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Dave DeCamp

Biden Administration Announces Plan to Combat ‘Domestic Extremism’

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On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that President Biden ordered three US intelligence agencies to review the threat of “domestic violent extremism.”

Since pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the US Capitol building on January 6th, calls to combat “domestic terrorism” have been growing. Before January 6th, Biden’s transition team had said they were planning to pass laws against domestic terrorism, and the Capitol incident has made it a top priority.

“The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known. The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” Psaki said.

Psaki went on to outline the first steps the Biden administration is taking. She said Biden ordered the newly confirmed Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to conduct a threat assessment along with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
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Biden Taps Veteran Interventionist Samantha Power to Head USAID

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On Wednesday, Joe Biden announced that he will nominate Samantha Powerto head the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Power served as ambassador to the UN for President Obama from 2013 to 2017. Before that, she worked on Obama’s National Security Council, where she played an instrumental role in pushing for US intervention in Libya in 2011.

Power argued in favor of US intervention in Libya under the guise of protecting human rights and preventing genocide. She was joined in her crusade by then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice, who served as the UN ambassador at the time.

Reports from 2011 say the pressure from Power, Rice, and Clinton is what led Obama to intervene militarily in Libya, even though his other top advisors were against it. Then-Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates would later say that in a “51 to 49” decision, Obama decided to bomb Libya.
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DOJ Seizes 27 Domains, Claims They are Controlled by Iran

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The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday that it seized 27 online domains, claiming the websites were controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The DOJ seized the domains under the guise of enforcing US sanctions against Iran and the IRGC.

Wednesday’s announcement followed the seizure of 92 domains in October that the DOJ also claimed were operated by Iran. The DOJ purports that the domains were being used to spread “Iranian propaganda” and “disinformation.”

The DOJ and the FBI work with US tech companies to make these seizures. “Thanks to our ongoing collaboration with Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the FBI was able to disrupt this Iranian propaganda campaign and we will continue to pursue any attempts by foreign actors to spread disinformation in our country,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair said in a statement.

Among the domains seized on Wednesday were four news websites the DOJ seized under the guise of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The claim against the websites is that they targeted US audiences without disclosing ties to a foreign government.

“Here, the four domains purported to be independent news outlets, but they were actually operated by or on behalf of the IRGC to target the United States with pro-Iranian propaganda in an attempt to covertly influence the American people to change United States policy concerning Iran and the Middle East,” the DOJ said.
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Former Intel Officials Try To Downplay Ratcliffe’s Russiagate Releases

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US Intelligence officials were quick to speak through their stenographers in the media to downplay the contents of a memo released last week by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe about the origins of Russiagate. The memo made an explosive claim: Russian intelligence assessed that Hillary Clinton approved a campaign in July 2016 to link Donald Trump to Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC to distract from Clinton’s email scandal.

After a week of sanctimonious statements from former intelligence officials, who according to Politico, were "aghast" with Ratcliffe’s decision to declassify the intelligence, the DNI declassified documents that showed the claim was not as "unverified" as these spooks would like the American people to believe.

In the memo released last week, Ratcliffe said handwritten notes from former CIA director John Brennan indicated that Brennan briefed President Obama on Clinton’s alleged plot. On Tuesday, Ratcliffe declassified those notes.

"We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED]," Brennan’s notes read. "CITE [summarizing] alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service,"
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Hearing Reveals US Govt’s Invisible Hand in Protests Around the World

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Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee grilled Michael Pack, who President Trump recently appointed to head the US government’s state propaganda arm, the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM).

Pack was appointed in June and started a big shakeup at the US state media outlets run by the USAGM, like Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. Pack fired senior staffers, pushed out management, and froze funding.

During last week’s hearing, Democrats and Republicans on the committee teamed up to attack Pack for his purges. But what seemed more important to Congress and former USAGM officials was Pack’s move to freeze funds to the Open Technology Fund (OTF). The OTF was formed in 2012 and operated as part of Radio Free Asia for seven years. In 2019, the OTF became an independent non-profit, although it is financed by US taxpayer dollars through the USAGM.

According to former USAGM officials and OTF board members, the OTF supports protesters in other nations across the world. “In many places around the globe, OTF quietly is providing support to protesters,” said Grant Turner, the former USAGM chief financial officer, who Pack removed in August. “So the Hong Kong protesters are protecting their identities from surveillance by OTF tools; protesters in Iran; we’ve seen it in Beirut,” Turner said.
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Pompeo’s Flimsy Case for Extending the Arms Embargo on Iran

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As part of its continued “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, the Trump administration is pushing to extend a UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic that is set to expire in October. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently presented the UN Security Council with a list of grievances against Iran, a list full of unsubstantiated claims and half-truths. And like most things Washington accuses Tehran of, the US and its allies in the region are guilty of similar or worse offenses.

The arms embargo on Iran will expire under terms agreed to in the 2015 nuclear deal, an agreement the US withdrew from in 2018 when it reimposed sanctions on Iran. “Because of the flawed nuclear deal negotiated by the previous American administration, the arms embargo on the world’s most heinous terrorist regime is scheduled to expire on October 18th, a mere four months from now,” Pompeo said to the UN Security Council on June 30th.

Pompeo went on to list attacks on US forces and allies in the region that he claimed Iran was behind, either directly or indirectly. “In January, Iran launched an attack on the coalition forces in Iraq with its own advanced missiles,” Pompeo said referring to Iran’s attack on bases in Iraq housing US troops, retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani – crucial context the secretary left out of his remarks.

Pompeo also mentioned Iran’s support for Kataib Hezbollah, a Shia militia that is frequently blamed for attacks on US forces in Iraq. “Iran, even as we sit here today, supplies Shia militia groups like Kata’ib Hizballah – groups which have launched dozens of rocket attacks since the fall of last year against US and coalition forces fighting the important continued important campaign against Daesh,” Pompeo said.
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Stumbling Towards Catastrophe: The New Cold War With China

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With tensions between the US and China at an all-time high, experts warn the two powers are closer to a military confrontation than ever before. A war with China should be unthinkable in Washington since the conflict could be catastrophic to the entire world as the threat of it erupting into a full-blown nuclear war is very real. But with a deteriorating trade relationship, tension over the Covid-19 pandemic, increased US Navy activity in the Pacific, new sanctions aimed at Chinese officials, and hostile rhetoric coming from the Trump administration, the unthinkable is becoming more and more likely.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced new sanctions on Friday aimed at “current and former” Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, accusing them of violating Hong Kong’s autonomy. Hong Kong has served as a stage for recent US meddling, with Washington openly supporting the protests that rocked the city since March 2019. The Trump administration accused Beijing of violating Hong Kong’s autonomy with a new national security law made for the city, a bill designed to quell protests.

Some Chinese officials justified passing the law by pointing to the foreign interference in the demonstrations – that interference included Congress hosting protest leaders and passing legislation to confront Beijing over the former British colony. China’s concern with foreign interference is clearly outlined in the national security bill, which includes “collusion with foreign and external forces” on a list of criminal offenses the bill aims to combat.
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OPCW Insiders Denounce Latest Syria Report

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Over the past year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been quietly facing a crisis of credibility. The crisis started when whistleblowers within the organization shared information that contradicted the findings of an OPCW investigation into the April 2018 alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria. Leaks and whistleblower testimony show the organization suppressed the findings of its experts to fit the narrative that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack. That crisis of credibility continues. A group of OPCW insiders have just spoken out against a new report that blames the Syrian government for an alleged 2017 chemical weapons attack.

On April 8th, the OPCW issued the first report from its new Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), a unit of the organization established to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks inside Syria. The new IIT report found "reasonable grounds" to conclude the Syrian government was responsible for three chemical attacks in Ltamenah, Syria at the end of March 2017. Specifically, two sarin attacks on March 24th and 30th, and one chlorine attack on March 25th. The three alleged attacks jointly "affected" 106 people and did not claim any lives.

The Grayzone published a response to the IIT report from a group of OPCW insiders who called the credibility of the IIT "compromised" and said the report is "scientifically flawed." According to The Grayzone, the authors who wrote the piece "represent the view of, at minimum, a small group of current and former OPCW officials who took part in its [the IIT report’s] drafting and review."
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New Anti-China Propaganda Uses Russiagate Playbook

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A rabid anti-China propaganda campaign has spread through the media since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The hysteria seems to be just as contagious as the virus, as Americans are bombarded with anti-China stories from the pages of The New York Times to segments on Fox News. Both Republicans and Democrats are arguing the other side is not tough enough on China as they gear up for the 2020 election.

Since Donald Trump was elected president, the unfounded claim that Russia meddled in the 2016 election was spread far and wide by intelligence officials and liberal media outlets.

A common tactic used to promote the Russiagate narrative was unnamed officials making statements to the press without providing evidence or any factual basis to their claims. Another common tactic was frequent media appearances by former intelligence officials, like James Clapper and John Brennan, usually making wild accusations about Trump and Russia. These tactics are being repeated to promote an anti-China narrative.

The New York Times ran a story on April 22nd titled, "Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in US, Officials Say." The article says rumors that were spread through text messages and social media posts in mid-March that claimed the Trump administration was going to lock down the entire country to combat coronavirus were boosted by "Chinese operatives." The authors’ sources are "six American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to publicly discuss intelligence matters."
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William Barr Greenlit Bush’s Invasion of Panama, Is Venezuela Next?

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The US Justice Department unsealed an indictment on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other government officials last week, accusing them of "narco-terrorism." The move is reminiscent of the 1988 indictment of former CIA asset and Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega. The Noriega indictment resulted in a US invasion of Panama that left hundreds – possibly thousands – of dead civilians in its wake. Attorney General William Barr took to the podium to announce Maduro’s indictment. Barr happens to be the same person who gave the first Bush administration the legal justification to invade Panama just over 30 years ago.

Barr first worked in the DOJ in 1989 when George H. W. Bush appointed him as head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Bush and Barr had some history together. The two first crossed paths in 1976 when Bush was head of the CIA, and Barr served as a congressional liaison for the agency. At the time, Manuel Noriega was also on the CIA’s payroll.

Noriega served as a useful tool for the CIA for decades, most notably known for helping the US send money and weapons to the Contras in Nicaragua. But after Noriega became more of a liability than an asset, the US turned on him. Noriega’s connection to drug trafficking became the pretext for his disposal, something the US government was undoubtedly aware of long before the indictment.

In 1988, the Senate subcommittee on terrorism, narcotics, and international operations said, "It is clear that each US government agency which had a relationship with Noriega turned a blind eye to his corruption and drug dealing, even as he was emerging as a key player on behalf of the Medellin Cartel (Pablo Escobar’s infamous Colombian cartel)."
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