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Judge to Biden DHS: Release files on agents who allegedly helped censor election 'misinformation'

Fake news cell phone graphic
© Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images
A Louisiana judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release files that could reveal five agents' alleged involvement in government efforts to suppress social media content deemed to contain "misinformation" about elections, court documents show.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry moved to release testimony from Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) employees Chad Josiah, Rob Schaul, Alex Zaheer, John Stafford and Pierce Lowary, after learning of their participation in the Biden administration's counter-"disinformation" efforts, court documents dated Jan. 19 show. The judge's motion Wednesday could shed light on a "switchboarding" tactic employed during the 2020 election, according to the order.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, which include the named individuals as well as President Joe Biden and top officials from a variety of federal agencies, "colluded and/or coerced social media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social media platforms by labeling the content "dis-information," "mis-information," and "mal-formation."

Comment:


Books

FBI seizes Biden's notebooks - NBC

Joe Biden
© AFP / Alex Wong
US President Joe Biden
Notebooks that US President Joe Biden kept during his time as vice president were among the items seized by the FBI during a search of his home last week, as part of a probe into his mishandling of classified documents, a person familiar with the investigation told NBC.

Despite not being marked as classified, the notebooks were taken because they contain writing related to Biden's official business within the Obama administration, including details of diplomatic contacts, the broadcaster reported on Saturday.

The notebooks were a mix of records on personal and official topics, the source said, adding that pages with no sensitive data could also be considered state property under the Presidential Records Act, as they relate to the activities of the government.

Biden had a "large" number of these notebooks, the person said, but could not provide the exact figure.

When addressed about the notebooks, a spokesperson for Biden's personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, said that "consistent with our view of the requirements of our cooperation with Department of Justice in this matter, we will not comment on the accuracy of reports of this nature."

Comment: If the FBI went through his house and all they found was some notebooks, then they must not have looked too hard. See also:


Footprints

Moscow expels Latvian ambassador

Maris Riekstins
© Embassy of Latvia to the Russian Federation. Facebook.
Maris Riekstins in 2021.
Latvia's ambassador to Moscow, Maris Riekstins, has been ordered by Russia's Foreign Ministry to leave the country within two weeks. The Latvian charge d'affaires in Moscow, Dacija Rutka, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Friday, where she was served with a "strong protest" and informed of the decision.

Riga said on Monday it was downgrading the level of diplomatic ties, citing Russia's military operation in Ukraine and "solidarity" with neighboring Estonia. Moscow and Tallinn are also mutually expelling ambassadors.

"We have stressed that the justification of this move by some kind of 'solidarity' with other Baltic countries is unacceptable," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"They have 'solidarity' only in one thing: total Russophobia and the willingness to initiate hostile steps towards Russia that are being encouraged by the US and other unfriendly countries."

Comment: See also: Russia orders Estonia's ambassador to leave


Newspaper

'Maybe Germany is at war with Russia. Good luck, maybe this time it will turn out better than WWII' - Croatia's president

El presidente de Croacia, Zoran Milanovic,

The US and Germany might be at war with Russia, but that is news to Croatia, said Zoran Milanovic
Commenting on the German foreign minister's declaration that Europe is "fighting a war against Russia," Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Thursday that this was news to him, and wished Berlin better luck than in WWII.

Croatia "should in no way help" Ukraine militarily, Milanovic said while visiting the port city of Split. "Do you want us to enter the war?"

Framing the Ukraine conflict as one between Washington and Moscow, he reminded reporters that he was criticized for merely echoing the words of Kiev's defense minister, about the current conflict being a "proxy war" between NATO and Russia.

Comment: 'NATO is waging a proxy war against Russia, Ukraine is not an ally, and I do not want to be an American slave' - Croatia's president


Newspaper

Trump 'not far away from truth' in suggesting US could end Ukraine conflict - Kremlin

trump smile
The Kremlin's press secretary says former US President Donald Trump has got it right in his observation regarding his successor's opposition to restoring peace in Ukraine.

Trump basically nailed it by suggesting that the White House could put an end to the Ukraine conflict in no time, Dmitry Peskov said at a media briefing on Friday.

Hours earlier, Trump had written on his social media platform, Truth Social, that if he "were president, the Russia/Ukraine war would never have happened." Even if it did and he was still US President, Trump said he "would be able to negotiate an end to this horrible and rapidly escalating war within 24 hours."


Comment: And that's one of the reasons why the election was rigged to stop him from becoming President.


Comment: See also: The Kiev Purge: What has spurred a wave of resignations among senior Ukrainian officials?


Quenelle - Golden

Kim Jong-Un's sister says Western weapons in Ukraine will get turned 'into scrap', N. Korea will always stand 'in the trenches' with Russia

Kim Yo-jong

Kim Yo-jong
Praising the fighting spirit and might of the Russian military, Kim Yo-jong also criticized the West's support to the regime in Kiev.

North Korean politician and diplomat Kim Yo-jong has announced that Pyongyang will continue to support Moscow amid the current crisis in Ukraine.

In a statement disseminated by North Korean media, the also sister of the country's leader Kim Jong-un said that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will always be standing "in one trench" together with the people and the army of Russia who "rose up to defend the honor and dignity of [their] state, sovereignty and security of the country."

Comment: From early 2022: China, Russia veto new UN sanctions on North Korea, Beijing blames US for disregard of Pyongyang's 'reasonable concerns'


Quenelle - Golden

Turkish officials call Pompeo a LIAR and say he had a 'meltdown' outside Erdogan's door

Erdogan
© AFP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) looks on as then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) walks past a family picture during a Peace summit on Libya at the Chancellery in Berlin, on 19 January 2020.
Senior Turkish officials on Thursday called former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a liar, branding the allegations in his new book misinformation, which they said he was using in an attempt to propel him to the presidency.

Pompeo wrote that in 2019 he tried to "break through" a locked door in Ankara's presidential complex to reach then-vice president Mike Pence, who was having a longer than expected tete-a-tete with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In his memoir Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, released on Tuesday, Pompeo says the Trump administration in October 2019 convinced Erdogan to sign a ceasefire deal in northern Syria following a Turkish military operation to seize areas formerly controlled by the US military.

Comment: The Turks seem to be losing patience with the US, and it's likely that the US-backed Istanbul terrorist bomb attack hasn't help matters: Meanwhile back in Sweden:




Footprints

The Kiev Purge: What has spurred a wave of resignations among senior Ukrainian officials?

Zelensky
© Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
Turmoil in the capital and the regions may be a result of the West's dissatisfaction with how things are unfolding...

On January 23, in the course of his customary evening video address, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced major personnel changes in his government. The decision is linked both to his wish to demonstrate anti-corruption measures to the West and a rise in domestic political conflicts.

The resignations affected not only representatives of the Ukrainian elite, such as the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Kirill Tymoshenko, but also governors of regions near the front line. RT explores what led to the scandal, and the consequences of Ukraine's domestic policy changes in the middle of an armed conflict.

On the way out

The Kiev government has once again been shaken by staffing dramas. On January 24, three high-ranking officials resigned in one day: Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kirill Tymoshenko, Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, and Deputy Prosecutor General Alexey Symonenko.

Four bosses of regional administrations were also dismissed -- in Dnepropetrovsk (Valentin Reznichenko), Zaporozhye (Alexander Starukh), Kherson (Yaroslav Yanushevich) and Sumy (Dmitry Zhivitsky). It's worth noting that all these areas are in close proximity to the front and the Russian border, which may indicate that the Ukrainian authorities are preparing for a new stage of hostilities.

According to local media, the list is not limited to the above-mentioned names. Resignations may affect other senior officials, including Prime Minister Denis Shmigal.

Comment: The purge: A bold move by Zelensky or a dictate from Biden?


No Entry

Russian media watchdog takes on CIA website

CIA thing
© STR/NurPhoto/Getty Images
The official websites of US intelligence agencies have been blocked in Russia after state media watchdog Roskomnadzor put them on a blacklist on Friday for spreading misinformation and discrediting Russia's armed forces.

The block affected the websites of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as the US State Department counterintelligence and counterterrorism platform.

When trying to access cia.gov, fbi.gov or rewardsforjustice.net from Russia, the browser returns a message stating that "the resource at this IP address has been blocked by decision of the state authorities" or simply informs the user that it is "unable to access the site."

In a statement to the TASS news agency, Roskomnadzor explained that the websites were found to be in violation of Russian Federal laws pertaining to information, information technologies and information protection.
"On the basis of Federal Law No. 149-FZ, Roskomnadzor restricted access to a number of resources belonging to state structures of hostile countries for the distribution of materials aimed at destabilizing the social and political situation in the Russian Federation."

Green Light

Mark Zuckerberg to end suspension of Donald Trump from Facebook and Instagram

Trump
© Unknown
Former US President Donald Trump
Facebook (now known as Meta) will reportedly end former President Donald Trump's suspension from its main platform as well as Instagram following an announcement made at the beginning of January that it would decide on reinstating Trump "in the coming weeks."

The reported rollback on the former president's suspension comes two years after all the major platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) booted him in response to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. Nick Clegg, the company's president of global affairs, announced that the former president will be able to resume usage on those platforms, "in the coming weeks" along with "new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses." The decision comes several weeks after the company announced it would be considering reinstating Trump to its platforms.

Clegg said on the company's website that the guardrails will include
"heightened penalties for repeat offenses — penalties which will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol.

"In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation."

Comment: Status restored? Meta warned Trump could face repercussions for sharing content that seeks to delegitimize the 2024 election or is related to organizations such as QAnon.