“A top Senate Democrat is planning to introduce bipartisan legislation designed to stop President Trump from relaxing US sanctions on Russia. Critics argue that the bill is a “rabid and short-sighted” move to undermine the new administration.
President Donald Trump’s cautious statements about the desirability of working towards rapprochement with Moscow, which could include easing economic sanctions on Russia, have not gone unnoticed by some in the US establishment.
Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said on Sunday that a bipartisan group of US Senators was preparing to introduce a bill that would significantly restrict the president’s ability to lift the sanctions that Washington imposed on Russia in 2014 after Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin it in a referendum.
The bill would demand that any changes to the restrictions be put to a vote in the US Congress, thus preventing the president from acting unilaterally.
“We repeal sanctions, it tells Russia, ‘Go ahead and interfere in our elections and do bad things;’ it tells China; it tells Iran. That would be terrible,” Schumer told ABC’s This Week show, adding that he has secured support from GOP Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
“We need more sanctions against Russia. We should not relax them,” McCain said on the same program, adding “if we don’t keep those sanctions on and even increase them, it will encourage Vladimir Putin, who is a war criminal.”
Earlier in January, Trump floated the idea of lifting the sanctions as part of a new nuclear weapons reduction deal.
“For us to repeal sanctions, given what Russia has done in Ukraine and threatened the Baltics, and now they have clearly tried to intervene in our election – whether it had an effect or not – that is something, that’s a danger that we have never faced to this extent in American history,” Schumer went on.”
RT Asks Sarcastically: Are These the Kind of Men a Russian Agent Would Appoint to the Highest Positions in his Military, Diplomatic and Intelligence Cabinet?
On the other hand, the gloating at Radio Free Europe/Liberty, or at (increasingly these days) Saudi/Qatari funded 'Atlanticist freedom promoting' think tanks, over Russians disappointment that The Donald isn't 'their guy' and 'White House is ours!' is likely to prove short lived. While mindful of the optics, and ruling out any 1986 style Reykjavik Reagan-Gorbachev summit to discuss grand bargains, quiet negotiations are underway with the first Trump-Putin post inaugural phone call set for sometime this week.
The article actually says they have no idea if there's an active investigation, but your false claim got 3,000 RTs & that's what matters. https://t.co/0w4ozOnAZx
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 23, 2017
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the White House National Security Adviser who is not subject to Congressional confirmation hearings, is being smeared as a possible Russian agent. Flynn we're told is under a counterintelligence investigation for speaking over a phone line both sides know was tapped by the FBI/NSA with Russia's Ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak. The purpose of that call according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer was to arrange a call between the White House and the Kremlin. As we're very likely to find out early this week, that investigation is going nowhere for lack of evidence, and the 'sources' who spoke to The Wall Street Journal about it were the usual Clintonista/Brennanista deep state dead enders bitterly opposed to Trump.
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 21, 2017
Not Everyone in the CIA, and Especially at the Pentagon, is Bitterly Opposed to Trump
Looking abroad, the U.S. military leading up to the transition in power and since has become a lot more aggressive in targeting Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria. This not quiet subtle shift came after the Obama Administration and its Secretary of Defense the execrable Ash Carter found it easier to 'accidentally' bomb Russian-supported Syrian Arab Army (SAA) troops defending Deir Ez Zor from Islamic State attackers last September than actually hitting a single Al-Qaeda target in Idlib. Apparently the Obama Administration's half-hearted support for the Iraqis to retake Mosul and the glacial to non-existent advance against ISIS on the Syrian side of the border had become too much to rationalize -- even for all but the most rabidly neocon brass and ranking civilians at the Pentagon.
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 19, 2017
As Charles Hugh Smith of Two Minds blog wrote, Trump would have never made it to the Oval Office without at least some elements of the so-called monolithic Deep State, primarily concentrated at the Pentagon and far less sympathetic to radical jihadists than the backstabbing former CIA director John Brennan, helping The Donald. Throw in some of the anti-Hillary leaks from the FBI which butthurt Social Justice Cold Warriors and The New York Times are still whining about during the closing weeks of the campaign, and a more nuanced picture emerges than merely 'Donald Trump vs. the Deep State'. Although the CIA is certainly, if Gen. Flynn has his way and as indicated by Dr. Steve Pieczenik, going to lose some of its paramilitary arms to the military, who are taking back control of U.S. drone wars in particular:
“For the past few years, I have been suggesting there is a profound split in the Deep State that is not just about power or ideology, but about the nature and future of National Security: in other words, what policies and priorities are actually weakening or threatening the long-term security of the United States?
I have proposed that there are progressive elements within the sprawling Deep State that view the dominant neocon-neoliberal agenda of the past 24 years as a disaster for the long-term security of the U.S. and its global interests (a.k.a. the Imperial Project).
There are also elements within the Deep State that view Wall Street’s dominance as a threat to America’s security and global interests. (This is not to say that American-based banks and corporations aren’t essential parts of the Imperial Project; it’s more about the question of who is controlling whom.)
So let’s dig in by noting that the warmongers in the Deep State are civilians, not military. It’s popular among so-called Liberals (the vast majority of whom did not serve nor do they have offspring in uniform—that’s fallen to the disenfranchised and the working class) to see the military as a permanent source of warmongering (It’s remarkably easy to send other people’s children off to war, while your own little darlings have cush jobs in Wall Street, foundations, think tanks, academia, government agencies, etc.)
These misguided souls are ignoring that it’s civilians who order the military to go into harm’s way, not the other way around. The neocons who have waged permanent war as policy are virtually all civilians, few of whom served in the U.S. armed forces and none of whom (to my knowledge) have actual combat experience.
These civilian neocons were busily sacking and/or discrediting critics of their warmongering within the U.S. military all through the Iraqi debacle. now that we got that straightened out—active-duty service personnel have borne the brunt of civilian planned, ordered and executed warmongering—let’s move on to the split between the civilian Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the DoD (Department of Defense) intelligence and special ops agencies: DIA, Army Intelligence, Navy Intelligence, etc.
Though we have to be careful not to paint a very large agency with one brush, it’s fair to say that the civilian leadership of the CIA (and of its proxies and crony agencies) has long loved to “play army”. The CIA has its own drone (a.k.a. Murder, Inc.) division, as well as its own special ops (“play army” Special Forces), and a hawkish mentality that civilians reckon is “play army special forces” (mostly from films, in which the CIA’s role is carefully managed by the CIA itself: How the CIA Hoodwinked Hollywood (The Atlantic)
Meanwhile, it’s not exactly a secret that when it comes to actual combat operations and warfighting, the CIA’s in-theater intelligence is either useless, misleading or false. This is the result of a number of institutional failings of the CIA, number one of which is the high degree of politicization within its ranks and organizational structure.
The CIA’s reliance on “analysis” rather than human agents (there’s a lot of acronyms for all these, if you find proliferating acronyms of interest), and while some from-30,000-feet analysis can be useful, it’s just as often catastrophically wrong.
We can fruitfully revisit the Bay of Pigs disaster, the result of warmongering civilians in the CIA convincing incoming President Kennedy that the planned invasion would free Cuba of Castro’s rule in short order. There are many other examples, including the failure to grasp Saddam’s willingness to invade Kuwait, given the mixed signals he was receiving from U.S. State Department personnel.
Simply put, if you are actually prosecuting a war, then you turn to the services’ own intelligence agencies to help with actual combat operations, not the CIA. This is of course a sort of gossip, and reading between the lines of public information; nobody is going to state this directly in writing.”
As German blogger 'b' from Moon of Alabama and others such as SOFREP's Jack Murphy have noted, the Pentagon is getting tired of cleaning up the messes the CIA and the civilian regime change enthusiasts have left behind across the Middle East. It's also tiring of arming so-called 'moderate rebels' many special forces and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) attaches in the Mideast know full well are jihadists capable of turning on U.S. forces inside Syria at any moment (three American Green Berets were killed by one such 'CIA vetted moderate' during training in Jordan last year, in an incident the WaPost/NYT gave minimal coverage):
“The corporate factions are divided within. The oil industry does not like it when wars disturb its long term businesses (see Russia and Libya). Boeing wants to sell planes to Iran. Other corporate parts don’t mind such wars as long as they create new markets or easy access to cheap labor. The media love war as it creates ever thrilling content around which they can sell advertisements.
The decisive political point in this election round was the fight between neo-conservatives/liberal-interventionists and foreign policy realists. One side is represented exemplary by the CIA with the U.S. military on the other:
A schism developed between the Defense Department and the highly politicized CIA. This schism, which can be attributed to the corporate-deep-state’s covert foreign policy, traces back to the CIA orchestrated “color revolutions” that had swept the Middle East and North Africa.
The CIA created bloodthirsty future enemies the military will later have to defeat. Fascists in Ukraine and Takfiris all over the Middle East are used by the CIA to further neocon aims but then require relative cheap military intervention at high human costs. The Generals do not like that. (The precedence of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was enough for them.) Neither does the military industry. Fighting Takfiris does not require big ticket items. Ratcheting up the rhetoric against peer competitors (without ever fighting a real war) is the best justification for a two million strong military and huge military contracts.
It is still astonishing that the military Trump faction of the power triangle could win the fight. Trump made that possible when he used a hostile media for his gain. The corporate media stood strongly behind Clinton but that was not enough to hide her negative sides. Trump’s salesmen bluster proved too fascinating to not be reported. In the end the media that hated him ended up making the very best advertisement for him. For weeks the neoconned Washington Post editorial page ran five or six anti-Trump pieces per day. That alone was for some reason enough to vote for Trump.
Trump will now have to win over other parts of the power triangle. The corporate part is the easy one. He will lower its taxes. He will also, in one form or another, reinstate tariffs along the U.S. borders. His confrontational position against main exporting countries, China, Germany, Mexico etc, will also transfer into higher U.S. corporate profits. It may even create some additional jobs in the U.S. which would help him to get reelected.
The military will demand its due beyond the three generals now in Trump’s cabinet. But soldiers do not like to go to war. That means that Trump will increase conflict rhetoric against some foreign countries but also that he will not start any serious war. Expect the announcement of some super nifty, new but useless military wonder weapon for which Trump will promise trillions (Reagan’s Star Wars redux).”
— Jim Rickards (@JamesGRickards) January 22, 2017
In addition to 'b's' observations above, the Obama/Brennan/McCain policy of cozying up to the Muslim Brotherhood and of using certain Salafist radicals while labeling others enemies is unsustainable for fundamental reasons of cognitive dissonance. You cannot 'sell' such a policy to post 9/11 Americans, particularly those who genuinely fear radical Islamic terrorism, only obfuscate it with idiotic phrases like 'Assad must go (even though his army fights ISIS) because he's the best recruiting sergeant ISIL has' etc. This is also why as Team Rogue Money's mentor W the Intelligence Insider has observed, multiple attempts to drag the U.S. into direct combat against the Assad government could not be 'sold' to the American people.
After the Russians destroyed the huge ISIS oil tanker convoys from the Islamic State's 'caliphate' in Syria to NATO member Turkey in November 2015, the jig was up. The lie that the Obama Administration was fighting 'ISIL' could no longer be maintained. Everyone with eyes to see and ears to hear including many in the U.S. military understood that the charade had been exposed in front of the whole world, including European allies like France suffering from ISIS attacks funded by the hitherto untouched Daesh oil trade with a major NATO ally.
Turning Some at CIA Against Brennan's Stay-Behind Network of Agents -- and Cajoling Some Inside Langley to Burn Their Leaking, Syria Jihadist/Muslim Brotherhood Friendly Colleagues
It was precisely to correct the impression that he has 'a feud with the Intelligence Community', Trump said, that his first trip as President of the United States was to the CIA's Langley campus. Not only did Trump seek to set the record straight on Saturday during a speech -- however ill advised the podium's placement in front of the Agency's starred memorial wall -- but he also attacked the press for creating the false impression that he loathes and is at war with the US IC.
As a four-dimensional chess player, another unspoken reason for the Trump visit was for any Brennan loyalist leakers to hear the applause and even laughter greeting the new president's digs at the press, which at least after the Iraq debacle, were not always (with the possible exception of CIA's perennial favorite paper The Washington Post) the loyal lapdogs of the Langley seventh floor director's offices. One way Trump may hope to win over more CIA agents to his side particularly on the operations rather than analytical part of the house is to forcefully advocate that Italy release its European Arrest Warrant on former officer Sabrina de Sousa:
“A former CIA agent who is about to be jailed in Italy for her role in a snatch operation against a jihadist suspect, has pleaded to President-elect Donald Trump to review her case and “stop this precedent of US diplomats and US military intelligence officers being convicted by foreign courts”.
Sabrina de Sousa was one of 23 US officials convicted in absentia by an Italian court in 2009 for their roles in the “extraordinary rendition” of Abu Omar, an Egyptian citizen the CIA plucked from a street in Milan in February 2003 before handing him over to the authorities in Egypt.
In October 2015 Ms de Sousa was arrested in Portugal under a European Arrest Warrant when she was planning to fly on to India in order to visit her mother. Ms De Sousa has since battled extradition from Portugal to Italy, where she faces a sentence of five years in prison for her part in the abduction of Abu Omar. She has lost all of her appeals.”
When Trump vowed on Saturday to give CIA operatives "so much backing like you wouldn't believe" Ms. de Sousa's plea for presidential assisted clemency from Italy may have been what he had in mind. Whether you or I think the renditions policy in the war on terror was partly justified or a kidnapping in violation of international law, the fact is Trump needs some 'wins' to show many at CIA that he's got their back, so they will have his. And by having Trump's back, we mean making the Clinton/Brennan loyalists left at Langley very nervous. Not only will they have to worry about Trump loyalists at NSA obtaining FISA warrants to intercept their communications with journalists to extend the anti-Trump campaign of falsified or doctored intel, but junior colleagues may be looking over older CIA officers their desk top shoulders or noting late night parking garage or park trips in the D.C. Metro area as well.
Leaks Can Go Both Ways, Dirty Deep Staters, and Some Of Your Colleagues Will Burn You (Because You Deserve It for Abusing Your Power and Backing Terrorists)
It's fine for Senators like Charles Schumer to threaten the President of the United States with spies having 'six ways from Sunday to get back at you' but heaven forbid in Schumer-land if some spooks start canary trapping or outing the #NeverTrump leakers in their midst. Nothing would likely send Schumer or ex-spooks like John R. Schindler into more hysterics than to discover that not all of the Intelligence Community hates Trump or was on their side. And yes there are people still working at the CIA who have major kompromat of their own about Barack Hussein Obama, John Brennan, Michael Morrell, Leon Panetta and of course, Hillary Clinton and her Saudi/Qatari cash hoovering up Foundation, now closing its doors since there's not going to be another Clinton presidency to offer favors to its donors.
In other words, life is about to get harder for those inside the intelligence bureaucracy determined to attack Trump with bogus leaks designed to make him look like a Russian agent. Ditto for Trump's neocon adversaries in Congress like Sen. John McCain, who want to hold hearings on Russia's 'meddling in the 2016 election' while denying their extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and support for jihadist terrorists from Libya to Syria. Announcements regarding new FBI investigations, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)'s legislation to place the Muslim Brotherhood McCain and Mrs. McCain Sen. Lindsey Graham met with in post-military coup Egypt on the terror list, are all part of a coordinated campaign of push back. A campaign Team Rogue Money's 'Intelligence Insider' has predicted.
In this climate, as Gen. Mattis unleashes the devil dogs on Daesh only for Marines to discover to their astonishment (as did Turkish troops recently struck by U.S.-made TOW missiles in ISIS hands at al-Bab!) that the Islamic State's huge left behind arms caches come from NATO countries, and the anti-Assad campaign takes a back seat to in the President's words 'eradicating radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the Earth', McCain, Graham, and their neocon allies like failed presidential candidate Evan McMullin and Syrian rebel promoter Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) had better watch out. The exposes, cameras and awkward questions, if not federal investigations of who and what they knew and when they knew it about Syrian rebels tied to Al-Qaeda and its offshoot ISIS are coming.
— Egypt Built (@HosamDakhakhni) January 22, 2017
We already see hints of this, with Max Blumenthal, the son of Hillary Clinton loyalist Sidney Blumenthal, challenging GCC funded think tank hacks like unregistered Qatari government agent @Charles_Lister on camera regarding their support for Al-Qaeda's allies in Syria. Expect more journalistic and public relations pushback against what the Russia Analyst calls the 'neocon Syria jihadi Wahhabi Lobby' in the coming weeks, with hints that Trump may expand the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to include think tankers critical of him on the Saudi and Qatari payroll.
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 21, 2017
Moscow Deliberately Curbs Its Public Enthusiasm for Trump
The turn of RT to run stories more critical of Trump and giving extensive coverage to the Women's March and other anti-Trump events is, along with Msrs. Medvedev and Peskov's remarks, another attempt by Moscow to debunk the ludicrous myth that it installed a Siberian candidate in the White House. There will likely be more 'realist' noises coming from Russia in the coming days and weeks, with the message 'curb your enthusiasm' as preparation for what will be hard nosed, but hopefully fruitful great power negotiations this spring.
Let's Make America Great Again #MAGA and Raqqa the New Torgau!
By summer, the worst nightmare of team McInsane neo-jihadi-con may come true: Americans may start seeing images of U.S. soldiers shaking hands with their Russian counterparts in villages liberated from ISIS. In which case, maintaining their own credibility and that of Cold War 2.0 is going to get a lot harder.
Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people. WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2017