Saturday, July 2, 2016

Hacked Emails Confirm NATO To Provoke Conflict With Russia, U.S. Has Another Close Call With Russian Ship

Hacked Emails Confirm NATO Push To Provoke, Escalate Conflict With Russia | Zero Hedge

Just two weeks ago, a huge scandal erupted within another 'union' as Germany slammed NATO for "warmongering" destroying the fictional narrative that 'innocent' NATO was merely reacting to evil Russian provocations. Furthermore, as NATO accelerated its encirclement of Russia, with British soldiers deployed in Estonia, US soldiers operating in Latvia and Canadians in Poland, while combat units are being increased in the Mediterranean... 

NATO found another excuse for war, assessing that it may now have grounds to attack Russia when it announced that if a NATO member country becomes the victim of a cyber attack by persons in a non-NATO country such as Russia or China, then NATO’s Article V “collective defense” provision requires each NATO member country to join that NATO member country if it decides to strike back against the attacking country.

Now, as The Intercept's Zaid Jilani and Lee Fang expose, retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove (yes an ironic name for a warmonger), until recently the supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe, plotted in private to overcome President Barack Obama’s reluctance to escalate military tensions with Russiaover the war in Ukraine in 2014, according to apparently hacked emails from Breedlove’s Gmail accountthat were posted on a new website called DC Leaks.

Der Spiegel reported that Breedlove “stunned” German leaders with a surprise announcement in 2015 claiming that pro-Russian separatists had “upped the ante” in eastern Ukraine with “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of the most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery” sent to Donbass, a center of the conflict.

Breedlove’s numbers were “significantly higher” than the figures known to NATO intelligence agencies and seemed exaggerated to German officials. The announcement appeared to be a provocation designed to disrupt mediation efforts led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In previous instances, German officials believed Breedlove overestimated Russian forces along the border with Ukraine by as many as 20,000 troops and found that the general had falsely claimed that several Russian military assets near the Ukrainian border were part of a special build-up in preparation for a large-scale invasion of the country. In fact, much of the Russian military equipment identified by Breedlove, the Germans said, had been stored there well before the revolution in Ukraine.

The emails, however, depict a desperate search by Breedlove to build his case for escalating the conflict, contacting colleagues and friends for intelligence to illustrate the Russian threat. Karber, who visited Ukrainian politicians and officials in Kiev on several occasions, sent frequent messages to Breedlove — “per your request,” he noted — regarding information he had received about separatist military forces and Russian troop movements. In several updates, Breedlove received military data sourced from Twitter and social media.

Karber, the president of the Potomac Foundation, became the center of a related scandal last year when it was discovered that he had facilitated a meeting during which images of purported Russian forces in Ukraine were distributed to the office of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and were published by a neoconservative blog. The pictures turned out to be a deception; one supposed picture of Russian tanks in Ukraine was, in fact, an old photograph of Russian tanks in Ossetia during the war with Georgia.

Breedlove stayed in close contact with Karber and other officials who shared his views on the Ukrainian conflict.

“Phil, can’t we get a statement to counteract the Russians on use of force? what can I do to help? If the Ukrainians lose control of the narrative, the Russians will see it as an open door,” wrote retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who forwarded on his messages with Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. He also passed along concerns from the Bulgarian president that Bulgaria might be Russia’s next target.

In other messages, Clark relayed specific requests for the types of military aid desired by Ukrainian officials. In addition to radar systems and other forms of military equipment, Clark recommended that Breedlove “encourage Ukraine to hire some first rate pr firms and crisis communications firms in U.S. and Europe.” He added, “They need the right tools to engage in information warfare.”

Ukraine did hire several D.C. lobbying and communication firms to influence policymakers.In June 2015, the government signed a deal with APCO Worldwide, an influential firm with ties to senior Democratic and Republican officials.

In an email in February 2015, Karber told Breedlove that “Pakistan has, under the table, offered Ukraine 500 TOW-II launchers (man-portable version) and 8,000 TOW-II missiles,” adding that deliveries of the anti-tank weapons could begin by the end of the month. “However,” Karber wrote, “Pakistan will not make these deliveries without U.S. approval; moreover they will not even request that approval unless they have informal assurance that it would be approved.”

With all that in mind, we return to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's recent exclamation that "anyone who thinks you can increase security in the alliance with symbolic parades of tanks near the eastern borders, is mistaken," and given the 'proof' above that it is indeed NATO that is provoking and warmongering, the unprecedented reality in which NATO's biggest and most important European member is suddenly and quite vocally against NATO and as a result may be pivoting toward Russian, we for one can't wait to see just how this shocking geopolitical debacle for western neocons and war hawks concludes.

A Russian ship again made a close approach to a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea in an encounter that American officials are labeling "unprofessional."
On Thursday, the Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudryy came within 150 yards of the guided missile cruiser USS San Jacinto -- two weeks after the same Russian ship came within 315 yards of the American destroyerUSS Gravely.
The USS San Jacinto was operating near the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, where it is conducting flight operations against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.
According to Captain Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for U.S. European Command, the Yaroslav Mudryy positioned itself about 650 yards from the American cruiser. "Then, Yaroslav Mudryy repeatedly informed San Jacinto over VHF radio of its intended course, as the Yaroslay Mudryy maneuvered towards and unnecessarily close to USS San Jacinto before turning away," said Hernandez.
According to a defense official, the Russian frigate came within 150 yards of the USS San Jacinto. The Yaroslav Mudryy then maneuvered within San Jacinto’s wake, though at much farther distance of approximately 3,000 yards behind the cruiser, the defense official said.
The Russian Defense Ministry released video to make its case that it was the Gravely that had acted unprofessionally. However, a U.S. official said that the video was a case of selective editing since it was the Russian ship that was weaving in and out of the Gravely's wake. U.S. European Command said the Russian vessel's actions that day were intended to intentionally disrupt the operations of the nearby aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.

Days after Daesh (the Islamic state) claimed responsibility for suicide bombing attacks on Turkey’s largest airport, the pro-jihadist twitter account reported that the group is preparing attacks on major air havens in America and Britain, said to be carried out over Independence Day weekend.

London Heathrow, LAX and New York's JFK are said to be targeted by Daesh in the upcoming days, SITE Intelligence group, a non-governmental organization specialized in tracking jihadi networks’ activities revealed, citing a pro-Daesh twitter account.

According to the account, jihadists may either mount an explosive device in one of the three airports or directly attack planes en route from the United Kingdom to the United States.

The threat comes amid the preparations to July Fourth weekend in the US, considered to be one of the busiest periods for American airports during a year. This year authorities expect that up to 43 million of Americans will be traveling across the country, most of which by plane.
US authorities refuted the report as non-credible, saying there are no grounds to consider the Twitter post as an “executable plan” of terrorists.
Earlier, the FBI said they had no information about possible terror attacks against the US during the upcoming holiday, but called on the public to remain vigilant.

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