Trump won’t release Democratic memo, sends back to committee

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(Donald is ‘FAKE NEWS’ Trump shows is cowardliness, again!)(trs)

Trump won’t release Democratic memo, sends back to committee

(CNN)President Donald Trump won’t release the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority at this time, and has sent it back to the House Intelligence Committee for changes.

In a letter to the committee, White House counsel Donald McGahn said, “although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum, because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time.”
Trump had said earlier Friday he planned to release the memo.
“It’s gonna be released soon,” Trump told reporters at the White House, adding, “We’re going to release a letter.”
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the 10-page Democratic memo, and the committee rules gave Trump five days to decide whether to block or allow its release.
The memo from Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, was written to rebut the Republican memo released one week prior, which accuses the FBI of suppressing Democratic ties to an opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia used in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant for former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
Schiff and other Democrats charge that the Republican memo led by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes of California is misleading and omits key facts, including that the FISA application did state that ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was paid by a political entity.
“The Democratic response sets out the material facts that were necessary for the public to see that the FBI acted properly in seeking a FISA warrant on Carter Page,” Schiff said in a statement. “After promising to treat the Democratic response in precisely the same way, the White House now seeks to have the Democratic memo sent back to committee and revised by the same Majority that produced the flawed Nunes document to begin with.”
The White House included a letter signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray that says they have identified portions of the Democratic memo that would raise national security or law enforcement concerns if released publicly.
Trump cited concerns from the Justice Department and FBI in his objection to releasing the Democratic memo. But Trump ignored those concerns when he decided to release the Republican memo last week — despite the FBI releasing a rare statement to say the Nunes memo omitted key information and the Justice Department raising “grave concerns” about its release without proper review.
Trump’s objection puts the committee in uncharted waters, as the committee used an obscure rule that had never been invoked before to vote to release both memos.
The White House allowed the Nunes memo to be made public. But with the objection to the Democratic memo, there is a procedure available to the House to override the objection and make it public anyway.
That would require a vote of the full House after a rare debate in closed session for the full chamber.
But it’s not clear whether Republicans will be willing to take that step, and the GOP committee members were hesitant about defying Trump on the memo earlier this week.
At the committee’s Monday meeting where it voted to release the memo, Nunes expressed concerns that the Democratic memo went further than the Republican document in disclosing sources and methods.
“This memo contains a large volume of classified information, including some touching on sources and methods heightening the potential damage to national security,” Nunes said.
Schiff said he gave his memo to the Justice Department and FBI so they could review for national security concerns in addition to just a White House review, as he expressed concerns there would be “political redactions” to the memo.
“In order to rebut the errors, omissions and distortions in the Republican-drafted memo, we have included certain details beyond the revelations made public by the release of the majority’s document,” Schiff said.
Democrats immediately cried foul at the decision to send the Democratic memo back to the committee.
“The President’s double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “The rationale for releasing the Nunes memo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that’s harmful to him. Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: what is he hiding?”

Trump Lavishes Praise On Rob Porter Of Domestic Violence Fame

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Trump lavishes praise on Rob Porter, former top aide accused of domestic violence

 February 9 at 2:29 PM 
 1:11
Trump on former White House aide: ‘He says he’s innocent’

President Trump wished former White House aide Rob Porter “a wonderful career” on Feb. 9, saying Porter “says he’s innocent.”

President Trump on Friday afternoon lavished praise on one of his former top aides, Rob Porter, who resigned earlier this week amid accusations that he physically, verbally and emotionally abused his two ex-wives.

“We wish him well; he worked very hard,” Trump said to a small group of reporters at the White House, providing his first public comments on the topic. “We found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well, and it’s a tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, and he will have a great career ahead of him. But it was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly he’s also very sad now. He also, as you probably know, says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent, so you have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well. He did a very good job when he was at the White House.”

In interviews with The Washington Post and other media outlets, Porter’s ex-wives have accused him of physically and emotionally abusing them during their marriages. Both said that they informed the FBI in January 2017 of their allegations while they were being interviewed by agents as part of Porter’s security clearance review.

Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, has accused him of throwing her down and punching her in the face during a trip to Florence in 2005 and provided photos showing her with a black eye. Porter’s second wife, Jennie Willoughby, received a temporary emergency protective order in Arlington, Va., in June 2010 after saying Porter refused to leave her residence, in violation of their separation agreement. She said he broke her window, causing his knuckles to bleed. Porter has denied these accusations and disputed Holderness’s account of how she received a black eye.

“These outrageous allegations are simply false,” Porter said in a statement. “I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.”

Trump’s comments on Friday echo the strong support Porter received from the White House this week. When the allegations were first reported by the DailyMail.com on Tuesday, Chief of Staff John F. Kelly came to Porter’s defense and called the allegations “slanderous and simply false.”

“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can’t say enough good things about him,” Kelly said in a statement at the time. “He is a friend, a confidant and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”

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Kelly urged Porter to stay in his job, even after photos became public on Wednesday showing his first wife’s blackened eye. On Wednesday night, after Porter had resigned, Kelly issued a statement condemning Porter’s alleged abuses and stated that “there is no place for domestic violence in our society.”

This is not the first time that the president has continued to embrace men close to him who have been accused of assault. In July 2016, Trump called his longtime friend Roger Ailes — who had just been ousted from Fox News amid accusations that he sexually harassed at least two-dozen women — “a very, very good person” and cast suspicion on the accusers. In April last year, Trump said that Bill O’Reilly — who, it had recently been revealed, paid millions of dollars in settlements to five women who had accused him of sexual or verbal abuse — “a good person” who should not have settled, because “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” Late last year, Trump continued to support Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore — who was accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers — and noted that Moore “totally denies it.”

And Trump himself has been accused of abuse by 13 women who have publicly claimed that Trump touched or kissed them without their permission. Trump has denied all of these accusations and cast all of his accusers as liars. In a 2005 “Access Hollywood” interview caught on a hot microphone, Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”

 

FBI report on Martin Luther King Jr. among documents in JFK files

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)

 

Explosive FBI report on Martin Luther King Jr. among documents in JFK files

Martin Luther King addresses in Paris on March 29, 1966.

 AFP / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON — The FBI prepared a secret 20-page analysis of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. containing explosive allegations about King’s political ties and sexual activity, just a month before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

One section of the document, which was among files related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy released on Friday, alleges that King was attracted to former member of the Communist Party in America. It notes that two previous aides were party members and eight others, who helped shape King’s organization in its early stages, had communist affiliations.

It’s unclear whether the FBI verified any of the allegations contained in the document, which is dated March 12, 1968.

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/embed/video/?v=ce424fcaafda7a7ed19c81fd3499b1c06ec9fb35#xVdtj9u4Ef4rgj4cWsC09WZZMhAUuU22m2Rv48bZtNeoMCiRsrgrkQIp%2BWUX%2Fu%2BdkWTvepvgDsU1BQxIIofPzDx8hhw%2F2hvBuLLnjzZrNW2EkvY8cKcju6p3n3j%2Bjtlz2ykf9Ot2xVerG%2FOpcMPl9cUvl9NoE6Xs1%2Fp6884e2U3RVqmkogTzomlqM08mySRLjeRb44%2FhRZgG4LNxpqpkUrRpMhHJRCcTz3FnycR1k4kTwBeL0ixzI%2BI5YUgCGkQk9vKY%2BJETBKkfxd7USyYnb8kkDJydHzrwEqWhk8b5LPOyGeUzL%2BCuFztBnnkRnfox%2BnB8giGRu11B3MAPPM8hA8D4rl5jHqoWmaQVhzwufl7eHIcWVHPZLMt2DROIARO8FkYxsHRHtuHUIHW2a%2BPHugLrfkJnSG5RGnykogGScYnjOCO7Fkiv%2FzYN9boR7c1mh%2F72NXrHFSO71UdGO0JFTRkxjea0EnI9HvjtOa04ExQe9e4lqa4TRb7jup4fzcKehxUmt3r%2Fj6tVz4O7cr47Ma78NrIPIwxptaFaUNms6kJJ%2Ft2ULr7ohTtVLHxY7s9SerH%2BRybYefxmLg1NS958N5lPn9Lq2vzt9vZ29%2FHbyQwAPzKb3uUpHX99Fr4XOM8SkHV4Vzx8nKq%2F%2F3P6lIC%2F%2Fs%2BAmdrKUlH2x4XqRisIZlzVwUvWVfN9yj%2B8u1jx6%2BrzzWwrv005rv6RfIO%2FE9lbkYuz0GdndLPpx2r1ZZVfCedZ8N2iH0P47Ilw3VT1eahh8CzUuGK%2Fxm%2FW9ecv9z8%2FhdotOob6WFEpcm6auYT6OeBcf7bXceSH%2FpizNc8zM5a8SSZKMg72LJn8hbZN8Qqy%2BomKvH61cRz3J1PCJfDqsXssNM%2FF7vCYwmbdH%2FqxS1HyBW2Kw5D%2Ff5N6HGLqL%2FCecsiD6nAif%2BCcbIoxvacVFQXr03hIJj3CfN7ols9zWhp%2BGGemwivnCDYGsCdkEMfvQBa%2FgWwarjudnYAP9gH20bSpybRIObtQsukul0e4uvkWjwG7w3pmpO0eeGQLEzpQC7mmMiuE4WcTb3cgirORIIJ9QdhhtPNc15obuL5kW5ajvl9oRINu7atWMs2ZsSqlufX%2B8oPFVNbi5WcszUu4FDk7E33fF2y323PBd6DYFvRwBOHIXX5PTnDkCJdM8IbtL%2BLfY4%2Fu207s4dTP4yn3SO4GMQli6C0i6uWExywNYxbNUp7bQ4KM38OKXzArwzPNG2utNlxLxD7PEaqKWY2ymoJb1Bj4Cdn1UZbKLWDTABysea8KaV2OrQ9cSs72VkE33Eo5lyeerHRvfQaQm241La3XGrZsw83YuqZa760lTWmjRhZWltIIn9i44Ah5RcucXICzVu8T24IytJjQPGt6YwwQZ7m2chhZqFJAP2Ys2nRTtxJ8aSOaPRp%2FEXotpKAj604JQLew0jBNJkzWGtMtwdyhDI6c1VpVquDsSBzKIYcSfCYF0BNErxYl3dtzOIVAf9k9HNWoZmHeSlQzO8qZaoiv5K%2B7dLER%2FWr7DqMZSzMS0ogS14XNjJnrEThdopxH1HFSx%2F7Xi6U3XTv31R4UZ%2F2pEAz2BPguIbU%2FP7Pvut185kdpnk0JYEUkcIOQpK7nQh%2FK44ilbpxFmX1asmjTN93BauNpBSERJ7Bcf%2B7482n0ZPZ5KBi%2Bq0tlgGkrTwXwUivdWKCVCu2kVULAsD9IiXWnxxatFLw96Q1MQOU9q8%2FA%2B2M760%2BG1TAK8wxqOTtOM27uoZe1sdLf8A1GDO81XR8NkJyVaHiFBQbPK4EHyVe7NUgRjixBTN0%2FBBzrh4a1oPNayS6xLU%2BPXfPAp8N45Kck9Xje7xn1c4c4Xuy6UeBGs2l8XNBvVY%2FeGq4HdApXD4yk90vwiKC%2B74N6SlEJOAiDExFL1eqM9x16MqGYawonHwO9NaD5qotnkMEKo189kYKfg%2FvBoiOwUmtN60JkH%2FjeIBt3Kr1sZc%2FDCL8uYPvXSmOfKyRrof3AVzjW6hZqbaFVLjLBZXYcpXK%2FFA%2B4PWsO16XGfVzzv2rV1p1FKxEBGG84LUVbYW3UiFI%2Biw2jxb8gEvcRZrvS6qrw9o8%2BazNkX2S0%2FE1kfEsmJ4kTkDjpJU6UJL3ESS9xghInd5p0Cn%2FmGiwwlk7hnXsU6P%2FP86CI%2F5EHYa64VqcbuGt7FoCP4hqkz6sUz83DvwE%3D

The analysis said that in the early 1960s, the Communist Party was trying to get a black labor coalition to further its goals in the United States. It referenced a May 1961 issue of a communist newspaper that stated, “Communists will do their utmost to strengthen and unite the Negro movement and ring it to the backing of the working people.”

The FBI said King and his organization were “made-to-order” to achieve these objectives.

The FBI’s surveillance of King is well-known and the analysis includes several pages about his sexual life. One document said a black minister who attended a workshop to train ministers in February 1968 in Miami “expressed his disgust with the behind-the-scene drinking, fornication and homosexuality that went on at the conference.”

“Throughout the ensuing years and until this date, King has continued to carry on his sexual aberrations secretly while holding himself out to public view as a moral leader of religious conviction,” the FBI report said. The report alleges King had extramarital affairs with a number of women and was suspected of fathering a daughter out of wedlock.

A total of 676 records were released on Friday by the National Archives, the latest batch of never-before-seen files that are expected to be rolled out over the coming weeks.

There’s more to Trump’s ‘fair’ prediction on Mueller probe than meets the eye

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

There’s more to Trump’s ‘fair’ prediction on Mueller probe than meets the eye

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trump raises questions on how he’ll act if Mueller doesn’t end his probe soon
  • “I hope that he’s going to be fair,” Trump told The New York Times

(CNN)President Donald Trump’s latest interview with The New York Times is a many layered exercise of political positioning, calculated ambiguity and veiled menace.

On the face of it, the President appears to undercut a holiday season campaign by Hill Republicans and the pro-Trump media to discredit Robert Mueller’s probe by saying he believes the special counsel will be “fair” to him.
Yet Trump raises implicit questions about how he will act if Mueller does not soon end his investigation and clear him. Other comments in the interview are already prompting new concerns about the President’s perception of his own powers of jurisdiction over the Mueller inquiry and the Justice Department itself.
Trump also used the session to direct a stinging new critique toward Jeff Sessions, revealing the President’s still boiling fury with the attorney general, which will provoke new speculation about how long the former Alabama senator will survive in his job.
The interview, conducted Thursday during Trump’s stay at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, offers a fascinating glimpse into the President’s mind and mood as the Russia investigation hangs over his administration despite a strong end-of-year streak that saw the passage of the most sweeping tax reform law in 30 years.
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He stayed true to his recent strategy of not criticizing Mueller personally, though many of his supporters among Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the pro-Trump media are waging an escalating campaign against the special counsel and arguing that his subordinates are biased against Trump.
“I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair. … There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair,” Trump said.
The President’s comments could be seen as an above-the-board attempt to ensure that Mueller’s capacity to finish his investigation is not compromised. Or perhaps his motivation is to set up a good guy/bad guy scenario as his allies continue to attack the special counsel.

Defining ‘fair’

Lead Chalian new CNN Russia poll live_00011812

  
New CNN poll on Russia 
It’s impossible to know what the President is really thinking, since his remarks are characteristically ambiguous and open to so many interpretations. They allow his supporters and adversaries to take specific messages, while allowing him plausible deniability that he is trying to lean on Mueller or Justice authorities.
One example of this is when Trump defines what fairness means in his mind: a swift conclusion by Mueller that there was no cooperation between his campaign and Russia in last year’s election. The implications of a verdict that does not measure up to his expectations remain unspecified but ominous possibilities are left hanging in the air.
“Everybody knows the answer already. There was no collusion. None whatsoever,” Trump said, before returning over and over again to the “no collusion” line throughout the interview.
While there has been no proof offered of collusion so far either by Mueller or multiple congressional investigations into the matter, no probe into the affair has yet concluded that collusion did not exist. And Trump’s comment that all Democrats say there is no collusion — while not being true — also appears to be an attempt to prejudge the outcome of the various inquiries.
Mueller is not investigating the collusion issue alone. His moves so far — for instance, the plea deal with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and interviews with White House staff — suggest he is also probing whether the President obstructed justice.
In the interview, Trump maintains that the prevailing shadow of the Russia investigation is detrimental to the best interests of the United States at large. His gambit follows reports by CNN that his lawyers have told him they believe the Mueller probe will be wrapped up soon and that he will be exonerated, despite the lack of outside signs that the special counsel is anywhere near that point.
“The only thing that bothers me about timing, I think it’s a very bad thing for the country. Because it makes the country look bad. It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Trump said.
“So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
Taken at face value, those comments can be read as evidence of altruistic concern by a head of state for the damage a divisive affair is wreaking on US political and judicial institutions, and they will be perceived that way by Trump supporters.
“We have one investigation, let alone three right right now currently going on to address issues related to the last election,” Republican Rep. Rodney Davis said on CNN’s “New Day” on Friday.
“I think the President is clear in his distaste for the disarray that any investigation causes. And I think he’s right to say that.”
Yet to critics concerned about an authoritarian streak that Trump has displayed throughout his 11 months in power, and his propensity to attack institutions like the FBI and the Justice Department, his motive in equating his personal, political interests with those of the nation may appear more sinister.
Some Republicans don’t agree with the President, saying the nation’s interests are better served by pursuing the Russia probes to their rightful end and that the investigations show the robustness of American civic institutions.
“I believe the Russia investigation, you know, speaks to our transparency in many ways,” Republican Rep. Charlie Dent told “New Day.” “The Russians meddled in our elections, and not only here but throughout the world, and it’s important this be investigated by Congress and Director Mueller.”
“We have to let him do his work and let’s see what he finds before we jump to conclusions,” Dent said.

Justice Department powers

Analyst: No job safe in Trump administration

  
Analyst: No job safe in Trump administration
Trump’s interview also contains a remarkable assertion of presidential power over the Justice Department that will do little to quell concerns among the President’s critics who fear he may eventually move to dismiss Mueller as the investigation gets ever closer to the Oval Office.
Asked whether the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server should be reopened, Trump makes a case that such a move could be within his purview.
“What I’ve done is, I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter,” Trump told the Times.
While the President can remove top Justice Department officials and the head of the FBI, presidents have traditionally sought to avoid perceptions they are influencing or politicizing the act of implementing the law.
The word “absolute” in this context is a loaded one. And should Trump order the department to end an investigation into his own conduct, he could open himself to accusations that he is obstructing justice.
The hint that Trump retains the right to use the department to investigate his enemies will raise fresh worries that he could test constitutional norms in the future.
Former US Attorney Michael Moore said Trump’s comments made him sound like a king or an emperor.
“He has absolutely no idea what his constitutional role or responsibilities or limitations are,” Moore told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Friday.
“The Justice Department is not his tool. It maintains independence for a very specific reason. It is not a tool of the administration either to persecute your political enemies or to somehow be a cheerleader for political accomplishments,” Moore said.
Trump’s interview also aimed another body blow at Sessions, who the President has repeatedly criticized for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, given Sessions’ previous role as a member of the President’s campaign team.
Trump was asked if former Attorney General Eric Holder was more loyal to his President, Barack Obama, than Sessions is to him.
“I don’t want to get into loyalty,” Trump said, while also taking a characteristic swipe at the previous administration.
“I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him,” Trump said.
“When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the President. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest,” he said.

70 Yr Old Lady Makes Ricin Poison Test It On Nursing Home Residents

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM NEWS)

 

By Jamie Ducharme

10:03 AM EST

A Vermont retiree planning to “injure herself” tested the efficacy of homemade ricin poison on other residents of Shelburne’s Wake Robin retirement community, federal investigators said.

Betty Miller, 70, made the poison herself and sprinkled it in other residents’ food and beverages, apparently to see how it would work, the Burlington Free Press reports. Miller told health care providers about her scheme on Tuesday, and law enforcement was called.

Ricin is a poison derived from castor beans, which are used to make castor oil. (Miller apparently made her homemade version using castor beans on the retirement community’s property, according to the Free Press.) The poison invades the body’s cells, preventing them from creating the right proteins until they eventually die, according to the CDC. Ricin poisoning can be fatal.

No residents reported symptoms of ricin poisoning — which, when ingested, can include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, low blood pressure, seizures and organ failure, according to the CDC — although the Free Press reports that the Vermont Department of Health became aware of one person who may have been infected but was no longer ill.

“This was an isolated incident. The toxic substance was contained; no residents were evacuated. The affected apartment was closed off and thoroughly searched,” Wake Robin President and CEO Patrick McKee said in a statement. “We have received assurances from the VT Department of Health and the FBI that no one’s health is at risk. The resident of the apartment in question is now involved with the criminal justice system and will not be returning to Wake Robin.”

Miller appeared in court on Friday, the Free Press reports, where the judge made a reference to her “mental health history.”

She is currently in custody and will return to court on Wednesday. She could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

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The Algorithm That Catches Serial Killers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘STUMBLE UPON’ AND ‘THE ATLANTIC’)

 

THE ATLANTIC SELECTS

The Algorithm That Catches Serial Killers

Nov 28, 2017 | 581 videos

Video by Freethink

“I wonder if we could teach a computer to spot serial killers in data,” Thomas Hargrove thought as he parsed the FBI’s annual homicide reports. The retired news reporter would soon answer his own question. He created an algorithm that, in his words, “can identify serial killings—and does.”

In The Dewey Decimal System of Death, a new film from FreeThink, Hargrove explains how “the real world is following a rather simple mathematical formula, and it’s that way with murder.”

The numbers are startling. According to Hargrove, since 1980, there have been at least 220,000 unsolved murders in the United States. Of those murders, an estimated 2,000 are the work of serial killers. Many of these cases are not ultimately reported to the Justice Department by municipal police departments; Hargrove has assiduously obtained the data himself. His Murder Accountability Project is now the largest archive of murders in America, with 27,00 more cases than appear in FBI records.

Hargrove has put the database to work with an algorithm that solves an informatics problem called “linkage blindness.” In the U.S. justice system, Hargrove explains, “the only way a murder is linked to a common offender is if the two investigators get together by the water cooler and talk about their cases and discover commonalities.” Hargrove’s algorithm is able to identify clusters of unsolved murders which are related by the method, location, and time of the murder, as well as the victim’s gender.

Most recently, Hargrove utilized his software to discover and alert the police department in Gary, Indiana of 15 unsolved strangulations in the area. “It was absolute radio silence,” he says in the film. “They would not talk about the possibility that there was a serial killer active.” After Hargrove was rebuffed, seven more women were killed. He says it was “the most frustrating experience of my professional life.”

Author: Emily Buder

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About This Series

A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic

Police officer in Pennsylvania shot and killed after traffic stop

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Police officer in Pennsylvania shot and killed after traffic stop

New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw

Story highlights

  • A $40,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the arrest of a suspect
  • The officer was gunned down Friday night during a traffic stop in New Kensington

(CNN) Law enforcement agencies on Saturday searched for a suspect in the death of a western Pennsylvania police officer gunned down during a traffic stop.

Brian Shaw had been a patrolman with New Kensington’s police department for less than a year before he was killed Friday night, police Chief James Klein said at a press conference.
Klein said the traffic stop resulted in a chase on foot before Shaw, 25, was shot.
“I’m asking anybody, anybody with any information as minute as they think it might be, please, please give us a call,” Klein said. “We need to find the person who did this.
New Kensington is about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
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Authorities have put up a $40,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest, according to a Pennsylvania State Police spokesman, with money pooled from multiple agencies, including the US Marshals Service, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Officers from Westmoreland County and neighboring Allegheny County, as well as Pittsburgh police, combed the area overnight and processed the scene, CNN affiliate KDKA reported.
Trooper Stephen J. Limani, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police, emphasized the importance of any information people can provide.
“If you look back in the history of many horrific incidents, a very small, a minute tip could be the tipping point to lead us in a direction of who the person was that committed this crime,” Limani said.
Shaw graduated from the Allegheny County Police Training Academy in 2014, according to a post on the Allegheny County Police Department’s Facebook page.
“Officer Brian Shaw, you were taken from us too soon,” the department wrote. “You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin tweeted his condolences to Shaw’s family and New Kensington police.
Shaw played for Slippery Rock University’s football team, according to a tweet from the school athletic department’s Twitter page.
“Words can’t describe how I feel,” head football coach Shawn Lutz told KDKA. “He was part of our 2011 and 2013 championship teams.”
Shaw was the team’s kicker, Lutz said. The university is about an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh.
“He said he wanted to be a police officer, he was a hard-working guy, such a positive young man,” Lutz said of his former player. “Every time I think about Brian, I think of such a positive guy who would be successful at anything he did.”

The History Of The CIA

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘CIA FACTBOOK’)

 

History of the CIA

CIA’s Family Tree

CIA Family Tree

Like all government agencies, the CIA was not created overnight and functioning at full capacity the following morning. In fact, there were various renditions of an intelligence agency for 6 years prior to the formal establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency. At the beginning of World War II America’s first peacetime, non-departmental intelligence organization was created. That organization moved and morphed and changed names and ownership, was dissected and dismantled before President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 creating a permanent Central Intelligence Agency.

Though our directives have changed and generations have turned, our goal to further US national security objectives remains the same. The Agency embraces its roots and celebrates the path that led to the making of America’s premier foreign intelligence agency. As we look to the future we glance at our past to trace the lineage of the CIA to its very beginnings, and to reflect on the different phases it went through, culminating in the creation of the CIA.

* * * *

Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI)

Established 11 July 1941, Duration: 337 Days

When World War II started in 1939 the State Department, Army, Navy and FBI were randomly collecting intelligence with no direction or coordination. Nor were these agencies designed to collect the strategic and economic intelligence that was needed during WWII. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, desperate for solid intelligence, was frustrated by the piecemeal, stove-piped information these agencies were providing him. To solve the problem, he created the Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI) to streamline the collection, organization, and dissemination of the intelligence that the government agencies collected. The COI was also created to conduct unconventional warfare. Roosevelt appointed World War I hero, General William “Wild Bill” Donovan, to lead the organization with a $10 million budget and 600 staffers.

William Donovan
General William “Wild Bill” Donovan

COI’s first operation was debriefing refugees in New York City who had fled war-torn Europe. Additionally, COI gathered intelligence overseas and worked closely with the British in London to gain information, training, and experience from their intelligence organizations.

As the war progressed Donovan came to the realization that he needed to move his budding organization under the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to ensure the support of the military. President Roosevelt agreed, but, he wanted to keep a portion of COI’s elements out of military hands. Roosevelt moved white propaganda, along with half of the COI’s staff, to the Office of War Information.

What was left of COI after the transition became the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on June 13, 1942. The name change fulfilled Donovan’s wish for a title that reflected the importance of ‘strategy’ in intelligence gathering and clandestine operations.

* * * *

Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

Established 13 June 1942, Duration: 3 years, 3 months

The OSS had a mandate to collect and analyze strategic information requested by the JCS and to conduct unconventional and paramilitary operations. To do this Donovan sent OSS personnel to North Africa, Europe, China, Burma, and India. However, the OSS never received complete jurisdiction over all foreign intelligence activities. The Department of State and the armed services arranged a Presidential decree that effectively banned most of OSS and several other agencies from acquiring and decoding the war’s most important intelligence intercepts. General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz kept OSS from contributing to the main American campaigns against Imperial Japan and the FBI, G-2 and Navy intelligence stood together to protect their monopoly on domestic counterintelligence work.

Nonetheless, OSS did eventually develop a capable counterintelligence apparatus of its own overseas and utilizing military, diplomatic and non-official cover, began to build a world-wide clandestine capability.

At its peak OSS employed almost 13,000 people, 35% of whom were women. Two-thirds of its ranks were comprised of US Army and Army Air Forces personnel. Civilians made up another quarter, the rest were from the Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard. Nearly 7,500 OSS employees, men and women, served overseas.

OSS Organization Chart
OSS Organization Chart

There was never an expectation that the OSS would continue to operate after the war despite Donovan’s insistence on the necessity of a peacetime intelligence Agency. President Truman took office and in late August 1945, he ordered that OSS be dismantled.

Donovan had just ten days to disassemble his agency. The Research & Analysis Branch moved to the State Department. Donovan’s Deputy was asked to stay on and help preserve the Counterintelligence Branch and the Secret Intelligence Branch, both now under the War Department in a new office dubbed the Strategic Services Unit (SSU). Donovan was not asked to stay on. On October 1, 1945, the OSS closed its doors.

* * * *

Strategic Services Unit (SSU)

Established 1 October 1945, Duration: 1 year, 5 months

SSU temporarily took over the former OSS posts in London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Cairo, Chungking, Calcutta, New Delhi, and Rangoon, as well as various smaller posts until a more permanent solution could be put in place.

In January 1946, a new National Intelligence Authority was established along with a small Central Intelligence Group (CIG). In the spring of 1946 the President and Congress decided to give SSU’s duties, responsibilities, personnel, overseas field stations, communications and logistical capabilities to CIG. The decision to do this was based exclusively on the challenge of producing coordinated intelligence assessments.

Souers
Rear Admiral Sidney Souers

The Deputy Chief of Naval Intelligence, Rear Admiral Sidney Souers, USNR, was appointed Executive Secretary of CIG and was responsible for carrying out the integration of SSU into CIG. Souers openly admitted he had no desire to run the new organization and would only do so for as long as it took to establish the organization, which was six months.

CIG screened all SSU employees and offered positions to the best of them. CIG then took over SSU’s headquarter elements in Washington and SSU ceased to exist.

* * * *

Central Intelligence Group (CIG)

Established January 1946, Duration: 1 year, 6 months

CIG was responsible for coordinating, planning, evaluating and disseminating intelligence. CIG also acquired a clandestine collection capability as well as authority to conduct independent research and analysis. This was key as CIG was no longer just coordinating the intelligence it received from government agencies, but was now producing intelligence on its own. This enlarged CIG’s personnel strength considerably.

The new organization spied overseas with employees lent to it from the Army, Navy and Department of State. CIG functioned under the National Intelligence Authority, which was composed of a presidential representative and the secretaries of State, War and Navy. Within months of its creation, CIG became the nation’s primary agency for strategic warning and management of clandestine activities abroad. Yet, it was shackled to the constraints and resistance of the Department of State and the armed services. And so, to free itself, CIG became an independent department and was renamed the Central Intelligence Agency.

* * * *

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Established 18 September 1947, Duration: 70 years

The CIA was created under the National Security Act of 1947, which President Truman signed on July 26, 1947. The CIA officially came into existence on September 18 that same year. President Truman appointed the Deputy Director of CIG, Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter as the first Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. One third of the CIA’s personnel were OSS veterans.

DCI_Roscoe Hillenkoetter.jpg
Former DCI Roscoe Hillenkoetter

The 1947 Act loosely defined CIA’s mission and while the Act did not alter the functions of CIG, it did add four broad tasks: (1) advise the National Security Council (NSC) on matters related to national security; (2) make recommendations to the NSC regarding the coordination of intelligence activities of the Departments; (3) correlate and evaluate intelligence and provide for its appropriate dissemination and (4) ” perform such other functions… as the NSC will from time to time direct…”

Two years later, President Truman signed the Central Intelligence Agency Act, which authorized CIA to secretly fund intelligence operations and conduct personnel actions outside of standard US Government procedures.

E Street Sign
CIA’s first street sign

By 1953, the Agency was an established element of government. Its contributions in the areas of political action and paramilitary warfare were recognized and respected. The Agency attracted some of the most able lawyers, academicians, and young, committed patriots in the country. They brought with them professional associations and friendships which extended to the senior levels of government.The Agency had also achieved the basic structure and scale it retained for the next twenty years. The Korean War, United States foreign policy objectives, and the Agency’s internal organizational arrangements combined to produce an enormous impetus for growth. The CIA was six times the size it had been in 1947 and three of its current five directorates had been established.

Originally housed in a sprawling set of buildings in the center of Washington, D.C., the CIA’s physical presence gave it the advantage of seeming an integral part of, rather than a separate element of, the government.

In late 1961, CIA employees began relocating from a disparate collection of buildings in Washington, DC, to a newly constructed headquarters complex in Langley, Virginia. The Original Headquarters Building (OHB) was the first home designed specifically for Agency officers, and it still serves today as an iconic symbol of CIA and its mission.

Artist's Rendering of OHB
On August 4, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill authorizing $46 million for construction of a CIA Headquarters Building. This is an artist’s rendering of OHB.

On December 17, 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act which restructured the Intelligence Community by abolishing the position of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) and creating the position the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA). The Act also created the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which oversees the Intelligence Community and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).The CIA has continued to adjust and adapt to the emerging trends of an ever-changing global landscape. Today the CIA is America’s and the world’s premier foreign intelligence agency, shaped by its resilient past. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go. We are the Nations eyes and ears, and sometimes, its hidden hand. We will continue our mission of collecting, analyzing, evaluating, and disseminating foreign intelligence to assist the President and senior US government policymakers in making decisions relating to national security now and indefinitely into the future.

Posted: Apr 10, 2007 08:04 AM
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2017 01:13 PM

 

 

Papadopoulos represented Trump campaign at meetings with British officials, Israeli settlers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Papadopoulos represented Trump campaign at meetings with British officials, Israeli settlers

Caputo: Papadopoulos was a coffee boy

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trump’s allies have dismissed the former adviser’s influence
  • But reports show he has acted as a representative for Trump’s presidential campaign in a working capacity

Washington (CNN)He’s been dismissed as a “low-level volunteer” and just a “coffee boy,” but former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos represented the Trump campaign at various meetings with foreign officials up until Inauguration Day.

In October, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI “about the timing, extent, and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials,” according to court filings.
The former adviser pushed to set up a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-candidate Donald Trump and had a meeting in April 2016 with a professor who told him that “the Russians” possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court filings.
Ever since the charges were unsealed last week, Trump’s allies have dismissed the former adviser’s influence.
The President called Papadopoulos a “young, low-level volunteer” on Twitter. Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo said he was nothing but a “coffee boy” for the campaign. And White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he was on a “volunteer advisory council that met one time over the course of a year.”
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But reports show he has acted as a representative for Trump’s presidential campaign in a working capacity and as an expert with insight into campaign operations around the world up until January 2017.

Meeting regarding Israel

A video obtained by The Jerusalem Post shows that he met with Israeli settlers around Inauguration Day in Washington.
“We had an excellent meeting with (Yossi Dagan, a leader of a West Bank settler group) and we hope that the people of Judea and Samaria will have a great 2017,” Papadopoulos said. “We are looking forward to ushering in a new relationship with all of Israel, including the historic Judea and Samaria.”
Judea and Samaria are the biblical names used by some in the Israeli government and some pro-Israel groups to argue that the West Bank territory is Jewish land.

AJC panel

At the time of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Papadopoulos spoke at a foreign policy panel hosted by the American Jewish Committee. Other program panelists included Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee and Reps. Tom Marino, R-Pennsylvania, and Ted Yoho, R-Florida.
Based on a review of event video, he was not introduced as a campaign adviser. But in remarks, Papadopoulos referenced at least once working for the campaign. He did not discuss issues connected to Russia.
The AJC, in a statement last week, described his participation as part of a broader effort by the group to maintain contacts “among advisers to both parties’ 2016 presidential candidates and in the two parties’ national committees.”
“Among the panelists in our 2016 Republican National Convention program — in a session titled ‘Defining America’s Role in Global Affairs’ — was George Papadopoulos, then a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser,” the statement continued.

Meeting with British government official

Two months before the presidential election, a British government official met with Papadopoulos for a “working level meeting,” a British foreign office spokesperson said in a statement.
“As you would expect in the run-up to an election, we seek to build links with figures in both the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. This type of outreach is normal diplomatic business,” the spokesperson said.
The statement said that such meetings are “merely about building links” and added that “representatives of presidential campaigns are treated as private citizens and we would not share confidential information with them.”
  

Federal Grand Jury Approves First Charges In Mueller Investigation

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.

The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.
A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.
Mueller was appointed in May to lead the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Under the regulations governing special counsel investigations, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has oversight over the Russia investigation, would have been made aware of any charges before they were taken before the grand jury for approval, according to people familiar with the matter.
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On Friday, top lawyers who are helping to lead the Mueller probe, including veteran prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, were seen entering the court room at the DC federal court where the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the Russia investigation.
Reporters present saw a flurry of activity at the grand jury room, but officials made no announcements.
Shortly after President Donald Trump abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel. Mueller took the reins of a federal investigation that Comey first opened in July 2016 in the middle of the presidential campaign.
Mueller is authorized to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” according to Rosenstein’s order.
The special counsel’s investigation has focused on potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as obstruction of justice by the President, who might have tried to impede the investigation. CNN reported that investigators are scrutinizing Trump and his associates’ financial ties to Russia.
Mueller’s team has also examined foreign lobbying conducted by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and others. His team has issued subpoenas for documents and testimony to a handful of figures, including some people close to Manafort, and others involved in the Trump Tower meeting between Russians and campaign officials.
Last year, the Comey-led investigation secured approval from the secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor the communications of Manafort, as well as former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as part of the investigation into Russian meddling.
In addition to Mueller’s probe, three committees on Capitol Hill are conducting their own investigations.
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