FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Before Obama Administration Approved Controversial Nuclear Deal with Moscow






FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Before Obama Administration Approved Controversial Nuclear Deal with Moscow


October 17th, 2017

Via: The Hill:

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials� in Russia who “shared the proceeds� from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefitting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

When this sale was used by Trump on the campaign trail last year, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman said she was not involved in the committee review and noted the State Department official who handled it said she “never intervened … on any [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] matter.â€�

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,� a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015.

That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Spokesmen for Holder and Clinton did not return calls seeking comment. The Justice Department also didn’t comment.















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US society ‘based on leaks,’ but proof of Russian election meddling never emerged – Lavrov

“While the majority of Democrats cannot get over their resentment over the loss of their candidate in the presidential election, and a significant part of the Republicans are annoyed with the unsystematic nature of the current administration, including the president, this anti-Russian story and hysteria unfolding in the US reflects a domestic political struggle,” Lavrov said at the 14th annual Valdai Discussion Club meeting at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday.

The US government has repeatedly accused Moscow of interfering in the 2016 US election by hacking and leaking emails of Democratic Party staff, as well as the correspondence of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. Moscow has denied meddling in the election, noting that no evidence has been provided to support the claims.

“For almost a year since the US began investigating [Donald] Trump’s ties with Russia and Russia’s interference in the election campaign on the side of the Republicans, there have been hearings staged, special investigations launched, a special prosecutor appointed, dozens of people interviewed, and … with so many characters involved in the process, there has been not a single leak about at least a single fact that would support the allegations,” Lavrov pointed out.

The Russian foreign minister believes that this “speaks volumes,” adding that is because “American society as a whole, especially in matters of foreign affairs, is built on leaks.”

“It is impossible to seal the processes launched to investigate the so-called Russian meddling. Therefore, they simply do not have those facts,” Lavrov concluded.

On Monday, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed in an interview on ABC’s Four Corners show that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange colluded with the Russian government in the lead-up to the 2016 US presidential election.

“WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence,” she said, alleging that the actions of WikiLeaks and Russia played a major role in her losing the race.

“There was a concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia and most likely people in the United States to… weaponize that information, to make up stories, outlandish, often terrible stories that had no basis in fact… which were used to denigrate me, my campaign, people who supported me, and to help Trump.”

In response, Assange accused Clinton of “constant lying,” saying that there’s obviously “something wrong with Hillary Clinton… A cold creepiness rarely seen.”

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/406976-lavrov-russia-leaks-us/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Remarks by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman

Remarks by Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman



by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)



On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said 92% of Syrian territory was freed from (US-supported) ISIS control.



In the past week alone, Russian airpower conducted 517 sorties, destroying over 1,260 facilities controlled by terrorists.



Its operations along with Syria’s continue smashing US-supported terrorists, defeating Washington’s imperial aims in the country.



Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova explained Russian, Syrian and allied forces continue smashing ISIS terrorists in Deir Ezzor.



Much of its Al-Mayadeen stronghold was liberated, including the strategic Al-Rashadeh District and nearby Taybeh Farms, cutting a vital ISIS supply line.



Deescalation zones’ ceasefire violations were “substantially reduced.” Thousands of US-supported al-Nusra terrorists continue “trying to wreck the effort to normalize the situation and establish durable peace in Syria,” Zakharova explained.



Terrorists in southern Syria remain “a source of concern.” They continue receiving foreign support – from America, NATO, Turkey, Israel, and other regional rogue states.



“Syrians are restoring roads and socially important infrastructure facilities in the liberated areas of their country, thereby creating the conditions for peaceful life and the return of refugees and displaced persons,” said Zakharova – important achievements.



Russia is the key source of vitally needed humanitarian aid – virtually nothing from the UN, nothing from America and other Western countries, Iran the only regional one supplying it.



“The Rukban refugee camp located on the Syrian-Jordanian border in the so-called (phony) ‘deconfliction zone’ arbitrarily established by the United States around Tanf is facing humanitarian disaster,” Zakharova explained. 



“The Americans are using aviation, rocket and artillery systems to prevent Syrian Government forces from entering this zone.” 



“According to the UN, the number of refugees in this camp exceeds 60,000. They are threatened with starvation and have no access to fresh water. The risk of epidemics is growing.”



US forces prevent humanitarian convoys from reaching desperate people in dire need of help. Deplorable Western media report nothing about this, nothing about US aggression, nothing about US-dominated NATO support for terrorism – along with Israel and their rogue regional allies.



Desperate Syrian refugees are being “openly recruited for illegal armed formations,” said Zakharova.



“The situation in Raqqa is…grave.” US terror-bombing destroyed the city, including vital infrastructure and residential areas, massacring thousands of civilians.



Media scoundrels are silent, suppressing information about US-led atrocities, continuing daily.



Zakarova explained US authorities tore down Russian flags from its illegally shuttered, seized and searched diplomatic facilities in America, saying:



“We regard this incident as desecration of the state symbol of Russia. We have already lodged a strong protest with the United States.” 



“Of course, Russia did not issue any consent to have the flags removed. It was done by the people who had earlier trespassed on Russian property, broke down the gates and entrance doors, and have since been lording around the (facilities) like invaders.”



Russian personnel aren’t allowed in their own missions. “This is unprecedented in the history of Russia-US relations,” said Zakharova.



“(C)ertain American political forces steeped in Russophobia are acting in concert with the secret services, and consciously destroying relations between our two countries as best they can.”



Moscow is “patient,” but won’t “put up with cowboy manners indefinitely…Russia will decide on its response.”



Bilateral relations with Washington are the worst in memory, the risk of East/West confrontation initiated by America huge, maybe certain ahead.



VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.



My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”



http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html



Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


Source Article from https://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/227237-2017-10-14-remarks-by-russian-foreign-ministry-spokeswoman.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

Almost half of Russian students ready to vote for Putin at presidential polls

On Friday, popular Russian daily Izvestia published the results of a poll conducted by the Laboratory of Political Research of one of country’s leading economic institutions – the Higher School of Economics. The poll was conducted among students of higher education establishments across the country – both state-sponsored and private.

A little over 47 percent said they would vote for current Russian President Vladimir Putin if the presidential election was held next weekend and, of course, if the incumbent president decides to run again. None of the other potential candidates managed to receive six percent support, while 12 percent of the respondents said they would not vote at all, and 15.4 percent said they had not yet decided who to vote for.

When asked to describe Vladimir Putin, most respondents mentioned qualities such as intelligence, self-restraint, charisma, responsibility, and love for the country. They also emphasized the president’s resoluteness – a quality, they believe, has helped him implement his policies in both the domestic and international spheres.

However, some students also noted that the strength of the president diminishes the importance of other top officials, and that Putin cannot run everything on his own.

The head of the Laboratory of Political Research, Valeria Kasamara, told Izvestia that Russian students describe themselves as the “Putin Generation” because they were born and raised during Vladimir Putin’s presidency. She also said that when asked who could theoretically replace Putin, they describe potential successors who resemble Putin instead of naming real-life alternatives.

Vladimir Putin has not yet announced whether he will run in the 2018 presidential race or not. When asked about serving another term as president, Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said it was too early to discuss the issue. In early August, however, when a group of villagers in the Siberian Republic of Buryatia asked Putin via TV link to register as a candidate in the next election, Putin promised that he would think about it.

In early September, Putin again evaded the question about his plans, saying that he did not want to reveal them because “as soon as they announce election campaigns in our country everyone immediately stops working.”

A nationwide public opinion poll released by state-run research agency VTSIOM earlier this month showed that the president’s approval rating was at 82.2 percent – slightly down from 85.3 percent in early September, but still very high and exceeding the approval ratings of the Russian government and both chambers of parliament.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/politics/406584-almost-half-of-russian-students/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Embarrassing: NPR Insists a Gateway for Russian Hackers No Longer Underwrites NPR

“It is also important to understand that funding from corporate sponsors and philanthropic donors is separate from the editorial decision making process in NPR’s newsroom,” she said. “Our editors make their own choices about what stories to cover and how to report them.”

Lara added that NPR journalists are “trained in the ethics and practices of journalism which prevent outside groups from influencing their objectivity, story selection, and reporting.”

In January, during an interview with a cybersecurity expert, NPR host David Greene praised Kaspersky and suggested that the idea of Russia hacking the Democratic National Committee could be a “false flag.”

“I mean, another major cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, very respected—we should mention Kaspersky is an NPR funder, and we do work with them on our computers,” Greene told Matt Tait, a British cybersecurity expert. “But they said that there can be false flags. There can be a lack of reliable metrics.”

“And Americans have gone through a situation with the Iraq War where there was talk of weapons of mass destruction,” Greene continued. “The intelligence community was—their credibility was really called into question after that. But a president took this nation to war based on intelligence. I mean, are you absolutely certain here, or could we find later on down the road that there was some amazing hacker out there who was able to pull this off and make it look like Russia?”

Tait said it was not credible that the hacks were false flags….

NPR has also covered stories about the company under scrutiny, which included statements from intelligence community leaders saying they would not use Kaspersky software. It also covered the software being banned from U.S. federal agencies.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tim-graham/2017/10/13/embarrassing-npr-insists-gateway-russian-hackers-no-longer

Russian military scrambles ‘Yars’ ICBM launchers during war games (VIDEO)

A video by the Russian Defense Ministry shows a convoy of ‘Yars’ launchers moving in to their deployment areas while being escorted by support units down the road. An exercise involved mock attacks of an enemy Special Forces unit as well as simulated chemical and radiological attacks on the ICMB launchers.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/406473-yars-missile-exercise-russia/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

‘Russian hackers so good they sabotaged US World Cup bid’ – digital security expert

Italian journalist Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai – a respected writer on hacking, information security, and digital rights – joked the US defeat to Trinidad and Tobago and subsequent failure to qualify for Russia 2018 was the result of a successful Russian “interference campaign.”

“Russia’s interference campaign was so good that they knocked the US soccer team out of the World Cup…in Russia!” Franceschi-Bicchierai satirically tweeted.

The US failure was the first time in three decades the men’s national team has failed to qualify for world football’s showpiece event; the US national team are three-time winners of the women’s version.

READ MORE: US miss 1st FIFA World Cup in 3 decades after 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago

A 2-1 defeat away to bottom of the group Trinidad and Tobago saw the US finish fifth in the North, Central America and Caribbean World Cup qualifying group, having won just three of their 10 matches.

More likely, sub-par performances by the US against meagre opposition was the cause of their World Cup embarrassment, but much has been made in recent months of fears of Russian surveillance.

In September, the English Football Association (FA) advised players and team staff not to use public Wi-Fi while visiting Russia for the tournament next year.

READ MORE: ‘Football team would be better option’ – Russia UK Embassy trolls British tabloid over WC ‘spies’

“For the purposes of computer security in general, FIFA is itself relying on expert advice from third parties. It is for this reason that FIFA cannot and does not provide any computer security advice to third parties,” the FA said in a statement.

Responding to the The Daily Star’s recently published story on the matter, headlined ‘England to take surveillance team to Russia World Cup amid spy fears’, Russia’s UK Embassy wryly tweeted on Tuesday: ‘A football team would be a better option.’

Hysteria over Russian hackers targeting athletes perhaps stems from hacktivist group ‘Fancy Bears’, who leaked numerous WADA documents on well-known athletes and have been widely linked to the Russian government.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/sport/406470-russian-hackers-us-world-cup-2018/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

The emergence of a Russian-Iranian-Turkish triangle is the new reality in the Middle East

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/the-emergence-of-a-russian-iranian-turkish-triangle-is-the-new-reality-in-the-middle-east/