Tag Archives: The CIA

The FBI and other US Goverment agencies have been probing for Russia /Trump connections…

Anyone surprised at this?

Common sense would be that Obama would want a ‘look/see’ launched …..

Donald Trump will be the President in less than two days….

Does the investigation get shut down?

Who does the investigators report to?

What happens if Trump or any of his family or staff ARE implicated if this story is TRUE?

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.

The agencies involved in the inquiry are the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and representatives of the director of national intelligence, the sources said.

Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win, the two sources said. One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said….

FBI Director Comey refused at a recent Senate hearing to comment on whether the bureau was investigating Russia’s hacking campaign for possible criminal prosecutions. Spokespeople for the FBI, the Justice Department and the national intelligence director declined to comment….

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No al Qaeda link to Benghazi attack…And Plenty of Mixed Loyalties

The New York Times is out with a look at the attacks against Americans  in Benghazi and finds , as it tends to be in real life, a LOT crazy things going on at once…..

A local militia leader , the piece  concludes, is the prime suspect…Not al Qaeda…..

Worst?

This militia leader is STILL operating in the area…..

And he was overlooked by the CIA people in the Benghazi area…..

Also?

There is NO Mention of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the piece….

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

A fuller accounting of the attacks suggests lessons for the United States that go well beyond Libya. It shows the risks of expecting American aid in a time of desperation to buy durable loyalty, and the difficulty of discerning friends from allies of convenience in a culture shaped by decades of anti-Western sentiment. Both are challenges now hanging over the American involvement in Syria’s civil conflict.

The attack also suggests that, as the threats from local militants around the region have multiplied, an intensive focus on combating Al Qaeda may distract from safeguarding American interests.

In this case, a central figure in the attack was an eccentric, malcontent militia leader, Ahmed Abu Khattala, according to numerous Libyans present at the time. American officials briefed on the American criminal investigation into the killings call him a prime suspect. Mr. Abu Khattala declared openly and often that he placed the United States not far behind Colonel Qaddafi on his list of infidel enemies. But he had no known affiliations with terrorist groups, and he had escaped scrutiny from the 20-person C.I.A. station in Benghazi that was set up to monitor the local situation….

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Note….

The piece points out that State Department people in Benghazi WHERE aware that they where in a ‘hot spot’….But they where working to try make headway with militia’s in the area…The situation was fluid….And they knew there where risks…Amb. Steven’s worked regularly with militia’s…as pointed out here..but readily in the media….the CIA was also operating in the Benghazi area , with security provided by CIA, ex-US military special operators…

In the New York Times piece the attack IS posted as an ad hoc operation that escalated…..The fuel for that escalation was  a video…..

The understanding of the situation was complicated and very few knew what was going on either side….(The Fog of War?)

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The President brings his spy proof tent with him…

If people didn’t know that President Obama wasn’t aware that OTHER countries spy on him…..

Forget it….

The New York Times is out with a piece that illustrates how the President of the United States travels with a ‘secure tent’ to cut out other countries doing what we do….

Listen in…..

photo….Pete Souza/White House

President Obama discussing Libya inside his security tent during a trip to Rio de Janeiro in 2011.

When President Obama travels abroad, his staff packs briefing books, gifts for foreign leaders and something more closely associated with camping than diplomacy: a tent.

Even when Mr. Obama travels to allied nations, aides quickly set up the security tent — which has opaque sides and noise-making devices inside — in a room near his hotel suite. When the president needs to read a classified document or have a sensitive conversation, he ducks into the tent to shield himself from secret video cameras and listening devices.

American security officials demand that their bosses — not just the president, but members of Congress, diplomats, policy makers and military officers — take such precautions when traveling abroad because it is widely acknowledged that their hosts often have no qualms about snooping on their guests.

The United States has come under withering criticism in recent weeks about revelations that the National Security Agency listened in on allied leaders like Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. A panel created by Mr. Obama in August to review that practice, among other things, is scheduled to submit a preliminary report this week and a final report by the middle of next month. But American officials assume — and can cite evidence — that they get the same treatment when they travel abroad, even from European Union allies.

“No matter where you are, we are a target these days,” said R. James Woolsey Jr., the director of central intelligence during the Clinton administration. “No matter where we go, countries like China, Russia and much of the Arab world have assets and are trying to spy on us so you have to think about that and take as many precautions as possible.”

On a trip to Latin America in 2011, for example, a White House photo showed Mr. Obama talking from a security tent in a Rio de Janeiro hotel suite with Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, and Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary at the time, about the air war against Libya that had been launched the previous day. Another photo, taken three days later in San Salvador, showed him conferring from the tent with advisers about the attack…..

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Note…

You DO notice that the piece describes evens from several years involving the ‘secure tent’ which one leds one to deduce that the traveling press with the President has been well aware of this….

Of course, if the American traveling media is aware of this?

So is EVERY country that this tent has been used in…..

I wonder how many OTHER tents there are set up when the heads of state get together for the

G-20+  Meetings?

I guess the ‘secure tent’ isn’t ‘top secret’ anymore, eh?

And the tents and similar means are common for ALL senior American officials traveling….

Note #2….

This story HAD to leaked to pour water on all the noise foreign leaders had been making over NSA spying in the last few weeks, after Snowden spilled the beans on the extent of the NSA program….

More push back has come in the form of leaks that Brazil (whose President get hot) actually spies just like the NSA on visiting diplomates…and the Germans came to Washington to complain about US programs  AND ask for MORE info like they HAVE been receiving …..

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President Obama begins supplying the Syrian Rebels with arms and equipment….

Obama did not want to do this…..

But one supposes that when he changed his mind after seeing the gassing picture’s….He gave the go order to the CIA on arming the rebels as Congress implored him to do…..

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.

The arms shipments, which are limited to light weapons and other munitions that can be tracked, began arriving in Syria at a moment of heightened tensions over threats by President Obama to order missile strikes to punish the regime of Bashar al-Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons in a deadly attack near Damascus last month.

The arms are being delivered as the United States is also shipping new types of nonlethal gear to rebels. That aid includes vehicles, sophisticated communications equipment and advanced combat medical kits.

U.S. officials hope that, taken together, the weapons and gear will boost the profile and prowess of rebel fighters in a conflict that started about 21 / years ago.

Although the Obama administration signaled months ago that it would increase aid to Syrian rebels, the efforts have lagged because of the logistical challenges involved in delivering equipment in a war zone and officials’ fears that any assistance could wind up in the hands of jihadists. Secretary of State John F. Kerry had promised in Aprilthat the nonlethal aid would start flowing “in a matter of weeks.”

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Russian President Putin says his piece on the Bostoh Bombing case….

It is truly a different world these days, eh?

The Russian President addressed the Bostom bomber case and the Russian side of the investigation in broadcast interview…..

photo…news.nationalpost.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin weighed in on the Boston Marathon bombing during a marathon public question-and-answer session Thursday, claiming the information Russia provided the FBI about one of the alleged bombers did not have “operative significance.” Putin also declared that Americans who want to see the surviving suspect branded a “prisoner of war” have “completely lost their marbles.”

Putin addressed the bombing during a “Direct Line” broadcast where he spent nearly five hours taking questions submitted from Russians in the audience, via email, telephone hotline, and text message. He has participated in the “Direct Line” program almost each year since 2001.

When the Direct Line broadcast was over, Putin fielded some questions from journalists including one who asked about a 2011 request Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, the FSB, made to the FBI for information on deceased bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. That request has prompted questions about whether American law enforcement agencies could have done more to identify Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzokhar, before they allegedly carried out the attack on the Boston Marathon….

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There will be No Drone Court…..

The Republican’s in the House have made it plain that they will NOT accept the trial ballon idea of a Court for oversight of drone strikes done by the CIA and US Military…

The whole sense of outrage generated by the leak to MSNBC will probably quickly go away…

The issue never was ABOUT the policy of carrying out the strikes….

It was about giving the select Congressional committee’s information….

The recent release of a white paper that spells out the administration’s rationale for drone attacks against terrorism suspects overseas — including U.S. citizens — has put pressure on both parties to put the operations on firmer ground.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the concerns about drone oversight could be resolved by handing the program over to the military.

“You just need to move it to the Department of Defense,” McCain told reporters. “We are talking about using equipment to kill people.”

While “there may be some role to play” for the CIA and the U.S. intelligence community, placing armed drones under the exclusive control of the Pentagon “solves the problem” of balancing oversight with national security, McCain said.

Feinstein floated the idea of an oversight court patterned after the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) after last week’s confirmation hearing for John Brennan, President Obama’s pick to head the CIA.

Brennan stressed in his public testimony that the administration only authorizes lethal force against U.S. citizens as a “last resort to save lives when there is no other alternative.”

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Al-Qaeda Update November 2011….

The US has systematically ‘erased’ most if not ALL of the organization’s top operators….

(On President Barack H. Obama’s watch)

But the question remains….

What next?

From the Washington Post…..

The leadership ranks of the main al-Qaeda terrorist network, once expansive enough to supervise the plot for Sept. 11, 2001, have been reduced to just two figures whose demise would mean the group’s defeat, U.S. counterterrorism and intelligence officials said.

Ayman al-Zawahiri and his second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, are the last remaining “high-value” targets of the CIA’s drone campaign against al-Qaeda in Pakistan, U.S. officials said, although lower-level fighters and other insurgent groups remain a focus of Predator surveillance and strikes.

Al-Qaeda’s contraction comes amid indications that the group has considered relocating in recent years but that it ruled out other destinations as either unreachable or offering no greater security than their missile-pocked territory in Pakistan, U.S. officials said.

The group’s weakened condition has raised questions for the CIA about its deployment of personnel and resources. The agency’s station in Pakistan’s capital remains one of its largest in the world, and the bulk of the CIA’s drone fleet continues to patrol that country’s tribal region, even though U.S. counterterrorism officials now assess al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen as a significantly greater threat.

The CIA has resisted moving operatives, drones or other resources away from Pakistan more than temporarily, largely because CIA Director David H. Petraeus and other senior officials — mindful that al-Qaeda has regrouped in the past — think their unfinished priority is to extinguish the network’s base.

“Now is not the time to let up the pressure,” said a U.S. official familiar with drone operations, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “We’ve got an opportunity to keep them down, and letting up now could allow them to regenerate.”

U.S. officials stressed that al-Qaeda’s influence extends far beyond its operational reach, meaning that the terrorist group will remain a major security threat for years.

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The Panetta Defense Nomination hearings…..

Leon Panetta, The Current CIA head, and  a past Congressman from California,  AND a past Presidential Chief of Staff will be confirmed without a blip…..

Leon Panetta, the current CIA director, played a big role in planning and overseeing the May 1 commando raid inside Pakistan that ultimately terminated bin Laden. That mission showed “the world that we will do what we have to do,” Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to replace Robert Gates.

Bin Laden’s death also provides the U.S. with “the best chance” yet to “disrupt and dismantle” the extremist group that planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks, Panetta said.

The nominee also faced questions on Afghanistan and the upcoming July deadline to withdraw troops. Several senators pushed Panetta on how many American troops he thinks could be removed this year.

Panetta said he “agrees with the president’s statement” that the coming partial pullout will be significant, but Panetta told the panel he has yet to form an opinion on how many troops should be removed…. More.

Photo….Greg Nash


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