Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations.

Trump CIAThe United States Central Intelligence Agency and the White House are considering several proposals to hire private companies to carry out covert operations abroad, according to a report. BuzzFeed News said on Thursday that the proposals were communicated to the White House in the summer. The news site, which described the proposed plans as “highly unusual”, quoted “three sources who have been briefed on or have direct knowledge of the proposals”. The sources told BuzzFeed that, if approved, the plans would include the establishment of large intelligence networks in so-called “denied areas” —namely foreign environments deemed hostile. The networks would recruit and handle local agents, carry out psychological operations, capture terrorism suspects and rendition them to the US or third countries. “Islamic extremism” is mentioned as the primary target of the proposals.

According to BuzzFeed, one of the proposals involves Amyntor Group, a private company headquartered in the remote town of Whitefish, in northwestern Montana. The company is staffed by former members of the US Intelligence Community who have security clearances. It specializes in intelligence training and risk assessment. But it also collects and analyzes intelligence and provides counterintelligence services for government agencies in America and what it calls “friendly foreign governments” abroad. The company has reportedly been holding discussions with senior officials in the administration of President Donald Trump in recent weeks, according to two of BuzzFeed’s sources. The same sources say that the move toward privatization of some intelligence operations is being led by a feeling in the Trump administration that the CIA has a negative view of the White House. They claim that the CIA is not prepared to go along with the Trump administration’s efforts to make the agency’s operations more aggressive and, in the words of its new director, Mike Pompeo, “much more vicious”. They therefore see privatization as a way to bypass the resistance and skepticism of the CIA’s upper management.

BuzzFeed said it contacted the CIA about the Amyntor Group proposal, but the agency preferred not to comment. A press officer for the National Security Council, which is chaired by President Trump, said that its members were not aware of the privatization proposals. Amyntor Group commented through one of its lawyers, who told BuzzFeed that any contract signed between the company and the US government would be directed and controlled “by the proper government authority”.

By: Joseph Fitsanakis

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Breaking News – Police Arrest Mandalay Security Guard Jesus Compos As Second Shooter In Las Vegas Massacre.

Breaking News – Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Compos has been arrested accused of being an accomplice and second shooter in the Las Vegas massacre that claimed the lives of 59 people and injured more than 500.

Jesus Campos had originally been praised for his apparent heroics on October 1st, as he supposedly rushed to Paddock’s suite, was shot in the upper thigh through the door, and continued to help get people to safety despite his wounds. However, FBI officials involved in the investigation now believe he was an accomplice of Paddock’s, and was involved in the initial shooting as a second gunman from the other broken window in Paddock’s 32nd-floor room.

An anonymous source working on the investigation told editors that authorities are now in possession of security footage showing Campos smuggling the firearms used in the massacre in through a Mandalay Bay loading dock in the days leading up to the event.

With the arrest of Compos Police now hope to get a greater understanding of the motivations behind the attack.

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Susan Rice ‘Unmasking’ Story Once Again Highlights the Worthlessness of Corporate Media.

Yesterday, Mike Cernovich published explosive claims that Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, has been behind the “unmasking” of certain Trump advisors in relation to their conversations with foreign officials under routine surveillance. He noted:

The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.

Upon learning of Rice’s actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.

“Unmasking” is the process of identifying individuals whose communications were caught in the dragnet of intelligence gathering. While conducting investigations into terrorism and other related crimes, intelligence analysts incidentally capture conversations about parties not subject to the search warrant. The identities of individuals who are not under investigation are kept confidential, for legal and moral reasons.

When I first read the piece last night it caught my attention due to the very specific claims made by Cernovich not just related to Susan Rice, but also Maggie Haberman of The New York Times. Considering Cernovich had just been labeled CEO of America’s “fake news” empire during a 60 Minutes expose, I considered it unlikely that’d he’d go out with such claims unless he felt pretty confident in their validity. Then today, Eli Lake of Bloomberg News confirmed the main part of this story, and added some additional nuggets.

From Bloomberg:

White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”

The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations — primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.  

Rice did not respond to an email seeking comment on Monday morning. Her role in requesting the identities of Trump transition officials adds an important element to the dueling investigations surrounding the Trump White House since the president’s inauguration.

Now here’s where it gets particularly problematic for Susan Rice.

Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the “PBS NewsHour” about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: “I know nothing about this,” adding, “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today.”

Either Cernovich and Eli Lake are lying, or Susan Rice has a big fat problem. Perhaps 60 Minutes should do an expose on her penchant for her looseness with the truth, but I’m not holding my breath.

 

While all that’s interesting enough, I want to zero in on another claim made by Cernovich. He wrote:

This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.

This line caught my attention as much as the Rice claims when I first read it. This is a very specific claim, about a very specific reporter, and if true, would be another major embarrassment for corporate media.

While it appears Haberman herself has been quiet on the subject, The Daily Caller reported the following:

Cernovich said in his report Sunday that New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman knew about the Rice requests, and “has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.” A New York Times spokeswoman told The Daily Caller, “Cernovich’s claim regarding Maggie Haberman is 100 percent false.”

I don’t know what’s more embarrassing. The New York Times potentially sitting on this story, or that sources feel more comfortable going to a guy blogging his gym pants with scoops versus the “paper of record.”

In any event, this whole drama sets up the corporate media for more embarrassment going forward. All any source has to do to ruin 60 Minutes forever, is keep feeding Cernovich real news. We live in interesting times, and it’s only going to get more interesting.

Corporate media has no one to blame but themselves. It has completely failed the American public.

BY: Michael Krieger

Source: libertyblitzkrieg.com

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US to train kids to handle fake news.

A pilot education programme in the US is training kids to spot the difference between fake and real news.

12-year-old students at Clemente Middle School in Germantown, Maryland is one of several schools worldwide which wants to train kids for the reality of living in an online world of fake news.  It is not the only one. In the Czech Republic, high schools teach teens to identify propaganda from Russia and in Sweden, students as young as 10, are trained to spot the difference between news and Fox, er fake news.

In Pennsylvania, a state lawmaker wants mandatory media literacy classes in all public schools.

“The sophistication in how this false information is disguised and spread can make it very difficult for someone, particularly young people, to determine fact from fiction,” says Rep. Tim Briggs.

A survey by Common Sense Media said that while kids are good at consuming news they are rubbish when it comes to spotting what is real and what isn’t.

More than 44 percent of tweens and teens said they can tell the difference between fake news stories and real ones. But more than 30 percent admitted they shared a news story online — only to find out later that it was wrong or inaccurate.

The problem is that anyone can publish anything on the web and drilling the kids with a list of questions about a story could be the key.

One course created by the nonprofit, the News Literacy Project that teachers from California to Virginia are adding to their classrooms. It includes a 10-question checklist for identifying fake news.

  • Who made this?
  • Who is making money off it?
  • Who might help or be harmed by this message?
  • What is left out of this message that might be important?
  • Is this credible (and what makes you think that)?

Other red flags include the lack of a by-line. A headline which is ALL CAPS or has shedloads of exclamation marks.

A story which promising you something “the media” does not want you to know is almost certainly fake.

Teachers say it’s working. Part of the reason: Kids, particularly middle schoolers, are inherently cynical and once they know the rules they are not sucked in.

By:

Source: TechEye

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6.5 Million Taxpayers Paid $3 Billion in Obamacare Penalties in 2016.

A sign outside the Internal Revenue Service is seen August 8, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Penalties paid to the IRS nearly doubled since 2014.

Approximately 6.5 million taxpayers paid $3 billion in Obamacare penalties for not having health insurance in 2016, according to preliminary data from the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen.

Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate required that Americans purchase health care coverage or pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service.

While the number of taxpayers paying the penalty has declined since 2014, the total amount in penalties paid to the IRS has increased since then.

In 2014, individuals without insurance had to pay the greater penalty of either a flat fee of $95 or 1 percent of the household’s adjusted gross income in excess of the threshold for mandatory tax filing. In 2016, those penalties increased to a flat fee of $695 or 2.5 percent of the adjusted gross income.

In 2014, Koskinen’s preliminary data showed that there were 7.5 million taxpayers who paid a total of $1.5 billion in Obamacare penalties. Final data from the IRS, however, showed those numbers increase to 8.1 million taxpayers paying a total of $1.7 billion in Obamacare penalties.

Koskinen’s preliminary data from 2016 shows that there were 6.5 million taxpayers paying a total of $3 billion in Obamacare penalties, which is nearly double what the IRS collected in 2014. As in 2014, final IRS data may show an increase in these numbers when it is released.

In 2016, the IRS reports that the average penalty paid was around $470 and that about 70 percent of payments were $500 or less, while only 7 percent of payments were $100 or less. There were 117 million tax returns of individuals who had qualifying health care coverage all year and 12.7 million taxpayers claimed an exemption to get out of paying the mandate. According to the IRS, the most common exemption occurs when a household’s income is less than the tax-filing threshold.

This year, the IRS is easing requirements for Obamacare’s individual mandate, after President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring that federal agencies reduce the burden of Obamacare. Now, the IRS will not require taxpayers to indicate whether or not they have health insurance.

Source: freebeacon.com

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