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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Stephen Lendman -- Obama Illegally Sanctions Russia for Nonexistent US Election Hacking

Obama
Throughout his deplorable tenure, thankfully near ending, Obama exceeded Star Wars, going where no previous US president dared go before. His legacy reflects failure domestically and geopolitically, lawlessness and contempt for humanity.
Fake news hype about nonexistent “Russian aggression” wore thin long ago. Does any sensible person think Russia threatens any nation when clear evidence shows otherwise?
The Russians aren’t coming – except in the satirical 1966 Hollywood film few remember (see image below).
Menacing Russian hordes don’t exist. Nor does claiming its government hacked America’s election hold up to scrutiny.
Despite repeated claims, echoed by the corporate media ad nauseam, most Americans don’t believe it because no evidence was presented proving it. Trump was right calling the charge “ridiculous.”
Illegal sanctions on Russia made it more self-sufficient. On December 29, Obama announced more – as counterproductive and outrageous as earlier ones imposed, perhaps the last gasp of a failed presidency!
Obama acted, trying to delegitimize Trump’s election, make it hard for him to work cooperatively with Putin, and punish Russia one last time before leaving office.
His action made him more of a laughing stock than already, his presidency ending in a blaze of infamy. His parting shots (including whatever additional malevolence he has in mind) harmed himself and his administration, not Russia. Putin hopes Trump will improve bilateral relations once in office.

Perhaps he’ll rescind illegal sanctions and other harmful Obama actions. According to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, he promised to revoke up to 70% of Obama’s executive orders straightaway in office.
After signing his latest one, he said he took “additional steps to deal with the national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities…in view of the increasing use of such activities to undermine democratic processes or institutions.”
Fact: No national emergency exists. Obama lied claiming otherwise.
Fact: No Russian US election hacking occurred. One or more disgruntled Democrat insiders, hostile to Hillary over stealing her party’s nomination, leaked volumes of material to WikiLeaks.
Obama’s Eexecutive Order consisted in shutting down Russia’s Long Island, New York and Centreville, Maryland compounds, along with expelling 35 of its diplomats (on phony espionage charges).
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented, saying “(i)n our point of view, such actions of the US current administration are a manifestation of an unpredictable and even aggressive foreign policy.”
“We regret the fact that this decision was taken by the US administration and President Obama personally. (W)e consider this decision and these sanctions unjustified and illegal under international law.”
True! Security Council members alone may impose sanctions on countries, not individual or allied ones on others. Obama’s sanctions reflect reprehensible political and economic war on Russia.
Peskov promised “adequate, reciprocal (actions) that will deliver significant discomfort to the US side in the same areas.” He expressed hope for better relations once Trump succeeds Obama.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman minced no words, saying “…America (and) the American people were humiliated by their own president.”
“Not by international terrorists, not by enemy’s troops. This time Washington was slapped by (its) own master, who has complicated the urgent tasks for the incoming team in the extreme.”
UPDATE: PUTIN’S RESPONSE: 
Separately, the FBI and DHS released a joint report, accusing Russian civilian and military intelligence of US election hacking – citing no corroborating evidence.
It begins with a “DISCLAIMER,” mocking its legitimacy, stating “(t)his report is provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service referenced in this advisory or otherwise.”
“This document is distributed as TLP:WHITE: Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction. For more information on the Traffic Light Protocol”
For more details see https://www.us-cert.gov/tlp.
“This activity by RIS (Russian civilian and military intelligence Services) is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the US government and its citizens,” the report states.
It claims so-called “confirm(ation) that two different RIS actors participated in the intrusion into a US political party” – despite clear evidence showing no hacking occurred. Leaks came from one or more Democrat party insiders, not Russian mischief.
Commenting on the report, the White House said it includes data “enabl(ing) cyber security firms and other network defenders to identify certain malware that the Russian intelligence services use.”
Yet it refuses to reveal so-called evidence supporting its claims because none exists.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new 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
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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