Former top intel chiefs silent after Musk Twitter disclosures

America’s top former intelligence officials were mostly mum Saturday after the release of internal Twitter documents detailing how The Post’s bombshell revelations were censored by the social media company.

Leon Panetta, a former CIA director and defense secretary, John Brennan a former CIA director, Mike Hayden, a former CIA director, and Jim Clapper, a former director of national intelligence — who all once said The Post’s reporting had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” — declined or did not respond to request for comment about whether the latest disclosures had changed their opinion.

The quartet made their allegations as part of an open letter denigrating The Post’s reporting as Russian misinformation which was signed by dozens of other longtime intelligence hands.

“Our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case,” the letter read. “If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.”

Of the four, only Clapper has ever publicly addressed the letter, offering a vigorous defense to The Post in March.

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CNN analyst declares that freedom of speech is ‘nonsense,’ claims Elon Musk’s new Twitter empowers Vladimir Putin and is ‘destructive to American national security’

A CNN analyst aspersed the freedom of speech as “nonsense,” and claimed that Vladimir Putin and Russia will be “all over Twitter” dispersing disinformation to the entire world.

Former CIA case officer and current CNN intelligence analyst Robert Baer appeared on the cable news network on Friday to discuss the opening up of Twitter by new CEO Elon Musk.

“CNN Newsroom” host Boris Sanchez began by bringing up the news that Musk plans to grant mass amnesty to accounts that were previously suspended. Musk made the decision after running a Twitter poll, in which 72.4% approved of welcoming the previously banned accounts.

“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week,” Musk tweeted on Thursday.

Sanchez asked Baer about his opinion regarding formerly banned accounts being reinstated.

Baer responded, “Well, Boris, I can tell you one thing, Putin will be all over Twitter if there’s no regulations on this. Fake accounts, spoofed accounts, the rest of it, this is a great opportunity for him.”

Without evidence, Baer added, “And so when he’s talking about the popular voice, Musk, he’s really talking about Russian intelligence.”

“The Russians are waiting for something like this,” the former CIA agent claimed.

“They need a propaganda campaign against the United States and against our support for Ukraine,” he continued. “And they’re going to be all over Twitter. I guarantee this. Supporting the far right, plans, demands to stop arming Ukraine. You just wait.”

Baer alleged that the Russians will “put up” misinformation and it will “cascade everywhere, in India, in Europe.” He said the Russian disinformation would “appeal” to the European far right and Chinese. He said that Putin and the Russians are going to weaponize Musk’s new pro-free speech Twitter “as a vehicle to save himself and Ukraine.”

The CNN security and intelligence analyst bizarrely asserted, “And you know, this freedom of speech is just nonsense because you can’t go in a movie theater and yell ‘fire.’ It’s against the law.”

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When Billionaires And The Government Work Together To Control Information

Facebook restricted visibility of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story in the lead-up to the 2020 election after receiving counsel from the FBI, according to Facebook/Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“So we took a different path than Twitter,” Zuckerberg said during a Thursday appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. “Basically the background here is the FBI, I think basically came to us — some folks on our team and was like, ‘Hey, um, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert. There was the — we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump of — that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”

Zuckerberg said a decision was made to restrict that information on Facebook’s multibillion-user platform. He said that unlike Twitter, which banned the sharing of the article entirely, Facebook opted for the somewhat subtler option of censorship by algorithm.

“The distribution on Facebook was decreased,” he said, adding when pressed by Rogan that the decreased visibility of the article happened to a “meaningful” extent.

As we’ve discussed previously, censorship by algorithm is becoming the preferred censorship method on large Silicon Valley platforms because it can be done to far more people with far less objection than outright de-platforming and bans.

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New York Times hires the reporter who brought Steele dossier to BuzzFeed to cover ‘right-wing media’

The New York Times announced on August 18 that Ken Bensinger is joining its politics desk and will report on right-wing media for the section’s so-called “democracy team.” Bensinger previously worked for BuzzFeed, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

David Halbfinger, the Times’ politics editor, suggested in the announcement that Bensinger is well prepared to report on right-wing media. His recent work on the Oath Keepers (an anti-statist militia group, some of whose members were present at the January 6, 2021, Capitol protests) and on the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping case in Michigan were cited as evidence of the reporter’s understanding of “the rising threat of armed militant groups,” which Halbfinger intimated is relevant to the reporter’s new beat.

In the announcement, Halbfinger omitted any mention of Bensinger’s most impactful work.

Bensinger was the individual responsible for bringing the Steele dossier to BuzzFeed, which the organization released on January 10, 2017.

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Mystery solved: DOJ secretly thwarted release of Russia documents declassified by Trump

In the final hours of the Trump presidency, the U.S. Justice Department raised privacy concerns to thwart the release of hundreds of pages of documents that Donald Trump had declassified to expose FBI abuses during the Russia collusion probe, and the agency then defied a subsequent order to release the materials after redactions were made, according to interviews and documents.

The previously untold story of how highly anticipated declassified material never became public is contained in a memo obtained by Just the News from the National Archives that was written by then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows just hours before Trump left office on noon of Jan. 20, 2021.

Meadows’ memo confirmed prior reporting by Just the News that Trump on Jan. 19, 2021 declassified a binder of hundreds of pages of sensitive FBI documents that show how the bureau used informants and FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign and misled both a federal court and Congress about flaws in the evidence they offered to get approval for the investigation.

The declassified documents included transcripts of intercepts made by the FBI of Trump aides, a declassified copy of the final FISA warrant approved by an intelligence court, and the tasking orders and debriefings of the two main confidential human sources, Christopher Steele and Stefan Halper, the bureau used to investigate whether Trump had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

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Fake News Board (Commonly Known As Pulitzer Prize) Defends Award To 2018 Russia Hoaxers

The Pulitzer Prize Board last weekend defended its 2018 award to a team of New York Times reporters who devoted story after story to a Democrat-concocted conspiracy framing President Donald Trump as a foreign agent.

On Sunday, the board released a statement saying the organization stood by its 2018 presentations after years of criticism provoked an “independent” review.

“The Pulitzer Prize Board has an established, formal process by which complaints against winning entries are carefully reviewed,” the committee wrote, highlighting multiple submissions received over its joint reward to The New York Times and The Washington Post over the Russia hoax four years ago. The board explained that the entries, including from Trump, led the center to commission two reviews probing the credibility of the outlets’ work.

“The separate reviews converged in their conclusions,” the board wrote, “that no passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes.”

Except the central premise of each paper’s reporting, which sought to undermine the democratically elected president, proved entirely fabricated in the publication of the Mueller report, the product of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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How the Media Used Russiagate Conspiracy Theories to Create a News Cartel

In the fall of 2019, Facebook announced that it would be writing selected media outlets some very big checks. The launch of Facebook News was billed as a way to give consumers more access to information, but it was actually an attempt at appeasing big media companies.

Facebook, with its older and more conservative user base, had become the epicenter of election conspiracies from the Clinton campaign and its media allies. While Hillary Clinton and her associates were eager to shift the blame for her defeat by relaunching their existing Russiagate smears with false claims that Russian Facebook ads had tilted the election to Donald Trump, the media’s obsession with Facebook was even more corruptly self-interested.

About a third of Americans regularly get their news through Facebook. The tech giant’s algorithms had the ability to make or break the news media, and would go on to break the digital media empires of the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and others in the lefty clickbait brigade.

While Hillary wanted someone to blame for her failures, the media wanted leverage over the company that controlled its fate. The invention of a “fake news” or “misinformation” crisis, the term that the media pivoted to once President Trump made “fake news” his own, was used to persuade Big Tech companies to censor conservatives and promote media content.

Facebook News was a walled garden that pushed the content of the major papers behind Russiagate conspiracies and misinformation alarmism while profiting massively from it. The Russiagate Facebook conspiracy theories provided the rationale for censoring conservatives and for rewarding the media outlets spreading them with special promotions and lots of money.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook paid over $20 million to the New York Times and $15 million to the Washington Post in annual fees. Even more valuable than the big checks was Facebook’s ability to push media content to its users. Last year, sources at several publishers were crediting Facebook News with massive traffic surges, but not everyone was equal.

“Many other U.S. news publishers are getting payments from Facebook to have their content featured in its news tab, but they only get a fraction of the sums paid to the Washington Post, the New York Times,” the Wall Street Journal noted.

Facebook and the media had created a cartel in which media sites created paywalls to raise the value of their content and gain better deals with the social media monopoly. Zuckerberg’s company offered its biggest media critics big checks in exchange for exclusive deals. Both sides claimed that they were “fighting misinformation” with what was really a shakedown and a cartel.

Now that the deal between Big Tech and Big Media is set to lapse, there’s panic in the presses.

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Why the FBI Dismissed Claims of Secret Trump–Russia Link

FBI agents, just weeks before the 2016 election, opened an investigation into allegations of a secret communication channel between Donald Trump and Russia. The bureau closed the probe after several months but did not make public that it had dismissed the claims, which came from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and a group of researchers.

Details of the FBI’s analyses, and CIA treatment of the claims, emerged during the trial of ex-Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann.

‘Jumped to Conclusions’

The white paper and data handed over to the FBI by Sussmann on Sept. 19, 2016, asserted there was a “secret email server” used by the Trump Organization that was communicating with Alfa Bank in Moscow through “another unusually-configured server” at Spectrum Health in Michigan.

“These servers are configured for direct communications between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank to the exclusion of all other systems,” researchers wrote. “The only plausible reason,” they claimed, “is to hide the considerably recent email traffic occurring between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank.”

Scott Hellman, an agent who specializes in investigating cyber crimes, took the first crack at the allegations with Nathan Batty, a colleague. The pair spent inside of a day examining the data, and quickly concluded that whoever penned the white paper “had jumped to some conclusions that were not supported by the technical data,” Hellman testified.

The allegations were based on purported “look-ups,” or Domain Name System requests, between mail1.trump-email.com, the server allegedly controlled by Trump’s business, and servers belonging to the Russian bank. DNS lookups are a way for a computer to find another computer’s Internet Protocol address (IP address), a unique number needed for communication between computers.

The researchers said they tried to connect with the Trump server and that the server would not accept mail from their IP address, or returned what was essentially an error message, Hellman said. The researchers used that, among other data, to suggest the Trump server would only communicate with certain devices, such as those linked to Alfa Bank.

“That didn’t make sense to me. It was sort of like if I knocked on your door, and you told me to go away—I don’t want to talk to you—I’m then going to assume that you’re only willing to talk to other people. I can’t make that assumption. I don’t know if you’re willing to talk to anybody. But that’s what they had done,” he said. “When they received an error message, they assumed that that computer wasn’t willing to talk to them, but it was willing to talk to others, and there was no evidence to suggest that. So assumptions like that is what I was referring to.”

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The FBI knew RussiaGate was a lie — but hid that truth

The FBI knew the Trump-Russia collusion narrative was utter bunk even as it suggested otherwise to Congress, the courts and the public early in 2017. Evidence revealed by special counsel John Durham proves it beyond dispute.

At RealClearInvestigations, Paul Sperry lays out the case.

Declassified for Durham’s probe, a March 2017 memo prepared by Lisa Page for FBI head James Comey’s meeting with Congress’ “Gang of Eight” — the bipartisan House and Senate leaders who oversee the most classified stuff — was a total cook-up job

It advised Comey to present accusations that Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort and foreign policy adviser Carter Page were working with the Russian government as coming from a confidential Russia-based source with real intel-community chops. In fact, the FBI had already established that the root source was US-based former Brookings flunky Igor Danchenko’s utterly speculative gossip with an ex-girlfriend and a Democratic Party hack.

That, plus publicly reported info, was all Christopher Steele (a retired British spy who doesn’t even speak Russian) ever had to back up his “dossier.” And the FBI knew it since at least January 2017, when it interviewed Danchenko.

Comey hid all this during his meetings, and after. Yet the public only learned it years later, once the Durham probe began.  

The Comey meeting where he served up these nonsense stories prompted both House and Senate Intelligence committees to open probes. But that was hardly the only poisoned fruit. 

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Why Won’t The Pulitzer Board Answer Trump On Whether Its ‘Review Process’ Is Legit Enough To Revoke Prizes For Russia Hoax Propaganda?

Despite previously claiming it “has a standing process for reviewing questions about past awards, under the guidelines of which complaints are considered by an appointed committee,” the Pulitzer Prize Board won’t say if it is still reviewing the awards it granted to corporate media outlets guilty of promoting the Russia collusion hoax.

In his most recent letter, former President Donald Trump threatened to sue the board unless it discloses whether it plans to rescind the awards given to “blatantly fake, derogatory, and defamatory news.”

“You have an obligation to share with me the status of that supposedly ‘appointed committee’s’ review following its alleged ‘standing process,’” Trump wrote on May 27.

Trump also said the board worked with “the publications that have obsessively promulgated disgustingly false attacks against me” and “done all you can to destroy my reputation.”

“[H]ow can I get my reputation back?” Trump asked.

Both The New York Times and The Washington Post received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for amplifying claims that Trump colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. Despite years of evidence proving that Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for and peddled the narrative in an attempt to sic the government on her political enemy Trump, the Pulitzer Prize Board has yet to rescind any of its prizes for reporting that was based on the debunked Steele dossier.

As a matter of fact, the Pulitzer webpage still legitimizes the false reporting implicating Trump in a conspiracy to undermine the integrity of U.S. elections.

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