Pepe Escobar: Daesh, Creature Of The West

Authored Op-Ed by Pepe Escobar via SputnikNews.com,
James Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Emerging Threats at NATO – now that’s a lovely title – recently gave a talk at a private club in London on the Islamic State/Daesh. Shea, as many will remember, made his name as NATO’s spokesman during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999.
After his talk Shea engaged in a debate with a source I very much treasure. The source later gave me the lowdown.
According to Saudi intelligence, Daesh was invented by the US government – in Camp Bacca, near the Kuwait border, as many will remember – to essentially finish off the Shiite-majority Nouri al-Maliki government in Baghdad. It didn’t happen this way, of course. Then, years later, in the summer of 2014, Daesh routed the Iraqi Army on its way to conquer Mosul. The Iraqi Army fled. Daesh operatives then annexed ultra-modern weapons that took US instructors from six to twelve months to train the Iraqis in and…surprise! Daesh incorporated the weapons in their arsenals in 24 hours.
In the end, Shea frankly admitted to the source that Gen David Petraeus, conductor of the much-lauded 2007 surge, had trained these Sunnis now part of Daesh in Anbar province in Iraq
Saudi intelligence still maintains that these Iraqi Sunnis were not US-trained – as Shea confirmed – because the Shiites in power in Baghdad didn’t allow it. Not true. The fact is the Daesh core – most of them former commanders and soldiers in Saddam Hussein’s army – is indeed a US-trained militia.

This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden.

Meet The Man Most Likely To Replace Mike Flynn

As reported overnight, in the aftermath of Mike Flynn’s resignation, the Trump administration – facing mounting domestic and international security concerns – has rushed to find a replacement for the top National Security Advisor job. The scramble to replace Flynn began on Monday evening and continued with phone calls and meetings into the early hours of Tuesday in an effort to enable Trump to make a decision and put the matter behind him as soon as possible, Reuters reported.
As a result, three names have emerged.
The first is that of Keith Kellogg, the NSC’s chief of staff who advised Trump during his campaign, and who is taking over Flynn’s duties as acting national security adviser until Trump finds an official replacement. Kellogg previously served as a COO in Baghdad for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and later worked as a contractor for Oracle.
Another name thrown out is that of David Petraeus, who became CIA director in 2011 but resigned in 2012 after he was found guilty of lying to federal investigators about mishandling government information to his mistress.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

Trump Security Team “In Turmoil” After Flynn Resignation, Russia Calls It An “Internal Matter”

Less than a month into the new administration, President Trump security team has been plunged into “turmoil” following last night’s unexpected resignation announcement by his now former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. In some additional back story color, Flynn reportedly infuriated VP Pence by misleading him about the call, then not fully apologizing, the NYT reported and also added that Steve Bannon pushed for his resignation since Friday.
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Flynn stepped down on Monday night over his phone conversations with Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak. In a statement announcing his resignation, the general said he had ‘inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with the incomplete information’ about the calls.
Flynn’s resignation comes at a delicate time for the president as Trump struggles to cement his national security apparatus, just as the president and his cabinet officials are preparing for a series of meetings and summits with foreign leaders in the coming months, starting this week in Europe, and followed by various trips abroad, mostly to Europe.
As reported last night, Trump is now contemplating to replace Flynn with retired Army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, who had been Flynn’s chief of staff. Along with Kellogg, the White House is considering retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward and former CIA director David Petraeus as permanent replacements for Flynn. None of the three has a history with the president like Flynn’s, who was an early supporter and ardent campaigner during Trump’s improbable campaign for the White House.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

Obama Bequeaths A More Dangerous World

Submitted by Robert Parry via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Any fair judgment about Barack Obama’s presidency must start with the recognition that he inherited a dismal situation from George W. Bush: the U. S. economy was in free-fall and U. S. troops were bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly, these intertwined economic and foreign policy crises colored how Obama viewed his options, realizing that one false step could tip the world into the abyss.
President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
It’s also true that his Republican rivals behaved as if they had no responsibility for the messes that Obama had to clean up. From the start, they set out to trip him up rather than lend a hand. Plus, the mainstream media blamed Obama for this failure of bipartisanship, rewarding the Republicans for their nihilistic obstructionism.
That said, however, it is also true that Obama – an inexperienced manager – made huge mistakes from the outset and failed to rectify them in a timely fashion. For instance, he bought into the romantic notion of a ‘Team of Rivals’ with his White House trumpeting the comparisons to Abraham Lincoln (although some of Lincoln’s inclusion of rivals actually resulted from deals made at the 1860 Republican convention in Chicago to gain Lincoln the nomination).
In the real world of modern Washington, Obama’s choice of hawkish Sen. Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State and Republican apparatchik Robert Gates to remain as Secretary of Defense – along with keeping Bush’s high command, including neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus – guaranteed that he would achieve little real foreign policy change.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 27, 2017.

Gen. Mattis: “Russia Is The Principal Threat To US Security”

The cold war is officially back.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is currently hearing the testimony of retired Marine General James Mattis, picked by Donald Trump to take over the Department of Defense.
Mattis retired from the US Marine Corps in 2013 after serving as the 11th commander of US Central Command, replacing General David Petraeus as the overseer of US operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. His appointment requires a congressional waiver because federal law states that service members must wait seven years after retiring from active duty before they can hold senior civilian defense positions.
As the WSJ notes, “so far, there is no sign that he will face any resistance on for his Senate confirmation. He’s winning a fair amount of praise from Democrats. It this continues to hold, he could have one of the smoothest confirmation votes of any Trump administration nominee.”
‘Our Armed Forces must remain the best led, best equipped, and most ready force in the world,’ Mattis told the Senate. ‘We must also embrace our international alliances and security partnerships. History is clear: nations with strong allies thrive and those without them wither.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 12, 2017.

David Petraeus To Meet With Trump As Possible Secretary Of State Pick

Confirming media rumors that in addition to the ongoing battle between Romney and Giulianni for the position of Secretary of State, which had led to media fallout implicating Trump media aide Kellyanne Conway who allegedly “went rogue” by bashing Romney on Twitter and on the TV circuit over the weekend, Bloomberg reports that Trump is set to meet with General David Petraeus, whom he is now considering for the position of secretary of state.
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As a reminder, the four-star general left government under a cloud for sharing classified documents during an extramarital affair. He is set to meet Trump “amid infighting among Trump’s advisers about who to pick for the post” in what may be yet another media distraction as the public response against Petraeus may be just as powerful as that against Romney. As a reminder, Kellyanne Conwaysaid Sunday on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ that she is ‘just astonished at the breathtaking volume and intensity of blow-back that I see’ toward the possibility of Romney serving as the nation’s top diplomat.
As Bloomberg notes, if Petraeus wins Senate confirmation, it will represent one of Trump’s boldest appointments and a remarkable comeback for the 64-year-old general who won acclaim overseeing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq before serving as director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. The Senate had voted 94-0 to confirm him for that post. However, shortly after Petraeus’s government career collapsed after revelations that he had an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and shared classified documents with her.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2016.

US Army Pulls Training Slide Listing Hillary Clinton As A Security “Threat”

Perhaps it was the ultimate Freudian slip.
On Monday, a leaked Army operational security brief showed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former CIA Director David Petraeus listed as two key examples of potential insider threats. As the Daily Caller reported at the time, admins of the Facebook page ‘U. S. Army W. T. F! moments’ told The Daily Caller News Foundation this is the second time they’ve received a picture of this particular slide in the last six months. They posted the slide to their page Sunday.
The brief, marked unclassified, lists servicemembers Nidal Hassan, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis as examples of threats. On the second row, the brief pictures Clinton and Petraeus. The text of ‘careless or disgruntled employees’ echoes FBI Director James Comey’s description, ‘extremely careless,’ of Clinton’s handling of top secret and classified information when she served as Secretary of State.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 24, 2016.

Former CIA Director And Hillary Supporter: “We Should Kill Russians And Iranians Covertly”

Last Friday, former deputy and acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell became the latest neocon to join the Hillary bandwagon with a NYT Op-Ed titled “I Ran the C. I. A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton” in which he not only praised Hillary but slammed Donald Trump, as follows: “Mrs. Clinton is highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the most important duty of a president – keeping our nation safe. Second, Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security…. In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
What Morell, who sought to portray himself as bipartisan, did not say, is that he was an active participant in painting the Benghazi attacks as caused by YouTube video. When Hillary Clinton says ‘best information provided by the intelligence community” she is referring to her man in the CIA: Michael Morell was the CIA official who crafted the “talking points” on Benghazi with the Obama White House according to his own testimony in 2014 to Congress. In emails later uncovered by Congress, CIA Director David Petraeus called the resulting talking-point language ‘useless.’


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2016.

Former CIA Head Accuses Trump Of Being “An Unwitting Agent Of Russia”, Here’s What He Did Not Say

Former acting director and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2010 to 2013, Michael Morell has penned a NYTimes’ Op-Ed endorsing Hillary Clinton and claiming “Mr. Putin has recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
But as one commenter details, while Michael Morell portrays himself as some sort of bipartisan warrior, this is not true. He’s been vying for a position in a potential Hillary Clinton administration for three years now. Since he won’t disclose his close ties with Hillary Clinton, we will…
He was an active participant in painting the Benghazi attacks as caused by YouTube video. When Hillary Clinton says ‘best information provided by the intelligence community” she is referring to her man in the CIA: Michael Morel Morell was the CIA official who crafted the “talking points” on Benghazi with the Obama White House according to his own testimony in 2014 to Congress. In emails later uncovered by Congress, CIA Director David Petraeus called the resulting talking-point language ‘useless.’
In 2013, he left the CIA to join a Wash DC consultancy group with strong links to Hillary Clinton. Beacon Global Strategies, Morell’s employer, is a ten-person firm whose co-founders include Philippe Reines, a senior counselor to Hillary Clinton when she ran the State Department. Reines is still her spokesman, serving in that capacity in what New York magazine calls ‘a second full-time job. ‘And if she runs again… Reines will be onboard,’ the magazine concluded in Ferbruary 2014. Meaning that Morell, as a senior official at Beacon, will also likely be part of the Clinton spin machine.
So with that in mind, here is Morell’s Op-Ed “I Ran the C. I. A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton”…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 5, 2016.

No Justice, No Peace — Justin Raimondo

I couldn’t help but think of the above as I read the news that Jesse Benton, Ron Paul’s former campaign manager and a top aide to Sen. Rand Paul, and John Tate, a former official of the Paul-affiliated Campaign for Liberty, have had bogus charges of bribery, ‘conspiracy,’ falsifying campaign records, and other trumped up charges – all serious felonies – thrown out of court. In dismissing the charges, US District Judge John A. Garvery cited prosecutorial misconduct: the government was clearly out to get Benton and Tate any way they could – and, of course, smear the libertarian movement.
This was always clearly a political case, in which a dissident group with little political influence in the corridors of power was being targeted by the Big Boys, who were out to discredit them and shut them up. Although the investigation had been going on for quite some time, it’s no coincidence that the indictment was announced days before the first GOP presidential debate was to begin.
Undeterred by this judicial rebuke, the government is still pursuing the remaining charge of lying to investigators: once they have you in their clutches, there’s no way they’re letting go – that is, if you aren’t, say, former CIA chief David Petraeus.

This post was published at Anti War

Why Is Hillary Clinton So Unhappy?

Why is Hillary Clinton so unhappy? According to her, when she and her husband left the White House, they were dead broke. Yet they left with a truckload of valuable furniture, dinnerware and flatware that was the property of the federal government, for which they were never prosecuted.
They also left with contracts for lectures and speeches worth between $20 million and $30 million in the ensuing years. And they have done quite well financially. According to The Washington Post, between the time Bill Clinton left office in 2001 and January 2013, when Hillary Clinton stepped down as secretary of state, Bill alone made $104.9 million for speeches, and Hillary’s standard speaking fee is $200,000 a pop.
Why is Hillary so unhappy? We can start with the fact that she is her own worst enemy. No Republican dirty trickster could have put her into the legal and political mess into which she has put herself. Her surreptitious refusal to follow federal law and her congenital lying about it have caught up with her.
By using her own computer server instead of the government’s in the four years of her tenure as secretary of state, she knowingly compromised the national security of the United States. She did this by receiving and sending at least 400 emails that contained information that under federal law was confidential, secret or top-secret, which is a felony.
The failure to preserve data of that nature is a federal crime, whether it is stamped with an official secret denomination, whether one has read it and perceived its secret nature, and whether it has fallen into enemy hands or not. Gen. David Petraeus was convicted of retaining the printed versions of secret and top-secret data in a desk drawer in his guarded home. It was alleged – but not proved – that he shared this data with one of his subordinates. Even though the subordinate had a security clearance, Petraeus was prosecuted.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on October 15, 2015.

Hillarinochio 2.0 – More Clinton Lies Exposed As Hidden Petraeus Emails Come To Light

Another day, another “what difference does it make” lie exposed for the mainstream media to ignore and excuse as simple witch-huntery. However, this ‘lie’ is unarguable and proves once again that Hillarinochio seems to believe she is above the law. The Obama administration has discovered a chain of emails (exchanged with retired Gen. David Petraeus when he headed the military’s U. S. Central Command, responsible for running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) that Clinton failed to turn over when she provided what she said was the full record of work-related correspondence as secretary of state, officials told The Associated Press on Friday. Is it any wonder her support has been plunging recently?
Clinton has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
“When I did it, it was allowed, it was above board. And now I’m being as transparent as possible, more than anybody else ever has been,” she said earlier this week, and attempted an apology.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/26/2015.

Obama to let in another 10,000 Syrian refugees despite no way of identifying terrorists

Obama’s policy and conduct in the Middle East are nothing but a disaster.
The disaster began with his celebration of the so-called Arab Spring that brought the radical Muslim Brotherhood (MB) into power in Egypt and replaced the Khadaffi regime with chaos in Libya.
Then the premature withdrawal of U. S. troops from Iraq brought instead a new lethal threat of ISIS that now, as the Islamic State, controls a broad swath across Iraq and Syria. (See’Blowback: ISIS leaders are former officers of Saddam Hussein’s army’)
Meanwhile, Obama is determined to do the same to Syria by arming and training so-called rebels who are every bit as extreme as the MB and ISIS, to topple the Assad government, under which Syrian Christians and Muslims had lived in peace. See:
Obama admin trained ISIS jihadists in 2012 CIA expands Obama-approved training of Syrian militants Pulitzer-award journalist says Obama admin made up intelligence for war on Syria Former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus wants U. S. to arm Al-Qaeda

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on 12 Sep, 2015.

KKR Employee and Former CIA Head, General David Petraeus, Suggests Supporting al-Qaeda Against ISIS

Members of al Qaeda’s branch in Syria have a surprising advocate in the corridors of American power: Retired Army general and former CIA Director David Petraeus.
The former commander of U. S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has been quietly urging U. S. officials to consider using so-called moderate members of al Qaeda’s Nusra Front to fight ISIS in Syria, four sources familiar with the conversations, including one person who spoke to Petraeus directly, told The Daily Beast.
– From the Daily Beast article: Petraeus: Use Al Qaeda Fighters to Beat ISIS
No, unfortunately, this is not a headline from The Onion.
In a world in which U. S. foreign policy looks more like a tragic comedy than a projection of strength and democracy, things continue to get more and more surreal. I suppose this is what happens when an inept status quo fails to step aside (or be imprisoned), despite decades of gross mismanagement and monumental failure.
We see the negative outcomes all around us. Whether it’s the destruction of the American middle class and a solidification of an untouchable oligarchy following the forced taxpayer bailout of the financial status quo, or the humanitarian disasters and chaos across the Middle East that resulted from a zero accountability policy for military-industrial-intelligence complex ‘leaders.’ When those in positions of power face zero repercussions for their failed actions, this is exactly what you get.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Sep 1, 2015.

Big Market Crash Coming, Will Biden Challenge Clinton, Dems for Iran Nuke Deal

The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Aug 27, 2015
They say the market crash is a buying opportunity. They say it’s a correction and nothing more. My sources say none of that is true, that this is just the warm-up act of a much bigger downturn in the stock market. Gregory Mannarino of TradersChoice.net, who called the top in this market more than 2,000 points ago, says market crashes are not a one and done event but a process. He says the 2008 meltdown started in September and didn’t finish until March of 2009. It only ended with massive QE and money printing and suspension of accounting rules by FASB. Fast forward to today, and we have reports of China selling U. S. debt (Treasuries) because China’s markets are in turmoil. In simple terms, they need the cash to try to stabilize their markets.
Hillary Clinton now says she ‘made a bad choice’ for having her own private server doing government email at the State Department. That is an interesting description, ‘made a bad choice.’ I guess you can say fraudster Bernie Madoff ‘made a bad choice.’ I guess you could say David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, ‘made a bad choice.’ He pled guilty to a felony charge on how he mishandled documents. He did not put national security at risk. It is alleged that Clinton broke the law and jeopardized national security by her use of a private server.
The White House is pushing hard for votes in the Iran Nuke deal. Obama is picking up Senate votes from Democrats, even though the deal allows Iran to inspect its own military facilities. The deal is a sham, but that hasn’t stopped 28 Democratic Senators who have come out in favor of the deal. Obama needs 34 yes votes from Democrats in the Senate, and it is still too close to call if Congress will be able to override a Presidential veto.

Im-Politic: An Overlooked Clinton Email Scandal

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of RealityChek. To view original, click here.
I’m not a national security lawyer and lack any on-the-job military or intelligence experience. But I can’t help thinking that one of the biggest reasons to be outraged about the scandal stemming from Hillary Clinton’s handling of official emails as Secretary of State is being missed.
There’s no doubt that Clinton’s campaign is on the line here. If the emails already found on her private server or thumb drive, or yet to be found or recovered, have contained classified material, she likely faces legal liabilities and would almost certainly need to bow out of the White House race. Two related, emerging Clinton defenses – that these materials actually weren’t sensitive in real-world terms, and that the government classifies too indiscriminately – should be moot points. Making and acting on such judgments isn’t an individual’s call. Ask retired top U. S. General and former CIA chief David Petraeus, and former Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Alan Tonelson ‘ August 14, 2015.