NEW BOOK NEWSLINK: “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age” – Wilson Center

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“Please join us for an exclusive look at The Perfect Weapon … In 2015, Russian hackers tunneled deep into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee …    

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “It’s Time To Admit The Russia Investigation Was Illegitimate From The Start” – The Federalist/Margot Cleveland

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“… DOJ intentionally failed to inform the [FISA] court that the [DNC] … paid for the Christopher Steele dossier. That unverified and mainly false dossier formed a significant part of the government’s application for a wiretap …. I … spent nearly 25 years reviewing challenges to warrants based on claims of withheld (or false) evidence. … unlike the typical criminal […]

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NEWSWATCH: “John McCain: ‘Vladimir Putin Is an Evil Man'” – Wall Street Journal/The Saturday Essay/John McCain

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[note from JRL web editor: warning, contains mild profanity] “… Sir Andrew Wood, a retired British diplomat … told me he knew a former MI6 officer … Christopher Steele ….  * * * I agreed to receive a copy of … ‘the dossier.’ …. The allegations were disturbing … I had no idea which if any were true. I could not […]

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NEWSWATCH: “How the U.S. Can Play Cyber-Offense; Deterrence Isn’t Enough” – Foreign Affairs/ Michael Sulmeyer

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“The United States has been the victim of repeated cyberattacks by foreign powers, and it seems to have little power to stop them. During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Russian hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mail servers and made more general efforts to influence the election’s outcome, as detailed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians […]

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NEWSLINK: “Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier; How the ex-spy tried to warn the world about Trump’s ties to Russia” – The New Yorker/Jane Mayer

Strobe Talbott file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“Strobe Talbott, a Russia expert who served as Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration, and who has known Steele professionally for ten years, has watched the spectacle in Washington with regret. Talbott regards Steele as a ‘smart, careful, professional, and congenial’ colleague who ‘knows the post-Soviet space, and is exactly what he says he is.’ Yet, Talbott said, […]

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NEWSLINK: “On Russia, we need more reason and less frenzy” – Washington Post/Katrina vanden Heuvel

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“… Finding a way back from the brink won’t be easy, but less hysteria and more reason would be a useful first step. … Those who care about our democracy should be particularly wary of stoking a new Cold War. Worsening relations only feed the worst forces on both sides – militaries expand, the space for dissent closes, nationalist fervor […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Democrats for Eavesdrop Abuse; Their intel memo confirms the FBI used Clinton research to spy on Carter Page” – Wall Street Journal Editorial

“… the memo confirms … the FBI used an opposition-research document paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee as part of its application to surveil Carter Page … associated with the Donald Trump campaign. … the Democrats do not dispute that the Steele dossier was the FBI’s only source in its initial FISA application for its […]

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NEWSLINK: “A So-Called Expert’s Uneasy Dive Into the Trump-Russia Frenzy; Is it possible to express skepticism about the impact of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election without the Internet turning you into a pro-Trump propagandist?” – The New Yorker/Adrian Chen

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“… The thing is, I don’t really want to be an expert on the Internet Research Agency and Russian online propaganda. I agree with my colleague Masha Gessen that the whole issue has been blown out of proportion. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “The Deep State Has Long Abused Its Power; From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role.” – The National Interest/George Beebe

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Few questions have greater import for the health and integrity of any republic than the question of whether important parts of its government’s national-security apparatus are abusing their power for political purposes. … particularly … in the United States, where … the Intelligence Community (IC) ha[s] grown so large and capable, where faith in the integrity of our democratic institutions […]

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Why Trump’s Bid to Improve U.S.-Russian Relations Backfired in Congress

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – PONARS Policy Memo – Mikhail Alexseev – February 2018) Mikhail Alexseev is Professor of Political Science at San Diego State University. One of Donald Trump’s 2016 keynote foreign policy pledges was to improve relations with Russia. Few would have predicted that after a year in office, his plan would not only stall or fizzle out, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “GOP Focuses on Russia Allegations That Reached Steele; Notes by freelance journalist Cody Shearer got to writer of dossier via Clinton associate” – Wall Street Journal/Byron Tau

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“Republicans on Capitol Hill are probing a collection of unverified and salacious allegations against … Trump … compiled in late 2016 by … freelance journalist and researcher … Cody Shearer, who … passed his work along to an associate of Hillary Clinton. … eight pages of raw and unverified notes … purportedly drawn from interviews with two prominent journalists and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Release the FISA Documents; The public deserves to see the full record on the FBI wiretap request” – Wall Street Journal editorial

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“… Trump … refused to declassify the Democratic memo on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA)[sic; the court abbreviates itself as FISC, and deals with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)]… , sending it back for negotiation with the Justice Department over intelligence sources and methods. … Trump claimed … that Democrats laid a […]

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NEWSLINK: “What We’ve Learned in Year 1 of Russiagate; The relentless pursuit of this narrative above all else has had dangerous consequences” – The Nation/Aaron Maté

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“As high-level officials and investigators have repeatedly acknowledged, there is still no evidence so far of coordination between the Trump orbit and the Russian government over the release of stolen e-mails or any other campaign matter. There is only a curious cast of characters that makes for an unlikely conspiracy. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Democrats Are Obsessed with Russia” – The National Interest/Ted Galen Carpenter

“The issue of Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has intensified an already deep and bitter partisan divide. Democrats and the broader progressive community argue that a hostile nation worked to defeat Hillary Clinton …. allegations have become increasingly shrill and over-the-top. … chill[ing] debate on U.S. policy toward Russia … creat[ing] an atmosphere of intolerance and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Who Is Christopher Steele? The man who revealed a vast international conspiracy but didn’t know his own client.” – Wall Street Journal/Kimberley A. Strassel

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“… the former British spy’s credibility has been dismantled. … the FBI should have known better. … the bureau had every reason to be wary …. He was … a paid political operative, hired by Fusion, as a subcontractor for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Opposition researchers are not retained to present considered judgment … [but] to slime an opponent and benefit a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why the Nunes Memo is a Devastating Blow to the ‘Deep State’; The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has done its duty by releasing this memo” – The National Interest/Daniel McCarthy

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“In the midst of the 2016 election, bad actors at the Justice Department tried to turn the FBI into the police arm of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That’s the bottom line of the January 18 House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence memo released today. … a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was led, or misled, into authorizing spying on […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Nunes memo shows the opposite of what Trump hoped it would prove” – Washington Post

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“… The memo argues that the FBI may have abused special spying authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), obtaining a warrant to surveil former Trump adviser Carter Page using information from the controversial Steele dossier, a collection of allegations about Mr. Trump and his circle assembled by a former British intelligence agent with funding from Democrats. The memo […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Nunes memo and Putin’s long game; As the president and other Republicans directly question the integrity of the FBI and DOJ, analysts and some in the GOP say it only furthers Russian objectives. [Excerpt]” – Politico/Matthew Nussbaum

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“… Putin might get tired of winning. Ever since the U.S. intelligence community discovered the Russian operation to interfere in the 2016 presidential election … some Republicans have been laboring to undermine investigations into the attack and discredit the intelligence agencies that discovered it. … [O]n Friday … House Republicans released a partisan memo alleging anti-Trump bias at the FBI […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Did The FBI Vouch For The Crazy Russian Deal From The Steele Dossier?” – Forbes/Paul Roderick Gregory

“The media’s promotion of an unverified dossier against … Trump[] failed to cement Hillary Clinton’s expected victory …. If that were the whole story, the dossier would have faded from public view … Trump would not have spent his first year fighting off charges of treason, and a much bigger story would not be getting ready to break. What we […]

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NEWSLINK: “Former Clinton, DNC aides largely silent on funding of Trump-Russia dossier” – Washington Post/ Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman, Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky

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“Hillary Clinton and top officials of her presidential campaign were largely silent Wednesday in response to the revelation that the campaign and the Democratic National Committee had paid for research that resulted in a dossier alleging Russian interference on behalf of Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Neither Clinton nor her campaign manager, Robby Mook, responded …. Campaign chair John […]

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NEWSLINK: “THE FRONTLINE INTERVIEWS: THE PUTIN FILES” – PBS/ Frontline

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56 video interviews and transcripts; Interviews include Yevgenia Albats, Masha Gessen, Julia Ioffe, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Michael McFaul, Molly McKew, Victoria Nuland; Transcript of interview with Thomas Graham #27 ….

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NEWSWATCH: “Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier” – Washington Post/ Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett, Rosalind S. Helderman, Julie Tate

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The … Clinton campaign and … Democratic National Committee helped fund research … result[ing] … in a now-famous dossier … alleg[ing] … Trump[] connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin …. [T]he Clinton campaign and the DNC[] retained Fusion GPS [with the help of law firm Perkins Coie] … to conduct the research. … [Fusions GPS] hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British […]

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NEWSLINK: “Fighting the Politicized, Evidence-Free ‘Collusion with Russia’ Narrative . The ‘Russian collusion’ scandal is manufactured – but like all good subterfuge, it is premised on a kernel of truth.” – National Review/ Andrew McCarthy

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

“… Democrats are not fighting for advantage. They are fighting to annihilate their opposition — not just the Trump administration but the Republican Congress. It is not enough to say they are not fighting fair. Everyone knows that. Look at John Brennan: as a national-security official throughout the Obama years, his principal job was to appease Islamist regimes and organizations. […]

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Andrei Liakhov: “Re: 2017-#98-Johnson’s Russia List/ My answer to the ‘prominent Washington expert'”

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Subject: Re: 2017-#98-Johnson’s Russia List Date: Wed, 24 May 2017 20:01:47 +0300 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> My answer to the “prominent Washington expert”: Dear expert, you have not read the report correctly. [“Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”] The January report never stated unequivocally that Russia’s interference is an established fact. At most, to me, as to […]

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Response by prominent Washington expert on Russia to JRL 2017-#95, 18 May 2017 [Re: U.S. #Intelligence, #Russia, #Hacking, U.S. Election]:

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Response by prominent Washington expert on Russia to JRL 2017-#95, 18 May 2017: “I was surprised to read Prof. Robinson’s analysis on your Russia List. His analysis misses one rather central point, without mention of which everything else that he says instantly loses credibility. It is not leaks — what would the in-party do without leaks to blame? —  that […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Media prepare for chance that Trump-Russia probe reveals ‘nothing'” – Washington Examiner/ Eddie Scarry

File Photo of Donald Trump Waving Before Large Crowd with Trump Signs, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Some in the news media who have been intensely critical of the Trump administration are now anticipating a potentially anti-climactic end to the investigation into President Trump’s ties to Russia, as even Democratic leaders are admitting they have seen no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to interfere with the election. … warnings [from Democratic politicians] have prompted some of Trump’s […]

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NEWSLINK: “Dimwitted and dangerous” – Paul Robinson/ Irrussianality

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“… in seeking to destroy Trump in this way, his opponents are threatening the internal order of their own country. Perhaps one other explanation for the obsession with Russia is that the ‘Never Trumpists’ aren’t seeking electoral advantage so much as some form of ‘soft coup’ or palace revolution. The hope isn’t to harm Trump’s electoral prospects in 2020, but to […]

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NEWSLINK: “Cybersecurity experts who were first to conclude that Putin hacked presidential election ABANDON some of their claims against Russia – and refuse to co-operate with Congress” – The Daily Mail (UK)/ Alana Goodman

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“… the first expert company to make a link between the #DNC hacks and the #Kremlin is facing a damaging series of questions over its credibility …. #Cybersecurity firm #CrowdStrike has had to retract portions of a report supporting its allegations of #Russian #cyberattacks – and is also refusing to address #Congress about its findings on Moscow’s #election hacking. CrowdStrike […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Schiff: Still no ‘definitive’ link between Russia, Trump campaign” – Fox News

Adam Schiff file photo, adapted from image at congress.gov

“The top Democrat on the House committee investigating the ever-expanding probe into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential race said … that panel members still have no ‘definitive’ evidence that the Trump campaign was working with Moscow to defeat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. … the FBI as well as the House and Senate intelligence committees are investigating the matter, which includes […]

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“How did the intelligence community know that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee? CrowdStrike told them so. From the March 20 House Intelligence Committee hearing …”

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How did the intelligence community know that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee?  CrowdStrike told them so. From the March 20 House Intelligence Committee hearing: Congressman Will HURD: Have you been able to — when did the DNC provide access for — to the FBI for your technical folks to review what happened? FBI Director COMEY: Well we never […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Comey: DNC denied FBI’s requests for access to hacked servers” – The Hill

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“The FBI requested direct access to the … DNC … hacked computer servers but was denied, Director James Comey told lawmakers …. The bureau made ‘multiple requests at different levels’ … but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a ‘highly respected private company’ would get access and share what it found with investigators. ‘We’d always prefer to have […]

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Six Problems With U.S. Intel on the Russian Hacks

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 9, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. [from Facebook: January 9, 2017 Andrew Kuchins Andrew Kuchins is Senior Fellow and research professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES) […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Media Chief Dismisses U.S. Report on Propaganda Efforts” – Wall Street Journal

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Head of RT news channel calls American intelligence assessment on election interference ‘comedy hit of the year’

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VIDEO: Russia’s election intervention is ‘new reality, new weapon’

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(PBS Newshour – January 7, 2017) [Click here for transcript] On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hold a meeting about the intelligence report released this week that concludes the Russian government tried to influence the U.S. election. To break down what is in the report and what to expect, senior national security reporter at The Wall […]

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A DEEP DIVE INTO THE OBAMA RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN DNC HACK (AND THEFT AND HARASSMENT)

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Subject: A DEEP DIVE INTO THE OBAMA RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN DNC HACK (AND THEFT AND HARASSMENT) Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2017 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> A DEEP DIVE INTO THE OBAMA RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN DNC HACK (AND THEFT AND HARASSMENT) BY Andrei Liakhov [Andrei Liakhov has over 20 years of experience with leading international law firms, private companies and government […]

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NEWSLINK Buzzfeed: “DNC: That Fight With FBI Over Hacked Servers Was All A Misunderstanding. Democratic Party officials say the public spat over their hacked servers was a miscommunication.”

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“The Democratic National Committee downplayed its public spat with the FBI on Friday over why federal investigators did not independently examine their servers breached by Russian cyberspies, saying it was a misunderstanding that didn’t have anything to do with lingering political tensions between the two. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Why doubts still cloud Russian hacking allegations; Evidence that the government has presented so far linking Russian operatives to the DNC hack is questionable, fueling skepticism and doubt about Moscow’s role.” – Christian Science Monitor/Paul F. Roberts

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“Since the White House blamed #Russia for hacking US political organizations to undermine the presidential election, administration critics, skeptics, and cybersecurity experts have pushed the government to reveal its evidence. … much of what has come out of Washington … has only raised more questions about the government’s claims. A joint analysis of recent hacking activity by the FBI and […]

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