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Kremlin says Russia ready for talks on normalizing ties with US even under sanctions

© AP Photo/ Mladen Antonov
Moscow is ready for dialogue with Washington on normalizing bilateral relations even if sanctions are not lifted, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

Peskov answered a question on whether lifting anti-Russian restrictions is a necessary precondition for improving relations between Russia and the United States. The presidential spokesman said that bilateral relations now are "at their lowest point" and there were "completely different ways of normalizing them."

Comment: Russian diplomat says restoration of Russia-US ties will be long and difficult

Mark Nicholas at Russia Insider comments:
Is this a sign of Russian weakness? No what this means is:

1. Obama's Russia sanctions since the election are in the grand scheme of things irrelevant provocations and Russia is not biting. The only US sanctions Russia actually cares about are the financial sanctions which date back to 2014 and which helped contribute to a big credit crunch its economy has been facing since then.

2. Russia still knows the meaning of diplomacy. In dealing with states it picks on US regularly insists talks are only possible if the other side will accept all of its major demands in advance, but Russians have a more old-fashioned understanding of talks where the point is to have a back and forth and negotiate.

3. It's a clue to Trump that if he opts to save his precious political capital for acting on more important stuff Russia will be disappointed but will understand.



Info

CNN gets Trumped: Highlights of The Donald's first post-election press conference

Trump pulled no punches in his first post-election press conference. He was unrelenting against the fake news merchants in mainstream media.

Donald Trump just gave his first post-election press conference. Speaking for approximately an hour, it was far short of President Vladimir Putin's five hour end-of-year marathons, but the entertainment was non-stop.

Trump's humour has almost certainly helped him cope with his ill-treatment at the hands of the fake stream media. Far from being a foreign agent, he seems to love his country and more importantly, love his countrymen. He seems to genuinely sympathise with the concerns of ordinary people. As President he will engage with them, not with the media and corporate elite.

Comment: All-out war breaks out between Trump and his supporters against mainstream media; Trump calls CNN "fakenews"


Ice Cube

Londoner identified as leading member of British ISIS cell has assets frozen by U.S. authorities

© SITE Intel Group / Reuters
"Jihadi John"
A British father-of-two recently identified as a member of the Islamic State terrorist cell known as 'The Beatles' has had his assets frozen by US authorities.

Londoner Alexanda Kotey fled Britain in an aid convoy to Gaza headed by Respect leader George Galloway in 2009, before joining the group of terrorists with British accents led by the infamous executioner 'Jihadi John'.

Counter-terrorism forces also found that Kotey, a Greek-Ghanaian raised in the Greek Orthodox Church, converted to Islam in his teens. He later became a mass recruiter for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and a torturer for 'The Beatles', specializing in electric shocks and waterboarding.

"As a guard for the cell, Kotey likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding," a US State Department statement read.

Comment: See also: Alex Jones claims Wikileaks, others threatening Obama, Hillary & Kerry with more brutal leaks


Gear

Technocracy: Social and political engineering

Massive collection of data

A covert op for the ages: Technocracy United

Technocracy: "control of society by a technical elite"

Note to readers: the people in charge of, yes, running the future are counting on a populace who can't think beyond a few weeks or months. That's their ace in the hole. The long-term future must always seem blurry and vague—and a waste of time to consider. Why? It's obvious. The people in charge are always building the long-term future, brick by brick, and if very few citizens can grasp what it looks like, how can they object or resist or sound an alarm?

If you want to illegally take over an area, you need to invent an external threat justifying the takeover. We've been seeing exactly that recently, as Russia has suddenly been painted as a hostile force trying to destroy our "open democracy."

Comment: Jon Rappoport: The matrix of technocracy


Info

Syrian authorities say preliminary agreement reached with rebels on Damascus water supply

© Omar Sanadiki / Reuters
A Syrian provincial governor has said a preliminary agreement has been reached with armed groups in control of a valley with Damascus' water source, which would provide for conditions to restore vital water supplies to over 5 million civilians.

An initial deal has been reached with militant leaders, according to which the rebels agreed to leave the Wadi Barada area just outside Damascus, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) cited Damascus Countryside Governor Ala'a Ibrhaim as saying in his statement to the agency.

Some of the fighters who are not originally from the Damascus area, but are now in control of the valley about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the city, and a water spring within it, have agreed to put down their heavy weaponry and head to Idlib province, the governor said.

Comment: Also see: 'Weapon of war': Rebels clash with government at Damascus water source as people face severe shortages


Eye 2

Deep State neocons have declared war on Trump

© AP/Reuters/Janet Van Ham/Wade Payne/Scott Morgan/CBS
Bill Kristol, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Robert Kagan
After several rather lame false starts, the Neocons have now taken a step which can only be called a declaration of war against Donald Trump.

It all began with CNN published an article entitled "Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him" which claimed that:
Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN. The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible (...) The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.
The website Buzzfeed then published the full document.

When I first read the document my intention was to debunk it sentence by sentence. However, I don't have the time for that and, frankly, there is no need for it. I will just provide you here with enough simple straightforward evidence that this is a fake. Here are just a few elements of proof:
  1. The document has no letterhead, no identification, no date, no nothing. For many good technical and even legal reasons, sensitive intelligence documents are created with plenty of tracking and identification information. For example, such a document would typically have a reference to the unit which produced it or an number-letter combination indicating the reliability of the source and of the information it contains.
  2. The classification CONFIDENTIAL/SENSITIVE SOURCE is a joke. If this was a true document its level of classification would be much, much higher than "confidential" and since most intelligence documents come from sensitive sources there is no need to specify that.
  3. The allegation that "The dossier is controlled by Kremlin spokesman, PESKOV, directly on PUTIN'S orders" is beyond laughable. Clearly the author of this fake has no idea how the Russian intelligence and security services work (hint: the Presidential spokesman has no involvement in that whatsoever)
  4. On page 2 there is this other hilarious sentence "exploit TRUMP's personal obsession and sexual perversion in order to obtain suitable 'kompromat' (compromising material) on him." Nobody in a real intelligence document would bother to clarify what the word "kompromat" means since both in Russian and in English it is obviously the combination of the words "compromising" and "materials". Any western intelligence officer, even a very junior one, would know that word, if only because of the many Cold War era espionage books written about the KGB entrapment techniques.
  5. The document speaks of "source A", "source B" and further down the alphabet. Now ask yourself a simple question: what happens after "source Z" is used? Can any intelligence agency work with a potential pool of sources limited to 26? Obviously, this is not how intelligence agencies classify their sources.
I will stop here and submit that there is ample evidence that this is a crude fake produced by amateurs who have no idea of what they are talking about.

This does not make this document any less dangerous, however.

Stormtrooper

More torture allegations as Gitmo turns 15: Sleep deprivation, mental torture and force feeding

© Deborah Gembara / Reuters
Exactly 15 years ago, the first inmates were transferred to the infamous Guantanamo prison, with the facility gaining an increasingly grim fame ever since due to reports of torture and abuse of the detainees.

With Guantanamo still operating, RT looks at some of the most disturbing techniques allegedly practiced with some of the inmates there.

Chess

Intelligence officials backtrack on Russia blackmailing Trump only after story goes viral

© Lucas Jackson / Reuters
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 11, 2017.

NBC News correspondent Cynthia McFadden reported Wednesday that President-elect Trump was never briefed on a "two-page addendum" alleging that the Russian government has damaging information on Trump.

In fact, McFadden further stated that the brief — published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday — was in fact an example of "what [U.S. intelligence officials] are calling 'unvetted disinformation,'" designed to help Trump distinguish between "analyzed intelligence" and unverified reports.

"A senior U.S. intelligence official who was involved in the preparation for the meeting tells NBC that the president-elect was not briefed on this so-called two-page addendum of these allegations against him," McFadden state. "It was part of the briefing materials available to the briefers, but it was not included because they believed it to be true. It was included for a different reason."

"It was included should they feel they needed to explain to Mr. Trump the difference between analyzed intelligence and what they are calling 'unvetted disinformation,'" she continued. "It was available for that purpose, and it never came up. Importantly, documents were never presented to Mr. Trump or his team."


Comment: The reality is that these documents were only spread to mainstream media outlets to demonize Trump and Russia. The idea that intelligence officials were just trying to help Trump is preposterous, since the media reaction to the story has been to vilify Trump and spread fake news about Russia blackmailing him. That is the story that people are going to remember, not the nonsense above about helping Trump distinguish between analyzed intelligence and unverified reports.


Attention

Who's more anti-American, RT or the US Director of National Intelligence?

© AP
Someone should take US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper aside for a talk. He desperately needs to be told that when you're deep in a hole, the first step toward getting out is to stop digging.

Clapper's been in such a hole since 2013, when he got caught lying to Congress about the National Security Agency's surveillance of and data collection on Americans. Oops.

On January 6, he fired up a backhoe and dug himself six feet deeper when his office issue a report on alleged Russian hacking in relation to the 2016 US presidential election.

Airplane

Fury at IDF soldier Azaria's verdict is Israel's Trump, Brexit moment

© Reuters/Baz
Supporters of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria hold a Trump banner during a protest outside the military court in Tel Aviv on the verdict day for the soldier, Tel Aviv, Israel, January 4, 2017.
The United Kingdom has Brexit. The United States, an incoming president Trump. And Israel now has Elor Azaria. It may not have the same ring, but ultimately the turning point could prove as decisive.

Two fallacious narratives have greeted the army medic's manslaughter conviction last week, after he was filmed firing a bullet into the head of a wounded and helpless Palestinian, 21-year-old Abdel Fattah Al Sharif.

The first says Azaria is a rotten apple, a soldier who lost his moral bearings last March under the pressure of serving in Hebron. The second - popular among liberals in Israel - claims the conviction proves the strength of Israel's rule of law. Even a transgressing soldier will be held accountable by the world's "most moral army".

In truth, however, the popular reaction to the military court's decision was far more telling than the decision itself. Only massed ranks of riot police saved the three judges from a lynching by crowds outside. The army top brass have been issued bodyguards. Demands to overrule the court and pardon Azaria are thunderous - and they are being led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Comment: See also: