[Wash Times] As recently as Nov. 17, James Clapper, the nation’s top intelligence officer, told Congress his agencies "don’t have good insight" into a direct link between Wikileaks and the emails supposedly hacked by a Russian operation from Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
During the campaign, Wikileaks released reams of embarrassing internal emails between campaign chairman John Podesta, other campaign officials and the Democratic National Committee. One emailed showed candidate Clinton was provided the questions ahead of a CNN town hall appearance.
Democrats are now on a campaign implying that the hacking won the election for Donald Trump and have pressed the Obama administration for a far reaching investigation.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the CIA has secretly concluded that the Vladimir Putin regime directed hackers to penetrate the Democrats’ emails expressly to help Republican Trump win the election. The Post said the CIA has identified people with connections to the Russia government who supplied the stolen emails to Wikileaks.
That is not what Mr. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the House Intelligence Committee at an open hearing on Nov. 17.
Asked about Russia and Wikileaks, Mr. Clapper said, "As far as the WikiLeaks connection, the evidence there is not as strong and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the releases or when the data may have been provided. We don’t have as good insight into that."
[Iran Press TV] The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... 's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has presented a bill to the parliament, which would change the country’s constitution and expand President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him... ’s powers. The package would also bring structural changes to Turkey's security and judiciary. The Turkish legislature’s second- and third-biggest parties, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), both oppose the intended constitutional reforms.
Anthony Hall, editor-in-chief of American Herald Tribune, believes this is yet another move to transform Turkey into a one-man rule, adding that the Turkish government is acting according to the "Israeli written playbook".
"This is an ongoing trajectory. Erdogan is emerging as a Sultan Erdogan. It is a dictatorship. Turkey is emerging as a dictatorship. We see a crackdown on universities, on judiciary, on public servants especially on the Kurds," the analyst told Press TV.
"It is becoming clear that the playbook here, the script seems to be the war on terror. Anybody who you do not like, any dissent, you just put this word of terror or terrorism on them," he added.
Hall further stated Erdogan definitely enjoys support among many Turks. However, a poor excuse is better than no excuse at all... he argued, it remains to be seen whether the failed July 15 military coup attempt in Turkey was "authentic" or it was in fact engineered to give the pretext to Ankara do these actions.
This comes as Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that Ankara continues "to work on changing the system to ensure instability is removed from Turkey's political history absolutely."
The Turkish prime minister further said that the bill would protect Turkey against any future coup attempt.
Turkey has been on high security alert following the failed coup attempt as well as a string of terrorist attacks that have hit the country over the past year.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/11/2016 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
[Huff Poo] WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump will nominate John Bolton to be the nation’s No. 2 diplomat, handling day-to-day operations at the State Department, according to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and confirmed to HuffPost by a source close to the transition.
Bolton, who had been on Trump’s short list for secretary of state at one point, is among the most hawkish members of the Republican foreign policy community, a bellicose enemy of Russia and Iran.
He is a former acting U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but served less than two years, as Democrats banded together to block his long-term appointment. His time at the U.N. was marked by a rapid uptick in anti-American sentiment among the global diplomatic community. Bolton remains one of the most disliked foreign policy operators on the world stage.
Trump’s search for State Department leadership has been particularly dramatic. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was in the running, and then he bowed out on Friday. The GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, was also considered. But media outlets reported Saturday that Trump had settled on Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for the top State Department job.
Even as the second in command at State, Bolton is an aggressive selection from Trump, shattering the president-elect’s pledge to work peacefully with other countries. Bolton, who has called for the bombing of Iran, held high-level roles in three different Republican administrations between 1998 and 2006. He is now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank whose vice president has described Trump as "an idiot."
[The Hill] Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Saturday he has concerns about the possibility of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson being nominated for secretary of State, given his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I don’t know what Mr. Tillerson’s relationship with Vladimir Putin was, but I’ll tell you it is a matter of concern to me," McCain said in an interview with Fox News. NBC News reported earlier on Saturday that President-elect Donald Trump had settled on Tillerson to head the State Department, though the transition team has not confirmed the report.
McCain is the first Republican to raise questions about the potential nomination, and Tillerson could fail to make it through the confirmation process if just three GOP senators join a united Democratic opposition.
"I’d have to examine it," McCain said of the potential nomination. "You want to give the president of the United States the benefit of the doubt because the people have spoken. But Vladimir Putin is a thug, bully and a murderer, and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying."
[WAPO who else?] THE WEEK started with a hopeful sign for those concerned about climate change: Former vice president Al Gore met with Donald Trump for about 90 minutes on Monday, leading some to believe that the president-elect might be ready to accept facts and evidence. By the end of the week, however, Mr. Trump had selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr. Pruitt wrote this in National Review in May: "Global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged -- in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime."
Dissent, indeed, is not a crime, and acknowledging the uncertainties in climate forecasts is reasonable. But rejecting or playing down the near-unanimous warnings of experts, which are based on decades of substantial and continually accumulating evidence and suggest vast implications for future generations, should disqualify a nominee from leading an expert agency charged with making science-based decisions. Among scientists there is virtually no dissent from the conclusion that human activity -- the burning of fossil fuels, which releases heat-trapping gases that stay in the atmosphere -- is leading to planetary warming, and that the coming changes pose severe risks.
No doubt we would disagree with Mr. Pruitt on any number of issues. He is a leading voice against the Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s centerpiece climate policy. Even before his nomination, the New York Times had uncovered extremely close ties between Mr. Pruitt and the oil and gas industry. He has been tapped to run an agency much of whose work he believes should cease.
We might not oppose Mr. Pruitt’s nomination based on these differences. There are legitimate arguments, based in states’ rights and concerns over overregulation, against the Obama administration’s assertive application of clean water and clean air laws. A president is entitled to advisers, if they are qualified, who reflect his views.
If the [settled] science of polling cannot predict a Trump win over Hillary one day in advance, how can meteorological science forecast years in advance?
The term "settled science" is a PC dogmatic catch phrase equivalent to "the world is flat".
Darwinism slow evolution was "settled science" until the big bang theory evolved to replace it.
"Global warming" evolved into "climate change".
One day "settled climate change" will evolve into duh, yeah the climate does change! But the climate change will be as unpredictable as a presidential election.
President Obama is right — if President-elect Donald Trump succeeds, America succeeds. But the opposite is equally true. The costs of a failed Trump presidency would be profound for the security of the United States and countries around the world.
With each passing day, we grow increasingly concerned that President-elect Trump fails to grasp the solemn, serious responsibilities that come with being our nation’s commander in chief. Protecting and advancing our national security interests is arguably the president’s most important duty.
As elected representatives of a separate and co-equal branch of government, we are honor-bound by our oaths to protect and defend the Constitution. We will also offer our advice and opinions to the president and share these views with the American people, particularly when it concerns our national security. And there is much to be concerned about.
First, Donald J. Trump will pledge to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20. But by any objective measure, the president-elect is on a collision course with the Constitution, which states that federal office holders cannot receive monetary gifts or otherwise financially benefit from foreign governments or affiliates.
But Trump’s company and its many dealings stand in direct conflict with this prohibition. Trump has announced he will address his future with his business empire next week, and we expect nothing less than an utterly clear, concrete, black-and-white decision that prevents any actual or perceived conflict with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
Second, Trump is treating the secretary of State nomination like a reality television show.
When it comes to the selection of our nation’s chief diplomat, we expect Trump to nominate someone who possesses unquestioned expertise, experience and judgment — not a political loyalist or ideological firebrand, characteristics of many of the individuals already surrounding the president-elect.
Finally, we have been alarmed by the cavalier manner in which the president-elect appears to be approaching his initial interactions with foreign heads of state and other political leaders, potentially setting the stage for multiple diplomatic crises that could easily escalate.
In his calls with foreign leaders, President-elect Trump has unnerved our partners, raised questions about U.S. commitments and even reportedly expressed tacit support for extrajudicial killings. Moreover, in preparing for these conversations he has ignored experts in U.S. intelligence agencies and the State Department.
Indeed, we find it particularly troubling that President-elect Trump has mostly declined to take the daily intelligence briefing. Presidents and presidents-elect going back decades have begun their day this way — understanding national security threats and opportunities, asking probing questions, and making tough decisions.
The information and analysis that our intelligence community provides to decision-makers is invaluable for developing a full and nuanced picture of the world.
Candidate Trump’s comments on an array of foreign policy issues were disturbing at best and frightening at worst. This conduct cannot become the norm.
At stake is America’s role as a global superpower: building coalitions, fostering development, combating disease, fighting terrorism, upholding democratic institutions and values, and filling leadership voids where other nations come up short.
We do not yet know how President-elect Trump will treat these issues once he occupies the Oval Office, but we have little optimism at this time based on what he has presented thus far.
Provocative tweets might satisfy a political base, but they do nothing to advance the national security interests of the United States. On the contrary, such missives could lead to serious misunderstandings with our allies and potential conflicts with our adversaries.
[Clinton News Network] Ex-CIA operative: We may need a new vote. Former CIA Operative Robert Baer says if the CIA can prove that Russia interfered with the 2016 election then the US should vote again. Robert Booker "Bob" Baer is an American author and a former CIA case officer who was primarily assigned to the Middle East. He is Time's intelligence columnist and has contributed to Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Wikipedia
[IsraelTimes] Soon to be former Senator Harry Reid ... the charismatic senator-for-life from Nevada, currently majority minority leader ... accuses agency chief James Comey of withholding information, urges Senate investigation.
Were any of this true, this would be appalling. To summarize: the CIA, which should have known and prevented it neither knew nor prevented, while the FBI knew and both said and did nothing. If electing Hillary Clinton would have given us a third term of this kind of nonsense, it is a very good thing that she threw it away.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.