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The innocents abroad

Ever since the US bombing of Syria, I’ve been wondering what the new official US policy actually is regarding bombing Syria (and other places).  Well, Secretary of State Tillerson has cleared this up for me.  According to Tillerson, the United States will punish those “who commit crimes against the innocents anywhere in the world.”  That, to me, sounds both noble and ambitious.  It should certainly keep Captain America busy well beyond his first 100 days.  It’s a big world and harmed innocents might be found just about anywhere.  For a while there, I thought the US president was just kind of upset about seeing some dead kids and figured he’d shoot some missiles at some bad hombres.

I wonder how this will play out with his advisor, Steve Bannon.  I doubt that Bannon looks favorably on meddling in Middle Eastern affairs.  Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, on the other hand, might think this is just the sort of thing to do (which puts him in the company of such Trump-bait as Hillary Clinton and John McCain).  I wonder whether Trump will throw over his mentor for his family, or, rather, when he will do this.

If Bannon is looking for a new gig, he might want to move to Sweden.  It seems that the recent terror attack there has convinced Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that mass immigration may not be in his country’s best interests.

Finally, in case you’re wondering if there is any more to the recent Wikileaks leak, Julian Assange has this to tell you:

Vault 7 is the largest intelligence leak in history. We’ve published so far less than 1 percent of that material. Now, so far, the publications that we have published reveal that the Central Intelligence Agency has decided to create, in the last 10 years, its own captive version of the National Security Agency, not specialized in bulk interception, but specialized in semi-automated hacking processes. That’s creation of viruses, Trojans, etc., to put in people’s computer systems, telephones, TVs, and have those then report back to CIA listening posts that collect that information, ingest it into the broader CIA process….

So, I think it’s—it’s significant that as the Central Intelligence Agency gained budgetary and political preeminence over the National Security Agency, which used to have a bigger budget—in the post-9/11 environment, the CIA’s budget has now increased to about 1.5 times that of the National Security Agency.

Remember the good old days when the scariest snoops were the NSA?  It seems the CIA is back on top.


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