INTELLIGENCE, SECRECY & POWER (ISP) ISSN 1245-2122
N. 686, 31 January 2017 Full Issue (74 pages, 8 euros)
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FRONT PAGE – LIARS & CROOKS SWEEP INTO WASHINGTON AS THE REST OF THE WORLD WAITS
World Media – Synthesis Based on the Most Noteworthy Entries from 16 January 2017 to 31 January 2017
The major topics of the previous issue of “Intelligence, Secrecy & Power” (ISP, n. 685, 15 January 2017) were: US POLITICS (30X) Ethics Bye Bye, Russian Hacking, Fake News, Border Wall, Obama Care, Confirmations; TRUMP (19X) China Says “Shut Up”, Schwarzy Too, Son-in-Law, Fake News, Corruption OK; US COPS & GUNS (15X) Chicago, New York, Baltimore Cops above the Law; MIDDLE EAST (13X) Mosul Falling, Baghdad Bombs, Yemen, Cyprus Failure; US SPOOKS (13X) Russia’s Ops, False News, Hacking, Trump Nominees; ISRAEL/PALESTINE (11X) Embassy Move, Soldier Convicted, Truck Attack; WESTERN EUROPE (9X) “Brexit” in Hot Water, Poland’s Political Troubles; AFRICA (6X) “Presidents for Life” Just Don’t Want to Leave; ASIA (4X) India, South Korea, China; ENVIRONMENT (4X) Bad Water, Bad Pipelines, Monsanto; ECONOMICS (4X) Wealth in America, Trump & Wall Street; EASTERN EUROPE (3X) Russia, Trump & “Era of Bullshit”; TECH (3X) Ghostwriting for Sex; and LATIN AMERICA (2X) Brazil Prison Riots.
This issue’s leading topics are: US EXTREMISM (48X) Crooks, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Liars, Wheeler-Dealers, Alternative Facts & Muslim Ban; US POLITICS (47X) Rebuking Trump, His Nominees & His Orders as Impeachment Campaign Begins; US SPOOKS (15X) CIA Torture & “Black Sites” Are Back; WESTERN EUROPE (13X) France, Britain, Holland & Cyprus; MIDDLE EAST (7X) Syria, Pakistan, Iran & Saudi Arabia; ENVIRONMENT (7X) Pipelines, Water Crisis & Global Warming; ASIA (6X) South & North Korea, China & Bangladesh; BREXIT (6X) Everybody Still Waiting To See What It Is; US COPS (5X) Even Cops Say Police Aren’t Accountable; ECONOMICS (5X) Student Loan Cheating, Weed & Wine Spending; ISRAEL/PALESTINE (5X) Ethnic Cleansing & Extremists “Going Big”; AFRICA (2X) Nigerian military “mistake” & Gambia’s “President For Life” Pushed Out; LATIN AMERICA (2X) No Mexican Trip To See Trump; EASTERN EUROPE (1X) Russian Hacking; and TECH (1X) UK Spying On Workers.
With Donald Trump in the White House, the whole world seems to be waiting as a constant flow of orders floods the American administration and drowns out almost all other international news concerning ongoing conflicts. This has resulted in ISP creating two different topics: “US Politics” and “US Extremism”, the latter slightly dominating the former during the past fortnight. As just mentioned, these two topics together have left little room for anything less during the second half of January 2017. What is of major interest is that despite Trump’s flood of orders to be immediately executed, resistance to his administration is already gathering strength and will soon result in open opposition to Trump within the administration itself. This will force Trump and his sidekicks to retreat from at least some of their more untraditional and often outrageous demands, and perhaps even abandon some of the more impossible ones.
Intelligence, Secrecy & Power, N. 686, 31 January 2017
FULL LIST OF TOPICS BASED OF ALL NOTEWORTHY ENTRIES OF THE SECOND HALF OF JANUARY 2017
US EXTREMISM (48X) Crooks, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Liars, Wheeler-Dealers, Alternative Facts & Muslim Ban
US POLITICS (47X) Rebuking Trump, His Nominees & His Orders as Impeachment Campaign Begins
US SPOOKS (15X) CIA Torture & “Black Sites” Are Back
WESTERN EUROPE (13X) France, Britain, Holland & Cyprus
MIDDLE EAST (7X) Syria, Pakistan, Iran & Saudi Arabia
ENVIRONMENT (7X) Pipelines, Water Crisis & Global Warming
ASIA (6X) South & North Korea, China & Bangladesh
BREXIT (6X) Everybody Still Waiting To See What It Is
US COPS (5X) Even Cops Say Police Aren’t Accountable
ECONOMICS (5X) Student Loan Cheating, Weed & Wine Spending
ISRAEL/PALESTINE (5X) Ethnic Cleansing & Extremists “Going Big”
AFRICA (2X) Nigerian military “mistake” & Gambia’s “President For Life” Pushed Out
LATIN AMERICA (2X) No Mexican Trip To See Trump
EASTERN EUROPE (1X) Russian Hacking
TECH (1X) UK Spying On Workers
Intelligence, Secrecy & Power, N. 686, 31 January 2017
LENGTHIEST 16-31 JANUARY 2017 ENTRIES
16 JANUARY 2017
*Israeli Gov’t Plotted to Subvert British Political System with Front Groups, ‘Take Down’ Critics/ AlterNet\ An Israeli embassy official planned to set up a pro-Israel front group to influence Labour Party policy. An undercover investigation has exposed how an official working in Israel’s embassy in the United Kingdom planned to “take down” lawmakers who supported Palestinian rights and to create pro-Israel political groups that claimed to be independent. Shai Masot, a senior political officer at Israel’s embassy in London and an officer in the Israeli army, was caught on camera plotting with a Conservative British civil servant to target the deputy foreign minister and “pro-Arab” members of Parliament who are on a “hitlist.” After Masot’s comments were exposed, the Israeli government distanced itself from the diplomat and said it would be ending his position at the embassy. The UK Foreign Office immediately declared the issue to be “closed.” Hours later, however, another revelation dropped: The Israeli embassy official was also planning to set up an ostensibly independent pro-Israel group to influence Labour Party policy, while hiding its links to the Israeli government. He also despised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whom he disparaged as “crazy.” The Labour shadow foreign secretary called for an investigation into the scandal and characterized the Israeli embassy’s plans as “a national security issue.”
17 JANUARY 2017
*UK – Rolling Coverage of Theresa May’s Brexit Speech, With Analysis and Updates/ Guardian\ Theresa May’s Brexit speech – Summary and key extracts – Key points from May’s Brexit speech: what have we learned? Closing summary – Just over six hours after Theresa May began her much-touted speech on Brexit, it’s time for a summary of what we’ve learned today. May has set out her Brexit plans over 12 points in a speech at Lancaster House in London. Key among these was a commitment for the UK to leave the EU’s single market, and that MPs and peers will get a final vote on the deal. Other elements of the speech included that the UK would not be a full member of the customs union, but would hope to strike some sort of tariff-free deal, and continue to cooperate over areas like crime and anti-terrorism. May said that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal”, raising the possibility of the UK leaving the EU on default World Trade Organisation rules. She also reiterated Philip Hammond’s threat that if the EU failed to offer a good deal, the UK could move to become a low-tax regime to poach investment. May said she hoped to guarantee the continued rights of overseas EU citizens in the UK but that a handful of countries had still not yet offered a reciprocal deal for UK nationals. Downing Street later confirmed that May’s speech formed the entirety of the government’s promised Brexit plan, meaning there will be no white paper on the proposed deal. May’s spokeswoman also said that the parliamentary vote would not stop Brexit, raising the likelihood that if MPs turned down the eventual deal the UK would leave the EU under WTO trade rules. Political reaction to the speech saw Jeremy Corbyn said May wanted to turn the UK into a “bargain basement tax haven”, while his Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, said he took it to mean the government was ruling out a hard Brexit. The Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, said May had outlined “Nigel Farage’s vision of Britain’s relationship with Europe”.
30 JANUARY 2017
*Trump broadcasts his national security directives/ Secrecy News\ National security directives are among the most important tools the President has for managing his administration and for conducting US policy on national defense, foreign relations, intelligence, nuclear weapons and other matters of consequence. At the end of last week, President Trump publicly issued his first three national security directives, designated National Security Presidential Memoranda (NSPMs). NSPM-1 is entitled “Rebuilding the US Armed Forces.” It requires a “readiness review”, and calls for a new Nuclear Posture Review and a Ballistic Missile Defense Review. In a nod towards legal and fiscal reality, it says “This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.” NSPM-2 is devoted to the “Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.” It modifies the NSC structure towards something resembling a compromise between or a hybrid of the Obama and Bush NSC structures, and borrows language from the Bush directive. Notably, however, it elevates “the Chief Strategist,” i.e. Stephen K. Bannon of Breitbart News, to membership in the NSC Principals Committee. This is a striking departure from past practice that injects an extreme political perspective into the national security policymaking process. At the same time, the Trump directive diminishes the NSC role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence. NSPM-3 calls for a “Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”
*Pakistani crackdown [on jihadists]: One hand works to neutralize the other/ By James M. Dorsey\ Pakistan has put one of the world’s most wanted men under house arrest in a half-hearted crackdown on a militant group with close ties to the military and intelligence in a bid to persuade President Donald J. Trump from adding the country to those whose citizens were last week banned from travelling to the United States. Pakistani media reports and analysts said the move against Hafez Muhammad Saeed, a leader of the banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its alleged front, Jamaat-ud-Din (JuD), came after US officials days before the inauguration of Mr. Trump gave Pakistan until January 31 to respond to complaints by the Bangkok-based Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) about various JuD financial transactions. Mr. Saeed is believed to be among others responsible for the 2008 attacks on 12 targets in Mumbai, including the Taj Mahal Hotel, a train station, a café and a Jewish centre. Some 164 people were killed and more than 300 wounded. The US government has a bounty of $10 million on Mr. Saeed for information leading to his capture.
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