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Tyler Durden

'Clear That DHS Was Wrong': California Says Russians Did Not Hack Voting Systems

Last Friday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dropped a "bombshell" statement that sent a "thrill up the leg" (to quote Chris Matthews) of every CNN reporter across the country.  The news from DHS implied that the election systems of 21 states around the country had been hacked, or at least were close to being hacked, which set off a new wave "Russian collusion" speculation in the U.S. news media (see: DHS Notifies 21 States Of Hacker Targeting; Election Officials Blame "Russian Government Cyber Actors").

That said, according to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla who released a statement this morning in response to the DHS, the whole thing was just a bunch of "fake news."  Padilla noted that after requesting additional information from DHS on the "hacks" it quickly became clear that their "conclusions were wrong" and that "California's elections infrastructure and websites were not hacked or breached by Russian cyber actors.”
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Ron Paul Interviews Snowden On 'The Rise Of The Deep State'

In a discussion with Edward Snowden on his  “Liberty Report," Ron Paul and the former NSA contractor trace the genesis of the so-called Deep State, and discuss how the US intelligence community uses covert programs like those exposed by Snowden in 2013 to trample individual freedoms.

The most sinister quality of the Deep State, Snowden says, is its ability to mask its very existence from the public, allowing it to undermine President Donald Trump while remaining largely hidden from scrutiny. 
Generally, when we’re talking about the Deep State, what we’re talking about is a mass of government that survives beyond administrations, but that is not responding to the politics of the people. This belongs not to a particular political party, but it serves across parties. Across administrations.
The Deep State’s culture of secrecy convinces employees that they won’t ever be held accountable for their actions, Snowden said, since even routine communications between employees at the CIA and NSA are classified.
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Five Democrat Votes Allow Trump's Saudi Weapons Deal To Clear Senate

A bipartisan bid to block President Trump's recently negotiated $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia failed in the Senate. The effort to stop the weapons sales, authored by Senators Rand Paul and Chris Murphy, fell short on a 47-53 vote, with four Republicans joining most Democrats in voting against it and five Democrats voting to preserve deals that will arm the Saudi Kingdom with some of the most sophisticated equipment available.

The five democrats who made the passage of the weapons deal possible were Sens. Bill Nelson, Claire McCaskill, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Mark Warner.

Despite the failure, Politico notes that Paul and Murphy fared better on Tuesday than they did last year in a similar effort to block a Saudi arms sale under former President Barack Obama, thanks entirely to new Democratic supporters: it's curious how ideology changes ones outlook on lethal weaponry.
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Qatar Will Pay John Ashcroft $2.5 Million To Defend Against Terrorism Accusations

Who better to defend Qatar from accusations it is a hotbed of terrorism-funding (as per a recent list released by Saudi Arabia et al according to which 59 individuals and 12 entities in Qatar are terrorist) than the US Attorney General who served during the September 11 attacks, John Ashcroft. At least that's what the government of Qatar is thinking, which hired the former US AG to defend the world's wealthiest (on a GDP/capita basis) nation from accusations by Donald Trump and Arab neighbors that it supports terrorism.

As a reminder, Ashcroft was U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush from February 2001 to February 2005, years in which US policies and laws were reshaped by the so-called war on terrorism that followed the 2001 al Qaeda attacks. Under Ashcroft the US spawned the "Patriot Act", trampling over civil rights everywhere, and made pervasive spying on virtually everyone the norm, courtesy of the NSA.
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Saudis Plan $40 Billion US Investment To 'Cement Ties With Trump'

Having gone all-in on a Hillary Clinton victory ahead of the elections, Saudi Arabia has quickly pivoted in its "appreciation" of the Trump administration, and having realized that the fastest way to Trump's heart is through the US Treasury's bank account, it is preparing to invest an "unprecedented" amount of money in the US. According to Bloomberg, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will announce plans to "deploy as much as $40 billion into U.S. infrastructure." The investment will likely be unveiled as early as next week when Trump is scheduled to visit the kingdom.
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Russia, Iran, Turkey Ban US Planes Above Syrian 'Safe Zones'

Russia said it’s ready to send peacekeepers to Syria after Turkey and Iran agreed on Thursday to Russia's proposal for "de-escalation zones" in Syria. The move, welcomed by the United Nations, has been met with skepticism from the United States as the so-called safe-zones will closed for warplanes of the United States and those of the U.S.-led coalition.

As Bloomberg reports, the three countries signed a memorandum on the creation of so-called de-escalation areas on Thursday after two days of talks in Kazakhstan that also included representatives of the Syrian government and rebel groups.
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US Deploys Troops Along Syria-Turkey Border

Just three days after Turkish warplanes killed at least 20 US-backed Kurdish fighters along the Turkey-Syria border as well as several Kurdish peshmerga troops on Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, footage posted by Syrian activists showed the US has deployed troops and APCs in the contested region, in a move that could potentially drag the US in a conflict where it already finds itself mediating between two so-called US ally forces in the proxy war against Syria.
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CNN Confirms Fox's Napolitano - British Intelligence Passed On Trump Surveillance To US Spy Agency


Roughly a month ago, during the height of the mainstream media mania over Trump's alleged collusion with Russia, Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on Fox and Friends with a startling new revelation, namely that President Obama circumvented U.S. law and employed a British intelligence agency to conduct surveillance of the Trump campaign.  Despite Napolitano's assertion that the information had been confirmed by 3 separate sources, the Obama administration and foreign intelligence agencies issued immediate denials and the mainstream media was all too happy to trash the latest 'conspiracy theory' of their competitor network.
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James Clapper Denies Obama Wiretapped Trump

The former Director of National Intelligence under the Obama administration, James Clapper, denied there was a secret court order for surveillance at Trump Tower. Speaking on NBC's Meet The Press, Clapper said that in the national intelligence activity he oversaw, "there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, as a candidate or against his campaign."

Clapper was asked if he would be aware if something like that had happened. "I would certainly hope so ... Obviously I can't speak officially anymore," "But I will say that for the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity." Clapper said that as intelligence director he would have known about a "FISA court order on something like this. Absolutely, I can deny it."

Clapper also said he would know if a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order existed for "something like this."

"And at this point you can't confirm or deny whether that exists?" host Chuck Todd asked.
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