CIA Gives More Power To Spies To Bolster Intelligence Operations

Pompeo: China, not Russia, poses greatest long-term threat

The Central Intelligence Agency under President Trump is giving more authority to field operatives and cutting excessive bureaucracy in a bid to boost intelligence operations, CIA Director Mike Pompeo says.

In his first news interview since taking charge of the agency in January, Pompeo also said he believes America’s greatest long-term security challenge is the threat posed by China, not Russia. Excerpts of the interview can be found here.

During the wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of a security conference in Aspen, Colo., Pompeo revealed the CIA is preparing intelligence options for the president, including covert action, for use against North Korea in efforts to counter the threat of a future nuclear missile attack.

He also outlined how the CIA is stepping up counterintelligence programs against foreign spies and leaks of intelligence.

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Newly Declassified Memos Detail Extent Of Improper Obama-Era NSA Spying

The National Security Agency and FBI violated specific civil liberty protections during the Obama administration by improperly searching and disseminating raw intelligence on Americans or failing to promptly delete unauthorized intercepts, according to newly declassified memos that provide some of the richest detail to date on the spy agencies’ ability to obey their own rules.

The memos reviewed by The Hill were publicly released on July 11 through Freedom of Information Act litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union.

They detail specific violations that the NSA or FBI disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court or the Justice Department’s national security division during President Obama’s tenure between 2009 and 2016. The intelligence community isn’t due to report on compliance issues for 2017, the first year under the Trump administration, until next spring.

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CIA And Sen Marco Rubio Accused Of Plotting Regime Change In Venezuela

Venezuela’s leftist dictator Nicolas Maduro plans to proceed with a vote to create a new constituent assembly to replace the country’s opposition-controlled Congress with a friendly constituent assembly, potentially enabling the embattled despot to redraft the country’s constitution and officially marginalize his political opponents, despite the US’s repeated threats of “strong and swift economic action.”

In response to the US’s threats of sanctions, the country’s senior leadership have accused Sen. Marco Rubio and CIA Director Mike Pompeo of “conspiring to overthrow” the country’s floundering leftist government and replace it with a friendlier regime, according to the Miami Herald. The escalation belies the healthy business relationship between the two countries, which is centered on the US’s purchases of hundreds of thousands of barrels of Venezuelan oil a day.

“What this group is trying to do with Venezuela is basically divide the government, recognize other leaders and foment a conflict with the Venezuelans,” said Carlos Ron, the chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Venezuela, to a small group of reporters in Washington on Tuesday. “This is absolutely unacceptable.”

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Former CIA Director Calls For A Coup If Trump Fires Mueller

In the most vocal opposition to president Donald Trump yet, former CIA Director John Brennan said that if the White House tries to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, government officials should refuse to follow the president orders, as they would be – in his view – “inconsistent” with the duties of the executive branch.

“I think it’s the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out. I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future,” Brennan told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum, effectively calling for a coup against the president should Trump give the order to fire Mueller.

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NSA Officials And Computer Expert: Forensic Evidence Proves DNC Emails Were LEAKED, Not Hacked

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 hack. Of 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.

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Donald Trump Ends Covert CIA Program To Arm “Moderate” Syrian Rebels

President Donald Trump has elected to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train “moderate” Syrian rebels fighting against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria according to U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington PostThe program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later. Preceding the CIA program was a Pentagon-led effort which was criticized by Foreign Policyfor costing $500 million without yielding tangible results.

Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia after Trump’s July 7 meeting with Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. It may also signal an lack of ability as well as desire by Washington to take steps to remove Assad from power in Syria. Officials told the Washington Post that Trump made the decision to scrap the CIA program nearly a month ago, after an Oval Office meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

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More Obama Officials Scrutinized In ‘Unmasking’ Probe

 

The number of people thought to be involved in the alleged “unmasking” of American citizens under the Obama administration could be expanding, according to a source close to the House Intelligence Committee’s review.

The source with knowledge of the review told Fox News the records suggest the unmasking “goes beyond” key officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.

The source said more than a half-dozen former senior Obama administration officials are now of interest to House committee investigators.

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