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FTR #939 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 13: Unsettling In (German Ostpolitik, Part 4)

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Trump kept a copy of this by his bedside.

Trump kept a copy of this by his bedside.

Introduction: Continuing discussion of the Trump administration as the transformation of the Underground Reich into an above-ground mass movement, we return to the subject of the supposed Russian “hacks” during the election, German Ostpolitik and an apparent struggle between the American “Deep State” and the Trumpenkampfverbande.

Citing the extensive capabilities of the NSA, a group of veteran intelligence officers has concluded that the “evidence” of Russia having hacked the DNC is not credible: A New York Times report on Monday alluding to ‘overwhelming circumstantial evidence’ leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump’ is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else. . . . . We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. . . . NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. . . . In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) – or any other server in the U.S. – is collected by the NSA.  These data transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network. . . . The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like ‘our best guess’ or ‘our opinion’ or ‘our estimate’ etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been ‘hacked’ cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked. The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC. . . .”

trump-hatIn the context of the high-profile hacks, the program reviews information from previous discussions in FTR #’s 917, 923, 924, 925, 926 dealing with WikiLeaks, Trump’s dirty tricks operative Roger Stone, Edward Snowden, the DNC hack and the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” and the “painting of Oswald Red,” including:

  • The fact that Trump’s dirty tricks operative Roger Stone was in direct contact with Julian Assange prior to, and during, WikiLeaks’ publishing of the e-mails from DNC and John D. Podesta.
  • The fact that Stone promised an “October Surprise” from WikiLeaks that would affect the campaign.
  • The fact that available evidence does NOT implicate the Russians in the DNC hack at all.
  • The fact that the Shadow Brokers accessing of NSA hacking technologies was probably not a hack at all, but a leak by an insider using a thumb drive.
  • Edward Snowden’s suspicious and, frankly, damning support for the untenable “the Russians did it” interpretation of the DNC penetration and the Shadow Brokers “non-hack.”
  • Snowden’s curious tweet issued after the DNC hack and just before the Shadow Brokers surfaced. Snowden said “It’s time,” which has never been explained. We suspect that it may have been a signal to release the ANT/TAO material.
  • The fact that WikiLeaks associate Jacob Applebaum, who appears to have assisted Snowden’s flight from Hawaii to Hong Kong, is seen as a suspect in the Shadow Brokers “non-hack.”
  • Applebaum’s and Snowden’s affiliation with the CIA.

Next, the program highlights the allegation that a DNC insider leaked the e-mails to WikiLeaks: . . . . And, even though The New York Times and other big news outlets are reporting as flat fact that Russia hacked the Democratic email accounts and gave the information to WikiLeaks, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told the London Daily Mail that he personally received the email data from a “disgusted” Democrat. [Might that have been Tulsi Gabbard?–D.E.] . . . Murray added that his meeting was with an intermediary for the Democratic leaker, not the leaker directly. [Might that have been Roger Stone?–D.E.]. . .”

In the context of a possible Trump mole inside the DNC, possibly assisting the “hacks,” we highlight Trumenkampfverbande links to the former DNC Deputy Chairperson Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and to Narendra Modi’s BJP, a political front and cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist/fascist RSS. The salient points include:

  • Trump’s business links with members of Modi’s BJP“. . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. . . . His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. . . .”
  • Trump’s interview of Gabbard for a possible cabinet position.
  • Steven K. Bannon’s affinity for Gabbard:  ” . . . .  Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism . . .”
  • Bannon’s strong affinity for Modi: ” . . . The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’ It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”
  • Gabbard’s association with Modi and the BJP: “. . . . Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American in the US Congress, called on visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Sunday and presented him with a ginger flower garland from Hawaii. Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii. . . . She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection. . . .”
  • Gabbard’s association with the RSS: ” . . . As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her “the Sangh’s mascot” in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .”

In an upcoming program, we will examine Gabbard’s contradicting ideological stances and the possibility that she was a Trumpenkampfverbanbe/GOP mole inside the DNC. Was she the source for the leak alleged by Craig Murray?

The FBI has weighed in on the “hacks,” opining that it was Russia trying to elevate Trump. If so, that would place the FBI and Russia on the same page, as the bureau’s nakedly partisan behavior during the campaign is quite obvious at this point. When the FBI supposedly detected Russia hacking the DNC, it called the IT “Help Desk” and the call was treated by the receptionist as a prank call.  ” . . . So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT ‘help desk.’ As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: ‘We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.’ . . . “

VICE News has filed a lawsuit against the FBI requesting information about a number of subjects which could prove very explosive IF the bureau divulges the full extent of the information it has on the subjects. “ . . . The suit also seeks all FBI emails mentioning Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin, Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner, Trump, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump advisers Corey Lewandowski, Roger Stone and Kellyanne Conway, CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord, Fox News host Sean Hannity, or Fox News anchor Bret Baier, among others. . . . ”

The latter part of the program highlights a number of topics that will be covered at greater length in FTR #940.

Program Highlights Include:

  • Trump’s appointment of another “Alt-Right” figure (Stephen Miller) as a top adviser.
  • The apparent role of Ukrainian fascists in generating the “Russia did it” disinformation about the DNC hack.
  • The Austrian Freedom Party’s networking with Trump National Security Adviser-designate Michael Flynn and their support for lifting Russian sanctions.
  • Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson’s opposition to sanctions against Russia.
  • The Bormann capital network’s massive holdings in Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon, now Exxon Mobil.)
  • Indications that Ukrainian fascist networks may be involved with the “Russia did it” meme on the high-profile hacks.

1. Citing the extensive capabilities of the NSA, a group of veteran intelligence officers has concluded that the “evidence” of Russia having hacked the DNC is not credible. The allegations about supposed Russian hacking are based on “overwhelming circumstantial evidence,” and the analysts note that NSA could produce extremely precise, detailed information on where the “hacks” came from. They conclude that the information breaches were performed by an “insider” with access to the NSA database. This raises more questions than answers. A New York Times report on Monday alluding to ‘overwhelming circumstantial evidence’ leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump’ is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else. . . . . We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. . . . NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. . . . In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) – or any other server in the U.S. – is collected by the NSA.  These data transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network. . . . The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like ‘our best guess’ or ‘our opinion’ or ‘our estimate’ etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been ‘hacked’ cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked. The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC. . . .”

“US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims” by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; Consortium News; 12/12/2016.

A New York Times report on Monday alluding to “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump” is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else. . . .

. . . . We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking:

Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.

Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.

All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.

In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.

Awesome Technical Capabilities

Again, NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. These include at least 30 companies in the U.S. operating the fiber networks that carry the Public Switched Telephone Network as well as the World Wide Web. This gives NSA unparalleled access to data flowing within the U.S. and data going out to the rest of the world, as well as data transiting the U.S.

In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) – or any other server in the U.S. – is collected by the NSA.  These data transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network.

Packets: Emails being passed across the World Wide Web are broken down into smaller segments called packets. These packets are passed into the network to be delivered to a recipient. This means the packets need to be reassembled at the receiving end.

To accomplish this, all the packets that form a message are assigned an identifying number that enables the receiving end to collect them for reassembly. Moreover, each packet carries the originator and ultimate receiver Internet protocol number (either IPV4 or IPV6) that enables the network to route data.

When email packets leave the U.S., the other “Five Eyes” countries (the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and the seven or eight additional countries participating with the U.S. in bulk-collection of everything on the planet would also have a record of where those email packets went after leaving the U.S.

These collection resources are extensive [see attached NSA slides 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]; they include hundreds of trace route programs that trace the path of packets going across the network and tens of thousands of hardware and software implants in switches and servers that manage the network. Any emails being extracted from one server going to another would be, at least in part, recognizable and traceable by all these resources.

The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the network. This process can sometimes require a closer look into the routing to sort out intermediate clients, but in the end sender and recipient can be traced across the network.

The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like “our best guess” or “our opinion” or “our estimate” etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been “hacked” cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked.

The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC.

As for the comments to the media as to what the CIA believes, the reality is that CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth in the communications arena. Thus, it remains something of a mystery why the media is being fed strange stories about hacking that have no basis in fact. In sum, given what we know of NSA’s existing capabilities, it beggars belief that NSA would be unable to identify anyone – Russian or not – attempting to interfere in a U.S. election by hacking. . . .

2. Next, the program highlights the allegation that a DNC insider leaked the e-mails to WikiLeaks: . . . . And, even though The New York Times and other big news outlets are reporting as flat fact that Russia hacked the Democratic email accounts and gave the information to WikiLeaks, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told the London Daily Mail that he personally received the email data from a “disgusted” Democrat. [Might that have been Tulsi Gabbard?–D.E.] . . . Murray added that his meeting was with an intermediary for the Democratic leaker, not the leaker directly. [Might that have been Roger Stone?–D.E.]. . .”

“Making Russia ‘The Enemy'” by Robert Parry; Consortium News; 12/15/2016.

. . . . . And, even though The New York Times and other big news outlets are reporting as flat fact that Russia hacked the Democratic email accounts and gave the information to WikiLeaks, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told the London Daily Mail that he personally received the email data from a “disgusted” Democrat. [Might that have been Tulsi Gabbard?–D.E.]

Murray said he flew from London to Washington for a clandestine handoff from one of the email sources in September, receiving the package in a wooded area near American University.

“Neither of [the leaks, from the Democratic National Committee or Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta] came from the Russians,” Murray said, adding: “the source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.”

Murray said the insider felt “disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.” Murray added that his meeting was with an intermediary for the Democratic leaker, not the leaker directly. [Might that have been Roger Stone?–D.E.]. . .

4b. In India, Trump’s business contacts encompass people from Narendara Modi’s BJP.

“World of Potential Conflict For a Developer President” Richard C. Paddock, Eric Lipton, Ellen Barry, Rod Nordland, Danny Hakim and Simon Romero; The New York Times; 11/27/2916.

. . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. The Lodha Group has already negotiated with the United States government; it announced a landmark purchase of a property, known as the Washington House, on tony Altamount Road, from the American government for 3.75 billion rupees, almost $70 million.

His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. Mr. Mittal, in an interview, has denied having any connection with the real estate company. . . .

4c. Someone we will be examining at great length in shows to come is Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). A major supporter of Bernie Sanders during the campaign, Gabbard was interviewed for a cabinet position.

Gabbard is viewed positively by Steve Bannon, Trump’s top adviser and “Alt-Right” kingpin.

“Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ‘Under Serious Consideration’ for Trump Cabinet”; ABC News; 11/21/2016.

. . . . Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a high-profile Bernie Sanders supporter during the Democratic primaries, is “under serious consideration” for various Cabinet positions in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, according to a senior official on the transition team.

According to the official, the 35-year-old Hawaii congresswoman is being looked as a candidate for secretary of state, secretary of defense or United Nations ambassador. If selected, Gabbard will be the first woman as well as the youngest pick for Trump’s Cabinet.

She met with him this morning in his New York City offices at Trump Tower. The Trump transition source said that their sit-down was a ‘terrific meeting’ and that the Trump team sees her as very impressive. . . .

4d. “Alt-Right” kingpin Stephen Bannon, Trump’s top policy adviser, is a fan of Gabbard.

“Donald Trump Met with Bernie Sanders Supporter Tulsi Gabbard to Discuss Syria” by Alex Daugherty; McClatchy DC ; 11/21/2016.

” . . . .  Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism along with her ability to invoke strong anti-establishment populist sentiment on the left. . . .”

4e. Bannon is also a fan of Modi.

In FTR #889, we synopsized Pierre Omidyar’s political career, including his partial bankrolling of the Maidan coup that brought the heirs to the Nazi-allied OUN/B to power in Ukraine and his financial support for the election of Hindu nationalist/fascist Narendra Modi in India.

Interestingly, and perhaps significantly, Donald Trump has drawn support from Hindu nationalists of the Modi stripe.

There is an important element of networking here: Stephen K. Bannon is a supporter of Modi’s movement, as well as that of Nigel Farage.

” . . . . Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’

It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”

In FTR #882, we noted similarities in fascist movements around the world, highlighting similarities between Hindu nationalist/fascists from Modi’s RSS and European and American fascists. Those similarities are front and center in the overlap between supporters of Modi and those of Trump. The Trumpenkampfverbande and Modi’s cadre demonize Muslims.

“Among Donald Trump’s Biggest Fans: Hindu Nationalists” by Jeremy Peters; The New York Times; 10/14/2016.

. . . . This celebration of Mr. Trump in New Delhi in May, and others like it in India this year, are the work of a small, devoted and increasingly visible faction of Hindu nationalists in India and the United States who see Mr. Trump as the embodiment of the cocksure, politically incorrect, strongman brand of politics they admire.

That some of Mr. Trump’s most passionate followers are Indian may seem, at first, somewhat strange, given how fond he is of scorning Asian countries where cheap labor saps demand for American workers. A poll on Asian-Americans’ political leanings conducted in August and September found that just 7 percent of Indian-Americans said they would vote for Mr. Trump.

But in one of the more peculiar pairings of this most peculiar political season, Mr. Trump has unwittingly fashioned a niche constituency in the overlap between the Indian right and the American right, which share a lot of the same anxieties about terrorism, immigration and the loss of prestige that they believe their leaders have been too slow to reverse. . . .

. . . . “There’s a lot of parallels there,” said Shalabh Kumar, the founding chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition. “Mr. Trump is all about development, development, development; prosperity, prosperity, prosperity; tremendous job growth. And at the same time, he recognizes the need to control the borders.”

As one of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu financial backers, Mr. Kumar, who runs an electronics manufacturing company in Illinois and grew up in the state of Punjab along the Pakistani border, has helped organize a speech by the Republican nominee in Edison, N.J., at a Bollywood-themed charity concert on Saturday. The proceeds will benefit terrorism victims.

“It will be an incredible evening,” Mr. Trump said in a video promoting it, one of the few ethnic events he has agreed to do during this campaign.

Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called “the Reagan of India.”

It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers.

At times, the similarity of Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Modi’s political vocabulary is striking. . . .

4f. Tulsi Gabbard is a supporter of Modi, networking with Modi’s BJP and helping to plan Modi’s U.S. visit.

“Tulsi Gabbard, US Congresswoman Calls on Modi” [IANS]; Times of India; 9/29/2014.

. . . . Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American in the US Congress, called on visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Sunday and presented him with a ginger flower garland from Hawaii.

Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii.

The 33-year-old Gabbard is the first practising Hindu American in the Congress who took her oath on the Bhagwad Gita.

She had spoken to Modi after his victory in the Indian general elections and congratulated him and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection.

Gabbard has always maintained that it was a “great blunder” by the US government to have denied a visa to Modi in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots. . . .

4g. Gabbard, it turns out, is also networked with the RSS, the fascist party for which the BJP serves as a political catspaw.

“Tulsi Gabbard, the First Hindu in U.S. Congress, on Modi, Hinduism, and Linking Islam to Terror” by Manu Balachandran; Quartz (India); 3/02/2016.

. . . . Speaking at a fundraising event for the BJP in August 2014 . . . Gabbard said that Modi’s election victory was only possible because “people stood up, one by one by one by one, and said we will demand that this change occurs.” . . . Gabbard was treated as royalty on her visit to India last year. As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her “the Sangh’s mascot” in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .

5. Josh Marshall has a piece that highlights a notable piece in the recent New York Times report about how the damage done by whoever hacked the Democratic National Committee was compounded by the fact that the DNC’s IT staff didn’t take seriously the FBI’s warnings that it might have been hacked. Back in September of 2015, when the FBI informed the DNC about the bureau’s suspicion that the DNC might be the target of a hack, the FBI didn’t actually have someone come by and talk with them. No, they called the DNC, and the calls were forwarded to the IT “help desk”. That was it. Not surprisingly, the tech support contractor who talked with the agent interpreted it as a prank and ignored it.

“ . . . . It goes without saying that FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC has a very clear understanding of who runs the Democratic National Committee, starting – at the time – with the sitting Member of Congress who ran the organization. Then there’s the executive director. The finance chair. Myriad executive, national committee persons. If this was a serious business, which obviously it was, and the FBI thought it was important to get the attention of a decision-maker in the organization, it would have been very easy to do. But the way it was handled was something like the equivalent of seeing a problem at a major corporation and leaving messages with the receptionist. . . . .

In related news, the FBI has been issuing warnings since October of 2015 about a wave of people impersonating FBI agents and other government agents in order to scam people.

“The Unfolding Chronicle of WTF by Josh Marshall; Talking Points Memo
Editor’s Blog ; 12/15/2016.

This is just a small part of a sprawling story. But indulge me for a moment while I focus in on it. John Podesta has apiece out tonight in the Post which is a broad indictment of the FBI, for its obsession with Secretary Clinton’s private email server and its lackadaisical indifference to Russian sabotage efforts against her party and then her campaign. In the beginning of that piece Podesta zeroes in on something that jumped out at me too when I read the big New York Times story on the history of the Clinton hacks.

Here’s the passage.

As the former chair of the Clinton campaign and a direct target of Russian hacking, I understand just how serious this is. So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT “help desk.” As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: “We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.”

Here’s the passage in the Times piece, which I need to quote at some length to capture the flavor of the passage (with a few sentences highlighted) …

When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.

Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion. By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

“I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo, obtained by The New York Times, that detailed his contact with the F.B.I.

It was the cryptic first sign of a cyberespionage and information-warfare campaign devised to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, the first such attempt by a foreign power in American history. What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump.

Like another famous American election scandal, it started with a break-in at the D.N.C. The first time, 44 years ago at the committee’s old offices in the Watergate complex, the burglars planted listening devices and jimmied a filing cabinet. This time, the burglary was conducted from afar, directed by the Kremlin, with spear-phishing emails and zeros and ones.

An examination by The Times of the Russian operation — based on interviews with dozens of players targeted in the attack, intelligence officials who investigated it and Obama administration officials who deliberated over the best response — reveals a series of missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of the cyberattack.

The D.N.C.’s fumbling encounter with the F.B.I. meant the best chance to halt the Russian intrusion was lost. The failure to grasp the scope of the attacks undercut efforts to minimize their impact. And the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.

The low-key approach of the F.B.I. meant that Russian hackers could roam freely through the committee’s network for nearly seven months before top D.N.C. officials were alerted to the attack and hired cyberexperts to protect their systems. In the meantime, the hackers moved on to targets outside the D.N.C., including Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, whose private email account was hacked months later.

I don’t normally like to blockquote so much of another article. But I do so here for a specific reason: I want to capture not just the narrative of events but the editorial gloss. The impression is one of a Clinton campaign or DNC that couldn’t keep its eye on the ball, missed the clues. “The D.N.C.’s fumbling encounter with the F.B.I. meant the best chance to halt the Russian intrusion was lost. “

Clearly, one wishes that Tamene would have escalated the calls to the right person in the organization. But even running the very small (under 25 people) organization I do, it’s not surprising to me that it turned out the way that it did. Even at our small level, the volume of over-the-transom information is immense. Most times that information is handled by people who don’t have all the information to judge whether a particular communication is critical or insubstantial or whether it’s a hoax or not. Our team does a great job of it, as you can judge by how many leads and scoops we’ve found over the years in the torrent of email traffic we receive every day. Still, stuff gets missed. And we’re a really small operation. The idea that an FBI investigation into foreign government espionage against one of the country’s two major political party’s would have been handled with a call to the computer help line is almost beyond belief.

It goes without saying that FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC has a very clear understanding of who runs the Democratic National Committee, starting – at the time – with the sitting Member of Congress who ran the organization. Then there’s the executive director. The finance chair. Myriad executive, national committeepersons. If this was a serious business, which obviously it was, and the FBI thought it was important to get the attention of a decision-maker in the organization, it would have been very easy to do. But the way it was handled was something like the equivalent of seeing a problem at a major corporation and leaving messages with the receptionist.

As Podesta puts it …

What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.

Defeat is bitter, especially if you have reason to believe that you were cheated in some sense. It makes it vastly harder to let go. But I get why Podesta went apoplectic about this. I don’t believe the right ‘private server investigation’ hand knew what the left ‘counter-espionage’ hand was doing. So much of history is written in the dead weight of bureaucratic inertia and confusion. In any case these are different beasts. They each needed to be handled on their own terms. But again, it is astonishing that the FBI knew this intrusion was afoot for the better part of a year before making any real attempt to contact the principals of the organization.

6. Here’s a lawsuit worth keeping an eye on: Vice News is suing the FBI for a wide range of records related to the FBI’s investigations and actions related to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the lead up to the 2016 election. It follows on a Freedom of Information Act request for the same documents earlier this month. “ . . . The suit also seeks all FBI emails mentioning Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin, Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner, Trump, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump advisers Corey Lewandowski, Roger Stone and Kellyanne Conway, CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord, Fox News host Sean Hannity, or Fox News anchor Bret Baier, among others. . . . ”

“FBI Sued for Files on Election-Era Probes” by Josh GersteinPolitico; 12/13/2016.

A journalist and a university researcher are suing the FBI for a slew of records relating to the law enforcement agency’s activities in the months leading up to the presidential election.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington, demands a wide range of FBI files and emails pertaining to the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and its inquiries into the Clinton Foundation. The lawsuit also demands information on a variety of people, entities and topics associated with the presidential campaign such as Breitbart News, Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon (who has been picked to serve as a top White House adviser to President-elect Donald Trump) and the “alt-right.”

The suit also seeks all FBI emails mentioning Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin, Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner, Trump, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump advisers Corey Lewandowski, Roger Stone and Kellyanne Conway, CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord, Fox News host Sean Hannity, or Fox News anchor Bret Baier, among others.

Vice News reporter Jason Leopold and Harvard/MIT researcher Ryan Shapiro submitted the request on December 2. Normally, agencies are entitled to at least 20 business days to respond to a FOIA request before a suit is filed. However, the case filed Tuesday claims the FBI failed to respond to a demand for expedited processing of their request, apparently on grounds of the public and media interest in the FBI’s pre-election actions.

Some in both the Clinton and Trump camps have claimed that FBI Director James Comey’s late October disclosure that his agency was reviewing new emails relevant to the Clinton probe and a follow-up letter attempting to put the matter to rest swung the election to Trump by generating more rounds of media coverage about the email probe, one of Clinton’s major liabilities in the campaign.

“Current FBI Director James Comey also insists, notwithstanding the FBI’s previous transgressions, today’s Bureau truly is outside and above politics. However, numerous leading political and news media figures from across the political spectrum explicitly assert the FBI repeatedly and with significant impact affected the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election,” Leopold and Shapiro’s attorney, Jeffrey Light, wrote in the complaint.

7. That’s going to be one helluva lawsuit if it pans out. And note that perhaps the most explosive documents weren’t mentioned in that article. That would be the documents relating to alleged FBI investigations into Trump that also took place last year. It would be especially explosive if true since these investigations were allegedly taking place at the same time James Comey wrote his infamous letter about newsly discovered Clinton emails 11 days before the election that Comey felt compelled to tell the world about for some reason:

“VICE News Sues FBI” by Jason LeopoldVice News; 12/13/2016.

Our FOIA suit demands info on Trump, the Clintons, and Breitbart News

VICE News is suing the FBI, demanding the bureau release records related to its curious disclosures, behind-the-scenes actions, and apparent leaks in the days leading up to the U.S. presidential election.

The wide-ranging Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in conjunction with Ryan Shapiro, a doctoral candidate at MIT and research affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Earlier this month, VICE News and Shapiro filed more than 50 FOIA requests with the FBI seeking documents about the bureau’s discussions regarding Donald Trump, along with other documents that would shed light on the FBI’s decision a week before the election to tweet newly posted records from a long-dormant Twitter account about Bill Clinton’s 2000 pardon of financier Marc Rich.

The pardon, a controversial decision by the former president, was investigated at the time by current FBI director James Comey while he was U.S. attorney.

According to an Oct. 30 report in the Wall Street Journal, “Even as the probe of Mrs. Clinton’s email use wound down in July, internal disagreements within the bureau and the Justice Department surrounding the Clintons’ family philanthropy heated up.”

Our lawsuit “seeks public disclosure of specified government records to make sense of the pivotal role of the FBI, as well as of other agencies, in perhaps the most controversial presidential election in modern U.S. history,” says our complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by FOIA attorney Jeffrey Light.

“Despite subsequent disclosures of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, since its inception, the FBI staunchly maintained it was a purely apolitical entity,” the complaint notes. “However, numerous leading political and news media figures from across the political spectrum explicitly assert the FBI repeatedly and with significant impact affected the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.”

This is the fourth Trump-related FOIA lawsuit VICE News and Shapiro have filed since September. We sued the FBI, Secret Service, and IRS for information concerning a pair of incendiary comments Trump made on the campaign trail last summer — including one in which he called on Russia to track down 30,000 “missing” Clinton emails — as well as audits of Trump’s tax returns spanning more than a decade.

In November, we sued the FBI for documents about various Trump business entities, including Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc.; the Trump Organization; Trump University; and the Trump Foundation, and any documents about their role in potential violations of federal law.

Two weeks ago, the FBI, in a letter disclosed to us 10 days after the election, revealed that the bureau may very well have been investigating Trump when Comey disclosed to Congress prior to the election that the agency had found additional emails that “appear to be pertinent” to its investigation of Clinton’s private email server.

“The nature of your request implicates investigative records the FBI may or may not compile pursuant to its broad criminal and national security investigative missions and functions,” the FBI letter said. “Accordingly, the FBI cannot confirm or deny the existence of any such records about your subject as the mere acknowledgment of such records existence or nonexistence would in and of itself trigger foreseeable harm to agency interests.”

“Two weeks ago, the FBI, in a letter disclosed to us 10 days after the election, revealed that the bureau may very well have been investigating Trump when Comey disclosed to Congress prior to the election that the agency had found additional emails that “appear to be pertinent” to its investigation of Clinton’s private email server.

Oh what a shocker. If true, of course. And that’s why it’s going to be very interesting to see how forthcoming the FBI is about this alleged pair of investigations. Especially since one of the alleged FBI investigations into Trump was about Trump public call during a press conference for “Russia” to release hacked Clinton Hillary’s emails. That’s rather topical! And the other investigation was reportedly about Trump dog-whistling to his supporters to assassinate Hillary. Always topical!

So who knows what the chances are of this lawsuit succeeding, but let’s keep our fingers crossed. After all, the politicization of the FBI in order to get blatant fascist elected president is one of the topical topics you could possibly have, day in and day out, once that fascist is actually elected:

8. Next, the program highlights a topic that will be detailed at greater length in the next program. The OUN/B milieu in the U.S. has apparently been instrumental in generating the “Russia did it” disinformation about the high-profile hacks. A Ukrainian activist named Alexandra Chalupa has been instrumental in distributing this disinformation to Hillary Clinton and influencing the progress of the disinformation in the media. ” . . . . One of the key media sources [46] who blamed the DNC hacks on Russia, ramping up fears of crypto-Putinist infiltration, is a Ukrainian-American lobbyist working for the DNC. She is Alexandra Chalupa—described as the head of the Democratic National Committee’s opposition research on Russia and on Trump, and founder and president of the Ukrainian lobby group ‘US United With Ukraine Coalition’ [47], which lobbied hard to pass a 2014 bill increasing loans and military aid to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russians, and tightly aligning US and Ukraine geostrategic interests. . . . In one leaked DNC email [50] earlier this year, Chalupa boasts to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda that she brought Isikoff to a US-government sponsored Washington event featuring 68 Ukrainian journalists, where Chalupa was invited ‘to speak specifically about Paul Manafort.’ In turn, Isikoff named her as the key inside source [46] ‘proving’ that the Russians were behind the hacks, and that Trump’s campaign was under the spell of Kremlin spies and sorcerers. . . .”

“The Anonymous Blacklist Quoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying” by Mark Ames; Alternet.org; 12/7/2016.”

. . . . Still the question lingers: Who is behind PropOrNot? Who are they? We may have to await the defamation lawsuits that are almost certainly coming from those smeared by the Post and by PropOrNot. Their description sounds like the “About” tab on any number of Washington front groups that journalists and researchers are used to coming across:

“PropOrNot is an independent team of concerned American citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, including professional experience in computer science, statistics, public policy, and national security affairs.”

The only specific clues given were an admission that at least one of its members with access to its Twitter handle is “Ukrainian-American”. They had given this away in a handful of early Ukrainian-language tweets, parroting Ukrainian ultranationalist slogans, before the group was known.

One PropOrNot tweet, dated November 17, invokes a 1940s Ukrainian fascist salute “Heroiam Slava!!” [17] to cheer a news item on Ukrainian hackers fighting Russians. The phrase means “Glory to the heroes” and it was formally introduced by the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) at their March-April 1941 congress in Nazi occupied Cracow, as they prepared to serve as Nazi auxiliaries in Operation Barbarossa. As historian Grzgorz Rossoliński-Liebe, author of the definitive biography [18] on Ukraine’s wartime fascist leader and Nazi collaborator [19] Stepan Bandera, explained [20]:

“the OUN-B introduced another Ukrainian fascist salute at the Second Great Congress of the Ukrainian Nationalists in Cracow in March and April 1941. This was the most popular Ukrainian fascist salute and had to be performed according to the instructions of the OUN-B leadership by raising the right arm ‘slightly to the right, slightly above the peak of the head’ while calling ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ (Slava Ukraїni!) and responding ‘Glory to the Heroes!’ (Heroiam Slava!).”

Two months after formalizing this salute, Nazi forces allowed Bandera’s Ukrainian fascists to briefly take control of Lvov [21], at the time a predominantly Jewish and Polish city—whereupon the Ukrainian “patriots” murdered, tortured and raped thousands of Jews [22], in one of the most barbaric [23] and bloodiest pogroms ever.

Since the 2014 Maidan Revolution brought Ukrainian neo-fascists [24] back into the highest rungs of power [25], Ukraine’s Nazi collaborators and wartime fascists have been rehabilitated [26] as heroes [27], with major highways and roads named after them [28], and public commemorations. The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Andriy Parubiy [29], founded Ukraine’s neo-Nazi “Social-National Party of Ukraine” [30] and published a white supremacist manifesto, “View From the Right” [31] featuring the parliament speaker in full neo-Nazi uniform in front of fascist flags with the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol. Ukraine’s powerful Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, sponsors [32] several ultranationalist and neo-Nazi militia groups like the Azov Battalion [33], and last month he helped appoint another neo-Nazi[34], Vadym Troyan [35], as head of Ukraine’s National Police [36]. (Earlier this year, when Troyan was still police chief of the capital Kiev, he was widely accused [35] of having ordered an illegal surveillance operation on investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet just before his assassination by car bomb [37].)

A Ukrainian intelligence service blacklist as PropOrNot’s model

Since coming to power in the 2014 Maidan Revolution, Ukraine’s US-backed regime has waged an increasingly surreal war on journalists who don’t toe the Ukrainian ultranationalist line, and against treacherous Kremlin propagandists, real and imagined. Two years ago, Ukraine established a “Ministry of Truth” [38]. This year the war has gone from surreal paranoia [39] to an increasingly deadly [40] kind of “terror.” [41]

One of the more frightening policies enacted by the current oligarch-nationalist regime in Kiev is an online blacklist [42] of journalists accused of collaborating with pro-Russian “terrorists.” [43]  The website, “Myrotvorets” [43] or “Peacemaker”—was set up by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence and police, all of which tend to share the same ultranationalist ideologies as Parubiy and the newly-appointed neo-Nazi chief of the National Police.

Condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists [44] and numerous news organizations in the West and in Ukraine, the online blacklist includes the names and personal private information on some 4,500 journalists [45], including several western journalists [43] and Ukrainians working for western media. The website is designed to frighten and muzzle journalists from reporting anything but the pro-nationalist party line, and it has the backing of government officials, spies and police—including the SBU (Ukraine’s successor to the KGB), the powerful Interior Minister Avakov and his notorious far-right deputy, Anton Geraschenko.

Ukraine’s journalist blacklist website—operated by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence—led to a rash of death threats against the doxxed journalists, whose email addresses, phone numbers and other private information was posted anonymously to the website. Many of these threats came with the wartime Ukrainian fascist salute: “Slava Ukraini!” [Glory to Ukraine!] So when PropOrNot’s anonymous “researchers” reveal only their Ukrainian(s) identity, it’s hard not to think about the spy-linked hackers who posted the deadly “Myrotvorets” blacklist of “treasonous” journalists.

The DNC’s Ukrainian ultra-nationalist researcher cries treason

Because the PropOrNot blacklist of American journalist “traitors” is anonymous, and the Washington Post front-page article protects their anonymity, we can only speculate on their identity with what little information they’ve given us. And that little bit of information reveals only a Ukrainian ultranationalist thread—the salute, the same obsessively violent paranoia towards Russia, and towards journalists, who in the eyes of Ukrainian nationalists have always been dupes and stooges, if not outright collaborators, of Russian evil.

One of the key media sources [46] who blamed the DNC hacks on Russia, ramping up fears of crypto-Putinist infiltration, is a Ukrainian-American lobbyist working for the DNC. She is Alexandra Chalupa—described as the head of the Democratic National Committee’s opposition research on Russia and on Trump, and founder and president of the Ukrainian lobby group “US United With Ukraine Coalition” [47], which lobbied hard to pass a 2014 bill increasing loans and military aid to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russians, and tightly aligning US and Ukraine geostrategic interests.

In October of this year, Yahoo News named Chalupa [48] one of “16 People Who Shaped the 2016 Election” [49] for her role in pinning the DNC leaks on Russian hackers, and for making the case that the Trump campaign was under Kremlin control. “As a Democratic Party consultant and proud Ukrainian-American, Alexandra Chalupa was outraged last spring when Donald Trump named Paul Manafort as his campaign manager,” the Yahoo profile began. “As she saw it, Manafort was a key figure in advancing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda inside her ancestral homeland — and she was determined to expose it.”

Chalupa worked with veteran reporter Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News to publicize her opposition research on Trump, Russia and Paul Manafort, as well as her many Ukrainian sources. In one leaked DNC email [50] earlier this year, Chalupa boasts to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda that she brought Isikoff to a US-government sponsored Washington event featuring 68 Ukrainian journalists, where Chalupa was invited “to speak specifically about Paul Manafort.” In turn, Isikoff named her as the key inside source [46] “proving” that the Russians were behind the hacks, and that Trump’s campaign was under the spell of Kremlin spies and sorcerers.

(In 2008, when I broke the story [51] about the Manafort-Kremlin ties in The Nation with Ari Berman, I did not go on to to accuse him or John McCain, whose campaign was being run by Manafort’s partner, of being Manchurian Candidates under the spell of Vladimir Putin. Because they weren’t; instead, they were sleazy, corrupt, hypocritical politicians who followed money and power rather than principle. A media hack feeding frenzy turned Manafort from what he was—a sleazy scumbag—into a fantastical Kremlin mole [52], forcing Manafort to resign from the Trump campaign, thanks in part to kompromat material leaked by the Ukrainian SBU [53], successor to the KGB.)

Meanwhile, Chalupa’s Twitter feed went wild accusing Trump of treason—a crime that carries the death penalty. Along with well over 100 tweets hashtagged #TreasonousTrump [54] Chalupa repeatedly asked powerful government officials and bodies like the Department of Justice [55] to investigate Trump for the capital crime of treason. In the weeks since the election, Chalupa has repeatedly accused [56] both the Trump campaign and Russia of rigging the elections, demanding further investigations. According to The Guardian [57], Chalupa recently sent a report to Congress proving Russian hacked into the vote count, hoping to initiate a Congressional investigation. In an interview with Gothamist [58], Chalupa described alleged Russian interference in the election result as “an act of war.”

To be clear, I am not arguing that Chalupa is behind PropOrNot. But it is important to provide context to the boasts by PropOrNot about its Ukrainian nationalist links—within the larger context of the Clinton campaign’s anti-Kremlin hysteria, which crossed the line into Cold War xenophobia time and time again, an anti-Russian xenophobia shared by Clinton’s Ukrainian nationalist allies. To me, it looks like a classic case of blowback: A hyper-nationalist group whose extremism happens to be useful to American geopolitical ambitions, and is therefore nurtured to create problems for our competitor. Indeed, the US has cultivated extreme Ukrainian nationalists as proxies [59] for decades, since the Cold War began.

As investigative journalist Russ Bellant documented in his classic exposé, “Old Nazis, New Right,” Ukrainian Nazi collaborators were brought into the United States and weaponized [60] for use against Russia during the Cold War, despite whatever role they may have played in the Holocaust and in the mass slaughter of Ukraine’s ethnic Poles. After spending so many years encouraging extreme Ukrainian nationalism, it’s no surprise that the whole policy is beginning to blow back.

9. It looks like Steve Bannon will have some Alt-Right company in the White House advisory staff: Stephen Miller, former chief aide to Trump’s pick for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is set to be Trumps senior advisor for policy. He’s also reportedly quite close to Alt-Right ring-leader Richard Spencer going back to their time at Duke University’s Duke Conservative Union.

“Trump’s Newest Senior Adviser Seen as a White Nationalist Ally” by Josh Harkinson; Mother Jones; 12/14/2016.

Stephen Miller drew praise from a top white nationalist, who hopes he’ll “do good things for white America.”

President-elect Donald Trump’s newest pick to be a senior adviser in the White House has long ties to a prominent white nationalist, who sees him as an ally of the movement.

Stephen Miller, a top aide to Trump’s presidential campaign, will serve as a senior White House adviser for policy, Trump’s transition team announced Tuesday. Miller is a former staffer for the nativist Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), now Trump’s nominee for attorney general. The announcement of Miller’s new role drew praise from white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. “Stephen is a highly competent and tough individual,” Spencer, who famously coined the term “alt-right” to describe the insurgent right-wing movement that has attracted white nationalists and supremacists, told Mother Jones on Wednesday. “So I have no doubt that he will do a great job.”

Spencer and Miller first came to know each other in the late 2000s as students at Duke University, where they both belonged to the Duke Conservative Union. Miller earned notice for standing up for white lacrosse players falsely accused in 2006 of gang raping a black woman. Spencer also defended the Duke lacrosse players, writing about the case for Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative, which later hired him as an editor.

Spencer told me that at Duke, Miller helped him with fundraising and promotion for an on-campus debate on immigration policy that Spencer organized in 2007, featuring influential white nationalist Peter Brimelow. Another former member of the Duke Conservative Union confirms that Miller and Spencer worked together on the event. At DCU meetings, according to a past president of the group, Miller denounced multiculturalism and expressed concerns that immigrants from non-European countries were not assimilating.

“I knew [Miller] very well when I was at Duke,” Spencer told me when I visited him at his home in Whitefish, Montana, a few weeks before the election. “But I am kind of glad no one’s talked about this, because I don’t want to harm Trump.”

Miller wrote about two dozen columns for the Duke Chronicle, and his articles assailed multiculturalism (which he called “segregation”) and paid family leave (which he said results in men getting laid off). He also denied there was systematic racism (which he dubbed “racial paranoia”).

When contacted by Mother Jones in October, Miller did not respond on the record to specific questions about his activities with the DCU or his views on race and immigration, but he denied ever being close to Spencer. “I have absolutely no relationship with Mr. Spencer,” he said in an email that month. “I completely repudiate his views, and his claims are 100 percent false.”

Before joining the Trump campaign last year, Miller, who is 30, served as Sessions’ chief of communications. “Those who worked with them say that Sessions and Miller had a ‘mind meld,’” Julia Ioffe wrote in a June Politico profile of Miller. Sessions and Miller worked closely in opposing the Supreme Court confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, who Sessions implied might not be impartial due to her Hispanic heritage. In 2014, after the Senate had passed a bipartisan deal on comprehensive immigration reform, Sessions helped kill it in the House by distributing anti-immigration figures and talking points that were written by Miller.

During the campaign, Miller, as a senior adviser to Trump, warmed up crowds at Trump rallies with fiery, populist speeches drawing from a nativist playbook. “We’re going to build that wall high and we’re going to build it tall,” he proclaimed at a Trump event in Dallas in June. “We’re going to build that wall, and we’re going to build it out of love. We’re going to build it out of love for every family who wants to raise their kids in safety and peace…We’re building it out of love for America and Americans of all backgrounds.”

10. Originally founded by Third Reich veterans as a vehicle for the political rehabilitation of NSDAP members, Austria’s Freedom Party has networked with Putin and Trump’s national security adviser designate Michael Flynn. The primary focus is on lifting the sanctions imposed on Russia. This step is also favored by corporate Germany, as discussed in FTR #’s 918 and 919” . . . . Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache and Norbert Hofer, the losing candidate in this month’s presidential election, signed a “working agreement” with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party in Moscow on Monday, according to a statement issued by the Austrian party. It added that Strache met last month in New York with Michael Flynn, nominated to become President-elect Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser. Strache wants to roll back ‘the sanctions that are harmful and ultimately useless for the economy,’ according to the Freedom Party statement. . . . “

“Austrian Populists Go to Moscow to Pitch Trump-Putin Bridge” by Boris Groendahl and Jonathan Tirone; Bloomberg Politics; 12/19/2016.

* Freedom Party chiefs in ‘diplomatic talks’ with United Russia
* Party has opposed sanctions on Russia; leads in Austrian polls

Austria’s populist Freedom Party said it wants to broker an end to sanctions on Russia by using its contacts with the White House and the Kremlin to reduce east-west tensions.

Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache and Norbert Hofer, the losing candidate in this month’s presidential election, signed a “working agreement” with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party in Moscow on Monday, according to a statement issued by the Austrian party. It added that Strache met last month in New York with Michael Flynn, nominated to become President-elect Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser.

Strache wants to roll back “the sanctions that are harmful and ultimately useless for the economy,” according to the Freedom Party statement, which described itself as “a neutral and reliable mediator and partner.” The delegation met with United Russia’s international secretary, Sergei Zheleznyak, according to a spokesman for the Russian party.

This is the first formal agreement with a major party from EU-member state since the bloc imposed its sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea and supporting separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

While the Freedom Party was defeated for the Austrian presidency by an independent candidate, it tops national opinion polls with about a third of the vote.

Party officials have in the past called for an end to European Union sanctions against Russia and voiced support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In a Facebook posting, Strache said that Russia had “freed Aleppo” from Islamic State.

“Austria needs international political and business contacts rather than negative and damaging sanctions,” Strache said on Facebook. Austria was neutral during the Cold War. Austrian companies including oil and gas group OMV AG and Raiffeisen Bank International AG have close business ties to Moscow.

During this year’s presidential ballot, Hofer campaigned on the promise to build a bridge between Trump and the Kremlin. The election’s winner, former Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen, offset Hofer’s appeals by arguing Austria’s most important economic interests are inside the EU. . . .

11. Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of State is Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who, like the Austrian Freedom Paraty (and corporate Germany/Bormann capital network) wants the sanctions on Russia lifted.

“Trump Lines Up Establishment Republicans to Vouch for Tillerson” by Michael D. Shear; The New York Times; 12/13/2016.

After waging an 18-month assault on the Republican establishment, President-elect Donald J. Trump changed course on Tuesday and enlisted the party’s high priests of foreign policy to help him win the confirmation of Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state.

Several former Republican secretaries of defense and state sought to dismiss bipartisan concerns about Mr. Tillerson, the Exxon Mobil chief executive, over his two-decade relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. At the center of the debate are questions about Mr. Tillerson’s vocal opposition to American sanctions imposed on Russia as he pursued oil and gas deals in that country. . . .

. . . . . A series of statements followed from former Vice President Dick Cheney and former secretaries of state James A. Baker III and Condoleezza Rice, among others. In an interview, Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under President Obama and President George W. Bush, strongly endorsed Mr. Tillerson, a longtime friend, calling him someone who “knows the world like the back of his hand.”

Mr. Gates, whose consulting firm has represented Exxon Mobil, said that senators concerned about Mr. Tillerson’s relationship with Mr. Putin are basing their criticism “on a superficial watching” of video clips of the Exxon executive receiving the Russian Order of Friendship in 2013 with Mr. Putin. . . .

12. The Manning text highlights the pivotal role of the Bormann organization in German heavy industry and, in turn, the influence of the Hermann Schmitz trust in the Bormann organization. ” . . .Vastly diversified, it is said to be the largest land-owner in South America, and through stockholdings, controls German heavy industry and the trust established by the late Hermann Schmitz, former president of I.G. Farben, who held as much stock in Standard Oil of New Jersey as did the Rockefellers. [Exxon is Standard of New Jersey, now merged with Mobil, which is Standard Oil of New York–D.E.] . . .”

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; p. 292.

. . . .The Bormann organization continues to wield enormous economic influence. Wealth continues to flow into the treasuries of its corporate entitities in South America, the United States, and Europe. Vastly diversified, it is said to be the largest land-owner in South America, and through stockholdings, controls German heavy industry and the trust established by the late Hermann Schmitz, former president of I.G. Farben, who held as much stock in Standard Oil of New Jersey as did the Rockefellers. . . .

 

Discussion

3 comments for “FTR #939 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 13: Unsettling In (German Ostpolitik, Part 4)”

  1. It looks like we have another Republican following Trump’s lead and embracing the Cypherpunk narrative that if Russia did hack the DNC, that was totally fine because that information should have gotten out anyway:

    Talking Points Memo
    Livewire

    GOP Rep.: Russia Did ‘What Media Should Have Done’ With Election Hacks (VIDEO)

    By Esme Cribb
    Published December 29, 2016, 3:08 PM EDT

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) argued in a Thursday interview that the actors behind the hacks of Democratic organizations and operatives during the 2016 presidential race “merely did what the media should have done.”

    Asked by MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson whether he knew anything about impending sanctions on Russia for the role the U.S. intelligence committee says it played in the hacks, Franks said that to his knowledge, no relevant intelligence committees had been informed about the sanctions. He then appeared to question the U.S. intelligence community’s attribution of the hack to Russian actors.

    “Most of what we’re talking about now is based on leaks,” Franks said, adding that there was no evidence that Russia hacked U.S. voting systems.

    “If anything, whatever they might have done was to try to use information in a way that may have affected something that they believe was in their best interest,” Franks said.

    “But the bottom line,” he continued, “if Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done.”

    Shortly after the interview aired, the Obama administration announced sanctions against individuals and entities associated with Russian intelligence that it believes are involved with recent hacks related to the 2016 presidential election.

    “But the bottom line…if Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done.”

    Ok, so the GOP really does seem to be preemptive justifying basically any political-oriented hack. It all raises a rather alarming question: is the GOP sitting on a mountain of hacked information that it’s waiting to use in future elections? Are we in store for extended series of “Russian hackers” intervening in US elections for years to come?

    We’ll see, but there’s one thing we know for sure: if anyone ever hacks Rep. Franks, that’s totally ok! He’s already made that 100 percent clear. Especially if the media does it.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 29, 2016, 1:48 pm
  2. With regards to possible CIA blackmail of the NSA and CIA-controlled focal placement networks author James Bamford, in a Nov 22 2016 interview with David Greene on NPR’s Morning Edition. reported that
    NSA director Mike Rodgers, a Navy Admiral, met with Donald Trump after the election.
    Bamford: I don’t know what the rules are, but it certainly is unethical I would think, to quietly sneak
    off to New York and meet with an incoming administration without even having the courtesy
    of telling them that you’re going to do it.
    Bamford said the Obama administration was not informed of Rodger’s plans.
    Just speculation but might Rodgers be one of those CIA placed focal point officers?

    Posted by Dennis | January 1, 2017, 2:28 pm
  3. @Dennis–

    Certainly a possibility to be pondered. I also noted in the exhaustive series on Eddie the Friendly spook that the NSA also resented Obama for leaving them twisting in the wind, in their opinion.

    Perhaps it was NSA going along with the Boris and Natasha act out of resentment of Obama.

    One of the things that led me to speculate about possible CIA blackmail of NSA was Snowden’s cryptic tweet “It’s time.”

    Just what he meant by that has never been clarified. Shortly after he sent it, “the Shadow Brokers” put the NSA hacking tools up for auction, with the ridiculous Boris and Natasha broken English accompanying the offer.

    I wonder if the release of the hacking tools was cued by Snowden’s tweet and intended to keep NSA silent about the forthcoming “Russia did it” nonsense about the high-profile hacks?

    CIA is largely dependent on NSA for information about signals intelligence.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 2, 2017, 8:55 pm

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