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Tue, 22 May 2018
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Bullseye

Behind the 'entire debacle': Trump accuses 'disgraced' John Brennan of 'political hit job' in morning tweetstorm

Former CIA Director John Brennan
© Leah Millis / Reuters
Former CIA Director John Brennan arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on "Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent Elections" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 16, 2018.
US President Donald Trump has lashed out at former CIA Director John Brennan, accusing him of leading an effort to frame him for collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Quoting former secret service agent Dan Bongino, Trump tweeted that Brennan had "disgraced himself" and disgraced"the entire Intelligence Community." Bongino lashed out at Brennan earlier Monday on Fox News morning show 'Fox & Friends'.

The series of tweets came in response to recent reports that the FBI had planted informants within Trump's campaign to weed out any information about its alleged links with Russia and Russian officials.

Trump has accused Brennan of being behind the "entire debacle" related to the investigation into alleged collusion and said it was now known that Brennan had "detailed knowledge" of the infamous 'Steele dossier' which has been used as a major piece of evidence against Trump, despite being littered with unverifiable claims.

Comment: See also: FBI spy-op exposed: Trump campaign infiltrated by longtime CIA and MI6 asset


War Whore

FSB reports busting arsonists linked to Ukrainian MP, who tried to stir ethnic tensions in Crimea

FSB border gaurds
© Maks Vetrov
FSB border guards demonstrate skills in Crimea during a celebration of the anniversary of the service.
Russia's national security service, the FSB, said it has busted an extremist group in Crimea, which tried to stir ethnic tensions by attacking Crimean Tatars, who didn't share their leader's goal of opposing Russia.

Crimea is ethnically a predominantly Russian region, but historically it was the land of Crimean Tatars. Medieval Russia suffered from slaver raids launched from Crimea, and later fought a war with the Ottoman Empire for control over the peninsula. It won and poured investment and settlers into the area to deal with loyalty problems. Crimean Tatars were victimized by the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin, who saw them as Nazi collaborators who could not be trusted. They were deported from their homeland. Now a significant ethnic minority, the Crimean Tatar people are a natural target for any party wishing to stir trouble in the Russian region.

Light Sabers

Major breakthrough: Syrian army declares Damascus area secure after clearing out ISIS-controlled pocket

Damascus, Syria
© Omar Sanadiki / Reuters
The Syrian army has declared Damascus and its surrounds fully secure after regaining control of a former Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold in the southern part of the city.

The army made the announcement in a televised statement after establishing control of the Damascus neighborhood of al-Hajar al-Aswad on Monday, according to local media.

The military capture came after the Syrian Air Force raided terrorist sites and fortified points in the neighborhood, according to SANA. Infantry units reportedly stormed buildings where fighters were positioned and chased them down the streets.

Comment: See also: NATO weapons discovered by Russian military in territories liberated from Syrian terrorists


Snakes in Suits

Paul Krugman cries 'treason' after media outs Stefan Halper as FBI infiltrator

trump arms crossed
Friday's outing of longtime CIA and MI6 asset Stefan Halper as an FBI asset sent to infiltrate the Trump campaign has social media abuzz today. Reactions have ranged from celebration to outrage, with little inbetween.

To recap, after two weeks of hunting for a "mole" in the Trump campaign, the New York Times and Washington Post both printed incredibly detailed descriptions of Halper - printing all but his name, solidly corroborating a March report by the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross about Halper's meetings with the Trump aides. Neither publication give Ross credit, of course.

Somehow several anti-Trump intellectuals got their wires crossed, conflating President Trump and Senate Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes' calls for transparency by the DOJ, with the actual media outlets that exposed Halper.

Arrow Up

Syria receives the latest anti tank missiles from Russia

anti-tank missiles Syria
'Moderate' extremists in Syria had better watch out! Syria has some upgraded military hardware for quality 'moderate' neutralization with the Kornet-D anti tank missile systems at their disposal.

Al-Masdar News reports:

Comment: Further reading: Kremlin: Russia hasn't delivered S-300 to Syria but reserves the right to


War Whore

NATO weapons discovered by Russian military in territories liberated from Syrian terrorists

tow anti tank missile
© AFP 2018 / SAM YEH
Depots with weapons produced in NATO member-states as well as underground explosive production facilities are being found by members of the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation and Syrian government troops in the territories liberated from militant groups, the center said on Monday in a statement.

According to the statement, the officers are also revealing underground tunnels that are equipped with medical complexes as well as detention facilities for civilians. Syrian sappers continue to de-mine settlements in the liberated areas.

"We are in the Zaafarana settlement in the province of Homs at an al-Nusra Front terror group [also known as Jabhat Fatah al Sham, outlawed in Russia] observation point. We can see here a large number of gas masks, weapons produced abroad, for example, TOW-2 anti-tank guided missiles. The facilities are very well-equipped," the center's representative Andrey Nekipelov said.

Eye 2

Sore loser Killary continues whining about losing election, takes pathetic jab at Russia at Yale graduation ceremony

killary yale speech
© Yale University / YouTube
One-and-a-half years after Hillary Clinton lost the election, she's taken her baseless claims of Russian collusion to her alma mater, pulling out a Russian hat while speaking at Yale's graduation ceremony.

The former secretary of state, who has hardly taken a breath in her campaign against Moscow and claims that it colluded with Donald Trump, wasted no time before jumping straight into the topic of Russia on Sunday. After a few obligatory "thank yous" to students and the faculty, she got stuck in.

"I see you are following the tradition of over-the-top hats [at graduation], so I brought a hat too - a Russian hat," she said. "I mean, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Chess

Putin names new Cabinet members, changes little from previous administration

trump
© epa
His early May reappointment of Dmitry Medvedev was hugely disappointing, an extremely unpopular figure in contrast to overwhelming public support for Putin.

He's pro-Western, and dare I say a fifth columnist threat to Russian sovereign independence by seeking unattainable improved ties with Washington, perhaps willing to sacrifice plenty to get it.

He supports so-called "liberal" governance - what I call neoliberal harshness, benefitting privileged interests at the expense of most others, how the US and EU are deplorably run, how Washington wants all nations run, along with bending to its will overall.

Thankfully Putin didn't appoint fifth columnist Alexey Kudrin to what Russian analyst John Helmer called vice president for capitulation to the West - "the dominant policymaker...after Putin."

Network

Russian ambassador to US: Developing relations with BRICS countries a top foreign policy priority for Moscow

diplomatic meeting
© Embassy of Russia in the USA / Facebook
Developing close relations with the BRICS states remains one of Moscow's top foreign policy priorities, Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said ahead of Narendra Modi's meeting with Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

"Deeper strategic partnership in BRICS is one of the priorities of Russia's foreign policy. Over recent years, the alliance has matured, turning into a full-scale mechanism of cooperation," Antonov said last week, answering media questions following the VI Annual Conference 'Doing Business with the BRICS' in Washington DC.

Noting the increasing global role of BRICS countries, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Antonov highlighted the main benefits of the association of five major emerging world economies, noting that the New Development Bank serves to reform the "outdated" global financial system.

Comment:
PM Narendra Modi leaves for Sochi for informal summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin

...
Mr Modi's one-day trip to Russian summer beach resort of Sochi coincides amid US sanctions against Moscow.

The US move has raised concerns that the Washington's decision could possibly affect Russian military supplies to India, particularly an estimated Rs 40,000-crore deal to buy the sophisticated, long-range S-400 air defence system.

However, it is in this context, a senior official had said on Thursday, "We are not going to allow our defence requirements to be dictated by any other country.

Whatever is in India's interest in terms of procuring equipment for national security and defence is what will determine the manner in which we act with various countries".

The US sanctions against Russia is for its meddling in Ukraine, Syria and the 2016 presidential elections.

India's military and strategic ties with Russia date back to the Cold War era.
...
Mr Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a similar informal summit in China recently.

Indian officials say Russia is an "old friend and trusted partner" and thus it is not an issue of building a relationship or deepening trust.

"It is a question of using that trust and friendship that we have to discuss a number of issues those have emerged as a result of important changes in the international and regional situations," a senior official has said.



Hourglass

When justice becomes politicized, desperate times call for disparate measures

comey
© Brian Snyder/Reuters
Former FBI Director James Comey at a news conference in 2014.
FBI director Comey and the Obama Justice Department applied a double standard in their handling of the Clinton-email and Trump-Russia investigations.

We wuz robbed. That's the theme Democrats and their media allies are working hard to cement into conventional wisdom. And robbed in a very specific way: The 2016 presidential election, we're to believe, was stolen from Hillary Clinton by disparate treatment. As Democrats tell it, the FBI scandalized their candidate while protecting Donald Trump.

You might think peddling that story with a straight face would be a major challenge. But they figure it may work because it was test-driven by the FBI's then-director, James Comey, in his now infamous press conference on July 5, 2016 - back when the law-enforcement and intelligence apparatus on which we rely to read the security tea leaves was simply certain that Mrs. Clinton would win.