Daily Digest

Image by Dr. Partha Sarathi Sahana, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 2/2 - India To Set Up World's Largest Health Program, A Cancer ‘Vaccine’?

Friday, February 2, 2018, 10:36 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!

Economy

The rise of the 'gym party' for adults - how getting sweaty replaced getting sloshed (Adam)

Alex James, the bassist from the band Blur, might famously have said he celebrated his 20th birthday with drink, his 30th with drugs, and his 40th with food, but these days turning 20-something is rather different. The only bottles we’re swigging from are water bottles and we’re popping protein balls, not pills. Our LBDs - little black dresses - have been usurped by GDLs - “gravity-defying leggings”, and we’re addicted to avocado on toast, not class A drugs.

India says it will fund the world’s largest national health programme (TS)

As part of this Ayushman Bharat programme, the government will also launch 150,000 health and wellness centres to make comprehensive medical care more easily available to households, with free essential drugs and diagnostic services. Overall, the budget has allocated Rs1,200 crore for the programme, Jaitley said.

Cancer ‘vaccine’ eliminates tumors in mice (Adam)

One agent is currently already approved for use in humans; the other has been tested for human use in several unrelated clinical trials. A clinical trial was launched in January to test the effect of the treatment in patients with lymphoma.

Groups push N.J. to provide legal assistance to those facing deportation (sv)

"The Office of Immigrant Protection will serve as a single point of contact for any New Jersey resident facing detention or deportation, with a focus on expanding access to legal services to these residents," said spokesman Dan Bryan.

Immigration advocates here have long been pressing the state to provide representation for those in detention, and are hopeful the governor's moves are steering New Jersey in that direction.

Americans Are Staying Home More. That’s Saving Energy. (jdargis)

One of his co-authors, Eric Williams, an associate professor of sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology, made the point a different way. “This is a little tongue in cheek, but you know in ‘The Matrix’ everyone lives in those little pods? For energy, that’s great,” he said, because living in little pods would be pretty efficient. “In the Jetsons, where everyone is running around in their jet cars, that’s terrible for energy.”

McDonald's Packaging Is Getting A Sustainable Makeover (sv)

"In 2018, the idea of putting out recycling bins may not feel revolutionary for many of us, but this is significant in the fast food industry where recycling for that type of packaging is still a struggle," Jonathan Kaplan, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s food and agriculture program, wrote in response to the news. "If McDonald's delivers, the new measures could eliminate lots of fossil fuel-derived plastic, boost demand for sustainably certified paper sources, and create additional market demand for recycled-content materials."

Super blue blood moon 2018 - gallery (tmn)

Many parts of the globe caught a glimpse of the moon as a giant crimson globe, thanks to a rare lunar trifecta that combines a total eclipse with a blue moon and super moon. The spectacle, which Nasa has coined a “super blue blood moon,” will grace the pre-dawn skies in the western US as the moon crosses into the shadow of the Earth and turns blood red.

Wildflowers Are Definitely the Prettiest Way to Reduce Pesticide Use (jdargis)

The trial, conducted on 15 farms in England over the past five years, had farmers plant six-meter-wide stripes of wildflowers right in the middle of their fields, spaced 100 meters apart. These stripes made it much easier for the beneficial insects to travel throughout the crops (and GPS-guided equipment helped farmers work around the stripes. There’s a bonus, too: This new approach looks quite lovely; even design blogs approve.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/1/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

41 Comments

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Selling Domination by Force

Reading about the Steele Dossier, Fusion GPS and the DOJ this morning.

It returns me to this basic topic.  The battle between good and evil, and the mechanism needed to sell war and domestic domination structures to the population.

Kevin Barrett quotes Nafeez Ahmed's summary of the first Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, 1979, the place where the motif of "war on terror" first entered public discourse.

Back at 1982, at.. San Francisco State University, Philip Paull who attended JCIT, wrote a brilliant MA thesis explaining how, in the words of Nafeez Ahmed:

“…a group of powerful elites from various countries gathered at an international conference in Jerusalem to promote and exploit the idea of ‘international terrorism.’ The Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism (or JCIT) established the ideological foundations for the ‘war on terror.’ JCIT’s defining theme was that international terrorism constituted an organized political movement whose ultimate origin was in the Soviet Union All terrorist groups were ultimately products of, and could be traced back to, this single source, which-according to the JCIT-provided financial, military, and logistical assistance to disparate terrorist movements around the globe.  The mortal danger to Western security and democracy posed by the worldwide scope of this international terrorist movement required an appropriate worldwide anti-terrorism offensive, consisting of the mutual coordination of Western military intelligence services.”

The Manichean world view

Jim Lobe explains that the neocons have a Manichean philosophy -- simply:  there is good and there is evil.  And they fight for dominance.  Everything in the universe can be viewed through this filter.  We are all part of the great cosmic battle of Good versus Evil.  

This view finds an easy limbic system resonance in human beings.  And it can be sold in a one-liner type of facebook post.  You don't have to think deeply or seek to understand what may have brought the other person to this action.  Just hate them.  It is simple, quick, powerful and without insight.

The Manichean world view is particularly effective in selling violence to the GREEN Meme.  GREEN is GOOD.   It is sensitive and kind and wishes to help the underdog.  Nothing is more important to GREEN than protecting children and animals.  GREEN also has a deep fury against those who abuse of the helpless and downtrodden.  GREEN would never hurt another human being!  Unless that person was a BAD PERSON who hurt others, like Hitler, in which case they deserve to be killed, but only after torture.

So TPTB used this psychological mechanism to sell its RED/BLUE Meme domination-by-force approach to a GREEN Meme population. 

(RED/BLUE believes in "peace through domination."  A Pax Romana.  A reign of fear enforced with an iron fist is the way to create stability and peace on my terms.  Winston Smith's wall monitor, embedded chips that track a person's location, SWAT teams that break down doors to round up political dissidents on trumped up charges using planted evidence, ritual beatings.  The NSA, fusion centers, the Patriot Act and NDAA indefinite detention provision.  This is the RED/BLUE vision of stability through domination.)

1.  Using this clever rhetorical mechanism, a political opponent can be deemed a BAD person by affixing the label of "terrorist."  (Or "suspected terrorist" if you have no evidence.)  The public then feels OK about killing or hurting them and most certainly wants the authorities to read their emails and track them.

2.  And Russia is designated as the evil pole between which the Manichean universe is suspended.  It used to be God and Lucifer.  But now it is Democracy and Russia.  

I am interpreting everything said in the MSM about Russia as pure bull crap.

The "all badness flows from Russia" is a resurrection of this old playbook.  It is the mechanism by which violence and domination structures are sold to a population.

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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The Republican Memo

Well I couldn't find this anywhere on google...really...but here's the memo we've all been waiting for.  Its a relatively straightforward case of "anti-Trump informant concocts a story that is then leveraged by high-ranking FBI officials to get a FISA warrant to monitor an American citizen on the Trump campaign - renewed four different times."

I'm not sure it represents Stazi in America - but it sure does smack of Watergate.

https://www.scribd.com/document/370598711/House-Intelligence-Committee-Report-On-FISA-Abuses

 

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The Memo
davefairtex wrote:

Well I couldn't find this anywhere on google...really...but here's the memo we've all been waiting for.  Its a relatively straightforward case of "anti-Trump informant concocts a story that is then leveraged by high-ranking FBI officials to get a FISA warrant to monitor an American citizen on the Trump campaign - renewed four different times."

I'm not sure it represents Stazi in America - but it sure does smack of Watergate.

https://www.scribd.com/document/370598711/House-Intelligence-Committee-Report-On-FISA-Abuses

Two things.  First I'm of the mind that this memo represents just the tip of the iceberg.  That is, it's been vetted and what was released represents the final position of the handkerchief after some serious tug of war between both sides.  ("Oh yeah?  If that's included then we're going to release this.")

Second, even in its undoubtedly watered down condition it reveals something shocking, which sadly doesn't even shock anymore.

The essence of getting a FISA warrant, or any warrant, is having probable cause.  To cut to the chase, basing a FISA warrant on a dodgy dossier concocted by a known anti-Trump individual (Steele) receiving payment for said dossier from Democratic operatives, when all of said facts were pre-known by the FBI, indicates that bias existed and that probable cause therefore was not, uh, warranted.

Here are a few ideas about probable cause and warrants:

Law enforcement officers obtain warrants by providing a judge or magistrate with information that they have gathered.

Usually, the police provide the information in the form of written statements under oath—called “affidavits”—that report either their own observations or those of private citizens or police informants. In many areas, a judicial officer is available 24 hours a day to issue warrants.

A magistrate who believes that an affidavit establishes “probable cause” to conduct a search will issue a warrant. The person connected with the place to be searched isn’t present when the warrant is issued and therefore cannot contest whether there is probable cause before the magistrate signs the warrant. However, the suspect can later challenge the validity of the warrant with a pretrial motion.

(Source)

Given the dodgy nature of the Steele dossier as the basis for probable cause, I'd say that a strong case can be made that anything gathered as a result of that warrant is contestable in court.  

In other words, the entire Mueller investigation just got chucked out the window.  At best.  At worst we've just witnessed what every astute observer predicted years ago; the FISA secret court would be used less for catching real terrorists and more for ensnaring political enemies.  

That's what should be shocking.  But sadly isn't.  

 

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Autodestruction of FBI, DOJ and US "intelligence community"

Chris wrote:

Given the dodgy nature of the Steele dossier as the basis for probable cause, I'd say that a strong case can be made that anything gathered as a result of that warrant is contestable in court.  

In other words, the entire Mueller investigation just got chucked out the window.  At best.  At worst we've just witnessed what every astute observer predicted years ago; the FISA secret court would be used less for catching real terrorists and more for ensnaring political enemies.  

The FBI and DOJ knew in advance of applying for the FISA warrants that the "source," Steele, was "desperate" to keep Trump from being elected and that his material was paid for by Hillary Clinton through political operatives.  They also knew the material had not been vetted (and it still hasn't been verified as fact).  THEN the FBI and DOJ presented Steele's stinky dossier to the FISA court without mentioning the problems with it (unverified, paid for by the opposing political organization, the "source" being admittedly highly biased against the Trump organization). They did all this knowing that they'd never get the warrants they wanted without it (per FBI McCabe's own words).

No matter what WE think, you can be sure the judges on the FISA court are outraged (except perhaps those who are in the bag already for the leftists and glad to cooperate with this kind of unConstitutional and illegal activity as long as it promotes leftist objectives and candidates). And the judges won't soon forget how they were hoodwinked and manipulated in this affair (they would never have approved the warrants had they known then what they know now).  The FBI and DOJ have destroyed their own credibility, and if this were a just society with the rule of law (highly questionable in my mind) anyone and everyone who had a hand in this would: 1) be banned from the FISA court in perpetuity, and 2) prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  

The whole Mueller investigation should be dismissed as based on a fraud.  But at the least Trump should not consent to submit to any interviews by the Special Prosecutor as it is pointless now.  Or maybe he could consent to be interviewed under the following conditions:

 

And since the abuses of those in power in "law enforcement" and "intelligence" have gotten steadily worse as Matthew Bracken has predicted for years, it would be appropriate here to warn those on the lawless side of the consequences of not returning to the rule of law and the Constitution.

https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/what-i-saw-at-the-coup/

https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/bracken-dear-mr-security-agent/

"Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

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This just in...

Legit AF! I'm sold.

Doug's picture
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No there there

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No there there?

Doug, I see the MSM doing heroic spin cycles to assert that the memo doesn't really mean much, but then we'd have to accept that Orwell undershot in 1984.

Either words and laws mean something or they don't.

For there to be "no there there" I have to adopt the view that rules and laws are utterly meaningless.  Perhaps they already are, but then the more honest, less Orwellian way for the MSM to put it would be, "The rules broken don't really apply to the elites involved, and this memo does not rise to the level of overt egregiousness to actually result in accountability for the people involved."

Assange put it well in a minimum of characters:

I am 100% certain that if, in 2 years, the Trump administration was caught doing the same thing to the Democratic challenger that the MSM, and many fine people here (you included) would suddenly have a very strong change of heart about the legality and morality of the practice of using the FISA court  and FBI/NSA machinery to try and get dirt on a political opponent.

I am a devout equal opportunity critic.  I don't care which party is involved....when lying, cheating, law breaking, droning innocents, and bombing non-threatening countries is involved I will note that this is corrosive and bad for everyone involved.

In other words, moral positions cannot shift depending on who is involved or the circumstances.  Then they are not moral positions in the first place.  

At the root of the issue here is this question;  does American political morality now permit using domestic spying tactics and systems on political opponents?

The nation decidedly said "No!" when Nixon did it. Now I see many people shrugging their shoulders because they happen to not like Trump.  That is a dangerous slope to begin sliding on.  

Maybe we've already slid too far, and that's what the shrugs are all about.   But if there's any chance to not slide further down that slope, then we should really be taking that step right now.

So I say prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anybody that was breaking the law in this case.  And give maximum sentences and parade them in cuffs in well televised perp walks while giving everyone at the FBI and NSA time off to watch the trials.

And I will say this in the future if/when the circumstances are reversed.

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sources & methods

When I looked at the memo, I could not see what "sources and methods" the FBI was allegedly protecting.  We knew the names of everyone there already.  As a result, their objections appear to be basically just a coverup - which actually lends credence to the memo in my eyes.  If they hadn't stonewalled and fought tooth and nail to protect the nation from us reading the same names we knew already, it wouldn't smell quite so bad.

I say declassify the entire FISA application.  Then we can sort out truth from fiction and see what's really going on.  I suspect its all full of names we already know.

And the current set of frenetic efforts by the media to convince us all that "there is NOTHING TO SEE HERE" ... this feels like the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer has been called into action (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird) at the behest of those Obama holdovers at the FBI who certainly appear to have been doing the heavy lifting for Clinton.

Once those people are cleared away, I wonder what we'll find when we take a peek inside?  They are probably hoping and praying Mueller will find something - anything - that will get Trump impeached before they are found out and replaced.  How much control do they have over Congress now that they can read raw NSA feeds about pretty much everyone in America?

On that note - I think its fascinating just how many Republican congressmen are retiring.  Maybe they are tired of being blackmailed...its no fun being in office anymore...Trey Gowdy is one.  He's pretty senior to just pack it up and go home "because he wants to watch cheesy hallmark movies with his wife."  You claw your way to be the chairman of an important committee and you up and decide to retire "just because?"

Everyone seems to like Mueller.  There is a whole group of those guys who had their finger on the pulse of all that intel flow.  Let's imagine Mueller had access to the modern-day equivalent of "The Hoover Files."  Of course everyone likes him.  If they don't like him, they end up as tomorrow's Enquirer Headline, their career over.  Same thing with Clapper.  He lied to Congress, and nobody cared.  They couldn't care - if they did, it was Enquirer Headline, career over.

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Who are the elites in this case?
Quote:

For there to be "no there there" I have to adopt the view that rules and laws are utterly meaningless.  Perhaps they already are, but then the more honest, less Orwellian way for the MSM to put it would be, "The rules broken don't really apply to the elites involved, and this memo does not rise to the level of overt egregiousness to actually result in accountability for the people involved."

I suppose it depends on which elites and which rules.  Technically Trump didn't break any rules because he has the power to declassify anything anytime.  Certainly convenient when he and his runner Nunes want to put out a cherry picked memo while denying the Democrat minority on the committee the ability to rebut said memo.  They can't publish their rebuttal because it would necessarily reveal classified information and it is highly unlikely Trump with declassify the necessary info.

The Steele dossier has the same problem. While some of the dossier has been verified, other parts have not because to do so would require divulging classified material.  As far as I know, however, none of it has been disproven.

However, it is clear that the dossier is not what led to Page initially being surveilled.  Papadopolis did that with his drunken conversation with an Australian diplomat.  Surveillance began in the summer of 2016 and Steele's dossier wasn't published until January 2017.  That warrant was reaffirmed twice before the dossier came out, the second time during the Trump administration.  It was reaffirmed again later in 2017.

Each FISA warrant has to demonstrate probable cause that the suspect is engaged in suspected intelligence operations, knowingly or unknowingly, with foreign governments, in this case Russia.  Let's be honest here, there was plenty of evidence that Page was meeting Russian agents long before the Steele dossier.

Quote:

At the root of the issue here is this question;  does American political morality now permit using domestic spying tactics and systems on political opponents?

I think we agree that post 9/11 practices in search and seizure activities can be immoral, but they are legal.  You can't convict someone for doing legal activities.  FISA warrants are the most demanding of those laws in terms of required documentation.  That doesn't mean they can't be abused, but there is a higher threshold of scrutiny for granting them.  Then they must be granted again every 90 days after showing probable cause and that past surveillance has continued to be fruitful.


Quote:

So I say prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anybody that was breaking the law in this case.  And give maximum sentences and parade them in cuffs in well televised perp walks while giving everyone at the FBI and NSA time off to watch the trials.

Well, we can continue to hope Trump is given his perp walk after being convicted of some of his no doubt numerous crimes.  We can't lose focus here.  His trail of probable crimes is long and varied; sexual assault and predation, money laundering for the Russian oligarchs (read mob) and numerous violations of the emoluments clause.  Of course he is immune from conflict of interest laws, but he has plenty of conflicts that are certainly immoral and would be illegal for anyone else.  And that doesn't even include shady deals with the NY mob in his development activities over the years.  Maybe we can arrange a perp escalator ride in Trump tower.  A perfect bookend for a disastrous presidency.

 

 

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Visting Russia, having Russian freinds

I personally would absolutely LOVE to have US leaders get to know their Russian counterparts.  Vacationing together, hanging out at the beach, going to the symphony and a Wimbledon match.  Let the wives go shopping together and the kids play at the arcade.

Being on "good terms" with those of another nation is a constructive starting point for cooperative relationships.  Exploring mutually beneficial business opportunities is also helpful and just plain smart.

Describing Carter Page as being on "suspiciously good terms with the Russians" is only pertinent with vilified entities.

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Nadler memo

Jerry Nadler has far more Constitutional expertise than Nunes and certainly Trump.  And, he is one of a very few legislators who have actually read the classified documents that supposedly are the basis of the Nunes memo.

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/TODAY/z_Creative/inline-headers/FINAL%20DRAF...

Perhaps we can regain focus on the real issues here.  The Nunes memo is just another intentional distraction to distract us from the Mueller Russia investigation.  That's where the accusations against Trump and his administration will be confirmed or refuted.  The rest is all flak.

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mueller and russia

I haven't seen any charges of collusion at all.  All I've seen is charges of "lying to the FBI".

And now it appears that they're trying to get Trump on obstruction of justice.

Not collusion.  Obstruction of Justice.

"We're going to engage in a witchhunt.  Of course we won't find any witches (because they don't exist) but by golly if we push hard enough, you will get upset and make a mistake - because you aren't a witch after all - and then we'll have you for obstructing our witch-hunt investigation!"

Gotcha!

Understand this is NOT about justice.  Or saving the Republic from "collusion" with the hated enemy.  Its just the gang trying to get Trump before he can pry them out from behind their realtime NSA blackmail feeds that have given them ultimate power over Washington.

Once you have that kind of power - you and your team are in there forever.  Kind of like Hoover.

I actually think everyone is forced to play along.  If they didn't - bang: career-ender via the National Enquirer.  Dems, Reps, everyone.  "They all like Mueller."

Sure they do.

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Collusion

Collusion is not a legal term. There is no crime called collusion. I don't know why it became such a popular term in this discussion. It was always about obstruction of justice by the administration and Russian interference in our election with the cooperation of the Trump campaign. It still is.

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russian interference

"...It was always about obstruction of justice by the administration and Russian interference in our election with the cooperation of the Trump campaign"

No.  It was never about "obstruction of justice by the administration."  Nor was it about lying to the FBI.  Nor was it about the failure to file an FBAR report properly.  That's not why Mueller was given his charter.

It was only ever about Russia.

Now, because you want Trump gone, you are pretending that Mueller's charter was all about all the mistakes that Trump made in dealing with the witch hunt.

If the Russian witch hunt had never happened, then the administration would never have obstructed justice.

Mueller and his friends have the take from those wonderful realtime blackmail feeds from the NSA.  They already know there is nothing there.  They are just trying to get someone to lie to them so they can get them for that old standby, "lying to the FBI" - just like they did with Flynn.

This is just a bloodless version of what they did to Kennedy.  Johnson was ever so cooperative when they asked him to sign off on the Tonkin Gulf false flag.  I'm sure Pence will be equally cooperative once they hose Trump out of office.

This is all about retaining control over the realtime blackmail feeds, and through them, Washington.

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The World's More Complex than Fox or MSNBC Conspiracy Theories

I agree with Doug that there doesn't seem to be much to the Nunes memo.  I find it sad when anyone buys lock, stock and barrel into one conspiracy worldview or another, since they usually are overly simplified versions of reality, as I think is too often the case on both sides here.  We all try to come up with our beliefs based on facts, and also by trying to make character judgments about the people telling us their facts, telling us about their version of reality.  Julian Assange has done many things I think are great, like helping Snowden, releasing Manning's info on horrific military actions in Iraq, etc., but as a character, my impression from what I've seen of him and read his words in interviews, Assange has a huge ego, and, frankly I don't trust everything he says to be the truth.  He's very focused on shaping perceptions as his higher calling, and says as much.  So is Rachel Maddow.  I sometimes get new information from her show I can double check elsewhere, but I don't watch her a lot because I have a hard time with her delivery.  I also have a hard time listening to Sean Hannity, etc.  I don't trust what the intelligence agencies tell me is the truth all the time either, but I don't dismiss everything they say either.  Same for the New York Times, for zerohedge, RT or any source.  The notion that only we here respect rule of law and equality under the law seems very far from the truth to me.  There are many people out there in many places and positions who do.

I haven't spent as much time as I did before on this site because when it became apparent that Dave Fairtex, Chris and so many others essentially support and defend Trump - not just rule of law, but Trump himself and the Republican narrative itself.  Why do I say that?  Because, to the extent I've read posts on this subject, and I don't claim to have read everything, there seems to be little or no discussion of or interest in examining whether Trump, his cabinet and his associates actually are corrupt, or had corrupt relationships with Russians, Ukrainians, Turkey, etc. - and whether, in fact, the men ruling these countries are just more corrupt rich people.  I really agree with the idea that the neo-cons have been overly-aggressive toward Russia and seem dangerously prepared to risk war.   Anyone who doesn't think Trump is also a big war risk vs. North Korea or Iran, with his big military budget boost and in his support of Saudi horrors in Yemen simply doesn't have a balanced view to me.  I recall all the assurances people gave me that Trump wouldn't start a war when we talked here in the run-up to the election.  I'm not reassured.

That the Trump administration doesn't care much about corruption - obvious conflicts of interest - by Trump and his appointees should be something that we all can agree on, given all the people that have had to resign so far for those reasons.   I don't assume that Trump or his team colluded with Russia during the election, but it certainly seems possible to me, given his and some of his appointees likely or documented past business relationships, their status as unregistered agents of foreign countries, as Podesta was, apparently.  Also, I simply don't find Assange's statement that the hacked DNC emails didn't come from Russia believable based on details I've read, although it might be true.  I don't feel I know, and will look at evidence on both sides.  

But, either way, that doesn't change the fact that rich Americans like Trump and his appointees might have had a hidden, corrupt, mutually supportive relationship with powerful Russians.  If it's true, it isn't any better for this country than Hillary or Obama accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars for "speeches" to Wall Street firms as a payoff for letting Goldman Sachs run the country.   Trump is a climate denier pushing fossil fuels, and it just so happens that the Russians love people like that who choose an Exxon CEO "friend of Russia" for secty' of state and won't slow down the marketing of oil.   It's wealthy people running the world for their own benefit and the detriment of everyone else that I have a problem with.  If that turns out to be true with Trump's relationship with Russians, Kushner's and Ivanka's deals with the Chinese, or Obama's relationship with Wall Street or the Clinton's foundation or anything else, it should be examined, and if there's wrongdoing, stopped and prosecuted if it can be.  That's equal application of the rule of law, and it's long over due.  

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Re: Made In Iran

LOL! How clever of those Iranians to write in "English" instead of native Farsi. /sarc

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a trump supporter

kelvinator-

I totally understand where you are coming from.  It is really hard to listen to the delivery of people at Fox.  They are not my ideal of anything.  One of my favorite videos about Fox - "outfoxed" - stuck in my mind as being called "some people say."  The people there bother me - I feel like they are trying to reach inside my mind and puppet my body.  And they aren't subtle about it.

But here's the thing.  Immediately after Trump went head-to-head against Clinton, all the other channels became exactly like Fox.  It was horrific.  I can't stand watching them either now.  It is like the whole "news" world woke up one morning and decided that their entire mission was to tell you just how to think.  And by that, I mean it now happens about 5x more stridently than it did in the past.

To my mind, Trump is a lot more complex than "some rich guy who is obviously corrupt and trying to make money being President."  That's the narrative of the blackmail-feed gang in charge - both "right" and left" - who much prefer their politicians to be poor and corrupted at a much cheaper price.

Trump himself is not a figure I would have preferred to become President.  At the same time, he got elected.  And his election was not due to "Russia".

Do I like a huge military budget?  No.  A border wall "that Mexico will pay for?"  No.  How about a tax cut funded by debt?  No.  Repealing Obamacare and replacing it with something equally corrupt?  No.  "Opening up drilling"?  No.  Supports for coal and removing subsidies for electrics?  No.  Gutting environmental protections?  No.  I'm really not for much of the "Republican Narrative."

I like rolling back globalization.  I like control over immigration.  I like better trade agreements.

But the attacks on Trump coming from the blackmail gang are all bullshit.  If you don't like what he is doing, then vote him out in the next election. That's how the system works.  And meanwhile, maybe it will teach you to actually stand for something.  Maybe stand for American workers, for jobs in the country rather than large corporate profits.  Put up candidates who don't feel the need to buy off the DNC, run a global charity fraud, give secret speeches to the big banks, and so on.  Like Bernie, for instance.

Sometimes you have to spend a few years in the wilderness in order to reach the promised land.

I do notice, however, that Trump is so loathed by the "right thinking people of the country" that they will literally pal around with anyone who will promise to get rid of him via some extra-legal deux ex machina.  Doug is a case in point.  He imagines that the Mueller investigation was always all about getting Trump to lie so he can be kicked out of office - by hook or by crook.  Never mind the huge chunk of the country that voted for him - they're just deplorables.

Doug is right in one sense - that's how the investigation was conceived.  From the start it was a gotcha-witchhunt that was formed as a device to remove Trump from office.  It has literally nothing to do with finding out the truth about Russia and Trump.  They went in knowing that there is nothing there because they have been watching him with the NSA blackmail feeds the whole time, so their focus is all on getting people to lie and/or obstruct justice.

Boy, if they'd used those same tactics with Hillary, life sure would have been interesting.  But that was never going to happen.  The blackmail gang much prefers an utterly corrupt figure like her to be in charge because she is vastly easier to control.  She knows the score, and she's perfectly happy to play her part in the whole corrupt story.  Ten million here, ten million there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.

My #1 top concern are the group who currently have control over the blackmail feeds at the NSA and the other intelligence agencies.  If Trump himself got control over them, that would be a disaster for the country - just like its a disaster right now that this group - loosely, Comey, Mueller, Clapper, Rogers, and the level directly below them - has control over the information flow right now.  It is just too much power to give anyone.

As for Assange - he is crazy.  He has to be, to engage in what he is doing.  What sane person hides out in an Embassy for 5 years, releasing information that will certainly get him killed one day?  He definitely has a massive ego.  Without it, he never would have lasted this long.  You could also call that "conviction."  Its hard to tell the difference from a distance.  I'm ok with flawed characters, because I'm not perfect either.  I like his work product.  He makes the guys who control the blackmail feeds very uncomfortable.

I see Trump as an equally flawed character.  And yet, he has become an amazing catalyst for change - simply by people's reaction to him.  The blackmail gang tried to take him out several different ways, which would have knocked out any normal politician.  Didn't work.  The forces that brought him into power have been building for decades.  And the whole effort to eliminate Trump has caused the blackmail gang to come into the open, which is awesome.  No more operating behind the scenes, now they are being exposed to the light.

I think that the forces on "the left" can use this time in the wilderness to hone their message, become more honest, more representative of people rather than companies - and to figure out how to differentiate themselves from the horribly corrupt Republicans, rather than just being Republicans-with-a-sprinkling-of-Social-Justice.  Take lemons and make lemonade.

Or they can try to pal around with the blackmail-gang and stage a coup in an attempt to get back to the same-old-corruption that everyone was used to back under Clinton-Bush-Obama.  You know - globalization, selling out the working people, taking bribes from the big companies and big banks.

So far, the coup plotters seem to have the upper hand.  My hope is that the coup attempt fails, so they will have to go the 'introspection' route and, just maybe, bring about real change as a result.

VIewed through the lens of the left-right duality, I guess that makes me a Trump Supporter.

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MarkM
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Fibbies ALWAYS lying about something

http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2018/02/fbi_told_oregon_state_police_n.html#incart_most-read_

 

They have a  long, documented history of lies and deceit. Why should they be trusted about anything?

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Coleen Rowley posts a link to legendary FBI lies

FB introduction by Coleen Rowley, former legal counsel to the Minnesota FBI active in trying to get the "20th hijacker's" laptop searched in August 2001 prior to the 9/11 "attacks."

Meuller was the head of the FBI during 9/11 and its coverup.  The entire 9/11 deception could not have been carried out without his agencies capable support.

For those who have forgotten, here's just a short list from very recent history. Richard Juhl (whom the FBI mistakenly targeted for bombing the Olympics in Atlanta; the four innocent Boston men framed and imprisoned for decades for committing murders that the FBI knew their informant-members of the Bulger Gang had murdered; Steven Hatfill (innocent bio researcher that the FBI-DOJ, including Comey and Mueller, wrongly went after for being the "Anthrax Killer"); Wen Ho Lee (improperly framed as a Chinese spy). And now Carter Page (targeted as colluding with Russians based on hear say-concocted "dirt" concocted by political operatives)?! This historical list is just the tip of the iceberg [people] seem to have totally forgotten.

All the past scandalous incidents where the FBI targeted innocent people and also spied on liberal civil rights and anti-war groups have been forgotten. ... Unfortunately blind partisanship makes for a United States of Amnesia in terms of learning from history but here is just a small list of poor innocent Americans who were framed and attacked by the FBI and whose lives were ruined in recent history. Not to mention Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights heros who the FBI attempted to get to commit suicide.

Some of them, like King, had their reputations restored (although not until after their deaths), and US taxpayers eventually had to pay millions of dollars to some of these innocent men that FBI Directors went after ($6 million to Hatfill and over $100 million to those framed for Bulger gang murders).

We can only hope that the arc of the moral universe will slowly bend towards justice. But it's so frustrating to see how the liberal group think is now so unwilling to even remember history! ...I'm flabbergasted that after trying to list just a few highly illegal travesties that Mueller and Comey were involved in, that NOBODY seems to remember! See https://consortiumnews.com/…/…/russia-gates-mythical-heroes/ .... These three, all part of the corrupt political establishment and with serious conflicts of interest: Mueller, Comey and Rosenstein who have been "joined at the hip" for decades in revolving door corruption of Washington DC.

The FBI is Not Your Friend

Russia-gate’s Mythical ‘Heroes’

The mainstream U.S. media sells the mythical integrity of fired FBI Director Comey and special Russia-gate prosecutor Mueller, but the truth is they have long histories as pliable political operatives, writes ex-FBI official Coleen Rowley.

By Coleen Rowley

 

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Not a Trump, Hillary, or Obama Supporter- A Bernie Supporter

Thanks for your response, Dave.  We agree on a few things, the most important of which is on the need of the whole electorate to "introspect" rather than imagine that being against Trump and getting rid of him is going to really solve much of anything in itself.  Since I live in California and am mostly talking to Democrats, most of my time in discussions has gone to making the points you just made about how corrupt the Democratic party has become over time and how, together with the Republicans, they have become part of a corporate Establishment that needs to get the boot big time.  So, we agree on globalization, selling out the working people, taking bribes from big corps and banks - check, check, check.  

I really disagree with your perception, though, of Trump as a particularly complex character.  To me, he's complex only in that he has been a brilliant opportunist in articulating the deep anger and frustration at the corporate establishment by millions around the country.   Like any good devil, he capitalizes on mixing powerful, unspoken truths with lies, by dividing and attacking instead of leading by example and uniting people around the "good".  But apart from that, if you look at what he actually has done - through his appointments, and what he will do, he's just been a fraud - a used car salesman that lies through his teeth constantly and does the opposite of what he said he would do.  Has he drained the swamp?  No, he's just accelerated the sell out of the US gov't.  He's supporting further de-regulation of Wall Street and environment.  He said he would provide healthcare that "takes care of everybody".  Yet, obviously, he never had a plan to do that, and still doesn't.  He's doing great damage to the State Dept while ramping up the Pentagon. I know you must think the State Dept is a nest of vipers.  To the extent it is, fix it then - but don't imagine there aren't huge consequences for substituting military strength for diplomacy, as Sec'ty Defense Mattis himself said "If you cut diplomacy, you better buy me more ammunition".  His ravings about "voter fraud" is pure baloney and actually aims to accelerate voter suppression.  All of these are long-standing items on the check list of many wealthy Republicans who, IMO, don't care much at all about working people, the environment or democracy.  They are all part of the mainstream Republican agenda.   Yet, you still seem unwilling to talk about the fact that, apart from his position on immigration, perhaps, actually, Trump is just a continuation of the Establishment on steroids - he and congress are accelerating corruption and the potential for corruption.  He's doing great damage to this country, IMO, as do overly simple conspiracy theories that write-off vast groups of other people.  The world is complex - Trump, not so much.

I don't think it's particularly likely that Trump will be impeached out of office, just because that's very tough to do in any case.  Still, I'm totally fine with he and his cohorts potential hidden dealings with Russians, if any, being fully investigated, and don't assume that it's just a giant cabal of some sort that's doing it.  People who hold public office should be willing to be completely transparent, and clearly Trump has no interest in doing that.  Trump may be a "change agent" - and I hope he is.  But to me, not talking about Trump's real policies, but instead only focusing on the narrative that those who want to see potential corruption investigated are just all part of a "blackmail gang" isn't helpful at arriving at the truth, ending corruption, or establishing equal treatment under the law.  

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sand_puppy
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FBI Morality

The father of my best friend in high school was the head of the San Jose FBI office.  He drove us to countless soccer games and camps and supported us "kids" in all kinds of activities.  I very much liked him and his family.   I was invited to several of his parties over the years, which were mostly other FBI agents from the San Jose and San Francisco offices.  They all drank lots of bourbon and told me what they though of "hippies" (I had long hair --it was the early 70's.)

I also remember visiting their house as Bill (the FBI agent) sat in front of the TV watching the Watergate proceedings.  He was especially distressed by all the "crap" they were giving John Dean who was just trying to do his job.  He was drinking heavily and was greatly distressed.

Looking back on this era and these agents, I now understand that they were very moral.  But their morality was BLUE Meme morality.  The were dedicated to preserving the system.  Law and order.  Our great nation. The flag.  Servings one's country properly when drafted.  Standing for the flag.

Their highest goal was NOT to the abstract concept of justice, but to the ideal of defending the system.  They were not immoral, but had a BLUE Meme morality. (Lawrence Kohlberg's Moral developmental Stage 4)

----------------

We all have a hierarchy of moral beliefs.  For example, I might lie and steal, things that I would usually consider immoral, for the purpose of defending my family, something I consider a higher moral imperative.

Law Enforcement and the Military are often begin their careers as BLUE Meme thinkers. 

We must understand that BLUE will bend the rules in service to the higher imperative of defending God, Country and The System.

Shooting that trouble-maker Finicum and lying about it, may actually have been a high moral act from the viewpoint of these agents, dedicated to preserving the established order.

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Last word

Kelvinator did a pretty good job of spelling out Trump's character flaws and the damage he is doing to my country.   Oh yeh, I was a Bernie supporter also.

Dave was partially right in noting that the Russia hack came first, but it was quickly followed by investigating possible cooperation of the Trump entourage in the hack stemming from the inordinate number of meetings between the Trumpies and Russian agents.   And then came the inevitable cover-up that seems to follow this type of lawless behavior in high places.  Don't forget, we have two pleas and two indictments so far. Fruit of the poison tree and all that.  Mueller appears to be going where the evidence leads.  I suggest we wait and see what he finds before condemning everyone in the gov't for picking on the POTUS.

OBTW, the Russian hack was not a "witch hunt."  Although I know the conspiracy theorists here frequently find mischief where none exists, I find it a little hard to ignore the fact that all our intelligence agencies say we were hacked by the Russians and that only five of the 535 members of Congress chose to vote against sanctions for Russia for those hacks.  At some point I have to look at that and conclude there are still a lot of intelligence people who believe that our election was hacked and a huge preponderance of our legislators who agree.  They aren't all members of the "deep state."

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brief reply

kelvinator-

Glad we agree on a bunch of things.

I just have time for a quick reply: my "blackmail gang" epithet is not directed at any particular party.  And this isn't something I got from Fox News.  I got it from Bill Binney, one of my heroes, a whistleblower from the NSA - former technical director, who quit when he saw what they were about to do.  There are a collection of civil liberties people that I like to follow, and he is at the top of the list.

He read through the massive FISA memo (NOT the one written by Nunes) and concluded that the NSA had indeed had built a system and was using it to routinely spy on Americans.  And such a system could, as Binney put it, "easily be used for political control."

They have every text you have ever sent or received, every email sent or received, every internet post made from any of your computers, every facebook post, every social media chat, transcripts of every telephone call to or from any of your phones, all collated under your identifier - I forget the technical term they use - and searchable by keyword.  "To find a needle in the haystack, you must first collect the haystack."  And collect it they have done.  Everything, on all of us.

It doesn't take much of a leap to imagine they have weaponized such a system - you might, if you believe the Republic was in danger, or if you believed your agency's budget might be in danger, or you thought that your critical spying program might be in danger, or if you are worried that your girlfriend might be stepping out on you.  [Last was something Snowden said that really happened.]

Video link leads to an Alex Jones interview with Binney (AJ not my favorite person - but its the only video of Binney saying this stuff - unfortunately you have to wade through lakes and rivers of AJ's massive self-importance to get to the nuggets that Binney has to say):

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48650.htm

Below there is the declassified FISA memo itself:

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/icotr/51117/2016_Cert_FISC_Memo_Opin_Order_Apr_2017.pdf

So yeah.  The blackmail gang.  They aren't a figment of my imagination.  Hoover did it.  He was head of the FBI for 5 decades.  This is just a high tech version of the same thing.

Isn't it interesting how Congress routinely re-authorizes this very program?  Fascinating how bipartisan they can be when it comes to programs like this that might "theoretically" have them by the tender parts.

Clapper, Rogers, Comey, and Mueller.  They and their crew all had access to this data.  Everybody loves all of them.  Maybe its because they are such nice guys.  What do you think?

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davefairtex
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"the russia hack"

Binney also did a technical analysis of the DNC emails.  He concluded they were downloaded onto a flash drive, rather than sucked out via an Internet connection.

Put simply for non-technical people, the evidence clearly showed that this was an inside job done by someone on site rather than some remote hack.

As a technical person, I found his analysis to be very compelling.

Binney is the real deal.

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nigel
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An external view point
cmartenson wrote:

Either words and laws mean something or they don't.

That is possibly the most interesting thing you have ever said. Given the amount of fraud in any information source, intentional or unintentional, the amount of wrong assumptions, faulty logic, and poor education, why do you think words have value. In your writings you are basically highlighting that they no longer do, it's the cognitive dissonance you have when the market keeps going up against all logic, it's the frustration you have when the leaders aren't preparing for oil depletion.

Which gets me onto the memo. It doesn't matter who is in charge, the bubble gets bigger, the available resources deplete, and the environment worsens. From someone from another land I am baffled by why you take these people seriously. My own politicians are just as bad, they are corrupt and self serving, it's a pre-requisite for the job. Why bother even thinking about them?

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kelvinator
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Yep - Civil Liberty/NSA "Stellar Wind" Are a Major Concern

We're on the same page on being concerned about the big domestic spy data scoop up Binney and Snowden have been warning us about, Dave, and that's an important one to agree on.  Also, your clarification about your meaning of "blackmail gang" helps me better understand your view.  I agree the threat of the black mail gang is quite real, but don't imagine that it's quite as active as the organized, effective force you seem to feel it to be just yet.  For better or worse, we'll find out as time goes on.  But for now, I hadn't noticed that everyone loves Clapper, Comey, Mueller, etc.  My impression is a big percentage of US population and people in Congress don't like them so much at the moment, but it changes, depending on what they're saying or doing - which "side" they seem to be on.  

Binney's analysis that the DNC hack happened on a flash drive is new info for me, and I'll take a look at what he has to say, since he seems credible to me both as a person and a technical guy - thanks for the info.  If it seems to make sense, I'd be more inclined to agree with the idea that it was an "inside job".  In any case, as you say, it's still scary to think that Trump (or any potential power tripper - and there are a lot of them out there) would get the ability to misuse all that data.  

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DNC emails: Insider Leak vs Russian Hack

The Nation published a thoughtful review of this topic including Binney's work and the source of his conclusions about where the emails came from.  His group calls themselves VIPS.

------------------------------------

A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Years DNC Hack

Former NSA Official Says that It wasn't a Hack at all, but a leak--an inside job by someone with access to the DNC computer.

  1. The Russian Hacker (actually Romanian) Guccifer 2.0 claimed to have hacked the DNC emails from Romania.
  2. Forensicator’s (one of Binney's partners in this analysis) first decisive findings, made public in the paper dated July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate—the time a remote hack would require. The metadata established several facts in this regard with granular precision: On the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. The operation took 87 seconds. This yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.
  3. “A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable [over the internet in 2016], especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer. ... However, these speeds are typical of a USB-2 flash drive."
  4. Time stamps in the metadata provide further evidence of what happened on July 5. The stamps recording the download indicate that it occurred in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone at approximately 6:45 pm. This confirms that the person entering the DNC system was working somewhere on the East Coast of the United States 
  5. In addition, there is the adulteration of the documents Guccifer 2.0 posted on June 15, when he made his first appearance. This came to light when researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath. They found that the first five files Guccifer made public had each been run, via ordinary cut-and-paste, through a single template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints. They were not: The Russian markings were artificially inserted prior to posting. “It’s clear,” another forensics investigator self-identified as HET, wrote in a report on this question, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.
  6. The FBI asked to examine the DNC computers but their requests were denied.  The FBI has never examined the DNC’s computer servers—an omission that is beyond preposterous. It has instead relied on the reports produced by Crowdstrike, a firm that drips with conflicting interests well beyond the fact that it is in the DNC’s employ. Dmitri Alperovitch, its co-founder and chief technology officer, is on the record as vigorously anti-Russian. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which suffers the same prejudice. [The Atlantic Council is a neocon propaganda outlet--SP] 

 

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Binney's timestamps explained

Binney's analysis relied on timestamp differentials on the email files themselves.

When a computer creates a file, it slaps a timestamp on that file - the creation time.  When you are doing a bulk copy of a bunch of files, the only thing limiting the speed of the copy is the underlying hardware - either the speed of the source (i.e. the hard drive or flash drive storing the files) or the speed of the destination.

Let's imagine you copy an entire directory of email files to a new location.  The computer dutifully copies one file at a time to the destination.  But it takes a certain number of milliseconds to copy each file; more files, more milliseconds.

As a result of this copy time cost, each file in the new location will have a gradually increasing "creation time" timestamp - starting with the time you started the copy, with the timestamps increasing based on the length of time it took to copy each file.  If the timestamps are granular enough (i.e. they record microseconds, rather than seconds) you can, after the fact, estimate the transfer rate based on the size of the file copied multiplied by the change in the timestamps of the individual files.

So if email #1 has creation time T, and email 2 has creation time T+10 milliseconds, and email 1 was 1 megabyte in size, you know that the transfer rate for email #1 must have been 1 mb / 0.01 sec = 100 megabytes/sec.  That's simple math.

And if we know that internet download speeds are not 100 MB/sec, we know that this was a local file copy, rather than some sort of internet download.  That's just math.  Math tells us this must have been a local file copy, especially if we have 1000 files to verify the consistency of the transfer rates and copy times.

If I recall correctly, Binney's imputed transfer rate roughly matched the speed of a USB2 flash drive - rather than "the internet" at that time which was substantially slower.  Simple math tells us it was not an internet download, but a local file copy to a flash drive.

Unless "the Russian hacker" worked at the DNC...it was a leak by a DNC worker, not a download by a "Russian hacker" trying to "meddle in the US elections."

Bottom Line: Its vastly more likely than not that someone at the DNC copied those emails to a flash drive, and handed them over to wikileaks.  Occam's Razor applies: the simplest explanation is most likely correct.

Although I'm a very capable engineer - I've been writing code since I was 15 - I never thought to look at timestamp differentials in file creation copy times as evidence.  It was utter genius of Binney to figure this one out.  Seriously.  I'm in awe, and I don't say that very often.

My conclusion: there was no "Russian hack."  Just a Bernie Sanders supporter who was disgusted by what he saw going on at the DNC.  He was in good company.  Donna Brazile was disgusted too - so disgusted she wrote a book.  She too was very aware of the implications of what she was doing, and the price she might have to pay for doing it.  Curiously, she dedicated her book to Seth Rich.

If I were there, and I saw what was going on - given my fondness for Bernie - I'd like to think I too would have have had the courage to leak what I had found.

Of course, I probably would have ended up dead as a result.

But that's just a conspiracy theory.  As long as your name isn't Seth Rich.  Or Donna Brazile.

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Doug
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A fun story

It seems that on January 23 Binney, an admitted Trump partisan, provided Alex Jones with a document that he claimed was the Republican memo released February 2 by Nunes. 

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/01/23/alex-jones-purports-release...

Exercising his normal scrupulous vetting (sarc) Jones blasted this news on his show, only to be embarrassed upon finding out that the document was a  government document that had been publicly available since May 2017.  So much hilarity, so little time.

More to the point, Binney is or was part of a group of former NSA employees called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

This group has been involved as whistle blowers exposing the NSA's mass surveillance activities.  Another member of that group, Thomas Drake, who pleaded guilty to leaking classified information, split with Binney over his claims that the DNC hack story,as described by Dave above, was bogus.

https://theintercept.com/2017/11/07/dnc-hack-trump-cia-director-william-...

Quote:

Drake and the dissenters complain that the original memo was deeply flawed and came to biased conclusions based only on a sketchy analysis of information that originated with Guccifer 2.0, which the U.S. intelligence community believes is a front for Russian intelligence. The dissenters also point out that it is indeed possible for a remote internet transfer to occur at the speeds identified in Binney’s memo. “The environment around Trump, Russia, et al. is hyperpolarized right now, and much disinformation is floating around, feeding confirmation bias, mirroring and even producing conspiracy theories,” the Drake memo says.

I'm not enough of a techno geek to figure out whose interpretation is correct.  But, just in the interest of sunshine, we should know that Binney's peers, as well as the intelligence community, disagree with his analysis.

 

 

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Quercus bicolor
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i agree - remote transfer rates can be that high

I've experienced them myself.  Even if you are very far away and have a poor internet connection.  Just remotely connect to a server on a network with a fast connection that and relatively geographically close to your target. Then copy the files with scp (linux), ftp (many operating systems) or the appropriate tool for your operating system. 

I regularly connect to systems at my office (fast connection) from home (slow connection) and then download big files from a third party (for example, a long list of very large satellite image files from GOES 16, the new weather satellite - tens of gigabytes) to my office network at speeds approaching 23 MB/s.  I certainly did similar things in 2016 too and we have a fast, but certainly not the fastest internet connection at work.

The article sand puppy linked too in The Nation has been updated with an analysis that essentially confirms my experience.

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davefairtex
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not enough expertise

So Doug.  You are correct, you don't have the expertise.

What's more, you don't want this explanation to be true either.

That's a bad combination.

I do have the expertise.  The story lines up.  Brazille and her book - and its dedication, Seth Rich - a tech guy at the DNC, who got whacked weeks after the leak happened, Bernie Sanders getting hosed by HRC buying the DNC - really, it all lines up..  And Binney's timestamp analysis is the icing on the cake.  The "Russian hackers" thing is just a myth promulgated by people who are desperate to avoid seeing some other possibility.

So Doug - by my statements, I have revealed that I'm an engineer.  I've been one all my life.  What is your expertise?  Is it law?   That's the sense I get.

Maybe you should stick with that.

QB - It all depends on the bandwidth of the connection.  I'm definitely relying on Binney's assertion that the connection speeds at that time were not 25 megabytes per second.  I haven't seen the timestamp patterns of the files myself, so I cannot vet his work in detail, but I can say that his approach is quite sound.  Variability is an issue too.  Low variability would also favor it being a local file transfer.  I have worked with networks and protocols my entire engineering life.  There's no way, if the collection of files were large enough, for "some sort of network magic" to happen so that the collection of files would  impute to 25 megabytes per second even though the actual transfer rate of the connection was only 6 megabits per second.

Here's the other thing.  Let's say I went and did a deep dive on Binney's analysis, and I found that

a) it was a very large transfer

b) no way could it be a "download" - it was, almost certainly, a local copy onto a flash drive.

Those who didn't want to believe it was a leak (but it's GOTTA be Russian Hackers!) still wouldn't believe it, no matter how much work I put into vetting the story.  No matter what evidence I personally come up with, some people will find some reason to discount evidence because they just don't want to believe that it is true.  It helps them if they don't have expertise in the domain, too - kinda like climate deniers who don't have any actual education in the field.

"Global warming can't be real.  See, its snowing outside."

That's just where we are today in America.

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Quercus bicolor
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Of course, if what I wrote

Of course, if what I wrote above is accurate, then a transfer rate of 23 MB/s could be a result of an internal transfer to a usb stick or a transfer over the internet. 

It would be helpful to know what type of internet connection the DNC had at that time.  If it was rated 200 mb/s (mega bits per second = 8 x MB/s or megabytes per second) or less, then a sustained transfer rate of 23 MB/s (or 184 mb/s) was highly unlikely given that it's very rare to sustain the maximum rated transfer rate for that long, especially if other network connections were actively transfering data.

It would probably require a rated speed of 500-1000 mb/s to achieve a 23 MB/s transfer rate for over a minute.

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davefairtex
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looking for truth

It would be helpful to know what type of internet connection the DNC had at that time.  If it was rated 200 mb/s (mega bits per second = 8 x MB/s or megabytes per second) or less, then a sustained transfer rate of 23 MB/s (or 184 mb/s) was highly unlikely given that it's very rare to sustain the maximum rated transfer rate for that long, especially if other network connections were actively transfering data.

Now that's the response of someone who is actually willing to uncover truth - wherever it might lead.

You must be an engineer.  :)

When looking at the transfer rate, also consider the "bits in flight" issue.  Not only must the raw bandwidth be there from source to destination (Washington to Romania), but the TCP transfer window must be set up to allow the full use of that transfer rate.  So if it is (let's say) 150 milliseconds between Romania and Washington, then the TCP window size must be about 3.5 megabytes for this to actually work.

Usual TCP window sizes are in the kilobyte ranges.  You can change that setting, but that's pretty esoteric stuff.  Maybe today's TCP is clever enough to figure out how far away you are, and to raise your window size appropriately.  That's something to check too. Without such a feature, your raw bandwidth doesn't matter, since a too-small receive window will limit the transfer rate.

And from a strictly personal level, I've traveled the world, and I've not seen a 25 megabytes/second transfer rate internationally.  And that's downloading stuff from well-known servers - including my own - providing me bits as fast as they can on their gigabit links in a data center.  Is that due to the bits-in-flight problem?  I don't know, I haven't checked.

Again, I'm talking likelihoods.  If you pile up enough "unlikely events", when do you draw the conclusion that it's a leak, not a hack?

 

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Quercus bicolor
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Ah, but there's the cloud

To get around the direct transfer from the DNC to Romania, simply rent a cloud server or hack into any server with a fast internet connection, preferably somewhere near the DNC's offices.  Then the only data that has to travel to and from Romania are the commands you issue and any information the process sends to you about the progress of the file transfer - a few tens of kilobytes at most.  It can help cover your tracks as well.  In fact, I don't think any skilled hacker would connect from their personal computer directly to their target.  You can then move the data from the cloud server or hacked computer to your local computer at your leisure, even if the connection is slow.

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Either Analysis May Not Be Definitive

Thanks for the alternate views, doug.  I haven't had time to investigate yet and now have other stuff to do.  I have enough of a tech software/hardware background to probably reach my own general opinion of how solid either view seems.  If Binney is really a partisan for Trump, that would certainly affect the amount of weight I'd give to his views, though I could still be persuaded by a good technical argument that wasn't countered by his critics.   Anyone who is a Trump partisan is such a poor judge of personality and what is beneficial for the country it brings their judgment and potential bias in other areas, including their areas of expertise, into question.   

In any case, even if Binney's analysis seems right, that doesn't preclude other collusion or corruption in relation to the election, or the less likely possibility that Russians were involved in or paid for an inside hack instead of an internet hack.  It would, though, raise the question of bias of US intelligence to apparently say so strongly that it was an internet hack - and in that way would line up with the "deep state" conspiracy scenario.

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davefairtex
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link speeds

Well, let's see.  25 megabytes per second is about 20% of the maximum capacity of a gigabit link.  If they had such a link, and the connection was to a site close by, then it is certainly possible they could saturate an unused link and get that transfer rate.  I dare say, some of the transfers could actually end up being faster than the 25 MB/sec. (And certainly, if the timestamps varied a lot, that would be another indication of it being a network connection, vs. a flash drive).

But the hacker's jump-off point would have to be relatively near by, and DNC would have had to have a gigabit link on a carrier who actually allowed them to serve bits as an uplink at or near maximum rate (i.e. not throttled) for this to even be possible. Usually carriers throttle upload rates but not download rates, and its a 25 megabytes/sec upload rate that we're talking about here.  That's a pretty beefy internet connection.  Usually if you want to provide data that fast, you get a server in a rack co-located near the backbone, rather than trying to do a gigabit via some kind of carrier line.  It is a lot cheaper.  An AWS server that can do a gig out is a few bucks a month.

There's also the issue of what package was being used to download the bits.  If it was rsync then I could see getting closer to the full link speed since it is designed for asynchronous file copy operations, but if it is something more file-at-a-time (say, 'scp' or some sort of "get" operation) then the operation would have to wait for a roundtrip to the destination before downloading the next file.  That would slow things down - perhaps in some predictable way.

Seems like all we need to do is see if DNC had a gigabit link at that time - and the carrier's policy didn't throttle the connection - to rule out that option.  Anything short of a gigabit means its basically not possible.

All this stuff is testable.  We don't need to live in a world of "gee I wonder what" - we can conduct an investigation and/or try this stuff out.

Of course, you have to start first from the premise that there is something to investigate...

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davefairtex
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VIPS memos - leak-not-hack, and others

Here's the original VIPS memo on the "leak-not-hack":

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/

Below is a link that contains links to all their memos to date.  You can judge from this list to decide for yourself if they are "Trump Supporters", or "Republicans" (or Democrats), or Fox News Narrative Articulators, or Russia Apologists, or whatever the epithet-of-the-day is that serves to discredit people.

Note that their first set of memos appeared to be dead set against the Iraq war.  I'm sure Fox News and the Republicans loved them for that back in the day.

As for the rest - well you can read them for yourself.

https://consortiumnews.com/vips-memos/

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Technical Question

Dave,

This is well outside my expertise ... so forgive me if this is a stupid question. Could the timestamp data be somehow modified by a nefarious, devious, villainous Russkie to make it look like the data was collected locally rather than through an internet hack? I'm assuming that if the meta data could be modified after the fact, that the only reason to think it has integrity is that nobody ever thought to check it before (in this fashion.)

Your proclamation that Binney is a genius indicates that you haven't thought to examine data this way. Have you seen any reports from the past that others have examined meta data this way? I really don't know what questions or keywords to search - or how to read the technical responses. If it is a novel approach, Binney's results have more merit than if it is buried deep in some play book.

Grover

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davefairtex
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down the forensic rabbit hole

Looking deeper into the weeds, I now realize that the magical timestamp transfer rate data was not Binney but a forensic analyst whose analysis he blessed.  Its a fascinating (and complicated) puzzle which takes a while to disentangle, and its pretty technical.

The evidence comprises two parts - the timeline, the storyline supplied by Crowdstrike, plus forensic details extracted by our forensic analyst.

https://theforensicator.wordpress.com/guccifer-2-ngp-van-metadata-analysis/

https://theforensicator.wordpress.com/cf-files-metadata-analysis/

First, Assange announces emails are coming.

Days later, "Romanian Hacker Guccifer 2.0" announces he has hacked the DNC, and releases a bunch of stuff which has "Russian footprints" carelessly left on the file metadata.  The storyline we're supposed to believe is, the Russians are masquerading as Guccifer - and this whole thing is actually the genesis of the "Russians are meddling in the US election" story.

The forensics guy did an analysis of the files released by Guccifer.  The timestamps in the dump reveal a whole lot of curious things.  Forensics people speak in "probabilities" based on their experience.  How well known is a particular effect?  Do you know, for instance, that timestamps on VFAT filesystems are only to an every-2-second resolution, while timestamps of files on a NTFS filesystem resolve down to 100 nanoseconds?  I didn't know this.  Its probably not generally known, either.  And its not easily visible at the user level either.

Likewise, if you copy files using the unix cp command, you end up with one set of timestamp patterns on the collection, while if you use drag-n-drop on windows, you end up with an entirely different pattern of timestamps.  That results in very visible patterns in the metadata; mtime vs ctime, etc.

So as a forensics analyst, you can look at a collection of files, and you can see if they ever - at one point in time - passed through a VFAT (windows) filesystem on their journey through life just by looking at the timestamps.

Most USB flash drives come with VFAT filesystems.  So if you stuck a flash drive into a USB port, copied the files onto the USB drive, then took those files and picked the files you wanted to put in a "hacked file collection", you'd see a bunch of timestamps reduced in resolution, but with the unix "cp" timestamp pattern on them.  However, if you sucked them down off an NTFS (or ext4 filesystem) server using a hack, the timestamp resolution would remain in the microsecond resolution, and the "cp" timestamp pattern would not be there.

Guccifer's files had VFAT-style timestamp resolution.  And they had the unix cp timestamp pattern too.  That's an odd combination to see - unless the files were copied onto a flash drive at some point in the process.

This is just one element of a very complex analysis done by the forensic analyst.  He lays out what he believes to be the most likely series of events based on the forensic evidence he saw in the Guccifer release, trying to match it up with the timeline, and "what we know about Guccifer" (which comes from Crowdstrike).  He concludes, that most likely:

1) Assange notifies the world that the emails are coming

2) Someone gets a collection of files to be released and copies them onto a VFAT-formatted flash drive.  Based on forensic evidence, copy times, gaps in the files and the timestamp data patterns, it is estimated that the original collection of files is about 20 GB.

3) The files are then "curated", with only 2 GB of data actually selected for the Guccifer release.  There is overlap between the two Guccifer releases: "Clinton Foundation" release, and the "DNC files release."  He guesses that the files are initially copied in the EST time domain, curated in the US Central time zone, and then the Guccifer zipfile is created in the EST timezone once more.  This is based on some obscure default settings that various computers have in how they represent time that leave droppings on the file metadata.

There are two types of timestamps - timezone-aware timestamps, and timezone-naive timestamps.  Different computers, by default, use aware vs naive timestamps, and that's recorded in the file metadata.  As a user, all you see is the timestamp.

This could all of course be faked.  But why?  Why would Guccifer the Romanian (slash Russian) hacker be operating on a computer that has its timezone set to US/Central?  And then why would he reset his timezone to be US/Eastern for the next stage in the operation?  It just seems unnecessary.  It doesn't make the data more convincing, either.

Here's the sense I get about forensics.  There are a thousand tiny gotchas in how computers label their data. Most people don't know what these are.  Certainly once explained to me, I understood what was going on, but I would not have been able to tell you about these differences prior to reading the forensic report.  And if I couldn't do this, I'd be willing to bet that - outside the few thousand forensic analysts that work in the field - most others engineers couldn't either.

The guy doing the analysis is pretty careful not to present this in any sort of absolute "this must have happened this way."  He admits that this data too could have been faked - but he asks, why would "the Russians" have done this?  How would it have served their purpose?  Why would the Russian/Romanian hacker put US/Central timezone-aware timestamps on these supposedly hacked files?  Why would he bother to do this?  Why would he pass them through a VFAT filesystem?

He believes that it is more likely that the curator of a fake Guccifer release just didn't realize all the droppings that were being attached to the file metadata hack release by the series of computers that were used to produce the fake hack - because much of it was not visible at the user level.  Also - a fake hack of this magnitude would require as few people as possible know about it.  How likely is it that one of the "inner circle" trusted with this project just happened to be a an expert in computer forensics?  If they had months and could cast a wide net, these mistakes wouldn't have been made.  But they had to keep it secret, and they were on the clock, that meant doing the best they could with the people they could trust while operating under huge time pressure.

And as for the 25 megabyte/sec download rate - if th Romanian hacker (slash Russian secret service) for some reason needed to hack a second machine close to the target - why go through this extra step of cracking a server box near the target?  That takes effort, and increases the risk of getting caught - all to save a few hundred seconds on a file download?  More steps = more complexity = more chance of things not working out.  Better to download the files more slowly over a VPN + TOR connection.  Who cares if it takes 87 seconds or 500 seconds for the download?

No one thing is the smoking gun.  All of it together paints a picture of hurried effort, done under extreme time pressure, to come up with a fake hack that implicates the Russians in order to pre-taint the colossally revealing email release that they know is coming from Wikileaks.  That fits the timeline, and the file metadata evidence.

There is no justifying what went on in those emails.  However, if you can scream "THE RUSSIANS" perhaps it will serve to distract your own voters who are desperate to find a reason to believe that things aren't as bad as they seem.

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Grover
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Seeking Splinters

Thanks for the explanation, Dave. It would be a lot of work for someone to purposefully leave these clues in obscure meta places. It isn't that it couldn't be done ... just that it wouldn't be worth the effort unless they thought that someone would analyze these data droppings. If someone had the time to write a program to replace all the meta data with engineered information, it would lead to wrong conclusions. Now that it is front and center, someone may write a program that would frame someone else. As a result, this forensic reasoning won't be as useful going forward.

davefairtex wrote:

There is no justifying what went on in those emails.  However, if you can scream "THE RUSSIANS" perhaps it will serve to distract your own voters who are desperate to find a reason to believe that things aren't as bad as they seem.

You nailed the bottom line here. Mueller is on a grand fishing expedition and has caught a couple of sardines to date. The Trump haters are sure that they'll find dirt if they only look deep enough. I get the feeling that they think the world will be righted if they can just impeach Trump. Rather than spending the effort to clean the jumbled mess of logs out of their own house, they're magnifying the splinters in a neighboring house.

Grover

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Grover
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Summation

Saw this on JSMineset.com "Jim's Mailbox" for 2/6/2018. Seems to sum it up nicely.

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