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Tulsi Gabbard’s Network Means Thieves, Alt-Right, Radical Left, and Terrorists-This Is Putin’s Girl.

The more we find out about the junior Hawaiian congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, the deeper down the rabbit hole we go.

Gabbard has something for everyone, we wrote back in 2017, in an article entitled The Tangled Tale of Tulsi Gabbard-Progressive Phony. And all of it is dishonest.

We were right up on the tip of the iceberg back then.

These days we’ve come across enough to boggle the mind.

The tangled tale of Tulsi Gabbard makes the most sense if you consider the possibility she might really be a carefully cultivated mole, used to leak data to our enemies. It would be clear that she makes for a powerful pivotal point strategically. The far right has often been able to use her voice and power to manipulate the far left.

One angry supporter of Bernie Sanders wrote the following nonsense on 7/23/17, on a thread discovered on Facebook. 
“No REAL progressive is gonna vote for more of the Clinton style, corporate special interest, Big Bank donor loving, false progressive garbage. Yet…here are the Democrats showing us early on that they haven’t changed. Ready for a repeat of 2016? Personally…I will work to expose and destroy the hopes of any candidate that the DNC tries to ram down our throats again by using Super Delegates and closed Primaries…and any candidate who remained silent against the DNC’s attack on our Democracy by rigging the election against Bernie Sanders. #Sanders/Gabbard2020 #Gabbard/Turner2020

This same unhappy person later went on to beg and plead for unity among the former supporters of Sanders- so that they will have greater success in attacking not Republicans but Democrats. Mentioned at the spearhead of this assault on their fellows in the left, is always one name- Tulsi Gabbard.

Stirred up radicals often end up signing off on very bad ideas.

Anytime they need their opposites to go along with some plot they’re cooking up, they give the job to Tulsi.

Gabbard often sounds more like a hawkish Republican than a potential future Democratic leader, much less our presidential candidate. She repeatedly blasted Obama for failing to talk about “Islamic extremism”– a phrase very similar to the pet phrase of Donald Trump, yet she’s supposed to be running on an anti-war platform? Give us a break!

Her views are often much more in line with the conservative end of our spectrum, as exemplified by her admiring relationship with Republican billionaire Sheldon Adelson-who gave more money to Trump’s campaign than any other donor in 2016. She’s also a favorite of Steve Bannon of Breitbart News fame, who arranged the November meeting between the new president-elect and the Hawaiian congresswoman. “He loves Tulsi Gabbard. Loves her,” a source familiar with Bannon’s thinking told The Hill. “Wants to work with her on everything.”

Should this fail to convince you, try this on for size?

She’s a personal head of a Koch Brothers think tank.

If only this were fake news, thought I, and quietly moved on. The place is located in the Washington, D.C.-based Catholic University of America. ReadSludge’s Alex Kotch gives us the story.

“She is one of 12 advisors of a foreign policy center at The Center for the Study of Statesmanship (CSS) was founded in 2017 with a $2.65 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, which gives tens of millions of dollars to American colleges and universities each year, usually to fund ideological, free-market academic programs.” 

#FakeLeftIsAltRight, as one friend of mine likes to say. Tulsi’s ties to radical domestic fascist forces are virtually endless, and they will be the subject of many future articles. As the need for deeper vetting arises, we will be here for you- and prepared.

At any rate, perhaps we can find a clue into the peculiar politics of this enigmatic woman by examining her political career helping her father. Even upon taking the most cursory glance at him, Hawaii state Senator, ostensible former Republican, and anti-gay activist Mike Gabbard is a man who has had to do a lot of reforming.

The elder Gabbard has made a career out of evasion. With reporters, with constituents, and with pretty much everyone except his daughter and his old cronies from the days of Chris Butler’s (Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa) perversion of Hare Krishna cult, he’s been dishonest with just about everyone.

His daughter has inherited his ways. It is a daily reality of life for people in Hawaii that the Gabbards are into bad things with cults (there is over a hundred pages dedicated to the Gabbard family’s activities on the Cult Education Forum) and that they are libertarian Republicans in disguise.

Today, however, I was thinking we might talk about her ties to foreign powers, the ones who provide her with about 99% of her support. From top to bottom, the people most interested in seeing Tulsi Gabbard do well outside of the country are Russia, Iran, Syria, and literal terrorist groups like the Lebanese Hezbollah, groups that are the declared enemies of America.

Hezbollah, no less!

Check this out, from the good old American Committee on Foreign Affairs, dated March 20, 2013, just over six years ago. Ironically, Tulsi Gabbard was at this meeting. She has benefited from plenty of access to the highest levels of information on the Middle East and its troubled political scene.

HEZBOLLAH’S STRATEGIC SHIFT:
A GLOBAL TERRORIST THREAT
HEARING
BEFORE THE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM,
NONPROLIFERATION, AND TRADE
OF THE
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS
FIRST SESSION
MARCH 20, 2013

Recent focus on Iran has centered on Tehran’s quest for nuclear weapons, but the Iranians and their proxy Hezbollah also use terrorism to threaten global stability. Hezbollah enjoys the full backing of the Iranian regime. The Supreme Leader and the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps direct Hezbollah’s global terror campaign. Years ago, Hezbollah was a limited regional threat. Today, it is an international movement conducting terrorist and criminal acts in several parts of the world.

Hezbollah has killed Americans! They have taken our airliners hostage, they have bombed our embassies! More recently they’ve been in the news all the time, and why? Because Hezbollah has vastly expanded. They are now an international movement. You can get their daily update if you have WhatsApp installed. They are not independent nor are they truly a Lebanese movement. They are the proxy of Iran, which is to say a close ally of Syria and Russia.

Assad and Putin are able to call them up for anything. The leader of Russia has had that power from their organization’s birth. The current world order has been where it is for quite a while, and America was just on the verge of fixing it when they managed to tip the scales on us and helping Trump the Scam into the White House. Now look where we are.

In 2017, when Assad started gassing his own people, Trump fired off a rather puny attack on them, blowing up some asphalt on the side of one of their airstrips. We covered it at the time it happened. It seemed like a put-up job; Russian planes were being kept on the other side of the hanger. But even still, good old Tulsi was right there to cry in outrage about it as if it had been Germany crossing the Polish border.

Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont referred to her response appropriately as bizarre. “I think it’s outrageous,” he said during an MSNBC interview. “There’s a long well-known history, both in our intelligence community, Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders. Every single one of these agencies has said that Assad is using chemical weapons. He’s a barbarian, he’s murdered half a million of his own people.”

This is more than names and T-shirt colors. These people are monstrous criminals with even more lineage and history as terrorists with Al-Qaida has! To support Tulsi Gabbard is practically to rejoice and laugh at 9/11. We are the ones who designated Hezbollah as terrorists. She is flagrantly disloyal to America and its interests.

To think of such a person being the President of the United States of America, which as my grandfather used to say is the greatest country in the world, sickens me so thoroughly that even finding words to describe it with is hard. #NeverTulsi doesn’t quite seem strident enough, but just be assured I mean it very much.

So how did we come to this conclusion? After all, when she personally met with Syrian dictator Bashar (Trump calls him Animal, rightly for once) al-Assad, who in Trump’s words is a “Gas-killing animal who gasses his own people”, it was simply on a ‘fact-finding’ trip.

Wowie, thought I, but suspended disbelief anyway, long enough to keep reading, and look what I found! The two-man escort Gabbard used on this tourist outing were both fascists!

Her statement added she and the rest of the delegation had been accompanied by two men, Elie and Bassam Khawam, who according to the Daily Beast are both officials in the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), a political party and paramilitary organization founded in Lebanon in 1932, and currently actively engaged in the Syrian civil war on the side of the Assad regime.

They’re members of an anti-Semitic, cult-like sect that uses female suicide bombers. This cult is also known for handing vicious beatings out to journalists, both Western and Arab, and for supporting-you guessed it!-. Hezbollah!

They even got their flag from the Nazis.

Nazi-like flag of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party
Nazi-like flag of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party

Gabbard refused to say at first who financed her trip to Syria, but after the outcry got a little louder, she did eventually hold a press release. At it, Gabbard told us her delegation had been “led and sponsored by” an outfit called the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (AACCESS—Ohio). No one has ever heard of it. It did one other thing forever ago, sending the equally compromised Dennis Kucinich to Syria.

Leaving Syria’s complex and unhappy politics behind us, we head now to the equally chaotic area known as cyberspace for our next clues in the neverending goal to unravel the tangle of Tulsi.

If you want to know what’s up with somebody in this day and age, the first place to look is on social media. That’s what a private investigator will do; cut out the middleman. If you want to know who their friends are, and who is for or against them, above all you’ve got to go to where our illegitimate, childish president likes to give his warped Fireside Chats- Twitter.

The significance of the immensely popular micro-blogging platform cannot be overstated, because it’s where everyone goes to talk who is really influential in today’s world. You won’t find top professionals hanging around much on Facebook-actually, that’s how Russia figured out there was a hole where they could get at us through. They go to Twitter; look for the blue check marks to make sure you’re finding verified accounts.

What’s cool about Twitter is that regular people get a chance to speak directly to celebrities and to others from everywhere on Earth that people live. Arab Spring would not have happened the way it did if not for social media, particularly Twitter. To say the absolute, very least, it’s important.

Speaking of which, please consider following us at @MilDemsAmerica on Twitter! Help us to spread the word.

Tulsi Gabbard has more than twenty thousand fake accounts that follow her around and retweet her every word, and most of her supporters are not American. We can prove it, too, thanks to analysis tools provided to us by Twitter.

"Thousands of inauthentic Twitter accounts emerge when exploring tweets where @TulsiGabbard's handle appears (large highlighted cluster includes ~20K accounts) cc: @yoyoel @delbius @vijaya" Thanks to @GeoffGoldberg!
“Thousands of inauthentic Twitter accounts emerge when exploring tweets where @TulsiGabbard’s handle appears (large highlighted cluster includes ~20K accounts) cc: @yoyoel @delbius @vijaya” Thanks to @GeoffGoldberg!

There’s a story behind every one of those little dots, every one of which is a Twitter account loving up on Tulsi Gabbard. Recently our attention was brought to a rabidly pro-Assad Twitter account entity named Sarah Abdallah, and the story around her/it is rather fascinating.

@sahouraxo is the handle she goes by, and even the most cursory glance at her Twitter feed will tell you, not a single day will go by in which she doesn’t send some sort of tweet like this one.

Lol.

Our friends, the good people, and research analysts over at MidEastAnalyst did an exceedingly thorough job putting together her background and past. Among the things they turned up was the true meaning of her handle, which language studies master and compelling journalist Joumana Gebara translated to mean something very interesting.

Sarah Abdallah: “from the heart of Resistance Camp” which means “from the Hezbollah Camp”! Clever, right? Double lol.

On the subject of Gebara, who is a truly inspiring human being, she is currently blocked by Twitter from accessing her account, because of the work she did to expose Sarah Abdallah! Please write to @TwitterSupport and tell them to give us back our hero! They’re usually a lot better about this than Facebook. Let’s give them the benefit of doubt in letting them correct their mistake; they might just do it.

The tiresome @sahouraxo aside, for she is just one among many tens of thousands, Gabbard’s a beloved figure among America’s radical left. These are not progressives, because they are too stubborn and mean and foul-mouthed to make any progress; look at what one of them said in this comment on yesterday’s article!

#AlwaysBernie Stop parading as millennials And leave it to the real millennials to continue berning your party to the ground. You are on your way out.

Not really, Crystal. Not today, and not ANY day. Our generation is NOT all a pack of Bern-crazed drooling freaks.

It just goes to show what we’re always talking about. They hate us, they want to replace us, and they will stop at no ugliness to get what they want. They’re worse than the Republican trolls, who attack the site here in maybe a one in ten ratio compared to what the neo-progressives do. And although she has about a millionth of Bernie’s name recognition, Tulsi may have more trolls even than him.

Vladimir Putin is a libertarian to the core, and that is how this all ties together. The Koch brothers love him in a sick and sycophantic kind of way; they think they are his equals. They see his wealth and power and they want it for themselves. They feel like the only thing stopping them are all the pesky regulations in the United States, and they fantasize about the day they cast them off.

That’s what libertarianism is about. Rich guys getting out of paying taxes, dumping sludge in the rivers, and stealing from everyone that’s alive. The Koch brothers and Putin are the biggest thieves there are and thick as thieves besides. The Utopian society the little anarchist guys with clothespins through their noses run around talking about will actually be one in which the rich are freely able to prey on the poor without restraint.

If they think it’s going to be egalitarian, they had better read up on what those funny guys at the Cato Institute are really talking about, and hearing where they’re speaking from.

As a wise woman once said, Putin is the head of all of this. The rest is tentacles.

Those tentacles are as international as it gets. They control vast amounts of the economies of other nations, including this one, and that means they control many of those countries’ politicians. A particularly chilling example is that half the entire economy of the banking hub nation of Cyprus has been filled with money Putin and his oligarchs have been looting from Russia and Ukraine.

They fund politicians routinely, like Marine Le Pen of France, who blatantly asked for more since French banks wouldn’t loan to her Nazi-like National Front party. Tulsi Gabbard is a softer-looking Le Pen who is in the same situation. She will lose 99% of her support the day she tries going against them, and she knows it. She is their girl head to toe. Not ours.

One of our contributors started a Facebook Page entitled Tulsi Gabbard Must Go. Great page, check it out. It’s a young page, only a month or two old, and still has less than two hundred Likes. And yet, not a day has gone by since she started it without a fake left troll coming on there and cursing and swearing and saying all types of crazy things.

They’re justifying their paychecks, but they’re also casting the silver bullets needed to destroy them. Most of them are not American. Americans hardly know who she is. She’s popular because she’s got the backing of the Russia-Iran-Syria-Hezbollah (RIAH) network.

That is the significance. This is why Tulsi Gabbard will never do or say anything remotely critical of Bashar al-Assad, or any of the rest of Putin’s toys. She also went to specifically meet with Trump just after he was elected. If she did she would instantly lose that backing because Assad is Putin’s boy. Syria is a big part of Putin’s scheme to bring about a global Russian realignment. He will stop at nothing for this.

Merriam- Webster defines the term “political operative” as a person who does secret work for a government or political organization. And no one can deny that the resume of Ms. Gabbard would be ideal for one.

Going forward, we’re going to get into this deeper and deeper. Tulsi Gabbard is so far from what a Democratic presidential candidate needs to look like that it’s ridiculous and horrifying both. It has taken on paramount importance to properly vet and expose this absolutely dishonest person. Tulsi Gabbard really must go, and we will be here to help see her off.

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Does Trump Work For Putin Directly? The FBI Has Been Asking Since May of 2017.

Does Trump work for Putin directly? The FBI's been looking into it- and so have we.

One of the biggest bombshells yet in the Russiagate case was dropped on America this evening. As the #TrumpShutdown entered its third week and the first missing paycheck came up for millions of Americans, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that it has been pursuing an investigation into whether Donald Trump was working for Vladimir Putin directly, either knowingly or unwittingly.

The New York Times reported late Friday that federal investigators are said to have become so alarmed by Trump’s conduct after he fired former FBI director James Comey that they at once opened a probe into whether the orange infant in the White House has been secretly working with Russia, all along, for Putin himself.

According to sources considered reliable by that venerable newspaper, counterintelligence officials were assigned to the case.

Let’s talk about that word for a minute, counterintelligence. Google Dictionary gives an excellent working definition. It refers to activities designed to prevent or thwart spying, intelligence gathering, and sabotage by an enemy or other foreign entity. Therefore, counterintelligence agents are only assigned to cases serious enough to be considered a risk to national security.

In other words, this is earth-shaking beyond all belief for Donald Trump.

Russia is and has for much of our history been the chief global rival of America. For our president to be in the actual employ of their president is clearly a worst-case scenario. We’ve been saying this for years, of course.

Now the big boys are saying it too.

For a counterintelligence committee to be examining not only whether Trump’s actions were undermining national security, but also whether he was working at the behest of the Kremlin, is clearly of the most phenomenal importance.

On Rachel Maddow‘s Friday night television show, AM Joy Reid of MSNBC was standing in, and hosted Former Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi for an interview. He said that the FBI would only even consider a decision of this magnitude without having evidence of the most utterly compelling nature, something on the level of taped conversations and the like.

Trump has been screaming for years that the whole Russian collusion story is nothing but fake news, and his sheer vehemence gave him some early successes in getting people to stop using the word.

Collusion is back on the table to stay, after this.

In related news, it came out this week that Paul Manafort broke the terms of his plea agreement in regards to his actively sharing and exchanging data from the Trump campaign with his Russian handlers. Turns out that $19 million dollars Manafort owed to Oleg Deripaska, Putin’s buddy the aluminum oligarch, came back to haunt him after all.

Just last week Time tracked down the man Deripaska used to get Manafort to pay up. “He owed us a lot of money,” Victor Boyarkin told Time. “And he was offering ways to pay it back … I came down on him hard.”

As much as Manafort is a detestable character, what does it say about America, that Russians can come over here and push our people around like this with impugnity? This has to be stopped at once. It is our opinion that the Russian Mafia, the feared ROC, should be pored over and removed from its influence from every scrap of our fair nation. Not even the garbage should be left over for them- aluminum cans are worth billions! Just ask Oleg Deripaska.

Manafort had a good friend from his glory days fixing Ukrainian elections for Putin, Konstantin Kilimnik, pictured here in this photograph, not far from Tad Devine of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Top consultant to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign Tad Devine, hanging out with Paul Manafort and Konstatin Kilimnik.
Top consultant to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign Tad Devine, hanging out with Paul Manafort and Konstatin Kilimnik.

Kilimnik, a shadowy and truant figure long believed to hold many pieces of this puzzle, is known by the nickname of Manafort’s Manafort. He is connected to Russian intelligence services like the GRU, which also hosted Fancy Bear and Guccifer 2.0, the hackers who got Julian Assange the hacked DNC emails that he dumped on us through Wikileaks.

The Wikileaks succeeded beyond their wildest imaginations.

Nevertheless, the Bernie Bots and Bros rioted in the streets of Philadelphia over minor written exchanges proving that Debbie Wassermann-Schultz and Bernie did not like each other. It was the biggest single coup of the Trump campaign’s whole summer, and also the night that Russiagate became something tangible.

The Russians were said to be overjoyed. The emails themselves were played up so much by Trump and his base that by the time they were released, it did not matter what was in them, and it turned out to be nothing to an extent that was simply huge.

The information pipeline that got all this done featured Manafort, his campaign deputy Rick Gates, and Kilimnik funneling many files full of Trump campaign information to bring back to Deripaska, and received many back in return. It was reciprocal and totally coordinated. Manafort knew what he was doing to America every last step of the way.

Deripaska’s not that much of a political guy, but he does have one big interest in giving Trump a hand. He is extremely close to Putin and relies on him to keep his personal fortune. All of Russia works and eats at Putin’s order; he has more control than Stalin did over there.

Even Fox News hosts have been admitting that what Manafort did with the Russians constitutes collusion. There is no doubt about it, and this is, in its own way, even more damning for Trump than the Mueller investigation.

In the last analysis, Manafort was not chosen because of his consummate skill or charming personal characteristics. He was chosen because he was convenient, due to the money he owed for those Cayman Island hotels he burned up Deripaska’s friendship for. Many email exchanges between the two indicate Manafort’s frequent and pleading queries as to whether or not the two of them were “good”. He had that Boyarkin ogre ready to pick his bones, he was scared, and he’d been their guy so long by then that he felt there was no turning back.

So he made a devil’s bargain to sell out his country, in order to save his behind. That is the most rotten and cowardly choice that anyone can ever make. Manafort’s name will be reviled throughout all of human history, and as with the Benedict Arnolds and Vidkun Quislings of history, his name will be held up as an example of greed and cowardice to serve mankind’s final generations with a lesson that resounds with eternal importance.

Going forward, we must reexamine the entire concept of treason. We should view the Cold War as a conflict which never ended, but rather shifted forms and chosen new battlefields in the virtual realms of politics. In that scenario, Trump would be a traitor by every metric, and this is the most truthful narrative.

Julian Assange Indicted! Cyber-Terrorist To Face American Justice.

Assange Indicted!

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been indicted by the United States! It’s a beautiful day for a neighbor.

This story’s release was not destined for the front page- at least, not right away. It was found in an unsealed court filing in an unrelated case. The document contained the phrase “Assange has already been charged”. What is thought to be a simple copy/paste error has got the entire world talking.

Assange is and has been a criminal and a digital terrorist worldwide. He also is a suspected rapist. Assange has now been hiding out in his Ecuadorian embassy home for two years. He is said to live in slovenly conditions and recently had to be ordered by the courts of Ecuador to feed his cat. Animal abuse, no less! It’s time to bring this man to justice.
Wikileaks, under his direction, has attempted to cut the throat of American intelligence time and time again. He has disrupted the functioning of our country in every way he’s been able to think up.
He was involved in helping Edward Snowden. He leaked Chelsea Manning’s documents. He leaked the DNC emails in 2016 that led to the rioting of Bernie Sanders supporters, an event that is said to have astounded the Russians with glee.
He is an enemy of America, and he made himself that way, for no real reason. He did this to himself for fame and glory. Still, American law has been hesitant to condemn him, for fear of setting a precedent of discouraging investigative journalism. It’s important to be decent, even when the guy you’re up against is not.
Assange claims to be neutral, both in general and in regard to our 2016 election, but every single leak ever released by his outlet was designed to hurt Hillary Clinton and no one else. He claimed that was because no data was ever sent to WikiLeaks, about the Sanders or Trump campaigns.
However, the decidedly non-neutral Roger Stone had what he called a “Perfectly Legal” back channel to Assange, who got the electronic documents from the entity known as Guccifer 2.0, who was later proven to be a Russian intelligence officer working for the GRU.
He “gave excuse after excuse” for refusing to publish a trove of documents related to corruption within the Russian government, according to chat logs obtained by Foreign Policy.
Assange has been in this position before, when he was younger, and he failed to learn from the experiences he had. He was a member of the Chaos Computer Club, a European collective infamous for stealing secrets from governments and selling them to the KGB for drugs and money.
Around this same time, in the 1980’s, Vladimir Putin was a young(and according to his old boss, extremely mediocre) lieutenant in the KGB. It is likely these two have known each other for a while.
Wikileaks, underneath the strategic command of Julian Assange, is an important part of a consistent and growing sequence of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States.
His involvement in Brexit, and in the French elections between Macron and Le Pen parallel his efforts in our election. He has also been active in attempting to undermine and hamstring Angela Merkel. He is a willing and active participant in the worldwide far-right conspiracy being headed by Putin.
 Lawfare’s Nicholas Weaver calls this whole process the weaponization of Wikileaks.
“Wikileaks doesn’t seem to care that they are being used as a weapon by unknown parties, instead calling themselves a ‘library of mass education’. But the rest of us should,” Weaver writes.

The evidence so far suggests it’s a weapon that Putin has used to great effect.

There is nothing more important than a free press, an independent press like the one Putin destroyed in Russia. That is not in question. But there is a big difference between journalism and doxing, and the difference is that one is edifying and one is malicious. One seeks to educate and enlighten, and the other seeks only to destroy. In the last analysis, intent speaks for itself, and you get what’s coming to you.

Humanitarian concerns keep us from wishing physical harm on the man. The death penalty is wrong, and torture is wrong, regardless of the circumstances, no matter how egregious the criminal. We don’t feel he should be waterboarded at Guantanamo- the hole at United States Penitentiary-Leavenworth is hard enough. And even though the slipup was actually revealed in a pedophilia case, it is important to note that Assange has only allegedly raped two women in Sweden. Those are two more of the reasons why he needs to be taken somewhere and tried.

When Ecuador first gave asylum to Assange, he was still a hero to many on the left, and to many opponents of “US imperialism”. This sentiment runs deep in South America, and not unjustly so. So he was given asylum; a very decent act on the part of Ecuador.

But that was before he started using their place to hack our elections and do harm to everyone who’s breathing. What a guy. If I were Assange, I would start a GoFundMe for commissary.

And I would feed my cat.

Cyber-Defense For Democrats! Security Measures For Midterms.

#CyberDefenseForDemocrats

Hello, world!

We have received numerous requests for a focus piece regarding cyber-defense for Democrats, especially right now as we are going into the midterms. In it is an introduction to a number of the techniques we can use to defend ourselves going forward. Knowledge is power. Pass it on.

Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require a lot of explanation as to how and why the threat of Russian hacking is real. We have been up against it for years. The time has come to soberly and objectively assess Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities, and examine how we plan to fight back.

In 2016, America was caught off guard and we got a bloody nose. Guys like Roger Stone’s buddy Guccifer 2.0, or the guys in Fancy Bear pulled a fast one, to be sure.

But it’s important not to overstate the case. It is not accurate to attribute cybernetic omniscience to the Russians and their zany bots and fake news.

They had the element of surprise back then. Most people had no idea what they were doing(and rolled their eyes at those who were trying to warn them, but that’s another subject). These days things are very different.

Regardless of the lies of the great orange malignance, America knows the Russians are out to get us. Trump is sticking his head in the sand on this and will do nothing to help us, so we’re going to have to learn to help ourselves, and each other.

It’s too bad we’ve got no national leadership on this, but it is what it is. We’ll get by on our own.

In starting out, the most important thing to keep in mind is this: Hackers rely on our mistakes, and mistakes are most often made when we don’t know we are making them. They need to catch us off guard, and their job is to find creative ways to use their tools to get us to slip up.

The first place a smart hacker will look is outside the box, so to speak. They’re always looking for ways to burrow in that you wouldn’t think to look for.

Employing a given system, be it a human being or a PC, for a purpose it wasn’t designed for is what hacking means. However, if you’re careful, neither you nor your computer will end up thus employed. It’s all about being careful.

Hackers are clever, be they Russian or from elsewhere, but they are far from invincible. We’ve already stopped a number of Russian cyber-assaults directed at Democrats this year, such as the ones aimed at our Claire McCaskill.

Without the element of surprise, hackers have many limitations. It’s not that easy to brute-force open a website. Just ask these guys:

This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.
This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.

Basic cyber-hygiene techniques would cut down on more than 80 percent of cyber attacks and cyber thefts, according to Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It will benefit us to learn a few.

There is a great deal of white-hat(ethical hacking) work that can be done to defend America in this realm, and most of it has to do with how careful we are.

We repeat- It’s all about being careful. This cannot be repeated too often.

Every technique that hackers use, be they DNS attacks against home routers, phishing emails, malware, botnets, or what have you, is ultimately something we can avoid.

In this piece, we’re going to talk about a few common mistakes made by end-users(that means us, the consumer) and how they are exploited by criminals. We’re also going to talk about some of these cyber-hygiene measures and assign them three rules of thumb.

  1. Don’t open strange emails.
  2. Don’t click on strange links.
  3. Don’t accept chat messages from people you don’t know, particularly on Facebook.

Before we get started, think for a second about all your other social media accounts. Are they just as secure as your Facebook or Twitter? Make sure they are! That’s the first place a hacker will go to collect more data about you. You’re particularly vulnerable to having your account on the ones you don’t often use pried open.

As an aside, this is also why you don’t want to use the same passwords for everything. Passwords are obviously critical, as somebody who’s got them has got all your information at his fingertips. Be careful!!

A great deal of a hacker’s job revolves around getting the passwords of their victims. Their most popular tools are all various ways to apply “spear-phishing” hacks, designed to steal passwords and personal data. The unlucky “phish” who opens one has become a victim and is now open to all kinds of trouble.

There are all kinds of ways to go spear-phishing. A brand new one showed up not long ago when U.S. government agencies recently received letters via snail mail.

They came with CDs inside, and they contained malware, according to cybersecurity researcher Krebs on Security. The infected discs were accompanied by a Chinese-postmarked envelope and a “confusingly-worded” letter.

That is just like what they do on Facebook. Hackers make links that look like YouTube videos and various other innocuous things, and they write you some goofy little messages. They look like some cute little harmless thing. Actually, they’re viruses. And you’re hit.

One example that all readers of this blog will vividly recall took place on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious e-mail messages hit the inboxes of thirty people who were closely associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Inside them were links that were actually viruses, like worms on a hook.

Nearly all of them were failures. All but one, actually. But one was enough.

Within nine days, a horrendous amount of critical data had been stolen and passed along to Wikileaks, to be strategically released in a way they figured would hurt us. It did.

Those leaked e-mails, in which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was seen to be fussing over Bernie’s lack of ability to fill out campaign finance forms correctly, were spun up into a narrative that Bernie(who lost by four million popular votes) had been cheated.

Bernie or Bust bought it, there were riots in the streets of Philadelphia, and a rift was torn in the Democratic Party that still has yet to heal.

All of that was made possible, with just a few phished passwords.

To combat phishing is to make sure everyone knows how common and damaging these attacks can be. Everyone should keep their guard up when checking emails, and they should report any email they find suspicious.

It’s necessary to point out here that Facebook phishing in particular is horrendously easy. They can hack you right through your chat box. We recommend in the strongest possible terms that you put as little of your personal information as possible on Facebook.

They save everything. They’re like a gigantic data collection firm, and they’ll sell your personal information to companies like Cambridge Analytica who will use it to hurt us all.

Why risk it?

Facebook presents about a million added vulnerabilities to all of us that use it. When Edward Snowden was asked what to do to keep your data safe on that platform, his response was, “Delete your account.”

We can’t recommend that, as Facebook gives us access to 2 billion people, but we can recommend this much. If people you don’t know send you strange messages on Facebook, don’t accept them.

Facebook was made to brief congressional aides just last week Tuesday about the newest outbreak of anti-Democratic disinformation, which is already said to be evolving into something more sophisticated. Excerpts from that briefing are shown below.

“We are looking at just some of the malicious material that already may be circulating or will be released before the midterms. It also bears repeating that we know the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was targeted.”

Cyber-intelligence experts see this as being major, and with clear reason.

Moving on, it isn’t only Facebook and social media you’ve got to be careful with. Websites too are vulnerable.

Anecdotally, the webmaster of this site has seen hackers from all over the world try to take us down, from Beijing, China to Lviv, Ukraine, from Adelaide, Australia to Beauharnois, Quebec. They use all kinds of tricks, but they’ve never gotten in and they never will.

This is not because I’m a cyber-genius who speaks binary code, but because WordPress is awesome. Sucuri, the plugin that keeps safe all of us Millennial Democrats, is likewise excellent. They care about their clients and they hold the same liberal values sacred that we do.

WordPress users should strongly consider using Sucuri, not least for the reverse IP trace it automatically performs. This has the benefit of letting you know a lot more about who’s trying to hack you. Sometimes it will tell you everything.

Once a flower store owner from Adelaide, Australia tried to hack us. By using a reverse IP trace, Sucuri let us know who she was as soon as she had done so. Then we went to a site called WhatismyIPaddress.com, put it in, and voila.

We were able to get the name of her business by looking at the name of her domain. We then used that to look her up, and jackpot. We found the store’s address, website, and owner. We also found far-right garbage smeared all over her life.

I could put her on blast right here with a screenshot like this one:

My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!
My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!

Then the hunter would rapidly become the hunted.

Luckily for her, I’m not that mean. But the next guy might be. It’s a dangerous game for newbies (noobs- learn your hacker-ese) to play. It’s easy to run into trouble.

Change your life, would-be hacker flower store owner! Mend your wicked ways, before it’s too late.

Speaking of WordPress, using the two-factor authentication feature they offer as part of their platform is another good idea. This is a highly effective security measure and is available for Facebook, Gmail, WordPress, and many other major platforms.

Using this feature means a second device’s input will be required to access email accounts or websites on new computers, usually by prompting you and sending an SMS code to your phone or whatever. This can prevent scammers from accessing compromised accounts.

In addition to good cyber-hygiene, which amounts to common sense, caution, and our three rules of thumb, there are some tools we can use to make our online experience safer still. You may find this necessary, from time to time.

A VPN, or virtual proxy network service, will allow you to register as being somewhere that you’re nowhere physically near. It allows you to safeguard your IP address. You do not want hackers to have your IP address, as it can be used to hurt you in a bewildering multitude of ways. This is probably the biggest reason to use a VPN.

Guccifer 2.0 recently made a mistake and forgot to turn his VPN on, and we connected him to an IP address connected to Russian intelligence. Now his whole identity is blown because he didn’t use his VPN.

We strongly recommend getting one of these, specifically IVPN. They take protecting their customers super seriously and they are located on the Rock of Gibraltar. That fortress strikes me as a good place to keep anything valuable.

HotspotShield is another good one, and also NordVPN. There’s a lot of them; shop around and find one that’s right for you. We feel it’s worth repeating that they are a very good investment.

Additional tools include TOR(The Onion Router), which offers a former naval encryption system that we can now all use. Tor takes all your internet traffic and routes it through its own network, providing total anonymity.

The DuckDuckGo browser, which Tor employs, is good to know about also. It has a number of different features that keep you safe, including a “Flame” feature that burns up all your cookies in a second. Pretty cool.

We suggest you learn Linux, because it is more secure, and 99% of viruses are designed to attack Microsoft products. 

Russian hackers have been targeting home routers of individual people en masse, using what is called a DNS attack. We suggest you check your home router often, using the website Secure Router.

Secure Router is a great free feature that allows you to check if your router has been compromised with the click of a button. Doing this regularly cannot hurt and takes less than a second.

In closing, it’s important to emphasize that this is an introductory piece, and not meant to be totally comprehensive. These techniques will do a lot to keep you safe, but nothing is a substitute for doing your own research.

So far, this has not been the kind of cyber war imagined in the past, with nations taking out each other’s power grids before a mass invasion, although Russian malware continues to turn up in our power stations.

It’s more like a new type of proxy war. Like it or not, against our will, we have begun a new phase of the Cold War, on digital battlefields where you meet the enemy directly, but behind a screen.

Now, just as then, there is a need for deterrence, to defend the nation and hopefully prevent a further escalation of tensions. There is more at stake than we can even put into words. We need to be ready.

There are bigger dangers here than the usual America vs. Russia, liberal world order vs the new world order that the extremist crazies keep screaming that they want kind of thing. This is different completely.

One superpower actively destroying the democratic process of another is new and very dangerous, especially since Russian destability tactics rely heavily on disinformation and a systematic devaluing of the truth.

If nothing is true, everything is permissible. And then our entire species starts down the road to guns and roving mobs.

Disinformation and a post-truth reality are unacceptable, and so is Russian interference into our election, regardless of how many Fox News devotees will slobberingly say otherwise.

We have only got one party ready to defend our democracy from the foreign agitators’ who are trying to destroy it, and that is the Democratic Party. Accept no substitutes.

Due diligence is the key. Hackers will look for things you might be neglecting. Get in some good habits and keep yourself alert, because it all comes down to one thing.

If you are politically active as a Democrat, you are not paranoid. You are a target. Defend yourself.

Conservatives File To Impeach AG Rosenstein, Set Sights On Robert Mueller.

Conservatives target Rosenstein in transparent ploy.

A handful of conservatives in Congress officially filed articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, a move they have been threatening for months.

The introduction was made by Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Meadows and Jordan have been critical of Rosenstein and the Justice Department for various reasons, all of which are completely insincere.

The real reason they are after Rosenstein is that he has overseen the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

A few months ago Steve Bannon was on TV for the first time since Breitbart let him go. He was on there to offer Trump some strategy tips as to how to end the investigation into Russian involvement with the Donald Trump campaign.

He suggested that to do this, the White House should stop cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is handling the probe.

And he suggested that he fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

That has been the simplest path out of this for them from the start.

As part of a broader inquiry into possible obstruction of justice, Mueller is examining Trump’s conduct from the beginning of his presidency and before.

He is preparing to make a recommendation whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation, specifically intimidating witnesses, and attempting to put the screws on senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.

Trump is terrified of what may come. That is why they are after Rosenstein.

In related news, CBS News’ Paula Reid has confirmed that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that the president knew in advance of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Mr. Trump’s son, top campaign officials and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

None of this will come as much of a surprise to the regular readers of this blog. Mueller is looking into Trump’s old tweets attacking Sessions and former FBI director James Comey, who wants to act like a Resister now but who hamstrung Hillary Clinton two Novembers ago. As Michael Avenatti tweeted today, the evidence appears to be there.

Speaking of Avenatti, he’ll be representing three more women Trump allegedly paid off in the months to come. Another piece of good news is that Trump’s organization finance chief has been called before a federal grand jury.

The real question is, what comes next? At this point, it’s still anybody’s guess.

For Robert Mueller, a lot of work. He’s hiring new prosecutors.

For us, getting ready.

A piece published Thursday afternoon by the Daily Beast shows that Russia is already trying to hack the 2018 midterm elections.

They got caught going after Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is one of our best people, and up for reelection this year. Malware was sent as emails to a McCaskill aide from a server that likely belongs to Fancy Bear, the same Russian intelligence group that did many of the 2016 hacks.

We’ve been here before, and we know where this is going. We have seen the tactics of the enemy, and we know how to spot them. In the months to come, we’re going to be focusing in more and more on the midterm elections and the cyber-education that will come with keeping them safe.

There’s one other thought that comes to mind, also- It’s all for nothing if we don’t go vote. We’ve been resisting together all this time, down in the trenches. We have probably got this, so long as we do not let up. For a little while longer, at the very least, we have got to hold it together and get by as best we can. See you in the mix!

The Russians are Coming- Mueller Indictments and New Cyber Threats.

WorldwideThreatsHearing

Robert Mueller’s investigation took a dramatic turn on Friday, as grand jury indictments were handed out to 12 different Russians, all formally associated with Russian intelligence, for their hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

On the same day, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned America in the direst of terms to watch out for Russian cyber-thugs this fall. Coats told us to expect “Unprecedented levels of cyber-hacking,” and said, “The warning lights are blinking red again.”

These two issues are directly tied together. The Mueller indictments laid out detailed allegations of how Russia sought to manipulate Americans through social mediaexploit computerized state voting systems and hack the email accounts of Democratic committees and party leaders.

The part of the story these indictments have shed light on focused on how Russian cyber-thugs took cues from the orange malignance in the White House himself, as the Russian government laid out its plan to boost Trump’s bid for the White House.

The court documents also highlight alleged collaboration between Russian hackers and “Organization 1”, clearly fitting the WikiLeaks profile, to steal data from and harm the campaign of Hillary Clinton. We have given some examples below.

“For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.”

July 27 2016 was the night of the first 2016 presidential debate. During that debate, Trump memorably said “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing… I think you will probably be rewarded mightily…”

Barton Gellman, a leading intelligence reporter, responded to this revelation in a tweet: “This is OMFG material. Trump explicitly asks ‘Russia’ to hack Clinton, and Russian intelligence starts trying *the same day*. We look for secret evidence of ‘collusion’ but Trump’s end was always in plain sight. Now we know Russia took his request as a guide to further crimes.”

The indictment also made specific mention of “a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump,” seeking to “help u.”

That got people talking. Right away. And not long after, the conversation came around to Roger Stone.

Stone has admitted that he is the unnamed Trump campaign regular who corresponded with Russian hackers such as Guccifer 2.0, now known to be a creation of the Russian intelligence services.

Stone previously boasted screenshots of the conversation online, in which Guccifer 2.0 wrote, “please tell me if i can help u anyhow… it would be a great pleasure to me.” That was back in the good old days before the indictments started coming down and dozens of people started going to prison.

Since then, his tone has changed a little.

“My 24-word exchange with someone on Twitter claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 is benign,” he pleaded in a text to Rolling Stone.

You’re entitled to your opinion, Rog, but the rest of the world does not agree.

In related news, photos have been circulating the Internet of Roger Stone’s old partner and possible future cellmate Paul Manafort, disheveled and miserable and inside of a prison cell. It might not be as spiffy as the office of their old lobbying firm, but it will have to do.

Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require many reminders of how the Russians pulled off this act of cyber-warfare against the world’s most powerful country. We lived through it and were on the front lines of the battle against it.

There is a certain sense of vindication, in seeing what we all have been warning people about these last two horrible years laid right down in black and white. Roger Stone is almost certainly going to prison, and that too is a decent consolation prize.

But there’s also a tremendous frustration at the lack of an appropriate response coming down from the White House.

Russia openly prepares to hack us once again, the American alt-right vows to help him do it, and what is being done by our President? Nothing.

Our top cyber-security expert was sacked and his department gutted months ago. Trump has opened the doors for new Russian hacking, just as he called for their help on the televised debate two years ago.

Trump is still meeting with Putin on Monday, and he’s still holding rallies for his base on a regular basis. History will revile him for this and for everything else. Until the Blue Wave comes in November, we must draw our comfort from that.

In the meantime, we’ve got hard fighting up ahead, and we are ready for it. This is what we’ve been training for, ever since the elections.

In the weeks to come, we’re going to be focusing a lot on cybersecurity measures we can take, and on key Democratic primary races that the Russians or Republicans may target. Gaslighting is likely to be the least of it.

The Mueller indictments tell us how the Russians did this to us last time. The Coats warning tells us that it’s coming again. Going forward, we’ll be filling the need to study the first carefully so that we’ll be ready for the second. The Russians are coming, and we’ve got to hold the line.

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