Thursday 28th of May 2020

you say potato and I say tomato...


Julian Assange has responded

Julian Assange has responded to CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s accusation that WikiLeaks is a “non-state intelligence agency” by trolling the CIA over its own roles in producing “Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran and Pinochet.”


Called a "non-state intelligence service" today by the "state non-intelligence agency" which produced al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran & Pinochet.

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) April 14, 2017

Assange tweeted, “Called a ‘non-state intelligence service’ today by the ‘state non-intelligence agency’ which produced Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran & Pinochet.”

Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of siding with dictators and being a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event on Thursday. He called Assange and his associates “demons” and said “he and his ilk make common cause with dictators.”

BREAKING: #WikiLeaks is 'hostile intel' and #Assange & his followers are 'demons' - CIA chief Mike#Pompeo

— RT America (@RT_America) April 13, 2017

Assange in turn accused the CIA of producing terrorist groups and dictators. He said the CIA produced Al-Qaeda, referring to the agency’s role in arming and training mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets during the 1970s, some of whom – including Osama Bin Laden – later evolved into Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Assange has previously stated that the CIA’s role in arming the mujahideen led to Al-Qaeda, which led to 9/11, the Iraq invasion and, later, the formation of ISIS.

The CIA admitted it was behind the 1953 coup in Iran which overthrew Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq and reinstalled the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whose 26 year rule led to the 1979 Islamic revolution.

#WikiLeaks releases more than 500k US diplomatic cables from 1979

— RT America (@RT_America) November 28, 2016

Assange's Pinochet reference alludes to the CIA’s “firm and continuing policy to assist in the overthrowing of Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973, and its support for dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Pompeo’s attack on WikiLeaks appears to be in response to an op-ed Assange wrote in the Washington Post on Tuesday which referenced President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell speech, in which he warned of the dangers of the influence of the military industrial complex. Assange said the speech is similar to WikiLeaks’ own mission statement.

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"make them bleed"?...


A recent opinion piece in the New York Times is calling for a “complete and total catastrophe” in Syria as columnist Thomas Friedman urges US to use the Islamic State as a tool to “bleed” Syria, Russia and Iran, Emmy Award winning trial lawyer, Lionel, told RT.

RT: It is an opinion piece, so I guess it was bound to be quite edgy – what is your take on it?

Lionel: Well it wasn't necessarily bound to be edgy. It does not have to be edgy, but I read this. And I've never done this in my entire life but I’m going to do something for the first time: I want everybody in the world to read this.

And I want you to read specifically what this is, because if you had to describe the plot that has been suggested by a lot of folks who believe in – oh I don’t know what you are going to call it ‘crazy, conspiracy theory.' But there are people who believe in the world that ‘maybe, just maybe’ that ISIS and Syrian rebels are backed by other groups of people who caused them to destabilize Syria to remove Assad in a move that is called the 'tortuous gardens' where you have a group of three and you have one that pulls out and lets the others fight. There is more than three here, but the idea is to allow one party to sit back and let other people “bleed each other.”

When you read this, there were two points to this particular piece. One was ISIS – according to Mr. Friedman – pose a threat ideologically, internationally, and by going after them in Syria this would do nothing more than to enrage them. So I guess we should back off and let ISIS roam because we don't want to anger them because after all this type of activity in Syria, especially with Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah fighting them would then just enrage them. And God forbid we should incur their wrath.

The second point was to use ISIS as the means of “bleeding,” “bleeding Assad,” “bleeding Russia, Iran.” It is very, very terrible... I understand the way it was used, but when you talk about bloodshed in the life it is a very poor use of words. But then what I'm doing... I wish I could meet Mr. Friedman, I wish perhaps maybe we can work out even a debate... and I'm going to say: “Mr. Friedman, do you know, are you aware, of what the Assad regime has done to stop ISIS from killing innocent civilians including Christians and others? And that when you attack airbases, specifically this one in particular, that what you do is disable theoretically Assad and Syrian forces to fight and repel and to prosecute individuals who threaten and kill innocent?”

I mean I can't believe what I’m reading. And also to show how out of clue or clueless I am – what is this regime change? What, what? By what authority? This is a million dollar question, and I know I'm coming late to the party here and I ask basic questions, but this is my basic nature: By what authority do you remove a sovereign leader of a country?

And more importantly, and this is the thing you would think you would learn from Iraq and Libya, in particular, is when you remove someone what is the replacement? Who replaces? When you have an area that is fraught with instability when you have somebody who for whatever reason he is their leader, and you are going to have the “regime change"... Just like the famous words of Dick Cheney who said, "democracy is messy...” And remember Friedman is an international expert, oh I mean he is the “brain trust of internationalism”, he works for the New York Times, he should know this... But as we say in law, for the foregoing reasons and averment sited: What is this man talking about?! Somebody at the New York Times who read this said: “Hey, Tom! This is good stuff! You are basically calling for complete and total catastrophe and calamity! You are supporting ISIS as some type of a weird, kind of an introduction of terrorism into the biosphere here?” Like I've said, I don't do this – but read this!

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Here Gus will say that SHOULD THE US LET SYRIA ALONE, THE RUSSIANS WOULD WIN THE WAR FOR ASSAD IN ABOUT THREE WEEKS. And this is what the US does not want. It wants the war to drag on and on and on. What Friedman advocates HAS BEEN AND IS STILL THE US STRATEGY so far, unfortunately. 



the regime change business has to be abandoned...


Last weekend, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster chided Russia for its “sponsorship” of Bashar al-Assad’s “murderous regime,” which he said ordered the recent chemical-weapons strike in Syria. “This is a great opportunity for the Russian leadership to reevaluate what they’re doing,” McMaster offered.

If the United States’ intent is to influence Russia to support more Washington-friendly policies, our policymakers must recognize and understand Moscow’s core interests—as Russians see them. Lecturing Moscow as a parent scolds a disobedient child is not likely to succeed.

Russia is not supporting the Syrian regime with considerable military power because they like Assad or his despicable policies.

Their objective is to enhance their ability to exert influence in the region, stabilize areas near their own borders that contain large Muslim populations, and ensure continued access to their Mediterranean port at Tartus.

Appealing to the moral high ground has no chance of influencing Putin.

According to the administration, the priority among American security objectives in the Middle East is the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS), which still has major holdings in the Iraqi and Syrian cities of Mosul and Raqqa. Washington doesn’t do itself any favors by mocking and deriding the world’s second-most-powerful military power, which, if engaged properly, has the ability to help with this primary security goal.

The U.S. response to the barbaric chemical strike has been, to date, marked by errors in judgment and evidence of inexperience operating in the international arena. In the 24 hours following the strike, President Trump was already claiming the Syrian regime was directly responsible and began laying the groundwork for an attack. In an emergency UN Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley blasted her UN colleagues, claiming that if the world body was unable to take action, “There are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action.”

Meanwhile, Deputy UN Ambassador for Russia Petr Illichev cautioned patience, calling for a delay in any talk of a retaliatory strike until an investigation had identified the guilty party. According to Al Jazeera, a draft UN resolution called for “Syria to provide flight plans, flight logs, and other information on its military operations on the day of the assault … [as well as] the names of all commanders of helicopter squadrons to UN investigators and allow them to meet with generals and other high-ranking officials.”

Yet the Trump administration would not wait long enough to allow the UN time to weigh in on the matter, and likewise chose not to seek congressional authorization. Within 48 hours of the chemical attack, U.S. warships launched a cruise-missile strike against a Syrian airfield. In so doing, the U.S. virtually gave the Russians the upper hand.

Following the U.S.-led attacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin was quick to accuse the U.S. of a “violation of international law under a far-fetched pretext.” On Tuesday, Putin said he still supports a UN-sponsored investigation into the allegations that the Assad regime ordered the attack. The Russian deputy ambassador and president both scored public-relations points by making statements that sound rational and proper. They did not defend Assad or deny he had ordered the attack, but rather urged the U.S. not to act too quickly and supported a full investigation to determine who was to blame.

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See also: 

analysis from the world expert...




Q&A: trump has committed A MAJOR WAR CRIME...



I wondered how they knew?


“Don’t be afraid. Be brave. Be ready… to fight,” the whistleblower and privacy advocate told the audience when signing off.

American journalist and author Glenn Greenwald, Brazilian Politician Luciana Genro and privacy activist David Miranda are also due to speak at the Youth in Resistance conference.

On Thursday, Snowden claimed via his Twitter that the network of alleged ISIS tunnels that were reportedly destroyed in the $314 million MOAB attack by the United States were originally CIA-funded.

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I wondered how the US knew about and where the tunnels were, bombed by the mother of all crap bomb (MOACB) (MOAB). Now we know:

.@thenib Those mujahedeen tunnel networks we're bombing in Afghanistan? We paid for them.#Blowback (via

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 13, 2017


illegal actions by the CIA...

Assange responded in comprehensive fashion in the podcast, accusing Pompeo of attacking him "to get ahead of the publicity curve.”

"In fact, the reason Pompeo is launching this attack is because he understands we are exposing in this series all sorts of illegal actions by the CIA, so he’s trying to get ahead of the publicity curve and create a preemptive defense," Assange said.

This is the second time in less than a week that Assange has taken aim at Pompeo over the WikiLeaks remarks. On April 14, the WikiLeaks founder tweeted: “Called a ‘non-state intelligence service’ today by the ‘state non-intelligence agency’ which produced Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran & Pinochet.”

READ MORE: ‘Brought to you by agency which produced Al-Qaeda & ISIS' – Assange trolls CIA chief

The interview touched on a range of different topics including allegations that Assange had a personal vendetta against Hillary Clinton and aggressively targeted her during the 2016 US presidential election. He refuted the claims and revealed that he has never met Hillary Clinton but speculated that he would have liked her personality if he did.

“I think I’d probably like her in person,” he said “Most good politicians are quite charismatic in person. In some ways she’s a bit like me, She’s a bit wonkish and a bit awkward. So maybe we’d get along.”

Assange was also questioned on the details surrounding the publication of internal Democratic Party emails from the account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta during the campaign. He reaffirmed the stance that he does not believe that WikiLeaks were given the documents by the Russian government and also said it would have published Republican National Committee emails if it had received them.

#WikiLeaks will give tech companies exclusive access to CIA hacking tools’ – Assange (LIVE)">

— RT (@RT_com) March 9, 2017

“Just imagine if WikiLeaks had obtained information that it knew was true about the Democratic party and corruption of the primary process, and it decided that it was not going to publish that information, but suppress it, it would be completely unconscionable,” he said. “We specialize in really big scoops. You can’t go, ‘Oh, we have this massive scoop about corruption in the DNC. Now we need to balance this with a massive scoop about corruption in the RNC.’ These things come along once every few years.”

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revealing the truth is punishable????...


US officials have told CNN that they have prepared charges against Assange.

The move follows CIA Director Mike Pompeo's recent speech stating that First Amendment protections did not apply to Assange, and that WikiLeaks was a "non-state intelligence service." "Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms," Pompeo said. 

According to the CNN report, prosecutors believe they have found a way to charge Assange without violating First Amendment protections. On Thursday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Assange's detention was a "priority." 

"We've already begun to step up our effort and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail," Sessions noted. 

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It's time for our government to stop this US madness, but what can we expect from Diswhater and Turd?... Nothing much but another bendover session... This prove with no doubts that the US was behind the Swedish "rape" cases... to flush Assange out. His supporters who lost their bail cash should congratulate themselves... They invested in one of the most noble cause on the planet: the TRUTH.


chelsea manning is free...

After serving seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents Chelsea Manning has been freed.

RT:  Was it worth it, in your opinion, for Chelsea Manning to make all these revelations and then be kept in prison for such a long period?

Annie Machon: I think that Chelsea Manning knew the risks that she was taking. She was prepared to pay the legal price for exposing this. But she followed her conscience and thought it was worth taking that risk. I think she would stand by this today, despite the inhuman treatment she has received at the hands of the military police and the military legal system in the USA.

I also think there were two other perhaps unforeseen outcomes by her courage by going public and following her conscience. First of all, was the fact that it was the stories that WikiLeaks acquired unknowingly from her that took that organization global back in 2010. Now that’s had legal repercussions for Julian Assange and the rest of the WikiLeaks team. But that what propelled them to the global public consciousness, and they have continued fearlessly to do their job to continue to release information that is very much in the public interest.

CIA is world’s most dangerously incompetent spy agency – Assange

— RT (@RT_com) May 17, 2017

Most recently the Vault 7 files about CIA spy interception capabilities, which can hack into all our day-to-day equipment around our homes. That was one perhaps one unforeseen outcome of what Chelsea Manning did. I would suggest the second one as well: she provided a wonderful example to future young, brave whistleblowers, not least Edward Snowden. His disclosure started at the end of May 2013. He went public just as Manning’s trial was beginning, where she was facing up to potentially the death penalty, and of course, she got 35 years in prison in the end. So for Snowden to go public - despite that threat to a previous whistleblower - shows that the concept that governments use to crush whistleblowers, to destroy them, to deter future whistleblowers does not work.

Also then Snowden was trapped in transit between China and Ecuador, where he had been granted asylum in 2013. He ended up stuck in a Moscow airport and then given asylum by Moscow for a number of years. If WikiLeaks had not been in that global position to go in and help Snowden… from China to get to his political asylum in Ecuador then he might be in a very different situation too. So I think these are two very, very important points which we should remember from the unforeseen outcomes from the bravery of Chelsea Manning.

#ChelseaManning's 35-year sentence for espionage was commuted by Barack Obama after seven years served

— RT America (@RT_America) May 17, 2017

RT:  You’re a whistleblower yourself. What can you tell us about your personal experience? Is it a tough job?

AM: Yes, I am a whistleblower from the old school from the 1990s, the analog-era effectively. But I worked for MI5 for six years as an intelligence officer, and it was there that I met my former partner and colleague, a man called David Shayler. We saw so many things going wrong at that time - only within six years - that we decided to resign and to go public. We tried to raise our concerns on the inside, and we were just told to‘follow orders.’ So they had no will to reform or will to correct mistakes that were committing crimes in secret.

So we went public. And under the laws of the UK, we also faced automatic arrest and imprisonment for speaking out about the crimes of the spies. So we fled the country, we went on the run for a month around Europe; we went and lived in hiding for a year in France, and we lived in exile for another two years. I was arrested; many of our friends, family, supporters, and journalists involved in the case were arrested. Shayler himself went to prison twice. First of all, when the British failed to extradite him from France in 1998 to stand trial under the Official Secrets Act of 1989, and then after he returned voluntarily to face trial in 2000. Of course, he was convicted, because there was no legal defense under the Official Secrets Act, and he went to prison again. So we both paid a very high price… to expose the crimes of the spies.

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and radiant...

“Okay, so here I am everyone!!” wrote Chelsea Manning on her Instagram page as one of the world’s most famous official leakers published the first photograph of herself as a free transgender woman. 


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not the first time...

Julian Assange has taken to Twitter to expose the aggression of liberal media commentators who have unceremoniously called for him to be executed in retaliation for WikiLeaks releases.

Using the hashtag #tolerantliberal, the WikiLeaks founder has been retweeting articles and posts from senior writers at organizations such as Politico and Mediaite who have made the case that he should be made the target of an extrajudicial killing.

...Here's a fun poster from the Washington Times. Goes with the article "Assassinate Assange". A "?" added later.

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) July 1, 2017


Assange’s tweets included a compilation of videos showing US politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, as well as TV pundits, calling for him to be “hanged” or “droned.”

In response, he attacked the mainstream media for “their lack of standards.”

...these "journalists" love nothing more than to threaten to help assassinate me and my staff and my sources for telling the truth...

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) July 1, 2017

...they couldn't dream of our accuracy or independence. I have abiding contempt for their lack of standards and craven characters...

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) July 1, 2017

Once the focus of hate from conservative media for releasing classified security information, Assange is now taking being ripped by their liberal counterparts for publishing leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee during last year’s US presidential election.

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This is not the first time that the media (liberal and conservative) have ganged up on Assange for leaking the truth.


Back in 2010:


KUHNER: Assassinate Assange?

Julian Assange poses a clear and present danger to American national security. The WikiLeaks founder is more than a reckless provocateur. He is aiding and abetting terrorists in their war against America. The administration must take care of the problem - effectively and permanently.

The recent WikiLeaks document dump is the latest example of Mr. Assange’s dangerous behavior. His release of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, many of them containing classified information, is a major blow to our foreign policy. The essence of diplomacy - especially that of a great power - is the ability to conduct negotiations and hold talks in secret. Foreign leaders will not be willing to engage in sensitive discussions with American emissaries if their words are going to be splashed across the front pages of the world’s newspapers. Officials in autocratic and Islamist states often risk their lives to cooperate with Washington, usually by providing vital information or advice. They now face a further disincentive to help us: The U.S. government can no longer guarantee the privacy and secrecy of their discussions.

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the dictator...


The United States, uniquely among nations, believes that its writ runs all over the world—and that it has a right to use its courts of law to seek retributive justice even in situations that did not involve American citizens and occurred in a foreign land. No other country sends its marshalls overseas to forcibly detain fugitives from “justice.” If the United States is truly exceptional, it is no doubt due to its hubris in declaring itself to be the final arbiter of what goes on all around the globe.

It seems that nearly every week Congress outdoes itself in passing bills that are intended to pummel one foreign adversary or another. Russia and Iran have become particular favorites with nary a dissenting voice when new sanctions are put in place, together with mechanisms to ensure that a puissant chief executive shall have no ability to mitigate the punishment. And sometimes stealth is employed, inserting a nugget in an otherwise innocuous bit of legislation that will provide authority to go after yet another potential enemy of the state.

The latest Senate Intelligence Authorization Act (SB 1761), which was released by the committee on August 18 when few senators were in town, is in the nature of a routine document. It notably calls for “more” in terms of both probing and revealing Russian spying and alleged aggression, but that was to be expected due to the current panic over Moscow and its intentions. It will nevertheless almost certainly become law even though few members of congress will actually bother to read any part of it. The bill has already been approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee and will likely go immediately to a vote in the full Senate when that body reconvenes after the August recess. It will almost certainly be approved unanimously.

That anyone in the alternative media is paying any attention at all to what the bill says is due to the last section in the document, numbered 623. It reads “SENSE OF CONGRESS ON WIKILEAKS: It is the sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States.”

Senator Ron Wyden was the only committee member who opposed the draft buteven he opined that “the damage done by WikiLeaks to the United States is clear.”His concerns were that Section 623, if acted upon, could damage freedom of the press. He explained that “…the use of the novel phrase ‘non-state hostile intelligence service’ may have legal, constitutional, and policy implications, particularly should it be applied to journalists inquiring about secrets… The language in the bill suggesting that the U.S. government has some unstated course of action against ‘non-state hostile intelligence services’ is equally troubling.”

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Read from top...




By Chelsea Manning

For seven years, I didn’t exist.

While incarcerated, I had no bank statements, no bills, no credit history. In our interconnected world of big data, I appeared to be no different than a deceased person. After I was released, that lack of information about me created a host of problems, from difficulty accessing bank accounts to trouble getting a driver’s license and renting an apartment.

In 2010, the iPhone was only three years old, and many people still didn’t see smartphones as the indispensable digital appendages they are today. Seven years later, virtually everything we do causes us to bleed digital information, putting us at the mercy of invisible algorithms that threaten to consume our freedom.


Information leakage can seem innocuous in some respects. After all, why worry when we have nothing to hide?

We file our taxes. We make phone calls. We send emails. Tax records are used to keep us honest. We agree to broadcast our location so we can check the weather on our smartphones. Records of our calls, texts and physical movements are filed away alongside our billing information. Perhaps that data is analyzed more covertly to make sure that we’re not terrorists — but only in the interest of national security, we’re assured.

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Meanwhile, at Paranoia Headquarters:


The US Department of Homeland Security has told government departments and agencies to remove all security software from the Moscow-based company Kaspersky Lab from their IT systems.

It said it was concerned about ties between company officials and the Russian intelligence services.

The move comes ahead of a vote in the US Senate this week to prohibit use of the company's products by government.

Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied that it has ties to the Kremlin.

But the allegations have led to a number of US retailers withdrawing its products from sale.

Kaspersky has more than 400 million customers worldwide, but it has never succeeded in becoming a major supplier to the US government.

Russian security firm denies spy agency work

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And you only enjoyed "music":...


Documents from US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the intelligence agency combed through internet music piracy apps that were popular before music streaming services became available, The Intercept reports.

"NSA didn’t care about violations of copyright law, according to a 2005 article on one of the agency’s internal news sites, SIDtoday," the Intercept’s Micah Lee wrote on Wednesday. "It was trying to determine if it could find valuable intelligence by monitoring such activity," he said.

The NSA formed a research group dedicated to studying so-called peer-to-peer, or P2P, internet traffic on applications such as LimeWire, eDonkey, Kazaa and BitTorrent, the article said.

The applications were used to pirate millions of music files before music became available through outlets such as Spotify and Pandora. In order to monitor P2P networks, the NSA needed to both decode the protocols that various services used and, in some cases, break the encryption to see which files were being swapped, the Intercept explained.

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giving one day, taking the next...

Harvard University have rescinded an offer to make Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow after the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, cancelled an appearance at the university.


Pompeo had been scheduled to appear at Harvard’s John F Kennedy school of government to give a speech on global security concerns, but withdrew on Thursday, calling the university’s invitation to Manning a “shameful stamp of approval”.

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See toon at top...

entangled in his own lies...

Mike Pompeo's shocking claim has provoked a stream of sarcastic commentary among Russian social media users, who jokingly asked what the mighty US intelligence agency has been up to all this time if it couldn’t notice Russian meddling over such a long period.

Asked on Face the Nation Sunday whether Moscow was going to interfere in the 2018 US midterm elections, Pompeo said the answer was yes, and that Russia has been doing so "for decades."

"I continue to be concerned, not only about the Russians, but about others' efforts as well," the US chief spook added. "We have many foes who want to undermine Western democracy," he stressed.

The CIA chief's 'revelation' was news to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote that Pompeo seems to have become 'entangled in his own lies.' "It would be interesting to known exactly how many decades ago Russia 'started' this dirty business?" she noted. The spokeswoman recalled that prior to Trump, not a single news story, film or speech had been made featuring these unfounded accusations about Russian interference in the US electoral process.


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but don't worry, Maria Zakharova, Hollywood has been working on the movies "The Russians killed JFK...", "Putin goes shopping in New York" and "Nixon's Russian underpants"...

replacing the retro furniture with screwloose...

Rex Tillerson’s long-expected departure from the Trump administration is finally happening:

Rex Tillerson is out as secretary of State, ending a tumultuous tenure as America’s top diplomat that was marked by a series of public disagreements with his boss — President Donald Trump.

Trump plans to appoint CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace the former Exxon Mobil chief executive, he said Tuesday. The president picked deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the spy agency. She would become the first woman to do so.

Tillerson’s exit has been anticipated for so long that no one can be surprised that he has been replaced. The only really surprising thing about this development is that it has taken as long as it did. His replacement by Pompeo was being floated months ago, and his relationship with the president was bad enough that it always seemed a question of when and not whether he would be replaced. Very few will actually miss Tillerson. He was not well-prepared for the position, and he made a hash of things very early on. He will be remembered as the least effective, least respected Secretary of State in decades, but no one should pretend that his departure fixes anything, either.

As bad as Tillerson was at his job, Pompeo will not be an improvement over Tillerson. Instead of a Secretary of State who occasionally, albeit ineffectively, opposed Trump’s worst, most impulsive moves, we will now have one who has the president’s full confidence and who will encourage him to be more aggressive. Pompeo may or may not prove to be a better manager of the department than Tillerson, but so much damage has been done during the latter’s brief stint that it may not matter in the near term. Tillerson’s reputation at State is bad enough that almost anyone taking over from him would be welcomed, but like Tillerson Pompeo has virtually none of the relevant experience for the job he is about to do. Despite that, Pompeo will probably have a fairly routine confirmation process, and I expect that he will be confirmed sooner rather than later.


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we love her...

The New Zealand opposition has called for US whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be banned from visiting the country to give a series of talks in September.

Manning was released from prison in May 2017 after being sentenced in 2013 in violation of the US Espionage Act for disclosing classified government documents to WikiLeaks.

She requires a special direction visa to visit New Zealand, and is subject to character provisions in section 15 of the Immigration Act 2009.

Opposition immigration spokesperson Michael Woodhouse said the government should decline Manning a special direction visa because of her history of criminal convictions.

“This is a convicted felon, sentenced to 35 years in jail, coming in here for money,” Woodhouse told Stuff.

“The discretion is not there to apply to a person who expresses virtually no remorse for her offending ... There’s no rehabilitation, no remorse, the very purpose of her visit to come and talk about her crimes.”

A spokesperson for Immigration New Zealand said “an appropriately delegated INZ staff member will look at the representations in the first instance”, and they had received an application from Manning’s representatives for a visa.

Manning tweeted last year that she was banned from entering Canada due to her criminal convictions. However, she managed to secure a Canadian visa in May this year.

Greens MP and human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman said Manning posed no threat to New Zealand and called National’s stance on Manning “callous”

“Continuing to condemn Manning for exposing war crimes, including against children and journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan, deliberately shifts the conversation away from accountability of those responsible, effectively aligning us with the oppressor in a situation of injustice,” said Gharaman.


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aussie welcome...

The Federal Government is preparing to ban US whistleblower Chelsea Manning from coming to Australia for a speaking tour.

Key points:
  • Chelsea Manning is scheduled to give speeches in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne
  • The Federal Government has issued a notice of intention to refuse her visa
  • Tour organisers have called on supporters to send letters to the Immigration Minister


The former soldier-turned-whistleblower spent seven years behind bars, including 11 months in solitary confinement, for sending nearly 750,000 classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks.

Ms Manning had been working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.

She is planning to give a speech at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday night before similar talks in Brisbane and Melbourne.

The Australian organiser of her speaking tour, Think Inc, has written to supporters asking them to lobby the newly installed Immigration Minister, David Coleman.

"We have just received a Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal under s501 of the Migration Act from the Australian government in regards to Chelsea's Visa," the company's director Suzi Jamil wrote to supporters.

"We are looking for support from relevant national bodies or individuals, especially politicians who can support Chelsea's entry into Australia.


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Imagine for a moment that Chelsea Manning did not do what she did... Our brains would be full of shit from the Empire, would they not? So thank you for doing what you did, Chelsea, and welcome to Aussieland where we are free... to... refuse you entry?

Anyway should the government claim that you would be barred from Australia for failing the 'character test', you need to know that 99 per cent of our politicians would fail that "character test" as well, especially on the rightwing side of politics. Imagine we've just have had a spill of blood and guts on the floor of parliament because these pollies are kniving, shifty, untrustworthy, devious, dishonest, deceitful, secretive con-artist bastard with the attention span of gnats on heat. 


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a whistleblower charged with letting the truth out...

In August 2013, when military judge Colonel Denise Lind sentenced Private First Class Chelsea Manning to 35 years in jail, she never described Ms Manning as a whistleblower.

In fact, she said Ms Manning's conduct "was of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others" and was "both wanton and reckless".

So, let's get a few facts inserted in the Chelsea Manning debate about whether or not to allow her a visa to enter Australia.

Despite the media describing Ms Manning as a whistleblower, she is far from that.


And so writes Dr Rodger Shanahan... who stresses the point that Chelsea was charged with "espionage"...


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Dr Rodger Shanahan is a non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute of International Policy and a visiting fellow at the National Security College, ANU. He is also a part-time member on the Refugee Review Tribunal. A former Army officer with extensive service in the Parachute Battalion Group (PBG), he served with the UN in South Lebanon and Syria, with the PBG in East Timor in 1999, as the military liaison officer in Beirut during the 2006 war and in Afghanistan. He has also served in the Australian embassies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
Dr Shanahan has MAs in International Relations and Middle East and Central Asian Studies from the ANU, and a PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies from the University of Sydney.


Dr Rodger Shanahan is of course biased. I was going to say he is a biased idiot but he is far more than this. He is an intelligent man entrusted with secrets that the general public shall never know — because most of these secrets would show our governments — and their operators — to be duplicitous, crappy, dangerous and deceitful...


What Chelsea Manning did was far more courageous that bombing Vietnam from 10,000 feet in a plane and be shot down like John McCain. 

So what is deceitful about Chelsea Manning having let the world know that the US had some crap actions in Iraq, where 5,500 US soldiers lost their life and some enterprising politicians like Cheney made a mint on selling the war? We, the public, need to know how bad our war enterprises really are, some of these being "mistakes" but most of them being deliberate shocking policies ON OUR BEHALF.


WE NEEDED TO KNOW. Thank you Chelsea — and get stuffed, Dr Rodger Shanahan...

jjj interviews chelsea minning...

During her court case, the prosecution argued Chelsea betrayed her country by leaking documents and information she knew Al Qaeda would see and use against America.

As Tom Tilley asked Chelsea Manning about this, our interview was cut short. 

Here's what happened. 

Tom Tilley: Some of your leaked documents were found in Osama Bin Laden's compound though, after his death, that's information in the hands of one of America's biggest enemies. Do you have any regrets about that outcome? What did you think when you heard that? 

Chelsea Manning: Ah - look I can't really talk about specifics of my court-martial. The record of trial is still classified. 

Tom Tilley: But why does that mean you can't say how you felt when you found out that piece of information? Do you dispute that's true? 

Chelsea Manning: Ah I can't - I can't even tell you whether or not we dispute that it's true. It's that highly classified. 

Tom Tilley: Ok. What was the message you were hoping - 

Media minder 1: Can I intervene here for a second? Sorry - 

Tom Tilley: You can intervene but it will go to air. It will go to air if you intervene. So go ahead. 

Media minder 2: Sorry what was that Tom? 

Tom Tilley: If you guys jump in, I'm going to put it on radio. 

Media Minder 2: Ok we're just going to end this here. 

Tom Tilley: Why? 

Media Minder 2: Thank you very much. Chelsea, hang up. 

Tom Tilley: Why? Why can't we carry on this interview? What was wrong with my questioning? If you guys are talking about transparency and openness, surely we can continue this interview.

Suzi Jamil: Tom this is Suzi, the director of Think Inc. I guess What's a priority for us is to be respectful to our talent. I understand there might be nothing wrong with your questioning, but we just want to be really respectful to Chelsea, because she's given up her time to have this conversation.

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The reality is that Manning is correct: "I can't even tell you whether or not we dispute that it's true. It's that highly classified."
The point is that a deal has been made for Chelsea Manning's release from prison. And there are many scenarios about what happened, including that the prosecution lied about her "information" found in the hands of Bin Laden.

dishing diplomacy with a CIA laddle...

Jackson Diehl assesses Mike Pompeo’s tenure at State after seven months, and he delivers a damning verdict:

Now, after a month that has seen the secretary offer smiles and excuses to Saudi Arabia’s murderous Mohammed bin Salman, trash Congress for “caterwauling” and inspire a rare revolt by Senate Republicans, it’s time to offer a verdict: Pompeo has managed to worsen the State Department’s already abysmal standing with every significant constituency. Legislators, major allies, the media, career staff, even North Korea are alienated. The only satisfied customer may be President Trump — and even he has grounds for grievance.

When Tillerson was unceremoniously fired by tweet, some of the former Secretary of State’s detractors might have thought that there was no way that his successor could be worse. As it turns out, they were wrong. Pompeo is a more active and publicly visible Secretary of State than his predecessor, but this has not really been an improvement over Tillerson’s curious taciturnity. Pompeo talks to the press a lot more than Tillerson, but when he does so it is often to mislead them or berate them for asking questions he doesn’t want to answer. Where Tillerson was obsessed with a destructive and pointless “redesign” of the department, Pompeo has embraced the Trump administration’s Iran obsession as his own, and the latter has been far worse for the U.S. and the Middle East than Tillerson’s ineptitude. He is not noticeably more successful than Tillerson in his efforts, but he can’t blame his failures on having a poor relationship with the president. Indeed, Pompeo’s primary concern seems to be keeping the president happy with him no matter how many enormous whoppers he has to tell to the public and Congress.

Pompeo has done a particularly poor job of managing his relationship with members of Congress, especially the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is one of the more overtly partisan and ideological Secretaries of State in recent memory, and in addition to that he misleads and lies to the Senate quite often. When he issued his bogus Yemen certification on behalf of the Saudi coalition, he was lying to cover for the coalition’s obvious indifference to causing large numbers of civilian casualties. His mendacious op-ed in defense of the Saudi relationship was outdone only by the “briefing” last month ahead of the first vote on S.J.Res. 54 as an exercise in spouting propaganda for the benefit of a foreign government. Pompeo has torched whatever credibility he had, and these aren’t the only issues where he has made obviously false claims. The Secretary of State has taken the old adage about an ambassador being an honest man sent abroad to lie for the good of his country and turned it on its head: he is a dishonest man who has returned from abroad to lie to his country in defense of foreign despots. 

On top of all that, there are still many vacancies in the top posts at the State Department. Diehl continues:

Seven months after Pompeo’s arrival, nearly half of key posts at State remain empty, according to the Partnership for Public Service. Pompeo has yet to fill the jobs of a chief financial officer and four of six undersecretaries, as well as ambassadors to Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey, among others. 

It turns out that replacing Tillerson doesn’t fix anything, and Pompeo has proven to be every bit as bad a Secretary of State as I and other critics feared he would be. Back in October, I described Pompeo’s record as one of bad diplomacy. After seeing his performance over the last two months, I have to revise that from bad to terrible. That is an entirely predictable outcome, and it is what happens when someone with nothing but disdain for diplomacy is appointed to be our government’s chief diplomat.


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persecuted heroine still...

Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed on Friday after refusing to answer questions from a federal grand jury in Virginia looking into the release of documents to WikiLeaks.

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton told Manning that she would remain in federal custody “until she purges or the end of the life of the grand jury,” a statement from her representatives said.

Earlier in the day, Manning told reporters that she was prepared to go to jail following the closed contempt hearing over her resistance to provide testimony because she doesn't believe in the grand jury process.

On Wednesday, Manning appeared before the same grand jury, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, but refused to answer any questions.

"I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights," Manning said in a statement.

"All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010 — answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013," the statement said.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking a trove of military intelligence records to the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks. Her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017 after seven years behind bars.

On Tuesday, a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia denied a motion filed by Manning's attorneys challenging a subpoena calling her to testify, according to her lawyers.


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