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CrowdStrike, The DNC’s Security Firm, Was Under Contract With The FBI

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Claims of “Russian interference” have been ubiquitous in U.S. political discourse for almost a full year now; these often amount to a melange of allegations ranging from “hacking” to “influence campaigns” to “online trolls” sent by the Kremlin to harangue unsuspecting Midwestern voters. “Hacking,” however, remains the centerpiece of the narrative — the idea that Russian state actors “hacked” the Democratic National Committee and exfiltrated emails is routinely cited as the centerpiece of the overall “interference” thesis. After the alleged hacking, the DNC retained a private security firm — CrowdStrike — which made the determination that the Russian government was responsible, setting into motion a chain of Russia-related events that continue to unfold even now.

TYT can report that at the same time CrowdStrike was working on behalf of the DNC, the company was also under contract with the FBI for unspecified technical services. According to a US federal government spending database, CrowdStrike’s “period of performance” on behalf of the FBI was between July 2015 and July 2016. CrowdStrike’s findings regarding the DNC server breach — which continue to this day to be cited as authoritative by everyone from former FBI Director James Comey, to NBC anchor Megyn Kelly — were issued in June 2016, when the contract was still active.

Last week at a forum with Vladimir Putin, Kelly listed all the authoritative American entities which she claimed have corroborated the conclusion that Russian state actors “interfered” in the 2016 presidential election. (Notwithstanding its vagueness and imprecision, the term “interference” has come to be the standard term American media personalities invoke when seeking to describe how “Russians” maliciously undermined the sanctity of the 2016 US election process.) Querying Putin, Kelly repeated the canard that “17 intelligence agencies” had all independently concluded that Russia indeed “interfered” — whatever that means, exactly. She then continued: “Even private, non-partisan security firms say the same… that Russia interfered with the US election.”
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Russia: US-Declared 'De-Confliction Zone' In Syria Illegitimate

Yesterday marked the second time US military forces have attacked Syrian government-allied forces fighting ISIS inside Syria near the Iraqi border. The US government, which maintains an illegal base on Syrian soil, claims any Syrian encroachment within 50km of the facility will be met with US military force. The mostly Shia militia that the US attacked are the same groups fighting alongside the US in Iraq and in fact may Iraqi citizens allied with the Iraqi government (which the US is also allied with). Confusing yet? Add to this that the US Senate is passing new sanctions against Iran today for its completely legal ballistic missile program and to punish Iran for shipping weapons to militias in Syria fighting ISIS. We try to put it all together in today's Liberty Report...
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Hey Intercept, Something is Very Wrong with Reality Winner and the NSA Leak

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An NSA document purporting to show Russian military hacker attempts to access a Florida company which makes voter registration software is sent anonymously toThe Intercept. A low-level NSA contractor, Reality Winner, above, is arrested almost immediately. What’s wrong with this picture? A lot.

Who Benefits?

Start with the question of who benefits — cui bono— same as detectives do when assessing a crime. 

— Trump looks bad as another trickle of information comes out connecting something Russian to something 2016 election. Intelligence community (IC) looks like they are onto something, a day or so before ousted FBI Director James Comey testifies before Congress on related matters.

— The Intercept looks like it contributed to burning a source. Which potential leaker is going to them in the future? If potential leakers are made to think twice, another win for the IC.

— The FBI made an arrest right away, nearly simultaneous to the publication, with the formal charges coming barely an hour after The Intercept published. The bust is sure thing according to the very publicly released information. No Ed Snowden hiding out in Russia this time. IC looks good here.
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Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State

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We have entered a new regime and it’s called the American police state.

As the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in County of Los Angeles vs. Mendez makes clear, Americans can no longer rely on the courts to mete out justice.

Continuing its disturbing trend of siding with police in cases of excessive use of force, a unanimous Court declared that police should not be held liable for recklessly firing 15 times into a shack where a homeless couple—Angel and Jennifer Mendez—was sleeping.

Understandably, the Mendezes were startled by the intruders, so much so that Angel was holding his BB gun, which he used to shoot rats, in defense. Despite the fact that police barged into the Mendez’s backyard shack without a search warrant and without announcing their presence and fired 15 shots at the couple, who suffered significant injuries (Angel Mendez suffered numerous gunshot wounds, one of which required the amputation of his right leg below the knee, and his wife Jennifer was shot in the back), the Court once again gave the police a “get out of jail free” card.
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Bring the Troops Home, Mr. President

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Another terrorist attack in London, and more predictable responses from President Trump, British Prime Minister May, other public officials, and the mainstream press. We have to crack down on terrorism. The problem is with extremist Muslims. They hate us for our freedom and values. Don’t be afraid. Go about your daily lives as if nothing has happened.

And, of course, not one single word of the US government’s interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East and Afghanistan, which has entailed killing Muslims and other for at least 25 years and which continues unabated to this day, a policy with which the British government has partnered and supported since its inception.

Why not even a peep about more terrorist retaliation from US foreign interventionism?

Isn’t the answer obvious? If they mentioned that, that would cause people to ask a very basic question: Is the interventionism worth the death and destruction that comes as “blowback,” the term that the noted scholar Chalmers Johnson used to title his excellent and profound book: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire?
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London Attacks: Don't Blame Iran

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wants to blame YouTube for yesterday's deadly London attack. She thinks terrorism can be stopped by pushing the "superiority" of British values...and more bombs on the Middle East. President Trump wants to ban people from seven countries -- even though no one from those countries has killed Americans on US soil since the 1970s. Why is it that when they talk about terrorism, politicians can never admit the role our foreign policy plays?
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Is Libya War Coming to an End?

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On the 3rd of June, Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) gained its most significant strategic military victory in the southern part of the country which now means that almost two thirds of Libya is under Haftar's LNA control.

This may prove to be a game changer in the six year struggle for power after the US and UK-led attack on Libya in 2011.

The LNA entered the southern town of Waddan in Jufra and overran the area. The nearby town of Sukna was taken by the LNA. Haftar’s forces then captured the strategically important Jufra AFB which will give it air striking coverage of much of western Libya and make a direct route, logistically and tactically, without significant obstacles, for them by road from East to West Libya when the route is reinforced by troops.

This victory could prove to be the most decisive one for the LNA since its creation by Haftar.
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Beyond ‘Blowback’: Islam and Terror

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The latest attack in London – the third to hit Britain within seventy-five days – is once again provoking a debate about the relationship between Islam and terrorism. On one side we have those who say Islam is inherently violent, and is incompatible with the basic canons of Western civilization. On the other side, we have liberals who say that this is a libel on an entire religion, and that advocates of religious violence are a distinct minority within the Muslim faith.

These two views have distinct policy implications: the former would impose what amounts to a Muslim ban on travel to Western countries, and would furthermore mandate State surveillance of mosques and other religious institutions of that faith. The latter stance would oppose these measures, and proceed as if Muslims posed the same danger to us as, say, Presbyterians, i.e. none at all.

Both views are simplistic nonsense. Furthermore, neither offers an effective policy to deal with the problem as defined.
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Trump’s Budget: Radical Change or More of the Same?

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President Donald Trump's proposed budget has generated hysteria among the American left. Prominent progressives have accused the president and his allies of wanting to kill children, senior citizens, and other vulnerable Americans. The reaction of the president’s allies — including some conservatives who should know better — is equally detached from reality as they hail Trump for launching a major assault on the welfare state and making the hard choices necessary to balance the budget.
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Haven’t We Had Enough of Afghanistan?

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Will there ever be an end to the war in Afghanistan? Apparently not if our generals have anything to say about it – and they do. President Trump has turned over the prosecution of our perpetual “war on terrorism” to the Pentagon, claiming that they’ve been held back by previous administrations. The new policy is to turn them loose.

We saw what this means when the so-called “Mother of All Bombs” was dropped in a remote location where ISIS was said to be hiding: 92 “militants”were said to have been killed. Contrary to the triumphalist reports in US media, the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat had a minimal effect. And the cost, at $16 million for a single MOAB, came to around $174,000 per “militant.”

With anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, let’s take the median number of 2,000 and estimate that getting rid of all of them will cost around $348 million, give or take $10 million or so.

And you’ll note that we’re just talking about ISIS here. The Taliban is not only still in the mix, they’re actually in a better position than ever. In March, the Taliban claimed that 211 administrative districts of the country were either under their control or else contested: this isn’t far off the report of the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which put the number at 171.
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