Sunday, September 4, 2016

Selected Posts

Front Post: World News, Videos and Links

Vladimir Putin denies Russia role in DNC breach, asks: 'Does it even matter who hacked this data?'


News Reviews and Opinions: Barack Obama snubbed on the tarmac arrival at China G20
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Putin has Provoked US into Taking Steps that Threaten Gazprom, His Own ‘Purse,’ Portnikov Says - by paul goble

Vladimir Putin denies Russia role in DNC breach, asks: 'Does it even matter who hacked this data?' 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin personally denied his government played any part in the recent U.S. Democratic National Committee hack during an interview published Friday, while dismissing what he described as attempts to distract the public from the information contained in the thousands of DNC emails that were subsequently leaked online.

Philippine blast leaves 10 dead, several wounded in market

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DAVAO, Philippines (AP) - Philippine officials say an explosion at a night market in the hometown of the country's president has left up to 10 people dead and several others wounded.
Regional military commander Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero says it was not immediately clear what caused the explosion late ...

Russia waging daily cyberattacks because of Olympic ban: World Doping Agency director 

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The director of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Thursday said the organization has been subjected to daily cyberattacks in the weeks since its investigators accused Russian athletes of using performance-enhancing drugs ahead of last month's Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
"We have experienced hacking attempts every day for ...

Putin says Russia didn't hack US Democratic Party

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MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin says Russia wasn't involved in the hacking of emails of the U.S. Democratic Party, but thinks the release of the information was a benefit.
Some American officials have claimed that Russian military intelligence was behind the hacking, which provoked a political scandal in the ...

Obama's Asian pivot leaves closer ties, new challenges

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BEIJING (AP) - As Barack Obama embarks on what is likely to be his final trip to Asia as president, attention is returning to what is known as the U.S. "pivot" to the continent launched during his first term.
The policy adjustment aimed to reinforce alliances and shift military assets ...

Obama Rejects Recommendationfor VA Reform

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President Obama is disputing a recommendation to change the governance structure of the Department of Veterans Affairs network of hospitals, saying it would undermine the authority of bureaucrats overseeing the agency-run facilities.
The proposal was one of several included in the final report of the Commission on Care, an independent panel established by Congress to examine the VA’s hospital network after veterans were found to have died waiting for care as agency employees kept secret lists to conceal long appointment waits in 2014.
Obama sent a letter to Congress on Thursday reacting to the commission’s final report of recommendations, which the Washington Free Beacon first reported in July. While he agreed with the majority of the commission’s 18 recommendations, Obama expressed “concerns” about establishing a board of directors responsible for the overall governance of the VA health care system.
“I have concerns with the Commission’s proposed governance structure for the VA health care system,” Obama wrote. “The proposal would undermine the authority of the Secretary and the Under Secretary for Health, weaken the integration of the VA health care system with the other services and programs provided by the VA, and make it harder—not easier—for VA to implement transformative change.”
Obama also said that he was told by the Justice Department that the recommendation “would violate the Appointments Clause of the Constitution,” though he didn’t expand on the reason for this concern.
In its final report, which outlined a plan for “far-reaching organizational transformation” at the VA, the commission cited “weak governance” as one of the root causes of the Phoenix VA wait list scandal uncovered more than two years ago. As a solution, the panel recommended that Congress provide for the formation of an 11-member board of directors, accountable to the president, that would be “responsible for overall VHA Care System governance” and would have “decision-making authority to direct the transformation process and set long-term strategy.” The board would also not be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, under the commission’s recommendations.
“The governance limitations made evident in the Phoenix scandal have profound implications for the long term,” the commission’s report stated. “The Commission believes [the Veterans Health Administration] must institute a far-reaching transformation of both its care delivery system and the management processes supporting it.”
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), a vocal proponent of the need for VA reform, took issue with Obama’s rejection of the recommendations.
“I am disappointed the President refuses to acknowledge the fundamental changes that need to be made to the VA’s governance structure to ensure that our nation’s veterans get the care they need in a timely manner,” McMorris Rodgers, who has introduced draft legislation that would overhaul VA health care management and delivery, told the Washington Free Beacon.
“While I am pleased the President agrees with the majority of the Commission on Care’s recommendations, more needs to be done to transform the VA into a veteran-centric system that puts veterans in charge of their health care and ensures that those charged with caring for our heroes are accountable for their performance.”
The 15-member commission spent months receiving testimony, visiting VA facilities, and reviewing an agency-commissioned independent assessment released a year ago that found the VA’s network of hospitals facing crises in leadership and culture that warrant “system-wide reworking.”
Reaction to the commission’s nearly 300-page final report has been mixed, with some describing its contents as encouraging and others saying the recommendations do not go far enough. Two members of the commission declined to sign the final report and wrote a letter of dissent that said the proposals fell “far short of what is needed” to transform veterans’ health care. The dissenting commissioners did, however, credit the proposed establishment of a board of directors to oversee the transformation process at the VA.
“The central problem is that these recommendations focus primarily on fixing the existing VHA provider operations, rather than boldly transforming the overall veterans’ health care system,” wrote Stewart Hickey, former national executive director for AMVETS, and Darin Selnick, senior veterans affairs adviser for Concerned Veterans for America, a veterans group that has been critical of the recommendations.
“President Obama’s letter doubles down on the Commission on Care’s recommendations, which would keep access to health care in the clenches of the VA bureaucracy and out of the hands of the veterans who need it,” Dan Caldwell, the vice president of policy and communications at Concerned Veterans for America, told the Free Beacon.
Lawmakers, who return to Capitol Hill next week, have stressed the need to review the findings of the report in detail. The House Committee on Veterans Affairs has already planned a hearing next Wednesday to review the Commission on Care report and discuss the future of VA health care, and the Senate VA committee has also scheduled a hearing on the agency health care system for the same day.
“I’m pleased the president has reviewed and responded to the commission’s report, which our committee looks forward to examining in detail during our upcoming Sept. 7 hearing,” Rep. Jeff Miller (R., Fla.), who chairs the House committee, told the Free Beacon. “But VA will never be fixed until President Obama and his administration get serious about holding VA employees who can’t or won’t do their jobs accountable and stop undermining laws that were designed to reform the department.”
“I am committed to ensuring veterans have timely access to quality health care, and I look forward to our Senate committee’s hearing on the Commission’s recommendations later this month,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.), who chairs the committee in the Senate.
Despite legislative efforts to reform the VA, some veterans have continued to face long waits for appointments and other shortcomings at VA facilities across the country. As of Aug. 15, more than 510,000 veterans were waiting more than 30 days for care at VA hospitals, according to agency data.
VA Secretary Robert McDonald has been criticized by lawmakers and veterans groups for dismissingthe need to monitor veterans’ wait times and for shelving the agency’s fast-track firing powers to punish misconduct. McDonald concurred with Obama’s assessment of the Commission on Care report on Thursday.
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FBI Releases Clinton EmailInvestigation Files

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The FBI on Friday publicly released files from its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private emailserver, including a summary of
the bureau’s interview with Clinton in July.
The documents undermine Clinton’s claims that she used her personal email for official business out of the convenience of carrying only one device.
According to the documents, the FBI identified 13 different mobile devices associated with Clinton’s two known phone numbers that could have been used to send or receive emails on her personal system. Investigators found that Clinton used 11 different BlackBerry devices “in succession,” eight of them during her tenure at the State Department.
the Justice Department
asked Clinton’s attorneys at Williams & Connolly to turn over the 13 devices, the lawyers said in February that “they were unable to locate any of these devices,” according to the documents.
“As a result, the FBI was unable to acquire or forensically examine any of these 13 mobile devices,” the documents state.
Additionally, investigators also identified five iPads associated with Clinton that could have been used to send emails from her personal system. The FBI obtained three of the devices, one of which had emails from Clinton’s personal server that did not contain classified information.
When news of Clinton’s personal email use at the State Department first broke in March 2015, she said during a press conference that she used personal email to conduct official business out of “convenience.”
“I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two,” Clinton said then.
The FBI also found that State Department employees were sent a notice on Clinton’s behalf in 2011 warning them against using personal email for official business because of “information security concerns.”
“State employees were cautioned about security and records retention concerns regarding the use of personal e-mail. In 2011, a notice to all State employees was sent on Clinton’s behalf, which recommended employees avoid conducting State business from personal e-mail accounts due to information security concerns,” the documents released Friday state. “Clinton stated she did not recall this specific notice, and she did not recall receiving any guidance from State regarding e-mail policies outlines in the State [Foreign Affairs Manual].”
The FBI began investigating Clinton’s use of personal email last year, in response to a referral from the inspector general of the intelligence community. While the FBI did not ultimately recommend charges be brought
against Clinton or her aides, Director James Comey faulted them for being “extremely careless” in their handling of highly-classified information.
The FBI also found that, contrary to Clinton’s claims, more than 100 emails on her private system contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. Investigators also concluded that hostile actors possibly gained access to Clinton’s server.
When questioned about email chains containing information marked “(C),” which denotes classified material, Clinton told investigators that she didn’t know what the marking meant and speculated that it was used to label paragraphs “in alphabetical order,” according to the newly-released documents.
“When asked about the e-mail chain containing ‘(C)’ portion markings that State determined to currently contain CONFIDENTIAL information, Clinton stated she did not know what the ‘(C)’ meant at the beginning of the paragraphs and speculated it was for referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order,” the documents state.
Clinton also indicated to investigators that she was not concerned about email discussions about future drone strikes containing classified information.
“After reviewing an email dated [redacted] with subject line [redacted] CLINTON stated she did not remember the email specifically. CLINTON stated deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her cause for concern regarding classification,” the documents state. “CLINTON understood this type of conversation as part of the routine deliberation process. Moreover, she recalled many conversations about future strikes that have never occurred.”
Reports surfacedearlier this week that the FBI would publicly release documents related to the investigation as early as Wednesday, in response to multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The report was submitted to the Justice Department in July, and portions of the investigative report have also been given to Congress.
“Today the FBI is releasing a summary of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s July 2, 2016 interview with the FBI concerning allegations that classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on a personal email server she used during her tenure,” the bureau said in astatementFriday. “We also are releasing a factual summary of the FBI’s investigation into this matter.”
FBI Director James Comey publicly announced that no charges would be recommended at a July 5 press conference, days after the bureau interviewed Clinton for several hours in connection with the investigation.
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This post will be updated as further information becomes available.
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Trump Campaign Didn’t Pay Nearly a Dozen Senior Aides, Including Paul Manafort 

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Donald Trump’s campaign did not pay former campaign manager Paul Manafort along with at least nine other senior staffers, consultants, and advisers, according to a Reuters review of federal campaign finance filings published Friday.
California state director Tim Clark, communications director Michael Caputo, and two senior aides who departed from the campaign in June to work for a Trump Super PAC were among those who did not receive a paycheck from the Trump campaign.
Campaigns have traditionally paid people in many of those positions six-figure annual salaries. By comparison, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook was paid roughly $10,000 in July, equaling the amount President Obama’s campaign manager earned in 2012.
“It’s unprecedented for a presidential campaign to rely so heavily on volunteers for top management positions,” Paul Ryan, deputy executive director at the Campaign Legal Center, told Reuters.
Trump and his aides have often pointed to his campaign’s low spending as evidence of the business mogul’s management abilities. His campaign has so far spent $89.5 million total, roughly a third of what Clinton’s campaign has spent, according to Reuters.
Caputo told a radio station in Buffalo after his resignation that he was not volunteering for the campaign, but instead had not yet been paid. He told Reuters on Thursday the Trump campaign still had not paid his invoices.
The Trump campaign called the report “sloppy at best.”
FEC filings showed Manafort’s deputy Rick Gates, who effectively worked as Trump’s campaign manager for more than two months, also worked for free. Other free laborers include finance chairman Steven Mnuchin, national political director Rick Wiley, and senior adviser Barry Bennett.
Former Chris Christie campaign manager Ken McKay and Manafort lobbying associate Laurance Gay also did not receive paychecks from the Trump campaign. McKay and Gay left the campaign in June and began working for the Trump-backed Super PAC, Rebuilding America Now. The PAC paid each of the former senior-level Trump advisers $60,000 in June.
Federal campaign finance law bars people working for campaigns or those who have insider knowledge of a campaign from working for a Super PAC for at least 120 days. McKay and Gay both told Reuters they were volunteering for Trump so the law did not apply.
Kellyanne Conway, who joined the Trump campaign July 1 and now works as his campaign manager, was not paid by the campaign in July, according to Reuters.
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Clinton Says Could Not Recall All Briefings Due to Concussion

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Hillary Clinton told the FBI she did not recall all the briefings she received on handling sensitive information as she made the transition from her post as U.S. secretary of state, due to a concussion suffered in 2012, according to a report released Friday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a summary of the July 2 interview it conducted with the Democratic presidential candidate, as well as other details of its investigation into her use of a private email server while heading the State Department.
Clinton, who is challenging Republican Donald Trump for the White House in the Nov. 8 election, has been dogged by the fallout from her private email account for more than a year.
Republicans have repeatedly attacked Clinton over the issue, helping drive opinion polls that show many U.S. voters doubt her trustworthiness.
Clinton has said that in hindsight she regretted using a private email system while secretary of state.
Said the report, “Clinton said she received no instructions or direction regarding the preservation or production of records from (the) State (Department) during the transition out of her role as Secretary of State in 2013.
“However, in December of 2012, Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot (in her head). Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received,” the report said.
According to the report, Clinton told the FBI that she did not set up a private email server to sidestep the law requiring her to keep her business communications a matter of public record.
Clinton has claimed it was public knowledge to many State Department employees that she was using a private server because they received emails from her email domain.
But State Department employees interviewed by the FBI said many emails from Clinton appeared to be from “H” and did not show her private email domain.
The documents also show that Clinton contacted former Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2009 to ask about his use of a personal BlackBerry phone.
In his reply to Clinton via email, Powell told Clinton to “be very careful” because the work-related emails she sent on her BlackBerry could become public record.
“I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data,” Powell said.
The FBI released its report on Friday afternoon before the Labor Day holiday weekend, a time many Americans are preparing to travel.
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CNN Fact Check Confirms Clinton Aide Destroyed Mobile Devices With Hammers 

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CNN confirmed live on air Friday that a Hillary Clinton aide destroyed some of the former secretary of state’s used mobile devices with hammers, affirming information contained in the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s private email server.
The discussion of mobile devices being destroyed by State Department personnel came after the FBI released on Friday files from its investigation, including notes from a lengthy interview with Clinton.
A former Clinton pollster, Bernard Whitman, called the hammering a good method of disposal on CNN.
“They destroyed Blackberrys with hammers in the State Department,” Donald Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn charged.
Whitman tried to interrupt and defend Clinton until Baldwin had to pause the conversation and go to CNN correspondent Evan Perez to confirm what Epshteyn said.
“Evan, Evan, Evan, hold on, can you fact check? Hang on, hang on, hang on, Evan Perez, hammers?” Baldwin said. “Fact check that for me please, on the fly,”
“Yes, they did, Brooke,” Perez said. “As you mentioned there were 13 devices, mobile device and five iPads that the FBI said that in some way were used with her private email server and they did, in some cases, just destroy them with hammers when they were done using them.”
“That’s a pretty good way of destroying a device,” Whitman said.
“No, it’s not,” Epshteyn said. “That is absolutely not following the rules and regulations of the State Department, you know it.”
The FBI documents reveal that Clinton aide Justin Cooper destroyed the then-secretary of state’s Blackberry cell phones on multiple occasions.

Is PKK moving the war closer to the Black Sea?

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ERBIL, Kurdistan Region-- Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) recent attacks on army installations around the Black Sea areas, north of Turkey, are marking a new trend in the group's urban warfare.

PKK's attack on the convoy of the Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu on August 25 in the area, sent shock-waves in Turkey as many interpreted the drive by shooting as a new form of guerrilla actions in new territories far away from the Kurdish southeast.

The PKK quickly "regretted" the attack and said that Kiliçdaroglu was not the aim of the operation, but the military convoy escorting him was. 

At least three bloody attacks, including the August 19 bombing in Trabzon, have been carried out by a group that is presumably supported by the PKK, called the United Peoples Revolutionary Movement (HBDH). The new umbrella group, which includes 9 other leftist factions, was formally declared last March. 

"The PKK's influence in this area is limited to small actions since Turkish national sentiments are considerably higher here and prevent the PKK to have grassroots support," says Ali Kucuk Dursin, a former member of the PKK with knowledge about Karadeniz area near the Black Sea. 

Kucuk Dursin says the PKK has long tried to "exhaust" the army by spreading the war to other areas in the country. 

"This was a strategy clearly followed in the mid-1990s but with various degrees of success in different regions," he explained. 

Karadeniz region is a relatively vast area that encompasses dozens of small and larger cities including Samson and Trabzon. 

"The PKK is unlikely to find a base in this area but its ties to the HBDH can change the state of affairs rather swiftly," said local journalist Ercan Kantemir. "No one becomes a PKK here, but many are already with the new group."

"To counter the PKK, the government has hired over 750 local village guards which basically patrol the area against PKK attackers," Kantemir explained.
According to Kucuk Dursin the groups affiliated with the HBDH are "too small" and "too disorganized" for any major clashes. 

"But the fact that the government has hired so many village guards shows the PKK has made some impressions," Dursin said.

Pentagon is worrying about 'Terminator' coming true. Seriously.

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Washington — The idea behind the Terminator films – specifically, that a Skynet-style military network becomes self-aware, sees humans as the enemy, and attacks – isn’t too far-fetched, one of the nation’s top military officers said this week.
Nor is that kind of autonomy the stuff of the distant future. “We’re a decade or so away from that capability,” said Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
With such a sci-fi prospect looming, top military thinkers and ethicists are beginning to consider the practical consequences. But the more they do, the more it’s clear that there is considerable disagreement about just how much freedom to give machines to make their own decisions.
“We have to be very careful that we don’t design [autonomous] systems in a way that we can create a situation where those systems actually absolve humans of the decision” about whether or not to use force, General Selva said. “We could get dangerously close to that line, and we owe it to ourselves and to the people we serve to keep that a very bright line.”
At the same time, “The notion of a completely robotic system that can make a decision about whether or not to inflict harm on an adversary is here,” he added in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Monday. “It’s not terribly refined, not terribly good. But it’s here.”
This leaves top Pentagon officials to confront what they call the “Terminator conundrum,” and how to handle it.

The 'Russia' question 

The argument begins with an assertion: Adversaries such as Russia and China are going to build these fast-moving, fully-autonomous killing systems, so perhaps the Pentagon should design them, too – not to use them, top officials are quick to add, but to know how they work and how to counter them.
After all, they say, policymakers may need options, and it’s the job of the Pentagon to give them these options.
To this end, in a highly-anticipated report released in August, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board urged military researchers to “accelerate its exploitation of autonomy” in order to allow them to “remain ahead of adversaries who also will exploit its operational benefits.”
This leaves opponents of autonomous drone systems wary. Many nongovernmental organizations have called for bans on developing killing machines that leave humans out of the loop.
But what is “meaningful human control”?
That concept hasn’t been well-defined, says Paul Scharre, director of the 20YY Future of Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security.
What is clear is that humans can’t be involved solely in a “push button way,” Mr. Scharre says. Rather, the humans supervising these systems must be “cognitively engaged.”
Scharre points to two fratricides in 2003 caused when malfunctioning Patriot missile systems shot down a US F-16 fighter jet and a British Tornado over Iraq.
“One of the problems with the fratricides was that people weren’t exercising judgment. They were trusting in an automated system, and people weren’t monitoring it.” 

Humans are slow 

But the Pentagon’s debates get murkier from there. If an adversary were to develop an effective fully-automated system, it would likely react much faster than a US system that requires human checks and balances. In that scenario, the human checks could cost lives.
Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics – essentially, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer – has signaled that he differs from Selva. If people always have oversight of autonomous weapons, he says, that could put the US at a disadvantage.
“Even in a more conventional conflict, we’re quite careful about not killing innocent civilians,” Mr. Kendall noted at the Army Innovation Summit last month. “I don’t expect our adversaries to all behave that way, and the advantage you have if you don’t worry about that as much is you make decisions more quickly.”
After all, many weapons systems could be easily and effectively automated, including tanks that could sense incoming rounds and take out the source of them, he argued.
“It would take nothing to automate firing back, nothing,” Kendall told the audience according to the online publication Breaking Defense. “Others are going to do it. They are not going to be as constrained as we are, and we’re going to have a fundamental disadvantage if we don’t.”
But global bans on autonomous weapons are also problematic, Selva said. “It’s likely there will be violators.”
“In spite of the fact that we don’t approve of chemical or biological weapons, we know there are entities, both state and nonstates, that continue to pursue that capability,” he said.
Moreover, he noted that these questions put him – as a military man – in a difficult position. “My job as a military leader is to witness unspeakable violence on an enemy.... Our job is to defeat the enemy.”

The astonishing 'Go' experiment 

Removing humans from that decision to inflict violence could prove highly unpredictable in good and bad ways. That was brought out with dramatic effect at an event earlier this year pitting a Google-developed DeepMind machine against a top-level player of the complex game “Go.”
The machine, which humans had trained to learn, made a move that astonished Go commentators. “The move that the computer made was so unexpected and counterintuitive that it blew commentators away,” notes Scharre. “At first they thought it was a fake, and then it set in, the brilliance of the move.”
The point, Scharre says, is that “no matter how much testing is done, we’ll always see surprises when machines are placed into real-world environments.”
It’s particularly true in competitive environments – epitomized by war – where adversaries will try to hack, trick, or manipulate the system, he adds.
“Sometimes the surprises are good,” Scharre says, such as the Go move that was calculated by experts to be a “brilliant, beautiful” move that only 1 in 10,000 humans would have made.
In other cases, the surprises are unwelcome, highlighting the unexpected and tragic flaws that led to the Patriot air defense fratricides.
“Better testing and evaluation is good, but it can only take us so far. At a certain point, we will either have to decide to keep a human in the loop, even if only as a fail-safe,” he adds, “Or we will have to accept the risks that come with deploying these systems.”

Weighing the benefits  

“In some cases, the benefits of autonomy may outweigh the risks,” Scharre says.
Speed of decisionmaking is one example. Innovations such as self-driving cars also mark a “tremendous opportunity in the coming years to save tens of thousands of lives,” Scharre says.
The question, experts add, is whether these potential lives saved will outweigh potential – though likely fewer – lives lost if the automatic systems go awry.
For his part, Kendall imagines much bigger changes in weapons automation.
“We still send human beings carrying rifles down trails to find the enemy. We still do that. Why?” he wondered allowed. “I don’t think we have to do that anymore, but it is an enormous change of mind-set.”
“Autonomy is coming,” he added. “It’s coming at an exponential rate.”
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FBI Data Dump Shows Clinton is Criminal and Clueless

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Hillary is either dishonest or dumb — there is no third choice.
Today, on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released documents on its investigation of Hillary Clinton and her mishandling of email while she was secretary of state. The Friday afternoon data dump is a venerable Washington cliché, a shady way to bury a story that the bureaucracy doesn’t want covered in depth, but even by Beltway standards this was a shocker.
Nobody expected much from the FBI here, given the Bureau’s recent punting on its formal inquiry into Hillary’s dubious activities with her “unclassified” email of bathroom server infamy. I’ve beencovering the EmailGate story for over a year, from the beginning, and I too didn’t expect the FBI to reveal much about what Hillary did that was unwise and perhaps criminal.
To be fair, a good amount of today’s release has been redacted. The original documents were classified at the Secret/Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals level, and to make it Unclassified about a third of the text has been cut out.
Today, on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released documents on its investigation of Hillary Clinton and her mishandling of email while she was secretary of state. The Friday afternoon data dump is a venerable Washington cliché, a shady way to bury a story that the bureaucracy doesn’t want covered in depth, but even by Beltway standards this was a shocker.
Nobody expected much from the FBI here, given the Bureau’s recent punting on its formal inquiry into Hillary’s dubious activities with her “unclassified” email of bathroom server infamy. I’ve beencovering the EmailGate story for over a year, from the beginning, and I too didn’t expect the FBI to reveal much about what Hillary did that was unwise and perhaps criminal.
Read the rest at The Observer…

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionageUSG  

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Rice follows Kissinger playbook in China

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Susan Rice is the latest national security adviser to inherit the framework of Sino-American relations that was created in 1972 by Henry Kissinger: The Chinese ever since have wanted to deal directly and discreetly with the White House as they pursue a relationship that’s somewhere between cooperation and confrontation.

Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Immigration Speech - KTIC

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Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Immigration Speech
As FBI Director James Comey told a congressional panel in October 2015: “If someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the ...

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FBI director explains agency's quest to be cool enough to recruit hackers - Stars and Stripes

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Stars and Stripes

FBI director explains agency's quest to be cool enough to recruit hackers
Stars and Stripes
Or, as FBI Director James BComey recalled his daughter's explanation of the issue at a recent speech: "Dad, the problem is you're 'the Man,' " she said. "Who would want to work for 'the Man?' " His daughter was right, he said. But the agency is ...

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Kissinger and Shultz are staying out of the 2016 election - Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times

Kissinger and Shultz are staying out of the 2016 election
Los Angeles Times 
Veteran GOP foreign policy gurus Henry Kissinger and George Shultz said Friday that they would not be supporting Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton in this year's race for the White House. “We are not making any endorsement in the 

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The World of Espionage 

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Title:                      The World of Espionage
Author:                 Robert Chartham (pseudonym of Ronald Sydney Seth)
Chartham, Robert (1962). The World of Espionage. London: Souvenir Press
LCCN:    62051573


Date Posted:      September 2, 2016
Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[1]
Note: Blackstock lists the author as Ronald Seth instead of Chartham as is on the book.
Contains more than twenty accounts of post-World War II espionage cases or incidents with the traditional closing notes on “Soviet Espionage” and “Soviet Spy Technique.” Draws the moralizing conclusion: “Spies do not cause wars; they themselves are the producer of war and the fear of war. Our objective should be to rid the world, not of one particular weapon, but of the fear of war.”
[1] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 143


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September’s Terror Threat Snapshot: Homegrown Islamist Extremism 

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The House Homeland Security Committee's September 'Terror Threat Snapshot' depicts an increase in homegrown Islamic extremism, ISIS-related arrests and Osama Bin Laden bodyguard's release from Guantanamo Bay.

Hillary Clinton was right about the vast right-wing conspiracy. Here's why it exists. - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Hillary Clinton was right about the vast right-wing conspiracy. Here's why it exists.
Washington Post
Hillary Clinton herself had come to Washington fresh out of law school to work for the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry of Richard M. Nixon. Watergate produced new levers against corruption. After Nixon's resignation, the Freedom of ...
GOP lawmakers call for Clinton Foundation special prosecutorThe Hill (blog)

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Politics|FBI Papers Offer Closer Look at Hillary Clinton Email Inquiry - New York Times

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New York Times

Politics|FBI Papers Offer Closer Look at Hillary Clinton Email Inquiry
New York Times
Days after The New York Times first reported that Mrs. Clinton had used a private email system exclusively as secretary of state, the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, asked that her emails be preserved and subpoenaed ...
FBI to release Hillary Clinton notes over email use to the mediaDaily Mail

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6 Things We Learned in the F.B.I. Clinton Email Investigation

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Hghlights from the report released by the F.B.I. detailing its investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server.

The FBI: A Career Like No Other 

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From: fbi
Duration: 03:09

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DHS's New Election Cybersecurity Committee Has No Cybersecurity Experts - Techdirt

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DHS's New Election Cybersecurity Committee Has No Cybersecurity Experts
The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) [yes, there's an association for everything] has just announced its selections to head up a DHS "working group" tackling "election infrastructure cybersecurity." Like any committee formed in ...

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Page 5

FBI releases Hillary Clinton email investigation documents - Washington Post

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Washington Post

FBI releases Hillary Clinton email investigation documents
Washington Post
The FBI on Friday released a detailed report on its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, as well as what appears to be a summary of her interview with agents, providing the most thorough ...
Politics|FBI Releases Hillary Clinton Email Investigation FilesNew York Times
FBI releases Clinton investigation documentsFox News
FBI Releases Documents in Hillary Clinton E-Mail InvestigationFederal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)
Politico -CNBC
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The FBI's latest mission: Be cool enough to recruit hackers - Washington Post

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Washington Post

The FBI's latest mission: Be cool enough to recruit hackers
Washington Post
The FBI has struggled for years to attract enough fresh hacker talent to defend America's computers. One problem? A culture clash between elite coders who are attracted to casual — or even rebellious workplaces — and the agency's bureaucratic reputation.

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FBI releases report on its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server - Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times

FBI releases report on its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server
Los Angeles Times
The FBI on Friday released a summary report of its probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server and her handling of classified materials. The report, which had previously been shared with Congress, includes notes of the July 2 FBI ...

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Clinton told FBI she had no training on how to handle classified documents - USA TODAY

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Clinton told FBI she had no training on how to handle classified documents
WASHINGTON — During her consequential July interview with the FBI, Hillary Clinton displayed a slim grasp of the fine points for handling classified information and often expressed little recall for specific emails containing sensitive information ...
FBI puts Clinton investigation memos onlineCNET 
FBI releases 58 pages of Clinton email probeRT

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FBI: We Can't Locate More Than A Dozen Of Hillary's Devices - Daily Caller

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FBI: We Can't Locate More Than A Dozen Of Hillary's Devices
Daily Caller
A laptop and thumb drive containing an archive of Hillary Clinton's emails and thirteen mobile devices, 8 of which Clinton used while serving as secretary of state, are not able to be located, per documents released by the Federal Bureau of ... 

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Three Major Ways The FBI Report On Clinton Emails Strongly Establishes Her Trustworthiness - Forbes - Forbes

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Three Major Ways The FBI Report On Clinton Emails Strongly Establishes Her Trustworthiness - Forbes 
The FBI just released its report on Clinton. We will undoubtedly hear a right-wing chorus that the report stamps her as untrustworthy. But, an actual reading of the report strongly reflects, instead, her honor and trustworthiness. The best way to see ... 

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Page 6

A look inside the FBI's investigative files on Clinton's email - McClatchy Washington Bureau

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McClatchy Washington Bureau

A look inside the FBI's investigative files on Clinton's email
McClatchy Washington Bureau
Her account of that conversation, offered in a three-and-a-half hour interview with the FBI, was part of a summary released Friday of the bureau's investigation into her private emails. The FBIsaid it released the additional information because of the ...
FBI releases documents in Clinton email investigation – as it happenedThe Guardian

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FBI files show agents focused Clinton interview questions on 'top secret' emails - Fox News

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Fox News

FBI files show agents focused Clinton interview questions on 'top secret' emails
Fox News
The 11-page FBI summary released Friday of Hillary Clinton's July 2 interview in the criminal email investigation shows bureau agents focused their questions to her on the 22 “Top Secret” emails considered too damaging to national security to make public.

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Obama’s China visit starts on wrong foot

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September 3, 2016, 8:03 PM (IDT)
When Air Force One landed in China Saturday, there were no stairs waiting for President Barack Obama to disembark. On the tarmac, his staff scrambled to get stairs in place for him to descend. If that was not enough, White House press photographers traveling with him tried to get into position to record his arrival, only to find a member of the “welcoming” Chinese officials screaming at them to leave. A White House official tried to intervene, saying this is our president and our plane and the media are not moving. The man yelled back “This is our country!” The Chinese official continued yelling at Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, and her deputy, Ben Rhodes, while trying to block them from moving toward the front of the plane.

3 ways a Russia-China axis is seeking to undermine the West - Business Insider

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Business Insider

3 ways a Russia-China axis is seeking to undermine the West
Business Insider
China and Russia continue to provide military and economic aid to rogue regimes like North Korea, Iran, and Syria. "China has kept the deranged North Korean regime afloat for years with economic aid and enabled Pyongyang's nuclear pursuits by its ...
At G-20 Summit, Russia May Upstage China With Focus on Politics, Not EconomyVoice of America
Putin's gamble on Russian Las Vegas stirs fears of China influxChicago Tribune
Russia's Cyber Warfare Has Bigger Aims Than Electing Donald TrumpThe Federalist
Radio Free Asia -Bloomberg
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South China Sea Dispute: China And America Are Counting Their True Allies - Forbes

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South China Sea Dispute: China And America Are Counting Their True Allies
As the G20 meeting gets under way in Hangzhou this weekend, America and China are counting their true allies on the South China Sea dispute, the top item on the unofficial agenda of the meeting. This week, America got India on its side, following a ...
China must 'abide by international law' in South China Sea dispute – ObamaRT
G20: Obama warns Beijing against South China Sea aggressionThe Guardian
Would America Really Go to War Over the South China Sea?The National Interest Online (blog)
Daily Beast
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Venture Communism: How China Is Building a Start-Up Boom - CNBC

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Venture Communism: How China Is Building a Start-Up Boom
HANGZHOU, China — In Dream Town, a collection of boxy office buildings on the gritty edge of this historic city, one tiny company is developing a portable 3-D printer. Another takes orders for traditional Chinese massages by smartphone. They are just ...

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Page 7

In Karimov's Shadow - A Look At Shavkat Mirziyaev

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In a country whose government kept silent for four full days after revealing that its only post-Soviet leader was in the hospital with an undisclosed ailment, it's tough to read the tea leaves about who might come to power in the wake of President Islam Karimov, whose death was announced by Uzbek state TV on September 2.

Obama's China visit gets off to rocky start, reflecting current relations

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The problems began as soon as President Barack Obama landed in China.

At China's G20, Economics Is The New Militarism - Forbes

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At China's G20, Economics Is The New Militarism
The appearance of the barges can mean only one thing: Beijing is getting ready to make Scarborough, an uninhabited feature 124 nautical miles from the main Philippine island of Luzon, a Chinese military outpost. The shoal is strategic, guarding the ...

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G20 in China: Syria, Brexit on Obama's agenda - CNN

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G20 in China: Syria, Brexit on Obama's agenda
Hangzhou, China (CNN) US President Barack Obama is continuing his diplomatic slog in ChinaSunday, meeting with counterparts from the United Kingdom and Turkey -- two essential US allies -- as each leader confronts widespread internal strife back ...

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Military intelligence troops form new multifunctional platoon

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Platoon is merging two of the 82nd Airborne's intelligence efforts that previously have been split into two separate domains.

Syrian troops advance near Aleppo in attempt to impose siege

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Sunday's push comes a month after insurgent groups captured several military academies south of Aleppo and opened a corridor into rebel-held parts of Syria's largest city and former commercial center.
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Page 8

US, Russia talks on Syria to go into Monday; no deal yet

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They are discussing a ceasefire between Syria's government and moderate rebels, and a possible U.S.-Russian military partnership against extremist groups.

Putin has Provoked US into Taking Steps that Threaten Gazprom, His Own ‘Purse,’ Portnikov Says