August 4, 2020
MEMORANDUM FOR: Speaker Nancy Pelosi
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Did Russia Hack the DNC Emails?
Dear Madam Speaker:
After your intelligence briefing Friday, Politico reported that you were sharply frustrated by the lack of detail presented on “Russia’s continued interference in the 2020 election campaign.” You were quoted as saying you thought the administration was “withholding” evidence of foreign election meddling and added, “What I am concerned about is that the American people should be better informed.” We share your concern and, having followed this issue closely from the perspective of non-partisan, veteran intelligence officials, we are able to throw considerable light on it.
The narrative that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails in 2016 and gave them to WikiLeaks to hurt Hillary Clinton’s candidacy has become an article of faith for about half of Americans — somewhat fewer than the number misled into believing 18 years ago that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — but it is still considerable.
Because of a bizarre, but highly instructive media lapse these past three months, most Americans remain unaware that the accusation that Russia “hacked” the DNC has evaporated.It turns out the accusation was fabricated — just like the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In fact, some of the same U.S. officials were involved in both deceptions. For example, James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, played a key role 18 years ago in covering up the fact that no WMD had been identified in satellite imagery of Iraq; more recently he helped conjure up evidence of Russian hacking.
Use the link to read the whole thing but grasp that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tried to con the American people with this Russiagate nonsense. It never existed, it was not real. Yet she pimped it and she continues to pimp it. She has failed to address the needs of the people but she has pretended a known lie was true for years now.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
The Iraqi economy, having suffered extensive collateral damage from the oil war, has weakened. Powerful, Iran-backed militias have grown more brazen. Corruption, already ingrained in the body politic, seems to have metastasised across every aspect of the state.
Even the weather has been worse than expected. Iraq is now wilting in the hottest summer ever recorded, with temperatures nearing 52 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) in Baghdad and 53C (127F) in Basra last week.
The heat threatens to bring the protests against electricity and water shortages — a summer fixture in the Iraqi political calendar — to a fever pitch. Some demonstrations in Baghdad have already boiled over into clashes with security forces: Two protesters were killed last Monday.
The political blocs that stand to lose in new elections will have sufficient incentive to try to stall them. Nahrain University Political Science Professor Yaseen al-Bakri told Al Monitor that “they want the current parliamentary term to be completed and avoid going to early elections because they are well aware of the little chances they have in the early elections.”
Stalling the electoral process could be as easy as hampering progress towards the establishment of a new electoral law. While parliament has passed the law, it has not sent the law to the president for approval because of disagreements between parliament’s rival factions.
Jalil Gadani, a long-time member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), passed away at Hiwa hospital in the Kurdistan Region’s eastern city on Thursday after being in intensive care for almost a week, according to an official statement published by the group on Thursday.
Gadani, who has been involved in Kurdish Iranian politics for more than six decades, split from the KDPI in 2006 with a number of senior members to form the splinter group called Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP-Iran). He held senior positions in both parties for decades.
"Jalil Gadani was a book that was written over a 60 years period, my condolences to the Kurdish people," said Facebook user Hassan Ahmed.
On Sunday, Iraqi security forces detained a Kurdistan 24 team that was covering a clash between Kurdish villagers and several Arab families in the disputed Kirkuk province.
The incident occurred in the Guli Tapa village in southern parts of Kirkuk, where a confrontation ensued over land-ownership disputes. Shortly after, a Kurdistan 24 media team, made up of a reporter and a cameraman, arrived on the scene.
Local Kurds in Daquq district, where Guli Tapa is located, claimed that the Iraqi Federal Police had supported Arab families coming and attempting to take over lands Kurds own.
Upon arrival, "we were detained by a unit of Iraq's Federal Police for three hours in a window-tinted car," said Soran Kamaran, Kurdistan 24's reporter in Kirkuk province. Kurdistan 24 cameraman Nawzad Mohammad was accompanying Kamaran.
"We were told [by the security forces] that they do not allow such incidents to be reported," Kamaran said. He added that the police unit also confiscated their equipment and still hold on to them.
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