When President Trump states he believes he was being wiretapped at Trump Tower, he is absolutely correct, per our sources
[ Editor’s note: This is another barn burner by Gordon, a peek behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. This may be the first time that the warrantless surveillance zones around NY and DC have been discussed. If you were to wonder if similar arrangements existed in all the major capitols of the world, you might be right.
Why? There are too many reasons to describe, and too many players. I can give you a “what if”. Let’s say, while powerful Congressmen or foreign legislators were on their summer junkets zooming around the world to get “first hand experience” on a number of things.
Some of that first-hand experience could involve doing some really illegal things, but under circumstances where they feel they are protected and have immunity to partake in certain “favors” being offered them for past or present or “future” work.
If a foreign intelligence agency were to get hold of such material, say like we have done for ages in Washington, an example being the street kids that get picked up by smoke-windowed diplomatic-plated limousines, all photographed to be able to use to compromise foreign diplomats.
If such things where happening to US Congressmen overseas, then the CIA would want to know who was attempting to compromise, or actually compromising a US Congressman or woman. Oh yes, we are at that level now, too. This would be a slam-dunk national security issue, and a very long practiced one.
Would these cases be made public and careers destroyed and prosecuted to make examples of people? The record says no. No one officially in any country goes public with any of this, as they ALL would prefer to have the public unaware, and demands made for a file dump to find out what else has been hidden from them.
Have you even wondered how Wikileaks material is totally devoid of pedophilia material, along with anything harmful to Israel, when it seems virtually everything else is fair game? To a trained analyst, that is a flashing red light that such material is being held back, and there could be a variety of reasons for that.
So the question to ask is why does Trump want to play with fire, wanting investigations on him made public when what could be released could change his world forever? If he were really to go after the Intel and Security community, what would they do? Who would still be standing when that battle was over?
This is a scary thing we have going on here, and nothing that happens will surprise me, as we are definitely into the Twilight Zone on this one. Even Rod Serling would say, “Not even I could make this stuff up” … Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … March 20, 2017 –
WikiLeaks allegations of CIA surveillance miss several key points needed to understand events as they transpire. CIA surveillance, under special powers given that organization in 1947 and approved by Congress in still classified sections of funding legislation, allow things never imagined.
Thus, when President Trump states he believes he was being wiretapped at Trump Tower, he is absolutely correct, per our sources.
How these recordings are used and how they impact events is what is important. Recent scandals, some more publicized than others, all involved CIA intercepts and how the CIA has chosen to leak or withhold them, and a “why” we may never know the answer to.
After the Republican Convention in July, 2016, Donald Trump, General Michael Flynn and perhaps, not confirmed, son-in-law Jared Kushner began receiving highly classified CIA briefings. Now we know that this information was sold to Turkish intelligence by Flynn and passed on in meetings that Kushner may also have attended.
The result of this action has been to give Turkey leverage to play the US and Russia against each other in Syria, bringing about the current disaster — American troops on the ground in America’s worst mission since Vietnam.
The CIA was at the briefings of course, but as we will explain below, the CIA also followed and maintained surveillance on Flynn and others and the Turkish spies they met. But first, there is a history of these briefings, from Time Magazine:
When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off at forum on national-security issues in New York City on Wednesday night, host Matt Lauer pressed the Republican presidential nominee on the contents of two classified national security briefings he had received so far.
Asked whether he had learned anything from the briefings, Trump said that “President Obama and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, who is another total disaster, did exactly the opposite” of what the experts recommended. Following those comments, Clinton called it “totally inappropriate and undisciplined” for Trump to have commented in such a manner on the classified meetings.
This not the first time an intelligence briefing has caused an uproar during the 2016 campaign—in July, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid suggested that Trump ought to get “fake” briefings—but such controversies are a deep part of the history of those briefings.
The custom dates back to the 1952 election and it wasn’t meant to become such a political hot potato. As TIME recently reported, when President Harry S. Truman proposed inviting the nominees — former Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson and former commander of the Allied Forces Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower — to lunch at the White House with the Cabinet and a briefing by intelligence officials, he was just trying to make sure the next commander-in-chief wouldn’t come to office as clueless as he had been when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. He told reporters that catching up on the Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb “felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”
Trump was at the center of CIA surveillance in New York, his relationships with Russian “oligarchs” who financed his deals, many like Felix Sater, considered among the most powerful organized crime figures in the world.
As early as the late 1970s, Trump came onto CIA radar through his mentor, controversial attorney Roy Cohn, one of the darkest figures in American history and architect of the Senator McCarthy “witch hunt” of the 1950s.
Trump, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, the whole gang including Felix Sater, a name many don’t know but more important than Trump himself in many ways, have huge CIA files, everything they ever did in New York City is there.
Some sources say that former President Obama may well have these files, extensive CIA intercepts of Trump Tower.
“New York City” is a CIA station and that all territory within 30 miles of the United Nations HQ, is considered warrantless national security surveillance territory not under FBI or court jurisdiction. No FISA warrant is needed because of the presence of foreign consulates and long history of New York as a center for espionage and terrorism against the US, dating back to the early 20th century.
Here is some of what we know. What we know can’t be published or admitted to. We are not allowed to admit we have classified information and, unless we are “WikiLeaks,” violating the law is illegal. Israeli intelligence or “WikiLeaks” as they sometimes call themselves, can publish reams of CIA material with impunity.
The lies Vice President Mike Pence told to cover for the Flynn/Turkey spy ring alone would do it, and this is nothing compared to what is out there. Evidence has now been presented that, on November 18, 2016, Vice President Elect Pence was informed of Flynn’s illegal activities. Pence has repeatedly denied this knowledge.
Pence was aware and said nothing, knowing Flynn was passing on classified information to Turkey damaging to US interests, something that continued after January 20 which moved Pence from “co-conspirator” to something far worse.
But this isn’t what we are here to talk about today. Worse still, Turkey was getting CIA briefing material on Russia, allowing them to leverage their negotiations there as well and to play Russia and the US against each other.
This has created a nightmare in Syria with American “boots on the ground” and Turkey playing America and Russia against each other while supporting ISIS and getting away with it. This is what Flynn and Pence and perhaps Kushner did, bringing the world closer to the brink of nuclear war in ways we can only guess.
What we do know is that it is all illegal, “life in prison” or “execution” illegal, as outlined in the constitution and clearly defined as treason.
What we also know is that the CIA knew all of this, and maintained full surveillance of the Flynn meetings with Turkish intelligence and any meetings Pence or Kushner or others may or may not have had with Turkish intelligence at Trump Tower.
Yes, it was all done at Trump Tower with Secret Service there signing in the Turkish spies, searching them, and passing them on to the clandestine meetings and keeping it all secret, much to the shame of that organization as well. NYPD intelligence units knew it also, but that organization has fallen into disrepute since 9/11 and is more accountable to Russian gangsters than America. New York is a very special place, and to world security, a very dangerous place as well.
The answer is this; the CIA has the right, and it is their job to maintain surveillance on all New York City locations used for espionage and terrorism. Moreover, the CIA is authorized by Congress to perform domestic surveillance within 30 miles of New York City. The FBI maintains the same capability in Washington DC, fully warrantless based on the presence of many foreign intelligence operatives at embassies.
This congressional organization is said to be President Obama’s “get out of jail free card” for wiretapping Trump. The blackmail material Obama may or may not have could make him even more powerful, according to sources.
In New York, Trump Tower is fully under surveillance along with the major hotels, like the old standard The Pierre, where deals were cut over lunch that would make your head spin. Now there are 30 or so top hotels, all are under surveillance, all have CIA embedded staff and everyone is watched.
Years ago, during the Cold War, half the CIA would be brought into New York for UN General Assembly meetings, following Cubans and Romanians around the city with periodic street fights and even shootouts covered by the quite excellent NYPD, who before the Rudy Giuliani regime tore it apart, were considered top national security assets. Their intelligence group was among the best in the world.
I can think of stories, they are not my stories mind you, back during the days of surveillance vans with all that gear from companies like Dektor and Sparton, for “insiders.”
Worse still, the CIA is not obliged to share these intercepts with anyone and has the right to trade them anywhere, with any other agency, foreign or domestic, if by their judgement, please excuse my use of the term, this serves national interests.
Thus, if the CIA wants the Russians to know something Trump or his people did, they can simply pass it on. Where this becomes, an issue is with Trump and billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his associate Les Wexner, retail magnate from Columbus, Ohio. It is reputed that the CIA and now former President Obama have recordings of Trump and Epstein and perhaps Wexner as well.
In court documents filed in 2016, Trump and Epstein are accused of rape and murder. From those filings:
“Both defendants let me know that each was a very wealthy, very powerful man and indicated they had the power, ability and means to carry out their threats. Indeed, Defendant Trump stated that I shouldn’t ever say anything if I didn’t want to disappear like Marine, a 12-year-old female that was forced to be involved in the third incident (of 4 rapes) with Defendant Trump and that I had not seen since that third incident, and that he was capable of having my whole family killed.”
These statements are in court documents tied to a secret settlement of a lawsuit largely kept from the public during the election. The issue with broad CIA wiretapping in New York is that Epstein, long suspected of running a child sex ring and “getting away with it” may well have been “tasked” by the CIA or other agency to gain control over key figures including members of Britain’s royal family.
There is every reason to believe that everything that happened around Epstein, and court documents claim that Trump and Epstein were far more involved with one another than Trump admits, is recorded on video.
Then we consider not just Trump but those before him — the Bush administrations, Clinton, the Reagan administration — and the pattern of interference with government, with world events and who or what may control the CIA. When we bring forward these aspects of their activities, the CIA is now more powerful than any agency, perhaps any government as well.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War who has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues, and is a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
Palestinian Hip-Hop Star Tamer Nafar Fights Racist Israeli Policies in New Film, “Junction 48”
DemocracyNow! digs deep into Hip Hop art and a feature length movie that will bulldozer your house and your preconceived notions down!
We continue our conversation about Israel by looking at a film that’s just been released titled “Junction 48.” The film centers on Kareem, an aspiring Palestinian rap artist who lives in an impoverished, mixed Palestinian-Jewish city near Tel Aviv. “Junction 48” shows how Kareem, his Palestinian girlfriend Manar and their friends use hip-hop to fight back against Israel’s policies.
The role of Kareem is played by Tamer Nafar, a rap artist with the Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. To talk more about the film, we’re joined by the film’s director Udi Aloni and the lead actor, Tamer Nafar.
No order, no hegemon. The Middle East in flux
For decades, at least through the Cold War and into the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Middle East formed a highly conflicted, but rather durable “regional security complex” (Barry Buzan). It was defined by the geopolitical conflict between East and West, the region’s oil-dependent political economy, and rather stagnant political systems. Change was limited, but the “stability” the regional states seemed to provide was a false one at best. Seven brief points to sketch what we see today in a region in flux.
1. If only one major headline could be used to characterize the current state of the Middle East, it would be the dissolution of order. Systems of order in the geographical space stretching from North Africa to the Persian Gulf are breaking up on different levels. The established system of states and borders is obviously under pressure. Domestic order has been disintegrating in Syria, Yemen and Libya ; Iraq has been at risk of fragmentation for quite some time. Moreover, the normative and moral order of the region is under threat, particularly the never easy yet time-honored culture of coexistence between a rich variety of religious, confessional and ethnic communities.
By all appearances it seems that the disruptions and changes we have been witnessing since the Arab revolts of 2011 are only the first phase of a comprehensive transformation that will leave no country in the region untouched. Transformation can come through different channels, of course : evolutionary change, reform from above, negotiations, revolutions, war, civil war or any combination of the above ; it can also result from political as well as social, economic, demographic, technological or climate pressures.
But whatever the dynamics, it is difficult to imagine that ten years hence countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran will look the same as today in terms of their politics, economy or society.
2. In the Middle East, as everywhere else, all politics is local. Conflicts have local causes, mainly related to the dignity and rights of people, to the inclusivity or exclusivity of their regimes of governance. The revolts of 2011 – often referred to as the “Arab Spring,” a misleading term that is too seasonal and falsely implied quick and positive results – have largely failed. Tunisia is thus far the notable exception.
But the issues at stake remain, and the same applies to the generational experience that stagnant political conditions are not stable if large parts of the population feel excluded from the distribution of power, income and resources. Despite appearances to the contrary, religion is not the root cause of conflict in the Middle East.
But wherever states fail, or social contracts and societal consensus break down in the process of state failure, people take refuge in older, sub-state and often transnational identities. Confessional, sectarian and ethnic fault lines gain relevance, both as a response to and as a multiplier of deepest fears. Sectarian mobilization by policymakers and warlords alike, particularly along the Sunni-Shia divide, has led to a region-wide polarization at local levels – most clearly in Syria and Iraq – as well as regionally. There is little wonder that the essentially geopolitical conflict over regional hegemony between Saudi Arabia and Iran has increasingly been cast in sectarian terms.
3. The geopolitical balance of forces in the region is highly fluid. In 2011, Turkey, under the leadership of the moderate Islamist AKP, seemed to reap the major geopolitical benefit from the wave of revolts in the Arab world. In 2013, Saudi Arabia suddenly appeared as the leading regional power. In 2015 and 2016, Iran managed to stabilize its influence and acquire a quasi-hegemonic position, at least in the Arab East along the Iraq-Syria-Lebanon axis.
This may or may not last. There is no stable balance of power in the regional state system, but rather a balance of mistrust that has thus far prevented the emergence of any stable regional coalitions or alliances.
Instead, relations between states seem to work on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy. For instance, over the last few years we have seen attempts to establish a Saudi- Qatari-Turkish coalition, as well as a Saudi-Egyptian alliance. Not much of either remains today ; and no one should expect the recently formed Russian-Turkish-Iranian alliance on Syria to hold for too much longer.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the defining element of the Middle East for decades, has morphed into a local conflict. It remains unsolved, and an upsurge of violence within the next few years is more likely than a settlement. But it no longer dominates political discourse or action in the rest of the Middle East. The dominant conflicts today are the regional conflict over hegemony between the two Gulf powers – Saudi Arabia and Iran – and the war in Syria.
4. While the wars and civil wars in Yemen, Libya and Iraq are putting their respective countries at risk, the dynamics and outcome of the Syrian war will likely be a major determinant for the future of the entire region. All the political, geopolitical, social and sectarian conflicts in the region converge in Syria like under a burning glass. Originally a local power struggle, the conflict was quickly regionalized and internationalized. The number of external players with direct or indirect military involvement has been increasing by the year, and now includes, above all, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, Qatar and the United States. The “original” parties to the conflict – the government of Syria under Bashar al-Assad and the antiregime opposition, with its political and armed components – are exhausted.
Neither the government nor the opposition could have sustained their war efforts had they not been kept afloat from abroad. Russia, in 2015, began its direct military intervention explicitly because it feared an imminent collapse of the regime.
With more than half of all Syrians internally displaced or driven into exile, the conflict in Syria has produced this century’s largest humanitarian catastrophe. While differing over details, the UN, Russia, the US, Turkey, and the EU now all agree on the urgency of a sustainable cessation of hostilities and a political process that leads to inclusive governance and a modicum of power-sharing in Syria. Alas, all local and regional players do not necessarily share this position.
5. There will be no sustainable solution for Syria and no regional stability without some form of consensus and a balancing of interests between the relevant regional and international powers. However, even a cursory overview shows how the interests and priorities of these powers differ.
Russia is bent on demonstrating its great-power status and reestablishing itself as a main force of order in the Middle East, and has had some success in Syria so far. By the end of 2016, Moscow and Tehran had helped the Syrian government gain a substantial military victory by defeating the rebels in Aleppo. Russia then initiated a tripartite effort with Turkey and Iran to resume political talks between the government in Damascus and selected opposition figures, which effectively sidelined the outgoing US administration.
The priority for the EU and its member states lies in averting risks that emanate from the region. EU members have had to learn that it is simply impossible to wait for the conflict in Syria to burn itself out without creating new risks for Europe as a whole, particularly in terms of irregular migration and terrorism.
The priorities of the US remain unclear. The Obama administration was eager to reduce America’s over-commitment in the Middle East. It gave priority to the fight against terrorism while seeking to avoid being dragged into new conflicts. At the same time, Secretary of State John Kerry spent enormous diplomatic energy on attempts to resolve conflicts, often in cooperation with Russia. We can assume that the Trump administration will follow most of the same approach, but with much less emphasis on the diplomacy part.
Saudi Arabia, driven by a deep sense of insecurity both in terms of dangers from within and its lack of natural and secure borders, will try to keep the US politically and militarily involved. Riyadh’s priority has increasingly become to prevent what the kingdom would regard as a hostile Iranian takeover of Syria and the Levant.
Iran is indeed seeking to establish a form of regional hegemony. In the absence of any real friends, and driven in part by real security concerns, it has been trying to gain influence through a rather crude projection its power, directly and through various proxies, into the countries of the Arab East.
Turkey’s interest generally lies in a stable Middle Eastern neighborhood, and in breaking the links between external and domestic security threats. However, this interest has translated into widely varying policies, even within the last few years. After unsuccessfully trying to export its own political and ideological model into parts of the Arab world, Turkish policies have become more realistic, giving priority to physically preventing a contiguous Kurdish belt along its own border with Syria and, on this basis, seeking to establish a great-power consensus with Russia and Iran.
6. Terrorism is indeed the main threat emanating from the region, and one of the main threats for societies and states within the region. There is no doubt that the totalitarian and terroristic state project of the Islamic State (IS) must be fought militarily and destroyed.
At the same time, it is necessary to realize that even the liberation of Mosul, Raqqa and al-Bab from the IS and the destruction of its military infrastructure will not in itself defeat IS ideology. Without a political transition towards a credible form of inclusive governance in Syria, without more political inclusivity in Iraq, and without a détente between Saudi Arabia and Iran, an “IS 2.0” will sooner or later emerge. Needless to say, in the absence of such a positive evolution, we should not expect an end to the conflict in Syria, an end to sectarian polarization in the region, an end to the flow of refugees from Syria or a conducive atmosphere for reconciliation and reconstruction in Syria and in the mainly Arab Sunniinhabited parts of Iraq that so easily fell under IS control only two or three years ago.
7. While we cannot predict the future of the Middle East, we can imagine and frame its options for political and geopolitical development with the help of two historical metaphors : the Thirty Years War in Europe and the Concert of Powers in the 19th century. The former depicts a region in a generationlong period of unrest and violent conflict. It would not mean actual war being fought in all countries at all times, but rather a long series of wars, civil wars, revolts and other forms of organized violence involving the entire region as well as a host of extra-regional actors.
The latter would stand for a sort of Vienna Congress (or, as some prefer, a Westphalian Peace Conference), whereby the functioning states of the region, along with all influential external players, would agree on basic principles of coexistence that do not deny – let alone abolish – political, ideological and sectarian differences and conflicts of interests, but rather help to accept and respect them as the requirements of common survival.
Europeans, as the region’s closest neighbors, have a vital interest in supporting developments in line with this second metaphor. This will involve some unsavory compromises and agreeing to work with partners that are part of both the problems and the solution. Without regional partners, none of the conflicts will be contained, let alone solved. Ignoring or isolating difficult players does not inspire them to change. It is altogether easier to deal with difficult yet functioning partners than with failed states.