FOX NEWS / AP : "...Wilkie takes on the task of fulfilling President Donald Trump's promises to fire bad VA employees and steer more patients to the private sector. While pledging to "shake up complacency" at VA, the Air Force and Navy veteran has also assured Democrats he will not privatize the department and will keep VA health care 'fully funded.' ..." (MORE...)
Thursday, June 7, 2018
A former staff employee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has been indicted and arrested on charges of making false statements to special agents of the FBI during the course of an investigation into the unlawful disclosure of classified information. That's according to news dispatch, just released by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Department of Justice in the District of Columbia.
According to the release, "...James A. Wolfe, 58, of Ellicott City, Md., was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. At the time he made the alleged false statements to the FBI, Wolfe was Director of Security for the SSCI, a position he held for approximately 29 years. As SSCI Director of Security, Wolfe was entrusted with access to classified SECRET and TOP SECRET information provided by the Executive Branch, including the U.S. Intelligence Community, to the SSCI. In this position, Wolfe was responsible for safeguarding all classified information in the possession of the SSCI..."
The statement issued moments ago states:
"...Wolfe is alleged to have lied to FBI agents in December 2017 about his repeated contacts with three reporters, including through his use of encrypted messaging applications. Wolfe is further alleged to have made false statements to the FBI about providing two reporters with non-public information related to the matters occurring before the SSCI ... Wolfe was arrested on June 7, 2018, and is expected to make his first appearance Friday, June 8, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The case is entitled United States v. James A. Wolfe, and the matter has been assigned to the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia..."A report filed by the New York Times, authored by Adam Goldman, Nicholas Fandos and Katie Benner, says "prosecutors also seized years' worth of a New York Times reporter's phone and email records. According to this report, ".... The seizure — disclosed in a letter to the reporter, Ali Watkins — suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama...A prosecutor notified Ms. Watkins on Feb. 13 that the Justice Department had years of customer records and subscriber information from telecommunications companies, including Google and Verizon, for two email accounts and a phone number of hers. Investigators did not obtain the content of the messages themselves. The Times learned on Thursday of the letter, which came from the national security division of the United States attorney’s office in Washington..."
The Times report says:
"...F.B.I. agents approached Ms. Watkins about a previous three-year romantic relationship she had with Mr. Wolfe, saying they were investigating unauthorized leaks..."
Vanguard of Freedom
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Shane Harris and Karoun Demirjian at the Washington Post said the confirmation of Haspel came about because of last minute arm-twisting of Democrats by former CIA directors John Brennan and Leon Panetta. The report says:
"... Haspel has not had as close of a relationship with Trump as the CIA’s previous director, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is one of the president’s closest advisers, according to people with knowledge of Haspel and Trump’s interactions ... But she has been successful, to a degree, influencing the president’s stance toward Russia, whose aggressive and adversarial posture toward the West has become a top national security priority for the administration..."[CIA photo: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel, and CIA Chief Operating Officer Brian Bulatao enter CIA Original Headquarters Building]
The Post story offers background on Haspel, and includes the slant that she was involved in torturing War on Terror prisoners with Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, even though there is no evidence that she was directly involved in the actual interrogations.
Her bio at the CIA tells it this way:
“... Gina is an exemplary intelligence officer and a devoted patriot who brings more than 30 years of Agency experience to the job. She is also a proven leader with an uncanny ability to get things done and to inspire those around her,' said [former] Director Pompeo. 'We are fortunate that someone of her intellect, skill, and experience will be our Deputy Director. I know she will do an outstanding job, and I look forward to working with her closely in the years ahead.' ... Ms. Haspel is a career intelligence officer, having joined the CIA in 1985. She has extensive overseas experience and served as Chief of Station in several of her assignments ... In Washington, she has held numerous senior leadership positions at CIA, including as Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service, Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service for Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action, Chief of Staff for the Director of the National Clandestine Service, and in the Counterterrorist Center ... Ms. Haspel is the recipient of numerous awards including the George H. W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism; the Donovan Award; the Intelligence Medal of Merit; and the Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award in the federal civil service..."
Vanguard of Freedom News
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Congressional legislators have submitted a criminal referral letter today to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice. The letter says:
"...We write to refer the following individuals for investigation of potential violation(s) of federal statutes. In doing so, we are especially mindful of the dissimilar degrees of zealousness that has marked the investigation into Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, respectively. Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately..."
Eleven legislators signed the letter, including House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member, Representative Ron DeSantis of Florida listing as subjects to investigate: Former FBI Director James Comey; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; former Attorney General Loretta Lynch; former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe; FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Counsel Lisa Page.
Key points of the letter include issues regarding what has come to be known as the "Steele Dossier," a point of contention about officials presenting false and unverified information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court in order to obtain a warrant to begin surveillance operations against the campaign of Donald Trump and its officials. The letter states:
"...Accordingly, we refer to DOJ all DOJ and FBI personnel responsible for signing the Carter Page warrant application that contained unverified and/or false information for possible violation(s) of 18 USC 242 and 18 USC 1505 and 1515b..."The referral also alleges that former FBI Director leaked classified information:
"...In light of the fact that four of the seven memos were classified, it would appear that former Director Comey leaked classified information when sharing these memos with Professor Richman. [Comey's friend, via which the memos were leaked]. Accordingly, we refer James Comey to DOJ for potential violation(s) of 18 USC 641, 18 USC 793, and 18 USC 1924(a)..."The letter also contains a referral for former Attorney General Loretta Lynch:
"...With regard to Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, we raise concerns regarding her decision to threaten with reprisal the former FBI informant who tried to come forward in 2016 with insight into the Uranium One Deal ... Accordingly, we refer Loretta Lynch to DOJ for potential violations of 18USC 1505 AND 1515b..."You can see the letter and the "referrals" HERE...
Until the submission of this letter to the Justice Department, other than lengthy investigations by congressional legislators, there has been little or no action toward holding accountable government individuals responsible for breaches of national security and violations of the Constitution and Constitutional rights, targeting politically of American Citizens by intelligence agencies, which in effect is the weaponizing of government entities against U.S. citizens.
The criminal referral letter is a culmination of Congressional investigations into those violations, which opponents of these investigations have repeatedly positioned as distractions from Special Counsel Mueller's investigation, which alleges there was collusion by President Trump and Russian officials to interfere with the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
Action by the Department of Justice can include calling the accused before a Grand Jury for questioning, and if indicted, facing criminal charges that would include jail time for those found guilty of the alleged crimes.
Congressman Ron DeSantis said in a media dispatch today:
“The political elite are not immune from the rule of law, and those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as any other American. If former officials, including Hillary Clinton and James Comey, broke the law then they need to be held accountable. We ask that the Department of Justice move swiftly to ensure that violations of federal statutes by high officials are identified and prosecuted..."DeSantis is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s Sixth District and is a candidate for Governor of Florida.
Congressman Dave Bratt, who also authored the letter also issued a statement today:
"...The American people are tired of the Clintons and their friends being held to a different standard than the rest of us. They want justice done. I hope the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation can investigate these claims and learn where laws were broken and respond accordingly...”Congresswoman Claudia Tenney added:
"...Obama-era officials in the Justice Department have failed the American people. Through their negligence, Hillary Clinton and her allies have yet to be held accountable for potential serious violations of our federal laws. This lack of oversight and transparency empowers the bad behavior of the corrupt political class and it’s why the American people have lost trust in those who have taken an oath to honorably serve them. The political class must be treated as any other American citizen. Enforcing subpoenas detailed in this letter will ensure officials are finally held accountable for their actions...”
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Thursday, April 5, 2018
Allum Bokhari, writer for Breitbart says that Facebok is now attaching a notice to all Breitbart articles that describes them as publishing falehoods, conspiracy theories and intentionally misleading stories. Bokhari says:
"...The social network, which has been under pressure from Democrats and the mainstream media since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, has added a button marked 'about this article' next to all posts linking to Breitbart News pieces on the site. Currently only viewable for American users, the button brings up a pop-up screen that displays Wikipedia’s misleading description of Breitbart News..."According to Bokhari, Facebook links to an article that repeats left-wing, anti-Breitbart descriptions, stating that the site has "misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist content." He counters Facebook's contention that also states that Breitbart is a "platform for the alt-right," which, he says, Breitbart "consistently rejected the alt-right label, which has been applied to the site by the mainstream media."
Bokhari says the "button" now appears next to every Breitbart News article linked on the site.
Generally, previous to this action, Facebook has utilized its social media configurations to suppress conservative news in favor of politically Liberal communications, but more recently has taken a more aggressive approach to limiting politically conservative information.
Bokhari indicates that mainstream outlets like CNN and the New York Times also have buttons that link them to Wikipedia articles, but he says that those articles are biased in their favor, while the articles about Breitbart are biased against it.
He says smearing Breitbart is in line with Mark Zuckerberg's plan to fight "alternative media," and quotes Zuckerberg as saying:
"...Then there’s the third category, which is the most nuanced, which are basically real media outlets who are saying what they think is true but have varying levels of accuracy or trustworthiness. And that is actually the most challenging portion of the issue to deal with. Because there, I think, there are quite large free speech issues. Folks are saying stuff that may be wrong, but they mean it, they think they’re speaking their truth, and do you really wanna shut them down for doing that? ..."Bokhari asserts that Facebook thinks Breitbart News falls into that category.
Clearly this is a brazen example of Facebook targeting conservatives, because it is Facebook utilizing Wikipedia to smear websites and individuals, and in this case, a news agency. Bokhari:
"...Wikipedia is notorious for its bias, editorial unaccountability, and unreliable articles. The online encyclopedia publicly claims that “anyone” can edit it, yet in reality, it is controlled by a small cabal of anonymous, unaccountable, politically partisan editors who have purged rival editors who do not align with their ideology. Wikipedia editors have been caught trying to remove citations showing scientific support for ex-Google employee James Damore’s memo on ideological diversity. They have also tried to downplay the far-left “Antifa” movement’s links to violence, and protected CNN’s page from edits that emphasized the network’s controversies..."
See Bokhari article @ Breitbart HERE...
MORE NEWS HERE @ REDCLIX HEADLINERS
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Nine Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operatives have been charged with conducting a massive cyber theft campaign, after penetrating systems belonging to hundreds of universities, companies, and other victims to steal research, academic and propriety data and Intellectual property.
That's according to the Department of Justice, which issued a statement today, saying:
“These nine Iranian nationals allegedly stole more than 31 terabytes of documents and data from more than 140 American universities, 30 American companies, five American government agencies, and also more than 176 universities in 21 foreign countries ... For many of these intrusions, the defendants acted at the behest of the Iranian government and, specifically, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps..."The nine operatives were indicted, but are not in custody, according to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman.
"...Today, in one of the largest state-sponsored hacking campaigns ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice, we have unmasked criminals who normally hide behind the ones and zeros of computer code ... As alleged, this massive and brazen cyber-assault on the computer systems of hundreds of universities in 22 countries and dozens of private sector companies and governmental organizations was conducted on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. The hackers targeted innovations and intellectual property from our country’s greatest minds. These defendants are now fugitives from American justice, no longer free to travel outside Iran without risk of arrest. The only way they will see the outside world is through their computer screens, but stripped of their greatest asset – anonymity.”Allegedly the hackers stole more than 31 terabytes of documents and data from more than 140 American universities, 30 American companies, five American government agencies, and also more than 176 universities in 21 foreign countries. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said that:
"... For many of these intrusions, the defendants acted at the behest of the Iranian government and, specifically, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ... This case is important because it will disrupt the defendants’ hacking operations and deter similar crimes ..."According to the DOJ statement all of the individuals indicted were citizens and residents of Iran, and each were leaders, contractors, associates, hackers-for-hire or affiliates of the Mabna Institute, an Iran-based company that, since at least 2013, conducted a coordinated campaign of cyber intrusions into computer systems belonging to 144 U.S. universities, 176 universities across 21 foreign countries, 47 domestic and foreign private sector companies, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the State of Hawaii, the State of Indiana, the United Nations, and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
"... The defendants conducted many of these intrusions on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s (Iran) Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), one of several entities within the government of Iran responsible for gathering intelligence, as well as other Iranian government and university clients. In addition to these criminal charges, today the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Mabna Institute and the nine defendants for sanctions for the malicious cyber-enabled activity outlined in the Indictment..."The DOJ explained that defendants Gholamreza Rafatnejad and Ehsan Mohammadi founded the Mabna Institute in approximately 2013 to assist Iranian universities and scientific and research organizations in stealing access to non-Iranian scientific resources.
"...In furtherance of its mission, the Mabna Institute employed, contracted, and affiliated itself with hackers-for-hire and other contract personnel to conduct cyber intrusions to steal academic data, intellectual property, email inboxes and other proprietary data, including Abdollah Karima, aka Vahid Karima, Mostafa Sadeghi, Seyed Ali Mirkarimi, Mohammed Reza Sabahi, Roozbeh Sabahi, Abuzar Gohari Moqadam, and Sajjad Tahmasebi. The Mabna Institute contracted with both Iranian governmental and private entities to conduct hacking activities on their behalf, and specifically conducted the university spearphishing campaign on behalf of the IRGC ..."It was, according to the indictment, an extensive operation:
"...The Mabna Institute, through the activities of the defendants, targeted more than 100,000 accounts of professors around the world. They successfully compromised approximately 8,000 professor email accounts across 144 U.S.-based universities, and 176 universities located in foreign countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The campaign started in approximately 2013, continued through at least December 2017, and broadly targeted all types of academic data and intellectual property from the systems of compromised universities. Through the course of the conspiracy, U.S.-based universities spent more than approximately $3.4 billion to procure and access such data and intellectual property..."This is HOW they did it:
"...The members of the conspiracy used stolen account credentials to obtain unauthorized access to victim professor accounts, which they used to steal research, and other academic data and documents, including, among other things, academic journals, theses, dissertations, and electronic books. The defendants targeted data across all fields of research and academic disciplines, including science and technology, engineering, social sciences, medical, and other professional fields ... In addition to stealing academic data and login credentials for the benefit of the Government of Iran, the defendants also sold the stolen data through two websites, Megapaper.ir (Megapaper) and Gigapaper.ir (Gigapaper). Megapaper was operated by Falinoos Company, a company controlled by Abdollah Karima, aka Vahid Karima, the defendant, and Gigapaper was affiliated with Karima. Megapaper sold stolen academic resources to customers within Iran, including Iran-based public universities and institutions, and Gigapaper sold a service to customers within Iran whereby purchasing customers could use compromised university professor accounts to directly access the online library systems of particular U.S.-based and foreign universities..."Those charged in the indictments face strict penalties, if convicted, which the DOJ described:
"...Rafatnejad, Mohammadi, Karima, Sadeghi, Mirkarimi, Sabahi, Sabahi, Moqadam and Tahmasebi was each is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; two counts of unauthorized access of a computer, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by the assigned judge..."
The charges do not bode well for the U.S. to continue to honor the Iranian Nuclear deal, which President Trump wants to end, or dramatically change to an accord that is more favorable to the U.S. and to Israel, one that will ensure the Iranians do not acquire nuclear arms and the capability to deliver them.
While critics have argued that opting out of that deal will likely guarantee that Iran obtains Nuclear weapons and delivery systems for them, Trump, according to Jeremy Diamond (CNN), continues to issue warnings about opting out, but continues to honor it, and in January, said that:
"... Trump warned ... in a statement that the waiver -- which must be issued every 120 days to keep the sanctions from kicking back in -- will be the last he issues and he delivered a stark ultimatum to European allies ... 'Fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw... I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal. This is a last chance ... In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately..."
According to Diamond, "...Trump coupled his waiver announcement with new sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities that have committed human rights abuses or supported the country's ballistic missile programs, which are outside the scope of the nuclear deal. Many of those sanctions -- including one targeted at the head of Iran's judiciary -- were in response to the Iranian government's crackdown of peaceful protests that have swept the country in recent weeks..."
Diamond's report also highlights new approved Sanctions on Iran.
"The new sanctions Trump approved ... target 14 individuals and entities who the US said have committed human rights abuses or supported the country's ballistic missile program ...The most prominent of the US targets in the latest sanctions ... is Sadeq Larijani, the head of Iran's judicial system, a high-level official whose targeting could have 'serious political impact inside Iran,' a senior Trump administration official predicted. Senior administration officials said Larijani has overseen the sentencing and execution of juveniles in Tehran ... The sanctions also targeted two other Iranian officials whom the administration said are responsible for ordering abuses against citizens, including the denial of medical care and access to legal representation for protesters in Iranian jails..."
Diamond curiously points out that:
"...The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Electronic Warfare and Cyber Defense Organization were each labeled for acting in behalf of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard. The Treasury Department also designated two Iranian defense industry firms that provide key maintenance and overhaul services for the military's helicopter and aircraft..."
That was the status quo back in January well BEFORE the DOJ indictments of the nine cyber warfare operatives acting on behalf of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps .