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5:54 PM 11/10/2017 – A psychiatrist says Trumps mental state is a legitimate inquiry

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Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, in a photo released by the government in August. Credit KCNA, via KNS, via Associated Press 
Letters: Trump, Kim and the Possibility of War

A psychiatrist says Trumps mental state is a legitimate inquiry, and another reader suggests that history will judge him poorly if there is a war.

Op-Ed Contributor: How You Can Help Prevent Mass Shootings

There is a role for ordinary citizens in the prevention of mass shootings like the one in Sutherland Springs, Tex., where 26 crosses have been erected to commemorate those killed at the First Baptist Church.

Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Sutherland Springs Only Happens to Be in Texas

There is nothing particularly Lone Star State-ish about a mass killing these days. Ask New York, or Las Vegas.

Trump, Kim and the Possibility of War

To the Editor:

Re “Slouching Toward War,” by Nicholas Kristof (column, Nov. 5):

If people are complacent about a high chance of a war in which there would be 300,000 predicted deaths in the first few days if nonnuclear, and a million in the first day if nuclear, then we have reached a state of madness.

Many are concerned about the state of mind of our president, who has control of the nuclear arsenal. You will hear little from organized psychiatry on this matter, because of the warning to its members that it is unethical to state a professional opinion about the president’s behavior without a personal examination or his consent.

Most of my fellow psychiatrists are not aware that there is an exception to this ethics code: the extended analyses of world leaders under controlled conditions of scholarship.

Jerrold Post founded the Central Intelligence Agency’s personality analysis center, and I witnessed him speak at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, where he said it is unethical for mental health professionals not to contribute during these perilous times.

Earlier this year, Dr. Post, who studied Kim Jung-un and his father, warned in a Washington Post article that Kim’s capacity for brutality and his apparent spontaneity could be compounded by President Trump’s own impulsive acts.

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Common sense suggests that a small, impoverished country should not be allowed to cause a nuclear war and that the world powers can together use their heads and find a way to prevent this — that is, assuming that our leaders don’t want war.

JEFFREY B. FREEDMAN, NEW YORK

To the Editor:

Nicholas Kristof says the Congressional Research Service estimates that as many as 300,000 people could die in the first few days of war with North Korea. He quotes a Stanford security expert who thinks that number could easily be a million if it were a nuclear exchange.

Senator Lindsey Graham then relays a conversation he had with President Trump, in which he says Mr. Trump insisted: “If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here.”

That seems to be a particularly chilling calculus. Apparently this president believes that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents would be acceptable, as long as they are not American deaths.

That may play well with his base, but history might think otherwise.

MITCHELL KAPNER, CARY, NC

Trump, Kim and the Possibility of War

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The F.B.I.’s Black Phantom Menace

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Welcome to the new McCarthyism

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How Wilbur Ross is connected to the Paradise Papers

The Paradise Papers reportedly name Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for not disclosing business ties to the Kremlin. Watch the video to find out how and whether or not the Commerce Dept is responding.

In an earlier far more innocent era, my mother told me you will be judged by the friends you keep. For many Americans, this was axiomatic. However, in this cynical era, you are often judged by who you know or who knows you. In some sense, this is a Kafkaesque arrangement where judgments and the assignment of guilt are made without knowledge or forethought.

Take, for example, the stories emanating from revelations of the Paradise Papers. This massive trove of 13.4 million records was founded 100 years ago and operates in various points around the globe managing the assets of very wealthy people. Reflecting millions of loans, financial transactions and e-mails, the data reveal how wealthy individuals manage their portfolios.

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Recently a German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, unraveled the connections indicating how the wealthy sometimes avoid taxes and make business deals.

Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, was caught in the web of these revelations. Despite divesting himself of most business interests when he joined the Trump cabinet, he kept a shipping company, Navigator Holdings, through a chain of companies in the Cayman Islands. Discussing Ross’ Paradise Papers file Jon Swaine of the Guardian noted that Navigator is a company operated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law an allegation that put Ross in the journalistic crosshairs.

The very mention of a transaction in which Russia is included is now branded “collusion.”

Navigator is paid $20 million a year to ship gas out of Russia for a Russian company named Sibur and Sibur is co-owned by Kirill Shamalov, Putin’s son-in-law. Commenting on this matter, Ross said “there is nothing whatsoever improper about Navigator having a relationship with Sibur.” He continued, “The fact that it happens to be called a Russian company does not mean that there’s any evil in it.” That is true on several levels.

This is a third party transaction in which the investor through a holding company joined a deal worth at least $200 a year. Mr. Ross probably knew very little about the transaction and, my guess is, he was unaware of any Russian involvement.

Moreover, the deal does not violate any laws, nor is there any suspicion that is the case. It would appear as if this is a witch hunt in which any reference to Russia is a form of collusion. Clearly this falls into the category of “false news.” But it has even darker implications.

The very mention of a transaction in which Russia is included is now branded “collusion.” You might even describe this phenomenon as contemporary McCarthyism, albeit McCarthy made allegations about those who joined the Communist Party as opposed to present claims that have a gossamer thin relationship to Russian officials.

My guess is these claims aren’t going anywhere, certainly not into the hands of Mr. Mueller, the Special Counsel. But these violations of privacy and reputation should not be overlooked. It is precisely the frivolous investigations of this kind that discourage good people from government service.

The Paradise Papers are certainly not the Pumpkin Papers and, in time, their salacious stories will be replaced. Unfortunately, it will leave in its wake a number of unsubstantiated claims and reputations that have been unfairly besmirched.

Dr. Herb London is president of the London Center for Policy Research and is co-author with Jed Babbin of “The BDS War Against Israel.”

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As the Russiagate Investigation Builds Momentum, Trump’s Allies Attack the CIA

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Carter Page, a foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, speaks with reporters after a day of questions from the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, November 2, 2017. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

The Russiagate news has sharply accelerated over the past two weeks: the indictments of two senior Trump campaign officials, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates; the guilty plea from George Papadopoulos about his multiple campaign contacts with Russian officials and intermediaries, including those who told him they possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails,” before news of the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee was made public; the rumors that next to be indicted by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russiagate, will be General Michael Flynn, and perhaps his son, too; the avalanche of news about Russian bots and trolls using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to exacerbate political divisions in 2016 and to support the election of Donald Trump, including the creation of numerous fake personalities; and, of course, the bob-and-weave testimony of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign policy aide, about his pattern of Russian contacts in 2016, delivered to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

And there’s a lot more to come, including—according to The Wall Street Journal—the likely criminal indictment of at least six Russian officials for their role in the 2016 cyberattacks. In response, Trump, Page, and Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo are escalating their attacks on the CIA and its intelligence-community partners.

Page’s testimony, all 200-plus pages of it, is popcorn-worthy entertainment, with him denying, obfuscating, and prevaricating under intense questioning from both Republicans and Democrats on the HPSCI. For instance, there’s an exchange between Page and ranking Democrat Adam Schiff over Page’s exasperating assertion that he’s claiming his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination while, at the same time, announcing that he’s willing to turn over to the committee certain documents and e-mails, but not others (see pages 26-29 of the transcript). At one point, Schiff asks, “Dr. Page, is it your position that you have a Fifth Amendment right to provide nonincriminating emails or documents to the committee but withhold incriminating documents from the committee and selectively comply with the subpoena?”

What Page is apparently worried about is that, for years, the US intelligence community has been watching him and, no doubt, intercepting his e-mails, phone calls, and other communications, and that recorded transcripts and copies of all of those are in the HPSCI’s (and Mueller’s) files. As early as 2013, Page came to the attention of US authorities because of his contacts with suspected Russian spies, who apparently were seeking to recruit him. In 2016, during the campaign, Page was secretly monitored by US intel over renewed contacts with Russians while he was serving on Trump’s foreign-policy team. In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court–ordered wiretap against Page in 2016 “based on evidence that he was operating as a Russian agent.” Among his contacts then were a range of leading Russian officials, including top executives of Gazprom, for whom Page was both an adviser and investor. In September 2016, Harry Reid, then the Senate minority leader, wrote to then-FBI Director James Comey about Page’s alleged contacts with “high-ranking sanctioned [Russian] individuals,” part of what Reid—who’d been briefed on what the intelligence community was learning—called evidence of “significant and disturbing ties” between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, according to Yahoo News.

No wonder, then, that Page, echoing Donald Trump, is on the warpath against the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and other elements of the US intelligence community. (Those three agencies concurred, in January 2017, that the Russian government, under the direct supervision of Vladimir Putin, hacked into the DNC system and released its contents to WikiLeaks and other outlets in order to tilt the election in Trump’s favor.) In his rambling, often confusing testimony to the HPSCI, and in letters to the committee that he released, Page bitterly denounced his accusers, including the HPSCI, the FBI, and the media, for “civil rights abuses” and “an ongoing witch hunt,” part of what he called “an intensive domestic political surveillance operation… initiated on behalf of the Clinton/Obama regime.”

Yet Page—who may or may not decide to cooperate with Mueller, and in fact may already be doing so—explicitly stated the reason that he’s willing to provide some documents to the House committee but not others: because, he said, he’s concerned that some of the information he might be forced to turn over will in some way contradict what Mueller and the congressional intelligence committees already know, from having looked at the transcripts and copies of his phone calls, texts, and e-mails. The information that he might provide “cannot be as comprehensive as the information that was already illegally collected against me,” he told the HPSCI, and he said he’s worried that some of it might not “match up.” As he put it, “The National Security Agency, CIA, and FBI have infinitely greater data processing capabilities than I do.”

Page’s, and Trump’s, attacks on the CIA et al. might be intended to provide cover, at least as far as the public is concerned, for Page’s overt and covert contacts with leading Russian officials. In his testimony, Page revealed that he did, in fact, meet with Russia’s deputy prime minister—though, earlier, appearing on Chris Hayes’s MSNBC program, Page said his contacts with Russians were limited to “man in the street”-type interactions. At one point in during Page’s testimony, Schiff read to him the text of an e-mail that Page had sent to two Trump campaign officials on July 8, 2016. It read: “I’ll send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I’ve received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the presidential administration here.” Yet under repeated questioning, Page stuck to his story about man-in-the-street contacts and a very brief, “five second” interaction with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

By attacking the CIA—which Trump once compared to Nazi Germany, during the campaign—Page may be getting some help from the CIA itself, at least from its Trump-appointed director, Mike Pompeo. In a major exposé broken by The Intercept, reporters Duncan Campbell and James Risen—the latter a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter formerly with The New York Times and Los Angeles Times—revealed that Pompeo recently met with former high-level NSA official William Binney to discuss Binney’s widely discredited theory that the DNC wasn’t hacked at all and that the WikiLeaks-published e-mails resulted from an internal leak. According to Binney, the meeting with Pompeo came about because Trump himself told Pompeo to meet with him. (Pompeo began the meeting by saying, “The president told me I should talk to you.”) “This is crazy,” a former CIA official told The Intercept. “You’ve got all these intelligence agencies saying the Russians did the hack. To deny that is like coming out with the theory that the Japanese didn’t bomb Pearl Harbor.” CNN, which also reported the Pompeo-Binney meeting, called Binney the purveyor of a “conspiracy theory.”

Unfortunately, that exact “conspiracy theory” was circulated via The Nation this past summer in a widely criticized story by Patrick Lawrence, who cited a memo published by Binney and some of his associates at an outfit called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. In that piece, Lawrence uncritically transmitted the VIPS memo’s claim that the DNC affair was “an inside job” by a DNC official, and not the work of the Russians. (Many Nation contributors, as well as a dissident group within VIPS itself and a fact-checker and outside security expert hired by The Nation, challenged Lawrence’s claims. An editor’s note by Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel, attached to the Lawrence article after it was published, concluded: “As part of the editing process, however, we should have made certain that several of the article’s conclusions were presented as possibilities, not as certainties.”)

So far, Pompeo hasn’t officially challenged the CIA’s conclusions about the 2016 hack attack. “The Director stands by, and has always stood by, the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment,” a CIA spokesman told The Intercept. But Pompeo strayed off the straight and narrow at least once. A few weeks ago, he made this statement: “The intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.” In fact, however, the community made no such conclusion, opting in its January 2017 report not to conclude anything at all, one way or the other, about whether Russia’s actions affected the election’s outcome. Noting that making a political calculation along those lines was beyond its scope, the Intelligence Community Assessment concluded, “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.” So Pompeo’s statement was flat-out wrong—and worrisome.

Meanwhile, a little-noticed but important story in The Wall Street Journal last week reported that the Justice Department is pretty well convinced, to say the least, that the Russians did it. Reports the Journal: “The Justice Department has identified more than six members of the Russian government involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee’s computers and swiping sensitive information that became public during the 2016 presidential election, according to people familiar with the investigation. Prosecutors and agents have assembled evidence to charge the Russian officials and could bring a case next year, these people said.”

Stay tuned. It now appears that Manafort, Gates, and Papadopoulos are not the only ones who will face charges in the Russiagate affair.

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Putin Trump – Google News: All eyes on Trump and Putin attending Vietnam summit – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY
All eyes on Trump and Putin attending Vietnam summit
USA TODAY
When President Trump likely meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Vietnam, all eyes will be on how they interact and whether they can agree on contentious issues.Trump and Putin could meet Friday or Saturday in Da Nang on the …
Prospect of TrumpPutin meeting hangs over Asia-Pacific summitCNN
TrumpPutin meeting thrown in doubtNew York Post
TrumpPutin Meeting Likely at APEC Summit, but US Officials Urge CautionVoice of America
Telegraph.co.uk –Newsweek –CNBC
all 217 news articles »

 Putin Trump – Google News

As the Russiagate Investigation Builds Momentum, Trump’s Allies Attack the CIA – The Nation.

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The Nation.
As the Russiagate Investigation Builds Momentum, Trump’s Allies Attack the CIA
The Nation.
Carter Page, a foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, speaks with reporters after a day of questions from the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, November 2, 2017. … the special counsel investigating Russiagate and more »

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Mike Flynn – Google News: Mueller Probing Pre-Election Flynn Meeting With Pro-Russia Congressman – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
Mueller Probing Pre-Election Flynn Meeting With Pro-Russia Congressman
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON — Investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller are questioning witnesses about an alleged September 2016 meeting between Mike Flynn, who later briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, and Rep.
WSJ: Mueller probes Flynn role in plot to deliver cleric to TurkeyCNN
Special counsel’s interest in Mike Flynn comes into sharper focusMSNBC
Bob Mueller Seems to Be Closing in on Mike Flynn—and the Indictments Could Be ExplosiveNew York Magazine
Bloomberg –Washington Examiner –NBCNews.com –Wall Street Journal
all 81 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: First Read’s Morning Clips: Are Charges Coming Soon for Michael Flynn? – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
First Read’s Morning Clips: Are Charges Coming Soon for Michael Flynn?
NBCNews.com
Mueller is applying renewed pressure on Flynn following his indictment of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, three sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News. The investigators are speaking to multiple witnesses in coming days to gain …
Mueller’s Michael Flynn Investigation Is Heating UpThe Daily Caller
Flynn Investigation Part of ‘Great Sleight of Hand’ That is Russia GateSputnik Internationalall 178 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: Special counsel’s interest in Mike Flynn comes into sharper focus – MSNBC

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MSNBC
Special counsel’s interest in Mike Flynn comes into sharper focus
MSNBC
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan involving former White House National Security Adviser Mike Flynn to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and deliver him to Turkey in return for millions of dollars 
WSJ: Mueller probes Flynn role in plot to deliver cleric to TurkeyCNN
Mueller Probing Possible Deal Between Turks, Flynn During Presidential TransitionNBCNews.com
Robert Mueller investigating Mike Flynn’s possible role in plot to kidnap Turkish cleric: ReportWashington Examiner
Newsweek –NBCNews.com –Wall Street Journal
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 Mike Flynn – Google News

Mike Flynn – Google News: WSJ: Mueller probes Flynn role in plot to deliver cleric to Turkey – CNN

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CNN
WSJ: Mueller probes Flynn role in plot to deliver cleric to Turkey
CNN
Washington (CNN) Former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn and his son are alleged to have been offered as much as $15 million to forcibly remove from the US a Muslim cleric wanted by Turkey, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal …
Special counsel’s interest in Mike Flynn comes into sharper focusMSNBC
Mueller Probing Pre-Election Flynn Meeting with Pro-Russia CongressmanNBCNews.com
Robert Mueller investigating Mike Flynn’s possible role in plot to kidnap Turkish cleric: ReportWashington Examiner
Boing Boing –New York Magazine –NBCNews.com –Wall Street Journal
all 70 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The Lawfare Podcast, Special Edition: A Person of Flynnterest 

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The Wall Street Journal this morning broke a major story: Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Trump’s former national security advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, for allegedly plotting with Turkish officials to arrange the extrajudicial removal of Fethullah Gulen from the United States in exchange for a boatload of money. We put together an emergency podcast with Shane Harris, one of the reporters on the story, Ryan Evans of War on the Rocks, and Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennessey, Paul Rosenzweig, and Steve Vladeck to cover all the angles. What does it mean? And where does it go from here? Warning: the audio quality is a little rough in spots, recorded conference calls being what they are.

 Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

There’s nothing creepy about Trump and Putin in matching outfits | Metro News

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Okay so we can all agree that there’s absolutely nothing creepy about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in matching outfits.

The two leaders met at a summit in Vietnam looking at acting like twins.

Subway workers aren’t allowed to use ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ any moreThey were spotted shaking hands and waving to the crowd, completely in sync. Amazing.

Also, can we talk about how Putin is wearing a shirt and tie under a shirt? It looks like he came late to a fancy dress party and had to throw something on from the lost property bin.

Trump’s press secretary had said the two hadn’t planned on sitting down for a formal meeting while in Asia because of scheduling conflicts on both sides.

But they bumped into each other and seemed pretty happy about it.

All eyes were on the duo because Russia has cast a huge shadow over Trump’s presidency.

Robert Mueller has a team investigating alleged Russian meddling with the US election last year.

It has already been confirmed the country targeted social media platforms and bombarded them with anti-Hillary propaganda.

Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign leader, and his associate, Rick Gates, were asked to surrender themselves to federal authorities to face charges over allegedly laundering millions of dollars for work they were doing on behalf of a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine.

Manafort has been charged with 12 counts including conspiracy against the United States.

Meanwhile, George Papadopoulos, a former Trump adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents.

Trump has since tried to distance himself from the news.

He wrote on Twitter recently: ‘The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was “no collusion” and events mentioned took place long before he came to the campaign.

‘Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!’

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12:47 PM 11/10/2017 – RECENT POSTS: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? Answer: Because sometimes the “F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun” – FBI News Review  | The World News and Times

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Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и специальный представитель Президента по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов перед началом совещания с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.
Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и специальный представитель Президента по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов перед началом совещания с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.

11.10.17

M.N. I guess, now we can understand why we have all these problems with the counterterrorism and the counterintelligence. It is easy to see them, and it is easy to exploit these problems, too, for the adversaries. 

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Robert Mueller Is Moving Toward Donald Trump

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