Kelly.
Our article of June 7, 2018, explains further:
''Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack''
If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny . It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity '-- including two ''alumni'' who were former National Security Agency technical directors '-- have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the ''emails related to Hillary Clinton'' via a ''hack'' by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device '-- probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.
On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the ''conclusions'' of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were ''inconclusive.'' Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA ''Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections'' of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the ''handpicked'' authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing ''high confidence'' that Russian intelligence ''relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee '... to WikiLeaks.'' Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.
Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA ''assessment'' became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump. It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself. No, it had to have been the Russians.
Five days into the Trump presidency, McGovern had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still ''can't share the evidence'' with me '... or with anyone else, because it does not exist.
It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of ''emails related to Hillary Clinton,'' throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what we call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.
Clinton's PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions ''to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.'' The diversion worked like a charm. Mainstream media kept shouting ''The Russians did it,'' and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer' Fox, Bernie didn't say nothin'.
Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating ''forensic facts'' to ''prove'' the Russians did it. Here's how it played out:
June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish ''emails related to Hillary Clinton.''
June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.
June 15, 2016: ''Guccifer 2.0'' affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the ''hack;'' claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with ''Russian fingerprints.''
The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to ''show'' that it came from a Russian hack.
Enter Independent Investigators
A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the ''handpicked analysts'' who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do. The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the ''hack'' that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.
Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device '' a thumb drive, for example) by an insider '-- the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the ''fluid dynamics'' principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)
One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.
In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated , ''We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI.''
Our July 24 Memorandum continued: ''Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.
'' No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation '' a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]
'' Scarcely imaginable digital tools '' that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV '' were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the ''Marble Framework'' program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since.
'' The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima, it seems, 'did not get the memo' in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: 'WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.'
'' The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use 'obfuscation,' and that Marble source code includes a ''de-obfuscator'' to reverse CIA text obfuscation.
'' More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.''
A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical director, and Ray McGovern commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun .
The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates ''demons,'' and insisting; ''It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia.''
Our July 24 Memorandum continued: ''Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]
'' We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing '' perhaps even eager '' to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be 'masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin' [of the hack] '... And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.
''' Hackers may be anywhere,' he said. 'There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? '... I can.'
New attention has been drawn to these issues after McGovern discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.
In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, we believe we must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:
'' Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.
'' We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental.'' The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.
Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, was chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and briefed the President's Daily Brief one-on-one from 1981-1985.
William Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.
Mueller's Latest Indictment Contradicts Evidence In The Public Domain '' Disobedient Media
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:03
On July 13th, 2018, an indictment was filed by Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III.
This author is responding to the indictment because it features claims about Guccifer 2.0 that are inconsistent with what has been discovered about the persona, including the following:
Evidence was found over 500 days ago relating to the Guccifer 2.0 persona that showed they had deliberately manipulated files to have Russian metadata. We know the process used to construct the documents was not due to accidental mistakes during the creation process.The original template document that Guccifer 2.0 used has been identified. It is also the source of the presence of Warren Flood's name, and can be found attached to one of Podesta's emails (it has RSIDs matching with Guccifer 2.0's first couple of documents).The Trump opposition research, which CrowdStrike claimed was targeted at the DNC, apparently in late April 2016, isn't what Guccifer 2.0 actually presented to reporters. It also didn't come from the DNC, but was an attached file on one of John Podesta's emails '' not the DNC's. This specific copy appears to have been edited by Tony Carrk shortly before it was sent to Podesta. The fact that Guccifer 2.0's initial releases were Podesta email attachments was even conceded by a former DNC official.It appears that Guccifer 2.0 fabricated evidence on June 15, 2016, that coincidentally dovetailed with multiple claims made by CrowdStrike executives that had been published the previous day.Guccifer 2.0 went to considerable effort to make sure Russian error messages appeared in copies of files given to the press.Evidence '' which Guccifer 2.0 couldn't manipulate due to being logged by third parties '' suggests he was operating in the US.Additional evidence, which Guccifer 2.0 would have been unlikely to realize ''he'' was leaving, indicated that the persona was archiving files in US timezones before release, with email headers giving him away early on.Virtually everything that has been claimed to indicate Guccifer 2.0 was Russian was based on something he chose to do.Considering that Guccifer 2.0 had access to Podesta's emails, yet never leaked anything truly damaging to the Clinton campaign even though he would have had access to it, is highly suspicious. In fact, Guccifer 2.0 never referenced any of the scandals that would later explode when the DNC emails and Podesta email collections were published by WikiLeaks.
The first piece of malware at the DNC identified by Crowdstrike as relating to ''Fancy Bear,'' was compiled on 25 April, 2016. This used a C2 (command and control) IP address that, for the purposes of the APT group, had been inoperable for over a year. It was useful mostly as a signature for attributing it to ''Fancy Bear.''
Two additional pieces of malware were discovered at the DNC attributed to the same APT group. These were compiled on 5 May 2016 and 10 May 2016 while Robert Johnston was working with the DNC on CrowdStrike's behalf to counter the intrusion reported at the end of April and install Falcon.
References to the evidence covering all of this are available in the article: ''Fancy Fraud, Bogus Bears & Malware Mimicry''.
This could be inferred from a number of things. DCLeaks was re-registered on 19 April 2016, however, what they published included Republicans and individuals that were not connected to the DNC. In fact, DCLeaks didn't start publishing anything relating to Clinton campaign staff until June/July 2016. There was also the fact that the daily frequency of emails in the DNC emails released by WikiLeaks increased dramatically from around 19 April 2016, however, this wasn't indicative of the start of hacking activity but rather caused by a 30 day email retention policy combined with the fact that the emails were acquired between May 19th and May 25th.
There has been no technical evidence produced by those who had access to the DNC network demonstrating files were being manipulated or that malware was engaging in activity prior to this and by CrowdStrike's own admissions, many of the devices at the DNC were wiped in June. As such, it's unclear where this may have come from.
There's an issue here with the conflation of Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. Why would Guccifer 2.0 have had an account at DCLeaks with which he had restricted access and could only manage a subset of the leaks (and only those relating to the DNC) while DCLeaks featured leaks covering those unconnected to and even opposing the DNC?
It also appears there may have been an effort to have people perceive Guccifer 2.0 as being associated with someone that claimed to have root access to DCLeaks too, however, this could only be demonstrated through the use of multimedia props.
It makes no sense that the GRU would have even used Guccifer 2.0 in the manner we now know he operated '' it only caused any harm to Trump and served to undermine leaks due to the deliberate placement of Russian metadata that would give a false perception of Russians mishandling those documents (including the Trump research document found in Podesta's emails).
However, there is one interesting thing that does connect Podesta being phished with DCLeaks. As spotted by Stephen McIntyre '' the syntax in the spearphishing emails for both Podesta and Rhinehart (whose leaked emails were published at DCLeaks) were identical.
So, in fairness, there is actually circumstantial evidence to suggest an overlap as Guccifer 2.0 clearly had Podesta's emails and it looks like the spearphishing attack used to snare Podesta's emails was identical to one that was attributed to the acquisition of emails published by DCLeaks.
Is there a reason for ambiguity when referencing WikiLeaks?
While he clearly had access to the Podesta emails (NOTE: CrowdStrike decided to start investigating the NGP-VAN breach within a week of Podesta's emails being acquired, three months after the December 2015 incident), Guccifer 2.0 used those materials to fabricate evidence on 15 June 2016 implicating Russians and which, coincidentally appeared to support (but ultimately helped refute) multiple assertions made by CrowdStrike that the Trump Opposition report (actually sourced from Podesta's emails) was targeted by Guccifer 2.0 at the DNC in April 2016 '' and that the theft of this specific file from the DNC '' which, again, could not have been stolen from the DNC '' had set off the ''first alarm'' indicating a security breach.
On 6 July 2016, Guccifer 2.0 released a batch of documents that were exclusively attachments to DNC emails that would later be released by WikiLeaks.
Guccifer 2.0 certainly didn't make a genuine effort to ''conceal a Russian identity,'' far from it. The persona made decisions that would leave behind a demonstrable trail of Russian-themed breadcrumbs, examples include:
Choosing the Russian VPN Service (using the publicly accessible default server in France) in combination with a mail service provider that would forward the sender's IP address.Creating a blog and dropping a Russian emoticon in the second paragraph of the first post, something he only ever did one other time over months of activity (in which he used '':)'' at a far higher frequency).Tainting documents with Russian language metadata.Going through considerable effort to ensure Russian language errors were in the first documents provided to the press.Probable use of a VM set to Russian timezone while manipulating documents so that datastore objects with timestamps implying a Russian timezone setting are saved (in one of the documents, change tracking had been left on and recorded someone in a PDT timezone saving one of Guccifer 2.0's documents after the documents had being manipulated in the Russian timezones!)The deliberate and inconsistent mangling of English language (which was actually inconsistent with aspects of English language that Russians typically struggle with).Guccifer 2.0 claimed credit for a hack that was already being attributed to Russians without making any effort to counter that perception and only denied it when outright questioned on it.
How have these identities been connected to the respective GRU officers? This query applies to additional identities mentioned throughout the indictment.
Where have these pseudonyms been cited in any of the research or evidence published in the past two years? Most seem to be new and were never referenced by the firms specifically investigated the relevant phishing campaigns in the past.
Unfortunately, the indictment itself provides no reference for us to ascertain what the individual attributions are based on.
We already know ''X-Agent'' has been used by Ukrainian hackers and its source code has been in the wild since 2013, it's entirely feasible others have acquired it's source code too.
How do we know for sure Morgachev was developing a version of it and that this is related to the DNC?
Again, everything found on Google relating to ''blablabla1234565'' is in relation to the indictment, where were these details during the past 2 years, where have they come from and how has X-Agent development/monitoring been traced back to this individual?
It's unlikely technical evidence of his testing was left behind in deployed malware.
Again, ''Djangomagicdev'' appears to be new.
There is a ''realblatr'' profile at https://djangopackages.org/profiles/realblatr/ but this doesn't indicate anything relevant to this and other results for ''realblatr'' seem to be about the indictment.
We know that whoever had the Podesta emails had far more damaging content on Hillary than that produced by Guccifer 2.0 or DCLeaks and we know Guccifer 2.0 had access to Podesta's emails. If it was the GRU and they wanted to harm Hillary, they had FAR better material do that with than what they chose to release.
DCLeaks featured leaks from those that were not involved in the US presidential election. Guccifer 2.0 only released content relating to the Democratic party and only content that was of little harm to the DNC leadership and Clinton's campaign.
Yandex.com is the domain usually given to people outside of Russia that use the Yandex service, in Russia it's yandex.ru by default.
This was something covered by Jeffrey Carr in ''The Yandex Domain Problem''.
These started to appear in July, though it's still unclear how/why it was these individuals responsible.
Both of these are difficult to confirm or dispute due to lack of evidence cited.
We lack domains, IP addresses and other information that would be useful to evaluate the veracity of these claims.
The malware identified by CrowdStrike doesn't show X-Agent at the DNC in April, it shows only a version of X-Tunnel compiled on 25 April 2016, then another version of X-Tunnel compiled on 5 May 2016 and one instance of X-Agent compiled on 10 May 2016. This doesn't seem to support what is being asserted in the indictment:
The Trump opposition research released by Guccifer 2.0 didn't come from this, it came from Podesta's emails.
To ''enable them to steal a large number of documents at once without detection,'' downloaded and executed a compression tool to compress a bunch of documents, many of which are already in compressed formats?
In reality, this would actually cause a needless spike in CPU activity, instigate a load of read/write operations on disks and alter disk space considerably all of which contribute to increased risk of detection rather than reduce it.
Judging by the emails published by WikiLeaks as ''DNC Leaks'', they were accessed between May 19 and May 25 2016 (see 'Draft summary of DNC e-mail timestamps suggests exfiltration times').
If they did this any later than May 25 2016 there would have been emails after that date in the batches of leaked emails but this wasn't the case.
With CrowdStrike's Falcon installed across the DNC network, how is it possible that CrowdStrike missed all of this activity and made no mention of any incident specific evidence when they publicly reported on the hack almost two weeks later?
How did this information fail to come to the surface in the past two years and again, is it backed by evidence or just allegation?
If the indictment's claims are true, why didn't the USIC confirm any of this and have to rely on providing estimations via the ICA at the beginning of 2017 '' where was this information then?
Following on from this, why did James Clapper state in December 2016 that evidence of a connection between Wikileaks and Russian cyber attacks was ''not strong''?
Why did he tell the Associated Press that the US intelligence community ''doesn't have good insight into how WikiLeaks obtained the DNC leaks''?
In April 2016, ''Company 1'' aka CrowdStrike were already working with the DNC to investigate the NGP-VAN breach that occurred 3 months prior, something they started on a week after Podesta's emails were phished and were just finishing up at the end of April.
In the past two years, this author has contacted CrowdStrike (by email, phone and open-letter), asking for information about whether the malware was shown to have accessed emails or relayed a large volume of data. The company never responded, never reported or provided incident specific evidence on public record previously.
Considering that Crowdstrike had near-exclusive access to the DNC's network, it would be interesting to know what the source of this is.
The campaign staff emails weren't released until July.
Also, if these operations were intended to do what paragraph 9 asserts, releasing emails from Republicans would seem counter-productive to assumed intentions.
It's worth pointing out once more that the timeline of Mueller's indictment misses out a crucial event: that Julian Assange had announced to the world on a 12 June UK television broadcast that WikiLeaks had obtained ''emails related to Hillary Clinton'' that were pending publication. Mueller cannot simply ignore such an important point, which would color subsequent events because it doesn't fit a preferred narrative.
The conspirators are alleged to have then set up a blog where they immediately dropped a ''Russian smiley,'' deliberately tainted files with ''Russian fingerprints,'' claimed responsibility for an alleged hack that was already being blamed on Russians, used a Russian VPN service and an email provider that would expose the VPN server's IP address and then lured in the press via email with a copy of the Trump opposition research that didn't actually come from the DNC.
Oh those sneaky Russians!
With WordPress having a built-in spell checker, some of this would seem unnecessary.
Why would he search ''dcleaks'' if he was in a position (according to this indictment) to know more about them than even search engines would?
Also, if Guccifer 2.0 was Russian, why didn't he struggle with indefinite and definite articles as a Russian struggling with English language would typically do?
Of course, ultimately, if he was working with the Russian state, why deliberately do so much to be perceived as Russian?
This is, of course, in reference to Aaron Nevins who ran a blog under the pseudonym Mark Miewurd.
To reiterate a previously mentioned, critical point: Guccifer 2.0 was using Podesta's emails initially for what was supposed to have been a hack into the DNC. He clearly had access to content that would genuinely be disruptive to Hillary's campaign, yet he chose to release the least harmful content available.
What was actually released was related to house races and did nothing to impact on the general election, from the moment each was released until the election, the following charts show how the general election results looked for the relevant states:
Guccifer 2.0 was not aiming to harm Hillary's campaign (and didn't). He just generated a lot of negative headlines relating to leaks, tried to have leaks attributed to Russian hackers and pushed out a lot of content that was outdated or that wouldn't (and didn't) impact negatively on the Clinton campaign's chances of winning.
It seems Guccifer 2.0 tried unsuccessfully to lure Trump associates, Republican operatives/politicians, and Wikileaks into accepting his purloined wares. Although the persona consistently failed in their objective, they always managed to make sure there was a trail of breadcrumbs left behind.
This is in reference to a conversation Guccifer 2.0 had with Lee Stranahan. [h/t @Stranahan]
A reference to Roger Stone communicating with Guccifer 2.0, of course.
Yes, Guccifer 2.0 did use a Russian VPN service. However, the premise that intelligence agencies would use a commercial VPN service in their own nation to conceal their own state-backed hacking operations is just as ridiculous as the notion that the GRU would frame Russia though that's exactly what the Guccifer 2.0 persona did from the moment he appeared.
We're expected to believe that WikiLeaks was going to authenticate 1GB of files from the DNC and prepare them for release within a week?
That sounds far-fetched to say the least.
The timing Mueller gives of ''late June'' for ''failed'' attempts to pass material to WikiLeaks conflicts with what Guccifer 2.0 claimed on 15 June 2016 when he stated that he'd given all the rest of the files to WikiLeaks already.
Mueller states 14 July as the date of Guccifer 2's first successful transfer of material to WikiLeaks. Clearly, this date is later than the 5 July date on which many files found in the ''Clinton Foundation'' (cf.7z) and NGP-VAN archives were transferred (the latter of which Guccifer 2 archived and published via a London tech conference in September 2016). Where is the evidence that these files were not used for the 1GB-sized encrypted link sent to Wikileaks on 14 July, with receipt acknowledged on 18 July?
We don't know that Guccifer 2.0 actually had a connection to any of the emails released.
It appears some emails started to be acquired before the 25 May 2016 date cited above.
Really eliminates doubt about whether ''Organization 1'' is a reference to WikiLeaks or not '' it clearly is.
We're still yet to learn how and why Lukashev has been associated with this specifically (don't expect it to come later in the indictment either, it doesn't).
Okay. Well, some of these are clearly demonstrable nonsense already.
Certainly, I'm aware that DCLeaks had its domain paid for via bitcoin.
However, all these other claims are going to take time to investigate in order to identify correlations with what is and isn't on public record.
I have to concede, there's not much I can say for or against what is stated here.
Ultimately, the basis of my dissent relates to the Guccifer 2.0 persona and there is nothing that demonstrably ties that to any hacking incidents. So this and other items about the bitcoin transactions, etc. I'll skip past for now.
This is connected to DCLeaks and servers/services related to that operation. This is something that David Blake looked into back in February, though this did lead him to conclude the host Florica Catalin Gabriel (from Romania) was Guccifer 2.0.
While it doesn't disprove that he could have had a premium account, Guccifer 2.0 chose to use a server in France that was the default for non-paying users when he appeared on 15 June 2016.
Following this, the indictment covers allegations of hacking and stealing voter data which are completely unrelated to Guccifer 2.0 (so, really, there's not much I have to say on those claims immediately) and for all I know, it could have been connected to Russian hackers working for the GRU.
Mueller's indictment leaves us with the premise that a supposed GRU officer working in league with other GRU officers, acquiring Podesta's attachments and, just three days after Julian Assange announces leaks are coming in relation to Hillary Clinton, releases deliberately tainted files that serve to pin the blame on Russians, that only really hurt Trump, that ultimately undermined leaks and that provided fabricated evidence. Evidence that, for whatever reason, supported several claims made by CrowdStrike executives published in a legacy media article the previous day.
Guccifer 2.0 repeatedly tried to associate his efforts with WikiLeaks (from the day he appeared) '' an organization for whistleblowers to be able to leak files anonymously. Something a hacker willing to publish leaks on his own blog would have had no need for, especially not if he was connected to a site that published leaks already (that is, DCLeaks.com).
What we know about Guccifer 2.0 and his multi-layered efforts to be seen as Russian destroy the notion that he was anyone operating on the side of the Russian state.
Ultimately, the indictment produces a lot of new claims, many in keeping with what we know or have heard, however, it presents no evidence to support what it has introduced and an indictment by itself is not evidence, points that have already been noted by Consortium News, Moon of Alabama, Mark McCarty and others.
They have also picked up on the timing of the indictment, which seems to have become a theme for Mueller's indictments in particular. This latest example comes immediately following Rosenstein and Strzok being grilled and receiving negative press as well as immediately before Trump's summit with Putin.
Exactly how much of the indictment is bogus, I can't know for sure, but definitely, some of it is, especially those parts that relate to the Guccifer 2.0 persona ''being on Russia's side'' in all of this.
Thomas Wictor on Twitter: "(1) Two good questions from @CatholicAtelier. One. https://t.co/58FzmAGs1e"
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 19:35
Thomas Wictor @ ThomasWictor
14h (7) NOW I'm absolutely convinced that Peter Strzok was an Iranian agent, and the mullahs blackmailed Obama into giving them everything they wanted.Peter Strzok and his father have a long histroy with Iran, and Peter Senior is a fan of the mullahs.
View conversation · Thomas Wictor @ ThomasWictor
14h (9) Now, the Saudis and the other Gulf Arabs made peace with Israel in 2006.In 2007, the Israelis began selling weapons to the Gulf Arabs.But sometime after 2007, the Gulf Cooperation Council began funding Israeli weapon development to the tune of trillions.
View conversation ·
EXPOSED: Peter Strzok Grew Up In Iran, Worked As Obama and Brennan's Envoy To Iranian Regime - Big League Politics
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 19:17
A former co-worker of Peter Strzok tells Big League Politics about Strzok's extensive background in the intelligence community, including the fact that he grew up in Iran. Many intelligence officers like Strzok are complete ghosts with questionable history and gaps in their life story. But now we have some insight. (RELATED: Strzok Worked For CIA And FBI At Same Time, According To Document).
Peter Strzok was born in the late 1960's '' he attended the American School in Iran up until 1978 when it closed down and then he attended the American School in Saudi Arabia. He supposedly attended a Catholic School, St. John's Prep in Minneapolis (the school refused to confirm or deny attendance) and then completed a Bachelors at Georgetown and some form of graduate degree after that.
The truth is that after Peter Strzok III turned 18 his life is arcane, which is the usual story of many like him. Did you know that Peter Strzok II (Strzok's father) and Hillary Clinton have a lot in common? It turns out after advocating for Khomeni in Iran and then working in Saudi Arabia to calm the waters of an Iranian government (appeasing them with anti-Semitic rhetoric), Strzok's father Strzok II also dabbled in ''charity work.'' Strzok's father was involved in so-called charity work in Haiti but also helped dismantle and reassemble Upper Volta..now known as Burkina Faso.
Despite Deep State efforts to scrub information, the Internet is forever. Below you will see a very controversial happening in the early Eighties. Peter Strzok II (Strzok's father, also known as Peter Strzok Sr.) was an employee of Catholic Relief Services and was interviewed by the New York Times in 1985 over his testimony or statements regarding mishandling money intended for Ethopia. In the article he identifies himself as a former employee of the charity and he is a retired US Army Corps Engineer who served the agency in Africa and Haiti. So Peter Strzok II worked in Haiti with a charity? That sounds eerily familiar. Can we all guess which charities partnered to help Haiti?
Trending: DOCUMENT: Peter Strzok Was CIA And FBI At The Same Time, Say Experts
The Clinton Foundation and The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) seem to work in tangent. Coincidence? Peter Strzok Sr. was actually the director of CRS in Haiti. If we look into CRS financials they seem to overlap and feed into Clinton Global initiatives and balance sheets.
In the early 80's Upper Volta was in turmoil. It is said that mineral disputes with neighboring countries brought about great duress and so in 1985 the country of Upper Volta ceased to exist and was then named Burkina Faso during Strzok II's term there. Specifically, in 1981 he was advised of a government visit to Upper Volta, which places him in Upper Volta for a period of 4 years as his son Strzok III was at the American School in Saudi Arabia from 1978- 1980. This happened after their sudden move from Tehran when Khomeni attained power over the Shah. Looks like whenever there is a regime change in modern history a Strzok is lying in the shadows waiting.
We know Peter Strzok III, the man who sent those vile text messages about our President. The man who was biased and wanted to ensure a Clinton Presidency was raised in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Our source reveals how Strzok and his father both talked about Iran favorably and both accidently reminisced about the rose water smell of the ju-jeh kebab by Shemiran Hill'... something that disappeared after 1987 and only those who are old enough to remember can discuss.
Peter Strzok's Persian is impeccable.
Our insider tells us that Peter Strzok III is the key Middle Eastern Intel operative for the Iranian airline Mahan Air's purchase of United States government planes during the Obama administration from 2011 to 2013 (when Iran sanctions were in place). He handled the Iranian relations from start to finish. Just like his father did for Reagan and just like he's been doing for years under cloak and dagger says the BLP insider.
Peter Strzok Sr. and of course John O. Brennan were involved with Iran. In fact, our source tells us that Strzok Sr. was involved in the Iran-Contra scheme that led to a six-month prison term for Reagan national security adviser John Poindexter. Back in the Eighties the government was just as corrupt as it is today and for some reason we keep giving weapons, planes, and planes full of money to Iran. Even Barack Hussein Obama sent money to Iran on a plane in his last year of office '-- $1.4 Billion worth. Just a few weeks ago, Iran demanded Germany send them 300,000 Euros in cash on a plane to them, and of course Angela Merkel complied. What's the deal with Iran? Why are they so important?
Here is a clipping from the Wisconsin-based Leader-Telegram newspaper from 1979 in which Strzok Sr. describes his activities in Iran and expresses good will for the Ayatollah.
What were Strzok, Brennan, and Obama really doing? That is a very good question that maybe President Trump can get answered for us if a Summit with Iran can happen early this fall. One thing that is constant in modern history over the last five decades with anything involving Iran: There is a Peter Paul Strzok involved.
The BLP insider who's worked with both Breannan and Strzok tells us that Strzok was never FBI he was part of the highest level of covert operatives, sliding into posts within the CIA or FBI to infiltrate, influence and observe. This is exactly what we saw with the Special Counsel appointment that resulted after a failed operation.
Peter Strzok Jr. was placed in the FBI to ensure a win for Hillary Clinton and buffer negative press (like the Weiner laptop case, which he covered up). That's the real deal. Revealing Peter Strzok's identity would have been a problem because it's called unmasking but since he is in the limelight and out of the shadows it's time to lay all the cards FACE up on the table for all to see who Peter Strzok really is.
Spooks feared him, but like our source they still maintain secrecy '-- simply connecting the dots of publicly and privately available information.
Trump signs Russia sanctions bill, Moscow calls it 'trade war'
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 19:12
Dmitri Lovetsky | Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
U.S. President Donald Trump grudgingly signed into law new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, a move Moscow said amounted to a full-scale trade war and an end to hopes for better ties with the Trump administration.
Congress overwhelmingly approved the legislation last week, passing a measure that conflicts with the Republican president's desire to improve relations with Moscow.
Trump signed the bill behind closed doors, without the fanfare that has customarily accompanied his signing of executive orders. He criticized the measure as infringing on his powers to shape foreign policy, and said he could make "far better deals" with governments than Congress can.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the sanctions tantamount to a "full-scale trade war," adding in a Facebook post that they showed the Trump administration had demonstrated "utter powerlessness."
"The hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished," he wrote.
Trump's litany of concerns about the sanctions, which also affect Iran and North Korea, raised the question of how vigorously Trump will implement them regarding Russia.
"While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed," Trump said in a message to lawmakers known as a signing statement. He also issued a statement for the press about the bill.
The new law allows Congress, which passed the measure to punish Russia over interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, to halt any effort by Trump to ease sanctions on Russia.
His hands were tied after the Republican-controlled Congress approved the legislation by such a large margin last week that any presidential veto of the bill would have been overridden.
Mikhail Klimentiev | AFP | Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (R) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin speak during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017
The legislation provoked countermeasures by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said on Sunday that the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia must reduce its staff by 755 people. Russia is also seizing two properties near Moscow used by American diplomats.
Trump has repeatedly said he wants to improve relations with Russia. That desire has been stymied by U.S. intelligence agencies' findings that Russia interfered to help the Republican against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
U.S. congressional panels and a special counsel are investigating. Moscow denies any meddling and Trump denies any collusion by his campaign.
Mixed signals on RussiaRepublican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan welcomed the signing, saying it would send "a powerful message to our adversaries that they will be held accountable."
In his statements on the sanctions law, Trump complained about what he said was congressional infringement on the president's constitutional power to set foreign policy, saying the law reflected congressional "preferences" rather than a legal mandate.
"It is flagging those areas where the administration sees itself as having wiggle room to underenforce the law by citing claimed constitutional concerns," said Harold Koh, a Yale Law School professor who was a legal adviser to the State Department during the Obama administration.
The House's top Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, said the signing statement "raises serious questions about whether his administration intends to follow the law."
Trump said he was elected partly because of his successes in business, adding, "As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress."
Trump's signing statement was the latest in a series of mixed signals from the administration on Russia.
"I feel like there's several policies being implemented at once, and they're not very compatible with one another. This is one more," said Olga Oliker, a Russia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank based in Washington.
Vice President Mike Pence, touring Baltic countries adjacent to Russia, has followed a hawkish line. Pence said Trump's signing of the legislation would show that Congress and the president were "speaking with a unified voice" on Russia.
However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, like Trump, has been critical of the legislation.
"The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did, neither the president nor I were very happy about that," Tillerson said on Tuesday.
Targeting the energy sectorThe sanctions will affect a range of Russian industries and might further hurt Russia's economy, already weakened by 2014 sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea.
Besides angering Moscow, the legislation has upset the European Union, which has said the new sanctions might affect its energy security and prompt it to retaliate if needed.
Several provisions of the law target the Russian energy sector, with new limits on U.S. investment in Russian companies. American companies also would be barred from participating in energy exploration projects where Russian firms have a stake of 33 percent or higher.
The legislation includes sanctions on foreign companies investing in or helping Russian energy exploration, although the president could waive those sanctions.
It would give the Trump administration the option of imposing sanctions on companies helping develop Russian export pipelines, such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying natural gas to Europe, in which German companies are involved.
Meddle | Definition of Meddle by Merriam-Webster
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 18:29
meddled ; meddling play \ Ëmed-liŋ , Ëme-dᵊl-iŋ \ : to interest oneself in what is not one's concern : interfere without right or propriety (see propriety 3) I never meddle in other people's private affairs '--G. B. Shaw '-- meddler play \ Ëmed-lÉr , Ëme-dᵊl-Ér \ noun Examples of meddle in a Sentence please stop meddling in your sister's marriage, even though you mean well
Recent Examples of meddle from the Web However successful Russia's meddling efforts ultimately were, their goal was nonetheless realized, whether Trump is capable of accepting it or not.
The president's supporters say the new system will speed up decision-making, further reduce the army's ability to meddle in politics and make unstable parliamentary coalitions a thing of the past.
The meeting between Putin and Trump comes as the U.S. president faces relentless pressure over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 campaign and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in it.
The Trump administration's plan to meddle with this program involves blocking China's access to key American technology.
The same hacker group that meddled with the PyeongChang Olympics appears to be back, this time swinging at biochem labs in Europe.
Regulators have also been meddling in more subtle ways, like ordering brokerage firms or investors not to engage in heavy selling.
Here, Deutch and Powell play two meddling assistants who try to matchmake their high-powered bosses, played by Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu.
The news is full of reports of Russia meddling in U.S. elections, seeding U.S. media with fake news, supporting the Syrian regime and so on.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meddle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of meddle Middle English
medlen, from Anglo-French
mesler, medler, from Vulgar Latin
*misculare, from Latin
miscÄ're to mix '-- more at
mix meddle Synonyms Synonyms butt in , interfere , interlope , intermeddle , intrude , mess , muck (about or around) , nose , obtrude , poke , pry , snoop ;
Related Words intercede , interpose , intervene ;
barge (in) , chisel (in) , encroach , infringe , invade , trespass ;
fiddle , fool , monkey , play , tamper ;
MEDDLE Defined for English Language Learners : to become involved in the activities and concerns of other people when your involvement is not wanted
: to change or handle something in a way that is unwanted or harmful
MEDDLE Defined for Kids meddled ; meddling : to be overly involved in someone else's business
Synonym Discussion of meddle meddle,
interfere, and
tamper mean to get involved with something that is someone else's business.
meddle is used for intruding in an inconsiderate and annoying fashion.
Don't meddle in her personal life. interfere is used for getting in the way of or disturbing someone or something whether intentionally or not.
I tried to give advice without interfering. tamper is used for intruding or experimenting in a way that is wrong or uncalled-for and likely to be harmful.
Someone had tampered with the lock. Seen and HeardWhat made you want to look up meddle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
FBI: Lisa Page Dimes Out Top FBI Officials During Classified House Testimony; Bureau Bosses Covered Up Evidence China Hacked Hillary's Top Secret Emails '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:42
Featured Politics SecurityFBI: Lisa Page Dimes Out Top FBI Officials During Classified House Testimony; Bureau Bosses Covered Up Evidence China Hacked Hillary's Top Secret EmailsFormer top FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified during two days of closed-door House hearings, revealing shocking new Intel against her old bosses at the Bureau, according the well-placed FBI sources.
Alarming new details on allegations of a bureau-wide cover up. Or should we say another bureau-wide cover up.
The embattled Page tossed James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Bill Priestap among others under the Congressional bus, alleging the upper echelon of the FBI concealed intelligence confirming Chinese state-backed 'assets' had illegally acquired former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 30,000+ ''missing'' emails, federal sources said.
The Russians didn't do it. The Chinese did, according to well-placed FBI sources.
And while Democratic lawmakers and the mainstream media prop up Russia as America's boogeyman, it was the ironically Chinese who acquired Hillary's treasure trove of classified and top secret intelligence from her home-brewed private server.
And a public revelation of that magnitude '-- publicizing that a communist world power intercepted Hillary's sensitive and top secret emails '-- would have derailed Hillary Clinton's presidential hopes. Overnight. But it didn't simply because it was concealed.
FBI bosses knew of the breach yet did nothing to investigate, seemingly trying to run out the clock on the alarming revelations to protect Hillary during her heated presidential campaign with Trump. So instead of investigating the hacking of Clinton's server, FBI bosses sat quietly.
And did nothing to confirm the Chinese assets were linked to their government. Or assess the damage such a tremendous breach posed to national security. Did the Chinese government access Hillary's emails? The FBI didn't care enough to investigate at the risk of besmirching Clinton and further soiling her during the election.
Hundreds of top secret documents and even the president's daily travel and security itineraries were on that server '-- and intercepted by a communist country '-- yet the FBI sat on the evidence. Likewise, all of Clinton's and her inner circle's outgoing emails were compromised as well, sources confirmed.
Even the Inspector General had tipped off the FBI '-- specifically Strzok '-- about the foreign breach. Still, no timely case was pursued.
That same cover-up pattern fits FBI bosses who time after time stalled and concealed other criminal intelligence on Clinton in the weeks prior to the election.
We could write more detail here and ramble on and on but at this point, we simply ask.
Is anyone going to go to prison for politicizing the FBI and covering up countless crimes committed by FBI personnel in a variety of coordinated schemes to protect Hillary and the Democrats?
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Trump's Stupid 'Where Is the DNC Server?' Conspiracy Theory, Explained - Motherboard
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:12
Monday, in a press conference with Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump refused to say that Russia had anything to do with the 2016 Democratic National Committee, DCCC, and Hillary Clinton campaign hacks, despite the fact that 12 Russians were indicted by the FBI Friday.
Instead, when asked if he believed the Russians were involved, Trump repeated his belief that the DNC and the FBI are hiding something.
''You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server?,'' Trump said. ''Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I've been asking it for months and months. Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying?''
The short answer is that ''the server'' that Trump is referring to is sitting in a DNC office in Washington, DC'--the New York Times has a photo of it here.
The long answer is that there is no "server"'--there are many different servers and pieces of internet infrastructure in question, and the United States intelligence community and independent security researchers have examined much of it and have all reached the same conclusion: Russia hacked the DNC.
It is widely believed that CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to respond to the hack, gave an identical image of some of the servers to the FBI, which experts I've spoken to say would be more useful than giving the FBI a physical server itself. I say ''widely believed,'' because we don't know exactly what CrowdStrike gave to the FBI. However, in March 2017, former FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the FBI got an ''appropriate substitute'' from CrowdStrike, and Mueller's indictment makes clear that the FBI has lots of information about the hack from both within the DNC and from other sources. CrowdStrike declined a request for comment from Motherboard.
I called up Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies to help explain the technical details behind this type of forensic investigation. Rid, who wrote a detailed explanation about why Russia was likely behind the DNC hack for Motherboard in July 2016, told me that ''from a forensic point of view, the question of a server at this stage doesn't make any sense.''
''To really investigate a high profile intrusion like the DNC hack, you have to look beyond the victim network,'' Rid said. ''You have to look at the infrastructure'--the command and control sites that were used to get in that are not going to be on any server ... looking at one server is just one isolated piece of infrastructure.''
"For decades, it has been industry-standard forensic and digital evidence handling practice to conduct analysis on forensic images instead of original evidence"
Even so, what CrowdStrike gave the FBI is likely better than if it had seized and analyzed a physical box.
''To keep it simple, let's say there's only one server. CrowdStrike goes in, makes a complete image including a memory dump of everything that was in the memory of the server at the time, including traffic and connections at the time,'' Rid said. ''You have that image from the machine live in the network including its memory content, versus a server that someone physically carries into the FBI headquarters. It's unplugged, so there's no memory content because it's powered down. That physical piece of hardware is less valuable for an investigation than the onsite image and data extraction from a machine that is up and running. The idea a physical server would add any value doesn't make any sense.''
What Rid means is that after a hack, some of the evidence of who did it and how they did it may be fleeting. It could be in the server's memory, the RAM, and not stored on its hard drive. (Hackers use ''fileless'' malware precisely for this reason.) To preserve evidence in cases like these, incident responders need to make an image'--essentially a copy of the server in that exact same state at that exact same time'--so they can look at it afterwards. Think about this like when investigators take pictures of the crime scene or victim.
Lesley Carhart, principal threat hunter at the cybersecurity firm Dragos, told Motherboard that physical servers are rarely seized in forensics investigations.
"For decades, it has been industry-standard forensic and digital evidence handling practice to conduct analysis on forensic images instead of original evidence," she said. "This decreases the risk of corruption or accidental modification of that evidence."
I asked Rid if he thought it was suspicious that the DNC did not hand over the actual server to the FBI, and he said ''no, not at all.''
''There's nothing suspicious about the DNC's behavior,'' he said. ''There were political reasons and skepticism on the part of the DNC to let the FBI have full visibility into what they do for various reasons during an ongoing election campaign.''
Rid likened any computer forensics investigation to that of a military planning campaign, sort of like a map. ''You can connect the dots and the behavior,'' he said. ''You can show whoever hacked John Podesta also attacked the DNC, and also attacked Jake Sullivan, who worked for Hillary Clinton, and hundreds of other people on the campaign.''
"The evidence that we have going back to before the Mueller indictment was published was already overwhelming"
Robert Mueller's indictment relies on information that goes far beyond any single server to tie the Russians to the hack. For example, the indictment states that Russian military agents' search histories indicated an interest in the DNC network in the weeks leading up to one of the hacks; it also has specific information about the development of malware (called X-Agent and X-Tunnel) used to surveil DNC employees and exfiltrate data from their computers, as well as specifics about the types of spearphishing attacks Russians allegedly launched against DNC employees. The indictment also has information about an Arizona-based server that the Russians leased to filter data through.
Some of that information would have had to have been obtained by examining DNC networks (or a copy of them), while some of the other details would have nothing to do with the DNC's networks, its servers, or computers. Rid says that security researchers outside of the US government have been investigating Russia's involvement in the hack for years (the details Rid published in 2016 are very similar to what was published in Friday's indictment.)
''The evidence that we have going back to before the Mueller indictment was published was already overwhelming,'' Rid said. ''You have to look at campaigns as an entire attack campaign over time. You can see an entire, high resolution picture emerge.''
According to Rid, some of the mistakes the Russians made was forgetting to turn on a VPN that linked its Guccifer 2.0 pseudonym to a specific IP account. The US government was also able to trace the cryptocurrency that was used to buy infrastructure used in the attack. Independent security researchers had already traced public bit.ly links used in the spearphishing campaigns to organizations believed to be tied to the Russians.
Rid said the President has ''latched onto a very simplistic image'' of how computer forensics works. ''Because he runs with it, it appears many people just follow his lead,'' he added.
''You can envision moving things on a map. In order to move around, you need communications, you need streets and rivers, you need infrastructure like buildings,'' Rid said. ''You have to study the campaign and troop movement over time. You can see patterns, and reuse of techniques. Looking at only one server is like looking at only one particular building in a larger battlefield and then thinking you can understand the battle's evolution over time.''
As cybersecurity expert and former UK government hacker Matt Tait put it on Twitter: ''This is a really dumb conspiracy as conspiracies go.''
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai contributed reporting to this article.
More Evidence of Political Coverup in Dem IT Security Scandal - Judicial Watch
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 14:01
May 29, 2018More evidence has surfaced about the disturbing political coverup of grave national security violations committed by the Pakistani who ran House Democrats' information technology. His name is Imran Awan and last year he was arrested on bank-fraud charges at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. while trying to flee to his native Pakistan. Even after getting fired by some members of Congress for stealing computers and data systems, Florida's Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, kept him and let him have access to her emails and files as well as the password to the electronic device she used for DNC business. At one point, Awan had access to the computers of dozens of members of Congress, including those on the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees. Judicial Watch has launched an investigation and is pursuing public records.
The government's bizarre failure to prosecute Awan for the national security violations he appears to have committed points to a political coverup that's dangerous, craven and borders on traitorous. A House Office of Inspector General investigation determined earlier this year that Awan and his relatives committed numerous violations of House security policies, including logging into the House Democratic Caucus server thousands of times without authorization. The same news agency that reported that story published alarming new revelations in the case this month, concluding that ''Democrats appear to want to keep the case out of court'' because ''a trial could expose their reckless IT practices.'' It turns out that, not only has Capitol Police failed to make any arrests, it inadvertently gave evidence to defense attorneys that was supposed to go to prosecutors. It gets better; prosecutors appear to be sharing information with someone on Capitol Hill who in turn is leaking it to Awan's lawyer.
Here is an excerpt from the news article published just a few days ago: ''The Capitol Police turned over a trove of evidence in the alleged Imran Awan House cyberbreach and theft case to the defense attorneys when they were supposed to deliver it to prosecutors instead, according to court documents and a source.'' Someone inside government apparently tipped off Awan's lawyer, Chris Gowen, that a reporter was digging around for information on the Capitol Police's suspicious mistake involving the mishandling of evidence. Gowen, a former public defender in Miami Florida, worked for Bill Clinton and on Hillary Clinton's failed 2008 presidential campaign. The exchange of information (known as discovery) in a federal criminal case occurs between prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office and defense lawyers by either registered mail or a third-party copy service. Law enforcement is never involved, according to federal law enforcement sources contacted by Judicial Watch.
Legal experts and veteran federal agents contacted by Judicial Watch say something smells rotten in this case. The so-called inadvertent disclosure to Awan's defense team by Capitol Police was intentional for one of two reasons, the experts assert. Perhaps the prosecution is alerting the defense of particular facts of the case to generate cooperation and further the probe into political figures. ''This is possible because prosecutors are always gun shy when it comes to prosecuting political figures, especially the figures who may be culpable in the case,'' said a longtime Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) official who has worked on similar cases. ''They do not want to go to trial for a number of reasons, so they are showing their hand to induce a plea with cooperation.''
The second reason, according to Judicial Watch's sources, is that there is corruption and the inadvertent disclosure was purposeful to help bolster the defense without being obvious and backing down in court. ''Either way, something is up,'' a longtime federal agent told Judicial Watch. ''I have never heard of anyone at the federal level inadvertently handing over documents to the defense en mass like this, never happens.'' Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch's Director of Investigations and Research, maintains that ''the Awan case has all the characteristics of a major national security crime, specifically, 18 USC Sec 793(f),'' which carries a punishment of up to 10 years in prison. A former military intelligence officer specializing in counterintelligence and human intelligence, Farrell added that treating the Awan case as anything less than a major national security crime is either negligence or complicity. ''The bungled handling of evidence is disgraceful and amateurish,'' Farrell said, adding that ''the effort to bury, constrain and minimize the Awan case is deeply disturbing, and points to the need for a legitimate, full investigation by a competent law enforcement agency with substantial experience in counterintelligence and cyber-crime arenas.''
WikiLeaks - CIA espionage orders for the 2012 French presidential election
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:10
La lettre de mission de la CIA pour l'(C)lection pr(C)sidentielle fran§aise de 2012Des services d'espionnage humain (HUMINT) et num(C)rique (SIGINT) de la CIA ont tent(C) d'infiltrer tous les grands partis politiques fran§ais dans les sept mois pr(C)c(C)dant l'(C)lection pr(C)sidentielle de 2012. Ces r(C)v(C)lations sont contenues dans trois ordres de mission publi(C)s aujourd'hui par Wikileaks comme contexte aux prochaines s(C)ries Vault 7 >> de la CIA. Sont nomm(C)ment cibl(C)s le PS, le FN, l'UMP, Fran§ois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, Marine Le Pen, Martine Aubry et Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
La CIA pensait que l'UMP n'(C)tait pas assur(C)e de la r(C)(C)lection de Nicolas Sarkozy. Des demandes sp(C)cifiques ont (C)t(C) faites au sujet de son parti, dont : l'obtention des "Plans strat(C)giques de l'(C)lection" de l'UMP, les alliances et les ruptures en cours dans l'(C)quipe dirigeante de l'UMP, les r(C)actions de membres de l'UMP aux strat(C)gies de campagne de Nicolas Sarkozy, les discussions au sein de l'UMP au sujet de toutes les "ce qui (C)tait per§u comme une possibilit(C) de perdre le pouvoir" apr¨s l'(C)lection, les tentatives de changement de la mission id(C)ologique du parti et enfin les discussions propos du soutien de Sarkozy l'UMP et "l'importance qu'il accorde au maintien de la domination du parti". Des instructions sp(C)cifiques chargeaient les officiers de la CIA de d(C)couvrir dans des discussions priv(C)es de Sarkozy ce qu'il pensait "des autres candidats" ainsi que la mani¨re dont il interagissait avec ses conseillers. Le fait que Sarkozy se soit lui-mªme nomm(C) "Sarkozy l'am(C)ricain ne l'a pas prot(C)g(C) de l'espionnage am(C)ricain durant les (C)lections de 2012 ou sa pr(C)sidence.
L'ordre de mission "Plan strat(C)gique (C)lectoral des candidats et des partis politiques de l'opposition" qui a cibl(C) Fran§ois Hollande, Marine Le Pen et d'autres membres de l'opposition n(C)cessitait d'obtenir les strat(C)gies (C)lectorales des partis d'opposition, d'obtenir des informations sur les dynamiques internes du parti et sur ses leaders en devenir, des efforts pour influencer et mettre en Å'uvre des d(C)cisions politiques, l'aide de hauts fonctionnaires, de figures du gouvernement ou d'hommes d'affaires, des vues sur les ‰tats-Unis, des efforts pour atteindre d'autres pays dont l'Allemagne, le Royaume-Uni, la Libye, Isral, la Palestine, la Syrie et la C´te d'Ivoire, ainsi que des renseignements sur le financement du parti et du candidat.
Deux parties de l'ordre de mission : "Quels politiques promeuvent-ils afin d'acc(C)l(C)rer la croissance (C)conomique de la France" et "Quelles sont leurs opinions sur le mod¨le allemand d'am(C)lioration de la balance ext(C)rieure" r(C)sonnent avec la consigne d'espionnage am(C)ricain de la mªme ann(C)e. Cette demande n(C)cessitait d'obtenir des d(C)tails sur chaque contrat d'exportation de 200 millions de dollars ou plus. La lettre de mission demandait de d(C)terminer l'attitude des candidats face la crise (C)conomique europ(C)enne, partir de leur position sur la crise de la dette grecque, et de la vuln(C)rabilit(C) de l'‰tat fran§ais et des banques face un d(C)faut grec, et des "propositions et recommandations sp(C)cifiques" sur l'attitude adopter face la "crise de l'euro-zone".
Les lettres de mission de la CIA publi(C)es aujourd'hui sont classifi(C)es et r(C)serv(C)es des yeux am(C)ricains seulement ("NOFORN") du fait de "sensibilit(C)s amicales". Les ordres exigent que les informations collect(C)es soient destin(C)es soutenir les activit(C)s de la CIA, de la section europ(C)enne de l'agence de renseignement de d(C)fense (DIA), ainsi que la section de recherche et de renseignement du minist¨re am(C)ricain des affaires (C)trang¨res. L'Op(C)ration s'est d(C)roul(C)e durant 10 mois, du 21 novembre 2011 au 29 septembre 2012, notamment durant l'(C)lection pr(C)sidentielle fran§aise d'avril et mai 2012, et plusieurs mois apr¨s la formation du nouveau gouvernement.
Tale of sex, deception emerges about suspected Russian agent
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:03
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- A 29-year-old gun-rights activist suspected of being a covert Russian agent was likely in contact with Kremlin operatives while living in the United States, prosecutors said Wednesday, accusing her of using sex and deception to forge influential connections.
The woman, Maria Butina, was photographed by the FBI dining privately with a Russian diplomat suspected of being an intelligence operative in the weeks before the envoy's departure from the U.S. last March, prosecutors said. She also had contact information for people who investigators believe were employees of Russia's Federal Security Services, or FSB, the successor intelligence agency to the KGB.
The allegations add to the portrait of a Russian woman who the Justice Department says worked covertly to establish back-channel lines of communication to the Kremlin and infiltrate U.S. political organizations, including the National Rifle Association, and gather intelligence for a senior Russian official to whom she reported.
Prosecutors also alleged she had a personal relationship with an American political operative and offered sex to another person in exchange for a position with a special interest organization.
Court papers do not name the individuals or the special interest group.
Prosecutors say a 29-year-old gun-rights activist who's suspected of being a covert Russian agent was likely in contact with Kremlin operatives while living in the United States. (July 18)
Butina awaits trial on charges of conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia. She pleaded not guilty Wednesday during a hearing in which U.S. Magistrate Deborah Robinson ordered her held in jail as the case moves forward, saying she was a flight risk.
After the hearing, Butina's attorney, Robert Driscoll, told reporters his client respected but strongly disagreed with the judge's decision.
"She's been aware of a criminal investigation into her conduct for months and made no attempt to flee," Driscoll said, saying Butina was not a Russian agent but rather a "young student seeking to make her way in America."
Citing her intelligence ties, the government had argued that Butina's legal status in the U.S. was based on "deception," saying her student visa and enrollment at American University were a cover for her covert work. They also argue she posed an "extreme" risk of fleeing the U.S.
Butina was arrested over the weekend amid signs that she planned to leave the Washington area and possibly the country, prosecutors said. Her lease on an apartment ends later this month, her belongings were packed at the time of her arrest and she had applied for a visa that would allow her to travel to and from the United States, prosecutors said.
Her personal ties, "save for those U.S. persons she attempted to exploit and influence," are to Russia, according to the government court filing.
"She has every incentive to flee," Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Kenerson said during the hearing,
The government was particularly concerned Butina would attempt to leave the U.S. using Russian diplomatic facilities or vehicles, Kenerson said, noting that American authorities would be powerless to stop her due to immunity protections. The U.S. has no extradition treaty with Russia, he said.
During the hearing, prosecutors showed a photo of Butina having dinner with a man they said was suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence. They also read from notes found in her home that included reference to a potential job offer from the FSB and noted she had been photographed with Russian diplomatic personnel, including Sergey Kislyak, Russia's former ambassador to the U.S.
Prosecutors said Butina was also regarded as a covert agent by a Russian official with whom she was in touch, with text messages discovered by the FBI showing how the official likened her to Anna Chapman, a Russian woman who was arrested in 2010 and then deported as part of a prisoner swap.
In March 2017, following news coverage of Butina, the Russian official wrote: "Are your admirers asking for your autographs yet? You have upstaged Anna Chapman. She poses with toy pistols, while you are being published with real ones," according to the court filing.
Butina and the official messaged each other directly on Twitter, prosecutors said. One such exchange occurred a month before the U.S. presidential election, when Butina said she understood that "everything has to be quiet and careful."
They also spoke on January 20, 2017, when Butina sent the official a photo of herself near the U.S. Capitol on the day Donald Trump was inaugurated president. According to court papers, the Russian official responded: "You're a daredevil girl! What can I say!" Butina responded, "Good teachers!"
Authorities have not named the Russian official, but during Wednesday's hearing, Driscoll said it is Alexander Torshin, a former legislator who is now a senior official in the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.
Torshin, who became an NRA life member in 2012, was among a group of Russian oligarchs and officials targeted in April by Treasury Department sanctions for their associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and their roles in "advancing Russia's malign activities."
During the hearing, Driscoll said Butina was "famous" in Russia for her gun-rights work before coming to the U.S. and developed legitimate relationships with the NRA through that advocacy and Torshin, whom he described as a mentor. The NRA has not commented on the charges against Butina.
Driscoll also dismissed the case against her as "minor" and said prosecutors were wrong to think she would flee the country now. Butina cooperated with the Senate intelligence committee, faced a barrage of media coverage and endured a search warrant months ago without attempting to leave the U.S., he said.
He also disclosed that Butina had offered to assist the government in an unrelated fraud investigation, led by the U.S. Attorney's office in South Dakota, into her boyfriend, who is identified as "U.S. Person 1" in court papers.
Prosecutors confirmed the investigation in court, but provided no further details other than to say it was unrelated to Butina's charges in Washington.
Prosecutors have alleged that she used her relationship with the unnamed American political operative, with whom she was living, "as simply a necessary aspect" of her covert activities on behalf of Russia.
Authorities say the relationship with the operative shouldn't be seen as a "strong tie" to the U.S., noting she "offered an individual other than U.S. Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization."
Follow Chad Day and Eric Tucker on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChadSDay and https://twitter.com/etuckerAP
US tech ban on ZTE has exposed China's Achilles' heel | South China Morning Post
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 14:47
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Analysis: ZTE's Collapse Reveals China's Huge Dependence On U.S. Technologies
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 14:45
Chinese President Xi Jinping could see his country's economy collapse if the U.S. decides to expand the sale of American technology to China. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi via Getty Images)
The most important lesson we learned this past week after the U.S. imposed a 7-year ban on the sale of American technologies to China's second largest telecommunications supplier ZTE (effectively killing the company), is that all the major Chinese companies '' and China itself '' are deeply dependent on U.S. technologies for their existence.
ZTE and Huawei of course, but also the BATX (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi), Didi (China's Uber), and the largest Chinese companies including ICBC, Bank of China, China Mobile, China Telecom, Petro China or SAIC Motor, just to name a few.
They all rely, in some way or another, on technologies, components, software and intellectual properties from many American companies like Apple, 3M, AMD, Applied Materials, Cisco, Corning, Google, Intel, Micron, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Seagate or Western Digital.
A sales ban of American technologies could bring down the Chinese economy
Although difficult to imagine, but not impossible at the current state of the US-China trade dispute, if the U.S. decides to extend the American technology ban to other '' or all '' Chinese firms, this could bring the entire Chinese economy to its knees.
A realization that Chinese president Xi Jinping had probably in mind when he announced the ''Made in China 2025'" initiative earlier this month with the intent to create Chinese champions in industries like information technology (IT), renewable energy, electric vehicle, and robots.
China's Plan B: Copy American technology
Technology independence is a noble goal.
And at its current pace, with extensive government subsidies, China could reach its objective of becoming self-sufficient in core technologies like processors, memories, storage, networking or wireless in the next 7-years, and even perhaps in just 5 years.
The bad news is, what do you do while waiting for your technology industry to catch up?
Luckily for China, there's a plan B.
It would most likely take 3 to 6 months for advanced Chinese tech companies to duplicate U.S. core hardware components and software, which most are already available in open source anyway.
Of course, that would be totally illegal and infringe on the intellectual property of U.S. companies if these products or components were to be sold outside of China.
However, inside of China, the local government would probably see this as fair game.
Author: Jean Baptiste is a Vice-President and Principal Analyst at Atherton Research, a global technology intelligence firm helping clients deliver successful go-to-market strategies.
China's Xi awards 'best friend' Putin friendship medal, promises support | Reuters
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 13:55
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping gave visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin China's first friendship medal on Friday, calling him his best friend, underscoring the close ties between the two despite deep reservations many Western nations have of Putin.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) congratulates Russian President Vladimir Putin after presenting him with the Friendship Medal in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 8, 2018. Greg Baker/Pool/via REUTERS
Putin is in China for a weekend summit of the Chinese and Russian-led security bloc the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the port city of Qingdao, but dropped by Beijing first for talks with Xi.
Meeting in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Xi lauded their relationship.
''No matter what fluctuations there are in the international situation, China and Russia have always firmly taken the development of relations as a priority,'' Xi told Putin at the start of their formal talks.
Xi then awarded Putin China's first ever friendship medal, on a large gold colored chain, an event carried live on state television.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) stands next to Russian President Vladimir Putin after presenting him with the Friendship Medal during a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 8, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERSXi, speaking just before he put the medal on Putin, called him a ''good and old friend of the Chinese people''.
''President Putin is the leader of a great country who is influential around the world,'' Xi said. ''He is my best, most intimate friend.''
The two oversaw the signing of several agreements, including a joint $1 billion industrial investment fund.
Xi promised the two would continue to deepen their coordination on the world stage.
''China and Russia are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and are both great responsible countries,'' Xi said.
''Myself and President Putin agreed, in the face of a complex international situation, that China and Russia will increase mutual support and coordination in international affairs, and deepen strategic cooperation.''
Slideshow (7 Images) Putin offered his thanks for the medal.
''I see this as an acknowledgement and an evaluation of Russia's efforts to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership with China,'' he said.
''This is an indication of the special attention and respect on which our mutual national interests are based, the interests of our peoples, and, of course, our personal friendship.''
The warm welcome stands in contrast to the general view of Putin in most Western capitals.
Washington's relations with Moscow have been particularly strained in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which U.S. intelligence agencies said was targeted by Russia.
Moscow has denied any interference, and U.S. President Donald Trump has denied any collusion.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Robert Birsel
Brexiteers zorgen voor coup in Lagerhuis - Brexit-voorstel May fundamenteel veranderd | De Volkskrant
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:04
Premier May's lange worsteling met de Brexit en de pure brexiteers
Met de zogeheten white paper, opgesteld tijdens een veel beschreven kabinetsoverleg op landgoed Chequers, hoopt de regering-May de handel tussen het Verenigd Koninkrijk en de andere Europese landen ook in de toekomst soepel te laten verlopen. De Britten gaan Brussel in dit voorstel de toegezegde 39 miljard pond aan langlopende verplichtingen niet betalen als er geen alomvattend handelsakkoord komt.
'Klaag de Europese Unie aan!' Zo luidde het onderhandelingsadvies dat Donald Trump blijkbaar heeft gegeven aan de Britse premier Theresa May. Dat is niet bepaald de stijl van haar nieuwe Brexit-minister Dominic Rennie Raab.
In een interview met tabloid The Sun haalde de Amerikaanse president Donald Trump ongekend hard uit naar de Britse premier Theresa May, feitelijk zijn gastvrouw op dat moment. Zijn aanval lijkt te zijn ingestoken door de Britse brexiteer van het eerste uur Nigel Farage.
Met het opstappen van haar minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Johnson en haar minister voor Brexit Davis kwam het totaal van kabinetsverlaters op zeven, in zeven maanden. May gokte ook nog eens mis toen ze vervroegde verkiezingen uitschreef. Ze dacht haar parlementaire meerderheid te versterken, maar verspeelde die juist. Intussen tikte in Brussel de klok verder.
May sees off rebellion on customs union as amendment is defeated | Politics | The Guardian
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:04
Theresa May saw off a damaging Commons rebellion on Tuesday as Conservative remainers lost a high-stakes vote on the customs union, giving the prime minister some much-needed breathing space on Brexit before the summer break.
She avoided all-out Tory civil war and the wrath of the Eurosceptic wing of her party, which had threatened to launch a leadership challenge, when MPs defeated the proposal by six votes.
However, minutes earlier, May suffered her second ever Brexit defeat when the Commons, in an unexpected move, backed calls for the UK to remain under EU medicines regulation.
Just 24 hours earlier, the prime minister had caved in to hardline Tory Brexiters by accepting their amendments to the customs bill, infuriating remainer MPs and leaving Eurosceptics convinced they had killed off her Chequers plan.
Downing Street sources suggested, however, that the prime minister would be emboldened in her negotiations with Brussels by the result as it showed that she had the backing of parliament.
MPs voted 307 to 301 to overturn the rebel amendment to the trade bill under which Britain would be forced to join a customs union with the EU if no agreement were reached on frictionless trade by 21 January 2019.
Twelve Tory remainers, led by former ministers Stephen Hammond and Nicky Morgan, backed the proposal, which they claimed offered a safeguard in the event of there being no trade agreement with the EU in the run-up to Brexit on 29 March.
Sources claimed more Tory MPs would have rebelled if government whips had not threatened to pull the third reading of the bill and table a no confidence vote in May themselves if the vote was lost, raising the spectre of a general election.
A customs union is an agreement by a group of countries, such as the EU, to all apply the same tariffs on imported goods from the rest of the world and, typically, eliminate them entirely for trade within the group. By doing this, they can help avoid the need for costly and time-consuming customs checks during trade between members of the union. Asian shipping containers arriving at Felixstowe or Rotterdam, for example, need only pass through customs once before their contents head to markets all over Europe. Lorries passing between Dover and Calais avoid delay entirely.
Customs are not the only checks that count '' imports are also scrutinised for conformity with trading standards regulations and security and immigration purposes '' but they do play an important role in determining how much friction there is at the border. A strict customs regime at Dover or between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would lead to delays that will be costly for business and disruptive for travellers. Just-in-time supply chains in industries such as car making could suffer. An Irish peace process built around the principle of entirely unfettered travel between north and south could be jeopardised.
Five Labour Brexit-supporting MPs, including one who is suspended, voted alongside the government against the customs ''backstop'' plan '' Kate Hoey, John Mann, Frank Field, Graham Stringer and Kelvin Hopkins '' risking the fury of their colleagues for saving the prime minister's skin.
Mann, the MP for Bassetlaw, said: ''We need a Brexit deal that prioritises jobs and industry, with a deal that delivers frictionless trade. The Tory remainers' amendment would have made the likelihood of crashing out with a no deal more likely, not less likely.''
The Tory party chair, Brandon Lewis, caused confusion after he voted with the government in both the key votes, despite being paired with deputy Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, who was at home on maternity leave with her three-week-old baby.
Government sources suggested that Lewis had entered the voting lobbies in error, prompting a furious response from Swinson, who claimed he had abstained on votes during the course of the afternoon but not in the two crunch votes. She tweeted: ''Don't try any nonsense about a mistake '' this is calculated, deliberate breaking of trust by government whips to win at all costs. There's a word for it '' cheating.''
In reply to Swinson, Lewis tweeted later: ''I'm sorry, Jo. I think it was an honest mistake made by the whips in fast-moving circumstances. I know how important the pair is to everyone, especially new parents, and I apologise.''
In an embarrassing climbdown, Downing Street abandoned its plans to bring forward the summer recess by five days. No 10 sources claimed that the idea had been suggested only because they believed it had the support of Labour, which later backed out.
However, it would also have meant that there would be almost no time for Tory MPs to hold a confidence vote in the prime minister if one was called.
Tory backbenchers had been furious at being put in the invidious position of having to defend voting for an early break to their constituents, while ministers including the home secretary, Sajid Javid, were understood to be frustrated by the short time it left for them to get through government business.
Although the defeat on the medicines amendment, with MPs voting 305 to 301 in favour, was both humiliating and unexpected, it does not impact on the central proposals in May's Brexit plan.
The former minister Phillip Lee, who quit over Brexit last month, tabled the amendment, which he said was vital to ensuring British citizens would continue to get the treatment they needed after leaving the EU.
''The European medicines regulatory network partnership makes the process of accessing life-saving new medicines and moving medicines quick and easy. If we leave that partnership, the NHS would get groundbreaking new drugs like those for cancer, dementia and diabetes long after other parts of the world,'' he said.
Government sources said the UK was seeking to be an active participant in the European Medicines Agency, involving making appropriate financial contribution, and would revisit the issue when the bill reached the House of Lords.
In extraordinary scenes in the Commons, the trade minister George Hollingbery engaged in open negotiations with the customs union rebels from the dispatch box, offering them a Lords amendment for a ''customs arrangement'' backstop if they backed down.
Hammond, who tabled the new clause, rejected the compromise, insisting that the government instead accepted his plan and water it down later.
Downing Street said that May had been clear that leaving the customs union was necessary to enable trade deals with other countries. One No 10 source said a January deadline could disincentivise Brussels from agreeing a deal before then.
But Tory remainers said their proposal was ''exactly in line'' with the Brexit white paper. Hammond told MPs: ''This does not undermine the bill, it keeps it on the road.''
Morgan said: ''What we are proposing is eminently sensible. It is very clear that in this House there is a majority for a customs union to safeguard businesses and our constituents in future.''
After the vote, the shadow international development secretary, Barry Gardiner, said: ''The government's handling of Brexit over the past week has been an utter shambles. We have a prime minister who is in office but not in power. Each day that ministers waste arguing amongst themselves increases the risk of the UK crashing out of Europe without an agreement.
''Labour is clear that a new comprehensive customs union with the EU after Brexit is the best way to protect jobs, the economy and to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. Theresa May should finally accept that and get on with the job of negotiating for Britain.''
Leavers, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, forced the government on Monday to back four amendments to Brexit legislation, including one intended to scupper May's plans for a new customs deal. The concession infuriated Tory remainers.
May was already debating her next move after No 10 denied that the hardline Brexiters' changes destroyed her Chequers plan, which had already been facing a precarious path through the Commons. It remains far from clear whether Brussels will accept her plans.
The government majority was reduced to three votes on the two most controversial amendments on Monday night.
Kids in Cages
Grandma hates the clip, loves the show
Hi Adam and John: (I don't know John's email address)
I have come to love your podcast. You guys create a great
balance of information, laughter, and eye-rolling and I've come to depend
on you. I used to just choose checking out of all the "information"
I was raised in a leftist family and became even more
leftist over time. I was a peace and environmental activist for many years. Now
I've lost the desire to organize, march, collect signatures although I still
love peace and Mother Earth. Mostly I just want to have fun, hike, bike,
garden, read, etc. Unfortunately I cant share my opinions or what I've learned
from you with friends or family without a big horrified judgmental
Recently I attended a concert where the performer assumed
and asserted that we were all (thousands) democrats. And plenty more was said.
I had no idea how repressive and close-minded the left is.
Finally - is the baby crying really necessary? It's not
funny, it's disturbing. When you play that and then laugh it's even more
disturbing. I get that disturbing can be good, but this is extremely
unpleasant. Maybe its just that I'm an old soft grandma, but I have to skip
Thank you for all your work,
Annie Breglia
Summit NY
British cave diver considering legal action over Elon Musk's 'pedo' attack | Technology | The Guardian
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 11:18
A British cave diver who was instrumental in the rescue of 12 children trapped in a northern Thailand cave says he is considering legal action after the inventor Elon Musk called him a ''pedo'' on Twitter.
Vernon Unsworth told the Guardian on Monday he was ''astonished and very angry'' at the attack, for which Musk offered no evidence or basis. The billionaire initially doubled down on the comments made on social media, but has since deleted them.
Unsworth told journalists at the cave site, where a clean-up operation is under way, that the remarks about him were an attack on the entire rescue crew.
''I believe he's called me a paedophile,'' he said. ''I think people realise what sort of guy [Musk] is.''
Asked if he would consider taking legal action against Musk, he told reporters: ''Yes, it's not finished.''
Musk was responding to an interview Unsworth gave on Sunday in which he said a child-sized submarine the Tesla chief executive delivered to the cave site last week ''had absolutely no chance of working''.
Elon Musk posts footage of 'mini-sub' made to assist Thai cave rescue''He had no conception of what the cave passage was like,'' Unsworth said in the interview. ''The submarine, I believe, was about 5ft 6in long, rigid, so it wouldn't have gone round corners or round any obstacles.''
Previously, Unsworth had described Musk's offer to help the rescue effort as a ''PR stunt'', and had told CNN Musk could ''stick his submarine where it hurts''.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Musk said he would produce a video proving his submarine would have been able to reach the children and in a comment directed at Unsworth, added: ''Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.''
When a Twitter user pointed out that Musk was ''calling the guy who found the children a pedo'', the billionaire responded: ''Bet ya a signed dollar it's true.'' Both tweets have since been deleted.
Unsworth, 63, who lives in Thailand, was among the first divers on the scene in Mae Sai after the boys from the Wild Boars football team and their coach became trapped inside on 23 June. Rescuers have said he used his knowledge of the cave system and networks in the cave diving community to marshal a response that was crucial in locating the boys 10 days later, and helping to free them last week.
Unsworth said he had saved copies of Musk's tweets and believed that the businessman had ''lost the plot'', adding: ''I have a lot of support from people around the world astonished by his unfounded comments.''
He had not had contact with Musk throughout the rescue operation nor since. ''I don't know the guy, never met the guy, and don't want to meet the guy,'' he said.
Musk had already attracted criticism for his approach to the Thai rescue after Narongsak Osatanakorn, head of the joint command centre, said the mini-submarine was hi-tech but not practical for the operation. Musk responded by saying Osatanakorn was ''not the subject matter expert''.
Musk was intensely criticised on Twitter for the attack on Unsworth. Some users pointed out how irresponsible it was to to broadcast a potentially libellous insult to his 22 million followers.
Mark Stephens, a partner at the London law firm Howard Kennedy, said: ''It's a cast iron case of libel and [Unsworth] will undoubtedly be able to sue. [If he sued] he would get damages and award of costs. They would be substantial, probably around £125,000. The challenge is that he would have to find assets of Musk's outside of the America.''The US Speech Act, Stephens explained, prevents libel judgments in the UK and elsewhere being enforced in the US on the grounds that they undermine American standards of free speech.
''The alternative,'' Stephens said, ''is to ask a British court to apply US law [standards] in its judgment so that it can be enforced in America, or he could sue in US courts, where awards are significantly higher. For such a false allegation he would get half a million to a million dollars.''
James Anderson, a partner at Baillie Gifford, Tesla's fourth-largest shareholder, told the Guardian in an email: ''I intend to convey my '' predictable I trust '' feelings to the company tomorrow.'' He declined to elaborate.
Musk had pledged to be less combative on social media, saying this week: ''I have made the mistaken assumption '' and I will attempt to be better at this '' of thinking that because somebody is on Twitter and is attacking me that it is open season. That is my mistake. I will correct it.''
Additional reporting by Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Owen Bowcott
Sir Cliff Richard wins £210,000 damages from BBC - Sky News
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:09
The star says he is "choked up" after his court win and tells fans it will take some time to get over the police raid on his home.
By Bethany Minelle, entertainment reporter
14:01, UK, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Sir Cliff Richard has won £210,000 in damages in a privacy battle with the BBC.
The 77-year-old singer sued the broadcaster following its coverage of a South Yorkshire Police raid on his home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014.
Officers were investigating an allegation of historic child sex abuse against him, which Sir Cliff has always denied.
The star was never arrested or charged with any offence.
Image: Sir Cliff's lawyer said the singer pursued the case to 'try to right a wrong'
High Court judge, Mr Justice Mann, said the BBC had infringed the celebrity's privacy rights in a "serious and sensationalist way".
He awarded £190,000 in general damages to cover "the general effect on Sir Cliff and his life", plus an additional £20,000 in aggravated damages, due to the fact the BBC later submitted the story for an award.
His lawyer said the payout was one of the highest amounts ever awarded in this area of the law.
It is possible the figure could substantially increase as the judge has yet to assess how much the singer has been left out of pocket as a result of the BBC coverage.
Image: The raid on Sir Cliff's Berkshire home took place in August 2014
Sir Cliff told the judge before the raid he worked regularly, released a new album every 18 months or so and usually played a number of concerts, but had been left "in effect in creative limbo" for two years.
He said the BBC coverage was a "very serious invasion" of his privacy, and he wanted damages at the "top end" of the scale.
At the time of the police search - which was filmed from a helicopter and broadcast to numerous countries - Sir Cliff was in Portugal.
During the trial earlier this year the singer described how he had fallen to his knees sobbing when watching the live footage of the raid.
He said it was like "watching burglars in my apartment, going through my personal belongings".
The BBC disputed his claims, with bosses saying the coverage was accurate and in good faith.
Image: Presenter Gloria Hunniford was at the High Court to support Sir Cliff
Speaking outside the court following the judgment, an emotional Sir Cliff said: "I'm choked up. I can't believe it. It's wonderful news."
He told fans it would "take a while to get over the whole emotional factor" of what had happened, adding: "I hope you'll forgive me. I'll talk to you some other time."
Friends of Sir Cliff, broadcaster Paul Gambaccini and presenter Gloria Hunniford, were both at court to support him.
In a statement, Sir Cliff's lawyer Gideon Benhaim said the BBC had refused to apologise and had been "defiant" in their insistence that the story was in the public interest.
He also said Sir Cliff's motivation in pursuing the case was not financial, but was to "try to right a wrong" and make sure "no other innocent person had to endure what he went through".
Sir Cliff has previously said the case cost him £3.4m.
Video: Gambaccini: Sir Cliff's fight for justice goes on
Mr Benhaim also questioned whether senior BBC executives had exercised sufficient scrutiny over their journalists.
In his ruling, the judge found that "the BBC was much more responsible than SYP", and said damages (excluding the aggravated damages) should be split 65% to 35% between the BBC and SYP respectively.
BBC director of news Fran Unsworth said the judgment would not just affect the corporation, but every media organisation's freedom to report on police investigations.
She said the resulting lack of scrutiny could "undermine the wider principle of the public's right to know" and would "put decision making in the hands of the police".
The corporation is considering an appeal against the judgment.
South Yorkshire Police (SYP) previously settled a damages claim with Sir Cliff out of court, agreeing to pay him £400,000.
British diver mulls legal action after Elon Musk calls him 'pedo guy'
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:28
Tesla's stock fell Monday after a British diver involved in the mission to save 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach said he is considering legal action against Elon Musk because the company's boss labeled him ''pedo guy.''
Spelunker Vernon Unsworth had called a submarine crafted by a team of Musk's technicians a ''PR stunt.'' Billionaire Musk suggested the vessel '-- made out of a SpaceX rocket part '-- could be used to assist rescuers in freeing the soccer team from a flooded cave system in Chiang Rai.
''He can stick his submarine where it hurts,'' Unsworth said of Musk's submarine idea in an interview with CNN. ''It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like.''
In response, Musk launched a scathing attack on the cave explorer on Twitter. On Sunday, he said in a now-deleted series of tweets that he would release video footage of the cylindrical vessel sailing through one of the caves.
He then made the baseless claim that Unsworth was a pedophile, saying: ''Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.''
After another Twitter user challenged him on his remarks, Musk said: ''Bet ya a signed dollar it's true.''
Those tweets have since been deleted.
''I believe he's called me a pedophile,'' Unsworth told The Guardian newspaper. ''I think people realize what sort of guy [Musk] is.''
When asked whether he would consider pursuing legal action against the Tesla CEO, Unsworth reportedly said: ''Yes, it's not finished.''
Representatives for Musk's companies Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company were not immediately available when contacted by CNBC.
Tesla's share price fell more than 3 percent on Monday.
According to The Guardian, James Anderson, a partner at Baillie Gifford, Tesla's fourth-largest shareholder, said he would express his opinion on the situation with the automaker. The report did not provide any further details.
Musk has previously stated that it would sometimes be better to not respond to criticism on social media.
During a Q&A with Bloomberg, the entrepreneur said: "I have made the mistaken assumption '-- and I will attempt to be better at this '-- of thinking that because somebody is on Twitter and is attacking me that it is open season. And that is my mistake. I will correct it."
The pressure is onThe boys' soccer team was trapped in the Tham Luang cave system for more than two weeks before finally being freed last week. Musk became involved in efforts to save them days prior to the rescue mission's success, traveling to Thailand with a group of engineers to meet with Thai officials.
Although the submarine was not used in any capacity, the billionaire executive insisted it could be deployed at some point in the future, either underwater or in space.
Musk has come under increased pressure in recent months as frustrations mount over his electric car company's production and cash burn troubles. Tesla reached its production target of 5,000 cars-a-week earlier this month; however, concerns have been raised over possible shortcuts taken to achieve that goal, such as eliminating brake tests in the final days of the production process.
The Tesla chief executive has also been criticized over his involvement in multiple local matters. Not long after his activities in Thailand, Musk promised to install water filters in residential houses in Flint, Michigan, to solve the city's ongoing water crisis. Flint residents were exposed to lead contamination after the city switched its drinking water source in 2014 without sufficient water treatment.
WATCH: Elon Musk is reportedly running an exclusive private school out of SpaceX's headquarters
Newspapers run IDENTICAL letters slamming Trump's Supreme Court pick | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:17
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is going into the Supreme Court confirmation process with a hail of rhetorical arrows zinging by him, including a phony letter-writing campaign aimed at unsuspecting American newspaper editors
At least 21 papers were duped last week, including big-market brands like the Dallas Morning News and The Washington Times. They ran identical letters over a four-day period, each signed by a different person.
The effort is an example of public-relations 'astroturfing,' a technique meant to simulate genuine grassroots support for an idea or cause.
The form letter is one small piece of the message minefield erupting around Kavanaugh as he prepares for a brutal confirmation process that will end with scant support from Democrats.
It begins by declaring that 'Brett Kavanaugh is the wrong choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. If he is confirmed to the Supreme Court, everything that we hold dear as a nation will be at stake.'
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is going into the Supreme Court confirmation process with a hail of rhetorical arrows zinging by him, including a phony letter-writing campaign aimed at unsuspecting newspaper editors
The Washington Times published this letter on Wednesday signed by a woman from Frederick, Maryland, the first of at least 21 instances of the same letter running in four days.
The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio printed the same letter on Friday, signed by a person claiming to be from the suburb of Westerville
The Dallas Morning News quickly deleted the letter from its website after DailyMail.com emailed its opinion editor, who said it had not yet run in print
It warns that he could be a swing-vote on the high court 'that takes away our rights' and awards new levels of political influence to 'mega-donors with extreme agendas.'
Three of the newspapers contacted Friday by DailyMail.com later removed the letters from their websites. Two, the Morning News and the Union Democrat of Sonora, California, publicly explained why.
In an email Saturday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah shrugged off the practice as inconsequential and amateurish.
'I suppose that's a clever way to ensure message discipline,' he said, 'but we think most Americans will see through these tactics and be impressed with Judge Kavanaugh's sterling record and qualifications.'
Richard Lodge, editor of The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Massachusetts, said Friday after hearing from DailyMail.com that he called the apparent 'signer' of the letter his paper ran, and '[s]he said she didn't send it.'
The woman recalled receiving a phone call from an anti-Kavanaugh activist asking her to sign an online petition against him days before the letter was sent in her name.
The Union Democrat in Sonora, CA and The Express Times in Easton, PA both took the letter down on Friday afternoon
Delaware's largest newspaper, The Wilmington News Journal, was successfully targeted by an Allene Goodfellow
Democrats have been holding more traditional protests to vent their opposition to Kavanaugh, beginning just hours after his nomination last week
Lodge said it's likely 'that person or group used it to sign her name and send this astroturf letter to my paper.'
'I got duped, which is embarrassing and frustrating,' he added.
It's standard practice for opinion page editors to call the writers of lettes
Creating the illusion of popular support by littering newspaper opinion pages with phony letters is nothing new.
In 2004 the liberal group MoveOn.org launched a website tool that generated editorial letters for its members promoting the Michael Moore film 'Fahrenheit 911.' All it required was a name, hometown and ZIP code.
The program provided users with sample sentences and a salt-to-taste text editor. Many left the stock message the way it was and clicked 'send.'
The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism's Online Journalism Review reported that the Republican National Committee had the technique down a year earlier.
Using a website called 'GOP Team Leader,' the party offered 'points''' redeemable for merchandise '' when their letters were actually published.
Both the George W. Bush and John Kerry campaigns used the technique during the 2004 presidential election cycle.
The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota was so impressed withthe form letter that it ran an enlarged quote from it as a graphic on Thursday
The conservative 'Liberty Headlines' blog first took note of the duplicate letters targeting Kavanaugh.
Quin Hillyer, a contirbuting editor at National Review Online who spotted the trend, told DailyMail.com that the 'rather transparent astro-turfing shows that the Leftist intensity against Kavanaugh is not naturally widespread, but instead is manufactured by paid agents.'
It's unclear who those agents are.
Brian Fallon, whose group DemandJustice runs a focused campaign against President Trump's judicial nominees, said Sunday that it's not his organization. 'We have no involvement in this,' he told DailyMail.com.
A representative of Protect Our Care, a group operated by Democratic operative Brad Woodhouse '' who, like Fallon, is known for crafting unusual public relations campaigns '' said the organization was not involved.
Similarly, a MoveOn.org spokesman also denied involvement.
'While millions of MoveOn members oppose Brett Kavanaugh's nomination, the organization did not generate these letters to the editor,' the spokesman said Sunday after this story was first published.
Large outlets that have run the letter since July 11 include The Washington Times (DC), the Boston Herald (MA), The Columbus Dispatch (OH), the Dallas Morning News (TX) and the San Antonio Express-News (TX).
The Grand Junction Sentinel (CO) was a victim, along with The Wilmington News Journal (DE), the Coeur d'Alene Press (ID), The Forum (Fargo, ND) and the Beaumont Enterprise (TX) .
Smaller newspapers that published the letter included the Santa Monica Daily Press (CA), The Union Democrat (Sonora, CA), the Daily News (Newburyport, MA), The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, MA), the Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA), The Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY), the Daily Reflector (Greenville, NC), The Express Times (Easton, PA), the Republican Herald (Pottsville, PA), The Herald-Zeitung (Brownsville, TX) and the Martinsville Bulletin (VA).
How Banning Plastic Straws Became 2018's Biggest Cause - Eater
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:02
Patrick Pleul/AFP/Getty Images Everything you need to know about the now-ubiquitous movement to #StopSuckingIf we're to believe the many, many headlines, this might just be the year that the world kicks its plastic straw habit. In recent months, seemingly every major company, several American cities, and smug Instagrammers (not to mention vegan quarterback Tom Brady) have pledged to ditch their plastic straws, leading to considerable media coverage. The effort first saw huge spikes in interest early this year, around the same time that anti-plastic groups like the Surfrider Foundation announced country-wide campaigns to eliminate straws.
And this movement has legs. Many cities have passed, or are in the process of passing, resolutions and all-out straw bans '-- particularly in areas near the coasts, where plastic waste tends to be more visible. Earlier this month, Seattle enacted its ban on plastic straws and utensils. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has proposed to ban plastic straws, drink stirrers, and plastic cotton buds by the end of 2018.
Alaska Airlines eliminated plastic stir straws and citrus picks from its flights in May. SeaWorld has also vowed to remove plastic straws and bags from its parks; Royal Caribbean Cruises and Ikea also announced bans. A&W Canada announced plans in June to begin switching to paper straws, following in the footsteps of another major Canadian operator of chains like the Keg and Swiss Chalet. Meanwhile, regional chain Burgerville has thrown its support behind Portland, Oregon's efforts to reduce single-use plastics, and plans to begin testing straw alternatives. Intelligentsia Coffee also confirmed on July 10 that it will remove straws from its 10 coffee bars in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City beginning July 15.
Now, with Starbucks also declaring this week that it will abandon plastic straws by 2020 in favor of (plastic) sippy cup lids and compostable plastic straws, the rest of the food industry will likely be even more compelled to take up the anti-straw cause.
So how did we get here? What exactly is so damning about the plastic straw that has made it the mustache-twirling villain of the food world? And most importantly, will these changes last? Below, all your burning questions about the anti-straw movement, answered:
Are plastic straws really all that bad?Well, like anything else that a person uses once and then promptly throws in the garbage, they're certainly not great '-- even if they look like an innocent, whimsical twisty straw. Because they're made of relatively thin material, straws break down into smaller plastic particles known as microplastics more quickly. They're also not easily recyclable in most facilities. According to EcoCycle, roughly 500 million disposable straws are used by Americans daily. (That figure has been criticized; presumably in response to this accusation, EcoCycle's website notes in its FAQ, ''Some environmental groups we talked to told us they believe this estimate to be low.'') Straws were ranked the seventh most common piece of trash collected in 2017 on global beaches by volunteer cleanup crews associated with the Ocean Conservancy, a marine environmental advocacy group.
So why did we start using them in the first place?Straws have been around for at least the last 5,000 years, according to the Atlantic. Early depictions and examples of metal straws were found in an ancient Sumerian tomb, and South Americans were using metal straws to sip mate long before Europeans established colonies on the continent. In the U.S., people used rye grass straws to drink cocktail through the 1880s, until a man named Marvin Chester Stone came along and patented the design for a paper straw in 1888. The paper variety quickly grew in popularity and even improved in the 1930s with help from Joseph B. Friedman, who developed the bendy straw '-- which proved useful not only for kids who were too short to drink their shakes at the soda counters, but also handy for hospital patients and people with limited mobility.
Disposable plastic straws eventually grew in popularity with the development of polypropylene plastic in the 1950s, and the straw's growing presence was helped by marketing that emphasized the straw's cleanliness, healthfulness, and durability. The plastic industry lobby, which opposes plastic bans and regulations, likes to stress sanitation as an important element: Steve Russell, the vice president of plastics for the American Chemical Society, told Phys.org earlier this year, ''in many cases these plastics provide sanitary conditions for food, beverages, and personal care.''
Haven't we known plastic straws were bad for a while?So glad you asked. Yes! The Great Pacific garbage patch, for example, was discovered more than 20 years ago by yachtsman Charles Moore, who reportedly sailed through the massive, swirling collection of floating plastic waste. Although plastic straws have been referred to as ''the world's most wasteful commodity,'' the vast majority of the plastic waste in the patch is comprised of fishing gear. Plastic has become so common in oceans that it's being found in large quantities in the bellies of sea birds, whales, and even fish sold at supermarkets.
But ''let's collectively stop eating seafood and fishing with plastic gear'' is a far less catchy slogan than ''ditch the straw'' or ''#StopSucking.'' The straw movement received a major bump in public consciousness back in 2015 thanks to a graphic viral video shot by a marine biologist who extracted a virtually unrecognizable plastic straw crammed up the nostril of a live and (very uncomfortable) sea turtle. It's garnered more than 30.7 million views on YouTube alone. And in recent months, organizations like Be Straw Free, the Last Plastic Straw, Strawfree.org, and Strawwars.org have redoubled their efforts.
What does the dude from Entourage have to do with all of this?Adrian Grenier, better known as that one guy with the thick eyebrows from Drive Me Crazy, has become an outspoken advocate for the straw ban movement (among other marine and environmental causes) through the Lonely Whale, an organization he co-founded in 2015. The Lonely Whale is behind the #StopSucking social media campaign and campaigned for Strawless in Seattle, which lead the city to institute a straw ban in June.
Here's a photo of Grenier doing his best to recreate the Nirvana Nevermind album cover while calling on Starbucks shareholders to eliminate straws. In March, he even made an appearance at a Starbucks shareholders meeting to present a resolution to create better, more easily recyclable cups '-- something Starbucks has struggled to achieve.
Isn't it great that Starbucks is phasing out straws?Companies rarely do something drastic like eliminate straws unless they're forced to, or it somehow benefits them. Starbucks likes to be the ''good guy'' in big coffee, so from a PR standpoint '-- in a tough year for Starbucks PR '-- this was probably viewed as an easy win.
But first, prove that these lids are somehow better or easier to recycle than the straws, and then we'll talk. The lids are still made of plastic, and again, the coffee giant has had a hard enough time addressing its cup-waste issue. Compostable straws, likewise, are only beneficial in an appropriate composting facility; large swaths of the world don't have access to municipal composting facilities. In other words: Paper straws will decompose only if they ever make it beyond a landfill. Symbolically, though, it's a move that will likely spur other companies to do the same.
What cities are banning the straw?After 10 years of plastic reduction efforts, Seattle became one of the first major cities to implement a ban on plastic straws and utensils. Under the new ordinance, businesses may only give out compostable utensils and straws or face a $250 penalty. Oakland approved a new ordinance in May 2018 to ban plastic straws, while cities like Miami Beach have enacted partial bans directed at businesses near beaches. A New York City council member has also proposed a ban on plastic straws. States including California have proposed bills limiting the distribution of single-use straws. Hawaii is seemingly a natural fit for a straw ban thanks to its tourism industry's reliance on stunning beaches, but the state's proposed straw ban was killed after vehement objections from the restaurant community. Around the world, Taiwan and Scotland are also in the process of implementing bans on pesky plastic products.
Ray Fisher/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images Do bans work? They certainly can't hurt. Straw bans and their more lenient cousin, straw-upon-request laws, force industries and consumers to rethink their consumption. Many of the large companies announcing new straw policies did so after cities or countries where they had stores decided to implement tighter regulations on single-use plastics.
But it's important to note that most cities don't have the infrastructure for composting biodegradable utensils, and not all products marketed as compostable actually biodegrade. And bans present challenges for small-business owners who are forced to invest in more costly alternatives, or cut back more drastically: In response to Seattle's ban, Greek restaurant Grecian Corner stopped handing out single-use utensils altogether. Elsewhere, a Seattle bubble tea vendor reported having trouble finding straws that could handle slurping tapioca pearls.
Are there any disadvantages to eliminating straws?For many people, plastic straws are a issue of convenience, but for some people with disabilities, they're a matter of safety and independence. Advocates for people with disabilities say that plastic single-use straws '-- particularly those with a bend '-- are essential tools that allow people with limited mobility to drink. Alternatives like compostable and paper straws aren't resilient enough for many people with disabilities to use. Inflexible metal straws, even those with a bend, are also not ideal for people because they can transfer heat from hot and cold beverages, posing a potential safety risk. Hard reusable silicone and metal straws also pose dangers for people with difficulties controlling their bite.
When businesses remove plastic and flexible plastic straws as an option, they're limiting the experiences of these consumers. According to NPR, Seattle's ban does include a waver for businesses that provide flexible, plastic straws for people that need them; however, very few people are aware of the exemption.
What's driving restaurants and bars to ditch straws?While movement to eliminate plastic bags from stores largely focused on banning campaigns, straw activists took a different tactic: appealing directly to the food and beverage industry. This has given the sweeping changes over the past 18 months the feeling of a grassroots movement.
Kate Icopini, the general manager at Portland, Oregon's St. Jack, says the restaurant's bar manager Charlie Dorst proposed a plastic straw ban in January after learning about Seattle's impending ban on plastic straws and utensils.
After making the switch to greener straw options, St. Jack also joined forces with the Portland chapter of the Surfrider Foundation to help promote the movement. ''What we decided to do was get really loud about it and call on our peers in the industry to join us,'' Icopini says. ''I think a lot of restaurants ... do the right thing both for the world and for their business. But like most things, you are stronger together.'' Speaking directly to industry and hosting events, including dinner series and bar crawls focused on raising money for the Surfrider Foundation, has been influential in encouraging other businesses to nix straws.
What are people using instead of plastic straws?With non-biodegradable plastic straws being phased out, compostable plastic straws, old-fashioned paper straws, reusable metal straws, and even pasta straws (who really wants a soggy noodle in their cocktail?) have come to the forefront. Each option presents its own challenges. Compostable straws are the most natural choice; unfortunately, they're more expensive than the traditional polypropylene alternative and only break down as advertised if they successfully land in a composting facility '-- not a backyard pile or a landfill.
At Frita Batidos, a Cuban-style burger restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, chef and owner Eve Aronoff says she originally offered paper straws when the restaurant opened in 2010, but ''discontinued them because they would get soggy when placed into liquid.'' Now, the restaurant offers a choice of compostable plastic or paper straws. Aronoff says wheat and pasta straws are ''more durable, but both have a subtle but distinctive flavor we aren't looking for.'' The pasta alternative also posed a challenge for customers with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Frita Batidos is currently looking into options like long-handled spoons for its thick Cuban milkshakes and getting rid of straws altogether.
For businesses that serve primarily dine-in customers, metal straws can be a good alternative. Icopini says St. Jack now offers reusable straws upon request, with the exception of a few cocktails that have a metal straw as part of the format. ''We immediately purchased about $60 worth of metal straws from Amazon, and since we've done that, we've saved money,'' she says. Six months into the year, Icopini estimates the restaurant has saved roughly $800 by not purchasing plastic straws. St. Jack has since purchased some metal straws with a bend to accommodate people with disabilities.
Altogether, Icopini says the transition was relatively simple; she's now trying to devise a plan for what to do with all the remaining plastics straws in restaurant's stock rooms. ''Honestly, it's that easy,'' she says. ''All you have to do is just not put plastic straws in your drink, and then confidently stand behind that decision.''
' Starbucks Sippy Cups Will Replace Plastic Straws by 2020 [E]
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2018, The Year We Say Goodbye to Plastic Straws! - Surfrider Foundation
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:05
How many times have you gone to a restaurant, asked for water, and received a plastic straw in your glass? Across the world the plastic straw is dropped in drinks without a thought in restaurants and bars quickly becoming a habit for businesses and customers alike. Though it seems like a harmless piece of plastic, 500 million straws a day are used in the US alone and like many single-use plastics, many of those straws end up on our coasts and in our ocean. The International Coastal Cleanup report in 2017 found that straws were one of the top ten items collected globally on the coastlines of the planet. A widely viewed video showed the horrific consequence that straws have on marine life as an Olive Ridley sea turtle was found with one stuck in its nose.
Though one could argue that most single-use plastics are unnecessary, straws stand alone as an item that humans could really live without. Seeing a great opportunity for grassroots change, Surfrider chapters all over have taken up the cause and are spearheading straw campaigns and seeing great results. The Pacific Rim chapter successfully got the entire town of Tofino to stop using plastic straws and now have now taken on a bigger goal of making the town of Uculet plastic free by Earth Day in 2018. The Portland chapter ran a successful month long pilot campaign and now have an ambitious goal of having 150 businesses sign a pledge to be straw free and sign a petition to ban plastic straws. San Francisco and San Diego continue to make great progress on their campaigns educating consumers about the impacts of plastic straws, convincing restaurants to only serve straws on request or none at all, and building a groundswell of support for straw legislation. On the east coast, the Charleston chapter had huge success with their "Strawless Summer" campaign convincing more than 70 restaurants to go plastic straw free.
Many chapters are using straw campaigns to go a step further and recruit businesses for the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. A straw campaign provides a great way to make contacts with local businesses, get them up to speed on the impacts of single-use plastics, and then convince them to take a more active role in their community by following the Ocean Friendly criteria.
The Surfrider network is energized and active in the fight to get rid of plastic straws and this should be the year that we never have to stay "no straw please" again!
The social media mob is a danger to society
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:56
By Daniella Greenbaum
July 12, 2018 at 6:46 PM
A man at an April 2017 ''free speech'' protest in Berkeley, Calif. (Nick Otto for The Washington Post/)Daniella Greenbaum is a writer living in New York.
As an opinion columnist for Business Insider until my resignation Thursday, I had grown accustomed to strong reactions from readers when I wrote about Hamas (I'm not a fan) or the problems with accusations of cultural appropriation. But I didn't see this one coming. Commenting on recent criticism of actress Scarlett Johansson for taking a movie role that called on her to portray a transgender man, I made the commonsensical and, I admit, not particularly original observation that actors specialize in make-believe and ought to be allowed to take any jobs they like.
The brief online post stirred immediate fury '-- among some of my Business Insider colleagues. As has been reported elsewhere, several people within the organization complained to the editor, who responded by scrubbing the ScarJo post from the site and instituting a new policy of requiring ''culturally sensitive'' work to be reviewed by an executive editor or an editor in chief before it can be published. As the Daily Beast reported, he also suggested that writers and editors talk with a group of employees who would volunteer to be sounding boards on issues of cultural sensitivity.
Given that in these thin-skinned days just about any subject can be called ''culturally sensitive,'' and given that a committee would basically ensure that my column became a safe space, I had no alternative but to resign. And so I've had the disorienting experience of becoming one small data point in what is a disturbingly large set.
Columnists on the right and the left have known for years about the ferocious blowback that awaits the expression of unpopular ideas. But now the definition of ''unpopular'' has expanded so widely that reasonable views that might have seemed mainstream just a few years ago can be deemed unacceptable by self-appointed censors. Even publications that pride themselves on holding open-minded values are watching their backs.
We are slowly normalizing the policing of speech and opinion. Sometimes overtly, and sometimes through the intimidation that stops people from saying or writing or publishing what they believe because they know that the social media mob is lying in wait.
These hordes might come from the left or the right. Or from Russian bot farms. The thing to remember is that they are not the majority, not even close. They're just louder. And they're here to stay. The only responsible reaction must come from their would-be targets, refusing to allow the definition of what is acceptable thought to be wielded like a cudgel. Some opinion is beyond that pale and deserves to be shunned (not obliterated), but allowing the lines to be redrawn at will by those who have no interest in free speech will ultimately be poisonous for democracy.
The problem is not confined to the college campus, where conservative speakers are being shouted down or disinvited. It's not confined to the media, where publications and television stations and their audiences seem increasingly comfortable in liberal or conservative silos where conflicting outlooks and even conflicting information are unwelcome. It's beginning to permeate every area where we use language '-- every area of life.
The only way to fight it is head on. Defend the idea that more speech is always better. The best way to put bad arguments to bed is to air them out and highlight their weaknesses. Want to eliminate ''unsafe'' thoughts? Turn them loose in the marketplace of ideas and debate them '-- don't try to silence them.
As the definition of what constitutes offensive speech grows ever wider, more and more people who are certain that their views fall somewhere in the mainstream will find themselves backed into corners. Ultimately, even the wokest of the warriors will realize that when it comes to outrunning the predatory mob they've created, no space is safe.
Read more:
George F. Will: A red flag on campus free speech
Catherine Rampell: A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech
Geoffrey R. Stone and Will Creeley: Restoring free speech on campus
The Post's View: The Justice Department is going after Berkeley for squelching free speech. That's unfair.
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I Was the Mob Until the Mob Came for Me - Quillette
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 22:48
I drive food delivery for an online app to make rent and support myself and my young family. This is my new life. I once had a well paid job in what might be described as the social justice industry. Then I upset the wrong person, and within a short window of time, I was considered too toxic for my employer's taste. I was publicly shamed, mobbed, and reduced to a symbol of male privilege. I was cast out of my career and my professional community. Writing anything under my own byline now would invite a renewal of this mobbing'--which is why, with my editor's permission, I am writing this under a pseudonym. He knows who I am.
In my previous life, I was a self-righteous social justice crusader. I would use my mid-sized Twitter and Facebook platforms to signal my wokeness on topics such as LGBT rights, rape culture, and racial injustice. Many of the opinions I held then are still opinions that I hold today. But I now realize that my social-media hyperactivity was, in reality, doing more harm than good.
Within the world created by the various apps I used, I got plenty of shares and retweets. But this masked how ineffective I had become outside, in the real world. The only causes I was actually contributing to were the causes of mobbing and public shaming. Real change does not stem from these tactics. They only cause division, alienation, and bitterness.
How did I become that person? It happened because it was exhilarating. Every time I would call someone racist or sexist, I would get a rush. That rush would then be reaffirmed and sustained by the stars, hearts, and thumbs-up that constitute the nickels and dimes of social media validation. The people giving me these stars, hearts, and thumbs-up were engaging in their own cynical game: A fear of being targeted by the mob induces us to signal publicly that we are part of it.
Just a few years ago, many of my friends and peers who self-identify as liberals or progressives were open fans of provocative standup comedians such as Sarah Silverman, and shows like South Park. Today, such material is seen as deeply ''problematic,'' or even labeled as hate speech. I went from minding my own business when people told risqu(C) jokes to practically fainting when they used the wrong pronoun or expressed a right-of-center view. I went from making fun of the guy who took edgy jokes too seriously, to becoming that guy.
When my callouts were met with approval and admiration, I was lavished with praise: ''Thank you so much for speaking out!'' ''You're so brave!'' ''We need more men like you!''
Then one day, suddenly, I was accused of some of the very transgressions I'd called out in others. I was guilty, of course: There's no such thing as due process in this world. And once judgment has been rendered against you, the mob starts combing through your past, looking for similar transgressions that might have been missed at the time. I was now told that I'd been creating a toxic environment for years at my workplace; that I'd been making the space around me unsafe through microaggressions and macroaggressions alike.
Social justice is a surveillance culture, a snitch culture. The constant vigilance on the part of my colleagues and friends did me in. That's why I'm delivering sushi and pizza. Not that I'm complaining. It's honest work, and it's led me to rediscover how to interact with people in the real world. I am a kinder and more respectful person now that I'm not regularly on social media attacking people for not being ''kind'' and ''respectful.''
I mobbed and shamed people for incidents that became front page news. But when they were vindicated or exonerated by some real-world investigation, it was treated as a footnote by my online community. If someone survives a social justice callout, it simply means that the mob has moved on to someone new. No one ever apologizes for a false accusation, and everyone has a selective memory regarding what they've done.
Upon reading Jon Ronson's 2015 book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed, I recently went back into my Twitter archives to study my own behavior. I was shocked to discover that I had actually participated quite enthusiastically in the public shaming of Justine Sacco, whose 2013 saga following a bad AIDS joke on Twitter forms one of the book's central case studies.
My memory had told me different. In my mind, I didn't really participate. It was others who took things too far. In reality, the evidence showed that I was among the most vicious of Sacco's mobbers. Ronson describes a central problem with Twitter shaming: There is a ''disconnect between the severity of the crime and the gleeful savagery of the punishment.'' For years, I was blind to my own gleeful savagery.
I recently had a dream that played out in the cartoon universe of my food-delivery app, the dashboard software that guides my daily work life. The dream turned my workaday drive into a third-person video game, with my cartoon car standing in for me as protagonist. At some point, I started missing some of the streets, and the little line that marks my trail with blue pixels indicated where I'd gone off-road. My path got erratic, and the dream became other-worldly, as dreams eventually do. I drove over cartoon sidewalks, through cartoon buildings and cartoon parks. It's a two-dimensional world in the app, so everything was flat. Through the unique logic of dreams, I survived all of this, all the while picking up and dropping off deliveries and making money. In my dream, I was making progress.
As my REM cycle intensified, my dream concluded. I was jolted from my two-dimensional app world and thrust back into the reality of the living world'--where I could understand the suffering, carnage and death I would have caused by my in-app actions. There were bodies strewn along the streets, screaming bystanders, destroyed lives, chaos. My car, by contrast, was indestructible while I was living in the app.
The social justice vigilantism I was living on Twitter and Facebook was like the app in my dream. Aggressive online virtue signaling is a fundamentally two-dimensional act. It has no human depth. It's only when we snap out of it, see the world as it really is, and people as they really are, that we appreciate the destruction and human suffering we caused when we were trapped inside.
The author delivers food for a living. He tries not to be on social media. 'Barrett Wilson' is a pseudonym.
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Papa John's founder John Schnatter blames n-word scandal on 'extortion' attempt
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 22:27
Papa John's founder John Schnatter is punching back.
The pizza mogul who was accused of using racial slurs during an internal conference call with a marketing firm in May is now accusing that firm '-- Los Angeles-based Laundry Service '-- of trying to extort $6 million from the Louisville, Ky., chain to keep quiet about the call.
''They wanted $6 million to make it go away,'' Schnatter told a local CBS affiliate.
'''If I don't get my f''king money, I'm going to bury the founder,' said one of the executives,'' Schnatter told WLKY. ''I'm not for sale,'' Schnatter continued. ''We held firm and they ran to Forbes, which printed it.''
Laundry Service could not immediately be reached for comment.
Schnatter claims that Laundry Service leaked the details about the conference call to Forbes only after it did not receive a payment. The marketing firm informed him of its demand about two weeks after the conference call, he said during the WLKY interview.
Over the weekend, Schnatter was asked to leave his office at Papa John's headquarters. A special committee of the board of directors requested the ouster and gave the 56-year-old founder 90 days to move out.
Papa John's did not immediately respond for comment.
Strikes, Boycotts, and Outages Mar Amazon Prime Day
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:25
Prime Day, which began Monday, is one of Amazon's biggest promotions of the year, when the retailer offers deals to subscribers of its Prime service. This year, some Amazon workers in Europe are striking during Prime Day, hoping to draw attention to working conditions like proposed cuts in wages and health benefits. In solidarity, some consumers have been boycotting the company and its many subsidiaries, like Twitch and Whole Foods.
Nearly 1,800 workers went on strike on Monday in Spain, where the planned protest was first conceived as a way to fight pay cuts and restrictions on time off. But workers in Poland, Germany, Italy, France, and England are also reportedly joining the call for a transnational strike around Prime Day. The unions representing warehouse workers involved in the strike are Comisiones Obreras in Spain and Verdi services union in Germany.
Prime Day is a bit of a misnomer, as the promotion lasts for 36 hours. German workers are expected to walk out Tuesday. In a press release on its website, Verdi wrote that Amazon employees have been struggling for years with health problems from monotonous work and severe physical and mental stress. "Amazon has neglected this responsibility for years and denied its people the right to set rules in a collective agreement,'' wrote spokesperson Stefanie Nutzberger.
https://twitter.com/NNUBonnie/status/1017209676369293312To top it off, portions of Amazon's website were not responding in the early hours of the promotion Monday. At 7 pm ET, website downdetector.com, which tracks outages, was reporting outages in many parts of the US.
In a statement to WIRED, the company said, ''Amazon is a fair and responsible employer and as such we are committed to dialogue, which is an inseparable part of our culture. We are committed to ensuring a fair cooperation with all our employees, including positive working conditions and a caring and inclusive environment.'' The company said it has provided ''a safe and positive workplace with competitive pay and benefits from day one.''
In response to a question about the outages, Amazon said, "Some customers are having difficulty shopping, and we're working to resolve this issue quickly. Many are shopping successfully---in the first hour of Prime Day in the US, customers have ordered more items compared to the first hour last year."
Bloomberg Intelligence estimated that Amazon would generate roughly $3 billion in sales during Prime Day. Not all of that will be Amazon revenue, as some sales will be by outside merchants who sell through Amazon. In 2017, subscriptions for Prime and other services like e-books and digital video accounted for $9.7 billion in revenue, or about 5 percent of Amazon's $178 billion in annual revenue.
The consumer boycott began on July 10, organized around the hashtag #amazonstrike on Twitter. On Monday, Game Workers Unite International, a grassroots group attempting to unionize the gaming industry, said it would boycott Twitch, the popular gaming platform that Amazon acquired in 2014, for the day in solidarity.
https://twitter.com/richardsajor/status/1017073235744075776Amazon's European employees have used strikes as a bargaining tool for better working conditions in the past around holidays.
This spring, reports surfaced about Amazon workers in the US who rely on food stamps and Amazon fulfillment center workers in the UK who are forced to forgo bathroom breaks and pee in bottles. On social media, Amazon's critics lambasted the company's lack of investment in its workers after CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview said the best way to spend his considerable fortune was on his rocket company Blue Origin. ''The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel,'' Bezos said.
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Lawsuit Proves HHS Hasn't Filed Required Vaccine Safety Reports with Congress IN 30 YEARS
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:30
(Support Free Thought) - Washington, D.C. '-- After an uptick in lawsuits in the 1980s, the vaccine manufacturers essentially held the government hostage and threatened to stop making vaccines unless the government took on responsibility for vaccine injury lawsuits. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was then enacted which made the taxpayers liable for injuries caused by vaccines and not the manufacturers.
This removal of liability has created the incentive to turn out new vaccines with very little testing, as the companies don't have to worry about financial hardships for injuring people, which in turn has shaped the situation that we find ourselves in today.
In the last 2 decades, we've witnessed a near 300% increase in the number of CDC recommended vaccines. As the vaccine companies no longer had an incentive to rigorously test the safety of their vaccines, the responsibility of testing vaccine safety was then passed to the US government.
Now, a lawsuit filed against the US Department of Health and Human Services., on behalf of the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) and counsel, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has revealed that the biannual reports for these safety studies '-- as required by Congress '-- have never happened.
According to the press release from ICAN:
The 1986 Act granted unprecedented, economic immunity to pharmaceutical companies for injuries caused by their products and eviscerated economic incentive for them to manufacture safe vaccine products or improve the safety of existing vaccine products. Congress therefore charged the Secretary of HHS with the explicit responsibility to assure vaccine safety.
Hence, since 1986, HHS has had the primary and virtually sole responsibility to make and assure improvements in the licensing, manufacturing, adverse reaction reporting, research, safety and efficacy testing of vaccines in order to reduce the risk of adverse vaccine reactions. In order to assure HHS meets its vaccine safety obligations, Congress required as part of the 1986 Act that the Secretary of HHS submit a biannual reports to Congress detailing the improvements in vaccine safety made by HHS in the preceding two years.
ICAN therefore filed a Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, request on August 25th, 2017 to HHS seeking copies of the biannual reports that HHS was supposed to submit to Congress, starting in 1988, detailing the improvements it made every two years to vaccine safety. HHS stonewalled ICAN for eight months refusing to provide any substantive response to this request.
What ICAN found when the HHS was finally forced to turn over the documents proving they have done the required studies of vaccine safety was shocking. They never filed the report, not once. In response to the FOIA request and subsequent lawsuit, the HHS returned a statement noting that no such records existed.
ICAN was therefore forced to file a lawsuit to force HHS to either provide copies of its biannual vaccine safety reports to Congress or admit it never filed these reports. The result of the lawsuit is that HHS had to finally and shockingly admit that it never, not even once, submitted a single biannual report to Congress detailing the improvements in vaccine safety. This speaks volumes to the seriousness by which vaccine safety is treated at HHS and heightens the concern that HHS doesn't have a clue as to the actual safety profile of the now 29 doses, and growing, of vaccines given by one year of age.
Instead of submitting the reports to Congress on the safety of vaccines, HHS has devoted its resources to increasing vaccine uptake. As ICAN explains:
In contrast, HHS takes the other portions of the 1986 Act, which require promoting vaccine uptake, very seriously, spending billions annually and generating a steady stream of reports on how to improve vaccine uptake. Regrettably, HHS has chosen to focus on its obligation to increase vaccine uptake and defend against any claim vaccines cause harm in the National Injury Vaccine Compensation Program (aka, the Vaccine Court) to such a degree that it has abandoned its vaccine safety responsibilities. If HHS is not, as confirmed in Court this week, even fulfilling the simple task of filing a biannual report on vaccine safety improvements, there is little hope that HHS is actually tackling the much harder job of actually improving vaccine safety.
What this means.
This does not mean, as some have claimed, that the US government has never conducted a vaccine safety test. Spreading this disinformation does a disservice to the folks at ICAN and RFK Jr. Multiple departments have put out reports on vaccine safety. However, many of these departments are staffed with and even headed up by former insiders from the vaccine companies.
Furthermore, it exposes a serious problem within HHS. For the last three decades, HHS failed to file these reports and Congress had no problem with it. What's more, on top of not filing the required safety reports, the HHS did abide by the part of the NCVIA that required them to increase vaccine uptake '-- clearly illustrating where their priorities lie '-- distribution first, safety second.
Rapid DNA
The Secret Facebook Groups for Shocking DNA Tests - The Atlantic
NPE refers to ''not parent expected
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 20:09
I t was AncestryDNA's customer-service rep who had to break the news to Catherine St Clair.
For her part, St Clair thought she was inquiring about a technical glitch. Her brother'--the brother who along with three other siblings had gifted her the DNA test for her birthday'--wasn't showing up right in her family tree. It was not a glitch, the woman on the line had to explain gently, if this news can ever land gently: The man St Clair thought of as her brother only shared enough DNA with her to be a half-sibling. In fact, she didn't match any family members on her father's side. Her biological father must be someone else.
''I looked into a mirror and started crying,'' says St Clair, now 56. ''I've taken for granted my whole life that what I was looking at in the mirror was part my mother and part my dad. And now that half of that person I was looking at in the mirror, I didn't know who that was.''
St Clair thought she was alone with her loss, and what an odd sort of loss it was. She had grown up in a tight-knit, religious family in Arkansas, never suspecting a thing. Her four older siblings loved her no less as a half-sister. One brother didn't think it was a big deal at all. ''He says he wouldn't have been this upset if it happened to him,'' she told me. ''I don't discuss this topic with him much anymore.'' St Clair eventually found her biological father by tracing other matches on Ancestry's website. He was a stranger her mother knew more than half a century ago. The DNA test didn't erase her happy childhood memories, but it recast her entire life up to now.
The first time St Clair met someone who understood this'--in the same bone-deep way she did'--was online. She saw that Delilah, the popular radio host, had asked on her Facebook page if anyone had learned anything interesting from DNA tests. Well, sure, St Clair thought. She replied that she had just found out her dad was not her biological father. An hour later, a woman who saw the comment messaged her saying, ''Oh my god I thought I was the only one.'' For the next three hours, they feverishly sent messages back and forth. They cried. They shared their fears and anxieties. They realized they weren't crazy for feeling those fears and anxieties. ''By the time we finished talking, we were both emotionally drained,'' St Clair said. ''Nothing's really changed for either of us but we feel better just because we had somebody to talk to.''
St Clair went looking for more people to talk to. She looked for support groups. She found none. So, being the type to take things in her own hands, St Clair started a group on Facebook called DNA NPE Friends, where NPE refers to ''not parent expected.'' (NPE comes from the genetic genealogy term ''nonpaternity event,'' which St Clair and others have refashioned to include both parents; another increasingly common term is ''misattributed parentage.'')
''Each person comes into our group thinking they are a freak,'' says St Clair. And then they find each other. A year later, DNA NPE Friends'--just one of several secret Facebook groups for misattributed parentage'--has amassed more than 1,000 members.
T hese are boom times for consumer DNA tests. The number of people who have mailed in their saliva for genetic insights doubled during 2017, reaching a total of more than 12 million. Most people are curious where their ancestors came from. A few are interested in health. Some are adoptees or children conceived from sperm donation who are explicitly looking for their biological parents. DNA testing companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA regularly tout happy reunions on their websites.
But not all biological parents want to be found. In conversations and correspondence with more than two dozen people for this story, I heard of DNA tests that unearthed affairs, secret pregnancies, quietly buried incidents of rape and incest, and fertility doctors using their own sperm to inseminate patients. These secrets otherwise would have'--or even did'--go the grave. ''It's getting harder and harder to keep secrets in our society,'' says CeCe Moore, a prominent genetic genealogist who consults for the television show Finding Your Roots. ''If people haven't come to that realization, they probably should.''
St Clair told me she sees it as a generational shift. The generation whose 50-year-old secrets are now being unearthed could not have imagined a world of $99 mail-in DNA kits. But times are changing, and the culture with it. ''This generation right now and maybe the next 15 years or so, there's going to be a lot of shocking results coming out. I'd say in 20 years' time it's going to dissipate,'' she predicted. By then, our expectations of privacy will have caught up with the new reality created by the rise of consumer DNA tests.
But until then, hundreds, maybe thousands, of people like St Clair are left to piece together their family histories, containing the fallout of a DNA test however they can. The best help, many have found, is each other.
''It was better than therapy,'' Dawn, 54, says of joining the DNA NPE Friends group. ''I tried therapy. It didn't work.'' (The Atlantic agreed to identify by first name only the people who have not revealed their misattributed parentage to friends and family.) Therapists, friends'--they all had trouble understanding why the revelation mattered so much. When Dawn told her close friends that her biological father had Italian heritage, they joked about making cannoli. ''They don't understand the gravity,'' she says. She herself didn't quite understand until it happened to her either. Dawn had spent her whole life suspecting her father was not her biological father, yet the revelation still left her unmoored. ''The very foundation of who I thought I was was ripped out from under me,'' she says. ''Until that moment, I had no idea how much stock I had put in my family to identify and to find who I was.''
In the Facebook group that St Clair now runs with several admins, she does stress that the group is not a substitute for therapy. She advocates getting professional help, even describing to me at length over the phone how to find employee assistance programs for free counseling. But as the group's creator, she has become a de facto tribe-mother-counselor-guru. Members of the group would repeat her mantras (We're not a dirty little secret) back to me. And they often started sentences with ''Catherine says... '' before reciting some bit of her advice.
I asked St Clair if she had any professional training for this, and she laughed, saying no. But she grew up in a family that fostered a lot of kids, and taking care of an adopted younger sister with cerebral palsy has taught her to let go of anger. And she reinforces this in the Facebook group, quickly deleting unsupportive comments. ''Anger only hurts you,'' she says. ''That's why I push so hard with my group.''
L isa, 44, admits she is still trying to let go of that anger. She had always felt out of place in her family. Her hair'--which she always straightened'--was naturally fine and curly, her skin dark. ''People would think I'm Hispanic, and would speak Spanish to me on the street,'' she says. So when a DNA test in 2015 revealed her biological father was likely African American, it clicked into place. But her mom denied it. ''She wouldn't answer me. She would change the subject,'' Lisa recalls. When she kept pressing, her mother broke down, saying it would destroy the family and that her dad'--the man she grew up with'--would kill her. She refused to say anything else about Lisa's biological father.
Lisa doesn't want to strain her relationship with the father who raised her either. ''I just could never break his heart,'' she says, but her mother's refusal to talk frustrates her. Reading the same stories from other people about confronting their parent, Lisa says, has made it easier to cope. She'd like to to host a meetup with members of the DNA NPE Friends group who live near her in Pennsylvania.
Lisa has also set out on her own to find her biological father. ''I just want to know who he is,'' she says of her father. ''I just want to see a picture.'' The DNA test matched her with a cousin in California on her father's side. By constructing ''mirror trees'''--a technique genetic genealogists use to find common ancestors'--she thinks she found one of her grandparents, but she has not yet been able to pinpoint one man as her father.
Kathy, 55, also told me about her yearning to know more about her biological father. By the time she found out about her misattributed paternity from a DNA test, he had already passed away. She found Newspapers.com clippings about his old band from the 1940s. She visited the town where he grew up not too far from her. And when she learned an actor played him in a 1990s movie, she watched it intently, studying the actor for clues to the real man. ''It's the closest thing I had,'' she says.
The revelation has not been easy for her mother, whom Kathy suspects had an affair with her biological father when she was a secretary at his firm. It also caused a rift with her sisters, who are close to her mother. ''My sisters were freaking out. They didn't want me to say anything,'' Kathy says. ''They said keep it a secret. Why do you need know? Why open the door? Why open the can of worms?''
St Clair has a mantra for these situations, too. ''I'm sorry,'' she says, ''I'm not a cause of the problem. I'm the result of it.'' Still, she is sympathetic to the upheaval these revelations can cause. ''You have to try to put yourself in the shoes of this person who's about to be blindsided. There's an adult out there that is their child that they never knew about. Maybe they had an affair at the beginning of their marriage and they changed their ways ... this is going to cause a major tear in their family. It could. We always try to prepare for the worst.''
That's why the DNA NPE Friends group offers detailed advice on how to make first contact. The group suggests going with a letter that asks for family medical information and makes clear that the writer is not after money. And send photos, ideally three of them: the person as a toddler, as a teen, and as an adult with their own family if they have one. ''It strokes the ego to be able to say ... oh my gosh she's got my nose and my eyes. So it tugs at his heartstrings,'' says St Clair.
Of course, the attempts to reach out are sometimes met with anger or radio silence. After Todd, 53, took an AncestryDNA test, he found some new cousins that he messaged on Facebook. The cousins ended up blocking him. ''They think I'm after something,'' he says. It was the group that talked him down, advising him to give it time and write a letter. When he contacted a newfound aunt, he also posted the letter to the group for editing advice.
Todd's discovery was actually not about his own father but his mother's father, and he's still torn about whether to tell his mother. He remembers the devastation when he first realized his mother's sisters were not his full aunts. ''The second I found out I'm ashamed to say it felt different. I didn't feel as close to them,'' says Todd. ''It was tears every day for nine months.'' He's made some peace with it now, but he worries that his elderly mother would take it harder. Todd wishes that AncestryDNA had given more of a warning. ''They have that commercial where the guy's like, 'Now I don't wear lederhosen' [after finding out his ancestors were Irish rather than German]. That was your surprise. Let me tell you my surprise,'' says Todd. ''You can find something you really don't want to know. I think they should issue that warning.''
Both 23andMe and AncestryDNA have warnings about uncovering unanticipated information about family in their terms of service. They also allow users to opt in or out of finding genetic matches, and 23andMe has another warning in the opt-in screen.
Lynn, 55, of all people, understood that DNA tests can reveal family secrets. Her husband had been adopted, and Lynn set out to use her son's AncestryDNA tests to find his paternal grandparents. In the process, she compared her son's results to her brother's and quickly realized something wrong. It didn't look like a typical uncle-nephew relationship. The reason, Lynn eventually found out, was that her biological father was not the father she grew up with. ''I just didn't see it coming,'' she says. ''If you go looking into other people's secrets, you just might find one of your own.'' Her mother still refuses to reveal what happened.
An AncestryDNA spokesperson said in a statement, ''Almost everyone who takes our AncestryDNA test finds something surprising, and for most customers it's something exciting and enriching; but there are certainly cases where a discovery might be quite unexpected ... We also have a small, dedicated group of representatives who are specially trained to speak to customers with more sensitive queries.''
A 23andMe spokesperson added, ''We typically counsel customers that while we're confident in our ability to predict close genetic relationships, we're not a paternity test.''
T o join DNA NPE Friends, you first have to apply through a closed but public ''gateway'' group on Facebook. It's a jury-rigged system, designed to get around the fact the group needs to be findable enough to reach new members but also secret enough so as to not broadcast my father is not my biological father to one's entire social network. St Clair and her admins also privately invite people who post about misattributed parentage in two popular public groups on Facebook called DNA Detectives and DD Social, both run by Moore, the genetic genealogist. Moore also runs secret splinter groups dedicated to various specific scenarios like unknown paternity and incest.
Like any rapidly growing group with 1,000-plus members, DNA NPE Friends has had some growing pains. One particular post kicked up a firestorm, according to St Clair, when some sperm donor-conceived members of the group took it to suggest anonymous sperm donors don't want to know their biological children. Some threatened to leave. St Clair says donor-conceived people are absolutely welcome in the group, and her admins aggressively weed out negative comments.
Brianne Kirkpatrick, a genetic counselor, also runs a couple of Facebook groups for people dealing with DNA surprises, and she deliberately keeps them small. Kirkpatrick's groups are less active day to day, but they are also less impersonal because of their size. (Lynn, the woman whose attempt to find her husband's parents revealed her own misattributed paternity, is a member of one of these groups.) Kirkpatrick also wants to maintain the privacy and confidentiality she promised her members, the first of whom she met through her genetic-counseling practice a few years ago.
Having watched the stories in the group unfold, Kirkpatrick emphasizes they aren't all negative experiences'--even if they start that way. ''How people react in the short term will not necessarily predict the long term,'' she says. St Clair put it to me in even more vivid terms. She compared finding out about the existence of a secret child to finding out your teenage daughter is pregnant. ''Everyone's tearful, upset. Excuse my phrase, the shit just hit the fan,'' she says. ''But nine months later they're standing at the hospital goo-gooing and celebrating and passing out cigars and balloons.'' It takes time.
When St Clair took her AncestryDNA test, the parents who raised her and her biological father had all passed away. She didn't have to'--or perhaps never got to'--confront them. But she did realize that one of her genetic matches on AncestryDNA's website was a half-sister, Raetta, who shared the same father. When they got in touch, St Clair learned about another half-sister, Mona, who still lives in Arkansas, where St Clair was born. Earlier this month, she and Mona flew to Los Angeles to celebrate Raetta's 80th birthday. After losing half of her identity, St Clair gained another family. And the Facebook group has given her purpose.
Catherine St Clair with her two half-sisters Raetta (left) and Mona (middle). The top is a collage of baby photos that St Clair created for their reunion, where they took the bottom photo. (Catherine St Clair) Related Stories What Mormon Family Trees Tell Us About Cancer How a Genealogy Website Led to the Alleged Golden State Killer What Can You Do With the World's Largest Family Tree? Recently, St Clair decided to found a nonprofit called NPE Fellowship. Members of her Facebook group had started donating DNA kits and fundraising to help each other find biological families. The community was outgrowing Facebook, St Clair realized, so again, she took action. She hopes the nonprofit can also reach people too scared to tie their real Facebook accounts to such sensitive revelations.
Back in 2016, when she first learned about her biological father, she remembers crying in bed, asking God why it had to happen to her. She heard a voice: ''My darling child, it had to happen because there are a lot of lost souls, and they need somebody who's strong enough to help them and lead them. The only way you could do that is if you're one of them.''
Have you taken a DNA test with unexpected results? We want to hear your story. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
Vegas Massacre
MGM Resorts International sues more than 1,000 victims from Las Vegas mass shooting, denying any liability - Chicago Tribune
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:10
Fifty eight people were killed and hundreds injured when a gunman opened fire Oct. 2, 2017, at a country music festival opposite the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
Kate Feldman New York Daily News
MGM Resorts International claimed in a new lawsuit that it has no liability in any of the injuries or deaths in the October mass shooting in Las Vegas.
The company, which owns Mandalay Bay and the Route 91 Harvest festival venue, argued that its security vendor took all necessary precautions, approved by the Department of Homeland Security, for ''protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction,'' according to the suit acquired by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
MGM sued more than 1,000 victims of the shooting.
''I've never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,'' attorney Robert Eglet, who represents some of the victims, told the Review-Journal, accusing MGM of ''judge-shopping'' in federal court, rather than state court where he believes any lawsuits should be filed. ''It's just really sad that they would stoop to this level.''
Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on Oct. 1, killing 58 people and leaving more than 850 injured.
Shootings MGM Resorts International Las Vegas Strip Shooting
VIDEO - The Magnitsky Act - Behind the Scenes - trailer - Movies on War 2016 - YouTube
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 13:35
VIDEO - American Scholars Say The Real Threat To The U.S. Is Russophobia (HBO) - YouTube
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 13:18
VIDEO - SF Mayor: 'There's More Feces ... Than I've Ever Seen' - NBC Bay Area
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:32
Mayor London Breed discusses her plan to clean up San Francisco in her first one-on-one interview since taking office By Bigad Shaban, Robert Campos and Anthony RutanashoodechPublished at 6:30 PM PDT on Jul 13, 2018 | Updated at 6:44 PM PDT on Jul 13, 2018 NEWSLETTERS Receive the latest investigations updates in your inboxSan Francisco Mayor London Breed, in her first one-on-one interview since taking office, said homeless advocacy groups that receive funding from the city need to better educate the homeless to "clean up after themselves."
"I work hard to make sure your programs are funded for the purposes of trying to get these individuals help, and what I am asking you to do is work with your clients and ask them to at least have respect for the community '-- at least, clean up after themselves and show respect to one another and people in the neighborhood," Breed told the Investigative Unit, referencing her conversations with nonprofit groups aimed at serving the homeless.
When pressed about whether her plan calls for harsher penalties against those who litter or defecate on city streets, Breed said "I didn't express anything about a penalty." Instead, the mayor said she has encouraged nonprofits "to talk to their clients, who, unfortunately, were mostly responsible for the conditions of our streets."
Viral Investigation Exposed San Francisco's 'Diseased Streets'A recent NBC Bay Area investigation went viral after exposing an alarming amount of trash, drug needles, and feces scattered across San Francisco.
The report centered around a 153-block survey of downtown San Francisco, which revealed trash on every block, 100 needles, and more than 300 piles of feces along the 20-mile stretch of streets and sidewalks.
On Friday, two days after Breed's inauguration, the new mayor during an afternoon stroll saw firsthand the reality and challenges of the city. Video recorded by NBC Bay Area shows a man prepping a needle as Breed walked by.
#SanFrancisco Mayor @LondonBreed tours the reality of the city first hand on an afternoon stroll. The man in the video preps a needle as the mayor walks by. @nbcbayareapic.twitter.com/Ziq0JwS8wF
'-- Josue Kevin Duran (@josuekduran) July 13, 2018
More Feces on Sidewalks"I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I've ever seen growing up here," Breed said. "That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs '-- we're talking about from humans."
San Francisco is slated to spend nearly $280 million this year on housing and services for the homeless '-- a roughly 40 percent increase compared to just five years ago. Over that same span, however, the number of homeless in the city has largely remained the same at about 7,500 people, according to city counts.
"About 70 percent of the people estimated to be homeless in San Francisco were actually housed in San Francisco before they became homeless," Breed said. "We have to make sure people who live here, [and] sadly, people who are homeless here, that they are also held accountable for taking care of our streets. This is our home."
City's Street Cleaning Budget Slated for 20 percent BoostSan Francisco spent $65 million on street cleaning last year and plans to add nearly $13 million in additional spending over the next two years.
"I don't think that the city is poorly spending what it already has," Breed said. "I spend a lot of time on Fillmore Street. I see the people who are part of a program, out there power washing. They're out there doing what they can to keep the community clean, almost every day, and then right after they leave, maybe an hour or two later, the place is filled with trash again."
VIDEO - Breaking The Band - Van Halen - YouTube
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:16
VIDEO - The Daily: How Trump Withstands So Many Controversies
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:27
How Trump Withstands So Many ControversiesThe word ''treason'' is being thrown around to describe how President Trump seemed to take Russia's side during his summit meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin in Helsinki, Finland. But as with every major controversy that Mr. Trump has faced, it's unclear if anything will ...
VIDEO - YouTube - American Scholars Say The Real Threat T
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:54
VIDEO - Dem Senator: 'We Are In A 9/11 National Emergency' - The Daily Caller
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:52
July 18th, 2018
Sen. Richard Blumenthal '9/11 Moment' (CNN Screenshot: July 18, 2018)
Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal called Russian election meddling a ''9/11 moment'' on CNN Wednesday.
Blumenthal echoed other Democrats' calls for President Donald Trump's interpreter to testify behind closed doors about what went on during the president's meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The Connecticut Senator insisted that the ''red light is flashing'' as it was prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks, and therefore Congress deserves to know what Trump talked about with Putin. Blumenthal invoked the 9/11 attacks three times during his explanation.
''The red light is flashing, as the Director of National Security Dan Coats put it, much as it was before 9/11. We are in a 9/11 national emergency because our country is under attack,'' Blumenthal said.
He continued, ''Literally that attack is ongoing and pervasive, verified by objective and verifiable evidence. Those words are, again from the Director of National Security, and this 9/11 moment demands that we do come together, issue a subpoena not only for the translator and the notes but also for the national security team that debriefed the president about these supposed agreements in the sphere of international security.''
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Amber AtheyMedia and Breaking News Editor
VIDEO - Google fined RECORD '‚¬4.3bn by EU after market dominance investigation | World | News | Express.co.uk
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:12
EU competition commissionner Margrethe Vestager announces '‚¬4.3bn fine on Google
The Brussels regulator's complaint surrounds the Silicon Valley firm's mobile operating system Android, which automatically features its own search engine as a default for users.
The penalty, which was confirmed at a press conference in the Belgian capital today, will be the largest fine imposed by the EU against a single firm.
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has previously fined Google '‚¬2.4bn in a separate investigation into the firm's shopping comparison service, when the bloc ordered Google to stop abusing its search engine to favour its own product-advertising service other others.
Wednesday's announcement by Ms Vestage far exceeds the 2017 fine after Google was found to have broken the EU's antitrust laws.
Ms Vestager said: ''Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans.
Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine
Margrethe Vestager
''Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine.
''In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits.
''They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."
Bringing the EU's 39-month investigation into the mobile operating system Android to an end, the Commission's Danish representative will confirm the antitrust fine, which represents around just two weeks revenue for Google's parent company Alphabet Inc.
In April 2016, the Commission accused Google of abusing its market dominance with three separate allegations. First, for offering manufacturers incentives for providing its own search engine as the sole pre-installed option. Secondly, preventing manufacturers from selling mobile devices powered by rival operating systems based on Android's open source code. And, lastly forcing handset and tablet manufacturers to use its search engine as the default and pre-install its Chrome browser before allowing access to app store.
Responding, Google refused suggestions it had forced device-makers to preload any of its apps.
The firm has also claimed distributing Google Search and the Play store together had made it ''keeps manufacturers' costs low and their flexibility high, while giving consumers unprecedented control of their mobile devices''.
According to a Commission statement, Google has 90 days to bring its conduct to an end or face penalty payments of up to five percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet Inc.
The EU's decision to impose the record fine on the US-firm comes at a time of heightened tensions between Brussels and Washington.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will travel to the US to meet Donald Trump to discuss a number of issues, including the economy, counterterrorism, foreign policy and security.
The EU's competition authorities delayed its Google announcement by one week to avoid a clash with the Nato summit, where the US President launched furious attacks at a number of his European allies.
On EU-US relations, Ms Vestager said: ''I very much like the US, but the fact is this has nothing to do with how I feel, nothing whatsoever.
''Just as well as enforcing competition law, we do it in a world but we don't do it in a political context because there will never be a right timing.''
VIDEO - Schiff: Trump deal with ZTE a 'violation of the emoluments clause' | TheHill
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 01:09
Rep. Adam Schiff Adam Bennett SchiffDem lawmaker: Putin will take Trump's attack on Mueller probe as 'green light' to interfere in 2018 The Hill's Morning Report '-- Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller's Russia indictments Russians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that he believes President Trump Donald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE is violating the Constitution's emoluments clause by making a deal with Beijing over Chinese telecommunications company ZTE.
''I certainly view this as a violation of the emoluments clause, yes. And many others as well, both foreign, in terms of the business effort to expand the Trump Organization,'' Schiff told CNN's ''New Day,'' referring to a constitutional clause that bars the president from accepting payments or gifts from foreign governments without congressional consent.
Rep. Adam Schiff on President Trump's attempt at a deal with Chinese company ZTE: "I certainly view this as a violation of the Emoluments Clause, yes" https://t.co/AvakVRNzYd pic.twitter.com/eMAfNLjzFv
'-- New Day (@NewDay) May 15, 2018''But, also domestically '-- and this may not be constitutional violation, but it's certainly an ethical violation '-- by the constant milking of the federal government when the president requires the federal government to patronize Trump-related businesses.''
Trump over the weekend said he wanted to help ZTE get ''back into business'' after the Commerce Department earlier this year prohibited U.S. companies from selling to ZTE because the firm violated American sanctions.
Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post reported last week that the Chinese government will provide $500 million in state loans to build MNC Lido City, a resort and theme park project in Indonesia that will include a golf course and hotels marked with the Trump name.
Richard Painter, who served as an ethics lawyer for former President George W. Bush, told the newspaper that he ''would have advised'' Trump to sell his his stakes in the project, which he said may violate the emoluments clause.
Norm Eisen, former President Obama's ethics czar, also accused Trump of violating the emoluments clause due to the project.
The president on Monday defended his remarks about helping ZTE, saying they are ''reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating'' with China.
''ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual parts from U.S. companies,'' Trump wrote Monday on Twitter. ''This is also reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship with President Xi," he added, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Schiff in his Tuesday morning interview suggested Trump could also be willing to aid ZTE so China will help him work toward a deal with North Korea over its nuclear program.
''It obviously could be related to China doing this huge business favor. It also could be related to the fact that having walked out of the Iran deal, the president now needs a deal with North Korea more than Kim Jong Un,'' Schiff said.
''And desperate to get a deal with North Korea, he is now seeking to curry favor with China.''
VIDEO - Trump floats management changes instead of sanctions for China's ZTE | Reuters
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 01:07
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday floated a plan to fine ZTE Corp (000063.SZ ) (0763.HK ) and shake up its management as his administration considered rolling back more severe penalties that have crippled the Chinese telecommunications company.
Trump's proposal ran into immediate resistance in Congress, where Republicans and Democrats accused the president of bending to pressure from Beijing to ease up on a company that has admitted to violating sanctions on Iran.
Their reaction could complicate Trump's efforts to win concessions from China that would narrow a $335 billion annual trade gap.
Speaking at the White House, Trump said U.S. technology companies have been hurt by an April Commerce Department decision that prohibits them from selling components to China's second-largest telecommunications equipment maker. ZTE shut down most of its production after the ruling was announced.
''They can pay a big price without necessarily damaging all of these American companies,'' Trump said.
Trump said ZTE may instead face a fine of up to $1.3 billion, new management and a new board of directors, though it was not clear whether he had the legal authority to impose new financial penalties.
That drew a quick response from Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
Some 26 senators, including the chamber's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, and No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn, urged the administration in a letter to keep penalties in place for ''serial and pre-meditated violators of U.S. law, such as ZTE.''
The Senate Banking Committee also voted 23-2 to make it harder for the president to modify penalties on Chinese telecommunications firms, drawing the support of liberal Democrats like Chris Van Hollen and conservative Republicans like Tom Cotton.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is weighing a proposal that would block the sale of ZTE products and those of another Chinese company, Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], until national security officials certify they are safe. It would be added to a defense-policy bill that Congress typically passes each year.
Congress last year passed a law that required the administration to impose new sanctions on Russia, though similar action this year could be more difficult as the November elections draw near.
According to sources familiar with the discussions, a proposed trade deal with China would lift a seven-year ban that prevents U.S. chipmakers and other companies from selling components to ZTE, which makes smartphones and telecommunications networking gear.
In return, China would eliminate tariffs on U.S. agriculture or agree to buy more farm products from the United States.
The U.S. Commerce Department imposed the ban in April after it determined that ZTE had broken an agreement after it pleaded guilty to shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran.
The ban has threatened the viability of ZTE by cutting off access to companies that supply 25 percent to 30 percent of its components. Suppliers include some of the biggest U.S. tech companies, including Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O ) Google, which licenses its Android operating system to ZTE, and chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O ).
Slideshow (4 Images) The U.S. Department of Defense has also stopped selling ZTE's mobile phones and modems in stores on its military bases, citing potential security risks.
NATIONAL SECURITY U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers that the treatment of ZTE was not ''a quid pro quo or anything else'' related to trade, and said it would not undermine national security.
''I can assure you that whatever changes or decisions that are made in Commerce will deal with the national security issues,'' Mnuchin told a U.S. Senate appropriations subcommittee.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said he thought China had gotten the upper hand in recent negotiations on trade and North Korea denuclearization.
''China knows there are those in the administration that desperately want a deal,'' he said.
One sanctions expert questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to impose new fines on ZTE, which agreed last year to pay $1.19 billion, including $890 million in fines and penalties, and an additional penalty of $300 million that could still be imposed.
''It looks like this is going to be a case where they'll have some minor tweaks and declare a victory and move onto the next case,'' said Washington lawyer Douglas Jacobson, who represents ZTE suppliers.
Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld, Diane Bartz, Amanda Becker, Richard Cowan, Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu and David Lawder in Washington and Michael Martina in Beijing; Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Chris Sanders, Paul Simao and Lisa Shumaker
VIDEO - WATCH: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & Ada Colau interviewed by Amy Goodman | Democracy Now!
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 20:23
On July 16, 2018 Amy Goodman interviewed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau at New York University in New York City. Ocasio-Cortez and Colau discussed their personal trajectories, the opportunities for social movements to run candidates for elected office, the limitations that arise once within those institutions and the urgent need to challenge the status quo definition of what is possible.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the New York Democratic congressional candidate whose recent primary victory upended 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. Ocasio-Cortez ran a progressive grassroots campaign as a Democratic Socialist advocating for ''Medicare for All'' and the abolition of ICE .
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau Ballano was elected under the citizen platform Barcelona en Comu and is the first woman to hold the office. Prior to her election, Colau was famously photographed being dragged away by riot police protesting a bank that had refused to negotiate with an evicted family.
VIDEO - CIA Whistleblower: Hillary Clinton Laundered Russian Money Through Uranium One - Big League Politics
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:37
Former CIA agent Kevin Shipp made bombshell revelations in an interview with Greg Hunter about the Hillary Clinton case. Is Hillary Clinton about to be indicted in connection with the Uranium One deal?
Shipp calls the Operation Crossfire Hurricane plot ''a subversive effort to undermine the Constitution,'' and that funding came from overseas. According to Shipp:
Russian intelligence easily duped Hillary Clinton into entering into the Uranium One deal. Hillary Clinton then used Uranium One to launder money worldwide as Russians pumped money into her deal. In fact, Russian intelligence ''targeted'' Hillary Clinton knowing she would be susceptible to corruption.
Watch The Interview Here:
Trending: EXPOSED: Peter Strzok Grew Up In Iran, Worked As Obama and Brennan's Envoy To Iranian Regime
As Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu presses world leaders to act on Iran's growing secret nuclear program, a very obvious aspect of the case is being ignored by the mainstream media.
Hillary Clinton famously sold about 20 percent of U.S. uranium to the Russians, during her tenure at the Obama State Department, in a move that set off massive alarms about pay-to-play with the Clinton Foundation. But the ''Uranium One'' deal might have just been Part One of the scheme.
The Obama administration '-- which shipped Iran boatloads of cash toward the end of Obama's term '-- oversaw the transfer of Russian uranium to the Iranians.
At least ten nuclear bombs' worth!
Luke Rohlfing reports:
An FBI informant with first hand experience in the Uranium One deal testified to congress that Moscow paid millions of dollars to a U.S. lobbying firm in order to influence then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by helping Bill Clinton's charities during the Obama administration.
The informant, Douglas Campbell, gave a ten-page statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Intelligence Committee, and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as well as being interviewed for several hours by committee staff.
According to Fox News, in the statement, Campbell stated that Russian executives told him that they were hiring APCO Worldwide in order to influence Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration.
In the statement, Campbell said that ''the contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months,'' and that ''APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the US-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.''
Subsequently, APCO did end up taking up client work on behalf of the Clinton Global Initiative from 2008-2016. APCO claims that those projects were ''totally separate and unconnected in any way'' to Uranium One.
Uranium One is a Canadian mining company whose sale to a Russian firm was approved in 2010. The sale, which had to be approved by the U.S. government, gave Russians control of a part of the U.S. uranium supply. The negotiation tactics from the Russians began to come under fire after FBI gained evidence that Russian operatives used bribes, kickbacks, and other dirty tactics to expand Russia's atomic energy footprint in the U.S.The testimony of Douglas Campbell has provided some of the most damning evidence proving corruption in the negotiations.
VIDEO - Security Now 672 All Up in Their Business
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:32
This week we look at even MORE, new, Spectre-related attacks, highlights from last Tuesday's monthly patch event, advances in GPS spoofing technology, GitHub's welcome help with security dependencies, Chrome's new (or forthcoming) "Site Isolation" feature, when hackers DO look behind the routers they commandeer, the consequences of deliberate BGP routing misbehavior... and reading between the lines of last Friday's DOJ indictment of the US 2016 election hacking by 12 Russian operatives -- the US appears to really have been "all up in their business."
Download or subscribe to this show at https://twit.tv/shows/security-now.
You can submit a question to Security Now! at the GRC Feedback Page.
For 16kbps versions, transcripts, and notes (including fixes), visit Steve's site: grc.com, also the home of the best disk maintenance and recovery utility ever written Spinrite 6.
Bandwidth for Security Now is provided by CacheFly.
Links Show Notes
VIDEO - YouTube - Obama: "My Muslim Faith"
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 19:40
VIDEO - YouTube - Chris Wallace interviews Russian President Vladimir Putin
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:34
VIDEO - YouTube - Trump on Putin summit: We came to a lot of good conclusions
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:24
VIDEO - Ali Velshi on Twitter: "''His performance today will live in infamy as much as the Pearl Harbor attack or Kristallnacht.'' - Fmr. Watergate Prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks on Trump's comments at the Helsinki summit https://t.co/pp5YuNw1pi"
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:37
''His performance today will live in infamy as much as the Pearl Harbor attack or Kristallnacht.''- Fmr. Watergate Prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks on Trump's comments at the Helsinki summit
VIDEO - YouTube - Rand Paul sides with Trump over US intel
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 12:40
VIDEO - Katica on Twitter: "ðŸ--¥ President Putin in his summit with President Trump talks about @HillaryClinton accepting $400 million in Russian campaign contributions. Saying the contributions may be legal but how the money was earned was illegal. https
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 12:30
Replying to
@MindUnguent @gingertealkp and
12 others Stranahan discovered this quite a while ago. BTW...PolitiFact is part of the proudly self-proclaimed progressive newspaper, "The Tampa Bay Times," formerly known as "The St. Pete Times.". It's quite the liberal rag.
VIDEO - Video Montage: Cable News Sees the Apocalypse in Trump/Putin Summit
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 12:21
Within mere hours of President Trump's press conference with Vladimir Putin concluding, cable news had worked themselves into a frenzy that suggested the sky itself must be falling.
CNN's Anderson Cooper appeared hardest hit by the summit. While many of his colleagues were behaving as though a fire had been lit beneath their feet, Cooper spent the 2 p.m. Eastern hour sulking, sighing at length about how ''disgraceful'' the President's performance had been. ''I just personally think today is just an incredibly depressing moment in our time, in our history, as an American,'' he huffed.
''Insert laugh track here,'' quipped CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour, whose home country arrested over 3,000 people for offensive social media posts last year. "It is an absolute disgrace; it is a parody of a disgrace," she added.
Over at MSNBC, Russia conspiracies were plentiful. LA Times White House Reporter Eli Stokols reflected that President Trump's past week abroad in Europe had made ''Hillary Clinton seem all the more prescient,'' in regards to her criticism of Trump's stance towards Russia during the 2016 election.
Former CIA Director and MSNBC contributor John Brennan called into Andrea Mitchell Reports shortly after the press conference had ended, to opine that Vladimir Putin had become ''the master puppeteer of Donald Trump.'' Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace echoed this sentiment when she asked panelists on her show, ''If Vladimir Putin picked our president, does anything else matter?''
It should go without saying that President Trump's decision to send lethal ordinance to Ukraine back in 2017 was not a popular topic of discussion on afternoon cable news; nor were the new sanctions against Russia that the administration recently added on top of former President Obama's existing measures.
The video montage below captures some of the most absurd hand-wringing that occurred on CNN and MSNBC in the hours following the summit:
VIDEO - YouTube - Salvini A Saviour Vs. Juncker The Drunkard
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 12:16
VIDEO - Maddow: Time for Americans to face 'worst case scenario' on Trump
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:25
McFaul: Trump with Putin shows U.S. 'national security crisis' 04:44
Russian theft of DNC data paralleled Trump camp strategy changes 07:53
Maddow: Time for Americans to face 'worst case scenario' on Trump 27:13
New intrigue as Trump remarks pair with alleged hacking timeline 05:51
Mueller investigation steps closer to Trump with new indictments 04:32
New hacking indictments focus questions about Trump campaign ties 11:37
Play All
VIDEO - Episode 18-999 Unedited 2005 Interview With Elizabeth Holmes Recorded At KQED In San Francisco - BioTech Nation Radio Podcast (podcast)
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 11:13
On this week's Tech Nation, members of the CES 2018 panel ''Who Owns Athlete's Data?'' Dr. Leslie Saxon, from the Keck School of Medicine at USC, and Eric Winston, the President of the NFL Players Association. Dave Aufhauser, Managing Director, Sports and Entertainment at Intel on the fan experience with live 360 Virtual Reality. And Guy Kawasaki ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Moira speaks with Dr. Mitch Prinstein, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. There's a science to being popular '' and a proven path to likability. Then on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr Daniel Kraft brings 3D printing into healthcare '' there's a lot o ...'...
Moira speaks with Yale psychology professor John Bargh about ''Before You Know It '' The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do''. And on Tech Nation Health, a radical new treatment to replace human skin following a serious burn. Dr. Denver Lough (''Low''), the President & CEO of PolarityTE, tells us how it works, and how a group of doctors left a hos ...'...
Unedited 2005 interview with Elizabeth Holmes, President & CEO, Theranos.Recorded at KQED in San FranciscoTech Nation Media retains full rights regarding this transcript, the raw audio it reflects, and the final edited audio which aired over NPR Now and other broadcast and Internet venues. Attribution should be given as ''Unedited Tech Nation in ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Andreas Weigand, former chief scientist at Amazon, and author of ''Data for the People.'' Then on Tech Nation Health, Dr. Marshall Summar, Director of the Rare Disease Institute and Chief of Genetics and Metabolism at Children's National Health System in Washington, DC. They talk about treating rare diseases in the ver ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Moira speaks with '...Ray Dalio, the founder and co-chair of Bridgewater Associates, which he founded 40 years ago in his 2 bedroom apartment. Today it is recognized as the world's largest hedge fund. His mental processes, his values and how he sees the world are all part of his book ''Principles: Life and Work''. Then on ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Moira speaks with '...Stanford History professor Tom Mullaney about ''The Chinese Typewriter''. And on Tech Nation Health, we celebrate the Summer of Love. Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft follows the recreational drugs through today with new therapeutics. And Amit Munshi, the President & CEO of Arena Pharmaceuticals ...'...
Moira speaks with journalist Jason Fagone talks about Elizebeth Smith Friedman, a pioneer in codebreaking, from World War I to rumrunners to drug smuggling to the famous Enigma machine. His book is ''The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies.'' Then on Tech Nation Health, Dr ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Michael Shermer talks about ''Heavens on Earth '' The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia.'' We'll find out who believes '' or does not believe '' in an afterlife.Then on Tech Nation Health, Dr. Carl Ware, from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, talks about viruses, ca ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, how technology has enabled the economies of scale to trickle down to everyone. Hemant Taneja, a managing director at the venture capital firm General Catalyst talks about ''Unscaled '' How AI and the Next Generation of Upstarts are Creating the Economy of the Future.'' And on Tech Nation Health, understanding more about ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Shidan Gouran, the President of Global Blockchain Technologies, about the difference between Blockchain and Bitcoin, and what cryptocurrencies mean to traditional banking.Then on Tech Nation Health, a new technology aims to make a range of existing medications more effective. George Yeh, President of TLC Bio, describ ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times journalist Matt Richtel about his latest novel, ''Dead on Arrival''. And on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr Daniel Kraft examines the reality and the potential of using drones in healthcare.
On this week's Tech Nation, we discover what science might do for Food, Energy, Water and the Environment in the Arequipa Valley of Peru. Purdue University geosciences professor Tim Filley describes their work. Then on Tech Nation Health, what the World Health Organization calls out as a burning need '' healthcare management. Steve Sammut joins ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, psychologist Dr. Susan David speaks on ''Emotional Agility'' as well as her TED Talk, ''The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage''. Then on Tech Nation Health: The opioid crisis. Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft to brings us up to date with the surprising findings of a new study.'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Harvard professor Steven Pinker makes the case that we're better off today than ever before. His book is ''Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.'' Then on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft takes us beyond the hype on ''artificial intelligence'' in healthcare.'...
On this week's Tech Nation, a full complement of inventor/entrepreneurs from CES in Las Vegas. That would be Chris Young, the CEO of McAfee, Sjoerd Pitstra, the Founder & CEO of Roader, Carol Staninger, the CEO of Ancer, and Taj Manku, the Co-Founder and CEO of Cognitive Systems. They are all motivated, come from Silicon Valley to Waterloo, Can ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Psychologist Dr. Guy Winch. He tells us the science behind ''How To Fix A Broken Heart''. Then non Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft tells us about his work as a pediatric oncologist.
On this week's Tech Nation, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, with her new book ''The Deepest Well '... Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity''. Then on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft talks about '... the microbiome, and how the right surgical intervention can ch ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, NYU professor Melissa Schilling talks about everyone from Albert Einstein to Steve Jobs and Elon Musk in ''Quirky '' The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World.'' Then on Tech Nation Health, Dr. Chris Smith from the start-up, Q-Sera in Brisbane, Australia, te ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Sir Mark Walport, former Chief Science Advisor for the UK Government and soon, the first Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation '' you may be surprised at the UK's impact on our everyday technology. Then NPR's lead digital education correspondent Anya Kamenetz (Kam-inettes), and her book, ''The Art of Screen Tim ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Andrew Keen talks about ''How to fix the Future''. And on Tech Nation Health, Dr. Steve Mento from Conatus Pharmaceuticals talks about our livers and their scientific work in treating NASH and Cirrhosis of the liver. Also, Chief Correspondent Daniel Kraft describes the social determinants of health. Yes, it makes a dif ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, a full hour of Tech Nation Health, reimagining the future of health and healthcare with the emergence of new technologies. DR. DANIEL KRAFT, Chief Correspondent for Tech Nation Health talks about the future of Surgery and Other Interventions. Purdue Professor, DR. PHIL LOW, the Director of Purdue Center for Drug Disc ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, with an overview of CES 2018, Rick Kowalski, the Manager of Industry and Business Intelligence at the Consumer Technology Association. And going beyond gadgets, Arizona State professor Cody Friesen (''Free-senn'') tells us how his company, Zero Mass Water, is building hydropanels, producing water from sunlight and air. ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, members of the CES 2018 panel ''Who Owns Athlete's Data?'' Dr. Leslie Saxon, from the Keck School of Medicine at USC, and Eric Winston, the President of the NFL Players Association. Dave Aufhauser, Managing Director, Sports and Entertainment at Intel on the fan experience with live 360 Virtual Reality. And Guy Kawasaki ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Aaron Horowitz and Hannah Chung, Co-Founders of Sproutel and Designers of My Special AFLAC Duck, for children with cancer. Then on Tech Nation Health, Dr. Todd Brady, CEO of Aldeyra describes their work on a disease which affects one-third of people. It led to a new drug helping patients with a very rare disease - ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Jaron Lanier talks about ''Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality''. Then on Tech Nation Health, Dr. Hartmut Ehrlich, the CEO opf Abivax, describes their efforts to keep HIV undetectable for longer and longer periods, and Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft explores the future of go ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, how video on your smartphone is the next generation of focus groups. We'll hear from Patricia Roller, the CEO of Vidlet(VID-LETT). Then on Tech Nation Health, the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease, Dr. Jerold Chun is a Professor and Director of Neuroscience Drug Discovery at Sanford Burnham Prebys ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, ''The NPR Math Guy'', Keith Devlin, tells us about Finding Fibonacci: The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World''. Then on Tech Nation Health, chief correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft tells us about the winners of the Qualcomm Tricoder Xprize - StarTrek medicine isn't fiction any more.'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, former Google CEO and Alphabet Executive Chair, Eric Schmidt along with former Senior Vice President for Products, Jonathan Rosenberg talk about ''How Google Works''.Then on Tech Nation Health, faster diagnostics for the 25 species of bacteria which cause Sepsis. John McDonough, the CEO of T2 Biosystems, talks about ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Moira speaks with Steven Johnson, the Author, ''Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World.'' Then on Tech Nation Health, chief correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft talks about the future of cancer '' its prevention, early detection and emergent treatments. And Dr. Niclas Stiernholm, the President & CEO of Trillium Therapeuti ...'...
Moira speaks with UC Berkeley professor Edward Ashford Lee talks about ''Plato and the Nerd: The Creative Partnership of Humans and Technology.'' Then on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft talks about the current state of Big Data in the healthcare field and Dr. Ajay Gupta from Rockwell Medical tells us about his work gettin ...'...
Moira speaks with Walter Isaacson about his latest book ''Leonardo Da Vinci''. After all these centuries, more information emerges. And on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft recaps the Exponential Medicine Conference 2017. And Dr. Ken Horne from Symic Bio talks about a common challenge: vein grafts in legs and arms.'...
Moira speaks with Duke University Senior Fellow, Dan Heath, about''The Power of Moments''. It turns out, we actually remember our life in slices of time. Then on Tech Nation Health, it's the power of viruses '' against cancer. Moira speaks with Dr. Harry Gruber, the President for Science and Innovation at Tocagen about their genetically engineered ...'...
Moira speaks with journalist Jason Fagone talks about Elizebeth Smith Friedman, a pioneer in codebreaking, from World War I to rumrunners to drug smuggling to the famous Enigma machine. His book is ''The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies.''Then on Tech Nation Health, Dr. ...'...
Moira speaks with Gary Shapiro, the President of the Consumer Technology Association about technology and tech jobs in the US and globally. And where does all this innovation come from? Rice University music professor Anthony Brandt and Stanford neuroscientist, David Eagleman look at ''How Human Creativity Remakes the World''.'...
Moira speaks with Yale psychology professor John Bargh about ''Before You Know It '' The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do''. And on Tech Nation Health, a radical new treatment to replace human skin following a serious burn. Dr. Denver Lough (''Low''), the President & CEO of PolarityTE, tells us how it works, and how a group of doctors left a hos ...'...
Moira speaks with 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and microloans to the poor. He sees ''A World of Three Zeros'' '' Zero Poverty, Unemployment, and Net Carbon Emissions. Then on Tech Nation Health, brain cancer in children. Dr. Rob Wechsler-Reya heads the Tumor Initiation and Maintenance Program at Sa ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Dr. NATHANIEL DAVID, Founder & CEO of Unity Biotechnology talks about the role of ''senescent'' cells in aging.
On this week's BioTech Nation, Moira speaks with '...Ray Dalio, the founder and co-chair of Bridgewater Associates, which he founded 40 years ago in his 2 bedroom apartment. Today it is recognized as the world's largest hedge fund. His mental processes, his values and how he sees the world are all part of his book ''Principles: Life and Work''.Then ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Moira speaks with '...Stanford History professor Tom Mullaney about ''The Chinese Typewriter''. And on Tech Nation Health, we celebrate the Summer of Love. Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft follows the recreational drugs through today with new therapeutics. And Amit Munshi, the President & CEO of Arena Pharmaceutica ...'...
On this week's Tech Nation, Moira speaks with '...Dr. Seth Lederman from Tonix Pharmaceuticals about military-related PTSD. Their drug has been fast-tracked by the FDA. Then on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Daniel Kraft with Jordan Amadio about the emergent technology in the field of neurosurgery, and Dr. Elliot Goldstein from ProMIS Neu ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Moira speaks with '...Dr. Taj Manku, the Co-Founder of Cognitive Systems in Waterloo, Canada. AuraHome enables in-home security with no gadgets to put on your windows '' no need to arm it when you leave. Then a new segment on Tech Nation - Tech Nation Health! Where we reimagine the future of health and healthcare with ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Dr. Mario Livio and his book: Why? What Makes Us Curious. And on Tech Nation Health, a look at rapid genome analysis for newborns in trouble. Dr. Stephen Kingsmore, the President and CEO of the Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine tells us about their experience.'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times journalist Matt Richtel about his latest novel, "Dead on Arrival". And on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr Daniel Kraft examines the reality and the potential of using drones in healthcare.
On this week's Tech Nation, Dr Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, talks about the grip of addiction and the opioid crisis, prescription opiates, heroin and fentanyl, synthetically-produced heroin. Then on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr Daniel Kraft examines misaligned incentives. in healthcare, and Dr ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Mark Wolynn, the Director of the Family Constellation Institute, and author of "It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle."Then on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft speaks to the new science of diet, and Dr. Evan Snyder from the Sanford ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, we'll hear from Dr. Herb Needleman, who measured the impact of very low levels of lead on children, and the result removed lead from household paint and put unleaded gasoline in our cars. Then, another scientist who wanted research to reach the people who needed it - Dr. Perry Nisen, CEO of Sanford Burnham Prebus ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Carmine Gallo relates "The Story Teller's Secret" Turns out - there's a science to telling your story. Then on Tech Nation Health, we learn that there's more in your gut than bacteria. Case-Western University Professor Mahmoud Ghannoum and his son, Afif (Ah-Feefth) Ghannoum, the CEO of Pathobiome (path-oh-bye-ohm) ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, if it looks like a newborn baby and moves like one and sounds like one, well, it just might be Super Tory, the newborn simulator from Gaumard (Gah-mard) Scientific. Jim Archetto (Ar-ketto) joins Moira to talk about Super Tory in detail. Then, speaking of what it takes to address complex engineering feats, Dr. Dani ...'...
On this week's BioTech Nation, Moira speaks with Dr. Mitch Prinstein, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. There's a science to being popular and a proven path to likability. Then on Tech Nation Health, Chief Correspondent Dr Daniel Kraft brings 3D printing into healthcare. Theres a lot of ...'...
VIDEO - YouTube - Oscario-Cortez explains why socialism is better for millennials
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 10:34
VIDEO - SF Mayor: 'There's More Feces ... Than I've Ever Seen'
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 02:31
By Bigad Shaban , Robert Campos and Anthony Rutanashoodech Published at 6:30 PM PDT on Jul 13, 2018 | Updated at 6:44 PM PDT on Jul 13, 2018
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, in her first one-on-one interview since taking office, said homeless advocacy groups that receive funding from the city need to better educate the homeless to "clean up after themselves." Bigad Shaban from NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit reports. (Published Saturday, July 14, 2018)San Francisco Mayor London Breed, in her first one-on-one interview since taking office, said homeless advocacy groups that receive funding from the city need to better educate the homeless to "clean up after themselves."
"I work hard to make sure your programs are funded for the purposes of trying to get these individuals help, and what I am asking you to do is work with your clients and ask them to at least have respect for the community '-- at least, clean up after themselves and show respect to one another and people in the neighborhood," Breed told the Investigative Unit, referencing her conversations with nonprofit groups aimed at serving the homeless.
When pressed about whether her plan calls for harsher penalties against those who litter or defecate on city streets, Breed said "I didn't express anything about a penalty." Instead, the mayor said she has encouraged nonprofits "to talk to their clients, who, unfortunately, were mostly responsible for the conditions of our streets."
Viral Investigation Exposed San Francisco's 'Diseased Streets'A recent NBC Bay Area investigation went viral after exposing an alarming amount of trash, drug needles, and feces scattered across San Francisco.
The report centered around a 153-block survey of downtown San Francisco, which revealed trash on every block, 100 needles, and more than 300 piles of feces along the 20-mile stretch of streets and sidewalks.
On Friday, two days after Breed's inauguration, the new mayor during an afternoon stroll saw firsthand the reality and challenges of the city. Video recorded by NBC Bay Area shows a man prepping a needle as Breed walked by.
More Feces on Sidewalks"I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I've ever seen growing up here," Breed said. "That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs '-- we're talking about from humans."
San Francisco is slated to spend nearly $280 million this year on housing and services for the homeless '-- a roughly 40 percent increase compared to just five years ago. Over that same span, however, the number of homeless in the city has largely remained the same at about 7,500 people, according to city counts.
"About 70 percent of the people estimated to be homeless in San Francisco were actually housed in San Francisco before they became homeless," Breed said. "We have to make sure people who live here, [and] sadly, people who are homeless here, that they are also held accountable for taking care of our streets. This is our home."
City's Street Cleaning Budget Slated for 20 percent BoostSan Francisco spent $65 million on street cleaning last year and plans to add nearly $13 million in additional spending over the next two years.
"I don't think that the city is poorly spending what it already has," Breed said. "I spend a lot of time on Fillmore Street. I see the people who are part of a program, out there power washing. They're out there doing what they can to keep the community clean, almost every day, and then right after they leave, maybe an hour or two later, the place is filled with trash again."
VIDEO - Never aired, Donald Trump interview from 1980
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 00:05
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VIDEO - YouTube - Kevin Shipp '' Indictments Coming for Hillary and Co-conspirators
Sun, 15 Jul 2018 21:21


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ADHD and mobile phones.mp3
Amy Goodman AOC-1-Leading the Witness on deportations question-Human rights violation-OCCUPY.mp3
Amy Goodman-AOC-2-Leading the witness with lies-Mexicans rapists and animals-SCOTUS-fascism-To Laguardia that she REPRESENTS.mp3
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Jill Wine-Banks, a former Watergate prosecutor-Krystal Nacht-911 on MSNBC.mp3
judy and her friend ONE on Trump.mp3
judy and her friend THREE mini end tease reverser.mp3
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2016 Russian hacking assessmentICA_2017_01.pdf
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