My thanks to the SHR Media Network for allowing me to broadcast in their studio and over their air twice weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as appear on the Sack Heads Radio Show™ each Wednesday evening.
Tuesday night at the Saloon we discussed:
BZ proves himself prescient and pats himself on the pate;
I gab about Gab.ai — is it worth gabbing about?
BZ reveals how he got fleeced for $6,000 by Apple’s Macintosh IIcx in 1989;
Happy Stories: armed employee crept behind an armed suspect, foiling a robbery;
California judge blocks Trump’s attempted removal of sanctuary city money;
This CA judge, William Orrick, raised $200,000 for Barack Hussein Obama;
We discuss detainers vs holds vs warrants regarding illegal aliens;
WHY is President Trump asking all 100 senators to meet with him Wednesday?
Iranian ship comes within 1,000 feet of US destroyer in Persian Gulf;
Byron York’s “Trump’s first 100 Days; an Executive Success”;
AG Jeff Sessions knows how to fund President Trump’s border wall;
Ted Cruz knows how to fund President Trump’s border wall;
How and why BZ got terrible tinnitus then and now;
France: it’s going to be Marine Le Pen vs Emmanual Macron;
BZ slaughters and continues to slaughter the name Macron;
Where does Antifa really come from? The 30s, Brown Shirts vs Black Shirts;
What’s at stake for France? The survival of Western civilization in Europe;
EU media setting up reasons for a potential Macron loss: it’s RUSSIA;
France has been turned into a hell hole by Muslims;
The Main Event: Berkeley PD should be completely ashamed of itself;
We go 15 minutes into BZ Overtime and conclude the Berkeley PD issue.
Please join me, the Bloviating Zeppelin(on Twitter @BZep and on Gab.ai @BZep), every Tuesday and Thursday night on the SHR Media Network from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern and 8 PM to 10 PM Pacific, at the Berserk Bobcat Saloon — where the speech is free but the drinks are not.
As ever, thank you so kindly for listening, commenting, and interacting in the chat room or listening via podcast. Thanks again to Mary Brockman, who manages to keep the chat room engaged and growing but who, because of the unanticipated overtime, had to miss my live final rant.
Want to listen to all the Berserk Bobcat Saloon archives in podcast? Go here.
On the other hand, I cannot afford to be so readily dismissive or assumptive because, having been on the planet and a legal citizen of this nation in his seventh decade, I’ve not seen my country placed in such a dire and perilous predicament before from a prior president, Mr Obama, save that of James Earl Carter. Twin sons of different mothers.
Except that one at least possessed a modicum of service, obligation, sacrifice and discipline having served in the military. The one who gave away the Panama Canal and asked for criminal Marielitos to swamp Florida. Luckily we got over that. The Marielito part. Not at all the Panama Canal part. Which China is now attempting to completely control.
Let me reveal a very serious portion of the problem by way of video.
Kim Jong-un oversees display of N Korea military force
New long-range ballistic missiles on show during massive parade celebrating country’s founder as US armada approaches.
North Korea on Saturday displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles at a massive military parade celebrating the 105th birth anniversary of the nation’s founding president, Kim Il-sung.
The parade, attended by leader Kim Jong-un, saw thousands of soldiers marching through the capital, Pyongyang.
Ah, the glorious and buttery goodness of a little, pudgy, four-eyed, psychotic, ass-slapped, cornholing, murdering dictator whose country can’t produce even one pane of glass without bubbles or ripples, much less adequately feed its people.
Weapons analysts said they believed some of the missiles on display were new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the back of trucks.
Choe Ryong Hae – widely seen by analysts as North Korea’s second most important official – said US President Donald Trump was guilty of “creating a war situation” by dispatching US forces to the region.
“We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack,” said Choe.
Then there was the global ridicule of Kim Jong Un by his own people when, on his most proud day, the missile he attempted to launch simply blew up. Bummer, dude. Some believe that, like Russia in the 60s, some of the Pudge’s missiles may have been nothing more than but mock-ups.
North Korean missile explodes in test launch day after Kim Jong-un showcases new ballistic arsenal
Hostilities in the region surge US President Donald Trump sends aircraft carrier-led strike group to the Korean peninsula
A fresh North Korean missile test failed when it exploded after launch Sunday, the US military said, a day after Pyongyang publicly showcased its ballistic arsenal at a giant military parade.
The failure, which is likely to be seen as something of an embarrassment for the regime, came amid soaring tensions in the region over the North’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
Stop. This is too good to pass up. How many — literally — heads of North Korean military officials and scientists were conveniently lopped off because the Pudgy One was exposed to global embarrassment? Anyone? Bueller?
“Hey, at least I know how to take the binocular caps off.”
Unlike some personnel.
“The missile blew up almost immediately,” the US Defence Department said of the early morning launch which was also monitored by the South Korean military.
Neither was able to determine immediately what kind of missile was being tested.
It came a day after North Korea displayed nearly 60 missiles – including what is suspected to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile – at a parade to mark the 105th birthday of its founder Kim Il-sung.
The parade was held in front of the cameras of invited world media, who were still in Pyongyang when Sunday’s test failure was detected.
Oddly enough, following that, Kim Jong Un was primarily absent and primarily quiet. But was there more? Perhaps so. From the Sun.UK.com:
North Korea’s embarrassing missile launch failure may have been caused by US cyber attack as Donald Trump warns his military may ‘have no choice’ to strike the rogue nation
by Nick Parker
US agents may have infected the hi-tech electronics in Kim Jong-un’s rocket as Korean scientists fear tyrant’s wrath
NORTH Korea’s latest nuclear test missile exploded five seconds after launch yesterday because of an American cyber attack, experts believe.
They say US agents may have infected the hi-tech electronics in tyrant Kim Jong-un’s rocket with an undetectable virus that caused a massive malfunction.
Kim Jong Un has not yet acknowledged the missile’s explosion following his glorious parade. Instead he has doubled down on psychotic. From the BBC.com:
North Korea ‘will test missiles weekly’, senior official tells BBC
North Korea will continue to test missiles, a senior official has told the BBC in Pyongyang, despite international condemnation and growing military tensions with the US.
“We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC’s John Sudworth.
He said that an “all-out war” would result if the US took military action.
Earlier, US Vice-President Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the US.
He said his country’s “era of strategic patience” with North Korea was over. Mr Pence arrived in Seoul on Sunday hours after Pyongyang carried out a failed missile launch.
The USS Carl Vinson carrier group is already in the area; by April 25th the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz carrier groups will likewise be in place in the Sea of Japan.
Tensions are high.
How did we get here?
We got here because of William Jefferson Clinton who, in 1994, made a “deal” with North Korea under then-dictator Kim Jong Il that, in exchange for $4 billion dollars, they would begin to dismantle their nuclear weapons development program. Here’s a shocker: they kept the cash and reneged on the deal. Didn’t see that one coming.
President Obama—with the help of an equally arrogant 38-year-old national security fabulist, Ben Rhodes—remade the Middle East to empower America’s most hated enemy.
There are few things in the world less popular in the United States than the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Under these conditions, Obama—with the help of an equally arrogant 38-year-old national security fabulist, Ben Rhodes (with whom he’s said to “mind-meld”)—succeeded in remaking the Middle East to empower America’s most hated enemy, the only United Nations member state committed to the annihilation of another state: the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran.
But wait; it gets better.
As Rhodes explained to his bemused interviewer, David Samuels, in a New York Times Magazine profile this weekend, it was first necessary to lie to a corrupted and inexperienced American media about all sorts of things, beginning with the nature and intentions of the enemy Iranian regime. Subsequent lies were caked on, as the White House took advantage of a dangerous mix of journalists’ ignorance, their ideological and partisan commitment to the administration, and, finally, their career aspirations.
And better still.
Rhodes said, “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns… They literally know nothing.” Thus they will believe what he tells them. He also tells friendly non-governmental organizations and think tanks what he is telling the journalists. Those outlets produce “experts” whose expert opinion is just what Rhodes wants it to be. These ignorant young journalists thus have quotes that look like independent confirmation of the White House’s lies.
Remember, after all, new journalistas are educated at the feet of some of our proudest university intolerant Leftists under closed-circuit systems refusing to acknowledge the real world. Any given college campus today has absolutely nothing to do with the real world. The closer you get to any university campus, the greater the noise of the vacuum of brains from students. A mighty sucking sound.
Vice President Mike Pence, on tour this weekend in South Korea, straightened the Ship of State with regard to North Korea. The Obama Doctrine of “strategic patience” is now officially over.
Why won’t we go to war?
It would appear from many accounts that President Trump’s meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping on April 6th went quite well, despite the fact that Trump excused himself during dinner in order to approve a veritable metal hail of Tomahawk cruise missiles be rained down upon a base in Syria. President Trump sat back down with Jinping and had a fine dessert.
Originally scheduled for a series of three 15-minute private meetings between the two, these meetings extended to 2 to 3 hours. President Trump, with that action during a state dinner, sent three messages simultaneously to three serious nations: China, Russia and North Korea. Perhaps Iran and the Middle East as well.
I am not unlike Michael Corleone as I dine with you;
I have no problem with making geopolitical statements;
I am not Barack Hussein Obama.
Out of this meeting, for the first time in roughly 20 years, China has responded with regard to North Korea.
China has sent a flotilla of North Korean freighters loaded with coking coal back to their home ports, according to an exclusive Reuters report. Meanwhile, China has placed massive orders for the steel-making commodity from U.S. producers.
Hear any of that from the American Media Maggots? Of course you haven’t.
All you’ve heard is that President Trump can’t fix a thing.
Multiply geometrically. Mix to taste. Serve chilled. Rinse. Repeat.
U.S. Launches Missiles at Syrian Base Over Chemical Weapons Attack
by Kourtney Kube, Alex Johnson, Hallie Jackson, Alexander Smith
The United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria overnight in response to what it believes was a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 100 people.
At least six people were killed, Syria claimed, but the Pentagon said civilians were not targeted and the strike was aimed at a military airfield in Homs.
All but one of the missiles hit their intended target, one U.S. military official told NBC News. The other missile failed.
The strike completed a policy reversal for President Donald Trump — who once warned America to stay out of the conflict — and drew angry responses from Damascus and its main ally, Russia.
Half truth. Again the American Media Maggots are either purposely misleading you, or are ignorant, or both. Syria has two very important allies: Iran and Russia.
The missiles were launched from the USS Ross and the USS Porter in the Mediterranean Sea toward Shayrat Airfield. American officials believe it was used by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to carry out a strike on Tuesday involving chemical weapons that resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people.
“We have a very high level of confidence that the attacks were carried out by aircraft under the direction of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and we also have very high confidence that the attacks involved the use of sarin nerve gas,” Tillerson said.
This is not an uncomplicated situation and the players are many and ever-changing.
The truth is this: we didn’t necessarily target the airfield; we instead targeted aircraft, their hardened shelters and fueling stations. A point. One Tomahawk malfunctioned and spent itself into the sea. Funny thing: the US Navy wants to stop buying Tomahawks in the next few years (to the tune of $1.4 million dollars each). The USN, by the way, has 4,000 Tomahawk missiles, built by Raytheon.
The confusing aspect of President Trump’s action is its reaction from the Republicans, the Demorats, Trump voters and military analysts. It’s all over the map. Many reactions are not what one would nominally expect.
Some people feel betrayal because President Trump has said he is not the “president of the world.” On the heels of that statement he has intervened in Syria; his first military response.
Not anticipated by me was the response by the American Media Maggots. Many outlets praised the attack.
But wait. Aren’t these the same American Media Maggots who have been screeching from the tallest towers that President Trump was a stooge for Russia and Vladimir Putin? It doesn’t seem to me that Moscow would be pleased with the attack and, of course, it wasn’t. Wait; doesn’t Moscow = Putin?
The AMM said this about those who opposed it:
Politico.com called those opposed to the attack “Trump’s troll army” and “racists” and “conspiracy mongers”;
The New York Times called oppo members a “small but influential white nationalist movement”;
The Washington Post said the attack’s critics hold “racist, anti-Semitic and sexist” views;
Again, I can sum up those articles best by quoting Monty Python: “you’re a loon.”
Speaking of which, as I mentioned, there were those who continued to insist on making the linkage between President Trump and Russia despite the total lack of evidence and subsequent denial from US intelligence agencies. Our good “you’re a loon” buddy Lawrence O’Donnell weighs in with a Moonbat Theory: what if Vladimir Putin planned the Syrian gas attack in order to assist his great friend, President Donald Trump?
Fear not, for we not only have a civilian Trump/Russia conspiracist, but an elected government official as a Trump/Russia conspiracist, Representative Seth Moulton (6th District, Massachusetts) spoke with Tucker Carlson Monday night.
An elected representative saying something like this is akin to Rep Hank Johnson saying that Guam could capsize because of extra weight.
There are those, however, who believe the attack was illegal as no declaration of war was made by Congress. This is patently false. I remind folks of the fact that Obama operated that way for, literally, all eight years of his regime and was never told he required Congressional approval for the drone and missile strikes he ordered. Even Left-leaning PolitiFact stated that Trump had the authority to conduct his strike under Article 2 of the US Constitution.
Since the last time Congress declared war, at the beginning of World War II, presidents have generally initiated military activities using their constitutionally granted powers as commander in chief without having an official declaration of war in support of their actions.
Even under the War Powers Resolution, the president can send in forces without approval from Congress.
Lower courts have ruled in favor of the White House in the use of force, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal on that po
Some said President Trump should have come before Congress and made his case in public. One thing we do know about Trump is this: he doesn’t much care to advertise coming actions. Logically so, in terms of military strategy.
These are the same people, interestingly enough, who said President Bush’s movement into Iraq was fallacious and that Saddam Hussein was not in possession of WMD materials despite the fact that an article in the New York Times indicated the opposite. An article in PowerLine also supported the conclusion of the Times.
Further, some said that Saddam Hussein moved his WMD materials prior to the invasion and had them transported to Syria. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz believed so in 2003. Somehow I think people now more clearly understand that nexus.
But wait; wasn’t it Susan Rice and John Kerry who unequivocally declared that because of the tireless work they did to eliminate all chemical weapons from Syria under Barack Hussein Obama, “the entirety of the declared stockpile was removed.”
Hmm. It would appear Susan Rice lied about Benghazi. She lied about Bowe Bergdahl, that he had served with “honor and distinction.” She lied about the unmasking of names. And apparently she lied about the chemical stockpile in Syria. Here she is in an NPR interview, January 16th.
I’m of the mindset that if Susan Rice stated the sun would rise in the east tomorrow morning, I’d be suspicious.
Many people consistently bleat that political solutions and diplomatic negotiations must occur when potential conflicts arise. Like the prior administration and its occupants and sycophants. The problem with that theory is that none of it can exist absent military credibility.
The US needed to re-establish military credibility in the Middle East, lost as it was under the previous eight years under Barack Hussein Obama, and Trump demonstrated that credibility with that Syrian strike. He also set forth the doctrine that the words of a US president now have consequences.
John Kerry and Susan Rice under Obama became absolutely convinced that Assad had surrendered all of his chemical weapons which, clearly, he hadn’t. Even PolitiFact has revised and retracted its insistence that the US removed “100%” of Syria’s chemical weapons. The meme then was:
“We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out,” then-Secretary of State John Kerry said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in July 2014. Kerry was referring to a deal the U.S. and Russia struck in September 2013 in which the Russians agreed to help confiscate and then destroy Syria’s entire chemical weapons stockpile.
Some people are insisting it was a false flag event. Like VA Senator Richard Black.
Will President Bashar Al-Assad gas his people again? We know he could, as he clearly has access to chemical agents despite the claim that more than 1,300 to 1,400 tons of it had been eliminated. We also know that Al-Assad’s Syrian military is hurting. He hasn’t much of an air force remaining to speak of, his army pretty much doesn’t exist, and that accounts for his need for mercenaries and conscripts from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq — primarily because Syrians won’t fight for him.
Let’s not forget, however, that Al-Assad does have Iran working for him. He has the support of the Quds force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards corps, Hezbollah and Russia, who stepped into Syria two years ago under the guise of fighting ISIS.
Concurrently, a contrasting article from The Atlantic by Tom Malinowski stated:
America Should Have Hit Assad Four Years Ago
When dealing with mass killing, deterrence is more effective than disarmament.
Donald Trump is president; he now bears full responsibility for addressing the tragedy in Syria, and for the consequences of the response he has chosen. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reflect on America’s response to the Assad regime’s previous chemical weapons attacks—for how we interpret the difficult and debatable choice the Obama administration (in which I served) made not to use military force when Assad last used nerve gas against his people will shape our thinking about this and similar crises for a long time to come. The lesson I would draw from that experience is that when dealing with mass killing by unconventional or conventional means, deterrence is more effective than disarmament.
An earth-shaking conclusion from a Leftist.
Now let’s get into the weeds. The weeds that need to be examined, and the weeds that western media and the American Media Maggots refuse to appraise.
That of the involvement of the Middle Eastern version of Islam itself. You cannot understand Islam until you understand the two most fundamental divisions in Islam. And why this Islamic quote is accurate:
Me against my brother. Me and my brother against my cousin. Me and my brother and my cousin against the tribe. Me and my brother and my cousin and my tribe against the outsider.
Let’s state the obvious:
Islam breaks itself down into two distinct camps: Sunni vs Shite.
What are the fundamental yet apparently unrecoverable differences between the two camps?
As clearly explained as I could make. Yet it’s all worth dying for.
Books I continue to highly recommend regarding the Middle Eastern version of Islam, are
Why Tehran hates Isis: how religious rifts are fueling conflict
The alliance between Iran and Syria might seem an unlikely one. As Iran is an Islamic republic, one might not expect its closest ally to be a dictatorship that grew out of the political doctrine of Baathism, a secular Arab nationalist movement that originated in the 1930s and 1940s. But politics – and perhaps especially the politics of relations between states – develops its own logic, which often has little to do with ideology. Baathism advocated Arab unity but two of its founding fathers, Michel Aflaq and Zaki al-Arsuzi, both Syrians, disliked each other and would not be members of the same party.
Projects to fuse Syria and Egypt and, later, Syria and Iraq foundered, creating in the latter case a personal bitterness between Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez, and Saddam Hussein, though both were Baathists, at least nominally. That led to the two states breaking off diplomatic relations with each other at the end of 1979. When Iraq invaded Iran the following year, Syria and Iran became allies against Iraq. Syria cut off an oil pipeline that had allowed Iraq to export its oil from a Mediterranean port and Iran supplied Syria with cheap oil.
Stop. Do you see some things more clearly?
The Middle Eastern version of Islam, as practiced, is founded in barbarity, cruelty, nomads, bedouins. They do not recognize the lines as ascribed to their countries by western civilizations. Iranians are Persians. They are not Arabs. Never confuse a Persian with an Arab. Both will slit your carotid for doing so.
Then there is another distinguishing element to be revealed.
Even within Syria there are divisions within divisions, wheels within wheels. From the ThoughtCo.com:
The Difference Between Alawites and Sunnis in Syria
by Primoz Manfreda
Why is there Sunni-Alawite tension in Syria?
The differences between Alawites and Sunnis in Syria have sharpened dangerously since the beginning of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, whose family is Alawite. The reason for tension is primarily political, rather than religious: top position in Assad’s army are held by Alawite officers, while most of the rebels from the Free Syrian Army come from Syria’s Sunni majority.
Sufficiently confused yet?
Geographical Presence: Alawites are a Muslim minority group that accounts for around 12% of Syria’s population, with a few small pockets in Lebanon and Turkey (though not to be confused with Alevis, a Turkish Muslim minority). Around 70% of Syrians belongs to Sunni Islam, as does almost 90% of all Muslims in the world).
Historical Alawite heartlands lie in the mountainous hinterland of Syria’s Mediterranean coast in the country’s west, next to the coastal city of Latakia. Alawites form the majority in Latakia province, although the city itself is mixed between Sunnis, Alawites and Christians. Alawites also have a sizeable presence in the central province of Homs and in the capital Damascus.
Doctrinal Differences: Alawites practice a unique but little known form of Islam that dates back to the 9th and 10th century. Its secretive nature is an outcome of centuries of isolation from the mainstream society and periodical persecution by the Sunni majority.
BAGHDAD — Whether a person is a Shiite or a Sunni Muslim in Iraq can now be, quite literally, a matter of life and death.
As the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has seized vast territories in western and northern Iraq, there have been frequent accounts of fighters’ capturing groups of people and releasing the Sunnis while the Shiites are singled out for execution.
ISIS believes that the Shiites are apostates and must die in order to forge a pure form of Islam. The two main branches of Islam diverge in their beliefs over who is the true inheritor of the mantle of the Prophet Muhammad. The Shiites believe that Islam was transmitted through the household of the Prophet Muhammad. Sunnis believe that it comes down through followers of the Prophet Muhammad who, they say, are his chosen people.
This isn’t a matter of the “big picture” like the previous administration. Things now get down to very specific details.
But how can ISIS tell whether a person is a Sunni or a Shiite? From accounts of people who survived encounters with the militants, it seems they often ask a list of questions. Here are some of them:
What is your name?
Where do you live?
How do you pray?
What kind of music do you listen to?
Back to reality. During President Trump’s first outright military action, let’s be honest. Not much occurred. Thousands didn’t perish. Hundreds didn’t perish. Dozens didn’t perish.
However, there occurred the customary posturing anticipated.
How about we try to do this: keep American boots from smacking Syrian dirt. Strike as necessary. Attempt to build a global consensus to give Syria back to Syrians. And then provide an incentive for Syrians in Europe to 1) go back home, and 2) not leave in the first place. That would include safe zones in Syria. Because the fewer Muslims in western countries, the easier it becomes to identify ISIS and its corruptive elements. And, well, because true Islam and Sharia is completely incongruent with western values.
But have we been duped into fighting a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, of Sunni vs Shiite?
This is President Trump’s first test, militarily. He has both pleased and displeased. Overall, to this point, I submit that he has not been found wanting.
All of that said, delineated and extrapolated, here is what I believe occurred with regard to President Trump and the Syrian missile attack. His daughter Ivanka pressed for this and, once Trump saw the photos and video of dead and injured civilians, women and children, he reacted. Emotionally.
What I also believe is that his generals and advisers were in congruence with this thinking because it didn’t remove President Trump from the mainstream of a limited and coordinated response. It served everyone’s purpose.
This is both assuring and disturbing, simultaneously.
FBI Director James Comey spoke publicly in DC on Monday in front of the House Intelligence Committee, stating there were in fact investigations occurring with regard to Russia’s meddling in the presidential election and also between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
It was clear to me, from the outset, that it was politics, politics, politics. Something of which Director Comey has become quite adroit in at least the past year.
The line was drawn in this fashion: Demorats wanted President Trump’s wiretap allegation smashed and derided, whilst Republicans were primarily concerned with the leaking of classified information.
Trey Gowdy begins the interaction with Director Comey and sets the foundation for his line of questioning involving FISA and safeguards.
Please note that Congressman Gowdy specifically utilizes the term “wiretap” to describe the acquisition of communications belonging to an “unnamed US citizen.” Again, Comey outs the Trump investigation but refuses to discuss anything to do with the leaks at all. Do you see my point and my resulting frustration?
FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia. pic.twitter.com/cUZ5KgBSYP
I highlight this portion because of its incredible importance. Do you see?
GOWDY: Admiral Rogers said there are 20 people within the NSA that are part of the unmasking process. How many people within the FBI are part of the unmasking process?
COMEY: I don’t know for sure. As I sit here, surely more, given the nature the FBI’s work. We come into contact with U.S. persons a whole lot more than the NSA does because we may be conducting — we only conduct our operations in the United States to collect electronic surveillance — to conduct electronic surveillance, so I don’t — I can find out the exact number, I don’t know it as I sit here.
GOWDY: Well, I think, Director Comey, given the fact that you and I agree this is critical, vital, indispensable, a similar program is coming up for reauthorization this fall with a pretty strong head wind right now. It would be nice to know the universe of people who have the power to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name. Because that might provide something of a roadmap to investigate who might’ve actually disseminated a masked U.S. citizen’s name.
COMEY: Sure. The number is relevant but what I hope the U.S. — the American people realize is the number’s important, but the culture behind it is in fact even more important. The training, the rigor, the discipline. We are obsessive about FISA in the FBI for reasons I hope make sense to this committee but we are — everything that’s FISA has to be labeled in such a way to warn people this is FISA, we treat this in a special way.
So we can get you the number, but I want to assure you the culture of the FBI and the NSA around how we treat U.S. person information is obsessive and I mean that in a good way.
GOWDY: Director Comey, I am not arguing with you and I do agree that culture is important, but if there are 100 people who have the ability to unmask and the knowledge of a previously masked name, then that’s 100 different potential sources of investigation and the smaller the number is, the easier your investigation is.
So the number is relevant. I can see the culture is relevant. NSA, FBI, what other U.S. government agencies have the authority to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: I think all agencies that collect information pursuant to FISA have what are called standard minimization procedures, which are approved by the FISA court that govern how they will treat U.S. person information. So I know the NSA does, I know the CIA does, obviously the FBI does. I don’t know for sure beyond that.
GOWDY: How about the department of — how about Main Justice?
COMEY: Main Justice, I think does have standard minimization procedures.
GOWDY: All right, so that’s four. The NSA, FBI, CIA, Main Justice. Does the White House have the authority to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: I think other elements of the government that are consumers of our products can ask the collectors to unmask. The unmasking resides with those who collected the information.
And so if Mike Rogers’s folks collected something and they sent it to me in a report and it says U.S. person number one and it’s important for the FBI to know who that is, our request will go back to them. The White House can make similar requests of the FBI or of NSA but they can’t on their — they don’t own their own collect and so they can’t on their own unmask. I got that about right?
ROGERS: No, that’s correct.
GOWDY: I guess what I’m getting at, Director Comey, is you say it’s vital, you say it’s critical, you say it’s indispensable. We both know it’s a threat to the reauthorization of 702 later on this fall. And by the way, it’s also a felony punishable by up to 10 years.
So how would you begin your investigation, assuming for the sake of argument that a U.S. citizen’s name appeared in the Washington Post and the New York Times unlawfully. Where would you begin that investigation?
COMEY: Well, I’m not gonna talk about any particular investigation…
GOWDY: That’s why I said in theory.
COMEY: You would start by figuring out, so who are the suspects? Who touched the information that you’ve concluded ended up unlawfully in the newspaper and start with that universe and then use investigative tools and techniques to see if you can eliminate people, or include people as more serious suspects.
GOWDY: Do you know whether Director Clapper knew the name of the U.S. citizen that appeared in the New York Times and Washington Post?
COMEY: I can’t say in this forum because again, I don’t wanna confirm that there was classified information in the newspaper.
GOWDY: Would he have access to an unmasked name?
COMEY: In — in some circumstances, sure, he was the director of national intelligence. But I’m not talking about the particular.
GOWDY: Would Director Brennan have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: In some circumstances, yes.
GOWDY: Would National Security Adviser Susan Rice have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: I think any — yes, in general, and any other national security adviser would, I think, as a matter of their ordinary course of their business.
GOWDY: Would former White House Advisor Ben Rhodes have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: I don’t know the answer to that.
GOWDY: Would former Attorney General Loretta Lynch have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name? COMEY: In general, yes, as would any attorney general.
GOWDY: So that would also include Acting AG Sally Yates?
COMEY: Same answer.
GOWDY: Did you brief President Obama on — well, I’ll just ask you. Did you brief President Obama on any calls involving Michael Flynn?
COMEY: I’m not gonna get into either that particular case that matter, or any conversations I had with the president. So I can’t answer that.
But wait. I have what I consider to be an obvious question but one I’ve not yet heard people ask. Director Comey stated the investigation has been ongoing since July of 2016. If so, wouldn’t an integral part of such an investigation be surveillance of the Trump campaign and others aligned or linked therein?
Yet Mr Comey says there was no surveillance going on. How can that be? Was the FBI conducting half an investigation? A fraction of an investigation? How otherwise can one explain the information collected regarding General Michael Flynn? How was it gathered? How was it distributed? How did it get leaked and by whom? How does one acquire telephone conversation content — on Michael Flynn or Trump’s conversations with Australia’s PM Turnbull or Mexican President Nieto for example — absent wiretapping or surveillance in the first place?
In the process of conducting said highly important investigations wouldn’t you want to use all the tools at your disposal and, furthermore, collect as much pertinent evidence as possible? Of course you would. The statement makes no sense.
Where was James Comey with regard to Obama’s aides improperly accessing the names of Americans swept up in foreign surveillance or whether they leaked classified documents to the US press? Director Comey could confirm that, well, yes, we’re closely examining President Trump’s Russian “collusion” but otherwise could not confirm there was any sort of investigation on the matters of felonious leaking by government officials (Who else could have done so?) and would not talk about it. Why not? What’s the difference?
Another very important question. By the FBI’s own account and everyone else’s, including the Russians, it was believed with certainty that Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in for the presidency. Why, then, did the Russians magically decide to assist Donald Trump — as James Comey alleges — when people were convinced Trump would lose in a spectacular manner?
It doesn’t make sense. Neither the investigation nor the assumption about the Russians.
Perhaps the biggest question is this: will the leakers be identified and, if so, will they be arrested? Or is it in the best interest of the deep state to obfuscate the matter to the point that the leakers are never found?
Because, trust me, if the leakers are prosecuted and there is federal penitentiary time attached, you’ll hear sphincters slamming shut all around DC and the warm breezes will turn cold. That’s called a chilling effect.
FBI’s Russian-influence probe includes a look at far-right news sites
by Peter Stone & Greg Gordon
WASHINGTON – Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say.
Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said.
In other words, the FBI under Comey is investigating “fake news.” What is fake news?
The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Russian operation to influence last year’s elections.
For every individual arguing that InfoWars or Breitbart is fake news, I can provide a great deal of documentation indicating, over numerous years, that what people term the mainstream media such as ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and many others are equally or more fake than those two named above, and have been specifically colluding with the Democrats and Leftist-themed ideologues for a lengthy period of time.
The FBI investigating “fake news” is indeed disturbing. It is no less true now than any time prior that one must be an enlightened consumer of news and, as an adult, know enough about your country, your surroundings and your world in order to make the best informed decision regarding the portrayal of information to you by various news organizations. In other words, it blows to be stupid and there are penalties for being so, though we know that a “sucker is born every minute.”
Perhaps we should ask what there was to learn from the hearing today with FBI Director James Comey. I conclude below with the real lesson to be intuited from the hearing, but in terms of hard facts we discovered there are, well, no real hard facts. There is still no evidence that Russia hacked the election or somehow influenced the presidential election despite what the American Media Maggots emphatically say. There is still no evidence that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign or his staffers. We learned that James Comey is rather selective in terms of the political topics he’s willing to address.
We learned that no evidence was provided that indicated Obama wiretapped Trump. But if that were true, then why has Fox News summarily fired Judge Napolitano for saying this?
House Intel Chair Devin Nunes weighed in, and he wasn’t terribly happy.
Did you notice Director Comey was a bit nonplussed at her direct first question? I did. She has taken Comey aback. He did not anticipate such pointed and informed questions from a neophyte. When Comey said he didn’t have a DNI, that was bullshit. He did. It was James Clapper. The lying James Clapper. The lying under oath James Clapper. You know. That guy.
Did you also hear James Comey admit to Rep. Stefanik that, along with the Demorats and DNC, the Republicans were tapped as well? He stated so. But what was the difference between the GOP being tapped and the DNC being tapped? That’s right. The lack of corruption in the content of the emails and information.
But let me say this. Elise Stefanik has a great career ahead of her because she appears fearless, resolute, and unimpressed by dark, carved wood. You get my drift. “When did you notify the White House?” Boom. Done. Owned.
Let us transition.
“I am a faithful servant to the Constitution.” So said Judge Neal Gorsuch in his opening statement with regard to his SCOTUS nomination, on Monday. The actual flames and grilling begin Tuesday morning at 9:30. First, here’s the Demorat take on Gorsuch, from CBS.
Then there are the actual words of Judge Gorsuch himself as he makes his opening statement.
Bottom line regarding Neil Gorsuch? He will be confirmed. I also predict the Demorats will not choose to use their filibuster against him. You’re dealing with an individual who
Presided over 2,750 case on the 10th Circuit;
Wrote 175 majority opinions;
Wrote 65 concurrences or dissents;
Had 72 in-person meetings with US Senators
Charles Krauthammer may have jinxed things when, on Monday, he said: “Too stupid. Even the Democrats won’t do it.”
But never minimize the ability of Demorats and Leftists to see racists and sexists everywhere. Joe Dinkin, National Communications Director for the Working Families Party (yes, that is a party) states that Neil Gorsuch is a white supremacist and nationalist because Gorsuch hasn’t overtly and publicly disavowed President Trump’s travel ban. It’s a Muslim ban, you see. So Gorsuch wears a white robe and a pointy hat. Insanity.
In conclusion, do not doubt that there is a message to be acquired from Comey’s hearing today, and the message to President Trump as well as his advisors, staff and assistants comes from not just Director James Comey, the Demorats and a portion of the GOP, but much of the embedded deep state as well.
The message is: back off. Leave the DC swamp as it is. Undrained. The creatures prefer it unmolested. If you fail to heed our warning, we’ll destroy you at all costs and by any means necessary.
If you were President Trump you’d have to be asking yourself: whom can you trust?
That potential pool is dwindling by the day.
You should now be asking yourself: is FBI Director James Comey the source of the leaks?
The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.
The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.
This is not a political analysis in the slightest, but a technological examination of the facts as yet known. The article is lengthy and of interest if you’re well-versed in technical digital matters. Please read if you are so inclined.
Long story short, it doesnt have anything to do with Russia. ‘May have’ used by anyone indeed, however Russia being able to use datacenters located especially in Germany to hack against US is quite unlikely, with the German intelligence practically being subservient to US intelligence as recent leaks showed.
Steve Maughan December 30, 2016 at 6:24 am • Reply
What you appear to be saying is there is no “smoking gun” link even to Russia, nevermind the Russian Government!
Interesting what you find when you are on a non-political quest for the truth. I appreciate the work you did digging into this. It’s hard to find a source that doesn’t lean one way or the other, and just provides cold, hard facts. Thanks!!!
David Bennett December 30, 2016 at 6:42 am • Reply
Great article but don’t you think it is a confusing headline because if anything, your article shows there is no smoking gun that leads back to Russia as a state actor?
“US Govt Data Shows Russia Used Outdated Ukrainian PHP Malware”
The problem with that reasoning is that this is also exactly what a non-governmental hacking job would look like. The burden of proof lies with those attempting to demonstrate a Russian plot to affect the election, which means they need to find evidence that distinguishes the a Russian hacking attempt from the null scenario. In the absence of such evidence, we must assume the null hypothesis (that it was more likely any of the many non-Russian, non-governmental actors capable of such an attack) until further evidence is presented.
Otherwise, we’d have to assume that the lack of evidence for aliens crash-landing in Roswell, New Mexico is evidence of a government conspiracy, because a government conspiracy would leave no evidence of an alien crash-landing in New Mexico. That would be circular reasoning, and therefore a fallacy.
It is claimed that “everyone” knows the Russians hacked the DNC, John Podesta’s emails, Hillary Clinton’s emails, et al, and turned them over to Wikileaks. Because it serves a political end for the Demorats — that is, it provides a ready and convenient excuse for Hillary Clinton’s having lost the election — the American Media Maggots have picked up on the theme as well. Therefore, “everyone” knows the Russians are responsible for the hacks and throwing the election.
However, what about the Sony hack two years ago? The FBI concluded after a few weeks that North Korea was responsible. It was convenient to say so, so it was so. Many people were not so sure. Why? Because determining a cyber attack is more of an art than a science. And intelligence agencies frequently rely on what is called “fourth party collection.” Even the NSA. Which was hacked.
But guess what?
For reasons delineated in prior posts, I think I’d consider the weight of the propeller-heads above over the input of others at this point, who are motivated by — well, let’s just say “self-interests.”