Arresting Julian Assange is a Priority: Sessions

Assange

The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now a “priority” for the US, attorney general Jeff Sessions has said.

The US authorities have prepared charges against Assange who is currently in London, US officials familiar with the matter revealed.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain since 2012 seeking to avoid an arrest warrant on rape allegations in Sweden.

“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” Sessions said at a news conference when reporters asked him about a US priority to arrest Assange.

“This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious,” he added.

Barry Pollack, Assange’s lawyer, denied any knowledge of imminent prosecution. “We’ve had no communication with the Department of Justice and they have not indicated to me that they have brought any charges against Mr Assange,” he stated.

Earlier, during the presidential election campaign, US president Donald Trump praised the anti-secrecy website saying during a rally “I love WikiLeaks.” However, Trump and his administration have put heat on WikiLeaks after it embarrassed the Central Intelligence Agency last month by releasing a large number of files and computer code from the spy agency’s top-secret hacking operations.

US authorities have been investigating Assange and WikiLeaks since at least 2010 when it released, in cooperation with publications including the Guardian, more than a quarter of a million classified cables from US embassies leaked by US army whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Prosecutors in recent weeks have been drafting a memo that looks at charges against Assange and other WikiLeaks members, with these charges including conspiracy, theft of government property and violations of the Espionage Act, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed US officials familiar with the matter.

WikiLeaks supporters, however, say it’s practicing the constitutional right of freedom of speech and the press.

“WikiLeaks’s sole interest is expressing constitutionally protected truths,” Assange said in an opinion piece he published earlier, acknowledging “overwhelming admiration for both America and the idea of America.”

Socialist candidate Lenin Moreno, who won the recent election in Ecuador, has promised not to extradite Assange.

Last ‘WhatsApp’ Message

WhatsApp

Terrorist Khalid Masood who has attacked the Houses of Parliament in London had sent an important message that the British security failed to decode on WhatsApp. The terrorist is a prior suspect and was under surveillance – has the security bodies comprehended the letter they would have foiled the operation.

This is merely a hypothesis. Yet, social media messages and calls remain a battlefield between the security bodies and terrorists who now consider these means as their modern arm.

One of the basic reasons behind the collapse of al-Qaeda is that its leaders abstained from these means of communication — Osama bin Laden, in his last years, relied on sending envoys who would deliver oral or written messages to evade security forces who now are able to listen, record, translate, recognize voices and determine locations easily.

New terrorists believe that the modern technology makes them expand wider, attract more youths and provide a free propaganda that is worth the risk.

WhatsApp is a landmark portal to the world – or what we think is the real world. Those who benefit the most are users who make, market and distribute information to others who in their turn send it to more than one billion people in the world, unaware of the motives.

Can all this information be monitored? If WikiLeaks’ latest disclosures turned out to be true then this means that all phones are prone to surveillance. The document reveals that the US intelligence managed to develop systems capable of hacking into devices.

With the huge technical security development, it has become a daily game to arrest terrorists, shell their shelters or exploit them. This technique is cursed and appreciated at the same time, since on one hand it helps terrorists mobilize and cause damage and on the other hand it assists security bodies to arrest criminals.

Apart from the security military war field, countries failed to confront the ideology. They were unsuccessful in halting the brainwash targeting millions day and night, using religions and exploiting instincts and gaps through their messages.

Spying is effective in besieging terrorist groups and individuals but can’t win the first phase of the terrorist act: the intellectual phase. Majority of phase one activities are not coded and actually, happen publicly round the clock.

Peoples’ minds are being washed through messages sent via broadcasts including pieces of advice, information, news, ideas, speeches, discussions, jokes, lessons, pictures, drawings and videos.

Although these messages are open for everyone yet comprehending and confronting them is tougher than decoding the most complicated confidential codes because it is an oriented culture.

The solution lies in the alternative culture, which is not yet wide-spread enough to face extremist messages.

WikiLeaks Exposes Alleged CIA Cyber Spying

The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Virginia, August 14, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing

A trove of documents released by WikiLeaks alleges a CIA surveillance program that targets everyday gadgets ranging from smart TVs to smartphones to cars.

According to WikiLeaks, such snooping could turn some of these devices into recorders of everyday conversations — and could also circumvent data-scrambling encryption on communications apps such as Facebook’s WhatsApp.

The group — a nonprofit that routinely publishes confidential documents, frequently from government sources — posted nearly 9,000 documents it said were leaked from the CIA, in what it described as the largest-ever publication of secret intelligence materials.

WikiLeaks claimed that the CIA documents, hacking tools and code representing “the majority of its hacking arsenal” were leaked within the cyber security community — and that it had received, and released, a part of them.

It is, for now, withholding details on the specific hacks used “until a consensus emerges” on the nature of the CIA’s program and how the methods should be “analyzed, disarmed and published.”

But said: “This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA,” it said.

Neither the CIA nor the White House would say if the documents were genuine.

“We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents,” said spokesman Jonathan Liu in an email.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined to comment, saying “That’s something that has not been fully evaluated.”

The archive shows the CIA exploiting weaknesses it discovers in hardware and software systems, including those made by US companies — without letting anyone know about the flaws in question.

Documents show the CIA has produced more than 1,000 malware systems and other software that can infiltrate and take control of personal electronics, WikiLeaks noted.

These hacking tools have targeted iPhones, Android systems such as the personal phone reportedly still used by President Donald Trump, popular Microsoft software, and Samsung smart TVs, which can be transformed into covert microphones, according to WikiLeaks.

The agency has also examined hacking into the electronic control systems on cars and trucks, potentially enabling it to control them remotely.

By infecting and effectively taking over the software of smartphones, WikiLeaks said, the CIA can get around the encryption technologies of popular apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Weibo, and Confide by collecting communications before they are encrypted.

Microsoft said it was aware of the reports and was looking into them.

Apple said an initial analysis showed many of the security gaps brought up in the leaked documents were already patched in the latest iOS. “We will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities,” it said.

In a statement, General Motors said it would be premature to comment on the documents, including its authenticity. But GM added that it knew of no injuries or death resulting from the hacking of a vehicle.

The Unraveling of Julian Assange

Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain Feb. 5, 2016. Peter Nicholls/Reuters

You almost have to feel sorry for Julian Assange. Shut in at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London without access to sunlight, the founder of WikiLeaks is reduced to self-parody these days.

Here is a man dedicated to radical transparency, yet he refuses to go to Sweden despite an arrest warrant in connection with allegations of sexual assault. His organization retweets the president-elect who once called for him to be put to death. He spreads the innuendo that Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, was murdered this summer because he was the real source of the e-mails WikiLeaks published in the run-up to November’s election. And now he tells Fox News’s Sean Hannity that it’s the U.S. media that is deeply dishonest.

This is the proper context to evaluate Assange’s claim, repeated by Donald Trump and his supporters, that Russia was not the source for the e-mails of leading Democrats distributed by WikiLeaks.

We all know that the U.S. intelligence community is standing by its judgment that Russia hacked the Democrats’ e-mails and distributed them to influence the election. And while it’s worrisome that Trump would dismiss this judgment out of hand, this also misses the main point. Sometimes the spies get it wrong, like the “slam-dunk” conclusion that Saddam Hussein was concealing Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

The real issue is Assange. The founder of WikiLeaks has a history of saying paranoid nonsense. This is particularly true of Assange’s view of Hillary Clinton. His delusions have led him to justify the interference in our elections as an act of holding his nemesis accountable to the public.

Bill Keller, the former New York Times executive editor, captured Assange’s penchant for dark fantasy in a 2011 essay that described him casually telling a group of journalists from the Guardian that former Stasi agents were destroying East German archives of the secret police. A German reporter from Der Spiegel, John Goetz, was incredulous. “That’s utter nonsense, he said. Some former Stasi personnel were hired as security guards in the office, but the records were well protected,” Keller recounts him as saying.

In this sense, WikiLeaks’s promotion of the John Grishamesque yarn that Seth Rich was murdered on orders from Hillary Clinton’s network is in keeping with a pattern. Both Rich’s family and the Washington police have dismissed this as a conspiracy theory. That, however, did not stop WikiLeaks from raising a $20,000 reward to find his “real” killers.

Add to this Assange’s approach to Russia. It’s well known that his short-lived talk show, which once aired a respectful interview with the leader of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, was distributed by Russian state television. WikiLeaks has also never published sensitive documents from Russian government sources comparable to the State Department cables it began publishing in 2010, or the e-mails of leading Democrats last year.

When an Italian journalist asked him last month why WikiLeaks hasn’t published the Kremlin’s secrets, Assange’s answer was telling. “In Russia, there are many vibrant publications, online blogs, and Kremlin critics such as [Alexey] Navalny are part of that spectrum,” he said. “There are also newspapers like Novaya Gazeta, in which different parts of society in Moscow are permitted to critique each other and it is tolerated, generally, because it isn’t a big TV channel that might have a mass popular effect, its audience is educated people in Moscow. So my interpretation is that in Russia there are competitors to WikiLeaks, and no WikiLeaks staff speak Russian, so for a strong culture which has its own language, you have to be seen as a local player.”

This is bizarre for a few reasons. To start, Assange’s description of the press environment in Russia has a curious omission. Why no mention of the journalists and opposition figures who have been killed or forced into exile? Assange gives the impression that the Russian government is just as vulnerable to mass disclosures of its secrets as the U.S. government has been. That’s absurd, even if it’s also true that some oppositional press is tolerated there.

Also WikiLeaks once did have a Russian-speaking associate. His name is Yisrael Shamir, and according to former WikiLeaks staffer James Ball, he worked closely with the organization when it began distributing the State Department cables. Shamir is a supporter of Vladimir Putin.

This is all a pity. A decade ago, when Assange founded WikiLeaks, it was a very different organization. As Raffi Khatchadourian reported in a 2010 New Yorker profile, Assange told potential collaborators in 2006, “Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations.”

For a while, WikiLeaks followed this creed. The first document published, but not verified, was an internal memo purporting to show how Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union intended to murder members of the transitional government there. It published the e-mails of University of East Anglia climate scientists discussing manipulation of climate change data. In its early years, WikiLeaks published information damaging to the U.S. as well. But no government or entity or political side appeared to be immune from the organization’s anonymous whistle-blowers.

Today, WikiLeaks’s actions discredit its original mission. Does anyone believe Assange when he darkly implies that he received the DNC e-mails from a whistleblower? Even if you aren’t persuaded that Russia was behind it, there is a preponderance of public evidence that the e-mail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta was hacked, such as the e-mail that asked him to give his password in a phishing scam. Assange himself is not even sticking to his old story: He told Hannity that a 14-year-old could have hacked Podesta’s emails. Good to know.

In short, the founder of a site meant to expose the falsehoods of governments and large institutions has been gaslighting us. Just look at the WikiLeaks statement on the e-mails right before the election. “To withhold the publication of such information until after the election would have been to favour one of the candidates above the public’s right to know,” it said.

That’s precious. WikiLeaks did favor a candidate in the election simply by publishing the e-mails. And the candidate it aided, Donald Trump, is so hostile to the public’s right know that he won’t even release his tax returns. In two weeks, he will be in charge of an intelligence community that asserts with high confidence the e-mails WikiLeaks made public were stolen by Russian government hackers. Assange, of course, denies it, and Trump seems to believe him. Sad!

(Bloomberg)

U.S. Intelligence: Russia Engaged in Cyber Attacks

Assange has put U.S. lives in danger: Clapper

Washington – Three U.S. high intelligence officials said that Russia was engaged in cyber operations during the White House elections and launched cyber-attacks to affect the American people’s opinion.

While the officials stressed that Russia’s operations have served political goals of the Russian Army, they doubted the ability of those attacks to have changed the path of the elections.

During a three-hour hearing on Thursday at the Senate Armed Services Committee, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said he had a very high level of confidence that Russia hacked Democratic Party and campaign staff email, and disseminated propaganda and fake news aimed at the Nov. 8 election.

“Our assessment now is even more resolute than it was” on Oct. 7 when the government first publicly accused Russia, Clapper said. He added that motives for the attack would be made public next week.

Last week, President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies he said were involved in hacking U.S. political groups such as the Democratic National Committee.

Intelligence agency chiefs will brief president-elect Donald Trump on Friday on the outcome of their report. Obama received a report on the matter on Thursday. An unclassified version will be made public early next week.

Clapper highlighted an increase in cyber-attacks from Russia, against a decline in those attacks from China since September 2015.

He also warned against Iran’s direction to increase its capacities in this area and ISIS’ use of the Internet to raise money, recruit fighters and spread its terrorist ideologies.

Meanwhile, Senator John McCain slammed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for putting “lives in danger” with his continued document leaking.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has identified Russian officials who fed material hacked from the DNC and Democratic Party leaders to WikiLeaks at Putin’s direction through third parties, according to a new U.S. intelligence report, U.S. officials said.

In remarks during Thursday’s hearing, McCain said: “I believe Julian Assange published names of individuals who work for us who put their lives in danger”.

When McCain asked Clapper if Assange had any “credibility,” Clapper responded: “Not in my view.”

Julian Assange Questioned by Ecuadorian Prosecutors

The latest twist in a vicious and long-running legal battle over a rape allegation, prosecutors reportedly were questioning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadoran embassy in London on Monday, .

Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, due to be present while Assange faced a grilling by an Ecuadoran prosecutor, entered the embassy shortly before 1000 GMT, an AFP photographer reported.

Elisabeth Fritz, the lawyer for Assange’s victim, said: “My client has been waiting six years for justice… It is time for this to go to trial.”

On the other hand, Assange’s lawyer Per Samuelsson said the questioning is expected to last several days at the embassy where the founder of the secret-spilling website has been holed up for four years, refusing to come out over fears he could be extradited to the United States.

“I am very hopeful,” Samuelsson told Sweden’s TT news agency. “Objectively, there is no doubt that everything happened as Assange said it did.”

Assange, a 45-year-old Australian, sought refuge in the embassy in June 2012 after Sweden sought his arrest over allegations of rape and sexual assault. He has always denied the claims, saying they were politically motivated.

The former computer hacker insists his sexual encounters with the two women, who he met on a 2010 trip to Sweden, were consensual.

He has refused to travel to Sweden for questioning, fearing he could be extradited over WikiLeaks’ explosive release of 500,000 US secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Swedish prosecutors dropped the sexual assault probe last year after the five-year statute of limitations expired.

But they still want to question him about the 2010 rape allegation, which carries a 10-year statute of limitations.

Assange’s lawyer said he had made “repeated requests” for an interview with police to address the rape claim, though Ecuadoran prosecutors say a hearing scheduled for October was postponed at the Australian’s request.

“Julian Assange has always wanted to tell his version to the Swedish police. He wants a chance to clear his name,” Samuelsson told AFP.

The grilling comes after WikiLeaks returned to the spotlight with the leak of tens of thousands of emails from the US Democratic Party and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the final weeks of the race for the White House.

Assange defended the publication, denying links with Russia and claims that his website was trying to influence the US vote which saw Trump defeat Clinton in a stunning upset.

Tensions with his Ecuadoran hosts have been growing, with the Clinton leaks prompting the embassy to cut Assange’s internet access, citing respect for “non-intervention” in the affairs of other states.

After Email Scandal, WikiLeaks Exposes Emails Sent to Clinton by Brazile

Acting Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile.

Washington- WikiLeaks revealed Monday that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton received aides on the eve of a primary debate with Bernie Sanders hosted by CNN in the Michigan City of Flint, which is facing a crisis over elevated lead levels in its water.

One of these questions was sent to Clinton by Acting Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile, who has long worked as an analyst for CNN news channel.

“One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash,” Brazile told Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta and Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri in the email.

“Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, Hillary will do as president to help the people of Flint,” Brazile said.

During the debate the next day, Clinton was indeed addressed by a woman who said her family had skin problems although the woman’s question was markedly different.

In a message dated March 12, one day ahead of a CNN town hall, Brazile told Palmieri that “from time to time I get the questions in advance,” promising to send more in the future.

In the same message, she seemed to suggest Clinton would be asked a question about the death penalty.

After exposing these emails, CNN said it was “completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.”

It also said that it “never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate.”

On Twitter, Brazile said she was “honored to be a Democratic Strategist and commentator on the network.”

For weeks, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has accused his rival of having had an unfair advantage over Sanders, including advanced knowledge of debate questions.

Until now, those accusations had been largely unsubstantiated.

Brazile’s messages were made public by WikiLeaks following a hack of Podesta’s emails. The Democratic Party has yet to confirm or deny their authenticity.

WikiHillary for President

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Thank God for WikiLeaks.

I confess, I was starting to wonder about what the real Hillary Clinton — the one you never get to see behind closed doors — really stood for. But now that, thanks to WikiLeaks, I’ve had a chance to peruse her speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks, I am more convinced than ever she can be the president America needs today.

Seriously, those speeches are great! They show someone with a vision, a pragmatic approach to getting things done and a healthy instinct for balancing the need to strengthen our social safety nets with unleashing America’s business class to create the growth required to sustain social programs.

So thank you, Vladimir Putin, for revealing how Hillary really hopes to govern. I just wish more of that Hillary were campaigning right now and building a mandate for what she really believes.

WikiHillary? I’m with her.

Why? Let’s start with what WikiLeaks says she said at Brazil’s Banco Itaú event in May 2013: “I think we have to have a concerted plan to increase trade … and we have to resist protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade.”

She also said, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

That’s music to my ears. A hemisphere where nations are trading with one another, and where more people can collaborate and interact for work, study, tourism and commerce, is a region that is likely to be growing more prosperous with fewer conflicts, especially if more of that growth is based on clean energy.

Compare our hemisphere, or the European Union, or the Asian trading nations with, say, the Middle East — where the flow of trade, tourism, knowledge and labor among nations has long been restricted — and the case for Hillary’s vision becomes obvious.

The way Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have made trade and globalization dirty words is ridiculous. Globalization and trade have helped to bring more people out of poverty in the last 50 years than at any other time in history.

Do we need to make adjustments so the minority of the U.S. population that is hurt by freer trade and movements of labor is compensated and better protected? You bet we do. That’s called fixing a problem — not throwing out a whole system that we know from a long historical record contributes on balance to economic growth, competitiveness and more open societies.

In a speech to a Morgan Stanley group on April 18, 2013, WikiHillary praised the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan, which included reforming the tax code to increase investment and entrepreneurship and raising certain taxes and trimming some spending and entitlements to make them more sustainable.

The ultimate shape of that grand bargain could take many forms, she said, but Hillary stressed behind closed doors: “Simpson-Bowles … put forth the right framework. Namely, we have to restrain spending, we have to have adequate revenues and we have to incentivize growth. It’s a three-part formula.”

She is right. We’ll never get out of this economic rut, and protect future generations, unless the business and social sectors, Democrats and Republicans, all give and get something — and that’s exactly where WikiHillary was coming from.

In an October 2013 speech for Goldman Sachs, Clinton seemed to suggest the need to review the regulations imposed on banks by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed in 2010. Her idea was not to get rid of all of the rules but rather to make sure they were not imposing needless burdens that limited lending to small businesses and start-ups.

As Clinton put it, “More thought has to be given to the process and transactions and regulations so that we don’t kill or maim what works, but we concentrate on the most effective way of moving forward with the brainpower and the financial power that exists here.” Again, exactly right.

You can also find WikiHillary, or her aides, musing about a “carbon tax” and whether or not to come out in favor of it, as Sanders did. She chose not to now, probably to avoid being saddled by Republicans with calling for a new tax in the general election campaign, but I am confident she’d make pricing carbon part of her climate policy.

When I read WikiHillary, I hear a smart, pragmatic, center-left politician who will be inclined to work with both the business community and Republicans to keep America tilted toward trade expansion, entrepreneurship and global integration, while redoubling efforts to cushion workers from the downsides of these policies.

I’m just sorry that campaign Hillary felt she could not speak like WikiHillary to build a proper mandate for President Hillary. She would have gained respect for daring to speak the truth to her own constituency — and demonstrating leadership — not lost votes.

Nonetheless, thanks to WikiLeaks, I am reassured that she has the right balance of instincts on the issues I care about most. So, again, thank you, Putin, for exposing that Hillary. She could make a pretty good president for these times.

(The New York Times)

In Private, Clinton Split with Obama on Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) listens to U.S. President Barack Obama speak during a meeting with members of his cabinet at the White House in Washington November 28, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A month after President Barack Obama’s historic 2013 phone call to Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, his former secretary of state privately warned that the so-called moderate only won the election because Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard Corps allowed it.

According to a speech transcript made public this weekend by WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton on October 28, 2013, told the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago: “I believe that Rouhani was allowed to be elected by the two major power sources in Iran, the supreme leader and the clerics and the Revolutionary Guard … in part because the sanctions were having a quite damaging effect on the economy.”

She continued: “I don’t think anyone should have any illusions as to the motives of the Iranian leadership. What they really want to do is get sanction relief and give as little as possible for that sanction relief.”

Clinton’s private skepticism about Rouhani diverges from the Obama administration’s effort to portray the Iranian president as a moderating force against the regime’s hardline elements. The Treasury Department, for example, paused its process of blacklisting front companies meant to evade sanctions after his election in June 2013. In 2015, the Obama administration opposed a congressional proposal to increase visa scrutiny of visitors to the U.S. who had also been to Iran, using the argument that the measure would weaken moderate forces there.

Obama has talked openly about the promise of Iranian reform under Rouhani. He told NPR in April 2015: “I think that, if in fact the Rouhani administration — the forces that are more moderating, even if, let’s acknowledge, that they don’t share our values and they still consider us an enemy — if they are shown to have delivered for their people, presumably it strengthens their hand vis-a-vis some of the hardliners inside of Iran.”

The Obama approach presumes that Rouhani can bring about democratic change to Iran. Clinton, in private at least, has taken a more realistic view since leaving the administration. In her Chicago speech, she called Rouhani’s outreach to the West a “charm offensive,” and argued that U.S. negotiations were important as a sign of good faith to the international community, but not as a way to influence Iranian internal politics.

Republicans this election year have seized on Clinton’s support for Obama’s nuclear deal. And it’s true that Clinton defends the deal in public as a way to keep a lid on Iran’s nuclear program for the next 10 to 15 years. State Department diplomats working for her began the secret direct talks with Iran over the nuclear deal before Rouhani came to power.

But Clinton’s campaign, according to newly leaked e-mails, has been far more attentive to concerns from skeptics of the deal, starting with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. For example, e-mail exchanges between Stuart Eizenstat, a senior State Department official under President Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton’s top national security aide, Jake Sullivan, show how the campaign sought and incorporated suggestions on her Iran deal statement from the pro-Israel and Jewish community.

A December 2015 e-mail from Eizenstat to Sullivan concerns a message from a senior aide to Netanyahu. Eizenstat says the Israeli official told him: “The prime minister always had a ‘surprising good relationship’ with Hillary; she is ‘easy to work with,’ and that she is more instinctively sympathetic to Israel than the White House.” This is a marked contrast to Obama, who openly fought with Netanyahu and pro-Israel organizations in the summer of 2015 over the Iran deal.

Clinton’s skepticism of Rouhani is in line with other criticisms of Obama’s foreign policy she shared in her behind-closed-doors speeches. For example, at an October 2013 speech at the Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovators Summit, she was critical of Obama’s decision to walk away from his “red line” on the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons. “You can’t squander your reputation and your leadership capital,” she said. “You have to do what you say you’re going to do. You have to be smart about executing on your strategies. And you’ve got to be careful not to send the wrong message to others, such as Iran.”

All of this would have been trouble for Clinton had these speeches been released during the Democratic Party’s primaries when her dovish opponent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, asked her to release the transcripts. Sanders supporters could also have made hay of transcripts of talks to major banks showing Clinton supported trade deals she criticized during the primary.

But WikiLeaks held onto these transcripts until just weeks before Americans will vote for their president. Candidates usually try to tack to the center for the general election. In this strange political season, WikiLeaks has performed this pivot for her.

Bloomberg

Drugs from Stadiums to the U.S. Presidential Race

Drugs

Moscow, Portsmouth (U.K.) – In an attempt to overcome a new week of scandals, republican presidential candidate Donald Trump intensified attacks on his rival the democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and accused her of doping before participating in the second presidential debate last week.

After accusing the media of corruption and forging the elections, Trump hinted that Clinton is abusing drugs and suggested subjecting her to tests before the next debate. Trump statements coincided with his regression before the elections due 8 November.

The republican nominee speech on Saturday and his strange statements regarding the democratic rival represent an additional step in his attempt to escape repercussions of his abusive statements towards women.

Previously, Trump accused media means of corruption, saying ““The media is piling on with unsubstantiated claims to guarantee the victory of Clinton.”

A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Clinton with a 47-to-43 percent lead over Trump. Before the first debate, the polls showed Clinton with a 46-to-44 percent.

The new poll shows that excitement of Trump supporters declined and the percentage of those who might stop their back to Clinton dropped as well.

While Trump continues his attacks against his rival, WikiLeaks website published letters in favor of Goldman Sacks that reveal additional details on Clinton’s relations with great institutions in Wall Street.

Clinton’s campaign did not deny these letters, which are part of a bigger number of hacked emails that belong to Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Clinton team accused the Russian government of standing behind the hacking, an opinion also endorsed by the U.S. administration.

These letters include Clinton’s opinions towards financial organizations, relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the influence of previous WikiLeaks leaked documents.

The Kremlin, from its part, expressed discontent towards the U.S. threats to carry on similar cyber-attacks on Russian institutions as a response on the Russian hacking of U.S. websites.