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Wed, 26 Oct 2016
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How convenient! FBI didn't record Clinton interview, did not administer sworn oath

Hillary Clinton did not swear an oath to tell the truth before meeting with the FBI for three and a half hours last weekend, and the interview was not recorded, FBI Director James Comey told House lawmakers on Thursday.

The lack of a sworn oath does not remove the possibility of criminal penalties against Clinton if she lied to the FBI, though he said he had "no basis to conclude" that she was untruthful.

"Still a crime to lie to us," Comey told the House Oversight Committee.

FBI policy is not to record interviews as part of its investigations.

Yet the revelations will nonetheless raise questions among Republicans, who have been skeptical of the FBI's investigation and have demanded to see the transcript of the former secretary of State's interview in downtown Washington on Saturday.

"Well, that's a problem," Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) told Comey when the FBI chief explained the terms of the interview.

"It's pretty clear ... that the American people would like to see what Hillary Clinton said to the FBI," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters on Wednesday, a day before Comey's appearance before House lawmakers.

Snakes in Suits

Foreign powers could hold blackmail potential on Hillary Clinton over email contents

© Lucas Jackson / Reuters
The Democratic presidential hopeful has so much blackmail potential - not only from hackers like the Romanian taxi driver - but from foreign services that have all of her email correspondence, former CIA officer Ray McGovern told RT.

The US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday that the Justice Department decided to close the investigation into Clinton's use of a private instead of a secure server to send classified information via email.

RT: Are you surprised the Attorney General decided to close the investigation?

Ray McGovern: Sadly I am not surprised at all. The thing was fixed from the beginning. Yesterday when [James] Comey gave that incredible speech, it was very clear that the die had been cast and Secretary Clinton would be granted privileged treatment from any indictment.

No Entry

Poll: Swedes no longer want to join NATO

© www.economist.com
NATO's smokescreen. Some are not buying it.
Public support for the idea of Sweden becoming a NATO member has dropped from 41 to 33 percent in less than a year, a fresh poll has revealed. Forty-nine percent of Swedes, who took part in the survey published by the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, said they don't want their country to join the US-led military bloc. Thirty-three percent supported the possible NATO bid, while 18 percent said that they were undecided.

Some 1,000 Swedish citizens participated in the survey, which was carried out by the Sifo research company this June. Sifo asked the Swedes the same question in September 2015 and the results were quite different. Back then, 41 percent said that they were in favor of Sweden applying for NATO membership, with 39 percent rejecting the move and 20 percent undecided. The pollsters explained the change in public opinion by the anti-NATO stance of the ruling Social Democrats.

Social Democrats, the Greens and Left Party voters showed the strongest opposition to NATO membership. Sweden's middle classes leaned most towards the country joining the military block, Sifo said based on the poll.
Earlier this week, former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt predicted the country would become part of NATO in less than a decade. In an interview with Dagens Industri, Bildt explained the need for joining the alliance by the fact that "Russia is entering an increasingly uncertain phase of its development with increasingly authoritarian tendencies and a growing uncertainty about the economy and its future political leadership."

In May, the Swedish parliament ratified the Host Nation Support Agreement (HSNA) with NATO, allowing the alliance to transport hardware, including military aircraft and vessels, across Swedish territory.

Comment: Apparently, in Sweden, the people ACTUALLY get to decide this vote. Wow, what a concept! This exercise of liberty just might ruin the West's unjustified unification plan. What will be the persuading ploy to reverse this course and bring Sweden to its knees? Surely there will be one.


Syrian rebels lose battle to Islamic State after being abandoned by US jets

© Omar Sanadiki / Reuters
A US-trained Syrian rebel unit was reportedly defeated and forced to flee by Islamic State during a desert battle near the town of Bukamal, after American jets abandoned them at a critical moment to bomb another target in neighboring Iraq.

The Pentagon-trained rebel unit, the New Syrian Army (NSA), was on a ground offensive to re-take the Islamic State-held (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) town of Bukamal in southeast Syria last week, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

In the middle of the desert battle the rebels requested air support, but the aircraft assigned to provide cover had unexpectedly been ordered to leave the area, US officials familiar with the incident told the newspaper.

Comment: Russian senator Frants Klintsevich commented on this:
"The abandoning of allies by the United States during the battle with the Islamic State terrorists [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] could have lasting consequences. Obviously, the problem is not only in one failed operation. The very principles of interacting with allied forces during a war are put under scrutiny. Now, no one in Syria knows what to expect from the Americans," senator Klintsevich was quoted as saying by TASS. "It is easy to imagine what consequences all this will have on the effectiveness of the war against terror," he added.
Klintsevich, who is a retired colonel of the Airborne Troops and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, said that he as a military officer cannot justify the decision made by US commanders. "I simply do not understand how one can abandon advancing troops and deprive them of cover. In reality this means that the people on the ground were left to die," he said.

"By doing so the Americans demonstrated that they see Syrian soldiers as cannon fodder. I don't think that they would execute such a maneuver if they had their own ground forces participating in the operation. "No strategic reasoning can justify [the Americans' actions]. Such things simply should not happen in a war," the senator concluded.


Chilcot: Confirmation Iraq war created ISIS

© www.almasdarnews.com
ISIS in Iraq.
Intelligence reports examined and now released by the Chilcot inquiry appear to confirm Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) was created by the Iraq war, a view now apparently backed by Britain's Tory Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. The reports from the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which were previously classified, tell the story of the security services' increasing concern that the war and occupation was fueling ever more extremism in Iraq. The evidence also appears to debunk repeated claims by former PM Tony Blair that IS began in the Syrian civil war and not Iraq, positioning the brutal group's rise clearly within Iraq's borders.

The Chilcot findings were backed up Thursday by serving Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond. He told The Foreign Affairs Committee "many of the problems we see in Iraq today stem from that disastrous decision to dismantle the Iraqi army and embark on a program of de-Baathification." "That was the big mistake of post-conflict planning. If we had gone a different way afterwards we might have been able to see a different outcome," he said.

Hammond conceded that many members of Saddam's armed forces today filled top roles in IS. "It is clear a significant number of former Baathist officers have formed the professional core of Daesh [IS] in Syria and Iraq and have given that organization the military capability it has shown in conducting its operations."

Comment: There are a few wrongs (e.g. creation of AQ and ISIS) left out of this mea culpa moment. No doubt many more. The delusions trudge on, but so does reality. Pip Pip and a Cheerio to you, Mr. Blair.

Light Saber

Labour coup failed, Corbyn keeps on the good fight

© Neil Hall / Reuters
Labour MPs opposed to Jeremy Corbyn have reportedly conceded the embattled Labour leader cannot be removed after lengthy negotiations between the party's deputy leader Tom Watson and union officials failed to resolve the conflict.

Anti-Corbyn MPs are now pinning their hopes on former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle's bid for leadership. However, a source told the Telegraph that Corbyn would easily defeat any challenge from either Eagle or ex-Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith.

"It's finished. He will win easily in a second contest if he is on the ballot, it's everything we wanted to avoid," the senior MP told the paper.

"He is losing support of the membership by the day, there is no doubt about that, but they just sign up new members to replace them. He is Teflon in that sense."

Comment: Teflon is evil. Corbyn is more like cast iron. And the real issue is simple: he has the support of Labour members, if not the MPs who allege to represent them. Which is why these traitorous Labour MPs wanted him removed in a coup in the first place. As this 'senior MP' told the Telegraph, an actual vote was "everything we wanted to avoid".

Comment: Why 'they' hate Corbyn: In related news, "political psychopath" Michael Gove was eliminated in the second round of Tory leadership voting, leaving Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom left to claw their way to the top of the Tory food-chain.


Testing of U.S. missile defense program costing $40B fails miserably, so Pentagon lies about its success

After spending billions of dollars, the US government is having trouble getting its state-of-the-art homeland missile defense system to function according to plan, and it's driven the Pentagon to lie about the program's success rate.

On January 28, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency conducted the first test flight of new so-called divert thrusters, to be used on anti-missile interceptors. A military statement deemed this a "successful test flight," claiming the thrusters allowed the interceptors to stop a mock warhead.

"On this flight, we validated key design improvements in the divert and attitude control system, demonstrating improved performance, reliability and productibility," said Michael Bright of Aerojet Rocketdyne, maker of the thrusters, in a statement.

"The overall goal of the Missile Defense Agency is to make a more capable and reliable system, and this successful test demonstrated significant progress toward reaching that goal."

According to the Los Angeles Times, however, these claims were falsified. During the test, one of the thrusters failed. This caused the interceptor to lose control and the mock missile to slip through the defense shield.

Comment: Despite the enormous sums spent on the US war machine, the military apparatus is unraveling. Defense contractors are the only winners in this corrupt system.

Mr. Potato

Village idiot Kerry says U.S. will remain 'firm' on nonsensical anti-Russian sanctions

And not a brain between the two of them!
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has reassured Ukraine that sanctions against Russia will remain in place unless Moscow fulfills its obligations under the Minsk agreement reached last year, and announced additional humanitarian aid for Kyiv.

Kerry spoke at a joint news conference in Kyiv with Petro Poroshenko on July 7, a day before NATO leaders meet in Warsaw for a crucial summit to which the Ukrainian president has also been invited.

Kerry and Poroshenko discussed progress toward implantation of the Minsk deal, which is aimed to end the conflict between government forces and Russia-backed separatists that has killed more than 9,300 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014. It began shortly after Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

Poroshenko stressed Ukraine's demands for security.

"There cannot be effective progress without comprehensive and sustainable security," he said. "We insist on decisive implementation."

U.S. officials say Ukraine has completed most of its obligations under the Minsk agreement that relate to providing the east -- where the separatists hold parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, also known as the Donbas -- with greater autonomy.

Comment: Which is a complete and utter lie. Kiev has not fulfilled ANY of their obligations! Have these idiots even read the document they signed?! Or are they just fully confident in the abject ignorance and lack of interest on the part of their citizens? Probably the latter.


Canadians and Germans illegally invade Syria - no one cares

An unknown number of German and Canadian troops have recently arrived in the northern Syrian town of Tell Abyad in the northern Raqqa province, sources told Sputnik on Thursday.

The military service personnel were deployed to the area in the past few days as part of the US-led international operation to defeat Daesh terrorist group.

Comment: More brazen defiance of international law. These nations are criminal, plain and simple. Is the world so dumbed down and complacent that no one cares? It sure looks like it!


More of the same: Russia, US agree on 'closer military cooperation' in Syria

© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
The Kremlin says that both Russia and the US are ready to better coordinate efforts to eliminate radical Islamists in Syria, following a telephone conversation initiated by the Russian leader.

"Both sides have confirmed their readiness to increase military cooperation between Russia and the US in Syria," said a statement from the Kremlin released on Wednesday evening. "It is also important to resurrect the UN-mediated peace talks to arrive at a political solution of the crisis."

According to media reports last week, US officials have put forward a proposal that would see Russian and US air forces conduct joint strikes against Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda branch in Syria. So far, Russia has not commented on the reported initiative, which has supposedly been endorsed by both the Department of State and the Pentagon.

Comment: What's the problem, really? Either the U.S. identifies which specific groups it thinks are moderate and where they are, or they do not. The fact that they continue to refuse to do so speaks volumes. And until they start doing so, they should not be taken seriously by anyone. Which means the U.S. will never be taken seriously: there are no moderates, and any positive identification of these groups would prove it.

Comment: On the U.S. proposal, which the Russians won't comment on:
  • New U.S. offer to 'cooperate' with Russia in Syria: Deception and obfuscation
And on the background to the talk about Ukraine
  • Putin calls Obama & cancels regional visits amidst signs of full-fledged war in Donbass