FBI QUIETLY RELEASES 300 PAGES OF HILLARY CLINTON INVESTIGATION RECORDS

The FBI quietly released nearly 300 pages of records from its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server on Sunday night

by Chuck Ross

The FBI quietly released nearly 300 pages of records from its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server on Sunday night.

This is the fifth release of Clinton investigation records from the FBI. The documents deal with the handling of computer hardware collected from Clinton’s lawyers for the investigation and also contain emails from FBI officials discussing the classification of Clinton’s emails.

The FBI has previously released notes from interviews it conducted during its investigation of Clinton’s handling of classified information. FBI director James Comey declined to recommend that Clinton be charged in the case, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch accepted that advice.

The emails included in the documents are from the months prior to the formal opening of the Clinton email probe, which occurred on July 10, 2015. The exchanges show disagreements between the FBI and State Department over whether some of Clinton’s personal emails should be classified.

In one April 27, 2015 email, an FBI official wrote to other officials that they were “about to get drug into an issue on classification” of Clinton’s emails. The official, whose name is redacted, said that the State Department was “forum shopping,” or seeking a favorable opinion on the classification issue by asking different officials to rate emails as unclassified.

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Other email traffic sheds light on a controversy involving State Department under secretary for management Patrick Kennedy and a request he made in 2015 that the FBI reduce its classification of a Clinton email related to the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi.

Clinton investigation notes released by the FBI in October showed that an FBI official said during an interview as part of the email probe that Kennedy asked him and others at the FBI to relax classifications on some emails. (RELATED: State Dept. Official Wanted Clinton Email Reclassified Because It ‘Caused Problems’)

The new FBI release contains a May 21, 2015 email in which Michael Steinbach, the FBI’s assistant director of the counterterrorism division, detailed a conversation he had with Kennedy about the classification issue.

Steinbach said that the FBI had determined that one of Clinton’s emails should be classified using b(1) and b(7) redactions, used to protect information in the interest of national defense and to prevent the disclosure of a confidential source, respectively. Kennedy asked Steinbach to classify the email using only the b(1) category.

An email sent two days earlier from a separate FBI official provided more information about the dispute.

The official, whose name is redacted, wrote that the Clinton email was redacted and classified on the rationale that it contained information that would cause “interference with foreign relations.”

The FBI official wrote that the email could disclose sources and investigative methods used by the bureau.

“While the email does not name the particular official, this might be deduced and, given the threat of violence in the region, any surmise could be fatal for whoever cooperated with us,” the official wrote.

“State will say no one will know if it is redacted, but that is not how classification works,” they added.

The official wrote that he informed Kennedy of that rationale and that Kennedy said he would be in contact with Steinbach.

The FBI release also includes an email from the attorney of Bryan Pagliano, the Hillary Clinton State Department aide who set up and managed her secret email server. In the email, Mark MacDougall, Pagliano’s lawyer, informed the FBI that Pagliano would decline the bureau’s request for an investigation. Pagliano would eventually meet with the FBI in December, but only after receiving limited immunity from the Department of Justice.

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US misjudged appeal of Western democracy for Middle East during Arab Spring – CIA’s Brennan

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The administration of US President Barack Obama made a mistake when it hoped to impose Western values and Western-style democracy in the Middle East during the Arab Spring, according to outgoing CIA Director John Brennan.

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“I think there were very, very unrealistic expectations in Washington, including in some parts of the administration, that the Arab Spring was going to push out these authoritarian regimes and democracy is going to flourish because that’s what people want,” Brennan said in an interview with CNN.

Earlier this year Brennan, who spent years stationed in the Middle East, already admitted that the Arab Spring uprisings that began in late 2010 created fertile ground for terrorists. But in his latest comments, he said the focus should not be solely on the “symptoms of the problems” like terrorism and violence, but rather on the underlying factors such as governance.

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Assessing the prospect of Western-style democracies taking root in Middle Eastern and North African states, he concluded that what the people of these areas actually want is freedom for themselves, or their group, or their tribe, while the “concept of democracy is something that really is not ingrained in a lot of the people and the cultures and the countries out there.”

The CIA head also discussed the ongoing crises in the Middle East, noting that some of the decisions Washington has made over the past two decades may have contributed to the current state of affairs.

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For instance, he pointed at the 2003 invasion of Iraq as the reason why there was the tremendous slide into violence and bloodshed in that part of the world, adding that “history would have been different” if the US had not fully withdrawn from the country in 2011.
Echoing his previous comments, Brennan said he sees the move to leave Iraq as “a contributing factor” to the instability in the region and the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).  

“If we knew then what we know now in terms of what ISIL was able to do, in terms of just this explosive growth in Iraq that then was able to lop over into Syria, would we have pursued the same course? Probably not, the official stated.

Brennan also said the Syrian civil war could have played out differently had the US provided more active help to the Syrian opposition when the crisis first unfolded – as US critics of the Obama administration suggest should have been done.

“If additional support was provided by various international actors to the […] Free Syrian Army, early on, might that have made a difference? Maybe. Because at that time, the Syrian regime was reeling and was more vulnerable,” the official noted.

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Brennan warned, however, that providing military support to the Syrian opposition earlier would have presented its own challenges, with the opposition being an unstable, “very eclectic” mix of secular and extremist groups.

“Supporting the opposition blindly and throwing weapons over the transom into Syria could have led to a worse outcome than today,” Brennan concluded.

The CIA chief recently slammed Russia’s anti-terrorism efforts in Syria as a “scorched-earth policy” far from “something that the United States would ever do.”

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov last week said that the operation does indeed differ from the actions of the US coalition, which are focused on “methodically and steadily destroying Syrian economic infrastructure.”

President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with Russia’s NTV channel in December, said that the Arab Spring itself and the negative consequences for the region occurred because key nations “preferred not to observe” the norms of international law “to satisfy their geopolitical interests.”

Putin noted that the late Russian Prime Minister Evgeny Primakov warned about the possible harmful effects of the Arab Spring, but stated that at the time Russia “could not influence directly and practically the development of events, or our opportunities to influence those events were rather limited.”

The so-called Arab Spring was a revolutionary wave of both violent and non-violent demonstrations, protests, riots, coups and civil wars in the Arab world that began in December 2010 and spread throughout the countries of the Arab League and its neighbors. It led to the overthrow of the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen, and caused civil wars in Libya and Syria, as well as mass disorder in Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, and other countries.

ISIS claims responsibility for Istanbul nightclub attack

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The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) international terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the New Year’s Eve shooting in a crowded Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people.

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IS issued a statement calling the gunman its “soldier,” who attacked Christians for celebrating a holiday the jihadist terrorists deem “apostate. The attack was reportedly carried out in revenge for Ankara’s military involvement in Syria.

A manhunt is still ongoing for the gunman who killed 39 people and injured 69 at the Reina nightclub. The victims come from over 10 different, mostly Middle Eastern, countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, and Lebanon.

On Sunday, the Russian Consulate General in Istanbul confirmed the death of a Russian woman in the attack.

Eight individuals thought to have been involved in the nightclub attack were apprehended in Istanbul on Monday, Turkish Daily Sabah reported, citing police. Over the past week, nearly 150 people suspected of having ties to the Islamic State terrorist group have been detained, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said, adding that 25 have been formally placed under arrest.

The gunman, who may be from a Central Asian country, is suspected of coming from the same cell responsible for carrying out a deadly gun-and-bomb attack on Istanbul’s main airport back in June of last year, according to Turkish Hurriyet newspaper.

The club is located in the Turkish capital’s Ortakoy neighborhood, an area popular with foreign tourists crammed with nightclubs, shops, and restaurants. Up to 600 people are believed to have been inside the club at the time of the attack.

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The attacker began shooting at people as he approached the club, before going inside and continuing the rampage. He then took advantage of the ensuing chaos to escape, leaving his weapons behind, Interior Minister Binali Yildirim said in a media statement.

Initial reports said the attacker was dressed up as Santa Claus, but the Interior Minister has disputed that information. Videos of the incident don’t appear to confirm this either.

The gunman is believed to have taken a taxi to Ortakoy from a district in southern Istanbul, but he apparently got out of the car early due to heavy traffic, Haberturk newspaper reported. As the attacker approached the club, he pulled a Kalashnikov rifle from a suitcase and opened fire on those at the door, the report suggested, adding that, in total, he may have fired more than 180 bullets.

Calling the terrorist attack a “dirty game,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that his country will remain level-headed and stand together against terrorism. He promised to retaliate against not only the militant jihadists themselves, but also “the forces behind them” by foiling their “economic, political and social attacks.”

READ MORE: Erdogan brands Istanbul attack ‘dirty game,’ vows to crush terrorism

Turkey’s military operation against Islamic State in Syria makes it vulnerable and a target of Daesh [IS],” political expert from Middle East Technical University, Huseyin Bagci, told RT.

I do expect this type of assassinations this year more, as the more Turkey is fighting Daesh [Islamic State] together with the regional countries, the more it will become the target of such Daesh terrorism,” he said, adding that “the Turkish government in 2017 will face much more challenges than in 2016.”

SOROS: TRUMP IS A “WOULD BE DICTATOR” WHO THREATENS THE NEW WORLD ORDER

Billionaire globalist pens panicked rant

Paul Joseph Watson | Infowars.com – DECEMBER 29, 2016

Billionaire globalist George Soros has penned a panicked rant in which he decries President-elect Donald Trump as a “would be dictator” who threatens the future of the new world order.

In an article for Project Syndicate, Soros begins by mentioning how he lived under both Nazi and then Soviet rule in Hungary before asserting that “various forms of closed societies – from fascist dictatorships to mafia states – are on the rise.”

This claim is confounded by the facts, which show that, “The share of the world population living in democracies (has) increased continuously.”

Soros writes that in voting for Trump, Americans “elected a con artist and would-be dictator as its president,” and that his defeat of Hillary Clinton means America will be “unable to protect and promote democracy in the rest of the world” (because that policy worked so well in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya).

Soros also slams Trump’s new cabinet as containing nothing other than “incompetent extremists” and “retired generals”.

Explaining how he supports the European Union because it is a successful attempt at “social engineering,” Soros laments the fact that the body has become “increasingly dysfunctional” and its disintegration has been accelerated, “first from Brexit, then from the election of Trump in the US, and on December 4 from Italian voters’ rejection, by a wide margin, of constitutional reforms.”

Soros also bemoans Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged undue influence during the presidential election.

“At first, he tried to control social media. Then, in a brilliant move, he exploited social media companies’ business model to spread misinformation and fake news, disorienting electorates and destabilizing democracies. That is how he helped Trump get elected,” writes Soros.

Soros says Putin “felt threatened by “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine, and elsewhere,” without mentioning that Soros himself played a key role in bankrolling these contrived uprisings, as well as the color revolution being fomented against Trump.

The irony of an ultra-rich elitist who has bankrolled the overthrow of innumerable governments insisting he cares about “democracy” and the will of the people is particularly rich.

The whole tone of the piece is clearly fraught with concern that the populist movement sweeping the west poses a direct threat to the plutocratic new world order that Soros has spent his entire life helping to build.

He concludes by warning that “the EU is on the verge of breakdown” due to stagnant economic growth and the out of control refugee crisis (that Soros himself again helped create in the first place as a way to obtain political power).

7 Muslim refugees set man sleeping on bench on FIRE in Berlin

http://players.brightcove.net/4221396001/V19oeQPdg_default/index.html?videoId=5262705621001&applicationId=MIRROR%20Embed%20Offsite

http://pamelageller.com/2016/12/video-7-muslim-refugees-set-man-sleeping-bench-fire-berlin.html/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

BY PAMELA GELLER

Savages. Why would the West import this culture of violence and hate and kowtow to it?

Merkelistan.

German outrage after seven young refugees accused of ‘setting homeless man on fire’ at Berlin underground station
The alleged attack occurred as the 37-year-old victim was sleeping on a platform bench

By Chris Kitching, The Mirror, December 26, 2016:

The alleged attack occurred as the 37-year-old victim was sleeping on a platform bench

Police in Berlin have arrested seven migrants who are accused of setting a homeless man on fire in an underground station in the German city.

The alleged attack occurred as the 37-year-old man was sleeping on a platform bench at Schönleinstraße U-Bahn station on Christmas Eve.

Detectives launched an attempted murder investigation after the suspects – seven men aged 15 to 21 – allegedly set fire to the victim’s clothes.Six of the men are from Syria and one is from Libya, said police, who announced the arrests after releasing CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the suspects.

Suspects leaving scene after setting homeless man on fire in Berlin

Police released CCTV footage showing the suspects on a train (Photo: Berlin Police)

Schönleinstraße station in Berlin
Police said the attack occurred at Schönleinstraße U-Bahn station (Photo: A Savin/Wikipedia)

CCTV showed a group of youths laughing as they entered a U-Bahn train at the station which is on Berlin’s north-south U8 line.

Police allege the group had just set fire to the victim’s clothes.

Eyewitnesses, including a train driver with a fire extinguisher, rushed to the man’s aid and put out the flames. He was not seriously injured.

Suspects leaving scene after setting homeless man on fire in Berlin
Detectives have launched an attempted murder investigation (Photo: Berlin Police)
Suspects leaving scene after setting homeless man on fire in Berlin
The incident occurred at a station on Berlin’s north-south U8 line (Photo: Berlin Police)

However most of his belongings were destroyed, Deutsche Welle reported.

Police said six suspects had turned themselves in at different police stations and a seventh man was detained by officers.

Berlin police vice spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told German broadcaster RBB the main suspect is the 21-year-old.

Mr Neuendorf confirmed six of the men are from Syria and one is from Libya.

Suspects leaving scene after setting homeless man on fire in Berlin
One of the suspects is pictured in an image from CCTV (Photo: Berlin Police)
Suspects leaving scene after setting homeless man on fire in Berlin
The alleged attack has caused outrage in Germany (Photo: Berlin Police)

Some of the suspects were already known to police, he added.

It is alleged the suspects tossed a burning object onto the homeless man, setting fire to his clothes and bedding.

Andreas Geisel, the state of Berlin’s interior minister, said after the attack: “These days we should expect charity. Instead, we are experiencing human contempt.

“I am horrified and thank all those who have courageously helped. This is true humanity.”

Suspects leaving scene after setting homeless man on fire in Berlin
Berlin police have arrested seven men (Photo: Berlin Police)
The footage was captured after the victim was set on fire (Photo: Berlin Police)
Suspects leaving scene after setting homeless man on fire in Berlin
The men were arrested after footage was released by police (Photo: Berlin Police)

There was similar outrage earlier this month after a woman was kicked down a set of stars in Berlin’s Hermannstraße U-Bahn station.

The woman suffered a broken arm in the unprovoked attack which was caught on CCTV.

The suspect is a 27-year-old Bulgarian man who was arrested last week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy on immigration has come under fire this year following a number of attacks or shocking crimes.

Last week 12 people were killed and nearly 50 were injured when a 24-year-old Tunisian immigrant, Anis Amri, used a lorry to mow down pedestrians at Berlin’s Christmas market.

He was shot dead by police near Milan days later.