To justify Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Donald Trump, leading Democrats and their key media allies for years competed with one another to depict what they called “Russia’s interference in our elections” in the most apocalyptic terms possible. They fanatically rejected the view of the Russian Federation repeatedly expressed by President Obama — that it is a weak regional power with an economy smaller than Italy’s capable of only threatening its neighbors but not the U.S. — and instead cast Moscow as a grave, even existential, threat to U.S. democracy, with its actions tantamount to the worst security breaches in U.S. history.
This post-2016 mania culminated with prominent liberal politicians and journalists (as well as John McCain) declaring Russia’s activities surrounding the 2016 to be an “act of war” which, many of them insisted, was comparable to Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attack — the two most traumatic attacks in modern U.S. history which both spawned years of savage and destructive war, among other things.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) repeatedly demanded that Russia’s 2016 “interference” be treated as “an act of war.” Hillary Clinton described Russian hacking as “a cyber 9/11.” And here is Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on MSNBC in early February, 2018, pronouncing Russia “a hostile foreign power” whose 2016 meddling was the “equivalent” of Pearl Harbor, “very much on par” with the “seriousness” of the 1941 attack in Hawaii that helped prompt four years of U.S. involvement in a world war.
With the Democrats, under Joe Biden, just weeks away from assuming control of the White House and the U.S. military and foreign policy that goes along with it, the discourse from them and their media allies about Russia is becoming even more unhinged and dangerous. Moscow’s alleged responsibility for the recently revealed, multi-pronged hack of U.S. Government agencies and various corporate servers is asserted — despite not a shred of evidence, literally, having yet been presented — as not merely proven fact, but as so obviously true that it is off-limits from doubt or questioning.
A prominent Russian scientist who was working on a COVID-19 vaccine was found dead with a stab wound after plummeting out his window in St. Petersburg, according to news reports.
Alexander “Sasha” Kagansky, 45, was in his underwear when he fell to his death from his 14th-floor apartment, according to the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
The scientist also suffered a stab wound, police said.
Police believe there was a scuffle before Kagansky fell from the building, reports said.
Russian police say they are investigating Kagansky’s death as a possible homicide and questioning a 45-year-old man as a potential suspect, e2news.com said.
Recently-appointed Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has announced his intention of dealing with the pressing issue of global warming as a national security concern. “America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” the 76-year-old former Secretary of State wrote. “I am proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis.”
The announcement drew praise from many professional climate activists and groups, perhaps assuming that Kerry was taking his lead from Bernie Sanders, who has for years been saying the same thing. Executive Director of the Sunrise Movement, Varshini Prakash said his statement was an “encouraging move,” while 350.org’s Bill McKibben, predicted Kerry would be an excellent climate czar. Yet, as media critic Adam Johnson argued, Kerry’s proclamation should deeply concern progressive activists and will likely lead to expanding the already bloated military budget.
Kerry is a founding member of the Washington think tank, the American Security Project (ASP), whose board is a who’s who of retired generals, admirals and senators. The ASP also hailed the appointment of their man, explaining, in a little-read report, exactly what treating the climate as a national security threat entails. And it is nothing like what Sanders advocates.
If it wants to be taken seriously on the world stage, Russia should take a leaf out of Washington’s book and deploy more of its soldiers in other countries. That’s according to former US President Barack Obama.
In his new book, ‘A Promised Land’, the two-term president claimed that while Russia has “a nuclear arsenal second only to our own,” the country “wasn’t a superpower anymore,” as it “lacked the vast network of alliances and bases that allowed the United States to project its military power across the globe.”
Despite this view, Obama vented frustration at how effectively Moscow had been able to oppose many of Washington’s diplomatic goals. In particular, he bemoaned that “when US-backed initiatives came before the UN Security Council … Russia blocked them or watered them down.”
Polymeropoulos was a covert CIA operative, a jovial, burly man who likes to refer to himself as “grizzled.” Moscow was not the first time he had been on enemy territory. He had spent most of his career in the Middle East, fighting America’s long war on terrorism. He had hunted terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen. He did the same in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had been shot at, ducked under rocket fire, and had shrapnel whiz by uncomfortably close to his head. But that night, paralyzed with seasickness in the landlocked Russian capital, Polymeropoulos felt terrified and utterly helpless for the first time.
Struggling to regain control over his body, Polymeropoulos couldn’t have imagined that this incident would upend his life. It would end a promising career that had just catapulted him into the ranks of senior CIA leadership, and threw him into the middle of a growing international mystery that has puzzled diplomats and scientists, and raised concerns on Capitol Hill. In the months ahead, he would come to realize that it wasn’t a spoiled sandwich that had mowed him down. Rather, it was his macabre initiation into a growing club of dozens of American diplomats, spies, and government employees posted abroad who were suffering in much the same way he was—targets of what some experts and doctors now believe were attacks perpetrated by unknown assailants wielding novel directed energy weapons. Though many of these apparent attacks have been publicized, including those that took place in Cuba and China, others have not been revealed until now, including at least three incidents that officials from the CIA and Capitol Hill say targeted American citizens on American soil.
The National Defense University is a higher-learning facility run by the Pentagon that offers graduate programs mostly to members of the US military. “I also tasked the military services to make the People’s Liberation Army [China’s military] the pacing threat in our professional schools, programs and training,” the Pentagon chief said.
Esper also warned of the threat China and Russia pose to US global hegemony. “Our strategic competitors China and Russia are attempting to erode our hard-earned gains,” he said.
The former Raytheon lobbyist also touted a new plan to increase the fleet of the US Navy that Esper has dubbed “Battle Force 2045.” The plan calls for the Navy to have a 500 ship fleet by 2045. Currently, the US Navy has just under 300 battle-ready ships.
The Pentagon released its annual report on China’s military in September. The report says China has the world’s largest navy and has “an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines.”
Despite having more ships, China’s navy is vastly smaller than Washington’s in terms of tonnage. One example of this is the number of aircraft carriers each nation has, with the US having eleven aircraft carriers, while China only has two.
A year ago, the story dominating headlines was the allegation that President Donald Trump had colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 election. The idea of impeaching President Trump due to these allegations was gathering steam, with accusations from elected officials and beyond that the president of the United States was a Russian puppet, a Manchurian candidate installed by Vladimir Putin, and even an agent of a hostile foreign power for the last 30 years.
You don’t need to be a fan of Trump to be outraged about the Russian collusion conspiracy. But it’s a mark against your patriotism, your judgement, or your intellect if you aren’t. Beyond just being perhaps the most defining political scandal of our time, the hoax gets under my skin because I fell for it. And I’m enormously angry for having been duped.
Now that this narrative has been proven false and possibly influenced by actual Russian disinformation, it is time to revisit how it was created and dominated U.S. politics for so long, as well as demand justice for its perpetrators.
In mid-2016, the FBI got word that Russian intelligence believed Hillary Clinton’s campaign was planning to frame Donald Trump as colluding with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to hack her computers. Yet somehow, the crack agents never connected the dots when handed the Steele “dossier” commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign that claimed Trump was colluding with Putin.
Instead, the Justice Department used that dossier as a pretext to spy on at least Trump aide Carter Page as it investigated the clearly spurious charges. Justice also distorted the facts about Page’s past relations with the CIA to suggest he had a history of working with Russian agents when his actual record involved turning them in. Meanwhile, it buried the fact that Steele’s main source was himself a suspected Russian agent.
Nor did it connect the dots to another “Russiagate” lead, the third-hand rumors passed along by a Clinton-allied diplomat that supposedly implicated another Trump aide, George Papadopoulos.
The news of the 2016 intel comes from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s gradual release of Russiagate records — which show that the true scandal was the investigation itself.
Ratcliffe declassified notes taken in 2016 by then-CIA Director John Brennan during a meeting with President Obama and his national security advisers regarding Russia’s election meddling efforts.
The intelligence chief also declassified sections of a Counterintelligence Operation Lead (CIOL) memo that the CIA sent on Sept. 7, 2016 to then-FBI Director James Comey and Peter Strzok, the top counterintelligence investigator on Crossfire Hurricane.
“Per FBI verbal request, CIA provided the below examples of information the CROSSFIRE HURRICANE fusion cell has gleaned to date,” reads an unredacted portion of the CIOL.
The memo referred to information related to “US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering US elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
Contracts for the Human Landing System (HLS) have gone to Blue Origin, Dynetics (Leidos), and SpaceX. The HLS team includes Draper, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. Draper will provide avionics, guidance, navigation, and software. The Integrated Lander Vehicle will launch on United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan heavy-lift rocket. Maxar Technologies will develop the PPE. HALO is an initial crew cabin for astronauts visiting the Gateway and will likely be built by Northrop. Pressurized and unpressurized cargo, including space instruments and food, will be delivered by SpaceX.
The recent NASA-DOD memorandum of understanding references the proposed lunar base and says that NASA and the Space Force “reaffirm and continue their rich legacy of collaboration in space launch, in-space operations, and space research activities, all of which contribute to the Parties’ separate and distinct civil and defense endeavors”—the latter are classified. The Space Force will act as the NASA’s guarantor. Space Force’s responsibilities “include developing military space systems and doctrine, as well as presenting space forces to support the warfighting Combatant Commands.” The memo reiterates common NASA-DOD interests.
The memo also seeks to establish a Foundation for Broad Collaboration. General Raymond says:
“A secure, stable, and accessible space domain underpins our nation’s security, prosperity and scientific achievement. Space Force looks forward to future collaboration, as NASA pushes farther into the universe for the benefit of all.”
The Space Force states that it “will secure the peaceful use of space, free for any who seek to expand their understanding of the universe, by organizing, training and equipping forces to protect U.S. and allied interests in space.” “Peace” means U.S. dominance unimpeded by commercial rivals, like China, India, and Russia.