The Biden-Harris Transition Team released names of people who are on their "agency review teams," which will prepare Biden and his Cabinet for their administration.

Let's examine some of the individuals who are notable because of their backgrounds. #BidenTransition Image
Matt Olsen is former Obama administration official. He was National Counterterrorism Center director, briefly the NSA general counsel, and executive director for Gitmo Review Task Force.

Olsen is volunteer for Intelligence Community group. Image
In 2018, Olsen went to work for Uber as the corporation's chief security officer.

Uber joined with other corporations & spent hundreds of millions of dollars to pass Prop 22 in California. It ensures drivers and couriers are exempt from minimum wage.…
Olsen has contended what NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed had little to do with privacy and civil liberties, a talking point former officials have repeated to discredit him. He also insists terrorists changed their behavior to avoid detection.

Olsen defended backdoor searches of Americans' internet communications.

"...[N]o principled or logical limit to view of critics that FBI should have to establish probable cause & get permission of judge to look at information it has already obtained..."…
As deputy AG for DOJ's National Security Division from 2006-2009, Olsen helped break barriers preventing prosecutors from using info collected through clandestine operations and warrantless surveillance in criminal cases. He crafted expansion of FISA.…
Greg Vogle is a partner for the McChrystal Group, which was founded by Stanley McChrystal, former commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He was the CIA head of station in Afghanistan.

Vogle is a volunteer for Intelligence Community group. Image
Vogle was an adviser for DGC International, a US military contractor founded and headed by Afghan businessman Mustafa Zamani.

Examples of some of the services DGC provides so US military can maintain its dominating presence in the Middle East: ImageImageImageImage
Eric Velez-Villar spent 30 years at FBI and eventually was a senior executive for Intelligence Branch. He left to become head of security for Disney's parks and resorts and protect corporation's "sensitive information."

He is volunteer for Intelligence Community Group. Image
Carmen Middleton also has worked for Disney. She is former deputy executive director of CIA. She was CIA's highest-ranking Latina and showed women like her can destabilize the world in the name of American democracy too.

Middleton is volunteer for Intelligence Community group. Image
Bob Litt is the former general counsel for the Office of Director for National Intelligence (ODNI). He worked with James Clapper and was involved in US intelligence response to Snowden's whistleblowing.

Litt is volunteer for the Intelligence Community group. Image
Here is Litt defending Clapper after the New York Times published an editorial suggesting Clapper lied to Congress about the collection of Americans' phone metadata:… Image
When any American newspaper revealed some new aspect of mass surveillance program operated by US government—for example, how NSA stored location data for "hundreds of millions of devices"—it was Litt who deployed to make sure it did not erupt into a scandal which led to reform. Image
Comment: I don't think this group of "intelligence community" advisers will support dropping the charges against Edward Snowden or Daniel Hale. They may not even object to prosecuting Assange, even though Obama Justice Dept declined to charge him.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield was US assistant secretary of state for African affairs and has been the senior vice president for Albright Stonebridge Group's Africa section.

Thomas-Greenfield is a volunteer and team lead for State Department group. Image
As developer and manager for US policy toward sub-Saharan Africa, was a cheerleader for President George W. Bush's Millennium Challenge Account.

The MCA is neocolonialism. It is designed to privilege US corporations and enable exploitation of emerging African economies. ImageImage
That is Thomas-Greenfield is the lead for State Department agency review group may be one of clearest indications Biden will nominate Susan Rice to serve as Secretary of State.

When Rice was attacked in pages of New York Times for "diplomatic disasters," she defended her. ImageImage
Albright Stonebridge Group is global consulting firm chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who in 1990s defended the policy of US sanctions against Iraq in spite of the fact that a half million children died.

There are two more people from ASG on this team.
Roberta Jacobson is a former US ambassador to Mexico and describes herself as expert on "Latin American business and politics." She has worked for Albright Stonebridge Group.

She is a volunteer for the State Department group. Image
In 2014, US-backed right-wing opposition seized on void left by Hugo Chavez's death to oust Nicolas Maduro.

They setup guarimbas (blockades) on streets, resulting in a number of deaths.

Jacobson joined other officials in ignoring their tactics and backing their efforts. ImageImage
Tom Sullivan is the director of international tax planning at Amazon—and the younger brother of Jake Sullivan, a Biden national security adviser.

It doesn't look like he has any experience in State Department (or federal government), but he's part of that agency review group. Image
Derek Chollet and Ellison Laskowski are both affiliated with the German Marshall Fund.

GMF spent the Trump administration supporting a project called the Alliance For Securing Democracy.

Both Chollet and Laskowski are on the State Department group. ImageImage
Alliance For Securing Democracy developed a "tracker" that it claimed could identify "Russian influence operations."

In practice, popular discourse that didn't fit US foreign policy agenda could easily be targeted for censorship on social media.…
Dana Stroul is a fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). It was founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) or the Israel lobby.

Stroul is a volunteer for the State Department group. Image
Stroul was part of the bipartisan Syria Study Group that Congress appointed, which plotted out the next phase of US regime change policy in Syria.

Here is Stroul saying US maintained military presence to control Syria's resources and "influence a political outcome."
For @TheGrayzoneNews, @BenjaminNorton covered this and outlined four-pronged plan for Syria that Stroul championed

Occupying this section of Syria and imposing sanctions would result in massive suffering and civilian deaths.…
Chris Lu was deputy secretary of labor for President Barack Obama and cheerleader for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

He was vice chair of 2020 Democratic National Convention Rules Committee.

Lu is a volunteer and team lead for Labor Department group.

Neil MacBride was US Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. He was chief counsel for Biden when he was a US senator.

MacBride is a volunteer for the Justice Department group. Image
MacBride oversaw grand jury investigation against WikiLeaks until he resigned from his position as US Attorney in August 2013. He prosecuted CIA whistleblowers @JohnKiriakou and Jeffrey Sterling (@S_UnwantedSpy).
Here is MacBride in July 2013 at an Aspen Security Forum event. He's asked about Obama administration's record number of leak prosecutions under Espionage Act.

"Have you gone overboard, Neil?"

"No, I don't believe we have," MacBride replies.
MacBride defended a subpoena issued against NYT reporter James Risen in Sterling case. He argued government should be able to compel a journalist to reveal their confidential sources by threatening them with jail if they don't cooperate.

Here is a clip of him dodging the issue:
Marty Lederman is a Georgetown Law professor. He was deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel from 2009 to 2010 (during the Obama administration).

He is a volunteer on the Justice Department group. Image
Lederman helped draft 2010 "drone memo" that set out "legal basis" for executing American terrorism suspect without charge or trial—Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

ACLU's Jameel Jaffer offered a critique of memo after Obama admin was forced to release it.…
Barbara McQuade is a University of Michigan law professor and was a US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, which includes Dearborn, Detroit, and Flint. She was an MSNBC contributor.

McQuade is a volunteer for the Justice Department group. Image
As US Attorney in Michigan, McQuade's office was implicated in racial profiling and intrusive surveillance against Arab, Muslim, & Sikh communities.

She faced blowback after it became known Dearborn was labeled by security agency as "terrorist hotspot."… Image
McQuade's response was to lash out at The Intercept's journalism. She called release and publication "unfortunate and irresponsible," and even said she was "very skeptical of its accuracy."…
This year, McQuade spoke at UofM after play based on NSA whistleblower Reality Winner's case. She repeated prosecution's talking points, referring to texts out of context.

Also, in program for event, she questioned whether Intercept was media deserving of DOJ protections. ImageImage
McQuade's office targeted Palestinian American woman named Rasmea Odeh, who was pillar of her Chicago community. She was deported to Jordan after political prosecution—detailed here:…
McQuade was involved in the embarrassing prosecution against the Hutaree militia that collapsed because evidence largely came from a paid FBI informant and infiltrator.

The case raised several First Amendment questions that McQuade largely dismissed and downplayed.
As US Attorney, McQuade was in charge of prosecuting officials in Michigan, including then-Gov. Rick Snyder, who poisoned the water in Flint. But no one was charged before she resigned after Trump took office.

McQuade boosted Snyder's endorsement of Biden in September. Image
As @sarahlazare reported, of 23 appointees to Pentagon review team, at least a third recently worked for "orga­ni­za­tions, think tanks, or com­pa­nies that either direct­ly receive mon­ey from the weapons indus­try or are part of this indus­try."…
Kath Hicks was principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy in Obama admin. She is a senior vice president, Henry Kissinger Chair, & director of International Security Program at Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).

Hicks is leader for Pentagon team. Image
CSIS is funded by Bank of America, Chevron, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, Saudi Aramco, Bechtel, Citigroup, General Dynamics, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Royal Dutch Shell, ConcoPhillips, and JPMorgan Chase. Image
Hicks favors economic sanctions against Iran to force the government to comply with America's global agenda.

As detailed here, sanctions have been responsible for a major humanitarian crisis (and it's become worse during COVID-19 pandemic).…
Susanna Blume was deputy chief of staff for programs and plans to the deputy secretary of defense during Obama admin. She is director of defense program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

Blume is on Pentagon review team. Image
CNAS is funded by Northrop Grumman, State Department, Pentagon, Bank of America, Chevron, Facebook, Google, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Booz Allen Hamilton, BP America, JPMorgan Chase, Palantir, Raytheon, and Office of Director of National Intelligence.
Sharon Burke was an official in the Defense Department during Obama administration. She is part of New America Foundation. She was at State Department during President George W. Bush's administration, and she was vice president at CNAS.

Burke is on the Pentagon review team. Image
The New America Foundation receives funding from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Apple, Comcast, Boeing, General Atomics, Microsoft Defense & Intelligence, and Walmart.
Burke focuses on climate change's impact on the US military and its ability to wage war. But what seems absent from her focus is a recognition that US military is a big threat to the climate. The Pentagon is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than up to 140 countries. Image
Melissa Dalton was at the Defense Department during the Obama administration. She is a deputy director of the CSIS International Security Program. She often focuses on US military policy toward the Middle East.

Dalton is part of the Pentagon team. Image
It seems Dalton viewed the push in Senate to end military support for Saudi Arabia's bombing of Yemen as counterproductive. Dalton supports core objective—to challenge Iranian support for Houthi rebels.

She backs training Saudis to kill less civilians.… Image
John Estrada was ambassador to Trinidad & Tobago under Trump. He was senior manager for Lockheed Martin Training Solutions. He was highest-ranking enlisted US Marine during height of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

Estrada is on the Pentagon review team. Image
Andrew Hunter was a senior official at Defense Department under Obama. He is the director of defense-industrial initiatives group for CSIS.

Hunter is on the Pentagon review team. Image
As an expert for #1 think tank funded by war profiteers, Hunter is kind of military industrial-complex sales representative.

Here he is in 2016 talking about "future investments" the Pentagon needed to make, even as budget for US military was more than a half trillion dollars: Image
Report I compiled for @TheGrayzoneNews on the neoliberal consultants, war profiteers, and national security hawks appointed to the #BidenTransition agency review teams…

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More from @kgosztola

6 Dec
Sharing live commentary on this segment with NSA whistleblower Reality Winner from @60Minutes as it airs.

Reality Winner didn’t commit espionage. She was found guilty of violating the Espionage Act. That’s an important distinction that responsible broadcast journalists should make for viewers. #60Minutes
Rather condescending opening as #60Minutes dwells on her name and says that may not be the most baffling aspect of her story
Read 11 tweets
28 Oct
At the British High Court of Justice, Julian Assange's defense present their response(s) to the United States government's effort to overturn a district court decision, which blocked extradition.

Thread for updates on the second day of the appeal hearing.
To recap: On Day 1, Crown prosecutors, led by James Lewis QC, attacked the work done by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who weighed facts to determine if it would be "oppressive" to Assange's mental health to grant US government's extradition request.…
The play-by-play thread of Day 1, with much more extensive detail than the report at The Dissenter, can be found here:

Read 67 tweets
27 Oct
The Crown Prosecution Service goes before the British High Court of Justice to present the United States government's appeal in extradition case against Julian Assange. Proceedings start around 10:30 am London Time.

Thread for updates on the first day of the appeal hearing.
This lays out each of the US government's "grounds for appeal" that will be argued at the High Court of Justice.

(If at any moment you have trouble understanding what is being argued, here's a guide for the appeal hearing:…)
Prosecutors will talk quite a lot about "assurances," which were offered by the US government AFTER the extradition request was blocked by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser on January 4 and AFTER the extradition hearing in September 2020.

These are the "assurances":
Read 69 tweets
13 Oct
Police stories are all around. They dominate network TV. They drive news coverage. They determine city budgets, with outsized portion going to cops instead of programs that can address basic human needs.

I don't think this takes us "someplace you might not expect to go," NYT. Image
Viewed alongside recurring copaganda in the New York Times, it's not so exceptional. It's establishment journalism following a blueprint for Lifetime movie. The author likely believes it should unite those divided over police cause it gives us the feels.
Just a few weeks ago, the New York Times published a report that promoted police views on crime without disclosing a major conflict of interest by the author, Jeff Asher, who has a background with CIA/Palantir/police/prosecutors, etc.
Read 4 tweets
9 Oct
The final entry in Dave Chappelle’s run of Netflix specials is yet another master class in comedy. He holds that Detroit audience in the palm of his hand, even as he crosses lines and deliberately uses words he knows they won’t like. And that is because they trust him.
The audience trusts there isn’t any malice behind Chappelle’s jokes. Words that have so much power to hurt when uttered by people who hate are disarmed by him. Chappelle isn’t being offensive as much as he is mocking how we might believe he is that offensive of a person.
Most of Chappelle’s act has characters, who he twists into caricatures to illustrate a perspective, which is that as a Black man there’s a certain insufferable whiteness to many of the gripes that seem to define a good number of the issues of our times.
Read 5 tweets
26 Sep
Journalists for Yahoo! News finally confirmed a narrative around Mike Pompeo and the CIA's war on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, which I outlined back in October 2019. It's an important report.

WikiLeaks' publication of "Vault 7" materials from the CIA was hugely embarrassing. Even though the CIA had increased spying operations against WikiLeaks, they still were surprised the media organization obtained a trove of the agency's extremely sensitive files.
CIA director Mike Pompeo was afraid President Donald Trump would learn about the "Vault 7" materials and think less of him. "Don’t tell him, he doesn’t need to know."

But it was too important. Trump had to be informed.
Read 22 tweets

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