By Daniel Larison
March 8, 2017
The American Conservative
U.S. forces in Syria are now trying to keep different parts of the “coalition” from killing each other:
The deployment is “fraught with risk,” said Robert Ford, who served as the Obama administration’s last ambassador to Syria until 2014. He is now with the Washington-based Middle East Institute and teaches at Yale University.
“That’s not a small policy change. It is a huge policy change,” he said. “We have never in our Syrian policy ever put U.S. personnel in between warring Syrian factions or to maintain a local cease-fire.”
U.S. military involvement in Syria continues to increase without debate or authorization from Congress. This traces back to the original decision under Obama to expand the illegal war on ISIS into Syria, but the latest escalation is Trump’s responsibility. Neither the Obama nor the Trump administration has ever had to justify a policy of trying to fight a war alongside mutually antagonistic forces, and neither of them has ever been forced to do so by Congress or anyone else. The president has no authority to deploy U.S. forces into Syria, and especially not to act as a buffer between forces of an allied government and proxy forces inside Syria, but we can be certain that there will be no serious opposition to it. Most members of Congress aren’t willing to criticize a war that still has broad support, and they don’t want to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities in any case.
It is questionable whether the latest deployment can even achieve its immediate goal:
Meanwhile, the U.S. presence in the area does not appear to have ended the fighting. Battles continued west of Manbij on Wednesday, according to both sides. A video posted on social media Wednesday morning showed U.S.-armed Arab fighters allied to the Kurds using an antitank missile to destroy a military vehicle belonging to the Arab fighters allied to Turkey.
Newly released by WikiLeaks today is a collection of CIA documents referred to as “Vault 7,” detailing the CIA’s hacking and surveillance technology development. The current release spans “Year 0” of the program, with several more years of documents expected to be released.
Officially called “Weeping Angel,” the program sought 0-day exploits in myriad technology, including not just computers and routers, but things like smartphones and even Smart TVs, with documents showing the CIA could make a Samsung-branded TV go into a “fake-off” mode, where it would appear to be turned off, but its microphone was active and the CIA could listen in to everything happening.
The same was true of the phones targeted, with the CIA having what is said to be a large cache of exploits against both Apple and Android-based phones, exploits they carefully kept guarded from the manufacturers of the phones so that the flaws were never properly repaired. The phone breaches were focused in part on having an OS-level exploit that would render security features in encrypted applications useless,
Also among the efforts, the CIA was trying to hack into cars, with an eye toward gaining remote control over cars anywhere in the world, leading to speculation that the cars would be made to “assassinate” the drivers in an undetectable manner.
The CIA hid its discoveries not just from companies that might fix them, but also from the rest of the US government, meaning they knowingly let cabinet members, Congress and other top officials use knowingly vulnerable technology for secure purposes rather than reveal what they’d discovered.
The plan is described by some as an effort by the CIA to create its own NSA within the agency, only with even less oversight to the program. As WikiLeaks releases more documents it will be interesting to see how much of this surveillance technology was turned against Americans.
President George W. Bush was allowed to continue with a routine visit to a school when the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001. Remarkably, members of the Secret Service and other personnel responsible for protecting the president failed to evacuate him from the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, after they learned that a second plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and it became clear that America was under attack.
As the nation’s leader, Bush should have been considered a likely target for terrorists. Furthermore, his schedule had been publicized in advance and so terrorists could have found out where he would be on September 11.
And yet, after arriving there shortly before 9:00 a.m. on September 11, Bush was allowed to stay at the Booker Elementary School until around 9:35 a.m.–almost 50 minutes after the first hijacked plane crashed into the World Trade Center and over 30 minutes after the second hijacked plane hit the Trade Center. He left the school just two or three minutes before a third attack occurred, when the Pentagon was struck.
The Secret Service’s failure to promptly evacuate Bush from the school is particularly baffling in light of the accounts of some key officials who were with the president that morning, in which these men recalled being worried that the school would be attacked. There were even concerns that terrorists might crash a plane into it. The failure to evacuate the school is also alarming in that it left hundreds of people there–not just the president–potentially in danger.
It would be wrong to attribute the inaction of the Secret Service to incompetence. Agents who were in Sarasota for Bush’s visit to the city were highly skilled individuals. They arranged extensive security measures for the visit, and they acted with great urgency and professionalism as they protected Bush after he left the school. They appear to have only failed to adequately protect the president for a period of about 40 minutes in the middle of the 9/11 attacks, after he arrived at the school.
We need to consider, therefore, whether the inaction of the Secret Service at this critical time is evidence of something sinister. Could efforts have been made to somehow put the agents in Sarasota into a state of paralysis? They might, for example, have been tricked into thinking the reports they received about the terrorist attacks in New York were simulated, as part of a training exercise.
The inaction of the Secret Service could in fact be evidence that, in contradiction to the official narrative of 9/11, rogue individuals in the U.S. government were involved in planning and perpetrating the terrorist attacks on September 11.
NO ONE CALLED THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THE FIRST CRASH DURING THE DRIVE TO THE SCHOOL
On the morning of September 11, 2001, President Bush was scheduled to visit the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, where he planned to take part in a reading demonstration, and then talk to parents and teachers about his education policies. 
His motorcade left the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key, where he’d spent the previous night, at around 8:39 a.m. on September 11 and headed to the school. At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  Numerous people in the motorcade, including White House officials, military officers, and journalists, learned about the crash as they were being driven to the school.  But no one called the president to tell him what had happened.
Bush was first informed about the crash at around 8:55 a.m., when he arrived at the school. Navy Captain Deborah Loewer, director of the White House Situation Room, ran up to him and said, “Mr. President, the Situation Room is reporting that one of the World Trade Center towers has been hit by a plane.” “This is all we know,” she added. 
(Administrator’s note: Bush admits he SAW the plane hit the first tower. How did he see that unless the Mossad agents who were filing the attack were sending him the live feed? )
Bush was told about the crash again by Karl Rove, his senior adviser, as he was shaking hands with members of the official greeting party outside the school.  He has recalled thinking at the time that the incident must have been “a terrible accident.” 
He then talked on the phone with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who was at the White House. She told him the plane that struck the World Trade Center was a commercial jetliner, not a light aircraft. But Bush still thought the crash was an accident and went ahead with the scheduled event.  At 9:02 a.m., he entered the second-grade classroom of teacher Sandra Kay Daniels to listen to the students reading. 
BUSH CONTINUED WITH THE READING EVENT AFTER BEING TOLD, ‘AMERICA IS UNDER ATTACK’
A minute later, United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Bush was alerted to what had happened at around 9:05 a.m. to 9:07 a.m., when Andrew Card, his chief of staff, approached him and whispered in his ear: “A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack.” 
Despite receiving this devastating news, Bush carried on as if nothing was wrong. “In the middle of a modern-day Pearl Harbor,” author James Bamford commented, “he simply turned back to the matter at hand: the day’s photo op.”  Significantly, author Philip Melanson pointed out, “no [Secret Service] agents were there to surround the president and remove him instantly.” 
Bush listened to the children reading for five minutes, and then spent at least two minutes asking them questions and telling the school’s principal about the second crash.  He left the classroom shortly before 9:15 a.m.  He was still sticking closely to his schedule, which specified that he would conclude his participation in the reading demonstration at 9:15 a.m. 
According to official US economic data, the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has expanded for 22 quarters, raising real GDP 12.1% above its high prior to the 2008-09 economic contraction. Yet, US manufacturing output and US industrial production have not recovered to their pre-contraction high.
So what is driving the real GDP growth? In my opinion, the rise in real GDP is an illusion produced by the under-measurement of inflation.
As I have reported on many occasions, John Williams of shadowstats.com has concluded that changes in the way that the government approaches the measurement of inflation has, in effect, defined inflation away.
Formerly, if a price of an item in an inflation measure rose, the inflation rate would rise by the price times the weight of the item in the index. Today, if a price of an item in an inflation measure rises, that item is removed from the index, and a lower cost item substituted in its place.
A second way that government has contrived in order to undermeasure inflation is to declare price rises “quality improvements” and not count the higher price as inflation.
Using these methods, an 8% rate of inflation can, for example, be reduced to a 2% inflation rate.
The low inflation rate is what produces the appearance of real GDP growth. As GDP is measured in prevailing prices, in order to know whether the GDP number is the result of an increase in the output of goods and services or merely the result of higher prices or inflation, the nominal GDP figure is deflated by the inflation measure.
For example, if nominal GDP rises 5% this year over last year, and the inflation rate is measured at 2%, real GDP has grown by 3%. However, if the 2% inflation rate is the contrived result described above, and inflation is really 5% or 8%, GDP growth was zero or declined by 3%.
The main reason that the government revamped its measurement of inflation is to save money by denying Social Security recipients cost-of-living-adjustments. During the many years that retirees have had no interest income on their retirement savings due to the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy in support of the balance sheets of the “banks too big to fail,” retirees have also been denied cost-of-living adjustments to their Social Security pensions.
“The U.S. intelligence community’s extraordinary campaign of leaks claiming improper ties between President Trump’s team and Russia seeks to ensure a lucrative New Cold War by blocking detente.” — Gareth Porter
It only required 24 days for the Deep State to castrate President Donald Trump and terminate the promise that the high tensions with Russia created during the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes would be terminated by Trump’s presidency.
As Gareth Porter shows conclusively (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46546.htm), the case against General Flynn, Trump’s 24-day National Security Adviser, and by implication against Trump himself, is a fake news creation.
Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, planted fake reports, none of which contained any evidence whatsoever, on the CIA-compliant media whores known as “presstitutes.” The CIA’s media whores knew that the reports were a CIA response to the threat to the $1,000 billion annual budget of the military/security complex that desperately needs “the Russian threat” for its justification. But the media whores—-principally the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC—-and all the rest as well are more dedicated to serving their CIA master than they are to serving peace between nuclear powers. Interesting, isn’t it, that the US and Western media are more committed to conflict with Russia than they are to peace, despite the brutal fact that 10 percent of the nuclear arsenal of either the US or Russia is sufficient to terminate all life on earth.
As Patrick Lawrence says: “The lights upon us are dimming. We have been more or less abandoned by a press that proves incapable of informing us in anything approaching a disinterested fashion. As suggested, either the media are Clintonian liberals before they are newspapers and broadcasters, or they are servants of power before they serve us.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46532.htm
All we have left, says Lawrence, is the alternative media. “To put this simply and briefly, they and we must learn that they are not ‘alternative’ to anything. In the end there is no such thing as ‘alternative media,’ as I often argue. There are only media, and most of ours have turned irretrievably bad.”
The alternative media is the Internet media, websites such as this one, RT, the Intercept, USAWatchdog, Alex Jones, Information Clearing House, Global Research, Unz Review, etc. These independent news sites are under attack. Remember the list of 200 “Russian agents/dupes”? Every source of information that does not subscribe to the Deep States’ Matrix creation of “the Russian Threat,” which is the Deep State’s replacement for the orchestrated “Soviet Threat,” has been selected for shutdown. Apparently, Alex Jones is already having problems with Google. Several websites managed to get off the 200 List, and those that have seem to have collapsed as members of the opposition.
As the Nazis said, all it takes is fear, and the people collapse.
Trump’s presidency is effectively over. Even if he is permitted to remain in office,
he will be a figurehead for the Deep State’s presidency. President Trump has already fallen into line with the military/security complex. He has said Russia has to return Crimea to Ukraine, whereas in fact Crimea returned itself to Russia. He has rejected a new strategic arms limitations treaty (START) with Russia, stating that he wants supremacy in nuclear armaments, not equality. http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/02/27/president-trump-decries-new-start-treaty.html Obama’s one trillion dollar upgrade of the US nuclear arsenal is likely to get a boost from Trump.
The commission that was appointed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to investigate the incident—which includes seven engineers and three non-engineers—is now charged with releasing an official report one month from now. Photo credit: MEHR News Agency/Asghar Khamseh
Iconic 15-story high-rise tragically claimed the lives of 16 firefighters and 10 civilians
By AE911Truth Staff
Feb. 20, 2017
Today, one month and one day after the Plasco Building incident in Tehran, we are releasing a preliminary assessment of what caused the demise of this iconic 15-story high-rise, which tragically claimed the lives of 16 firefighters and 10 civilians.
Although we’re an organization of architects and engineers dedicated to finding the truth about the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, upon reviewing videos of the Plasco Building collapse and observing the improper rush to judgment about what caused it, we determined it was our ethical responsibility to bring our expertise to bear on this matter as well.
We therefore set out to prepare a report that was as comprehensive as possible in as short a time as possible in hopes of helping steer the dialogue in Iran and worldwide toward ensuring an unbiased, science-based investigation into the causes of the tragedy.
The commission that was appointed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to investigate the incident—which includes seven engineers and three non-engineers—is now charged with releasing an official report one month from now.
We will be sending our preliminary assessment to every member of that commission as well as to members of engineering faculties and professional associations throughout Iran. We also plan to send it to news organizations in North America and Europe with the goal of getting them to report on this still-developing story.
We need to understand, and so does President Trump, that the hoax “war on terror” was used to transform intelligence agencies, such as the NSA and CIA, and criminal investigative agencies, such as the FBI, into Gestapo secret police agencies. Trump is now threatened by these agencies, because he rejects the neoconservative’s agenda of US world hegemony that supports the gigantic military/security annual budget.
Our secret police agencies are busy at work planting “intelligence” among the presstitute media that Trump is compromised by “Russian connections” and is a security threat to the United States. The plan is to make a case in the media, as was done against President Nixon, and to force Trump from office. To openly take on a newly elected president is an act of extraordinary audacity that implies enormous confidence, or else desperation, on the part of the police state agencies.
Here you can see CNN openly cooperating with the CIA in treating wild and irresponsible speculation that Trump is under Russian influence as if it is an established fact. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46476.htm
The “evidence” provided by CNN and the CIA is a “report” by the New York Times that, with little doubt, was planted in the NYT by the CIA.
This is so obvious that it is clear that CNN and the CIA regard the American people as so gullible as to be completely stupid.
Glenn Greenwald explains to Amy Goodman that the CIA is after Trump, because Trump’s announced policy of reducing the dangerous tensions with Russia conflicts with the military/security complex’s need for a major enemy.
“The deep state, although there’s no precise or scientific definition, generally refers to the agencies in Washington that are permanent power factions. They stay and exercise power even as presidents who are elected come and go. They typically exercise their power in secret, in the dark, and so they’re barely subject to democratic accountability, if they’re subject to it at all. It’s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world’s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads. This is who not just people like Bill Kristol, but lots of Democrats are placing their faith in, are trying to empower, are cheering for as they exert power separate and apart from—in fact, in opposition to—the political officials to whom they’re supposed to be subordinate.