Earnest said the “disclosures by Edward Snowden were far more serious and far more dangerous” than those of Manning

mcclatchydc.com – JANUARY 18, 2017

Obama’s actions also raise questions about the future of Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency whose unauthorized revelations in 2013 showed vast surveillance by the U.S. intelligence apparatus, some of it on trusted leaders of allied nations. Snowden’s leaks also underscored how the NSA swept up telephone records within the United States in apparent violation of U.S. law. Snowden is in asylum in Moscow. 

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted recently the “stark differences” between Manning and Snowden, whose supporters who have been pushing for clemency.

“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” Earnest said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

“So I think the situation of these two individuals is quite different. I can’t speculate at this point about to what degree that will have an impact on the President’s consideration of clemency requests. But I know that there’s a temptation because the crimes were relatively similar to lump the two cases together. But there are some important differences, including the scale of the crimes that were committed and the consequences of their crimes.”

Earnest said the “disclosures by Edward Snowden were far more serious and far more dangerous” than those of Manning.

Supporters hailed the commutation as an act of humanity.

Bob Woodward Looking For Influence After Trashing Trump For Two Years Agrees With Him On hack Intel

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Bob Woodward Looking For Influence After Trashing Trump For Two Years Agrees With Him On hack Intel… 1 / 15 / 2017

Doug Ransley

the CIA is untrustworthy, they live by their own laws
osc bell

oh no, not this old retard again. shut up already
Christopher Pearson

Everybody is “hacking” everybody, and everybody knows it! So, what can s the big deal? It’s only a big deal when there is a political motivation. Just as we are seeing here. The NSA (aka The Crown) and CIA are the biggest baddest “hackers” in the world. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds…..

Hacking, RT & stinging scorpions: Senate asks intel chiefs about Russian election influence


The Senate Intelligence Committee is holding a rare open hearing on accusations that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. They are asking questions about a recent report by the US intelligence community on such activities.


Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers and FBI Director James Comey will testify about a recently declassified report on the supposed Russian influence on the election.

The report, made public Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), concluded with “high confidence in these judgments” that Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election.” The goals of the campaign were “to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.” The Russian government, under Putin, “developed a clear preference for President-elect [Donald] Trump.”

The “multifaceted” campaign blended propaganda, namely by RT, with covert intelligence operations, including cyber activity, with official efforts by the government, third-party intermediaries and “paid social media users or ‘trolls.’”


“We are not here to relitigate the results of the election,” Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), the ranking member on the committee, said in his opening remarks. Instead, the focus of the hearing was to be accusations of Russian hacking and release of stolen info, the use of state-owned media as a means to amplify real and fake news, and any contact between Russian actors and the campaigns.

Clapper’s opening statement reiterated the findings of the ODNI report, noting that the investigation didn’t assess the impact of Russian influence on the elections, only the intentions. He added that there was no evidence of Russia altering the vote tally.

The FBI did not have access to the Democratic National Committee’s servers after they were hacked, Comey said, but rather a highly respected third-party company was able to investigate them. It was unusual for the bureau to be denied access, especially when it made multiple requests.

Warner asked Clapper if it was correct that “some” information was taken from Republican-linked entities, but a “great deal” was taken from Democrats; the DNI agreed.

None of the four intelligence chiefs said they had seen “this level” of Russian interference in another country’s elections before.

“This sounds like a pretty effective and successful effort to sow chaos, to undermine credibility of our leaders and of our government institutions,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who ran for the Republican nomination. “In essence, it sounds like they achieved what they wanted, to get us to fight against each other over whether our elections are legitimate and divide us in the way that sows the sort of chaos that they sought to achieve.”

Comey would not say whether there is an FBI investigation into any contact between relationships between Russians and individuals associated with the Trump campaign and his incoming administration, noting it was not appropriate to reveal the answer in an open setting.

“The American people have a right to know this!” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) exclaimed, pounding on the dais, and demanding that the FBI release an unclassified report about such interactions before January 20.

There were “intrusions and attempted intrusions into state-level voter-registration databases,” but there was no indication that any changes were made, only that information was taken, Comey said.


Is it fair to compare RT to CNN, MSNBC or Fox News, Heinrich asked.

“To me, the major difference here is the bulk of funding for RT comes from Russian government and the Russian government gives editorial direction on what RT is supposed to broadcast,” Clapper replied. “So I think that’s a little bit different from CNN.”

“I think there’s an RT channel here,” Clapper told Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) that’s accessible to “some number” of people here.

“I doubt if [the audience] is very large” in the US, Blunt replied. “I don’t want to defend RT. I think it’s a propaganda arm of a government that’s definitely not on our side, and we need to be aware of that.”


Russia is similarly interfering with or influencing the elections in “a couple dozen or so” other countries, Clapper told Sen. John Lankford (R-Oklahoma). The DNI previously told the committee that authorities in Germany, France and the Netherlands, all of which have upcoming elections, should be aware of Russian attempts to meddle.

The Chinese are also conducting espionage in the US, but it’s a more passive collection of data than actively “purloining information and using it for a political end,” Clapper told Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia). “The Russians are unique.”

Russia “got far deeper and wider into the DNC than the RNC,” Comey said. “It’s hard to say why in this forum, hard to say in a closed forum because they didn’t get into the RNC.” The Russians were able to access some Republican-affiliated organizations, especially at the state level, but not the RNC itself, he added.

“Vladimir Putin undermines the United States and our interests for the same reason the scorpion stings the frog as it crosses the river,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) said. “It’s in his nature.”

Trump and his team are “very sensitive to this threat,” and the intelligence community has educated the transition group to the “pitfalls of mobile devices,” Comey said. When Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) asked him about the security of Trump’s Twitter account, the DNI refused to discuss any steps taken in an open setting.

Russian hacking has been going on “since the 1990s,” Rogers told Sen. Jeff Cornyn (R-Texas).

The multi-layered, multifaceted campaign to interfere in the US election is “a progression of capabilities as they’ve acquired and used them,” Clapper said. The Russians “certainly have long-standing practices like that against European countries.”

As a response, the US government has “tried to up our game defensively” since Russian intrusions began in the 1990s, Clapper told Cornyn. “We’ve responded selectively,” he said, referring to the US response to the Sony hack and to the recent increase in sanctions against Russians for the current situation. The DNI once again warned senators that it’s inappropriate to have a policy of retribution for all espionage activities in the US because the United States also conducts espionage.

Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) sought to put the Russian interference in perspective for the American people.

“This hacking business is ubiquitous, and it has been since the internet was set up. The question was asked ‘When did Russia start this?’; I suspect the day that they hooked up to the internet,” he said. “This goes on constantly. And as we’ve been sitting here, there have been thousands of efforts against US entities, US computers ‒ government, non-government ‒ and that’s just in the US! This is going on all over the world.”


Risch also agreed with Clapper’s assessment that the US needs to be careful in how it responds to such meddling, so as to prevent escalation. He praised the DNI for admitting that the US does conduct espionage, and said that the focus needs to be on upping the country’s defensive posture and called on everyone to be supportive of such defensive measures. At the same time, though, he noted that a “silver bullet” would likely never happen.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), the committee chair, adjourned the open hearing, which was set to be resumed after a vote as a closed session where the four intelligence chiefs would be able to go into the classified details about Russian interference that weren’t included in the report released Friday.

“There’s more behind that conclusion, we just can’t discuss that here” in an open forum, Comey had said earlier in the hearing.

Revealing evidence of Russia’s hacking would be ‘irresponsible’ – State Dept

US intelligence agencies were right to not reveal evidence of their claims that Russia interfered in US elections, and comparisons with intelligence reports that Iraq had WMDs were not relevant in the current year, according to the State Department.


Asked by RT’s Gayane Chichakyan if Friday’s public intelligence report should have contained evidence, State Department spokesman John Kirby said that no one should be surprised that US intelligence agencies were keeping evidence secret in order to protect their sources and methods.

READ MORE: RT stars in ODNI report on ‘Russian activities and intentions’ in US presidential election

“Most American people understand that they have the responsibility to protect their sources and methods,” Kirby said, adding it would be “irresponsible” to do otherwise. It is up to the agencies to decide which information they share with the public.

“We rely on them to make that determination for themselves,” the State Department spokesman said at Monday’s press briefing.


The assessment in Friday’s report was made “by all 17 intelligence communities. All of them came to the same basic conclusion: that Russia interfered in the US election,” Kirby said. “All of our intelligence communities came to the same basic conclusion, over and over again.”


The actual report, however, describes itself as an “analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA).”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government “aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,” the agencies assert in the report, noting that the CIA and FBI have “high confidence” in this judgment, while the NSA – which, in theory, would have actual surveillance data to prove the assertion – had only “moderate” confidence.

When Chichakyan brought up the 2003 intelligence assessment on the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction – invoked by the Bush administration to justify the US invasion and occupation of that country – Kirby said the comparison was irrelevant, since that was a long time ago.

“We have moved on. We have learned a lot from those mistakes,” he said.

Secretary of State John Kerry “believes strongly that they handled this matter in the appropriate way, in terms of how it was analyzed, how it was presented, and how it was briefed to those who needed to see a deeper level of information,” Kirby said.

Assange blasts ’embarrassing’ ODNI report, says ‘no evidence’ given

During a press conference Monday, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange criticized the recent ODNI report describing it as “quite embarrassing to the reputations of the US intelligence services.”


Assange answered questions submitted via #AskWL on Twitter for over an hour, which was streamed live via Periscope from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

He described the ODNI’s report as containing “zero evidentiary weight” and being “deliberately political.”

Asked about the source of the leaked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta Assange denied it was a state

READ MORE: ‘Not an intelligence report’: WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange slams ODNI (Live Updates) 

“If our sources were a state we would have a lot less concern in attempting to protect them,” he said, adding that he would not provide additional information as this could lead to their identification.

“Take the data now, keep it under your bed or with your mother. You can give it to WikiLeaks,” Assange said, encouraging members of the Obama administration to prevent information being destroyed before he leaves office.

READ MORE: WikiLeaks offers $20k reward to prevent Obama govt ‘destroying US history’

He denied that WikiLeaks posessed information from the Republican National Committee which they refused to publish, calling the claim “false.”

Assange said he believed that whistleblowers would continue to be persecuted under Trump’s administration, saying “No system of authority likes those who undermine their authority.”


The whistleblowing site has been accused of working with the Russian government to ensure Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections.

Both WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange have repeatedly denied the leaks came from state actors, with former UK ambassador and WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray stating the leak came from a “disgusted” whistleblower from within the Democratic establishment.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) unclassified findings report released Friday has drawn much criticism and mockery for its apparent lack of evidence and its substantial padding with outdated details about RT.


It claims Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a negative online campaign to influence the elections in a bid to facilitate a Trump victory, and that the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) then fed the information to WikiLeaks.

“We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks,” it read.

Among critics was former CIA analyst Larry C Johnson who described the report as a “farce” and a “charade,” claiming Hillary Clinton was effective in discrediting herself, without needing the help of Russia.

“I don’t think they’re hiding anything because they don’t have anything,” Johnson told RT. “These are ‘or and how’ intelligence estimates as opposed to an intelligence analysis based on fact. There’s no fact underlying this. There are analytical assumptions.”

READ MORE: ‘Clinton quite effective at discrediting herself, doesn’t need Putin’s help’ – ex CIA analyst

“You can tell that because whenever they use the language like ‘we assess that’ or ‘we believe that’ or ‘it’s likely that’,” he added. “That means they don’t know, because if you knew, you could say … in public ‘according to multiple sources we know that.’ You state facts.”

The report states the Russian government is behind the ‘DC Leaks’ website and Romanian hacker Guccifer 2.0, who released emails from the DNC and other Democrats.

While the report does state that Russians didn’t meddle with voter tallies to influence the results of the election, it claims that the Russian government smeared Clinton.

While the report states the CIA and FBI have “high confidence” the hacks were ordered to help Trump. The NSA, who deals in signals intelligence over human intelligence, have “moderate confidence.”

The report also cites Russian politicians celebrating Trump’s win as further evidence. It does not, however, draw the same conclusions about the Israeli government’s delight at Trump’s victory.

Can We Trust Lying James Clapper On Russia Theory

Published on Jan 6, 2017

This is the same man whose WMD theory led to a war in Iraq and had no problem lying under oath about the NSA. Can we really take his assessment on Russia hacking at face value?

Pepito Rodriguez

Clapper is a traitor and the world will know the truth
Vidar Odinsson

No clapper you are the same lying bastard today as you were 13 years ago! PS. Why is a 75 year old in charge of anything but his incontinence pants?
Manley Nelson

Clapper acts as if lying about WMDs was just a little mistake that he had nothing to do with. How is he still working in “intelligence”?

I can’t wait to see the steaming pile of horse shit they pass off as evidence.
pooky marie

I swear these people are trying to start a war!!!! We voted for trump because we did not want to go war now that trump was elected they want to start the war and leave trump to take the fall these people need to be removed today! God help us all!!! I hope Putin is smart and does not fall for the trap!
Katie Secouler

they needed the time to make up FAKE documents…..
Jack Gerald

I say you could trust James Clapper just as much as the guy who signs his pay check.