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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘emails’

HOLY COW: Huma/Weiner Computer Had 650,000 Emails

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Man oh man, talk about not cleaning out your mail box. The computer shared by Huma Abedin and her soon to be ex-husband Anthony Wiener had around 650,000 emails on it’s hard drive according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, which is why it will take a long time to sift through the documents.

While the emails haven’t been read as if yet, a search of  the “metadata” turned up thousands of hits to state.gov addresses, and those of her private email server.

So while the Democrats are demanding that the FBI release all the emails ASAP,  It will take weeks, at a minimum, to determine whether those messages are work-related from the time Ms. Abedin served with Mrs. Clinton at the State Department; how many are duplicates of emails already reviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and whether they include either classified information or important new evidence in the Clinton email probe.

At the time however, the FBI had permission to search the computer for emails related to Weiner’s sexting and child pornography, but not the Hillary email case so they had to wait for a court order to begin looking at the Hillary related emails.

In their initial review of the laptop, the metadata showed many messages, apparently in the thousands, that were either sent to or from the private email server at Mrs. Clinton’s home that had been the focus of so much investigative effort for the FBI. Senior FBI officials decided to let the Weiner investigators proceed with a closer examination of the metadata on the computer, and report back to them.

At a meeting early last week of senior Justice Department and FBI officials, a member of the department’s senior national-security staff asked for an update on the Weiner laptop, the people familiar with the matter said. At that point, officials realized that no one had acted to obtain a warrant, these people said.

Mr. McCabe then instructed the email investigators to talk to the Weiner investigators and see whether the laptop’s contents could be relevant to the Clinton email probe, these people said. After the investigators spoke, the agents agreed it was potentially relevant.

Not all the 650K emails are relevant but agents believe tens of thousands of them are relevant. So many were relevant that Comey could not help but reopen the investigation.

McCabe is the agent whose wife was given over $675K in campaign donations by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime member of team Clinton. The move didn’t break any laws, it just lack demonstrated the lack of sensitivity to the very appearance of being ethical in the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

On Thursday, Comey was given an update, decided to go forward with the case and notified Congress on Friday, with explosive results.

 It was reported that Senior Justice Department officials had warned Mr. Comey that telling Congress would violate policies against overt actions that could affect an election. Except an investigation by this site turned up at least seven examples of the DOJ breaking that policy in the past 54 years.
Jeff Dunetz

A Trump Tape And More Clinton E-mails

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

There were two bombshell developments last week in the presidential campaign. Democratic nominee Donald Trump apologized when footage surfaced of his extremely crude remarks about women made during a conversation he had with a reporter eleven years ago. In addition, yet another set of e-mails involving Hillary Clinton surfaced. This batch, from the account of her campaign chairman, includes excerpts from her speeches to various business firms (transcripts of which she still refuses to release). The excerpts show that she has differing public and private positions on key campaign issues as free trade and open borders. Both events are enormously revealing.

The Trump Tape: By any measure Mr. Trump’s comments were really vile, even though some prominent Trump supporters like Rudy Giuliani insisted Trump had merely been engaging in locker room banter and braggadocio. Indeed, Trump himself promptly apologized and denied any unseemly conduct beyond the words themselves.

Understandably, the Clinton campaign has been making much of those words, claiming the comments reveal an animus toward women that render him singularly unsuited for the job of president of the United States.

While we, too, cringed at his remarks, we nevertheless find the Clinton position to be somewhat curious.

From the early days of Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 1992 (and other times thereafter during his presidency) various women came forward with allegations that he’d acted improperly toward them. Mrs. Clinton was widely reported to have played a leading role in efforts to discredit the women, starting with Gennifer Flowers, who on 1992 released tapes of phone calls that indicated a long-running affair between her and then-governor Bill Clinton.

According to The New York Times, Mrs. Clinton

embraced the Clinton campaign’s aggressive strategy of counterattack: Women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Mr. Clinton would become targets of digging and discrediting – tactics that women’s rights advocates frequently denounce.The campaign hired a private investigator with a bare-knuckles reputation who embarked on a mission, as he put it in a memo, to impugn Ms. Flowers’s “character and veracity until she is destroyed beyond all recognition.”

In a pattern that would later be repeated with other women, the investigator’s staff scoured Arkansas and beyond, collecting disparaging accounts from ex-boyfriends, employers and others who claimed to know Ms. Flowers, accounts the campaign then disseminated to the news media.

By the time Mr. Clinton finally admitted to “sexual relations” with Ms. Flowers, years later, Clinton aides had used stories collected by the private investigator to brand her as a “bimbo” and a “pathological liar.”

Perhaps most famously, Mrs. Clinton, soon after the Monica Lewinsky story broke in January 1998, claimed during an interview on the “Today” show that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was behind the allegations against her husband and then ominously threatened the accusers:

This is – the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since he announced for president. A few journalists have kind of caught on to it and explained it. But it has not yet been fully revealed to the American public. And actually, you know, in a bizarre sort of way, this [the Lewinsky allegations] may do it….

I think we’re going to find some other things. And I think that when all of this is put into context, and we really look at the people involved here, look at their motivations and look at their backgrounds. Look at their past behavior, some folks are going to have a lot to answer for.

Of course the Lewinsky allegations and a couple of the others made against Bill Clinton would in time become much more than allegations. Yet Mrs. Clinton has yet to apologize for her efforts to demonize her husband’s accusers well before any efforts were made to determine the truth.

Perhaps she felt the allegations of misconduct, even if true, were irrelevant to her husband’s service as president. But the claims against Donald Trump for making vulgar remarks about women in 2005 pale in comparison to what we know about Bill Clinton’s conduct toward women over a period of many years. So it seems incongruous, to say the least, for Mrs. Clinton to dwell on those Trump comments.

More Clinton E-mails: Mrs. Clinton has steadfastly rebuffed all requests that she release the transcripts of the paid speeches she delivered between leaving the State Department and embarking on her presidential run. Now WikiLeaks has dumped hundreds of e-mails from the account of her campaign chairman, John Podesta, which contained excerpts from those speeches. And it’s clear why Ms. Clinton would not want the general public to hear what she said in those speeches.

Essentially, she took positions in the course of those non-public events that are more favorable to free trade and to banks than the positions she taken publicly. She also explained that this approach was standard procedure for her.

Thus, in a speech to (mostly) bankers paid for by the Brazilian bank Banco Itau on May 16, 2013, she said, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” These sentiments are decidedly at odds with her campaign statements.

And in speech to the National Multi-Housing Council on April 23, 2013, Mrs. Clinton said:

You just have to sort of figure out how to – getting back to that word “balance” –how to balance the public and private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today…. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So you need both a public and a private position.

Is it any wonder that Mrs. Clinton is seen as duplicitous by large numbers of her fellow citizens?

Editorial Board

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Kicked Out of Democratic National Convention Leadership Role

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been kicked out from leading the Democratic National Convention, the traditional role for the DNC chair, Fox News reported Sunday.

The move came after emails leaked by WikiLeaks revealed a bias in the party’s leadership during the primaries — which was supposed to be neutral — against Senator Bernie Sanders. The revelation prompted some 40 percent of his supporters to vow not to vote for Hillary Clinton at the polls in November.

The leaked emails supported earlier claims by Sanders and his supporters that the system was rigged in favor of Clinton.

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has maintained as well that the system was “rigged” against Sanders, and said so from the podium of the Republican National Convention during his speech accepting the nomination of his party last Thursday night.

The news was confirmed publicly shortly after noon on Sunday. She had not appeared at a rules committee meeting on Saturday, though she was slated to speak, nor did her name appear on a list of speakers for the convention.

Hana Levi Julian

Hillary Clinton Wants US-Israel Relations on ‘Constructive Footing’

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been advocating to try and get the U.S.-Israel relationship “to a constructive footing,” according to numerous media reports this week.

The question is, “constructive” for whom?

Clinton spoke with Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who called her, to discuss that and other issues. In that conversation, she reportedly reiterated her support for renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to work towards a “two-state solution.”

A statement provided by Hoenlein to the San Diego Jewish World Sunday evening read as follows: “Secretary Clinton thinks we need to all work together to return the special US-Israel relationship to constructive footing, to get back to basic shared concerns and interests, including a two-state solution pursued through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. We must ensure that Israel never becomes a partisan issue.”

Hoenlein added, “Secretary Clinton’s views are of special importance and timeliness given recent issues in the US-Israel relationship. We note her call for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, which, we believe, is the only possible route to a true peace.”

Neither acknowledged similar, repeated calls for direct talks by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu since he entered office in 2009.

Among American Jews, there is a growing division in opinion over the issue of the “two-state solution” as well as over who should be held responsible for “solving” it.

America’s grassroots Jewish community is beginning to become aware of the fact that it is the Palestinians – and not the Israelis – who are the reluctant wedding partners in U.S. attempts to woo partners to the table.

Some are questioning where Hillary Clinton really stands on the issue, as more and more people begin to remember her previous positions. Not many were supportive of Israel, and there’s no reason to believe she is likely to change that view once the polls close.

One calls to mind her phone call to scold Israel’s prime minister for a perceived slight to Vice President Joe Biden over a routine announcement of a step in a years-long housing process in Jerusalem that was not been cleared with Netanyahu’s office and her notable lack of response to the naming of a Palestinian Authority square for a bloodthirsty terrorist that same week.

Unfortunately, just too many generations in the Palestinian Authority have passed with deep, subliminal conditioning at the early childhood through adult levels, teaching visceral hatred and murderous, mindless rage towards Israelis and – yes! – Jews to simply wave it away.

That kind of conditioning cannot be undone in a month or even a year, nor can it be wished away at the negotiating table or at the podium. It must be reckoned with by sober planning and security checks that will take into consideration the fact that a nation of potential murderers, ticking time bombs, are located next door. To ignore that would be completely foolhardy, and Israel’s current leadership is anything but foolhardy, American pressure notwithstanding.

Frankly, in many ways, grassroots Israelis and Palestinians are both just heartily sick of the entire thing, and neither has the stomach for more posturing. Many on both sides want peace, and many on both sides want to see their children grow up, marry and make a living.

But then, there’s the reality of how to keep everyone safe from every one of those who dream of murdering us all — Israelis, Jews and “collaborating, traitorous” Arab brethren. Not to mention the reality of naive or biased U.S. leaders.

Rachel Levy

Why Expanded Government Spying Doesn’t Mean Better Security

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

What is most important to understand about the revelations of massive message interception by the U.S. government is this:

In counterterrorist terms, it is a farce.

There is a fallacy behind the current intelligence strategy of the United States, the collection of massive amounts of phone calls, emails, and even credit card expenditures, up to 3 billion phone calls a day alone, not to mention the government spying on the mass media. It is this:

The more quantity of intelligence, the better it is for preventing terrorism.

In the real, practical world this is—though it might seem counterintuitive—untrue. You don’t need–to put it in an exaggerated way–an atomic bomb against a flea. And isn’t it absurd that the United States can’t finish a simple border fence to keep out potential terrorists, can’t stop a would-be terrorist in the U.S. army who gives a power point presentation on why he is about to shoot people (Major Nadal Hassan), can’t follow up on Russian intelligence warnings about Chechen terrorist contacts (the Boston bombing), or a dozen similar incidents must now collect every telephone call in the country? A system in which a photo shop clerk has to stop an attack on Fort Dix by overcoming his fear of appearing “racist” to report a cell of terrorists or brave passengers must jump a would-be “underpants bomber” from Nigeria because his own father’s warning that he was a terrorist was insufficient?

And how about a country where terrorists and terrorist supporters visit the White House, hang out with the FBI, advise the U.S. government on counter-terrorist policy (even while, like CAIR) advising Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement, and are admiringly quoted in the media yet a documented, detailed  revelation of this behavior in MERIA Journal by Patrick Poole, which should bring down the government, “Blind to Terror: The U.S. Government’s Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Middle East Policy.” does not get covered by a single mass media outlet?
Imagine this scene:
 
“Sir, we have a telephone call about a potential terrorist attack!”
 
“Not now, Smithers, I’m giving a tour of our facility to some supporters of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.” 

Or how about the time when the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem had a (previously jailed) Hamas agent working in their motor pool with direct access to the vehicles and itineraries of all visiting US dignitaries and senior officials.
 
Instead of this kind of thing the two key tasks of counterterrorism are as follows:

First, it is not the quantity of material that counts but the need to locate and correctly understand the most vital material. This requires your security forces to understand the ideological, psychological, and organizational nature of the threat.

Second, it is necessary to be ready to act on this information not only in strategic but in political terms.

For example, suppose the U.S. ambassador to Libya warns that the American compound there may be attacked. No response. Then he tells the deputy chief of mission that he is under attack. No response. Then the U.S. military is not allowed to respond. Then the president goes to sleep without making a decision about doing anything because communications break down between the secretaries of defense and state and the president, who goes to sleep because he has a very important fund-raiser the next day. But don’t worry because three billion telephone calls by Americans are daily being intercepted and supposedly analyzed.

In other words, you have a massive counterterrorist project costing $1 trillion but when it comes down to it the thing repeatedly fails. In that case, to quote the former secretary of state, “”What difference does it  make?”

If one looks at the great intelligence failures of the past, these two points quickly become obvious. Take for example the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. U.S. naval intelligence had broken Japanese codes. They had the information needed to conclude the attack would take place. Yet a focus on the key to the problem was not achieved. The important messages were not read and interpreted; the strategic mindset of the leadership was not in place.

Or, in another situation, the plan of Nazi Germany to invade   the USSR in 1941 or of the time and place of the Allied invasion of Normandy beach in 1944 was not assessed properly, with devastating results. Of course, the techniques were more primitive then, but so were the means of concealment.

For instance, the Czech intelligence services, using railroad workers as informants, knew about a big build-up for a German offensive against the USSR. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin overrode the warnings. Soviet analysts predicting a Nazi invasion were punished. Nothing would have changed if more material was collected.

So what needs to be in place, again, is to focus on the highest priority material, to analyze correctly what is available, to have leaders accept it, and to act. If the U.S. government can’t even figure out what the Muslim Brotherhood is like or the dangers of supporting Islamists to take over Syria, or the fact that the Turkish regime is an American enemy, or can’t even teach military officers who the enemy is, what’s it going to do with scores of billions of telephone call traffic to overcome terrorism? It isn’t even using the intelligence material is already has!

If, however, the material is almost limitless, that actually weakens a focus on the most needed intelligence regarding the most likely terrorist threats. Imagine, for example, going through billions of telephone calls even with high-speed computers rather than, say, following up a tip from Russian intelligence on a young Chechen man in Boston who is in contact with terrorists or, for instance, the communications between a Yemeni al-Qaida leader and a U.S. army major who is assigned as a psychiatrist to Fort Hood.

That is why the old system of getting warrants, focusing on individual email addresses, or sites, or telephones makes sense, at least if it is only used properly. Then those people who are communicating with known terrorists can be traced further. There are no technological magic spells. If analysts are incompetent, blocked from understanding the relationship between Islam and terrorism, bound up by Political Correctness and fear of career costs, and leaders unwilling to take proper action, who cares how much data was collected?

At a time when American leaders and the social atmosphere are discouraging citizens from reporting potential terrorism (the photo store clerk; the flight school instructor back before September 11, the brave passengers who jumped a hijacker and then had to worry about lawsuits because they violated someone’s civil rights, the attempts to take away guns that wouldn’t stop terrorists), why is a giant facility in Utah going to do a better job?

Decision-makers and intelligence analysts only have so many hours in the day. There can only be so many meetings; only so many priorities. And the policymaking pyramid narrows rapidly toward the top. There is a point of diminishing returns for the size of an intelligence bureaucracy. Lower-priority tasks proliferate; too much paper is generated and meetings are held; the system clogs when it has too much data.

Note the parallelism between this broader terrorism policy and the current philosophy of airport security. In both cases, everyone is considered equally suspect. Profiling is minimized. Instead of focusing on the, let’s say one hundred of those who might be of special interest, a great deal of time, attention, and resources has been spent on ten million others. This has got to reduce effectiveness.

The increased costs of security, Obama has told us, amounts to a cost of $1 trillion. Of course, people would say that such money was well spent. Yet in security as in every other aspect of government, money can be spent well or badly, even counterproductively.

Al-Qaida is even saying openly that it is switching to a strategy of encouraging isolated attacks. Within 24 hours a British soldier is murdered on a street in London after he seeks and fails to obtain terrorist training in Somalia, and a French soldier is attacked. In Toulouse, France, a terrorist kills or cripples soldiers and Jewish schoolchildren. There are dozens of examples.

Vast amounts of money and resources, though, are being spent in preparing for an exact reply of September 11.
And remember that the number of terrorists caught by the TSA hovers around the zero level. The shoe, underpants, and Times Square bombers weren’t even caught by security at all and many other such cases can be listed. In addition to this, the U.S.-Mexico border is practically open.

The ultimate problem is that the number of terrorists is very low and the fact is that for anyone who isn’t insane their characteristics are pretty clear, that is they are about 99 percent revolutionary and violent Islamists.
Obama has now admitted three very important things.

First, the war on terrorism has not been won.

Second, the war on al-Qaida has not really been won, since its continued campaigning is undeniable and it has even grown in Syria, partly thanks to U.S. policy.

Third, the biggest threat on the American homeland is autonomous terrorists who have been inspired by al-Qaida but are not technically part of the nomination. (That allows Obama to claim to be winning the war on al-Qaida).
What he has not yet admitted is that the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups or sponsors are controlling Egypt, Tunisia, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Turkey, Sudan, Syria, and Iran, while terrorists run free in the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, is not conducive to the protection of America against terrorism. The fact that his policy promotes some of these problems makes things even worse.

Yet the new, expensive, expansive, and time-consuming technological methods are relatively ineffective against the current priorities of anti-American terrorist groups.

Incidentally, Obama policy has been disastrous against a four factor, radical Islamists—though not al-Qaida taking over places. Compared to the time Obama came to office, the Islamists who support violence against America now rule Egypt, Tunisia, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and perhaps soon Syria. Offenses have been stepped up in Somalia, Yemen; are being maintained in Iraq; and of course still rule over Syria and Iran. In Turkey, an Islamist terror-supporting regime has been embraced by Obama.

This represents a massive retreat even if it is a largely unnoticed one.

So the problem of growing government spying is three-fold.

–First, it is against the American system and reduces liberty.

–Second, it is a misapplication of resources, in other words money is being spent and liberty sacrificed for no real gain.

–Third, since government decisionmaking and policy about international terrorism is very bad the threat is increasing.

If you don’t get value for money or enhanced security while freedom is being reduced and the enemy is getting stronger it certainly isn’t a bargain.

Barry Rubin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/why-expanded-government-spying-doesnt-mean-better-security/2013/06/10/

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