News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Monday, July 24, 2017

DNC emails were leaked--not hacked--per investigation of forensic evidence. Leaker was on US East Coast. June 12, Assange announces intent to publish DNC emails. June 15: Media reports DNC contractor CrowdStrike says Russian gov. took emails-7/24/17 Veteran Intelligence Professionals in memo to Pres. Trump, following earlier memo to former Pres. Obama on same subject

7/24/17, "Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence," Consortium News

"In a memo to President Trump, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, cite new forensic studies to challenge the claim of the key Jan. 6 “assessment” that Russia “hacked” Democratic emails last year."

"MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?

Executive Summary

Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.

After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted.

Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hackOf equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [see here and here].

Independent analyst Skip Folden, a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, who examined the recent forensic findings, is a co-author of this Memorandum. He has drafted a more detailed technical report titled “Cyber-Forensic Investigation of ‘Russian Hack’ and Missing Intelligence Community Disclaimers,” and sent it to the offices of the Special Counsel and the Attorney General. VIPS member William Binney, a former Technical Director at the National Security Agency, and other senior NSA “alumni” in VIPS attest to the professionalism of the independent forensic findings.
 
The recent forensic studies fill in a critical gap. Why the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original “Guccifer 2.0” material remains a mystery – as does the lack of any sign that the “hand-picked analysts” from the FBI, CIA, and NSA, who wrote the “Intelligence Community Assessment” dated January 6, 2017, gave any attention to forensics.

NOTE: There has been so much conflation of charges about hacking that we wish to make very clear the primary focus of this Memorandum. We focus specifically on the July 5, 2016 alleged Guccifer 2.0 “hack” of the DNC server. In earlier VIPS memoranda we addressed the lack of any evidence connecting the Guccifer 2.0 alleged hacks and WikiLeaks, and we asked President Obama specifically to disclose any evidence that WikiLeaks received DNC data from the Russians [see here and here].

Addressing this point at his last press conference (January 18), he described “the conclusions of the intelligence community” as “not conclusive,” even though the Intelligence Community Assessment of January 6 expressed “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the DNC…to WikiLeaks.”

Obama’s admission came as no surprise to us. It has long been clear to us that the reason the U.S. government lacks conclusive evidence of a transfer of a “Russian hack” to WikiLeaks is because there was no such transfer. Based mostly on the cumulatively unique technical experience of our ex-NSA colleagues, we have been saying for almost a year that the DNC data reached WikiLeaks via a copy/leak by a DNC insider (but almost certainly not the same person who copied DNC data on July 5, 2016).

From the information available, we conclude that the same inside-DNC, copy/leak process was used at two different times, by two different entities, for two distinctly different purposes:

-(1) an inside leak to WikiLeaks before Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, that he had DNC documents and planned to publish them (which he did on July 22) – the presumed objective being to expose strong DNC bias toward the Clinton candidacy; and
 
-(2) a separate leak on July 5, 2016, to pre-emptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish by “showing” it came from a “Russian hack.”
*  *  *
Mr. President:

This is our first VIPS Memorandum for you, but we have a history of letting U.S. Presidents know when we think our former intelligence colleagues have gotten something important wrong, and why. For example, our first such memorandum, a same-day commentary for President George W. Bush on Colin Powell’s U.N. speech on February 5, 2003, warned that the “unintended consequences were likely to be catastrophic,” should the U.S. attack Iraq and “justfy” the war on intelligence that we retired intelligence officers could readily see as fraudulent and driven by a war agenda. 

The January 6 “Intelligence Community Assessment” by “hand-picked” analysts from the FBI, CIA, and NSA seems to fit into the same agenda-driven category. It is largely based on an “assessment,” not supported by any apparent evidence, that a shadowy entity with the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

The recent forensic findings mentioned above have put a huge dent in that assessment and cast serious doubt on the underpinnings of the extraordinarily successful campaign to blame the Russian government for hackingThe pundits and politicians who have led the charge against Russian “meddling” in the U.S. election can be expected to try to cast doubt on the forensic findings, if they ever do bubble up into the mainstream media. But the principles of physics don’t lie; and the technical limitations of today’s Internet are widely understood. We are prepared to answer any substantive challenges on their merits. 

You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this. Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down.

Copied, Not Hacked

As indicated above, the independent forensic work just completed focused on data copied (not hacked) by a shadowy persona named “Guccifer 2.0.” The forensics reflect what seems to have been a desperate effort to “blame the Russians” for publishing highly embarrassing DNC emails three days before the Democratic convention last July. Since the content of the DNC emails reeked of pro-Clinton bias, her campaign saw an overriding need to divert attention from content to provenance – as in, who “hacked” those DNC emails? The campaign was enthusiastically supported by a compliant “mainstream” media; they are still on a roll.

“The Russians” were the ideal culprit. And, after WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, “We have emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” her campaign had more than a month before the convention to insert its own “forensic facts” and prime the media pump to put the blame on “Russian meddling.” Mrs. Clinton’s PR chief Jennifer Palmieri has explained how she used golf carts to make the rounds at the convention. She wrote that her “mission was to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.” 

Independent cyber-investigators have now completed the kind of forensic work that the intelligence assessment did not do. Oddly, the “hand-picked” intelligence analysts contented themselves with “assessing” this and “assessing” that. In contrast, the investigators dug deep and came up with verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of the alleged Russian hack.

They found that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else. Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider. The data was leaked after being doctored with a cut-and-paste job to implicate Russia. We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI.

The Time Sequence

June 12, 2016: Assange announces WikiLeaks is about to publish “emails related to Hillary Clinton.”

June 15, 2016: DNC contractor Crowdstrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: On the same day, “Guccifer 2.0” affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the “hack;” claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.”

We do not think that the June 12 and 15 timing was pure coincidence. Rather, it suggests the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to “show” that it came from a Russian hack.

The Key Event

July 5, 2016: In the early evening, Eastern Daylight Time, someone working in the EDT time zone with a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 MegaBytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That speed is many times faster than what is physically possible with a hack. 

It thus appears that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 (the self-proclaimed WikiLeaks source) was not a hack by Russia or anyone else, but was rather a copy of DNC data onto an external storage device. Moreover, the forensics performed on the metadata reveal there was a subsequent synthetic insertion – a cut-and-paste job using a Russian template, with the clear aim of attributing the data to a “Russian hack.” This was all performed in the East Coast time zone.
 
“Obfuscation and De-obfuscation”

Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled “Vault 7.” WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA’s Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015.

Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the “Marble Framework” program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as “news fit to print” and was kept out of the Times.

The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima, it seems, “did not get the memo” in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: “WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.”

The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use “obfuscation,” and that Marble source code includes a “deobfuscator” to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a “forensic attribution double game” or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.
 
The CIA’s reaction was neuralgic. Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates “demons,” and insisting, “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

Mr. President, we do not know if CIA’s Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA’s Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review.

Putin and the Technology

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today’s technology enables hacking to be “masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin” [of the hack] … And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.”

“Hackers may be anywhere,” he said. “There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can’t you imagine such a scenario?…I can.”

Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times. This is our 50th VIPS Memorandum since the afternoon of Powell’s speech at the UN. Live links to the 49 past memos can be found at https://consortiumnews.com/vips-memos/."

"FOR THE STEERING GROUP, VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY 

William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical and Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center
Skip Folden, independent analyst, retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US (Associate VIPS)
Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq and Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)
Michael S. Kearns, Air Force Intelligence Officer (Ret.), Master SERE Resistance to Interrogation Instructor
John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)
Lisa Ling, TSgt USAF (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Edward Loomis, Jr., former NSA Technical Director for the Office of Signals Processing
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former U.S. Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA
Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)
Cian Westmoreland, former USAF Radio Frequency Transmission Systems Technician and Unmanned Aircraft Systems whistleblower (Associate VIPS)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA
Sarah G. Wilton, Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.); Commander, US Naval Reserve (ret.)
Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat"
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Added: July 9, 2017 article by Craig Murray

7/9/2017, "‘Russiagate’: The Stink Without a Secret," WashingtonsBlog.com, by Craig Murray 

"By Craig Murray, former British intelligence officer, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and Rector (i.e. Chancellor) of the University of Dundee. Originally published at CraigMurray.org.uk."

"After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged
.
I do not support Donald Trump. I do support truth. There is much about Trump that I dislike intensely. Neither do I support the neo-liberal political establishment in the USA. The latter’s control of the mainstream media, and cunning manipulation of identity politics, seeks to portray the neo-liberal establishment as the heroes of decent values against Trump. Sadly, the idea that the neo-liberal establishment embodies decent values is completely untrue.

Truth disappeared so long ago in this witch-hunt that it is no longer even possible to define what the accusation is. Belief in “Russian hacking” of the US election has been elevated to a generic accusation of undefined wrongdoing,
a vague malaise we are told is floating poisonously in the ether, but we are not allowed to analyze. 

What did the Russians actually do?

The original, base accusation is that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. (I can assure you that is untrue). 

The authenticity of those emails is not in question. What they revealed of cheating by the Democratic establishment in biasing the primaries against Bernie Sanders, led to the forced resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. They also led to the resignation from CNN of Donna Brazile, who had passed debate questions in advance to Clinton. Those are facts. They actually happened. Let us hold on to those facts, as we surf through lies. There was other nasty Clinton Foundation and cash for access stuff in the emails, but we do not even need to go there for the purpose of this argument.

The original “Russian hacking” allegation was that it was the Russians who nefariously obtained these damning emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. The “evidence” for this was twofold. A report from private cyber security firm Crowdstrike claimed that metadata showed that the hackers had left behind clues, including the name of the founder of the Soviet security services. The second piece of evidence was that a blogger named Guccifer2 and a website called DNCLeaks appeared to have access to some of the material around the same time that WikiLeaks did, and that Guccifer2 could be Russian.

That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual “evidence” of Russian hacking. I won’t say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than “Russian hacking” being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.

But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails traveled over the Internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn’t one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.

As we have been repeatedly told, “17 intelligence agencies” sign up to the “Russian hacking”, yet all these king’s horses and all these king’s men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported “hack”. Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.

The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened.

The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download.

Not actually examining the obvious evidence has been a key tool in keeping the “Russian hacking” meme going

On 24 May the Guardian reported triumphantly, following the Washington Post, that 

“Fox News falsely alleged federal authorities had found thousands of emails between Rich and WikiLeaks, when in fact law enforcement officials disputed that Rich’s laptop had even been in possession of, or examined by, the FBI.”

It evidently did not occur to the Guardian as troubling, that those pretending to be investigating the murder of Seth Rich have not looked at his laptop.

There is a very plain pattern here of agencies promoting the notion of a fake “Russian crime”, while failing to take the most basic and obvious initial steps if they were really investigating its existence. I might add to that, there has been no contact with me at all by those supposedly investigating. I could tell them these were leaks not hacks. WikiLeaks The clue is in the name.

So those “17 agencies” are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia’s security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place?

Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks “Vault 7” leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation.

Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which “had hacked” the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited.

Some of the more crazed “Russiagate” allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah.

Given there is no hacking in the Russian hacking story, the charges have moved wider into a vague miasma of McCarthyite anti-Russian hysteria. Does anyone connected to Trump know any Russians? Do they have business links with Russian finance?

Of course they do. Trump is part of the worldwide oligarch class whose financial interests are woven into a vast worldwide network that enslaves pretty well the rest of us. As are the Clintons and the owners of the mainstream media who are stoking up the anti-Russian hysteria. It is all good for their armaments industry interests, in both Washington and Moscow.

Trump’s judgment is appalling. His sackings or inappropriate directions to people over this subject may damage him.

The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there. 

Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. I remain positive that the movement Bernie Sanders started will bring a new dawn to America in the next few years. That depends on political campaigning by people on the ground and on social media. Leveraging falsehoods and cold war hysteria through mainstream media in an effort to somehow get Clinton back to power is not a viable alternative. It is a fantasy and even were it practical, I would not want it to succeed."







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What the GOP Establishment looks like to Trump voters























From Lucianne, Monday, July 24, 2017

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Comment: Trump is the only Republican in the country with an army behind him. The GOP Establishment couldn't care less about any of that---there's simply no money in putting America First. Like Democrats, they care only about their globalist donors, and the donors want: open borders, extreme globalism, massive free trade deals, endless foreign wars (a money laundering operation paid for by US taxpayers), and an administrative state with its own court system beyond the reach of voters. In other words, they want slaves and they think they have them.

 





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Sunday, July 23, 2017

US gov. via CIA forced elite Green Berets to train jihadists and criminals to oust Assad. CIA blew off Green Beret concerns that trainees were jihadists. Jordan's murder of 3 US Green Berets in Nov. 2016 (en route to train jihadist fighters) exposed CIA training program. Pretending Jordan is US ally gets Green Berets killed. Why is US military helping jihadists instead of defending the US border?

The murders in Jordan of 3 Green Berets en route to "train" "moderate" Syrians in Nov. 2016 took place around the same time Jordan was able to steal millions of dollars in CIA weapons meant for Syrian "rebels" and sell them on the black market. US government forces elite Green Berets to team up with Syrian jihadists to remove Assad. 

3 dead Green Berets killed by Jordan, 11/16


July 18, 2017, "Secretive CIA Syria program details exposed by murder of 3 Green Berets at Jordanian air base," Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, via SOTT.net

""The Jordanian government had a strong incentive to gloss over the murders of the three Green Berets. Likewise, the CIA was scared of potential blowback and the exposing of their covert program," says investigative journalist Jack Murphy, himself an Army special forces veteran.

A premeditated green-on-blue attack in Jordan outside of King Faisal Air Base (at al-Jafr in Southern Jordan) late last year (2016) resulted in the deaths of three elite US Green Berets in what the media initially dubbed a mere unfortunate gate incident and what the Jordanian government dismissed as a "a tragic accident devoid of any terrorist motives". But the whole event and subsequent attempts at cover-up just as Obama was leaving office enraged both the families of the slain and the US special forces community; and it further threatened to blow wide open the CIA's illegal Syrian regime change operation, called Timber Sycamore, which involved American special ops soldiers being tasked with training so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels in Jordan and Turkey as part of an inter-agency program.

As details of the court case involving the shooter continue to emerge this week, the media continues to misreport the true nature of the what the US special forces personnel were doing in Jordan in the first place, and how a CIA secret program put them at risk.

On Monday (July 17, 2017) a Jordanian military court sentenced the attacker, a Jordanian soldier named Marik al-Tuwayha, to life in prison with hard labor for the premeditated murder of [3 Green Berets:]


Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, of Kirksville, Missouri; 
Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30, of Tucson, Arizona; and 
Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, of Kerrville, Texas.  

In Jordan a "life sentence" can mean the possibility of being set free after serving 20 years for good behavior.

Last November the three Green Berets were entering King Faisal Air Base assigned as part of the CIA's 'Timber Sycamore' training. According to court testimony as well as evidence collected by the Pentagon, a soldier in the US-allied Jordanian Army opened fire as the Green Berets' convoy was stopped in front of the base. The Jordanian guard fired for six minutes, reloading multiple rifle magazines
. The Jordanian government and media attempted to paint a picture that the approaching US convoy charged the gate and neglected protocol, and that the guard thought he was acting in self defense (a claim later retracted by Jordan). But initially suppressed surveillance footage captured the entire event, and confirms a methodical and willed attack as the Americans yelled in English and in Arabic, "We're Americans! We're friendly!" (the Jordanian military court refused to show the footage). As Foreign Affairs reported, "they were hunted down and executed at close range." A fourth US soldier was able to wound the shooter, bringing the attack to an end. Crime scene photo evidence by the Army's official 15-6 investigation.... 

Monday's verdict is being widely reported as "case closed" concerning the attack even as the victims' families and active special forces personnel themselves continue to ask questions. While family members consider the verdict a "good first step," they have all along pointed to deeper issues regarding their sons' presence in Jordan and the policies that sent them there. Official family statements from a March press conference included the following: 

"Based on their behavior, the Jordanians apparently believe that our sons were expendable...Finally, our [US] government gives Jordan more than a billion dollars each year in foreign aid. The American public is told that the government of Jordan is our 'ally.'...As for the foreign aid for Jordan, I say, 'No more.' Enough is enough."

In a remarkably candid 2014 speech at Harvard, then Vice President Joe Biden admitted and emphasized Jordan's role among "our allies" in funding and supporting the rise of ISIS.

After Trump took office Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe's father published a letter asking the new US president to "reconsider our relationship and aide to an ally who murders our soldiers and then lies about it."

Perhaps more significant is that the whole episode threatened to expose never before known details of the ground level nuts and bolts of how the CIA's program to destabilize and topple the Syrian government worked. 

While the program began to be the subject of vague references in major US media in 2013, specific names and locations of military units, persons, and places involved had never been known or understood until just before and after the tragic attack in Jordan. Even as of 2014, as reports and rumors of CIA training camps in Jordan's vast deserts were abundant, and as some enterprising journalists literally stumbled around Jordan looking for the whereabouts, locations and details remained a complete mystery.

Training Jihadists for Syria Operations: Whistleblowers Speak

One month before the attack at King Faisal Air Base, a Green Beret associated with covert operations in Syria spoke out to a prominent military news site called SOFREP, blowing the whistle on details surrounding the CIA's use of jihadists to overthrow Assad:


"Nobody believes in it. You're like, 'F--k this.' Everyone on the ground knows they are jihadis. No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort, and they know they are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, 'F--k it, who cares?'
 
The lengthy whistleblower report (member restricted) circulated widely among special forces veterans and professional analysts, but never reached a broader public audience and was ignored in mainstream press as it sat behind a members only access site founded by a well-known Navy Seal for the purpose of 'insider' news and discussion impacting the special forces community. The report revealed that American Syrian rebel trainers (in Jordan and elsewhere) belonging to the Army's 5th Special Forces Group had been tasked with assisting a CIA covert mission, but they knew full well that they were being ordered by the Obama administration to train jihadists and ISIS sympathizers in the push to topple the Syrian government. They warned blowback was coming as the CIA was violating America's own counter-terror laws.... 

Media figures like CNN's Clarissa Ward immediately attacked the report (Ward herself is a notorious regime change apologist), but SOFREP's reputation is as one of the few outlets in the world with direct access to covert and special operatives on the ground in remote places. Its two co-founders appear semi-regularly on Fox News and other outlets to discuss their investigative stories. Indeed SOFREP's team of journalists is made up almost entirely of former career intelligence and military operatives. The site's editor-in-chief, Jack Murphy, joined a group of high profile journalists last year which sat in a closed door interview with Syrian President Assad - among them were the New York Times regional bureau chief, a journalist from The New Yorker, and analysts from The Century Foundation.

SOFREP's bombshell report was the result of months, and even perhaps years of a firestorm of controversy within military and intelligence ranks. Some members of the 5th Special Forces Group felt as if they were being used as pawns ("de facto expendable assets" as the SOFREP investigation describes it) by CIA bureaucracy in a legally and constitutionally questionable scheme that involved the US actively teaming up with jihadists to fight in Syria. 


While a general Western policy of using Islamic terrorism to pressure the Assad government has not been a secret in recent years, especially since the 2012 DIA 'salafist principality' memo came to light, details of how it all worked and how its overseers attempted to justify training jihadists have remained unknown.

Below are excerpts broken into sections from SOFREP's multi-part investigation (member restricted) into the joint CIA/Army Special Forces ("inter-agency") program. The total investigative series includes some 30+ printed pages of program history and details. It is unclear to what extent various elements of the program remained in place after Trump took office.... 


1) The three slain Green Berets were working under a program in which the CIA refused to properly vet trainees and allies:
The slaying of three Green Berets comes after years of the Special Forces soldiers assigned to the CIA's Timber Sycamore program complaining that the moderate rebels they had been sent to train were actually ISIS and al-Nusra infiltrators. The vetting that the CIA does of the rebels is dubious at best, consisting of bio-metric trace searches in old databases which are far from comprehensive. The Special Forces soldiers have repeatedly brought up the fact that the rebels they have to train have also failed their polygraphs and display allegiances to Islamists during interviews. Such concerns have also been expressed by the CIA's para-military component, called Ground Branch, which have also gone ignored.
*****
The shooter was an [Jordanian] Air Force soldier who came from the city of Ma'an, a hotbed of Islamic extremism. Ma'an is known to be a city openly sympathetic to the Islamic State, and the black flag of ISIS has been flown over the city despite crackdowns by Jordanian Special Operations troops.
*****
As of now, three 5th Group members killed outside a CIA base in Jordan by a Jihadist sympathizer is not enough to get Congress asking questions about what is really going on with these programs.
*****
CIA officers, particularly the station chief in Turkey, are known to routinely blow off the concerns of the Special Forces sergeants. The CIA has a careerist culture in which numbers have to be met in order for their officers to be eligible for promotion, therefore the mission takes second place to checking tick marks on a ledger. Special Forces trainers complain that they were taking on too many rebels for them to control, and that many were actually terrorists. Requests from the Green Berets for a security element from the Ranger Regiment to guard the rebels were dismissed. The CIA blew off any and all concerns that the Green Berets had
leading many of the trainers to actively sabotage the programs by passively refusing to train rebels that they know are actually terrorists. Some senior CIA staffers stayed away from the mission entirely, believing that the eventual blowback would be enough to destroy their careers.  

*****
"A good 95 percent of them were either working in terrorist organizations or were sympathetic to them," a Green Beret associated with the program said, adding, "A good majority of them admitted that they had no issues with ISIS and that their issue was with the Kurds and the Syrian regime." Like the militias being trained in Jordan, the rebels being trained in Turkey were not ready for combat. "It is not in their blood to be fighters. A large majority of them are criminals," a Green Beret said. Many were foreign fighters, some from Iraq. One even turned out to be a Lebanese drug smuggler.

"The majority of these guys have been coached on what to say at the training site and give cookie-cutter answers," the Special Forces soldier told SOFREP. They would portray themselves as being secular, but the Americans could tell who the hardliners were because they didn't smoke (jihadis follow Wahhabi Islam, which does not permit it) and looked at the Green Berets with disdain.
*****
Distinguishing between the FSA [Free Syrian Army] and al-Nusra is impossible, because they are virtually the same organization. As early as 2013, FSA commanders were defecting with their entire units to join al-Nusra. There, they still retain the FSA monicker, but it is merely for show, to give the appearance of secularism so they can maintain access to weaponry provided by the CIA
and Saudi intelligence services. The reality is that the FSA is little more than a cover for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra. 

2) The CIA merely watched ISIS grow as its top priority had always been regime change in Syria:
CTC [CIA's Counter-Terrorism Center] "didn't even track ISIS worth a damn," a CIA officer said. Amazingly, ISIS remained in the background, regarded by CIA leadership as little more than another insurgent group. The director of CTC, who had once been chief of station in Baghdad, did not care about Iraq one way or the other according to multiple sources in CTC who spoke to SOFREP confidentially. Since this was the party line held by the CTC director, it filtered down through the lower ranks in the CIA. In Syria, the overwhelming priority for the CIA is what some CTC officers call Director John Brennan's baby: the removal of the Assad regime.
*****
In 2012, with the Syrian Civil War already well underway, CIA Case Officer Doug Laux was dispatched to the Middle East in order to meet with allied nations and the leadership of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA). The mission was to "achieve the desired result of removing President Bashar al-Assad from power," as Laux wrote in a memo. "Leadership on the seventh floor [of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia] and the White House had made it clear from the beginning that the goal of our task force was to find ways to remove President Assad from office," the former CIA officer wrote in his memoir. Large sections of Laux's book are blacked out by CIA censors, but what we do know is that American-made TOW anti-tank weapons began showing up in offensives waged by the FSA in Syria.
*****
Brennan was the one who breathed life into the Syrian Task Force, which was able to draw upon resources from CTC/SI. "John Brennan loved that regime-change bullshit," a former CIA officer commented. CTC/SI focuses on counterterrorism, while the Syrian Task Force conducts espionage, influence operations, and paramilitary activities in conjunction with the Special Activities Division (SAD) as needed in pursuit of regime change, including the covert arming of militia groups [terrorists] inside Syria.
3)  Advanced weaponry went to al-Qaeda in Syria: 

Weapons were provided to the FSA by the CIA under US Code Title 50, which authorizes the CIA to conduct covert operations, including the supply of arms to foreign proxy forces, after receiving permission from the White House via a presidential finding. In 2014, it became perfectly clear that U.S.-supplied TOW missile launchers had fallen into the hands of Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria. 

***** 

Concerns about the so-called moderate rebels have been brought up time and time again by the Special Forces trainers. Even the much lauded and allegedly successful program to arm the rebels with TOW missiles has proved to be a failure. Soon after the the TOWs were delivered, ISIS raided the storage facility where they were kept, the CIA-trained rebels abandoning their own weapons systems.
Even the TOWs that remain in moderate FSA (Free Syrian Army) rebel hands end up benefitting the likes of the Al Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra. When a moderate FSA members fires TOW missiles in an offensive and takes new ground, that terrain is quickly ceded to al-Nusra, as moderate opposition groups are too weak to hold it. 

4) The Obama White House and the intelligence bureaucracy sought legal loops holes to prevent prosecution of US officials for training terrorists as part of the covert Syria program:
The legalities in arming groups which are designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations by the State Department are murky and complicated. If the orders are written the "right" way and lawyers are in sync at the White House and Department of Justice, they can be signed off on. Otherwise, the case can be made that support for the rebel programs are essential, admonishing the asset and personnel trained, while claiming that they will be monitored. The case would be that dubious groups have to be trained in the name of regime change in Syria, a regime that has backing from Russia, China, and Iran.

A curious loophole in 18 USC 2339, which makes it illegal to provide material support to terrorist organizations, is exception J which states that:

No person may be prosecuted under this section in connection with the term "personnel," "training," or "expert advice or assistance" if the provision of that material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization was approved by the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Attorney General. The Secretary of State may not approve the provision of any material support that may be used to carry out terrorist activity (as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act).
Exception J probably provides enough of a legal loophole for the CIA to train terrorists once DOJ and the White House signed off on paperwork carefully written by a team of lawyers.
*****The White House and the Department of Justice have to be providing paper to the CIA for these actions, as senior management at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia won't move without adequate protection for themselves. In this scenario, the CIA treats their Special Forces trainers as de facto expendable assets, using them to train known jihadists, when it was only a matter of time before something went wrong....

ISIS social media released photos showing possession of the US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile. 

*****

The inter-agency mission given to 5th Special Forces Group sees the Green Berets seconded to the CIA in which they act under Title 50 covert action authorities instead of Title 10 military authorities. During such deployments, they also act in a compartmentalized manner to the point that even the Colonel who commands 5th Group is not read in on to the CIA missions. A Special Forces soldier at Fort Campbell, Kentucky is assigned a position called S3X in which he is read on to all of the missions and acts as coordinator. Special Forces Groups are assigned to handle different regions around the world, and 5th Group's area of operations is the Middle East making them the natural choice for the training and equipping of rebel forces in Turkey and Jordan.
*****
For the time being, the Special Forces soldiers assigned to carry out Title 10 programs feel as if they have to make it look like they are doing their job while actually doing nothing. With their hands tied behind their backs, options are few and far between. Many are actively sabotaging the programs by stalling and doing nothing, knowing that the supposedly secular rebels they are expected to train are actually al-Nusra terrorists.
5) Rare descriptions of covert training base details, housing and operations:
Battlespace was delineated among the Special Forces members, with the troops stationed in Amman in charge of southern Syria, and others deployed to Turkey in charge of the north. However, Damascus X [the CIA station once located in Syria, now in Amman, Jordan] maintained a tremendous amount of clout over both commands. Gradually, funding and weapons flowed into Jordan for the Green Berets to use to further their mission.
*****
One Green Beret commented on the great living conditions they had. A marble chow hall was built for them that employed a full-time cook. "They always have sweets out, ice cream, a giant freezer with chocolate milk, giant TVs, and an Xbox," he said. He also mentioned they had a great gym. Between training rebel groups, they would take trips to see the local attractions. All and all, not a bad deployment.
6) Internal military pressures as well as media whitewashing attempted to censor SOFREP investigation details and end soldiers' leaking to the media:
Since those articles have been published, 5th Special Forces Group has held "sensing sessions" between the commander and his staff. The 5th Group commander has also conducted battalion briefs in which he stuck to the party line, but never actually denied any of the charges made in the SOFREP articles about what is going on in his unit. One 5th Group member reported that the briefs were extremely awkward, especially when the commander told them that he got them all ball caps which at that point felt like it was compensation to the men for the mess he had gotten them in.
*****
The commander, Colonel Leahy, went on the record for the Washington Times saying, "No one knows how to work with rebels better than our Green Berets..." However, the [Washington Times] article glosses over the complaints that Green Berets have made about the Timber Sycamore program in which "moderate" rebels actually turn out to be Jihadists. The Special Forces men complain and drag their feet, refusing to train the next generation of terrorists, but their words fall on deaf ears at the CIA. The brass as Special Forces also seems uninterested in challenging the CIA, and the only mission that is keeping their unit relevant at the moment."
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Added: "During a one-year span beginning in mid-November 2015, more Americans in uniform were killed in so-called green-on-blue killings in Jordan than in Afghanistan." The criminally insane Endless War Industry funded by the US political class still thinks Jordan is a great US "ally" after it hunted down and murdered 3 US Green Berets in Nov. 2016: 

6/23/17, "Green-on-Blue Attacks in Jordan," Foreign Affairs, David Schenker

"The Meaning of the Assaults on U.S. Forces"

"With little fanfare, the trial of a Jordanian soldier accused of the premeditated killing of three U.S. Green Berets began in early June (2017)

The incident, which occurred in November (2016) at the entrance of Al Jafr air base in south Jordan, has received relatively scant press coverage in the United States and in the kingdom. Yet the lack of attention belies the significance of the killings and the outcome of the trial.

Jordan is Washington’s best Arab ally in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) and"...

[Ed. note: Who is "Washington?" (re: Jordan is "Washington's" best Arab ally.) Is "Washington" a person? A country? A bank? Why the reference to "Washington"?]

(continuing): "is the second-leading recipient of U.S. economic and military assistance. But during a one-year span beginning in mid-November 2015, more Americans in uniform were killed in so-called green-on-blue killings in Jordan than in Afghanistan. Not only have the killings proved an embarrassment for Amman, in Jordan’s tribal society, the ongoing trial of one alleged perpetrator is a political minefield for the king.

THE ATTACK 

On November 4, [2016] three vehicles carrying U.S. Special Forces members [Green Berets] tasked with training moderate Syrian opposition fighters in Jordan attempted to enter Al Jafr military base. The cars were waved through the external gate, but then, according to the official Jordanian narrative, as the vehicles were waiting to clear the internal checkpoint, a shot was fired (or a car backfired) and a guard, Corporal Ma’arek Abu Tayeh, responded by opening fire on the first vehicle with his M-16 rifle.

One U.S. [Green Beret] soldier was killed instantly; two other troops [Green Berets] from the convoy identified themselves and fled. Nevertheless, over the next six and a half minutes, they were hunted down and executed at close range. Abu Tayeh was eventually critically wounded by a shot from a U.S. soldier whose car had earlier cleared the gates.... 

Days after the incident, Jordanian authorities publicly blamed the [dead] US soldiers [all Green Berets] for not following proper security procedures, including not stopping and properly identifying themselves."... 

"David Schenker is Director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy."

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Added: In 2016 millions of dollars in CIA weapons shipped into Jordan intended for Syrian "rebels" were "systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market." NY Times

6/26/2016, "C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say," NY Times,

"Weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, according to American and Jordanian officials. 

Some of the stolen weapons were used in a shooting in November that killed two Americans and three others at a police training facility in Amman, F.B.I. officials believe after months of investigating the attack, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The existence of the weapons theft, which ended only months ago after complaints by the American and Saudi governments, is being  reported for the first time after a joint investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera. The theft, involving millions of dollars of weapons, highlights the messy, unplanned consequences of programs to arm and train rebels — the kind of program the C.I.A. and Pentagon have conducted for decades — even after the Obama administration had hoped to keep the training program in Jordan under tight control.... 

The theft and resale of the arms — including Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades — have led to a flood of new weapons available on the black arms market. 

Investigators do not know what became of most of them, but a disparate collection of groups, including criminal networks and rural Jordanian tribes, use the arms bazaars to build their arsenals. Weapons smugglers also buy weapons in the arms bazaars to ship outside the country.... 

The training program, which in 2013 began directly arming the rebels under the code name Timber Sycamore, is run by the C.I.A. and several Arab intelligence services and aimed at building up forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The United States and Saudi Arabia are the biggest contributors, with the Saudis contributing both weapons and large sums of money, and with C.I.A. paramilitary operatives taking the lead in training the rebels to use Kalashnikovs, mortars, antitank guided missiles and other weapons. 

The existence of the program is classified, as are all details about its budget....The training program is based in Jordan because of the country’s proximity to the Syrian battlefields. From the beginning, the C.I.A. and the Arab intelligence agencies relied on Jordanian security services to transport the weapons, many bought in bulk in the Balkans and elsewhere around Eastern Europe.

The program is separate from one that the Pentagon set up to train rebels to combat Islamic State fighters, rather than the Syrian military. That program was shut down after it managed to train only a handful of Syrian rebels. 

Jordanian and American officials described the weapons theft and subsequent investigation on the condition of anonymity because the Syrian rebel training is classified in the United States and is a government secret in Jordan. 

News of the weapons theft and eventual crackdown has been circulating inside Jordan’s government for several months....

Word that the weapons intended for the rebels were being bought and sold on the black market leaked into Jordan government circles last year, when arms dealers began bragging to their customers that they had large stocks of American- and Saudi-provided weapons. 

Jordanian intelligence operatives monitoring the arms market — operatives not involved in the weapons-diversion scheme — began sending reports to headquarters about a proliferation of weapons in the market and of the boasts of the arms dealers.... 

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the United States has flooded Jordan with money for various counterterrorism programs. American and Jordanian spies have run a joint counterterrorism center outside Amman, and a secret prison in Jordan housed prisoners the C.I.A. captured in the region....

In 2009, a Jordanian doctor brought to the C.I.A. by a G.I.D. [Jordanian intelligence] officer after the doctor said he had penetrated Al Qaeda’s leadership — turned out to be a double agent and blew himself up at a remote base in Afghanistan. Seven C.I.A. employees, as well as the G.I.D. officer, were killed in the attack....

President Obama authorized the covert arming program in April 2013....The decision was made in part to try to gain control of a chaotic situation in which Arab countries were funneling arms into Syria for various rebel groups with little coordination. The Qataris had paid to smuggle shipments of Chinese-made FN-6 shoulder-fired weapons over the border from Turkey, and Saudi Arabia sent thousands of Kalashnikovs and millions of rounds of ammunition it had bought, sometimes with the C.I.A.’s help. 

By late 2013, the C.I.A. was working directly with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other nations to arm and train small groups of rebels and send them across the border into Syria. The specific motives behind the November shooting at the Amman police training facility remain uncertain, and it is unclear when the F.B.I. will officially conclude its investigation. 

This year, the widows of the Americans killed in the attack sued Twitter, alleging that it knowingly permitted the Islamic State to use its social media platform to spread the militant group’s violent message, recruiting and raising funds. [paragraph #37 in NY Times article] 

Captain Abu Zaid, the gunman, was killed almost immediately. His brother, Fadi Abu Zaid, said in an interview that he still believed his brother was innocent and that he had given no indications he was planning to carry out the shooting."...
  
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Added: The Hill cites NY Times, above:

6/26/2016, "CIA weapons for Syrian rebels funneled onto black markets: report," The Hill, Evelyn Rupert

"Weapons shipped to the Middle East by the CIA [is the CIA part of the US government?] to arm Syrian rebels have systematically landed on the black market in Jordan, a new report finds.

An investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera found that millions of dollars worth of arms sent to Jordan intended for U.S.-backed Syrian groups were routinely stolen in a scheme by Jordanian operatives. Some of the stolen weapons were reportedly used in an attack in Amman, Jordan, that killed five, including two Americans.

The training program for Syrian rebels trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad is largely armed and funded by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. It was launched in neighboring Jordan in 2013 and relies heavily on Jordanian forces to transport weapons. The initiative, the report clarified, is separate from the Pentagon’s now-defunct effort to train Syrian rebels to take on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). 

Jordanian officials told the news organizations that a group of [alleged US "friends"] Jordanian intelligence operatives siphoned off truckloads of weapons before delivering them to their intended destinations.

After complaints from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, several dozen Jordanian intelligence officers were reportedly arrested and fired from their posts but were able to keep pensions and money they made from the scheme."



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