Archive for the ‘“Fake news”’ category

Fake News About H.R. McMaster?

September 15, 2017

Fake News About H.R. McMaster? Power LinePaul Mirengoff, September 14, 2017

(Please see also, EXCLUSIVE: Gen. McMaster Sparked a Row With the Israeli Delegation at a White House Meeting on Hezbollah. Who is pushing “fake news” and why?– DM)

I have reservations about McMaster, and PJ Media attributed its report to “several administration sources, members of non-governmental organizations involved in national security, and a source within the Israeli government.” However, the idea that McMaster and his main counter-terrorism guy are soft on Hezbollah struck me as dubious. So I checked with Steve Hayward’s friend Michael Anton, who serves as spokesman on McMaster’s staff.

Anton told me that (1) Ali wasn’t at the meeting in question (which occurred on August 17, not the week of August 27, as reported), was never scheduled to be present, and thus was never asked to leave or not attend the meeting, (2) neither McMaster nor Ali has ever questioned Hezbollah’s status as a terrorist organization, (3) McMaster has asked his staff for ideas on how to be more aggressive towards Hezbollah, and (4) the Israelis were going to issue a statement debunking PJ Media’s story.

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Yesterday, PJ Media published a disturbing report about H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s national security adviser. It said that at a

meeting during the week of August 27 at the White House, McMaster brought with him Mustafa Javed Ali, NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism. According to PJ Media’s report, Ali has been described by a senior administration source as being “opposed to Hezbollah’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

The Israelis reportedly demanded that Ali leave the room. Supposedly, they meant the demand to serve as a message to President Trump that McMaster’s behavior has subverted Trump’s stated Middle East policy.

The report also said that during the meeting, McMaster explicitly dismissed the Israelis’ specific concerns about Hezbollah. In particular, he blew off the concern that the “safe zone” currently being established within Syria would immediately become a safe haven from which Hezbollah could operate. In addition, McMaster reportedly yelled at the Israelis during the meeting.

I have reservations about McMaster, and PJ Media attributed its report to “several administration sources, members of non-governmental organizations involved in national security, and a source within the Israeli government.” However, the idea that McMaster and his main counter-terrorism guy are soft on Hezbollah struck me as dubious. So I checked with Steve Hayward’s friend Michael Anton, who serves as spokesman on McMaster’s staff.

Anton told me that (1) Ali wasn’t at the meeting in question (which occurred on August 17, not the week of August 27, as reported), was never scheduled to be present, and thus was never asked to leave or not attend the meeting, (2) neither McMaster nor Ali has ever questioned Hezbollah’s status as a terrorist organization, (3) McMaster has asked his staff for ideas on how to be more aggressive towards Hezbollah, and (4) the Israelis were going to issue a statement debunking PJ Media’s story.

Anton has also denied that McMaster shouted at the Israelis during the meeting. I should add, though, that doing so would hardly constitute a major offense. Exchanges can become heated, even among friends.

Israel now has denied the substance of the PJ Media report. Here is what Itai Bardov, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Washington, told Jeff Dunetz:

The allegations in the article relating to Israel are totally false.

Israel never asked for Mustafa Ali to not attend a meeting on Hezbollah, Syria or any other matter.

Israel is not aware of any Trump administration official that does not consider Hezbollah a terror organization, and General McMaster never yelled at Israeli officials.

Israel appreciates General McMaster’s efforts to strengthen the US-Israel relationship and looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Trump administration to counter the threats posed by Iran and its terror proxy Hezbollah.

In addition, the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo has reviewed a copy of the official list of U.S. and Israeli officials participating in the meeting at issue. According to Kredo, the list confirms that Ali was never scheduled to attend. And Dunetz has posted a “team picture” of those who participated in the August 17 meeting. He says Ali is not in the picture.

I have no personal knowledge of who was at the meeting, what transpired, or what McMaster believes about Hezbollah. However, the evidence that Ali wasn’t at the meeting seems quite strong. And, though I’m not a fan of McMaster, I continue very much to doubt that he is soft in any respect on Hezbollah.

Humor | More Loony leftist nonsense and a response

February 10, 2017

More Loony leftist nonsense and a response, Vermont Loon Watch, February 10, 2017

(Fake news which I wish were true. — DM)

Sometimes it is wise to take these crazies seriously and threaten to give them what they want, IN SPADES.

The Canadians know how to handle complaints. Here is an example:

A Canadian female liberal wrote a lot of letters to the Canadian Government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She demanded a response to her letter.

She received back the following reply:

National Defence Headquarters
M Gen George R. Pearkes Bldg., 15 NT
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa , ON K1A 0K2
Canada

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces, who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces, who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa .. You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defence, to be called ‘Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers’ program, or L.A.R.K. for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided, on a trial basis, to divert several terrorists and place them in homes of concerned citizens such as yourself, around the country, under those citizens personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is your detainee, and is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. You will be pleased to know that we will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with your recommendations.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome those character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling, however, we strongly recommend that you hire some assistant caretakers.

Please advise any Jewish friends, neighbours or relatives about your house guest, as he might get agitated or even violent, but we are sure you can reason with him. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless in your opinion, this might offend him. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills either in your home or wherever you choose to take him while helping him adjust to life in our country.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters except sexually, since he views females as a form of property, thereby having no rights, including refusal of his sexual demands. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him.

You also should know that he has shown violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I’m sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of respecting his culture and religious beliefs’ as described in your letter.

You take good care of Ahmed and remember that we will try to have a counselor available to help you over any difficulties you encounter while Ahmed is adjusting to Canadian culture.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man. Good luck and God bless you.

Cordially,
Gordon O’Connor
Minister of National Defence

Germany’s New Propaganda Bureau

January 18, 2017

Germany’s New Propaganda Bureau, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, January 18, 2017

“Considering the [upcoming] federal elections we must act very fast,” the officials urged in the memo, citing the need to combat “fake news.”

In other words, the Interior Ministry’s bureaucrats fear that Chancellor Angela Merkel will lose the elections in September 2017, and are willing to do whatever it takes to prevent that scenario, even if it means using (even more) federal authority to crack down on free speech by inventing an official state propaganda bureau. The current debate on “fake news” is a convenient excuse.

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A married couple, Peter and Melanie M., were prosecuted and convicted in July 2016 of creating a Facebook group that criticized the government’s migration policy. Also, in July 2016, 60 people suspected of writing “hate speech” online had their homes raided by German police.

None of the above seems to be enough, however, for the president of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, from Angela Merkel’s CDU party, who believes that what Facebook is already doing against “hate speech” is not enough. According to the CDU politician, there is a need for more legislation.

The German government’s view of what constitutes “hate speech” is highly selective and appears limited to protecting the government’s own policies on immigration from legitimate criticism.

When massive antisemitism swept large German cities in the summer of 2014, for example, no such anti-racist zeal was manifest on the part of the German government. On the contrary, there were instances of authorities practically facilitating hate speech. In July 2014, Frankfurt police let mainly Muslim “protesters” use their van’s megaphone to belt out slogans of incitement in Arabic, including the repeated chanting of “Allahu Akbar” and that Jews are “child murderers”.

Firebombing a synagogue, on the other hand, is simply an “act of protest”.

Officials in Germany’s Interior Ministry are urging Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to establish a “Defense Center against Disinformation” (Ab­wehr­zen­trum ge­gen Des­in­for­ma­ti­on) to combat what they call “political disinformation,” a euphemism for “fake news.”

“The acceptance of a post-truth age would amount to political capitulation,” the officials told Maizière in a memo, which also disclosed that the bureaucrats at the Interior Ministry are eager to see “authentic political communication” remain “defining for the 21st century.”

One wonders whether by “authentic political communication,” the officials of the Interior Ministry are referring to the way German authorities scrambled to cover up the mass sexual attacks on women on New Year’s Eve a year ago in Cologne? At the time, German police first claimed, surreally, on the morning of January 1, 2016, that the situation on New Year’s Eve had been “relaxed.” Cologne Police Chief Wolfgang Albers later dryly admitted, “This initial statement was incorrect.” Alternatively, perhaps they are referring to the decision of Germany’s public broadcaster, ZDF, not to report on the attacks until four days after they had occurred? Even a former government official, Hans-Peter Friedrich, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Interior Minister from 2011 to 2013, accused the media at the time of imposing a “news blackout” and operating a “code of silence” over negative news about immigrants. How is that for “authentic political communication”?

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“Considering the [upcoming] federal elections we must act very fast,” the officials urged in the memo, citing the need to combat “fake news.”

In other words, the Interior Ministry’s bureaucrats fear that Chancellor Angela Merkel will lose the elections in September 2017, and are willing to do whatever it takes to prevent that scenario, even if it means using (even more) federal authority to crack down on free speech by inventing an official state propaganda bureau. The current debate on “fake news” is a convenient excuse.

Germany has, of course, been cracking down on free speech for quite a while now. Already in September 2015, Merkel said, “When people stir up sedition on social networks using their real name, it is not only the state that has to act, but also Facebook as a company should do something against these statements”.

Under a government program, which has enlisted the help of the German non-governmental organization, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, led by Anetta Kahane (who has turned out, in a fine twist of irony, to be a former Stasi agent and informer) German authorities are monitoring how many supposedly “racist” posts reported by Facebook users are deleted within 24 hours. Justice Minister Heiko Maas has pledged to look at legislative measures if the results turn out to be “unsatisfactory”. The program is scheduled to run until March 2017.

A married couple, Peter and Melanie M., were prosecuted and convicted in July 2016 of creating a Facebook group that criticized the government’s migration policy. Their page stated, “The war and economic refugees are flooding our country. They bring terror, fear, sorrow. They rape our women and put our children at risk. Make this end!”

Also, in July 2016, 60 people suspected of writing “hate speech” online had their homes raided by German police.

None of the above seems to be enough, however, for the president of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, from Merkel’s CDU party, who believes that what Facebook is already doing against “hate speech” is not enough. According to Lammert, there is a need for more legislation. A law to bring social networks under penalty of fines if they fail to erase “hate messages” and “false news” has just been announced by Volker Kauder, leader of the parliamentary group in Merkel’s current Bundestag and CDU/CSU faction, and Thomas Oppermann, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) parliamentary group.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has also recently called on companies such as Facebook to address “false announcements” on the Internet, saying he felt that the Europeans were increasingly becoming “sensitive to who is fluttering around them and who is telling them the truth.”

All of this, naturally, has Merkel’s strong support. She told the Bundestag in a speech on November 23:

“I support efforts by Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to address hate speech, hate commentaries, devastating things that are incompatible with human dignity, and to do everything to prohibit it because it contradicts our values”.

Those “values” are clearly circumscribed: The German government’s view of what constitutes “hate speech” is highly selective, and appears limited to protecting the government’s own policies on immigration from legitimate criticism.

When massive antisemitism swept large German cities in the summer of 2014, for example, no such anti-racist zeal was manifest on the part of the German government. On the contrary, there were instances of authorities practically facilitating hate speech. In July 2014, Frankfurt police let mainly Muslim “protesters” use their van’s megaphone to belt out slogans of incitement in Arabic, including the repeated chanting of “Allahu Akbar” and that Jews are “child murderers”.

In another such instance, a German court found that the firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal by two German Arabs and a juvenile accomplice was not anti-Semitic, but rather “an act of protest” to “bring attention to the Gaza war.” The men were convicted of arson.

In Germany, it is criminal to bring attention to the problems that come with the government’s migration policies, or to criticize those policies, because this constitutes “hate speech.” Firebombing a synagogue, on the other hand, is simply an “act of protest.” Perhaps, once the “Defense Center against Disinformation” is set up, such “acts of protest” will be labeled, “Officially Approved Un-Fake Communication.”

The Trump Dossier Puts the Deep State in Deep Doo-Doo

January 15, 2017

The Trump Dossier Puts the Deep State in Deep Doo-Doo, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, January 15, 2017

Mr. Garfinkle of Garfinkle’s New Method Hebrew School in Milwaukee used to frequently echo King Solomon’s admonition; “There’s nothing new under the sun.” I was reminded of that this week when the rapidly unfolding “scandal” of Trump’s purported dealings with Russia hit the news. It has more than a few similarities with the Dan Rather faked-up story of GW Bush’s National Guard service where an anonymous, never-found source supposedly gave Bill Burkett a demonstrably fake report and Dan Rather ran with it. This time a Bush (Jeb) is involved but as an instigator of the story, not a victim. John McCain acts as the intermediary passing the junk on to the Intelligence Community, which makes sure it is published.

If you’re confused about it, let me put it in the context of the most reliable information I’ve been able to put together, noting that I think the story is likely to become even more clear over the next few days. As you will see, the dossier is so ridiculous, if anyone in the Intelligence Community fell for it, he’s too stupid to allow in place, and if no one did but they still played a role in publicizing it, everyone involved needs to be fired

A. Digging Up Dirt on Opponents

In September of 2015 someone — now revealed as a Jeb Bush Super PAC donor — paid  Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C. outfit, to compile a dossier of dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion engaged Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 agent in London, to do the job. While early accounts of the story refer to him as a “respected source”, he has a history of dumpster diving for Democrats.

Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal has been reporting on his work for some time and explains why he keeps getting hired: “to gin up the ugliest, most scurrilous claims, and then trust the click-hungry media to disseminate them. No matter how false the allegations, the subject of the attack is required to respond, wasting precious time and losing credibility.”

Steele hadn’t been in Russia for decades and as a former British spy could not have done the work himself. So, as the account in the New York Times continues, “he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country as well.”

Beginning in June and until December Steele delivered his findings — a series of short memos — to GPS. Although post-election no one was paying, Steele continued on this muckraking operation,

The memos suggested that the Russians were trying to influence Trump and stated that one of Trump’s lawyers, Michael Cohen, had met with a Russian official in Prague. (A claim Cohen has credibly rebutted.)

Word of the dossier made it to the FBI via Senator John McCain, a man with an apparently insatiable desire to betray.  McCain, who heard about the dossier from a former diplomatic colleague of Tony Blair (Sir Andrew Wood), dispatched someone (apparently former State Department official David J. Kramer) to London to pick it up, then handed it off to the FBI.

From sources as yet unknown, news of the Steele report made it to journalists who investigated and finding no verification after investigating refused to print it.

The FBI, tried to get permission to tap into a server in the Trump Tower, which was denied, then in a strangely odd act tried twice to get a warrant from FISA to tap into it. Whether this was in response to the dossier, I do not know.  Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review Online:

To summarize, it appears there were no grounds for a criminal investigation of banking violations against Trump. Presumably based on the fact that the bank or banks at issue were Russian, the Justice Department and the FBI decided to continue investigating on national-security grounds. A FISA application in which Trump was “named” was rejected by the FISA court as overbroad, notwithstanding that the FISA court usually looks kindly on government surveillance requests. A second, more narrow application, apparently not naming Trump, may have been granted five months later; the best the media can say about it, however, is that the server on which the application centers is “possibly” related to the Trump campaign’s “alleged” links to two Russian banks — under circumstances in which the FBI has previously found no “nefarious purpose” in some (undescribed) connection between Trump Tower and at least one Russian bank (whose connection to Putin’s regime is not described). That is tissue-thin indeed. It’s a good example of why investigations properly proceed in secret and are not publicly announced unless and until the government is ready to put its money where its mouth is by charging someone. It’s a good example of why FISA surveillance is done in secret and its results are virtually never publicized — the problem is not just the possibility of tipping off the hostile foreign power; there is also the potential of tainting U.S. persons who may have done nothing wrong. While it’s too early to say for sure, it may also be an example of what I thought would never actually happen: the government pretextually using its national-security authority to continue a criminal investigation after determining it lacked evidence of crimes.

The second thrust of the Steele “investigative” report suggested Trump had engaged in some scatological conduct while in Russia, hiring prostitutes to urinate on the bed the Obamas had used there.

These claims were not only unverifiable, they were ludicrous as well, as was the Intelligence Community’s justification for giving them one second’s worth of credence.

As Iowahawk tweeted: “Unconfirmed Denial of Unsourced Blockbuster Allegations Raises Questions, According To Insiders Who Requested Anonymity.”

At American Digest, Gerard Vanderleun explains precisely why:

1) An international business man who has spent decades in the rough and tumble world of real estate development and skyscraper construction and may be presumed to have some sophistication when it comes to wheeling and dealing with governments of all sorts throughout the world travels to

2) Moscow. Not Moscow, Idaho, but Moscow in Russia. That would be Moscow the capital of one of the most paranoid and intrusive governments in the world (Both now and for the 19th and 20th centuries). It is a society and a government with a long history of…

3) Secret police and the clandestine surveillance of its own citizens and visitors to the extent that the US was digging bugs out of the walls of its own embassy in Moscow for decades. When he gets to Moscow he stays at…

4) The Moscow Ritz-Carlton in the “Presidential Suite.” Since such accommodations are typically only taken by the filthy rich and/or representatives of foreign governments such as, say, presidents. And then this sophisticated and reasonably intelligent billionaire real estate developer…

5) Assumes that such a suite in such a capitol city of such a government has no surveillance equipment at all installed in its rooms, bathrooms, closets, and — most importantly — bedrooms. He then asks the hotel staff to show him…

6) The bed in which Barack Obama and his wife slept in when they were in this same “Presidential Suite.” Upon being shown the bed our businessman then…

7) Contacts two high-dollar Russian hookers (who would never, ever, have anything to do with the KGB or other intelligence organs of Russia) and instructs them to…. Wait for it….

8) Urinate on said bed in order to give said businessman some odd sort of thrill and…

9) Said businessman remains utterly positive no agency of the Russian state is running cameras and microphones from every possible angle in the master bedroom in a “Presidential Suite” in a top hotel in the capital of Russia and…

10) The two damp hookers will never, ever, reveal a word about their golden shower in the Ritz Carleton’s “Presidential Suite.”

While I know that millions of morons are nodding like the drinking bird over the glass in their deep and abiding belief in this overflowing crock, I still find it hard to believe that there are smart people out there that really are this stupid. But of course they are not that stupid, not the smart ones. Instead they know this is a crock and yet they find they must drink from it lest their #NeverTrump fantasy world dissolve.

Sad. Their repetitive manic desperation now has foam flecking their lips and jowls as they dive down deep, and not for the last time, into this fuming septic tank of their own political sewage. Without even a snorkel. If they ever get out of the tank they will need a long, long golden shower

B. The Intelligence Community Peddles the Dirt (then feigns dismay that it makes its way into the press).

Among the morons apparently “drinking this up” besides John McCain were high officials in the Intelligence Community, which passed the rumors on to the president and key congressional staff, although — despite conflicting reports about this — apparently never shared it with president-elect Trump. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed to have been “dismayed” that this leaked out after having passed it on. He claimed as well that the Intelligence Community “hadn’t made any judgment on whether the claims within the document were reliable”

As my online friend Cecil Turner observes:  “Former U.S. intelligence officials described the inclusion of the summary — drawn from ‘opposition research’ done by a political research firm — as highly unusual.

“Assuming, of course, that it is. The problem with this sort of thing is that it’s on the borderline between unknown and unknowable. Every character involved is either anonymous or has a name that sounds pseudonymous, and the sources are professional liars.

“Roll eyes, wait for actual evidence. The fact that it leaked strongly suggests there is none.”

CNN, however, lapped it up, informed its readers of the existence of scandalous reports on Trump, and BuzzFeed, a clickbait site owned in part by NBC, then published the dossier, a portion of which, it seems, was provided by infonerd bulletin board 4 Chan.

Asked why it had published an account of this nonsense which other news agencies had refused to print because it was completely unverifiable, CNN blamed BuzzFeed, noting it had not released the details, presumably on the assumption that readers whose curiosity had been piqued by the news wouldn’t want details.

Steele has gone to ground ostensibly because he fears Russian reprisals, but I think it’s because he wants to avoid answering questions about what are obviously fabrications to satisfy political interests who paid for this shoddy product.

As John Bolton commented:

Kassam asked if Bolton had ever heard of the man revealed as the creator of the dossier, former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele. “Could it be the case that somebody has just paid this guy to write these things, so this leak came out?” Kassam asked.

“Well, actually, that thought occurred to me because it’s so bad. I haven’t found anybody, including friends who are experienced in both diplomacy and military and intelligence affairs, who haven’t just laughed at most of it,” Bolton replied.

“It’s filled with anonymous sources, single-source information and whatnot. If I were a corporate customer, and I wanted, in effect, a private investigator — I think that’s what this firm basically is — and I got something back like this, I would refuse to pay. You or I could sit down at a computer right now and type out these 35 pages, just let our imaginations run wild, and if somebody would pay for it, I suppose it’s nice work if you can get it,” he said.

c. Is it Just IC Incompetence or is the Deep State Deliberately Undermining Faith in Trump and Aiding a Russian Disinformation Campaign?

Glenn Greenwald (hardly a Trump fan) thinks it’s more, and on examination of the Intelligence Community’s handling of this tripe, it’s hard to disagree with him. He points out the unprecedented support for Hillary Clinton in this “deep state,” and takes issue with their advancing the Steele memos

…the Deep State unleashed its tawdriest and most aggressive assault yet on Trump: vesting credibility in and then causing the public disclosure of a completely unvetted and unverified document, compiled by a paid, anonymous operative while he was working for both GOP and Democratic opponents of Trump, accusing Trump of a wide range of crimes, corrupt acts, and salacious private conduct. The reaction to all of this illustrates that while the Trump presidency poses grave dangers, so, too, do those who are increasingly unhinged in their flailing, slapdash, and destructive attempts to undermine it.

[snip]

Once CNN strongly hinted at these allegations, it left it to the public imagination to conjure up the dirt Russia allegedly had to blackmail and control Trump. By publishing these accusations, BuzzFeed ended that speculation. More importantly, it allowed everyone to see how dubious this document is, one the CIA and CNN had elevated into some sort of grave national security threat.

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER it was published, the farcical nature of the “dossier” manifested. Not only was its author anonymous, but he was paid by Democrats (and, before that, by Trump’s GOP adversaries) to dig up dirt on Trump. Worse, he himself cited no evidence of any kind but instead relied on a string of other anonymous people in Russia he claims told him these things. Worse still, the document was filled with amateur errors.

David Goldman, who did support Trump, was more succinct: “Warning the intelligence communities about salacious and politically motivated leaks: the president-elect threatened to drag their shenanigans into the daylight. No one has ever done that to the spooks before. I’m lovin’ it.”

In any event, McCain’s much-touted hearings on Russian interference with the election should prove to be a million laughs.  He obviously believed this nonsense was credible enough to seek it out and pass it on, so I hardly imagine he’s in a position to make credible calls on what the hearings involving these now discredited documents reveal or on  the wisdom and good faith  of the officials involved in leaking them.

 

 

Report: Obama Intel Officials Used ‘Russia Blackmail’ Claims to Warn Israel About Trusting Trump

January 12, 2017

Report: Obama Intel Officials Used ‘Russia Blackmail’ Claims to Warn Israel About Trusting Trump, Breitbart, Aaron Klein, January 12, 2017

(Trust Us! Don’t trust Trump — he may be a Russian spy. — DM)

bb-640x480JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – U.S. intelligence officials warned their Israeli counterparts not to trust President-elect Donald Trump with intelligence secrets, citing alleged fears that Russia held blackmail information over Trump, according to a report today in Israel’s respected Yediot Ahronot daily newspaper.

The alleged blackmail information that U.S. officials reportedly warned Israel about seems to be in part referencing details contained in a debunked document of mysterious origin purporting to be an intelligence report alleging that Russia collected compromising videos and information on Trump.

In the report, investigative journalist Ronen Bergman writes of a meeting that took place “recently between Israeli and American intelligence officials (the date of the meeting is not mentioned to protect the sources of the report).”

Continued Bergman:

During the meeting, according to the Israelis who participated in it, their American colleagues voiced despair over Trump’s election, as he often lashes out at the American intelligence community. The American officials also told the Israelis that the National Security Agency (NSA) had “highly credible information” that Russia’s intelligence agencies, the FSB and GRU, were responsible for hacking the Democratic Party (DNC) servers during the elections and leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks, which hurt Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The American officials further added that they believed Russian President Vladimir Putin had “leverages of pressure” over Trump – but did not elaborate. They were apparently referring to what was published Wednesday about embarrassing information collected by the Russian intelligence in a bid to blackmail the president-elect.

The Americans implied that their Israeli colleagues should “be careful” as of January 20, Trump’s inauguration date, when transferring intelligence information to the White House and to the National Security Council (NSC), which is subject to the president. According to the Israelis who were present in the meeting, the Americans recommended that until it is made clear that Trump is not inappropriately connected to Russia and is not being extorted – Israel should avoid revealing sensitive sources to administration officials for fear the information would reach the Iranians.

BuzzFeed on Tuesday published the un-redacted document claiming Russia had collected blackmail information on Trump, including videos of the president-elect in compromising positions.

“The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors,” a BuzzFeed sub-headline cautioned.

 Contacted by Breitbart Jerusalem, Bergman said that according to his sources, the meeting between U.S. and Israeli officials took place before the publication of the dossier on Tuesday and that the dossier wasn’t specifically mentioned to the Israelis, only the charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin has some sort of unspecified “leverage” over Trump.

Bergman said that after the dossier was published, he contacted his sources again and they told him that they themselves were speculating that the “leverage” claim could have in part referred to the dossier.  Bergman is the author of a forthcoming book on the history of the Mossad set to be published later this year by Random House.

BuzzFeed’s publication of the document prompted a flurry of news media reports drawing attention to the salacious and unproven details. CNN fanned the flames by reporting that “classified documents” presented to President Obama and Trump included “allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information” on Trump, the news network claimed, citing “multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings.”

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported the author of the dossier was Christopher Steele, who serves as a director at the London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd., which has refused to comment on the reports of the document’s origin.

In October, Mother Jones reported on the contents of the dossier, writing the information was produced by a former Western intelligence officer who was assigned to the task for the purpose of an “opposition research project originally financed by a Republican client critical of the celebrity mogul.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a statement yesterday that he had called Trump that day to tell him that the intelligence community “has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.”

Obama’s White House, 2009: ‘Don’t Pretend’ Fox News Is a ‘Legitimate News Organization’

January 12, 2017

Obama’s White House, 2009: ‘Don’t Pretend’ Fox News Is a ‘Legitimate News Organization’, PJ MediaDavid Steinberg, January 11, 2017

trumpnewsconfPresident-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in New York. The news conference was his first as President-elect. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Now, here’s a more insightful take: since Obama’s done it since it his first year in office; since Obama went two entire terms without taking more than a handful of questions from any center-right outlet, never mind singling out just one; and since not being one of the lucky dozen or so people out of 300 million Americans who gets to ask the president-elect a question does not infer that your rights have been violated . . . .

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Donald Trump refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta today, labeling Acosta’s employer as “fake news.” Since then, mainstream media and celebrities are hyperventilating over Trump as if he bears the same viciously totalitarian impulses as, say, Fidel Castro — and that Trump is SCARY and GOING TO GET THEM.

As comforting as tweeting one’s victimhood status to millions appears to be to today’s left — and as ironic as exercising one’s free speech to millions via Twitter to claim the death of the First Amendment is to everyone else — this reactionary response sure doesn’t look good for the left in terms of ideological consistency.

Or sanity. For example, here’s one-percenter Patton Oswalt, who I’ll assume is tweeting from an in-home hyperbaric chamber:

Did the New York Times fear freedom of the press had been eradicated? No, the headline was simply that “Fox’s Volley With Obama” was … “Intensifying.”

Ironically, current CNN host and Trump critic Brian Stelter wrote the article. It begins:

Attacking the news media is a time-honored White House tactic but to an unusual degree, the Obama administration has narrowed its sights to one specific organization, the Fox News Channel, calling it, in essence, part of the political opposition.

We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, in a telephone interview on Sunday. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

In 2009, the White House’s position on Fox News was that it was “an opponent,” at “war(!)” with the White House. And that they were not, in fact, a legitimate news organization.

They were to be treated as fake news. It was White House policy.

Here’s Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:

John Harwood of NBC:

Mother Jones:

Media Matters:

Here’s George Takei:

Now, here’s a more insightful take: since Obama’s done it since it his first year in office; since Obama went two entire terms without taking more than a handful of questions from any center-right outlet, never mind singling out just one; and since not being one of the lucky dozen or so people out of 300 million Americans who gets to ask the president-elect a question does not infer that your rights have been violated, this tweeter brings some sanity whether you’re a Trump supporter or not:

Much better.

Obama’s ‘Pro-Israel’ Presidency Is Fake News

December 31, 2016

Obama’s ‘Pro-Israel’ Presidency Is Fake News, CIJ NewsHarry Khachatrian, December 30, 2016

Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, for the mainstream news media, it’s practically a business model. The media’s propagation of fake news vis-à-vis the notion that Barack Obama and his administration are remotely pro-Israel dates back to his initial run for office.

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The most asinine, demonstrable falsehoods of the 2016 presidential election is the idea that anti-Semitism is a prevailing concern in the left’s moral universe. Coming in at a close second is the notion that widespread “fake news” is what bludgeoned Hillary Clinton, leading to her electoral demise.

This earnestness to investigate, report on, and speak out against anti-Semitism from the mainstream media is oddly confined to headlines consisting solely of the words “Donald Trump” – or his occasional cabinet nominees.

Take for instance this gem from the Huffington Post. Actual headline: “How It’s ‘Absolutely’ Possible For Steve Bannon To Be Pro-Israel And Anti-Semitic”. Never mind the fact that the Huffington Post has no evidence.

Self-satire news outlet Salon chimed in with, “Jewish Americans are worried about the rise in anti-Semitism after this election cycle.”

Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, for the mainstream news media, it’s practically a business model. The media’s propagation of fake news vis-à-vis the notion that Barack Obama and his administration are remotely pro-Israel dates back to his initial run for office.

Obama’s close ties to former Jimmy Carter adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski – who in an interview with Salon, accused Israeli Jews of “buying Congress’s influence” – were effectively ignored. Obama is on record (in 2007) praising Brzezinski as “someone I have learned an immense amount from.”

The Los Angeles Times to this day refuses to release a 2003 tape of Barack Obama praising Rashid Khalidi – whom the LA Times referred to as “a harsh critic of Israel”, and the New York Times dubs, “a passionate defender of Palestinian rights.” In a speech given to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Khalidi justified the Palestinian “resistance”: “[k]illing civilians is a war crime. It’s a violation of international law. They are not soldiers. They’re civilians, they’re unarmed. The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that’s different. That’s resistance.”

When Jeremiah Wright – whose church Obama attended for two decades – said in an interview, “them Jews ain’t going to let him [Obama] talk to me,” CNN’s Jake Tapper simply tweeted, “Rev Wright clarifies – meant to say ZIONISTS are keeping him fr talking to POTUS, not ‘Jews.’”

In the summer of 2014, when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teenagers, the State Department issued a statement calling “on all sides to exercise restraint.” Nowhere to be found was the mainstream media probing the Obama Administration’s unspeakable gall to treat genocidal zealots and a free society as moral equals.

More recently, Barack Obama and John Kerry unveiled their diplomatic climax, the Iran Deal. When it was revealed that the terror-sponsoring regime of Tehran would receive 150 billion dollars a year in sanctions relief, lifting of arms and missile embargoes (and more) all while the Mullah’s chanted “death to Israel,” the media was again on the job, acting as Obama’s personal PR firm. Abnegating any responsibility to report on the deal’s bleak implications, CNN instead focused their ire on Republican reaction to Obama’s diplomatic debacle with headlines like: “Huckabee Invokes Holocaust when Talking Iran Deal.”

Most recently, New York Times’ Thomas Friedman wrote a column in response to John Kerry’s late-December speech on his proposed plan for peace between Israelis and Arabs.

Friedman opens by “simplifying” for readers, the current tensions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the soon-to-be Former-President of the United States.

Barack Obama and John Kerry admire and want to preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the Land of Israel.”

If you’ve read this far, you understand why if there ever was one exemplar of fake news being propagated by the media, this is it.

He continues,

“…He [Benjamin Netanyahu] is unwilling to make any big, hard decision to advance or preserve a two-state solution if that decision in any way risks his leadership of Israel’s right-wing coalition or forces him to confront the Jewish settlers, who relentlessly push Israel deeper and deeper into the West Bank.”

This is the biggest falsehood about the Israeli/Arab conflict perpetuated by the left, ad nauseum. For all their preening over fake news, the left does an admirable job of spreading it themselves. Friedman suggests that Netanyahu’s steadfast persistence to put up condos in Israel’s capital, East Jerusalem, or claim to ownership of the Western Wall – which Barack Obama himself visited, shamefully wearing a yarmulke – is a greater roadblock in the peace process to the waves of rocket fire, stabbings, shootings and terror both incited and carried out by the Palestinian Arabs.

Recall that in 2009, after persistent pressures from the Obama administration, Netanyahu complied, announcing a settlement freeze. After Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas still refused to enter negotiations with Israel, Obama actually scolded Israel! Friedman somehow fails to acknowledge any of this.

Moreover, Friedman makes no mention of the fact that Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly stated, “We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel.”

Earlier this December, Friedman wrote, “The standing ovation he [Benjamin Netanyahu] got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

If any Republican – let alone Donald Trump – had suggested Congress is controlled by the “Israel lobby,” CNN would’ve shoved aside their “Canonizing Obama’s Flawless Legacy of Flawlessness” programming in a heartbeat for the chyron, “Donald Trump: The Jews Run America.”

In fact, CNN’s Brian Stetler did just that amid the election. Taking comments from Donald Trump in which he accused Hillary Clinton of placing the interests of herself and her donors ahead of the country’s (which she does), he reported it as having “echoes of anti-Semitic rhetoric.” Is Stetler’s show named “Reliable Sources” purely out of irony?

There is a reason that liberal news media’s deep concerns for anti-Semitism are scarcer than Rabbis in the Gaza Strip when it comes to covering Barrack Obama and other Democrats. The left doesn’t actually care about anti-Semitism. They care about attacking conservatives. To the left, Jews are a privileged class of colonialists oppressing Palestinians. Israeli Jews don’t have the luxury of victim-status in the left’s worldview. Their safe spaces are bomb shelters in Haifa; not the pages of the New York Times.