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Tyler Durden

Bolton And Mattis Feud Over Syria Strike As Assad Evacuates Weapons

- The Syrian government and Hezbollah have reportedly evacuated weapons from key locations

- Assad has moved planes to a Russian-operated base

- The UK Cabinet has agreed to back military action against the Syrian government

- US National Security Advisor John Bolton and Defense Secretary James Mattis are reportedly feuding over the strategy in Syria, with Mattis favoring a more cautious approach

- The U.S., France and Britain are crafting broad strike plans

- A readout of a Thursday phone conversation President Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May suggests that military action may be days away, instead of hours

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Russian Fighters Killed In Clash With US-Led Coalition Forces In Syria

With the calm of global capital markets shattered in the past two weeks, the ongoing military conflict in the Middle East has taken an understandable back seat to monetary matters. And yet, tensions involving Syria, Iran and Israel continue to escalate, most notably with this weekend's outright attack by Israel on Syria, allegedly in retaliation for an Iranian drone launch from a Syrian army base, and which led to the first downing of an Israeli F-16 jet in decades.
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VP Pence Confirms US Will No Longer Certify Iran Deal

While President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans battle to reopen the federal government, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Israel this week to meet with dignitaries and visit a handful of historic sites - including the Holocaust Memorial.

But during a speech to the Knesset - Israel's parliament - Monday afternoon (local time) , Pence surprised his audience by declaring that the US would not re-certify the Iran deal when it comes up for renewal in May, virtually guaranteeing that the US will reimpose economic sanctions against the Iranian regime. Trump re-certified the deal earlier this month "for the last time", part of a deal with Democrats to buy them some time to work out a compromise.
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Bombshell: WikiLeaks Publishes CIA Hacking Tool Designed To 'Impersonate' Russia's Kaspersky Lab

On September 18th, the US Senate voted to ban the use of products from the Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab by the federal government, citing national security risk. The vote was included as an amendment to an annual defense policy spending bill approved by the Senate on the same day and was written to bar the use of Kaspersky Lab software in government civilian and military agencies.
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Intel Committee Demands Fusion GPS Bank Records; Suspects Journalists Paid To Spread 'Russian Collusion' Claims

For nearly a year now we've all been inundated with 24x7 media coverage of the "Russian Collusion" narrative which suggests, among other things, that various members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives to obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton and then used social media to spread that damaging information far and wide, thus causing Hillary's inevitable second failed bid for the White House.

That said, what if it wasn't the Trump administration, but rather the Hillary campaign and Democrats who were guilty of all the "Russian Collusion" crimes they've been screaming about for the better part of year now? 

Of course, we already know that it was Hillary's campaign and the DNC that paid for the Trump dossier (see: Hillary Clinton Lied, Paid For "Trump Dossier").  We also know that most of the sources listed in the dossier were based in Russia and include a "senior Kremlin official" as well as other "close associates of Vladimir Putin." 

Moreover, as CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell noted recently, it's highly likely that some portion of the funds paid to Perkins Coie by the DNC and Hillary campaign made it's way into the pockets of those "senior Kremlin officials" as compensation for their services.
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'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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