Monday, 22 January 2018

Ecuador's Correa says Assange may be in danger

Ecuador's Correa 'Afraid for Julian Assange's Safety'







"It will only take pressure from the United States to” withdraw protection for Assange said Correa.

Former Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa has warned that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's days are numbered at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

RELATED:

Correa, who gave Assange asylum back in 2012, said that he's “afraid for Julian Assange's safety” due to the new government´s actions with regards to his case. He said that he believes President Lenin Moreno is likely “take away the support” previously afforded to the anti-secrecy activist.

It will only take pressure from the United States to” withdraw protection for Assange and “surely it's already being done, and maybe they await the results of the Feb. 4 (referendum) to make a decision,” said Correa, in an article published by AFP.

When asked does he have evidence to support his claim, Correa said it's clear that Moreno “has no convictions, it's clear that he has yielded to the usual powerbrokers” and will “soon enough yield regarding the question of Assange.” The 54-year old economist added that the ambassador for the United States was shamelessly interfering in Ecuador's internal affairs, something “hadn't occurred during ten years” of his government.

Earlier this week Correa officially left the ruling PAIS Alliance, the leftist political movement he founded in 2006 and which he first rose to political prominence.

Having referred to Moreno as a “traitor,” someone who has called for an “unconstitutional” referendum that could spell an end to “democracy,” Correa went on to say that "they can rob us of Alianza Pais, but never our will and convictions. Despite the pain, this only strengthens us." More than two dozen other leaders and lawmakers have also resigned from the party, including Mauricio Proaño, Liliana Duran, and Esteban Melo.

The departing faction intends to start a new party called Citizens' Revolution, the phrase Correa often uses to describe his socialist movement aimed at reducing the nation's inequality.


Fox News on #ReleaseTheMemo - 01/18/2018

Sean Hannity and Sara Carter on the FISA memo

18 January


The Polar Vortex develops 3rd eye over Mediterranean


The Polar Vortex on the Northern Hemisphere has developed a third eye over the Mediterranean Sea



Sam Carana, via Facebook

The image shows the situation on January 21, 2018. The Polar Vortex on the Northern Hemisphere has developed a third eye over the Mediterranean Sea and reaches speeds as high as 428 km/h or 266 mph over the North Sea. On the Southern Hemisphere, the Polar Vortex is located close to the Equator.

From the set at 
https://www.facebook.com/SamCarana/posts/10159753715435161

Created by Sam Carana for 
Arctic-news.blogspot.com
 

Reports: The process to realease the Fisa memo has begun

BREAKING: House Intel Committee Officially Begins Process To #ReleaseTheMemo


21 January, 2018

After millions of Americans called on Congress to release the bombshell FISA abuse memo, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) announced Saturday that the process has officially begun.


Great news! Our efforts to #ReleaseTheMemo have been effective and the HPSIC plans to begin the process to release the FBI/FISA/Russia memo. This may take up to 19+ Congressional work days but Americans deserve to know the truth,” tweeted Joyce.

Great news! Our efforts to have been effective and the HPSIC plans to begin the process to release the FBI/FISA/Russia memo. This may take up to 19+ Congressional work days but Americans deserve to know the truth.

On Friday, Republican lawmakers started publically lobbying Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes to release the memo.


The letter was signed by Steve King, Matt Gaetz, Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Scott Perry, Ted Yoho, Jody Hice, Louie Gohmert, Barry Loudermilk and Brian Babin, reports Jim Hoft of The Gateway Pundit.





View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Earlier this morning, I examined the classified, four-page memo from @HouseIntelComm regarding the FBI, DOJ, and the so-called . To put it simply, “WOW.” I joined the call to . Americans deserve truth and transparency.

According to Fox News contributor Sara Carter, the contents of the memo are so “explosive,” that it could end special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Additionally, the memo’s release could lead to the prosecution of top FBI and Justice Department officials, says Carter.




What are they afraid of?


Sara Carter: Explosive FISA Memo Could Be Released to the Public THIS WEEK! 



21 January, 2018

On Saturday Rep. Dave Joyce announced that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSIC) had launched the process to release the explosive FBI-FISA-Russia classified memo.

Great news! Our efforts to have been effective and the HPSIC plans to begin the process to release the FBI/FISA/Russia memo. This may take up to 19+ Congressional work days but Americans deserve to know the truth.
The 4 page memo contains evidence that the Obama administration used FISA warrants to spy on both the Trump campaign and transition team — charges Obama officials have long denied.

On Sunday morning investigative reporter Sara Carter told FOX and Friends Weekend that the memo could be released to the public this week.



Sara Carter: The House Intelligence Committee is going to hold another vote. This vote will be made for the public… They’re sure it’s going to pass because Republicans are going to pass on the party line to make this available to the public. Then the memo will go to the president where the president will have five days to decide whether or not to declassify the memo. And what I’m being told from my sources he will declassify that memo for the public. They’re actually hoping the memo gets declassified very soon, the latest I’ve heard is the end of the month but the soonest could be anytime this week.

It ought to be an exciting week then!


"The American people wouldn't understand the Fisa memo"

REP. SCHIFF: WE CAN’T RELEASE FISA MEMO BECAUSE AMERICAN PEOPLE WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND IT


https://news.grabien.com/story-rep-schiff-we-cant-release-fisa-memo-because-american-people

The American people unfortunately don’t have the underlying materials and therefore they can’t see how distorted and misleading this document is’



0:00 / 2:00


CABRERA: “Let me ask you about the Russia investigation because I can't have you here and not. Especially given how much we talked about it in the first year of the presidency. And now if you turn on any conservative media, they keep talking about this Nunes memo, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, that he’s put out there and many Republicans have taken a look at it and they want it made public. Can you tell us about this memo? What exactly is it?”

SCHIFF: “It is essentially a set of talking points that the Republican Intel staff drafted. Based on the highly classified materials which most of the Republican members were forced to acknowledge they’ve not even read. So they don’t know how distorted these talking points are. But as part of the narrative they want to push out. Interestingly enough, they’ve made common cause, once again, with Russian bots because Russian bots are pushing their narrative out there. It’s in a redux of the campaign. We have Julian Assange and Wikileaks and Russian trolls and bots saying, you know, hashtag whatever the GOP narrative is. That ought to tell you a lot about what’s driving this. And that is —“

CABRERA: “Why not allow people to look at it and let Americans make the decision for themselves about whether it’s useful information or not?”

SCHIFF: “Well, because the American people unfortunately don’t have the underlying materials and therefore they can’t see how distorted and misleading this document is. The Republicans are not saying make the underlying materials available to the public. They just want to make this spin available to the public. I think that spin, which is a fulsome attack on the FBI, is just designed to attack the FBI and Bob Mueller to circle the wagons for the White House. And that’s a terrible disservice to the people, hard working people at the Bureau, but more than that, it’s a disservice to the country.”

CABRERA: “Adam Schiff, congressman, thank you.”


Glenn Greenwald weighs in on #ReleaseTheMemo


Republicans Have Four Easy Ways To #ReleaseTheMemo...Not Doing So Will Prove Them Shameless Frauds
Glenn Greenwald

20 January, 2018

One of the gravest and most damaging abuses of state power is to misuse surveillance authorities for political purposes. For that reason, The Intercept, from its inception, has focused extensively on these issues.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180120_memo.jpg

We therefore regard as inherently serious strident warnings from public officials alleging that the FBI and Department of Justice have abused their spying power for political purposes. 

Social media this week has been flooded with inflammatory and quite dramatic claims now being made by congressional Republicans about a four-page memo alleging abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act spying processes during the 2016 election. This memo, which remains secret, was reportedly written under the direction of the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, and has been read by dozens of members of Congress after the committee voted to make the memo available to all members of the House of Representatives to examine in a room specially designated for reviewing classified material.

The rhetoric issuing from GOP members who read the memo is notably extreme.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, called the memo troubling” and “shocking” and said, “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”
GOP Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania stated: You think about, ‘Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That’s how alarming it is.”

This has led to a ferocious outcry on the right to “release the memo” – and presumably thereby prove that the Obama administration conducted unlawful surveillance on the Trump campaign and transition.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180120_memo1.jpg

On Thursday night, Fox News host and stalwart Trump ally Sean Hannity claimed that the memo described “the systematic abuse of power, the weaponizing of those powerful tools of intelligence and the shredding of our Fourth Amendment constitutional rights.”

Given the significance of this issue, it is absolutely true that the memo should be declassified and released to the public - and not just the memo itself. The House Intelligence Committee generally and Nunes specifically have a history of making unreliable and untrue claims (its report about Edward Snowden was full of falsehoods, as Bart Gellman amply documented, and prior claims from Nunes about “unmasking” have been discredited). Thus, mere assertions from Nunes — or anyone else — are largely worthless; Republicans should provide American citizens not merely with the memo they claim reveals pervasive criminality and abuse of power, but also with all of the evidence underlying its conclusions.

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have the power, working together or separately, to immediately declassify all the relevant information. And if indeed the GOP’s explosive claims are accurate – if, as HPSCI member Steve King, R-Iowa, says, this is “worse than Watergate” — they obviously have every incentive to get it into the public’s hands as soon as possible. Indeed, one could argue that they have the duty to do so.

On the other hand, if the GOP’s claims are false or significantly misleading – if they are, with the deepest cynicism imaginable, simply using these crucial issues to whip up their base or discredit the Mueller investigation, or exaggerating or making claims that lack any evidentiary support, or trying to have the best of all worlds by making explosive claims about the memo but never having to prove their truth - then they will either not release the memo or they will release it without any supporting documentation, making it impossible for Americans to judge its accuracy for themselves.

Anyone who is genuinely concerned about the claims being made about eavesdropping abuses should understand why the issue of evidence is so critical. After all, the House, Senate, and FBI investigations into any Trump collusion with Russia have so far proceeded with many startling claims in the media, but to date little hard evidence for the public to judge. Nobody rational should be assuming any claims or assertions from partisan actors about the 2016 election are true without seeing evidence to substantiate those claims.

The good news is there are at least four easy ways for congressional Republicans and/or Trump to definitively prove that all the right’s darkest suspicions about the Obama administration are true. If this memo and the underlying documents prove even a fraction of what GOP politicians and media figures are claiming about them, then what could possibly justify its ongoing concealment? Any or all of these methods should be promptly invoked to ensure that the public sees this evidence:

1. Trump can declassify anything he wants.


All classification by the U.S. government has no basis in laws passed by Congress (with one tiny exception that is irrelevant here). Rather, all classification is based on presidential executive orders, which rely on the president’s constitutional role as commander in chief of the armed forces. According to the Supreme Court, the presidential power “to classify and control access to information bearing on national security … flows primarily from the constitutional investment of power in the president.”

That means presidents can also declassify anything they chose to — for any reason or no reason — as they have done in the past. George W. Bush, under pressure in 2004, declassified the section of the 2001 presidential daily brief headlined “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Barack Obama declassified the Justice Department memos produced during the Bush presidency on the legality of torture.

Thus if the House Intelligence Committee merely releases a version of its memo without the supporting documentation, that won’t be just because they don’t want Americans to see it – it will be because Trump doesn’t want us to see it either. Note that GOP House members are insistent that releasing the memo and the underlying source material would not remotely harm national security:
Releasing this classified info doesn't compromise good sources & methods. It reveals the feds' reliance on bad sources & methods.
So what possible justification is there for Trump to continue to conceal this alleged evidence of massive criminality from the American people by hiding it behind “classified” designations? Indeed, it is illegal to abuse classified designations to hide evidence of official criminality: so not only can Trump declassify such evidence, one could argue that he must, or at least should.

Just read the classified doc @HPSCI re FISA abuse. I'm calling for its immediate public release w/relevant sourced material. The public must have access ASAP!
Releasing this classified info doesn't compromise good sources & methods. It reveals the feds' reliance on bad sources & methods.

2. The House (and Senate) intelligence committees can declassify any material they possess.


According to the procedural rules of both houses of Congress, their intelligence committees can declassify material in their possession if the committee votes that such declassification would be in the public interest. It is then declassified after five days unless the president formally objects. If the president does object, the full chamber votes on the question.

It is true that – in a measure of how embarrassingly deferential Congress is to the executive branch – neither the House nor the Senate intelligence committees has ever utilized this power, so it’s impossible to know how this gambit would play out in practice. But if Trump refused to release proof of the Obama administration’s misdeeds, congressional Republicans should have a straightforward way to overrule him.

3. The Constitution protects members of Congress from prosecution for “any speech or debate in either House.”


Members of Congress have legal immunity for acts they commit as part of the legislative process. Article I, Section 6, clause 1 of the Constitution states that “for any speech or debate in either House, [Senators and Representatives] shall not be questioned in any other place.” It is this constitutional shield that protected Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska from legal consequences in 1971 when he read sections of the Pentagon Papers during a meeting of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds, and then placed the rest of the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.

It’s true that members could face legal consequences for ancillary acts — perhaps if they unlawfully removed the relevant material from the congressional SCIF. But they could go to the House floor and describe both the memo’s revelations and the underlying evidence for it without any fear of legal consequences.
If the memo really proves what they claim, it would seem to be their patriotic duty would compel them do this. Ordinary citizens — like Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning — have risked prison in order to expose what they believed were serious official crimes; these members of Congress can do this without any of those consequences. So what justifies their failure to do this?

4. Republicans can leak everything to the news media.


If for some reason Trump and the congressional leadership refuse to use any of the above options to vindicate themselves, a brave member of Congress could turn whistleblower and transmit the classified proof of the GOP’s claims about the memo to the news media.
Many outlets now have secure methods of sending sensitive material to them, such as Secure Drop. Those for The Intercept can be found here. (All leaking entails risks, as we describe in our manual for whistleblowers.)
*  *  *
So that’s that. All Americans, particularly conservatives, should ask every Republican making spectacular assertions about this memo when they will be using the above ways to conclusively demonstrate that everything they’ve said is based in rock-solid fact.

If they do not, Republicans will conclusively demonstrate something else.

They will prove conclusively that all of this is about them shamelessly making claims they do not actually believe, fraudulently posturing as caring about one of the most vital, fundamental issues facing the United States: how the U.S. government uses the vast surveillance powers with which it has been vested.