Obama: “Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin”
As we are well and truly into the home stretch of Barack Obama’s failed, moribund presidency, the outgoing president is poisoning the swamp which Donald Trump pledged to drain. From a remarkable refusal to veto a resolution condemning Israeli settlements to the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, Obama is doing everything he can to damage and delegitimise Trump before he assumes the presidency on 20 January.
First and foremost on Obama’s vindictive agenda are actions seeking to destabilise and isolate Russia, his imaginary foe. Obama gave forewarning of the coming actions when he said in an interview on NPR, “I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections . . . we need to take action. And we will — at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be.”
The explicit, publicized side of Obama’s wounded pride came in the form of the announcement of the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats which Obama provocatively called “intelligence operatives.” According to RT:
Thirty-five Russian diplomats have been expelled from the US, with the president calling them “intelligence operatives” and also announcing the closure of two Russian compounds, in New York and Maryland.
According to Obama, nine Russian entities, including the GRU (Russian Military Intelligence) and the FSB (Federal Security Service), have been sanctioned.
In the absence of any tangible evidence being publicly presented, it is quite extraordinary that this and other as yet unknown anti-Russian actions are being taken. Obama clearly has other tricks up his sleeve, some which will fall into the covert category mirrored by Joe Biden who said he hoped the public won’t find out about the covert actions.
Russia, typically sanguine in the face of the unrelenting barrage of the prophets of doom in the US warning us all of Russian world conquest, took the expulsions in stride. Dmtiry Peskov responded by saying: “From our point of view such actions of the US current administration are a manifestation of an unpredictable and even aggressive foreign policy.”
The Russian side reserved the right to take counter measures, the usual response of tit for tat in such affairs. The response would be adequate, and, in the words of Peskov, would make Washington “feel uncomfortable.” The Foreign Ministry considered the matter and made recommendations of a response, the outcome of which came as a major surprise. Putin rejected the Ministry’s recommendations and refused to send back any American diplomats, instead wishing them a happy New Year and extending their families an invitation to New Year’s celebrations at the Kremlin.
For their part, the insipid attempts at demonizing Putin by the US ‘elite’ are only reinforcing his positive image in the minds of Russians – in stark contrast to the “get Putin” catchcry echoing in the shadowy halls of the deep state and the fakerstan media echo chamber. What surely must be to the chagrin of Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, John Brennan and the rest of the neocon hordes is that all these accusations, threats and sanctions are not having any tangible effect on Putin’s standing in Russia; quite the opposite in fact. The President’s approval rating rose to 86.8% in December, his highest rating for 2016. These are extraordinary figures for a man in power for so long and who faces sustained attacks from the world’s largest superpower designed to overthrow him.
Russia —like the rest of us— has grown weary at the sniping from across the Atlantic, and has come to a point where it is telling the US to put up or shut up.
The Russian “Hack” and the Question of “Evidence”
In early December, Obama hastily ordered intelligence agencies to provide a comprehensive review of election-related Russian hacking. So what is the evidence we are all hanging on the edge of our sets to see? In recent days we have seen the release of two reports promoted to blow the cover off dastardly Russian hacking: the “Background to ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution” and the Department of Homeland Security and FBI Joint Analysis Report on Russian directed malicious cyber activity against the US.
Far from being overwhelmed with epics in the realm of Ben Hur, the evidence in the reports brings new meaning to monumental flops. The neocons and hacks in fakerstan media may genuflect before padded drivel and feel fully vindicated in their trumpeted march towards WWIll, but actors of a sane disposition have treated the (non-)revelations with the disdain and contempt they deserve.
In a nutshell the report on Russian alleged hacking is little more than a manual on how to hack using cyber tools and software such as TOR, which does not prove who the alleged hackers are. The background report on Russian “subversive activities” to tilt the election in Trump’s favour relies on the most die-hard cold-war mentality, its banality manifested in the jealousy and anger the deep state feels as it struggles to control the levers of power and watches aghast as Russian media such as RT and Sputnik prove to be commercial and popular winners on the world stage.
A veritable who’s who in the cyber security world have lined up to ridicule US intelligence claims. Tech pioneer John McAfee, talking to Larry King, said it is easy for skilled hackers to hide their tracks. For example, Chinese hackers may make it appear as though they are Russian hackers. If the Russian hackers are so skilled, would they not have hidden their tracks? In essence, what he is saying is that the so-called trails left could be false trails, and the US intelligence community is all too aware of this, is being disingenuous, and, in so doing, is playing its part in the political vilification of Russia.
William Binney, the legendary whistleblower described as one of the best analysts in the NSA’s history, poured more cold water on the hype when he told RT, “I’ve seen absolutely nothing that shows any involvement of the Russian government in passing data to WikiLeaks.”
Binney further deflated the FBI/DHS report being used as a pretext to ramp up hostilities with Russia: “It is simply an outline of how a phishing attack occurs, that’s all it was to me. It didn’t prove anything to me. It didn’t give the IP addresses, the Mac numbers or any other details about them,” he explained, adding, “it also didn’t show how they hacked in, and how they ex-filtrated the data, how much data they took,” or how it was consequently passed on to the Russian government. “They didn’t show any of that trace routing. And that’s what they should have shown to prove it,” he stressed.
The “for informational purposes only” disclaimer at the head of the report convinced Binney that it is essentially an instruction manual on how to carry out a cyber attack. Ponder on that if you will. A living legend in the intelligence community saying that a report championed as proof of Russian hacking is nothing more than an instruction manual on how to hack.
The FBI, which eventually reluctantly got on board the “consensus” of Russian hacking, complained that they were denied access by the DNC to its servers, having to rely on CrowdStrike, the private company employed by the DNC to investigate the hacking attacks. CrowdStrike is headed by Dmitri Alperovitch, who is also a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a NATO mouthpiece think tank perched high in the upper echelons of the deep state. No conflict of interest there.
Revelations by Binney back in July that the FBI could have accessed the servers through the NSA indicate either a schism in the intelligence community or just how successful the DNC was in stonewalling the Feds. This denial of access may have provided FBI Director James Comey more motivation to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation after the discovery of the laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner.
Speaking on Aaron Klein’s Sunday radio program, Aaron Klein Investigative Radio, Binney said the NSA has all of Clinton’s deleted emails and the FBI could access them if they wished to. He also thought it may be possible it was not a hack of the server at all, but an intelligence insider leak alarmed at the startling lack of security exercised by Clinton which may compromise national security. Binney’s thoughts were vindicated later by ex-Scottish ambassador, Craig Murray who unequivocally says he knows it was a leak, not a hack.
Murray says he received the leaked emails from a Democratic Party insider. According to him, the DNC emails came from a “disgusted whistleblower,” not from Russian hackers. He too took aim at the background report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, labelling it “hilarious” and “devoid of evidence.” He summed the heart of the matter up perfectly, saying we have had “weeks and weeks of assertion without evidence.” Serious observers and analysts have mocked the increasing rhetoric which has lacked any concurrent accumulating evidence. Only corrupt politicians hell bent on world domination and subservient media stuck in the mire of duplicity are willing to place blind trust in an intelligence community which lied its way into the war on Iraq.
Murray dropped a bombshell which fell on deaf ears in the US media when he said that he had personally met the insider who had leaked the incriminating data to the whistleblowing website. These are not fantasy delusions of an outsider with zero contacts in the political and intelligence communities, it is a claim made by a former top diplomat. Surely the claim deserved some investigation at the very least. Investigations however may have led to some uncomfortable truths that the media would then struggle to put back in the box. The name Seth Rich, the murdered Democratic staffer, may have been on the lips of any journalists who ventured to Murray’s door. Julian Assange of Wikileaks raised suspicions of a connection when he offered $20,000 for information leading to a conviction for the murder of Rich, shot multiple times in the dead of night, yet not robbed, near his Washington, DC, home.
Hillary Clinton Saudi Arabia and Qatar: The Real Swamp Creatures
The man at the centre of the firestorm, Assange, may be seen as the devil on earth by the US establishment, but the organisation he heads, Wikileaks, has an outstanding record of accuracy which can’t be questioned. What he has to say should make everyone sit up and take notice. Assange is naturally protective of sources, but told John Pilger in an interviewthat the source was not Russian.
The Clinton camp has been able to project that kind of neo-McCarthy hysteria: that Russia is responsible for everything. Hilary Clinton stated multiple times, falsely, that seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That is false; we can say that the Russian government is not the source.
WikiLeaks has been publishing for ten years, and in those ten years, we have published ten million documents, several thousand individual publications, several thousand different sources, and we have never got it wrong.
In the same interview, Pilger and Assange went on to discuss the millions of dollars Hillary Clinton has received from the Gulf monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the 12 million dollars from the King of Morocco to attend a Clinton Foundation fundraiser, and the bombshell which blows all others out of the water, the funding of ISIS by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who also happen to be major donors to the Clinton Foundation.
There’s an early 2014 email from Hillary Clinton, not so long after she left the State Department, to her campaign manager John Podesta that states ISIL is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Now this is the most significant email in the whole collection, and perhaps because Saudi and Qatari money is spread all over the Clinton Foundation. Even the U.S. government agrees that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIL, or ISIS. But the dodge has always been that, well it’s just some rogue Princes, using their cut of the oil money to do whatever they like, but actually the government disapproves.
But that email says that no, it is the governments of Saudi and Qatar that have been funding ISIS.
Obama, before leaving us with his legacy of a war on alternative media, arrogant accusations of Russian hacking and attempts to destabilise Donald Trump, would be better served pursuing Hillary Clinton for her seedy ties to despots and dictators. One reason why Clinton is let off the hook in relation to Saudi Arabia is its tremendous injection into the military industrial complex with the signing of the largest ever US arms deal. Among these arms are white phosphorus, a skin-melting chemical being used by Saudi Arabia in it naked aggression in Yemen. This crime against humanity has reached a point where 19 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, including 1.5 million children suffering severe malnourishment. It is a pity that among the billions thrown at weapons of death and destruction a few million couldn’t be thrown at a Yemeni version of the White Helmets, with the proviso they simply show the real suffering of Yemenis, as opposed to the manufactured lies perpetrated in Syria.
The US intelligence agencies are to be trusted as an article of faith. To even question them on their failure to provide solid evidence is treated with derision, claims of disloyalty and being puppets of the Kremlin and, in the case of Donald Trump accusations bordering on treason. Refusing to uncritically fall under the mass hypnosis required to maintain a united front against the political/military/intelligence establishment’s enemy of choice, places Trump in the crosshairs of powerful players who appear determined to try all means at their disposal to get rid of him.
After 2002 reports by the intelligence community that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction were disproved following the dismemberment of Iraq as a functioning country, these agencies should never be trusted without question ever again, despite the vicious attacks by the mainstream media on those who dare to politely ask for evidence.
Moon of Alabama presents an accurate summary of the groups that Obama wants to see left swimming around in the fetid swamp. They will guarantee a sabotage of Trump’s policy agenda in favour of the continuation of rambunctious unipolar world domination abroad and repressive, socially regressive, police-state policies at home.
- The CIA, which has become the Central Assassination Agency under the Bush and Obama administrations. Huge parts of its budgets depend on a continuation of the war on Syria and the drone assassination campaigns in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. Trump’s more isolationist policies would likely end these campaigns and the related budget troughs.
- The weapons industry, which could lose its enormous sales to major customers in the Persian Gulf should a President Trump reduce U.S. interference in the Middle East and elsewhere.
- The neoconservatives and Likudniks, who want the U.S. as Israel’s weapon to strong-arm the Middle East to the Zionists’ benefit.
- The general war hawks, military and “humanitarian interventionists”, to whom any reduction of the U.S. role as primary power in the world is anathema to their beliefs.
We should all applaud Donald Trump for embarking on a purge of the Barack Obama cabal, whose members’ raison d’etre seemed to be war with Russia and who did all they could to bring it on. Even right up to the dying embers of the regime they continued to show their detachment from reality when Ash Carter claimed Russia had done virtually nothing to fight ISIS: “They haven’t done anything against ISIS. Virtually zero.” Such an infantile claim deserves no more response than the mocking one of Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu who said Carter must have “picked the wrong country.”
Trump the True Target of Obama’s Poison
Barack Obama may deliver platitudes about accepting that Donald Trump won the election fairly and squarely and wanting to work together for a smooth transition, but his agenda to undermine Trump is plain for all to see. His demand for an urgent intelligence review of Russia’s alleged interference in the election produced one how-to hack manual and another outdated report, half of which was devoted to RT, a media outlet that is slammed as Russian propaganda for exposing that the US election was rigged, but for Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump.
Obama has not railed against the Michael Moore-led #DISRUPTJ20 and must be rubbing his hands in glee that Russophobic neocons like General James Mattis have made their way into the Trump administration. Trump has faced a barrage of accusations before, and since the election:
- Accused of treason
- Accused of being responsible for all the violence at anti-Trump protests
- Accused of being racist, sexist, homophobic
- NGO-waged destabilization campaigns being run to stop him becoming president
- Crossing the deep state, which they will not tolerate, although he himself has powerful allies
- Two cardinal sins: wanting to normalize relations with Russia & wanting to end US interventionism, code for US unipolar domination
Trump has reluctantly said he now believes Russia did hack the US election. “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” he said at last Wednesday’s press conference. The deep state and the media empires are putting the squeeze on Trump, attempting to mould him into a puppet of corporate power and the military/industrial/intelligence complex. Has he finally been shown irrefutable proof Russia did hack the election? We mere mortals will never know. It is far more likely he is trying to draw a line under the sand, deflect the hysteria and move on with working to rebuild America. After all, the Democrats, the neocon elites and the media all insist Russia is responsible, so Trump making a concession doesn’t do him much damage. The American voter, while wary of Russia due to the hyped threat, has had enough of the story and is ready to move on.
So as we have left 2016 and entered 2017, will Russia and Vladimir Putin need to continue embarrassing the US over its disgraceful conduct and aggression towards Russia? Let’s hope not. Let’s hope Trump is true to his word and he and his administration can accept the offer of peace and cooperation Russia has repeatedly made.
Paul Mansfield is a budding freelance writer who currently works in the welfare industry in Melbourne, Australia.
Areas of interest include: Russia/US conflict, wars in the Middle East, particularly Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, the occupation of Palestine by Israel, the damage to our economies from the global financial markets, the debt trap imposed on states by bankers seeking to privatize assets and “reform” economies while they line their pockets with cash and impoverish local populations.