DANGER AHEAD: Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Cyber threats to world economies is growing daily

DANGER AHEAD:

Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Colonial Pipeline was hit with a devastating ransomware cyberattack in May 2021 that impacted computerized equipment managing the pipeline. The attack forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline in the United States, crippling gas delivery systems across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic states and panicking consumers.

By William Jones and D.S. Mitchell

Terrorists. Criminals and Cowboys

The ongoing digitization of all aspects of modern life should be concerning.  Governments world-wide are facing new challenges to keep both business and government secrets private in an increasingly threatening world of cyber criminals, state sponsored terrorists, and cowboy hackers. With increasing online and data usage, government databases have become primary targets for hackers and other cyber terrorists and criminals. Recent events have shaken the U.S. government and citizen confidence. Hackers can compromise data and as Chris Krebs said recently, ransomware attackers are the greatest threat to our digital world. Krebs served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security from November 2018 to November 2020.

Cyber Warfare

Cyber warfare is defined as actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation’s computers or networks to cause damage or disruption. It may also include non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, private companies, political or ideological extremist groups, criminal organizations, and activists.  Cyber attacks  have been a cause of concern for years, as the frequency of data breaches has increased along with their complexity and (economic, military, and political) implications, including elections and military catastrophe an ever growing possibility.

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Alexi Navalny And His Current Situation

Alexi Navalny And His Current Situation

Jones William and D. S. Mitchell

Massive protests 

Alexi Navalny is a pain in Putin’s side.  Allies of the Russian dissident began protests April 21st, 2021, demanding Putin’s most vocal critic receive proper hospital care. People despite government crackdowns on protests showed up in large numbers.  Many supporters believe only mass protests can save Alexi’s life and many people are willing to risk imprisonment and harassment by the police.

Alexi Navalny Today

Alexi Navalny was arrested the day he returned to Russia after being treated in Germany for what appeared to have been a nerve agent poisoning.  During this most recent imprisonment, on March 31st, 2021, Navalny went on a hunger strike, demanding proper medical treatment for loss of sensations in his hands and legs and severe back pain.

Deteriorating

Recent news reports indicate an electrolyte imbalance. His high potassium levels increase his risk for a cardiac arrhythmia. His personal physician pleaded that Navalny should be moved to an intensive care unit because of his deteriorating condition.  Navalny also risks severe renal impairment.  Navalny’s wife, Yulia, said her husband’s weight is down to 167 lbs from 187 lbs when he started the hunger strike at the end of March.

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The Trump-Russian Collusion Timeline

The Trump-Russian Collusion Timeline

D. S. Mitchell

centers on 12 dates. The Sept-Oct 2018 issue of Mother Jones magazine draws a painful conclusion; the Russian Investigation Is NO hoax.  So, if you have clung to the belief that a president of the United States would never betray his country to win an election,  you better check out the timeline Mother Jones has drawn of the Trump campaign activities & Trump speeches and collusion, is the only conclusion.

June 15/2016: As reports surfaced of the Democratic National Committee hacks, Trump & Team issued the following: “We believe it was the DNC that did the “hacking” as a way to distract from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate.”

June/16/2018: Donald Trump, Jr and three Trump campaign officials, including Paul Manafort, meet with a Russian attorney with known ties to the Kremlin to discuss, offered “dirt” on Hillary.

7/27/2016: Trump makes his now famous plea to Putin, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” A recent disclosure in a Mueller indictment, reveals that Russian Intelligence first targeted a key Hillary Clinton email provider, “on  or about” the same date.

9/7 & 8/2016: Obama officials alleged publicly that the Russians were likely behind the DNC hack. The Trump response came on Kremlin backed RT no less, during an interview, “I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out. Who knows, but I think it’s pretty unlikely.”

9/26/2016: During the first presidential debate, candidate Trump said, “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia…it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”

10/9/2016: During the second debate when Clinton accuses Trump of benefiting from Russian interference his response was to deflect, “She doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking.”

12/9/2016: Trump’s transition team attacks CIA’s published conclusion that Russia had interfered in the 2016 elections to help Trump.  According to Trump, “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

12/31/2016: Trump announces, “I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”

1/13/2017: Trump posts  to Twitter, “Russia says nothing exists.”

9/22/2017:  Facebook’s announcement that Russian operatives had purchased ads on their platform, drew the following response, a “hoax”.

11/12/2017:  After a private meeting with Putin, Trump says, “He said he absolutely did not meddle in our elections. He did not do what they are saying. I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”

7/16/2018: In Helsinki, Putin & Trump take the stage together and Trump sides with Putin over US Intel agencies. “They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

“As emails stolen from the DNC and HRC were disseminated by WikiLeaks and Russian intelligence,” something soon became clear, “These actors weren’t just snooping; they were weaponizing what they found, using a noxious brew of fake news, astroturfed social-media posts, and bots.”

For the entire article, written by Pema Levy and AJ Vicens pick up a copy of Mother Jones at the news stand or subscribe for home delivery. I get mine delivered.

Please, support THE BLUE WAVE PROJECT, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley’s action group raising money for progressive candidates nationwide.

 

BLACKWATER PRINCE

Blackwater Prince

D. S. Mitchell

**Digby Parton for Salon, and Jeremy Scahill for Intercept, have provided most of the investigative information for this story.  Calamity Politics, does not have the ability to do investigative journalism, but instead relies on several reporting sources to bring a story to my readers. The comments and analysis are all D.S.M. 

Who Is Erik Prince?

Erik Prince, is the billionaire Navy Seal and one time owner of Blackwater USA, is in the crosshairs today.  Prince owned the renegade mercenary company when they worked in Iraq.  The private military company was plagued with reports of beatings and theft. In 2007 while guarding an allied convoy, Blackwater soldiers opened fire on unarmed Iraqi citizens, including women and children in Nisour Place, Bagdad.  The massacre killed 17 and wounded 20.

Family Ties

The guilty were prosecuted, after several stops and starts,  the Feds convicted one man of murder, he got 30 years.  Four other Blackwater defendants received lesser sentences. The disgraced billionaire sold Blackwater. Since then he has done financial consulting. A couple of interesting facts have emerged recently. First, Prince’s  sister is the newly appointed and controversial Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.  Second, he is the son of a billionaire far right-wing activist, who spent millions of dollars to push his beliefs legislatively, and as Betsy said, “We expect results, when we give money.”

Back Door

Erik Prince was with Trump on election night.  Prior to the election, Prince would sneak in the back door of Trump Tower, so as not to be seen by the gaggle of reporters in the lobby. When questioned on the Prince association with the Trump campaign, Sean Spicer, denied there was any involvement between the Blackwater founder and the White House. “If there had been an association,” Spicer said, “it was insignificant.” Despite denials of a close relationship between Prince and Trump it is clear that Prince is giving  intel and defense advice. Prince has been a close associate of Mike Pence. Both have an extreme right-wing “militant theocratic worldview,” Salon reported.

On Intel Radar

“Considering that Trump’s knowledge of world affairs can barely fill a shot glass, seeing Erik Prince among the inner circle of advisors is unnerving,” said an inside source, “he has gone off the rails and has exposed many U.S. citizens to criminal liability.” Prince currently lives in Abi Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  Prince a shadowy figure is known to be under investigation by the Dept of Justice and several other agencies for suspected money laundering, and attempts to broker military services of foreign governments. Erik Prince is aware and angry over the surveillance. He has complained loudly that his movements are constantly monitored.  Numerous associates have acknowledged that the government has warned them to, “cease doing business with him. He is on the radar of every Intel service in the world.”

Breitbart Interview

In July 2016, Erik Prince was on Steve Bannon’s Breitbart radio program.  At the time Prince pushed ” a kill/capture” program that the U.S. used in Vietnam.  Prince suggest the need for a “Phoenix program”  to deal with Islamic terrorists. He called it an “assassination ring”. More recently, Erik Prince met for two days in the Seychelles with officials from the Russian government as an  “emissary” from the Trump campaign.

Another Russian Connection

Another, Trump-Russian association. I can’t imagine this. I remember hiding under my desk because the Russians were going the kill me with an atomic bomb.  Now, I find out that the Russians are here running our government. I pray that the conspiracy/collusion stories are false, but I doubt it. If there was no collusion, why are all these meetings secret? I want to get to the bottom of the Russian election interference. The stonewalling at the legislative investigative committee level, gives me deep concerns. Partisanship appears to be guiding the congressional investigation. I truthfully believe this association between the Russian government and the Trump campaign could spell the death to our democracy.

Mission

I will continue to write about the headline news of the day, and the urgent political stories that are keeping Americans awake at night. The political drum beat is pounding irritably. I believe the Republic is in great danger and if there was ever a need to raise your voice, now is that time.

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Tentacles of the Kremlin

Tentacles Of The Kremlin

D. S. Mitchell

An Irritation

I’m here to tell you it is colder than hell here at the beach. But, the U.S. political news scene is hot. Really, really hot. The political shenanigans that went on during the 2016 Presidential campaign are a constant lingering pimple on the ass of the President of the United States. We all know it is weird. I mean, have you ever heard so many Russian names in your whole freaking life? Well, whatever you just answered, I didn’t hear it. Speaking for myself, in 70 plus years I have never heard so many Russian names.

Lobbying For Putin

The tentacles of Putin’s Kremlin are pervasive. It seems Russia has penetrated the highest levels of the U.S. government. Russian interests are actively engaged in U.S. policy.  The Russian government and Russian special interest groups, have spent millions of dollars contracting with American lobbying firms. Their goals are specific. 

Kremlin Motives

First and foremost, the Kremlin wants a softening, of Obama era sanctions. The first round of sanctions came as punishment for Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  Those sanctions were intensified because of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.  The second target aimed at reducing fracking in the U.S. The fracking process has produced abundant oil supplies. With abundant product has come plunging oil prices. The dip in prices have devastated the Russian economy.  The third major lobbying target has been the financial sanctions. Sberbank and VTB Capital have faced severe cash shortages due to plunging oil prices and the U.S. sanctions.

Web Of Corruption

The FBI and the Justice Department are conducting an investigation into possible links between the corrupt former Ukrainian pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych and former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort. In a Hot Air article, John Sexton wrote that the Democratic super lobbying firm, The Podesta Group, LLC is under investigation.  John Podesta was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager.  John denies recent involvement with the group he helped found.  I don’t know if we  will ever know the full extent of this web of corruption.  It looks like it is world-wide.

Corruption

Rick Gates, a Paul Manafort deputy, hired The Podesta Group, reported HotAir. The FBI is attempting to discover if any U.S. companies and financial system were used to aid illegal activities and corruption by the party of former president Viktor Yanukovych. By reports, The Podesta Group did not register their work as agents for a foreign government as required by law.  Buzzfeed says that PG has lawyered up.  PG was listed on lobbying disclosure forms, however.  The Podesta Group reported receiving $24 million in fees in 2016, mostly from foreign governments.

Money Flying

The Democratic super lobbyist Podesta Group, got $170,000 over 6 months from Sberbank to lobby for lifting sanctions on Russian banks. Records show Sberbank met with State Department officials twice accompanied by a Podesta representative. The PG did not at any time register as an agent of a foreign power during this time. The Podesta Group represented Sberbank and its subsidiaries, Troika Dialog Group.  Interestingly, “Troika Dialog” was related to Klein Ltd, a Cayman Island organization. Klein Ltd is known to have funneled tens of millions of dollars to environmental groups to oppose low-cost fracking in U.S.” said Richard Pollock, Daily Caller.

Democratic Ties

Two other big lobby groups, best known for their Democratic ties have also become entangled with the Russians.  Manatos & Manatos, known backers of Carter and LBJ, represented VTB Capital at the tune of $17,500 monthly to lobby for sanction lifting. VTB and Sberbank are known to have spent at least $700,000 in 2016 to end financial sanctions.

Conclusion

My concern here is of course, that even without meddling in the election, the Kremlin is actively undermining many aspects of our lives.

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BREAKING NEWS

Editorial:

Breaking News

D. S. Mitchell

Big News

After a day of testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Comey rs drops a bombshell.  The Trump campaign and the Russian government “are being investigated” for collusion during the 2016 election.  Comey flatly said there was “no basis to Trump’s claim of wire tapping by Obama”

EXTRA! EXTRA!

Reuters News:  Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State has cancelled April meeting with NATO heads, and INSTEAD is planning on visiting Russia. When this news broke, Rep. Adam Schiff ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee was on the Rachel Maddow Show.  I did not tape the show, however he basically said, “After what the Russians have done to this country, the only imaginable reason Tillerson would go to Moscow would be to return the Order of Friendship Medal that Putin gave him.”

Well, said, Rep. Schiff.

Tillerson And The Russians

My comment is, WOW!!!  Pretty fucking ballsy.  Secretary Tillerson, you are acting very strange, and your well-known affiliation with the Russian government does not help your reputation.  Your boss, the President, and his campaign are under investigation for possible collusion with the Russians.  Hmmm.  More Russians. It’s Trump and the Russians.  Sessions and the Russians. Manafort and the Russians.  And now Tillerson and the Russians. How many Russians are in this story?  Right now, it looks like way too many.

You Aren’t Exxon Mobil CEO

My first ‘effing complaint about Tillerson is his refusal to travel with the U.S. press corp. When you are Secretary of State you take the press with you when you travel, it’s that simple.  You are now employed by the people of the United States America and we want to see our officials in action.  You are not the CEO of Exxon Mobil.  Maybe Exxon Mobil thought it was okay to slink around in the shadows, but American citizens don’t like their officials behaving in that way.

Putin Over NATO

If the news of you choosing Putin over NATO is correct, I think the Congress should insist the President fire your ass.  There is absolutely no conceivable moral reason for a visit by the Secretary of State of the United States to Moscow.  To do what?  Hold court with that murdering thug, Putin. What is your intent? More colluding on abandoning sanctions? Or maybe you want to talk about opening up the Arctic oil reserves to drilling?  I can smell the corruption from here. Careful, Mr. Tillerson, you are standing on thin ice.

Calamity Response

The Editorial Desk at Calamity Politics is kept busy trying to decipher the nutty, stumbling, bumbling and incompetent statements being issued by the Trump White House. Every day a new story. Every day a new distraction. Each day there’s another lie. As a political analyst, commentator and progressive liberal organizer I want every one to be ready to agitate our Congressional representatives until they are scared shitless. Nothing shapes up an elected official as much as a potential threat to their elected position. Both Trump and Tillerson, like the Russkies way too much. Why? We need to find out. I suspect it is about fossil fuel and that equals money.

Conclusion

The battlefield of right, versus left, is a twisted and distorted terrain. It is hard to navigate the U.S. political scene without getting emotional. I’m Darlene, and I am here to pull my hair, and scream profanities, it is all just theater, a device to get attention and action.

Join the Resistance,

The List

The List

D. S. Mitchell

Heat It Up

Calamity News and Politics, is a progressive blog based on the North Oregon Coast.  Calamity is here to stimulate the political conversation. A little argument is good, if it can clear the air. Some chaos is good, if it helps us re-center. Investigation is good, if it leads to the truth.

Siding Up

There is a an unsavory connection between Putin and Trump. The House Intel Committee began hearings today with some very interesting testimony.  The partisan divide was immediately clear.  To me at least, the Republicans were leading a campaign to ferret out the folks leaking information, while the Democrats were on a mission to uncover a Russian spy network. The questioning hinted heavily of money, sex, cyber hacking, election tampering and sabotage.  My suggestion to the lawmakers is, let it go guys.  For everyone concerned, we need an Independent investigator or a Commission to get to the bottom of the Kremlin-Gate scandal.  As scary as it may be, it is entirely possible that there is a Russian operative in the White House. A Manchurian Candidate.

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TRUMP SHELL GAME

Trump Shell Game

By D. S. Mitchell

Putin Land

Calamity News and Politics doesn’t want you to grab the pitchforks and torches yet, but that could become a necessity. The noise around the Trump White House and it’s growing descent into Putin Land is quite alarming. Just because I’m a liberal. I’ve noticed red-necks are always quick to label me a “red” or a “commie.” Strange considering I’ve never even met a Russian. Since Trump began his campaign, the United States political scene has been dominated with Russians. Unheard of in American political history.

A Long Time Here

I’ve been around the U.S. political scene for a long time. I was born in 1946, I was small, but I remember Truman as president. The campaigns of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Carter, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama and now Trump are still vivid. Not once, did I ever hear any of these men, until Trump, espouse a Russian dictator as a great leader. Putin is a criminal who is known to kill his political enemies. And Trump thinks Putin is  “an amazing leader”. Peculiar to say the least.

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Russian Flags Over the White House

Russian Flags Over The White House

By D. S. Mitchell

A Fitful Sleep

I went to bed and fell asleep with the TV on.  Something that I have done a lot of recently. I slept fitfully while the station played.  Dream and nightmare merged as I flopped to and fro. Visions of red, white, and blue, twisted weirdly on a brisk breeze over the White House.  But in my confused sleep, I knew something was wrong.  Something was very wrong.

OMG

In my sleep, I couldn’t make sense of it.  What the fuck?  Why does the flag look so strange?  Where are the stars?  OMG.  The stripes aren’t the stripes of My flag, and My country.  The flag flying over this White House, is the tri-stripe red, white, and blue of Russia.

Joe and Mika

My eyes flew open.  Joe and Mika were talking with the usual crowd at the “Morning Joe” conference table about the General Mike Flynn resignation.  I shook my head. The rest of the Morning Joe story centered on Trump Campaign officials having been in “continuous” contact with Russian officials throughout the 2016 Presidential campaign. No wonder I’m having nightmares.

A Smoldering Fire

I know there is a lot of political wrangling going on in the Congress. Democrats smell a Russian fire smoldering behind the doors of the White House, but there is denial.  The Trump Administration continues to deny Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Republicans, current in control of House, Senate and the Executive Branch are in the middle of an election high and refuse to see the Russian fire.

Smoke Screen

It looks as if the Democrats and the voters are the only way to make our Republican brothers and sisters see the danger for what damage such a potential blaze could do. The main stream press, CNN and MSNBC  and the on-line news sources are screaming bloody murder, but the GOP have blinders and ear plugs in place. Every one outside the Republican sphere is calling 911  but are getting no answer. Right now the Republicans are drunk with power and can’t see the fire for the smoke.

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