Friday December 7th, 2018

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
  

World & National
Trump Confirms He'll Nominate William Barr for Attorney General
               Breaking: Trump Confirms He'll Nominate William Barr for AG


President Donald Trump said on Friday he had chosen former U.S. Attorney General William Barr to once again lead the Justice Department, a role that would put him in charge of the federal probe into Russian election interference.

If confirmed by the Senate, Barr would take over from Matthew Whitaker, who has been serving in an acting capacity since Trump forced out Jeffrey Sessions a month ago. Whitaker had been Sessions' chief of staff.




White House Chief of Staff John Kelly 'expected' to resign as soon as TODAY

               Trump announced during a senior staff meeting in July that he had asked Kelly to stay through the 2020 election, and that he agreed

White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days.

Sources told DailyMail.com that Kelly, a decorated Marine Corps general brought in last year, is 'expected' to leave the White House before the end of the year, and the announcement could come as soon as Friday.
His expected replacement is Nick Ayers, the young chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

A source familiar with the situation told DailyMail.com on Friday morning that a dinner at the White House in the evening for senior staff was supposed to serve as an appreciation event for Kelly and other departing senior officials.



The special counsel is set to release new details about former Trump advisors Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen

Mueller is likely to recommend a sentence for Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, ahead of a federal judge's final sentencing decision on Tuesday.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is set to file new disclosures on Friday in cases involving two of President Donald Trump's former close associates, both of whom have entered guilty pleas in the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Mueller is expected to recommend a sentence for Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, ahead of a federal judge's final sentencing decision on Tuesday. In addition, federal prosecutors in New York will be filing a sentencing memo detailing Cohen's cooperation after his guilty plea in their separate case against him.

U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley ordered Mueller's team and the U.S. attorneys in New York to file their sentencing submissions by 5 p.m. ET.

May show what divulged...
Trump rages...
Prepping counter report...
JUDGE NAP: Why I don't believe it's fishing expedition...



Hart steps down as Oscars host over his past anti-gay tweets


Just two days after being named host of the Academy Awards, Kevin Hart stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets by the comedian.

Hart stepped aside just about an hour after refusing to apologize for tweets that resurfaced after he was announced as Oscars host on Tuesday. In a video on Instagram, Hart said the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologize or “we’re going to have to move on and find another host.”

“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”

HART TWEET DELETE!
WHO WILL REPLACE?
FLASHBACK: HOST CHRIS ROCK SHOCK: ONLY GAYS WATCH OSCARS...


McCabe opened obstruction of justice probe into Trump before Mueller investigation: Report

Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe reportedly opened an investigation of President Trump for obstruction of justice after the president fired James Comey, the agency’s former director.

The FBI had previously considered looking into obstruction of justice but did not act on it until after Mr. Comey was fired by the president, CNN reported Friday.

It was allegedly among the discussions on how to counter Mr. Trump that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly suggested wearing a wire or moving on the 25th Amendment. While those ideas weren’t acted on, Mr. McCabe, who was the acting FBI director following the Comey firing, decided to open the probe.



House GOP set to grill Comey


Republicans are poised to grill former FBI Director James Comey on Friday in what could be the final act in a dramatic effort to probe allegations of bias at the Justice Department before Democrats take over the House.

The interview comes just weeks before the House GOP will turn over the majority to Democrats, who are expected to launch a slew of investigations into President Trump, his administration and his business when they take hold of committee gavels.



SPY SECRETS Truth about CIA’s illegal MKUltra mind-control experiments...new documents officials hid for decades

The records “rewrite the history” of the CIA’s covert and illegal MKUltra project, according to researcher John Greenewald Jr who spent almost 20 years trying to obtain the documents

DISTURBING details of secret mind-control experiments carried out by the CIA have been revealed in newly released documents - that officials have been trying to hide for decades.

The new documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal how the CIA experimented on both humans and animals using drugs, hypnosis and electronic devices as part of the top secret - and illegal - mind control project MKUltra.

Shockingly the swathes of information still missing or redacted in the records could mean the CIA is STILL carrying out the experiments to this day, according to experts.



France braces for trouble, Macron to address 'yellow vest' anger

                    
France hunkered down for another wave of potentially violent protests on Saturday as embattled President Emmanuel Macron planned to address the nation next week over public fury at the high cost of living, senior allies said.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the three-week-old “yellow vest” revolt had “created a monster” and vowed police would have no tolerance for violence, with much of Paris in lockdown and tens of thousands of police deployed nationwide.

Named after the fluorescent safety vests that all French motorists must carry, the protesters are billing their planned action on Saturday as “Act IV” of worst unrest seen in the capital since the 1968 student riots.



Civil is nice, but winning elections is better


Everybody wants to go to heaven, the wise man observed, but nobody wants to die. It’s not a puzzlement. Everybody wants kind and gentle in our politics, but nobody wants to risk losing an election. That’s not such a puzzlement, either.

The passing of George Herbert Walker Bush, a genuinely decent, kind and polite man, has caught the country up in a frenzy of good feelings, and some kind, gentle and extremely naive folk are sure that Mr. Bush’s last, great gift to America will be a revival of a kind and gentle politics that once made America great. Or something like that.

There’s probably no going back, but there is an insatiable yearning in the land for a respite, a recess, a time-out in the practice of smash-mouth, anything-goes, take-no-prisoners politics. Everybody says so. There’s even a National Institute for Civil Discourse, not (yet) another government agency to grow one day into a bureaucracy, but a monitor of how politicians talk.



A solution for the Ukrainian quagmire

After four years of armed conflict, 10,000 casualties and 1.5 million internally displaced, the dangerous situation between Ukraine and Russia escalated again on Nov. 25. Russian military vessels rammed, shot at and seized three Ukrainian military ships that were routinely and legally passing through the Kerch Strait.

This represents a new dimension of the conflict. Unlike the covert operation in 2014, which led to the annexation of Crimea, or the Russian-supported militant uprisings in eastern Ukraine, the Russian military is this time visibly engaged in using force against Kiev.

Despite the blatant infringement on international law, common norms and the brutal strong-arming of Ukraine, one thing needs to be noted; to Russia, Europe has always been a security threat. European armies invaded it twice during the past century. In World War II alone the Soviet Union lost between 20 million and 30 million people, including 6 million and 7 million Ukrainian deaths. An unprecedented carnage.

"It is discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
-- Noel Coward
     (1899-1973) British playwright

Medal of Honor
Army Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011 to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.

Since then there have been:  • 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
    • Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the Medal of Honor. 

Citation

Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United States Army.


From the Archives

We Have Met the Enemy…

      
Geoff Metcalf
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
              
--Benjamin Franklin
“The American people must be willing to give up a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security.”
              
--Louis Freeh
In the wake of the clamor over the most recent WikiLeaks data dump, ‘Vault 7’, ‘UMBRAGE’, et al, it should be noted this is not really anything new. What we are seeing here is simply the evolution of something that goes back to the late 50s (to the incomplete best knowledge I have).

It is kinda cool to finally see even The New York Times acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998.

In April of 1998 I wrote “Privacy has become an anachronism.” I was commenting on “a massive system designed to intercept all your e-mail, fax traffic and more.” I was explaining ‘Echelon’, the illegitimate offspring of a UKUSA Treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its purpose was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster, which allegedly shares common goals. The system was so “efficient” that reportedly National Security Agency folk from Fort Meade could work from Menwith Hill in England to intercept local communications without either nation having to burden themselves with the formality of seeking approval (a court order) or disclosing the operation. And this was all pre-9/11 and pre-the anti-constitutional  'Patriot Act'.

It is illegal (without a Judge’s signed permission) for the United States to spy on its citizens … kinda. The laws have long been circumvented by a mutual pact among five nations. Under the terms of UKUSA agreement, Britain spies on Americans and America spies on British citizens, and then the two conspirators trade data. A classic technical finesse. It is legal, but the intent to evade the spirit is inescapable.

I often fictionalized the genesis of ‘Echelon’ as an informal meeting of a group of post war American and British intelligence types drinking in some remote rustic bar. An imagined CIA type complains to his MI6 buddy about the hassles of US laws preventing US intelligence from surveillance of bad guys, and the Brit echoes the same complaint.

“Hey wait a moment mate,” says Nigel, the make-believe MI6 guy, “I can spy on your guys and you can spy on our bad players…why don’t we just come up with a mechanism whereby we spy on your villains, you spy on our villains, and we just ‘share’ the intel?”

This system was called ECHELON, and has been kicking around in some form longer than most of you. The result of the UKUSA treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster which allegedly shares common goals.

The London Telegraph reported in December of 1997 that the Civil liberties Committee of the European Parliament had officially confirmed the existence and purpose of ECHELON. “A global electronic spy network that can eavesdrop on every telephone, e-mail and telex communication around the world will be officially acknowledged for the first time in a European Commission report. …”

The report noted: “Within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring all target information from the European mainland via the strategic hub of London, then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill, in the North York moors in the UK.

“The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON was designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country.”

An interesting sidebar appeared in the International Herald Tribune under the headline, “Big Corporate Brother: It Knows More About You Than You Think.” The story details Acxiom Corp, which was a humongous information service hidden in the Ozark foothills. Twenty-four hours a day, Acxiom electronically gathered and sorts all kinds of data about 196 million Americans. Credit card transactions and magazine subscriptions, telephone numbers, real estate records, automotive data, hunting, business and fishing licenses, consumer surveys and demographic detail that would make a marketing department’s research manager salivate. This relatively new (legal) enterprise was known as “data warehousing” or “data-mining”, and it underscores the cruel reality that the fiction of personal privacy has become obsolete. Technology’s ability to collect and analyze data has made privacy a quaint albeit interesting dinosaur.

The Tribune reported that “Axciom can often determine whether an American owns a dog or cat, enjoys camping or gourmet cooking, reads the Bible or lots of other books. It can often pinpoint an American’s occupation, car and favorite vacations. By analyzing the equivalent of billions of pages of data, it often projects for its customers who should be offered a credit card or who is likely to buy a computer.”

Most of this information is from y 1998 piece.  Echelon has developed, matured, and morphed into a much more powerful hybrid. ‘Carnivore’ was software to help triage the cacophony of data. Vault 7 and ‘Umbrage’ are logical (some would argue “insidious”) growth.

    More to follow…