8:07 PM 10/3/2017 – Mandalay Bay shooting: “Paddock also mysteriously sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines in the days before slaughtering 59 people in his furious killing spree.” 

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“Paddock also mysteriously sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines in the days before slaughtering 59 people in his furious killing spree.” 

M.N.: Please, recall that the 9/11 hijackers also made some mysterious money transfers very shortly before the act. My hypothesis on this subject is that the exact amounts of transfers might contain numerological messages. 

Las Vegas gunman recorded his deadly rampage inside hotel room

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Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock installed video cameras inside and outside his hotel room before the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, officials said Tuesday.

The 64-year-old killer mounted one camera inside the 32nd floor hotel suite where he assembled a massive, deadly arsenal of rifles and ammunition for the Sunday night slaughter.

Other cameras were placed in the hallway to detect any law enforcement presence, including one hidden on a room service cart from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

“There were cameras outside of the room and inside of the room, along with the firearms,” said Sheriff Joe Lombardo at an afternoon briefing. “I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody.”

Las Vegas terrorist fired 280 rounds in 31 seconds into crowd

Lombardo said the FBI had all digital and electronic evidence along with the cameras, and declined to say if there was actual video of Paddock firing down on the 22,000 revelers at a concert across Los Vegas Boulevard.

Paddock, apparently alerted by the camera, shot and wounded a hotel security guard in the hallway outside his door during the Sunday night rampage, police said.

Although authorities had yet to establish a motive, Lombardo remained certain that investigators will uncover what sent Paddock on the 80-mile ride into Las Vegas with a small arsenal.


“I expect a substantial amount of information to come in over the next 48 hours,” he added.

Las Vegas shooting survivor watched as life-loving boyfriend died

Paddock also mysteriously sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines in the days before slaughtering 59 people in his furious killing spree.

Authorities reported another 527 people were injured as Paddock, armed with 16 high-powered rifles and another seven weapons, fired fusillade after fusillade of bullets for nine terrifying minutes.

NBC News reported the money was sent to the home country of Paddock’s live-in girlfriend Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines when he opened fire Sunday night on the crowd below.

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mass shooting at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Law enforcement officials told NBC it was unclear if the money was meant for Danley and her family or for some other purpose. Paddock shared a home with Danley in Mesquite, Nev.

‘We’ll be talking about gun laws’ after Las Vegas shooting: Trump

More than a dozen FBI investigators descended Tuesday morning on the concert site turned killing field, arriving in unmarked cars to scour the area for clues.

The agents wore blue protective shoe covers and jackets marked “FBI” as they returned to the scene of the crime on the Las Vegas Strip.

As of Tuesday morning, at least 45 victims of the shooting spree still remained in critical condition — 33 at Sunrise Hospital and another dozen at University Medical Center.

Authorities said the injured were struck by some of the hundreds of bullets fired, hit with shrapnel or trampled as the terrified concert crowd ran for cover.

GoFundMe for Las Vegas massacre victims raises more than $3.2M

President Trump, speaking before his trip to hurricane-battered Puerto Rico, focused his comments on the shooter rather than possible gun control legislation.

“He was a sick man, a demented man – a lot of problems, I guess,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’re dealing with a very, very sick individual.”

Danley, 62, was traveling through Asia as Paddock rented his room high above the city and stocked it with an assortment of weapons, each smuggled inside a piece of luggage, cops said.

The two began dating earlier this year, and authorities said Danley was in Tokyo on Monday. She was expected back in the U.S. to speak with authorities investigating the mass murder.

Authorities had questions about the arsenal kept in the house shared by the couple: 19 guns, thousands of rounds of ammo and explosives.

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The riddle of the Sphinx

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The riddle of the Sphinx

An important element in Sophocles, Oedipus the King is the Sphinx and her riddle. To be sure, the content of the riddle is never specified in the play. There are, however, a number of specific references or allusions to the Sphinx in the play (H&P, p. 707, line 37; p. 710, line 131; p. 717, line 382; p. 720, line 485)

Quite a few versions of the riddle are available, but most of these probably represent some distortion of the form in which it was familiar to Sophocles’ audience. The version which is most familiar today runs something like this, available on the web at History For Kids:“What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening?” (H&P give essentially the same version, p. 693, but with “legs” in place of “feet”.)

Ancient Greek sources, such as Apollodorus and Athenaeus, on the other hand, give a different emphasis to the riddle.Apollodorus’ version is the more widely available. It runs as follows:

“What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?”

Also important is Athenaeus’ somewhat fuller version, available at a Sophocles website, as follows:

“A thing there is whose voice is one;
Whose feet are four and two and three.
So mutable a thing is none
That moves in earth or sky or sea.
When on most feet this thing doth go,
Its strength is weakest and its pace most slow.”

Besides this relatively comprehensive version, there is also evidence for a shorter version, consisting of just one dactylic hexameter line, as follows:

“A thing there is whose voice is one;
Whose feet are four and two.”

One possible answer to this form of the riddle is “a pastoral society” (i.e., one in which humans and their animals live in close association with one another). Such a formulation of the riddle is important at various points in Oedipus Rex. For example, the plague is described near the beginning of the play (H&P, p. 707, lines 24-25) as affecting both the flocks and women of Thebes. Also, it is eventually the two shepherds (from Corinth and Thebes respectively), who have lived in close association with their flocks (H&P, p. 742, lines 1082-1090) who eventually provide the key evidence for explicating Oedipus’ background.

More generally, evidence for the importance of a variety of different forms of the riddle emerges in the confrontation between Oedipus and Teiresias (H&P, pp. 714-719, lines 289-453). This can be viewed in terms of Teiresias’ having realized that the riddle did not admit of any simple solution, whereas Oedipus, brilliantly, but with ultimately fatal consequences, picked out just the answer “man”.

Particularly striking evidence of the importance of a multitude of riddles in the play comes in the concluding lines, in which, finally, there is a reference to riddles – in the plural – rather than a single riddle. This point is, however, obscured in many translations (including Cook’s translation, in H&P), in which the Greek plural ainigmata (which Sophocles uses in place of the singular ainigma) is translated just as “riddle”. For the original form of the text, though, see an on-line essay which includes the following translation by David Grene. (The passage from Grene’s translation is found near the end of the essay.) [Emphasis on word “riddles” added]:You that live in my ancestral Thebes, behold this Oedipus,- him who knew the famous riddles and was a man most masterful; not a citizen who did not look with envy on his lot-see him now and see the breakers of misfortune swallow him! Look upon that last day always. Count no mortal happy till he has passed the final limit of his life secure from pain.

Signed in as mikenova

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After Las Vegas Shooting, Fake News Regains Its Megaphone


A Facebook spokesman said, “We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused.”

But this was no one-off incident. Over the past few years, extremists, conspiracy theorists and government-backed propagandists have made a habit of swarming major news events, using search-optimized “keyword bombs” and algorithm-friendly headlines. These organizations are skilled at reverse-engineering the ways that tech platforms parse information, and they benefit from a vast real-time amplification network that includes 4Chan and Reddit as well as Facebook, Twitter and Google. Even when these campaigns are thwarted, they often last hours or days — long enough to spread misleading information to millions of people.

The latest fake news flare-up came at an inconvenient time for companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, which are already defending themselves from accusations that they have let malicious actors run rampant on their platforms.

On Monday, Facebook handed congressional investigators 3,000 ads that had been purchased by Russian government affiliates during the 2016 campaign season, and it vowed to hire 1,000 more human moderators to review ads for improper content. (The company would not say how many moderators currently screen its ads.) Twitter faces tough questions about harassment and violent threats on its platform, and is still struggling to live down a reputation as a safe haven for neo-Nazis and other poisonous groups. And Google also faces questions about its role in the misinformation economy.

Part of the problem is that these companies have largely abrogated the responsibility of moderating the content that appears on their platforms, instead relying on rule-based algorithms to determine who sees what. Facebook, for instance, previously had a team of trained news editors who chose which stories appeared in its trending topics section, a huge driver of traffic to news stories. But it disbanded the group and instituted an automated process last year, after reports surfaced that the editors were suppressing conservative news sites. The change seems to have made the problem worse — earlier this year, Facebook redesigned the trending topics section again, after complaints that hoaxes and fake news stories were showing up in users’ feeds.

There is also a labeling issue. A Facebook user looking for news about the Las Vegas shooting on Monday morning, or a Google user searching for information about the wrongfully accused shooter, would have found posts from 4Chan and Sputnik alongside articles by established news organizations like CNN and NBC News, with no obvious cues to indicate which ones came from reliable sources.

More thoughtful design could help solve this problem, and Facebook has already begun to label some disputed stories with the help of professional fact checkers. But fixes that require identifying “reputable” news organizations are inherently risky because they open companies up to accusations of favoritism. (After Facebook announced its fact-checking effort, which included working with The Associated Press and Snopes, several right-wing activists complained of left-wing censorship.)

The automation of editorial judgment, combined with tech companies’ reluctance to appear partisan, has created a lopsided battle between those who want to spread misinformation and those tasked with policing it. Posting a malicious rumor on Facebook, or writing a false news story that is indexed by Google, is a nearly instantaneous process; removing such posts often requires human intervention. This imbalance gives an advantage to rule-breakers, and makes it impossible for even an army of well-trained referees to keep up.

But just because the war against misinformation may be unwinnable doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Roughly two-thirds of American adults get news from social media, which makes the methods these platforms use to vet and present information a matter of national importance.

Facebook, Twitter and Google are some of the world’s richest and most ambitious companies, but they still have not shown that they’re willing to bear the costs — or the political risks — of fixing the way misinformation spreads on their platforms. (Some executives appear resolute in avoiding the discussion. In a recent Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg reasserted the platform’s neutrality, saying that being accused of partisan bias by both sides is “what running a platform for all ideas looks like.”)

The investigations into Russia’s exploitation of social media during the 2016 presidential election will almost certainly continue for months. But dozens of less splashy online misinformation campaigns are happening every day, and they deserve attention, too. Tech companies should act decisively to prevent hoaxes and misinformation from spreading on their platforms, even if it means hiring thousands more moderators or angering some partisan organizations.

Facebook and Google have spent billions of dollars developing virtual reality systems. They can spare a billion or two to protect actual reality.

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Russian ‘thief-in-law’ arrested in Las Vegas, faces multiple charges

Las Vegas Review-JournalJun 7, 2017
Russian ‘thief-in-law’ arrested in Las Vegas, faces multiple charges … the alleged leader of a Soviet mafia syndicate who is accused of running … influence to run illegal operations in several states, including Nevada, Florida, …
Edgewater man among alleged mobsters arrested for chocolate …
<a href=”http://NorthJersey.com” rel=”nofollow”>NorthJersey.com</a>Jun 8, 2017
Feds hit 33 alleged Russian mobsters with gangland charges …
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Russian Gang Hacked Slot Machines and Plotted Over Stolen …
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Las Vegas shooting: What we know about gunman Stephen Paddock

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vegas shooting police respondPolice officers running to cover at the scene of the shooting near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night. John Locher/AP

  • Stephen Craig Paddock, the man police have identified as the Las Vegas gunman, was a quiet man with no criminal record or reports of erratic behavior before the shooting.
  • He was found dead in his hotel room after the shooting.
  • He checked into a hotel room with his girlfriend’s identification, police said, but she was found outside of the country and is not suspected to have played a role in the attack.
  • Authorities discovered 10 rifles in Paddock’s hotel room when they entered.
  • Paddock’s brother, Eric, said he was “not an avid gun guy at all” and has no military background.
  • The shooter’s late father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list from 1969-1977 and was a diagnosed psychopath. 

The Las Vegas police on Monday identified Stephen Craig Paddock as the man who opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with what appeared to be at least one automatic rifle, killing more than 50 and injuring at least 515 others to local hospitals in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

The 64-year-old from Mesquite, Nevada, targeted concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at about 10 p.m. PDT on Sunday, police said. They said Paddock had checked into his hotel room Thursday.

Video and pictures from the festival captured the chaos and increasing panic as extended bursts of rifle fire rang out.

Eric Paddock, the shooter’s brother, told CBS News that Stephen was “not an avid gun guy at all.”

“The fact that he had those kind of weapons is … just … where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that,” Eric Paddock said. “He’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.”

Paddock CNN las vegas shooterCNN runs a picture of Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter. CNN

Paddock was retired and had no criminal record before the attack, Reuters reports. He used to work as an accountant, and his brother described him to CNN as “a wealthy guy playing video poker … on cruises.”

Washington Post report characterized Paddock as a quiet man who occasionally came to Las Vegas to gamble or catch concerts, was a former resident of Texas, and held a hunting license in Alaska.

Paddock was divorced, according to CNN, and his ex-wife resides in Los Angeles. The two divorced 27 years ago after a six-year marriage and have not been in contact in years, the report said.

Paddock had been checked into in his Mandalay Bay hotel room on with his girlfriend’s identification for three days before the attack. Police initially identified her as a person of interest but have said she is not a suspect in the attack.

Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, the shooter’s father, was a well-known bank robber and on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list from 1969 to 1977, CNN reported.

Benjamin Hoskins Paddock was a diagnosed psychopath, according to the FBI, and he was convicted of “bank robbery, automobile larceny, and confidence game.”

Eric Paddock said he died several years ago.

The bureau’s poster on the elder Paddock cautioned that he had committed armed robberies before, had “suicidal tendencies,” and “should be considered armed and very dangerous.”

His son, Stephen, had at least 10 rifles in the hotel room on the Mandalay Bay’s 32nd floor, where he had been staying since September 28, said Joseph Lombardo, the sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Paddock owned two aircraft and held a pilot’s license, according to the “Today” show. Paddock had worked for a predecessor company of Lockheed Martin, the giant defense contractor that builds planes.

Paddock lived in the suburbs around Mesquite, Nevada, which sits near the border with Arizona about an hour and a half from where the shooting took place, the police said. Authorities searched his home on Monday and recovered weapons and ammunition. Paddock had purchased several firearms from California in the past, but none of them were among the weapons found in his hotel room after the shooting, CNN reported.

Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting graphic BI in houseAna Pelisson/Business Insider/Google Earth

“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo told reporters. In a subsequent press conference, Lombardo said “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.”

The Daily Mail quoted Paddock’s brother Eric as saying he and his mother were “in shock” and “dumbfounded” after finding out about the shooting. According to the Daily Mail, Eric Paddock described his brother as a normal guy who must have “snapped.”

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Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock timeline

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Las Vegas shootingLas Vegas police run by a banner on the fence at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker/Getty Images

A timeline of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s activities began to unfold nearly 24 hours after he shot at a crowd of concertgoers late Sunday night.

Law-enforcement officials said during a Monday afternoon press conference that Paddock, who had checked into a large, two-room suite at the Mandalay Bay on Thursday, September 28, got to work soon after.

Paddock brought “in excess of 10” suitcases to the hotel, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.

It was not immediately clear when Paddock began bringing those suitcases in, and his activity apparently went unnoticed. One reporter at the Monday afternoon briefing asked Lombardo from off-camera: “No one thought the wiser?”

“I wish that would’ve happened, ma’am. I absolutely wish that would’ve happened,” Lombardo said.

Stephen Paddock Eric Paddock file photo APAn old photograph of gunman Stephen Paddock, pictured next to his brother Eric, which the family provided to the media. AP

Paddock had 23 firearms in his 32nd-floor hotel suite, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. He broke two of the windows in the room, from which he fired shots at the more than 20,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival across the street. The first shots were reported at 10:08 p.m. PDT.

Law-enforcement officials responding to the Mandalay Bay went to the 29th floor of the hotel, Lombardo said, believing the gunfire was coming from somewhere between the 29th and 32nd floor. “We had to evaluate each floor moving up.” Lombardo said complaints from customers and information from security led them to the suspect’s room.Mandalay BayTwo broken windows near the top of the Mandalay Bay Casino, from which a gunman killed at least 50 people with an automatic weapon.AP/Business Insider

“They checked each floor until they located what they believed to be the room,” Lombardo said. A SWAT team broke down the door, at which point Paddock “shot through the doorway striking a security guard,” Lombardo said. The guard suffered a leg wound. Paddock died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

All told, at least 59 people were killed, 527 others were injured.

Investigators were evaluating multiple crime scenes, including the concert site, Paddock’s hotel suite, his home in Mesquite, Nevada, and another home in Reno.

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Gunman’s Vantage Point and Preparations Opened the Way for Mass Slaughter

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From his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock would have looked down upon a crowd of more than 20,000 people, surging to the final sets of a country music festival.

He opened fire late Sunday, killing at least 59 people and injuring 527 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, the authorities said.

But what may have seemed like a difficult feat, firing across an urban area and into a crowd from about 500 yards away — the equivalent of several football fields — appears to have been offset by Mr. Paddock’s preparations, which made it possible for him to inflict mass carnage.

Law enforcement officials cautioned that their information remained preliminary amid a rapidly unfolding investigation, and it was at times contradictory. But officials said Mr. Paddock established firing positions by smashing a pair of windows in his hotel room. He was armed with at least 23 firearms, the authorities said, including rifles designed to be fired at such distances. He was also perched from a vantage point that increased the likelihood that even errant shots were more likely to strike someone than had he fired them from ground level.

Among his weapons, a law enforcement official said, were AR-15-style rifles, a civilian variant of a standard service rifle used by the American military for more than a half-century.

The possibility that Mr. Paddock used tripods, which two law enforcement officials said were in the room, indicates that he understood how to overcome some of the difficulties of his plan. Special mounts designed to fit the underside of a rifle and sit atop camera tripods allow the gunman to fire more accurately while standing. Military snipers use tripods in urban spaces, often setting themselves back from a window so neither they nor their weapons can be seen from the streets below.

These preparations, along with the downward angle of Mr. Paddock’s gunfire and the density of concertgoers, would make the shooting more lethal than it might otherwise have been, and more difficult to counter or escape.

Analysis of video posted on social media shows that the gunman used rifles with rapid-fire capabilities.

OPEN Interactive Graphic

When the gunshots started, videos showed, those in front of the stage dropped to their stomachs — often an adequate first measure when under fire. But on Sunday night, the decision potentially put them at greater risk.

Mr. Paddock’s position overhead gave him a vantage point over objects and obstacles that would typically protect people from bullets flying from a gunman at ground level. It also meant that inaccurate shots — the sort common to rapid or hurried fire, which typically sail high or strike the ground short — could still plunge into areas where people were huddled.

Audio recordings of the shooting suggest that at least one of Mr. Paddock’s weapons fired automatically, discharging multiple bullets with a single depression of a trigger, in what are commonly called bursts.

Weapons capable of burst fire have long been federally regulated in the United States and are more difficult to obtain than weapons that fire semiautomatically, for which regulations vary by state.

It was not clear on Monday evening whether Mr. Paddock possessed such weapons, or used semiautomatic weapons that had been altered. In some videos of the shooting, the rate of fire sounds inconsistent, at times sputtering.

This suggests the possibility that a weapon could have been modified to fire more quickly, a change to semiautomatic firearms known as bump or slide fire. Such modifications harness the recoil to allow for rapid fire.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of Clark County, Nev., said that at least 16 rifles, ranging from .308 to .223 caliber, and a handgun were retrieved from Mr. Paddock’s hotel room. A federal law enforcement official said that AR-15-style rifles were among them. The authorities did not detail all of the guns, or which weapons Mr. Paddock fired.

Mr. Paddock had purchased some guns in Arizona, according to a gun seller there who spoke with the authorities.

The attack was one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

OPEN Graphic

Several pounds of a nonflammable exploding target used for practice were recovered from Mr. Paddock’s home in Mesquite, about an hour outside Las Vegas, Sheriff Lombardo said. Ammonium nitrate was found in Mr. Paddock’s car in Las Vegas, the sheriff said, but he did not say how much was recovered.

Determining which weapons were used will fall to investigators reviewing the crime scenes, including the hotel room, which would be littered with spent cartridge cases.

The duration of the bursts, as recorded, suggest that Mr. Paddock cared little about the military’s prescriptions for automatic fire. Sustained rapid fire is difficult to control and causes many weapons, especially light weapons, to overheat quickly.

Maj. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said that the military had no record of Mr. Paddock serving in any of the uniformed services.

The length of the bursts also indicate that Mr. Paddock had magazines capable of holding scores of rounds, allowing him to fire longer without reloading.

Nevada, unlike some states, has no laws limiting ammunition magazine capacities.

The remaining limited details about how Mr. Paddock organized for the crime raise more questions. Two law enforcement officials said he used a hammer to break the windows through which he fired, and Sheriff Lombardo said he possessed scopes for at least some of his weapons, though it was not clear what roles they played.

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New Secret Donald Trump Russia Connections Now Known To Robert Mueller: Trump Lawyer Emails May Lead To Putin – The Inquisitr

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The Inquisitr
New Secret Donald Trump Russia Connections Now Known To Robert Mueller: Trump Lawyer Emails May Lead To Putin
The Inquisitr
One of the contacts involved communication between Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, a Russian born businessman widely believed to have organized crime connections. The contact between Sater and Cohen involved a possible trip by Cohen …

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A fire alarm from gun smoke led police to the Las Vegas shooter’s room, retired officer says

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Who is Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock

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A photo of Stephen Paddock in 2002, provided by his brother Eric Paddock. (Family photo)

Before he opened fire late Sunday, killing at least 58 people at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, gunman Stephen Paddock was living out his retirement as a high-stakes gambler in a quiet town outside Las Vegas.

Paddock, 64, would disappear for days at a time, frequenting casinos with his longtime girlfriend, neighbors said. Relatives also said Paddock had frequently visited Las Vegas to gamble and take in concerts.

Eric Paddock said his brother often gambled in tens of thousands of dollars. “My brother is not like you and me. He plays high-stakes video poker,” he said. “He sends me a text that says he won $250,000 at the casino.”

Eric Paddock said he showed the FBI three years of text messages from his brother and said he had no information whether Stephen Paddock had gambling debts or was financially troubled. “I have absolutely no information he lost a bunch of money. The casino would know that,” he said.

Eric Paddock said his brother previously worked as an accountant but also had real estate investments, including houses and apartments around Orlando. He said Stephen Paddock had no kids and plenty of money to play with.

Eric Paddock said he did not know of any mental illness, alcohol or drug problems in his brother’s life.

Their father was once on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. He was a fugitive bank robber and rarely around for either son. “I was born on the run,” said Eric Paddock.

[Stephen Paddock’s father was a bank robber — and on the FBI’s Most Wanted list]

He knew his brother owned a couple of handguns but was shocked at the rapid-fire weapon apparently used by Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas. He said his brother didn’t hunt, barely shot his guns and once took Eric Paddock’s children on a skeet-shooting trip paid for by the casinos.

Eric Paddock spoke in his driveway as he was getting in his car to go with FBI agents to interview his mother, who is in her 90s and who appears to have been the last family member to communicate with Stephen Paddock, about two weeks ago. Eric Paddock said his brother last texted him five days after Hurricane Irma hit Orlando to check if anyone in the family had been affected. “He texted and said, ‘How’s Mom?’,” Eric Paddock said.

He said their mother was bewildered, like he was, why Stephen Paddock had shot and killed so many on Sunday.

Who was Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock?


Stephen Paddock was identified by police as the gunman in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Here’s what you need to know about him. Here’s what you need to know about the gunman. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

“We know nothing. If you told me an asteroid fell it would mean the same to me. There’s absolutely no sense, no reason he did this,” he said, earlier. “He’s just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There’s no political affiliation that we know of. There’s no religious affiliation that we know of.”

For several years, the gunman lived with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, in a retirement community in Reno, Nev., neighbors said. They said they interacted with Danley but not with Paddock, whom they described as extremely standoffish. Danley told residents there that Paddock was a professional gambler, explaining their long absences from the neighborhood.

Called Del Webb, the neighborhood is a relatively new active-adult community of single-family homes with desert views and a clubhouse with a gym and pool.

Harold Allred, who lives up the street from the couple, said his wife often ran into Danley in exercise classes or social gatherings. Allred said he and his wife found Danley unremarkable, though perhaps a little odd, and didn’t know Paddock. “He was reclusive,” said Allred, 66. “We never met him.”

Paddock lived in a number of retirement communities. In addition to the Reno home, Paddock and Danley had another home in Mesquite, Nev., said neighbors. In recent years, he had moved to Nevada from Melbourne, Fla. And he had previously lived in Texas and California, where he had married once and later divorced.

In Reno, Diane McKay lived next door to Paddock and Danley until July, when McKay moved to a different community, but she said she only ran into Danley occasionally when both women happened to be pulling weeds from their front yards. Danley wasn’t forthcoming about her life, and Paddock was aggressively unfriendly, McKay recalled. She only saw him in the mornings, when he went to the clubhouse to work out. Occasionally, he would open the garage door, revealing a large safe the size of a refrigerator. Other than that, the couple kept their blinds closed.

“He was weird. Kept to himself,” said McKay, 79, who described Paddock as small but in pretty good shape. “It was like living next to nothing. . . . You can at least be grumpy, something. He was just nothing, quiet. He never went out in the back and enjoyed the back yard, nature. They had a little back yard, 17 feet to the fence and hill. But the blinds were always closed.”

McKay said the couple was gone for six months last year, which she thought was for a gambling trip.

[At least 50 dead, more than 400 injured after shooting on Las Vegas Strip]

Paddock’s family said there was nothing in his past that would suggest violence. Family members said that Paddock spent much of his retirement in recent years frequenting hotels in Las Vegas. They said he listened to country music and went to concerts at Vegas hotels, similar to the one Sunday night where he opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers.

Public records show Paddock was a licensed pilot who owned two planes. And he had a hunting license from Alaska.

Property records show he had homes in both Mesquite, Tex., and Mesquite in Nevada. He bought his current home in Mesquite, Nev., in 2013, and appears to have been living there ever since.

People tend to the wounded outside the festival grounds after a shooting on Oct. 1 in Las Vegas. (David Becker/Getty Images)

Las Vegas police said authorities searched Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nev., on Monday morning. Quinn Averett, a spokesman for the Mesquite Police Department, said Paddock was unknown to local authorities in the city 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Mesquite police have no recorded interactions with Paddock. Las Vegas police said the same.

Neighbors at his home in Mesquite, Nev., said Paddock did not seem agitated or disturbed in recent days. “I saw Paddock on the golf course about two months ago,” said Luis Rodriguez, a groundskeeper at Conestoga Golf Course, which runs right through the retirement community where Paddock lived. “There was nothing strange about him. He seemed friendly and happy at the time.”

Rodriguez and other groundskeepers were shocked when they woke up to the news and realized they had seen Paddock. They say he played alone and that he would stop and say hello to them on the course.

At a 55-and-over community in Florida, where Paddock had lived for many years, neighbors recalled strange details about his lifestyle.

Don Judy, his next-door neighbor until two years ago, recalled that shortly after Paddock turned 60, Judy saw the inside of his home and was shocked by its appearance. He said it “looked like a college freshman lived there.”

There was no art on the walls, not even a car in the driveway, Judy said, just a dining chair, a bed and two recliners. “It looked like he’d be ready to move at a moment’s notice,” Judy said.

Paddock, however, always seemed on the move, carrying a suitcase and driving a rental car on monthly trips from Vegas to the community near Cocoa Beach.

“One of the first times we met him, he told me he lived there, in Vegas,” said Judy. “He explained that he was a gambler, and a prospector. He said he was buying this house to check it out for his mother . . . and that if she liked it, he planned to buy another next door with a floor plan like ours.”

[Map: How the Las Vegas Strip shooting unfolded]

Paddock’s brother, mother and other family members lived about an hour away in Orlando and would frequently visit, Judy said.

During the two years that Judy lived next door, Paddock never seemed to want for money. A new ShopVac, tools and a never-used ladder appeared in the garage. Paddock and Danley would wave as they left for dinner along the beach.

A little while after living there, Paddock left Judy a key and asked him to keep an eye on the rarely used house — and to borrow any tools he might want. “I thought, wow, this guy’s a good neighbor,” Judy said, who noted no drugs or parties, nothing unusual except for Paddock’s gambling. “They did seem to always stay up till midnight and sleep in till noon. They always seemed to stay on Vegas time.”

‘The shots just kept coming’: Mass shooting unfolds at country music festival

A gunman in a high-rise hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip opened fire on a country music festival Oct. 1, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. A gunman in a high-rise hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip opened fire on a country music festival Oct. 1, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. (Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)

Computers also began appearing on the breakfast bar, and Paddock once boasted to Don and his wife that he’d won $20,000 playing card games over the Internet.

Then, as quickly as he had appeared, Paddock put up a for-sale sign, Judy said. “He never said much about it, just said they were moving back to Vegas,” Judy said.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said, “We have no investigative information or background associated with this individual that is derogatory. . . . The only thing we can tell is he received a citation several years ago, that citation was handled as a matter of normal practice in the court system.”

Authorities said no connection has been found between the gunman and any international terrorist group.

[Route 91 Harvest Festival: The Las Vegas ‘sleepover’ that ended in a nightmare]

After the shooting, Paddock was found dead by officers on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Lombardo said during a news briefing.

Police believe Paddock was a “lone wolf” attacker. Lombardo did not give further details, however, on Paddock’s background or possible motivation.

“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Lombardo said. “Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor.”

Paddock, who arrived at the hotel on Thursday, was found with more than 10 rifles, Lombardo said. Relatives said they knew Paddock owned guns but believed they were legal.

On Monday morning, police released a picture of Danley, saying they were searching for her as a person of interest. They later said they she was out of the country, and has been located and detained. Authorities called her a companion of Paddock.

Authorities described Danley as Asian, 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 111 pounds.

[America’s deadliest shooting incidents are getting much more deadly]

In a statement, Lockheed Martin, the defense giant, said that Paddock had worked for it for three years in the 1980s.

“Stephen Paddock worked for a predecessor company of Lockheed Martin from 1985 until 1988,” the company said in a statement. “We’re cooperating with authorities to answer questions they may have about Mr. Paddock and his time with the company.”

The shooting on Sunday was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, killing at least 58 people and injuring hundreds.

Julie Tate and Mark Berman in Washington; Heather Long in Mesquite, Nev.; and Justin Glawe in Dallas contributed to this report.

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Stephen Paddock gambling debts – Google Search

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Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock was a high-stakes gambler …

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Gunman Stephen Paddock was an accountant who played $100-a-hand-poker

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The man police say killed at least 58 people on the Las Vegas Strip was a retired accountant who enjoyed playing $100-a-hand poker, his brother says.

Here’s what else we know about Stephen Paddock, the assailant in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

• He was 64 years old and lived in Mesquite, a retiree community about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. He had previously lived in the Orlando, Florida, area.

• He was divorced, was not known to have children, and was living with a woman in a home in Mesquite.

• He’d never shown violent tendencies, said his brother, Eric Paddock of Orlando, Florida. “He was my brother and it’s like an asteroid fell out of the sky,” Eric Paddock said about learning his sibling was the gunman in the Las Vegas massacre.

• His father was a bank robber who spent years on the FBI’s most-wanted list, said brother Eric Paddock. The FBI lists the late Benjamin Hoskins Paddock as being on the FBI’s most-wanted list from June 10, 1969 until May 5, 1977.

• Eric Paddock said his father died a few years ago and that “he was never with my mom.” Eric said he was born while his father was on the run.

• Stephen last communicated with his brother via a text, asking Eric about their mother, who’d lost power during Hurricane Irma. Eric also said Stephen spoke to his mother on the phone a week or two ago.

• Eric Paddock says his brother did not have affiliations with any terror or hate group, and he doesn’t know why his brother would do this.

• “He was a wealthy guy playing video poker… on cruises,” his brother said, adding that Stephen could afford anything he wanted and played $100-a-hand poker.

• Stephen Paddock’s ex-wife lives in Los Angeles County, California, and has had no contact with him in years, authorities said. They divorced 27 years ago after six years of marriage.

• Authorities searched Paddock’s home in Mesquite on Monday and found weapons and ammunition, but Mesquite police spokesman Quinn Averett did not give details. Eric Paddock said he helped Stephen move to Mesquite about a year ago.

• Marilou Danley was identified as Paddock’s companion or roommate, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.

• She does not appear to have been involved in the shooting and was in the Philippines when the massacre took place, authorities said. Paddock had been using some of her identification, Lombardo said.

• He kept a low profile. Law enforcement has no “derogatory information” about Stephen Paddock, besides the fact that he received a citation several years ago that was handled in the court system, Lombardo said.

• Paddock had been staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas since last Thursday. He killed himself in his room on the 32nd-floor before a police SWAT team burst in, Lombardo said.

• Authorities believe Paddock had a device similar to a hammer to smash the hotel windows prior to the shooting, Lombardo said. Officials think Paddock brought the weapons into the hotel by himself but did not provide specifics.

• Hotel employees had been in his room prior to the shooting but did not notice anything amiss, Lombardo said.

• Paddock had bought multiple firearms in the past, several of them purchased in California, a law enforcement official told CNN. But those don’t appear to be among the 10 or more guns found in the Mandalay Bay hotel room.

• The suspicion, based on initial reports, is that one of the rifles used was altered to function as an automatic weapon, the official said. Among the weapons found were a .223 caliber and a .308 caliber.

• So far investigators believe the firearms were purchased legally.

• Eric Paddock said he knew his brother had a couple of handguns and maybe one long rifle but did not know of any automatic weapons.

• Stephen Paddock did not have a machine gun when he moved him from Melbourne to Mesquite, Eric Paddock said.

• The suspect had a pilot’s license but he was not up to date on his medical certification which he would need in order to fly legally, a federal official said.

• The FAA website shows that the last time he went to get the medical certification required for private pilots who want to fly was February 2008 so he could not have flown legally recently.

• The FAA will not release any information regarding his mental health from his last certification in 2008 because it is protected under federal privacy rules.

• So far, authorities have found no military records for Stephen Paddock.

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Las Vegas massacre reignites debate over the meaning of ‘domestic terrorism’

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By the time local authorities revealed Monday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas had left over 50 people dead, it was almost immediately labeled as the largest massacre in modern American history — but the heinous attack prompted others to question: Was it domestic terrorism?

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said it was “premature” to judge that question Monday afternoon, pointing to the ongoing investigation.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and it would be premature to weigh in on something like that before we have any more facts and we’ll leave that to local law enforcement to work with, also the federal law enforcement to make those determinations,” Sanders said.

Law enforcement authorities similarly declined to use the term “domestic terrorism.”

“We have to establish what his motivation was first,” said Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.

Yet others, such as a former astronaut and gun-control advocate Mark Kelly, were unequivocal.

“This was an ambush if there ever was one,” said Kelly. “This was domestic terrorism.”

But here’s the problem: There is no such charge under federal law.

The confusion appears to stem, at least partly, from the fact that the US code does include a statutory definition of “domestic terrorism” — as acts “dangerous to human life and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or to influence government policy or conduct — but it is not a standalone criminal charge.

“There is not a domestic terrorism crime as such,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a Senate hearing just last week. “We in the FBI refer to domestic terrorism as a category but it’s more of a way in which we allocate which agents, which squad is going to work on it.”

CNN Legal Analyst Page Pate says that Congress bears some of the responsibility for the colloquial use of the term.

“The problem is that Congress defined domestic terrorism in the criminal code, but there are no criminal penalties,” Pate said in an interview with CNN Monday.

The practical effect in many cases results in assailants instead being charged with other crimes, such as using a weapon of mass destruction in the case of 1995 Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

But the lack of a formal charge of domestic terrorism hasn’t stopped some lawmakers, legal experts and others from questioning whether labels still matter.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate homeland security committee, asked Wray last week if the FBI takes the threat of ISIS-related terrorism cases “any less seriously” than those committed by white supremacists or if he’s noticed any difference in charging decisions.

“No, we do not,” Wray said. “There may be reasons why it’s simpler, easier, quicker, less resource-intensive and you can still get a long sentence with some of the other offenses. … And so, even though you may not see them, from your end, as a domestic terrorism charge, they are very much domestic terrorism cases that are just being brought under other criminal offenses.”

™ & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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On the road to Mandalay – Frank Sinatra

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LIVE Deadline reached for Russian consular residence in San Francisco to be vacated: stakeout

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Russian consular residences in San Francisco vacated before deadline — RT Newsline

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The last group of Russian diplomats have left the mansion of Russia’s Consulate-General in San Francisco ahead of the deadline which expired midnight on October 1. The two remaining families residing at the main Consulate building departed Friday and Saturday. The Russian Consulate in San Francisco, as well as two buildings in Washington and New York, were forced to shut operations on September 2 on orders from US State Department. The evictions, which Russia say violates international law, were supervised by US federal agents who took control of the properties. The diplomats who resided in the main San Francisco Consulate building and the Consulate General’s mansion were allowed to temporarily stay in their apartments, which they could access passing federal security checkpoints, but were ordered to vacate their quarters by October 1.

russian consulate san francisco – Google Search

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Russian consular residences in San Francisco vacated before …

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The last group of Russian diplomats have left the mansion of Russia’s Consulate-General in San Francisco ahead of the deadline which …
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Russian diplomats shut down SF consulate in response to US order

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Andrey Varlamov, the deputy consul general for the Russian Federation in San Francisco, said he and his staff were frustrated with the …
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On September 2, US authorities closed Russia’s Consulate-General in San Francisco, the trade mission in Washington and its office in New …
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israel – Google Search

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Why Israel supports an independent Iraqi Kurdistan

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Jerusalem (CNN) When Iraqi Kurds a look around, they see potential enemies to the north, south, east and west. The Turks, Iraqis, Iranians and …

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to visit Russia on Thursday

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Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas Suspect, Was a Gambler Who Drew Little Attention

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He was a high-stakes gambler recognized in the casinos of Nevada. He dabbled in real estate investments in Texas. His last known full-time employment was 30 years ago. He was twice divorced. He had a pilot’s license and had owned two single-engine planes.

While his motive for the mass shooting outside a Las Vegas casino on Sunday night is unknown, details of Stephen Paddock’s history pointed to an unmoored and highly unconventional life.

From his neighbors in a quiet retirement community in Mesquite, Nev., he drew little attention, unless it was for his extreme propensity to keep to himself. He displayed no strong religious or political views, his relatives said, and was not known for angry outbursts.

But he was the son of a bank robber who ultimately escaped from prison and spent most of the 1970s on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list. His girlfriend, sought for questioning by law enforcement officials after the shooting, had passed through Tokyo, officials said.

Details about Mr. Paddock’s career and livelihood were sparse, aside from observations by neighbors and family members that he routinely gambled large amounts of money. “He was a gambler, that was his job,” his brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters Monday at his home in Orlando. “He was a wealthy guy, playing video poker, who went cruising all the time and lived in a hotel room.”

Mr. Paddock and his three brothers were raised by their mother, who told the children that their father had died when in fact he was in prison, Eric Paddock said. Mr. Paddock’s father was convicted in 1961 of committing a series of bank robberies, and was sentenced to 20 years, but escaped from La Tuna federal prison in Texas in 1968 and then became a used-car dealer and bingo parlor operator in Oregon.

A “Wanted” poster for the elder Mr. Paddock warned that he was “diagnosed as psychopathic,” “reportedly has suicidal tendencies” and “should be considered armed and very dangerous.”

The children’s mother was left to raise the family on her own. They moved around the country, from Iowa to Tucson to Southern California, another brother, Patrick Paddock II, of Tucson, said. Stephen Paddock’s behavior did not offer any indication of violent tendencies, the brother said.

“He was the least violent in the family during my childhood. So, it’s kind of like, ‘Who?’ ” Comparing himself to his brother, he said, “I have much more anger.”

Stephen Paddock attended college, his family said, and worked for a predecessor company to Lockheed Martin, the aerospace contracting company, from 1985 to 1988. Lockheed Martin confirmed his employment but did not identify the company for which Mr. Paddock worked.

Mr. Paddock once owned and managed a working-class apartment complex in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Tex., records show.

The attack was one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

OPEN Graphic

A resident, Priscilla McBride, told The Dallas Morning News that Mr. Paddock often roamed the apartment property, casually talking to residents.

He moved away several years ago, she said, and they had not seen each other since. “I thought, it couldn’t be,” she said of the mass shooting. “You would have never thought he would be killing people. You just never know.”

Mr. Paddock bought three guns — a handgun and two rifles — at a shop in Mesquite, Guns & Guitars, within the last year, said Christopher Sullivan, the general manager. All the purchases were legal and cleared routine federal screening, Mr. Sullivan said.

“The man does not have a criminal history,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Two of the gunman’s three brothers said they were not close, and the third could not be located. Patrick Paddock said he and his brother had not been in contact for as long as 20 years, and he did not initially recognize the face that flashed on his television screen. He wondered aloud about the motive behind the crime, and expressed profound distress for the victims.

“My anxiety is not a drop in the ocean compared to how I feel about the people who got killed,” he said.

Eric Paddock broke down in tears during an interview. “There’s nothing I can say. My brother did this. It’s like he shot us. I couldn’t be more dumbfounded,” he said. He said he last communicated with his brother when Stephen inquired about how the family had fared during Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida in September.

“He texted me to ask about my mom after the hurricane,” Eric Paddock told reporters. “He sent her a walker.”

He said the situation has been very difficult for their 89-year-old mother, who “had to deal with her husband who was a bank robber, and now this.”

Eric Paddock said that his brother was a wealthy man who gambled for fun. The two brothers had shared a real estate business for decades, refurbishing properties, the sale of which had left his brother with what he estimated was $2 million. “He’s a multimillionaire,” he said. “He helped me become affluent, he made me wealthy.”

Stephen Paddock, 64, lived with his current girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62.

She worked as “high-limit hostess” at the Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nev. from 2010 to 2013, according to her LinkedIn account. On Monday, the casino said that she left the company several years ago. High-limit hostesses attend to members of a loyalty club called Club Paradise who spend large quantities of money and receive discounted hotel rooms, meals and other amenities, according to the casino’s website.

Mr. Paddock seemed to have no criminal history, according to records searches in places where he was known to have lived. The Mesquite Police Department said they had no interactions with the couple, including traffic stops.

Few things seemed out of the ordinary Thursday when Mr. Paddock checked into a suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

But shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday night, from his window on the 32nd floor of the hotel, he unleashed a vicious deluge of bullets from an assault rifle and killed 59 people attending an outdoor country music concert nearby. More than 500 others were injured.

When police stormed his room shortly before midnight, Mr. Paddock lay dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He left behind 23 guns in the hotel suite, including two rifles mounted on tripods, 19 guns in his house, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, broken windows, and a trail of questions by family members and neighbors who are struggling to make sense of his motive. His car remained parked with the hotel valet.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department described Mr. Paddock as a “lone wolf” whose intentions had gone unnoticed by hotel staff members who had gone in and out of his room without detecting the trove of weapons.

“I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point,” Sheriff Lombardo said.

On Monday, local police had blocked off the entrance to Sun City, the retirement community where Mr. Paddock lived.

Eric Paddock said he and his family were “shocked, horrified” by the news, saying he was “not an avid gun guy.” The brother told CBS News that he knew Mr. Paddock had handguns, but that as far as he knew, Mr. Paddock did not own machine guns.

“Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that,” the brother said. “When you find out about him, like I said, he’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.”

Eric Paddock told reporters in Florida that his brother “had nothing to do with any political organization, religious organization, no white supremacist, nothing, as far as I know. And I’ve only known him for 57 years.”

Mr. Paddock had a private pilot’s license, according to Federal Aviation Administration, and had two small planes registered in his name.

One of Mr. Paddock’s ex-wives, who now lives near Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles police that they had divorced 27 years ago after being married six years. They had no children.

He owned several homes and properties across the country, according to a review of public records.

“He seemed normal, other than that he lived by gambling,” Sharon Judy, a former neighbor, told Florida Today. “He was very open about that. First time we ever met him, he handed us the key to the house and said, ‘Hey, would you keep an eye on the house, we’re only going to be here every now and then.’ ”

He was a regular at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite, where on Monday the slot machines jangled, the waitresses circled and gamblers folded hundred dollar bills into the hands of eager bookies.

Several people said Mr. Paddock played video poker and card games and had recently won a $20,000 jackpot, a celebrated event at the casino.

“That was his spirit,” said Doug Reath, a Mesquite resident who works in real estate. “He would come here and play.”

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Stephen Paddock Doesn’t Fit Mass Shooter Profile

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Stephen Paddock Doesn’t Fit Mass Shooter Profile – TMZ.com

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Stephen Paddock Doesn’t Fit Mass Shooter Profile
The 64-year-old Nevada resident lived in a retirement community. He has no criminal record, at least none we’ve been able to find so far. We found Paddock has a hunting license in Alaska. He got a pilot’s license in 2003, which means he’s undergone 

President Trump to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday following mass shooting 

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The president said he would travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with police, first responders and the families of victims of the mass shooting that left more than 50 dead. In remarks delivered from the White House, President Trump called the shooting an act of “pure evil” while offering condolences to the families […]

What ‘Deep Throat’ Really Wanted | The Weekly Standard

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I used to have this annual argument at Christmas with my brother-in-law, a well-regarded film editor in Hollywood. I would arrive brimming with complaints about a movie like Argo, said to be “based on actual events” but with an entirely fictitious Keystone Kops-like airport chase scene. I would rail about the disservice to history and … Continue reading “What ‘Deep Throat’ Really Wanted | The Weekly Standard”

Facebook’s Russia-Linked Ads Came in Many Disguises

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The Russia-linked ads used to influence the 2016 election included those from a fake gun-rights group, a bogus gay rights group and even a phony dog lovers group.

Las Vegas shooting: Are machine guns, rifles legal in the US?

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A gunman perched high above thousands of concertgoers in Las Vegas killed at least 50 people and injured more than 400 when he rained down gunfire on the crowd Sunday night.

Las Vegas Shooting

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Police in Las Vegas, Nevada say a man opened fire on a country music concert late Sunday, killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 400 others, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

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Who is gunman Stephen Paddock?

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Little is known about the 64-year-old who sprayed bullets at music lovers in Las Vegas.

Facebook to Turn Over to Congress Russia-linked Ads

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Social media giant Facebook is expected to provide Congress on Monday with more than 3,000 ads that ran around the time of the 2016 presidential election and are linked to a Russian ad agency. Company officials will meet with the House and Senate intelligence committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee to hand over the ads, a Facebook official said. The official requested anonymity because the meetings are private. Facebook said last month that it had found thousands of ads linked to…

Islamic State claims Las Vegas mass shooting

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The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting in Las Vegas, saying that the perpetrator was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago, without providing any evidence to support the claim.

Las Vegas shooting: At least 50 dead in massacre Trump calls ‘act of pure evil’

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A gunman turned a Las Vegas concert into a killing field Sunday night from his perch on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, using at least 10 guns to rain down a steady stream of fire, murdering at least 50 people and injuring more than 400 others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history.

Gunman who killed 50 at Las Vegas concert was retired

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Police say the man who killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 400 at a Las Vegas concert was a retiree with no criminal history in the Nevada county where he lived.

Facebook to turn over to Congress Russia-linked ads

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Social media giant Facebook is expected to provide Congress on Monday with more than 3,000 ads that ran around the time of the 2016 presidential election and are linked to a Russian ad agency….
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Las Vegas attack is deadliest shooting in modern US history

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At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 wounded when a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history….

Islamic State claims Las Vegas mass shooting

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CAIRO (AP) — The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting in Las Vegas, saying that the perpetrator was &quot;a soldier&quot; who had converted to Islam months ago, without providing any evidence to support the claim….

Las Vegas shooting: Stephen Paddock’s brother speaks out

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Eric Paddock said he was “dumbfounded” by the news that his brother Stephen Paddock was the one who rained automatic gunfire on a crowd of concertgoers, killing 50 and injuring more than 400 Sunday evening in Las Vegas.

Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Florida, told Reutuers that the family had “no idea in the world.”

“We have no idea. We’re horrified. We’re bewildered and our condolences go out to the victims,” he said.

“We can’t understand what happened,” he told the Orlando Sentinel.

“There’s no rhyme or reason here, it makes no sense,” he said. “’He has no political affiliation, no religious affiliation, as far as we know. This wasn’t a terror attack. He was just a guy. Something happened, he snapped or something.”

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  • Police identify Las Vegas shooting suspect, say companion may have been found

    LVMPD Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at least 50 people are dead and 200 people are wounded after a gunman opened fire on a concert at Las Vegas on Sunday. He identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, a local resident. The number of wounded rose to 400 a short time after this press briefing.

Police identify Las Vegas shooting suspect, say companion may have been found

LVMPD Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at least 50 people are dead and 200 people are wounded after a gunman opened fire on a concert at Las Vegas on Sunday. He identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, a local resident. The number of wounded rose to 400 a short time after this press briefing.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police

Stephen Paddock was identified by police as the perpetrator of Sunday evening’s mass shooting who opened fire on a crowd of Jason Aldean concertgoers from his 32nd-floor window at the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police entered his room and found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Eric Paddock told the Daily Mail that he and his brother were not especially close, but there was no indication that Stephen would do anything like this.

“There’s no rhyme or reason here, it makes no sense,” he said. “’He has no political affiliation, no religious affiliation, as far as we know. This wasn’t a terror attack. He was just a guy. Something happened, he snapped or something.”

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· · · ·

What ‘Deep Throat’ Really Wanted

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I used to have this annual argument at Christmas with my brother-in-law, a well-regarded film editor in Hollywood. I would arrive brimming with complaints about a movie like Argo, said to be “based on actual events” but with an entirely fictitious Keystone Kops-like airport chase scene. I would rail about the disservice to history and the misleading effects as an increasing number of Americans learn their history from Hollywood features. He would defend dramatic license. I’d respond by saying a driver’s license doesn’t give one the right to do anything one wants on the road. Round and round we’d go, until we reached his final redoubt: “It’s only a movie.”

Eventually I conceded that films “based on actual events” have the right to composite characters, to elide real-life figures, rearrange chronologies, invent fictitious subplots, and the like for the sake of entertainment. As the Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan once noted, historical films “are constitutionally incapable of being completely accurate.” The mere fact of turning a camera lens on a real event means its distortion. But I insisted a line is crossed whenever a film violates the historical essence of an event. History may be a never-ending argument, but one is not entitled to one’s own facts, and not all facts are equal.

I invented a matrix in which the upper left quadrant is reserved for films that simultaneously respect the gist of historical events and manage to be highly entertaining. It goes all the way back to Call Northside 777, the 1948 docudrama featuring Jimmy Stewart as a crusading reporter whose investigation frees a man wrongly convicted of murder. More recent examples include Ron Howard’s Apollo 13, about the ill-fated moon mission; Edward Zwick’s Glory, about a regiment of black soldiers in the Civil War; and Michael Mann’s portrait of the tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand, The Insider. In the lower left quadrant, you’ll find films that while respectful of the past are disappointing as drama. I’m thinking here of movies like 42, the syrupy Jackie Robinson biopic, and Valkyrie, which recounts the July Plot to assassinate Hitler.

The quadrants on the right side of the matrix are reserved for the pernicious films, distinct because they promote a big resounding lie. The bottom quadrant includes deservedly panned films like 1965’s The Battle of the Bulge—which Dwight Eisenhower felt compelled to condemn for its historical inaccuracies—and Brian De Palma’s account of Eliot Ness, The Untouchables. The top quadrant is dedicated to riveting features, ones made by filmmakers who are unfortunately at the top of their game. Selmawould be an example for the way it falsely depicts Lyndon Johnson as an obstacle in the way of civil rights legislation. Oliver Stone’s entertaining and noxious JFK occupies its own special pedestal here.

The matrix is subjective, of course. And many films sit on the line dividing the wooden but accurate film from the wooden but inaccurate one. Thirteen Days, a depiction of the Cuban missile crisis, faithfully renders John F. Kennedy’s determination to avoid nuclear war while simultaneously perpetuating a big lie about Robert Kennedy being a dove from the start. All the President’s Men is another problematic case. This 1976 paean to investigative journalism has many fabulist elements. It demonizes or skirts the government’s role in uncovering Watergate (nobody is doing their job except the reporters at the Washington Post), and it greatly distorts what went on inside the Post. It is, nonetheless, a diverting drama: eminently watchable after 40 years. And it will be on the minds of everyone who goes to see Hollywood’s latest stab at portraying Watergate: Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, written and directed by Peter Landesman.

* *

Mark Felt was the No. 2 executive at the FBI during the Watergate investigation and a key source for the Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein—the one they famously dubbed “Deep Throat.” I was working on a book about Felt in 2010 when I first began hearing the name Peter Landesman. I was interviewing FBI agents involved in the Watergate investigation or who knew Felt, and, invariably, no matter whom I contacted, Landesman had been there first. More than one interviewee said Landesman had asked the exact same questions that I was asking now. I could not help but be impressed and a little unnerved. Landesman had been a globe-trotting investigative reporter before changing careers to write and direct films. This was no screenwriter searching for a little color, but someone who knew how to report.

Landesman had been aided by the late Craig L. Dotlo, an influential figure in the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. The society’s cooperation is not easy to come by because it carefully vets requests from authors and filmmakers, and it was doubly difficult in this case. After the 2005 Vanity Fairarticle in which Felt outed himself as Deep Throat appeared, his conduct became a matter of great controversy in the society, with the membership irrevocably split. Landesman went to great lengths to assure Dotlo that he wanted to tell the story of Watergate from the FBI’s perspective in a way that would “let the viewer decide what the reason was for Felt’s cooperation,” Dotlo told me. Persuaded by what Landesman called his “commitment to accuracy,” Dotlo vouched for him.

One of the most important FBI retirees Dotlo spoke to was Edward S. Miller, the assistant director in charge of the bureau’s domestic intelligence division from 1971 to 1973. Miller had initially rebuffed the screenwriter, but Dotlo had a particular influence. As a young agent in the New York field office, Dotlo had been the moving force behind the 1978 establishment of a legal defense fund to aid bureau personnel—most prominently Miller himself—put in legal jeopardy because of the aggressive counterintelligence tactics they had used against the Weather Underground in the early 1970s. The other FBI executive tried and convicted in 1980 alongside Miller was Mark Felt.

My book, Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat, came out in 2012 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in. It posited that the “war of the FBI succession” was the context for Felt’s conduct and winning it provided his motive. As J. Edgar Hoover aged and refused to retire gracefully, a fight for the directorship had developed at the highest echelons of the bureau. The weapon of choice was the leak to the press. When Hoover died in May 1972, just seven weeks before the Watergate break-in, Felt, then the FBI’s No. 3 executive, expected to succeed him. Instead, Nixon unexpectedly appointed Assistant Attorney General L. Patrick Gray as acting director. This surprise ascension exacerbated the bureau’s instability. After one director for 48 years, the FBI would have four in the space of 14 months, amid intense infighting. Much of it was due to Felt. As William Ruckelshaus, who temporarily succeeded Gray as acting director in 1973, put it, “Felt was a guy obsessed with taking Hoover’s place as FBI director. [By leaking], he was trying to feather his own nest and undercut his bosses at the FBI.”

* *

A week after my book appeared, I received an email from Peter Landesman, expressing an interest in comparing notes on the subject of our mutual fascination. I was open to doing so. More, I was curious. No one else had engaged, as far as I knew, in any serious investigation of Deep Throat besides Landesman and myself. Following the 2005 Vanity Fair article and Bob Woodward’s quickie book on Felt, The Secret Man, the subject of Deep Throat was regarded as exhausted.

What I found particularly intriguing was Landesman’s opening remark. “[I] had a fascinating dinner w[ith] Woodward and Bernstein last year,” he wrote in his email. “I was amazed how little they know outside their own ‘narrative.’ ” This accorded with my view. One of the points in my book was that the two Post reporters had exhibited a striking and convenient lack of curiosity about Felt. Woodward, lauded for his ability to plumb the innermost secrets of the White House, Supreme Court, Pentagon, and CIA, had turned a blind eye to the ferocious politics at the FBI. He even falsified the story of Felt’s abrupt departure from the bureau in May 1973. Woodward maintained that Felt “retired” from the FBI, even after Ruckelshaus called the reporter expressly to tell him that Felt had resigned overnight rather than be the subject of an internal investigation for leaking.

As Landesman and I exchanged messages, clear differences emerged. “Though I don’t discount Felt’s desire to run the FBI,” Landesman wrote, “I think his impulse to protect it as an institution” counted for more. The institutional explanation for Felt’s behavior dated back to 1992, when James Mann, a former colleague of Woodward and Bernstein at the Post, wrote a long speculative essay about Deep Throat’s identity for the Atlantic Monthly. The article didn’t flatly claim Felt was Deep Throat, but placed the source squarely inside the FBI. Mann—who had worked on several early Watergate stories with Woodward before the pairing with Bernstein was cemented—posited that bureaucratic politics, rather than noble whistleblowing, offered the most likely explanation of Deep Throat’s behavior. Woodward would himself adopt Mann’s theory when he came to write his Felt book in 2005.

But Landesman also mentioned two wrinkles that I hadn’t seriously considered. More important than Felt’s longing for the directorship or desire to protect the bureau from Nixon, suggested Landesman, was “what was going on at home with his wife (who was nuts and a drunk) and [with] his daughter (who was a counterculture runaway).” I had briefly mentioned Audrey, Felt’s wife, in my book. She was known for nursing her husband’s ambition and anticipating the day he would ascend to the top of the FBI pyramid. She was also a manic-depressive who killed herself with Felt’s revolver in 1984. But what was Landesman suggesting: Felt leaked because he was henpecked and his daughter, a Stanford graduate, had turned into a hippie?

He reiterated the personal motive in a subsequent email:

While I completely agree with your assessment of Felt vis a vis Woodward and Bernstein, almost no one is addressing Felt’s personal life or stakes. Having spent a great deal of time with his family, and him before he was completely lost to dementia, and people who worked with him in the FBI, I reject the notion that he was purely acting out of careerism. The truth is much more nuanced, and Felt is much more complex than that.

I didn’t understand this message. Deep Throat fed the cub reporter a lot of false information. To me, this underscored that the relationship was all about the war of the FBI succession. The outstanding example here was when Felt explained to Woodward ostensibly why Nixon had nominated Gray to be the permanent FBI director in February 1973. This appointment “didn’t make any sense” to Woodward; the confirmation hearings were bound to turn into an inquisition on the FBI’s investigation of Watergate. Nixon’s disenchantment with Gray over the issue of FBI leaks the previous fall, moreover, was no secret. Felt told Woodward that an angry Gray had marched into the White House and reminded Nixon that he had performed well in limiting the FBI’s probe and that “all hell could break loose” if he weren’t nominated. The suggestion that Gray had blackmailed Nixon was a lie. It was also emblematic of Felt’s schemes to discredit his rivals for the directorship.

Besides raising motives I considered extraneous, Landesman emphasized the importance of talking to Felt’s closest colleague, Ed Miller. According to Landesman, Miller would substantiate that there’s “a good deal more to this story than career and ambition.” When I had interviewed Miller in May 2011, I hadn’t learned anything remarkable. He had, though, mentioned writing an unvarnished account of that tumultuous Watergate period at the bureau that included an explanation of why Felt had leaked. (The 2005 revelation that Felt was Deep Throat had come as absolutely no news to Miller.) I cajoled and pleaded with Miller to share his testament, as he would do with Woodward. But Miller wouldn’t budge. Reading Landesman’s email, I presumed he had seen it and found it persuasive.

* *

In May 2012, despite our emerging differences, Landesman invited me to his home in the Hollywood Hills to compare notes. Our conversation ranged all over the place, and it became clear that he had cast his net far wider than the FBI, interviewing such people as CBS’s Lesley Stahl, who, in addition to covering Watergate, had dated Woodward at the time. Landesman talked about how difficult it must have been for Woodward and Bernstein to have this “false history hanging over their heads” all these years. His Deep Throat script was “congruent” with my book, he asserted, except that it was going to add the personal angle that I had ignored, including Felt’s rescue of his daughter, Joan, from a California commune in the early 1970s. He had arrived there, Landesman said, to find Joan sitting naked in a field nursing her newborn baby.

One finding of Landesman’s that genuinely surprised me was his claim that Felt had leaked to Carl Bernstein, too. It has long been part of Watergate lore that Felt dealt only with Woodward. Indeed, the first time Bernstein ever met Deep Throat was in November 2008, when the reporters traveled to California to see the 95-year-old Felt, who died the next month. Landesman insisted that Felt was the anonymous “government lawyer” described in the 1974 book All the President’s Men who telephoned Bernstein at the Post and tipped him off that a young lawyer named Donald Segretti had tried to hire another lawyer named Alex B. Shipley Jr. to engage in “dirty tricks” aimed at disrupting the Democratic primaries in 1972. Landesman was proud of this alleged discovery, which had come about only because of his dogged research. He triumphantly said he had shared it with Woodward and Bernstein.

This scoop, if true, constituted a substantial revision of history, not to mention my book. The 2006 reissue of Felt’s 1979 autobiography—revised to put Deep Throat in the best possible light—had not claimed that Felt called Bernstein. In Woodward’s archival notes from the famed October 9, 1972, meeting with Deep Throat in a Virginia parking garage, Felt specifically declines to talk about Segretti. If Landesman were right, Felt was simultaneously tipping off Bernstein anonymously and refusing to discuss the same subject with Woodward. Most importantly, what Felt purportedly told Bernstein was something the FBI did not even know at the time. After the Post’s story about Segretti was published on October 10, Pat Gray ordered an internal investigation because of all the references in the story to information from FBI reports. This internal probe found that while the bureau knew about Segretti, the FBI had had “no knowledge concerning Segretti’s attempts to recruit” Shipley.

This was important. If my book did well enough, I could insert a correction in the paperback edition. I asked Landesman about his source for this finding, which contradicted All the President’s Men and contemporaneous FBI documents. Landesman promptly put on his investigative-reporter hat. “I hate to pull this, because I hate when I get it, but I can’t [divulge my source], not just yet,” he wrote in an email. “One day I’ll be able to tell you who and how, but I do know it was [Felt]. No disrespect. I see us as allies and compatriots pure and simple on this. Bear with me. . . . Though anecdotally, you can see how it makes total sense, correct? Who else would it have been, esp[ecially] given what you found out and wrote in your book.”

Yet the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that Felt calling Bernstein made no sense. I went back over all the primary and secondary evidence and conducted new interviews. Ultimately, I established to my satisfaction who called Bernstein after talking to Marietta Shipley, the wife of the now-deceased Alex Shipley. She told me a lawyer friend of Alex’s, who had been with him and Segretti in the Army’s judge advocate general’s corps, had been the person who called Bernstein. This friend was certainly not Mark Felt.

* *

During our conversation, Landesman disclosed his involvement in the project was via Tom Hanks’s production company, Playtone, which had purchased the film rights to Felt’s story soon after the Vanity Fair article appeared. Felt was to be a vehicle for another heroic turn by Hanks, and Landesman made it seem like production was imminent. In June 2012, he wrote, “We gotta get this movie made. The same way [the movie of All the President’s Men] solidified the false mythology, only a movie as big can correct it forever. I should know soon.” Instead, in August of that year, Landesman got the go-ahead for another one of Playtone’s based-on-actual-events film projects: Parkland, about the long weekend of the Kennedy assassination.

I heard infrequently from him after that. And when I did, he tended to emphasize the gap in our respective positions rather than any supposed congruence. Felt “was a complicated guy,” Landesman wrote in November 2013, just as Parkland was coming out, “and his motives on this were complicated. To reduce it to careerism dishonors not just the man but the event. Too simply [sic]. Too reductionist. Too easy.” Meanwhile, the Felt film appeared to be in limbo.

Delays are a common Hollywood malady, my brother-in-law assured me. But he also noted that Tom Hanks had sufficient clout to get any film into production promptly—that is, if he believed in the script. That there were snags was confirmed to me later in the year by two producers I met while working on a Hanks-produced documentary series on the sixties. They expressed doubt the film would ever be made, and if it were, they said, it wasn’t going to star Tom Hanks. Meanwhile, Landesman had moved on to writing and directing yet another film “based on actual events”: Concussion, about the NFL’s brain-injury problem.

In May 2015, out of the blue, Landesman reported to me that the Felt film was finally in preparation. He had corralled Liam Neeson into portraying Felt, and Diane Lane was playing Audrey. Their star power proved crucial to piecing together the “indie financing” needed to get the film out of Hollywood purgatory (Hanks and Playtone were still involved, but only marginally). Landesman wrote, “I know we don’t agree on all things Felt. . . . I would like to compare notes, making sure things are as right as they can be. I’ll start by re-reading your book. And then I’ll be in touch.” This cordiality was in marked contrast to his tone the last time I had heard from him. In November 2013, Landesman had taken exception to my blunt rejection, in an email to him, of Felt’s supposedly complex psychological and emotional realities. “How would you know,” he responded. “You have no access to the people who actually knew him. You’re just pulling that out [of] your ass.”

Ed Miller had died in July 2013, and I was finally able to procure from his daughter a copy of the text that supposedly explained everything—though I never did learn if Landesman had ever read this explanation. It turned out to be 25 inchoate pages, revealing only in the sense that it conspicuously avoided addressing the savage war of the FBI succession. I sent copies to Angelo Lano, the FBI’s Watergate case agent; John J. McDermott, Lano’s boss as the special agent in charge of the Washington field office; Daniel Armstrong, a special assistant to Pat Gray; and Earl J. Silbert, the attorney who prosecuted the five burglars caught red-handed at the Watergate and the two ringleaders of the break-in, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy. All four agreed Miller’s testament was gibberish.

For good measure, I ran Landesman’s rationalization of Felt’s conduct by every FBI man I knew of from those days. When they didn’t laugh, they scoffed. Felt was renowned for his cold, detached, and calculating demeanor. He was called the “White Rat” at the bureau—a nickname owing to his thick mane of carefully coiffed hair and his penchant for tattling on subordinates and rivals to Hoover. Nor had Miller’s ramblings mentioned Audrey or Joan as contributing factors in Felt’s decision to leak. Indeed, Miller’s memoir could be read to suggest the opposite:

[Felt] clearly was [Audrey’s] hero; but something happened. Although I don’t think Watergate bothered her and I have absolutely no feeling that “Deep Throat” was ever discussed between them, Things didn’t start to fall apart until and after the Felt-Miller trial in 1980 in Washington. . . . We were found guilty and even though President Reagan pardoned us Audrey was not herself. She confided in [Miller’s wife] that Mark was no longer paying any attention to her and that he was spending virtually all his time in their guest room.

* *

The Felt movie finally began filming in May 2016. Judging from the Hollywood trades, Landesman’s view of his script was not modest. The movie will “change the accepted history of Watergate,” he told Deadline: Hollywood. “Right or wrong, [Deep Throat] felt what he did was the last defense of the American ideal. . . . The story has the components of a suspenseful spy thriller, but there are huge reveals about his motivations.” Landesman referred to a subplot involving daughter Joan as “Shakespearean.”

The film is focused on the eventful year from Hoover’s death to Felt’s departure from the bureau in June 1973, amid grateful applause from assembled employees. It is the story of how Felt had to betray the FBI—by leaking, which was otherwise against his character, training, and ethical code—to save the FBI. This is where the war of the FBI succession is folded into the plot, except that the facts are so distorted that the truth is unrecognizable. Felt’s lust for the directorship is depicted in a single scene, immediately following Hoover’s death, when he gingerly and respectfully tries on the director’s chair for size. We are supposed to believe Felt will serve honorably if only he is asked, but he is double-crossed by Richard Nixon. Neeson’s Felt promises his fidelity to Gray so long as Gray’s first loyalty is to the bureau. In truth, Felt acted like a sycophant in front of Gray and disparaged him at every opportunity behind his back. Landesman can make such distortions believable because Liam Neeson is an imposing presence on the screen, the personification of gravitas and high-mindedness—think Gregory Peck in the ’50s and ’60s. Neeson carries Mark Felt.

Felt’s rivals for the directorship are the villains in the film: William C. Sullivan and Gray—with Nixon, of course, lurking in the background. Sullivan had been Hoover’s heir apparent until he became impatient and was fired for insolence and insubordination in October 1971. In the film, Sullivan represents the bad old FBI under Hoover, a serial violator of Americans’ constitutional rights on the flimsiest of pretexts. In a conspicuous piece of miscasting, Sullivan—a tightly wound, bantamweight Irishman—is portrayed as a sloth-footed, menacing hoodlum by Tom Sizemore.

Neeson’s Felt is hellbent on preventing Sullivan’s vengeful return. While this was indubitably true—Felt leaked to damage both his perceived rivals for the directorship, Sullivan and Gray—the line the film takes, that Sullivan was tainted by his association with the FBI’s abuses while Felt was a closeted proponent of civil liberties, is risible. Sullivan’s excesses are traceable to his responsibilities for the bureau’s domestic-intelligence gathering and internal security. He sought and oversaw aggressive measures—including wiretaps, infiltration, and even sabotage—to disrupt radical groups ranging from the KKK to the Weather Underground.

When Felt rose to a position of responsibility at the FBI, he too advocated vigorous countermeasures. He sanctioned illegal break-ins during the same period he was leaking to Woodward. The film doesn’t pretend otherwise, except that Landesman’s Felt orders the gloves-off approach with only the greatest reluctance, whereas his Sullivan delights in building a police state. There is good reason to believe, moreover, that Felt reinstituted the program of illegal break-ins—called black-bag jobs—to curry Nixon’s favor, hoping they would result in the capture of one or more of the Weather Underground terrorists who were proving maddeningly elusive and so garner him the directorship. In any event, what Sullivan had in common with Felt was far more telling than any alleged differences over bureau counterintelligence techniques. They shared, recalls Jack McDermott, a “hungry, needy drive to replace Hoover.”

* *

The even greater disservice is the film’s depiction of L. Patrick Gray. If there was one official who most definitely was not one of the president’s men, it was Gray. Named acting director the month before the June 1972 break-in, Gray was between the proverbial rock and hard place. If he did not keep the Watergate probe under control and out of the press, he was going to incur Nixon’s wrath and lose any hope of securing the nomination to be permanent director after the November election. Yet if he failed to let the investigation run its full course or was seen to have interfered with it in any way, Gray would stand no chance of being confirmed by what was sure to be a Democrat-controlled Senate. As CIA director Richard Helms later observed, almost in sympathy, “Can you imagine the predicament of a new FBI director coming into office and having this thing break over his head?”

Gray’s solution was to try to have it both ways. He largely absented himself from direct management of the investigation, leaving it to the professionals at the bureau—including his deputy, Mark Felt. Simultaneously, the acting director opened a private channel to White House counsel John Dean and kept him informed about the FBI’s progress—never realizing that Dean’s real function was desk officer for the cover-up.

In Landesman’s film, Gray is a Nixon hatchet man who poses an even greater existential danger to the FBI than Sullivan. “Crazy Billy” (as Sullivan was known) would merely return the bureau to the bad old days; Gray would compromise its very integrity. Gray orders the Watergate investigation shut down after 48 hours—a plot point based on a false story Felt leaked to the press in June 1972. Missing from the film is any indication that Gray alone warned Nixon about the attempt to obstruct justice in the first few weeks after the break-in—what would eventually become the first article in the House Judiciary Committee’s bill of impeachment against the president.

Dean (with full knowledge of the president and his chief of staff) was trying to invoke CIA privileges to block a particularly embarrassing aspect of the FBI’s Watergate investigation: the laundering of questionable campaign contributions through a Mexican lawyer to the president’s reelection committee, whereby they reached the bank account of one of the five Watergate burglars. In an exchange that would become famous, Gray and Nixon talked on July 6, 1972, about this aborted effort to deflect the FBI investigation. “People on your staff,” Gray warned the president, “are using the CIA and FBI” in an attempt to impede the investigation. After a perceptible pause, Nixon replied, “Pat, you just continue to conduct your aggressive and thorough investigation.” The actor Marton Csokas bears an uncanny resemblance to Gray. But thanks to Landesman’s script, a naïve, hapless man in a difficult position is portrayed as a simple thug in the employ of the federal government.

* *

Landesman is no Oliver Stone retailing paranoid history. But there are several touches in Mark Feltreminiscent of JFK. Like the earlier film’s Mr. X (played by Donald Sutherland), there is a mysterious, menacing CIA-figure (played by Eddie Marsan) who tries, in a brief appearance, to wrap up all the loose ends. Like Stone, Landesman purveys the concept of an unaccountable Deep State. “Presidents come and go,” Marsan intones. “The CIA stays. The FBI stays.” And like Stone’s JFK, Landesman’s film ends with a claim that is the opposite of the truth: Mark Felt’s “legacy is incalculable as one of the most important whistleblowers in American history.”

Mark Felt is chock full of lesser falsehoods, misrepresentations, and elisions of fact. Neeson’s Felt arrives at the scene of the Watergate break-in as his personal presence is urgently required by investigators; never happened. Landesman has Woodward telling Felt that his newsroom sobriquet is Deep Throat; pure invention. Landesman leaves out that Gray’s confirmation testimony before the Senate led to backslapping in the Post newsroom. The words of Nixon’s ostensible hatchet man justified the Post’s singular devotion to the story, and as the paper’s executive editor, Ben Bradlee, put it, single-handedly “rescued the free press.” Most egregiously, Landesman includes his phony scoop about Felt leaking to Bernstein, in what amounts to a transparent attempt to give Felt whistleblower cred. One salutary element is that Landesman rightly makes much more of Felt’s relationship with Time’s Sandy Smith, a reporter who had many Watergate scoops thanks to his long-standing ties to the FBI, than he does of the encounters with Woodward. Indeed, Woodward’s screen time is so meager it may come as a shock to Watergate buffs, given that Woodward invented Deep Throat.

Mark Felt is fated to be juxtaposed with All the President’s Men, and it will suffer by the comparison. Alan J. Pakula made exceptional use of Washington’s architecture and symbolism in his account of the Watergate investigation. Mark Felt was not filmed on location, and the absence of Washington’s monumentalism is telling. There is a mismatch between the weightiness of the subject and the locale, as if the war over the FBI succession and the Watergate scandal had both taken place in Sacramento. Watching Landesman’s rendering of the iconic garage rendezvous between Felt and Woodward, one yearns for a cameo by Robert Redford, perhaps as the attendant, or even better, Hal Holbrook as an anonymous patron departing in his car. Even a bow to the beloved but apocryphal “follow the money” line is missing, and there is nothing memorable to take its place.

That scene also serves as a pointed reminder of what All the President’s Men is and what Mark Feltisn’t. Every sentient American already knew how the story turned out in 1976 when Pakula’s film premiered. But All the President’s Men was a crackling, gripping movie. Mark Felt is a plodding, unsubtle melodrama, guilty of the only cardinal sin in Hollywood: tedium. It is beyond rescue, even by Liam Neeson’s pensive looks.

Max Holland’s Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat is available in paperback.

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Sixteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we still don’t know what happened… While some in our government may have at least partial knowledge, the American public doesn’t know the answers to these questions. 


“Many are skeptical that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man accused of being the “architect” of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will ever stand trial as he prepares for his 25th pre-trial hearing next month. Joanna Walters explains at the Guardian.”


See also: 

9/11 – GS

Search Results for: 9/11

The darkness of the lowly truths: 9/11 and Russia – connecting the dots – by Michael Novakhov

Michael Novakhov on 9/11 – Google Search

News Reviews and Opinions: Uncovering the Hidden Truths of 9/11 …


Why Did Robert Mueller Obstruct Congress’s 9/11 Probe?

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Sixteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we still don’t know what happened. How did a ragtag bunch of hijackers, armed only with box cutters, manage to gain control of those airliners? How did they get into the United States to begin with? Who supported them while they were here? Why didn’t law enforcement – which had plenty of clues as to what they were up to – stop them? Prior to the attacks, our government spent billions on “anti-terrorist” programs designed to prevent precisely what occurred on September 11, 2001 – yet Mohammed Atta and his accomplices managed to slip through the cracks. How?

While some in our government may have at least partial knowledge, the American public doesn’t know the answers to these questions.

What we do know, however, is that our lives were changed forever: propelled into a war without end, the United States launched attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere that are still ongoing. Thousands of Americans and an untold number of Afghans, Iraqis, and others – hundreds of thousands– have so far perished in what our generals tell us will be a “generational” conflict with no discernible end in sight.

We also know, thanks to public agitation around this question, that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had substantial involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The campaign to reveal the redacted portions of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11 was partially successful, although there is still much the government is keeping from the American people. What we learned from the pages that were revealed is that Saudi government employees aided and directed at least two of the hijackers – and that Prince Bandar al Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, was at the center of the spider web that ensnared the nation on 9/11.

Now a lawsuit brought by some of the 9/11 families reveals that, a full two years before 9/11, the Saudi government funded a “dry run” designed to test airline security. As Paul Sperry reports in the New York Post:

“Two years before the airliner attacks, the Saudi Embassy paid for two Saudi nationals, living undercover in the US as students, to fly from Phoenix to Washington ‘in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks,” alleges the amended complaint filed on behalf of the families of some 1,400 victims who died in the terrorist attacks 16 years ago.”

The lawsuit accuses the Saudis of providing “both financial and operational support” to the operation, which was clearly a covert action by Saudi intelligence. Lawyers for the complainants allege that the two “students” — Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi – were part of “the Kingdom’s network of agents in the US.”

The evidence marshaled by the lawsuit is pretty impressive. It shows that:

  • These “students” trained at an al-Qaeda camp at the same time as some of the hijackers.
  • They had regular contact with a highly-placed Saudi leader of al-Qaeda who is now imprisoned at Gitmo.
  • Both were Saudi government employees and were in regular contact with the Saudi embassy.

It was November, 1999, when Qudhaeein and Hamdan boarded an Air West flight to Washington, D.C., and started acting in a highly suspicious manner. A summary of the FBI files on them states:

“After they boarded the plane in Phoenix, they began asking the flight attendants technical questions about the flight that the flight attendants found suspicious. When the plane was in flight, al-Qudhaeein asked where the bathroom was; one of the flight attendants pointed him to the back of the plane. Nevertheless, al-Qudhaeein went to the front of the plane and attempted on two occasions to enter the cockpit.”

The reaction of the pilots was clearly “Islamophobic” – they carried out an emergency landing in Ohio, where the duo was arrested, handcuffed, and taken in for questioning. Luckily for the Saudi conspirators, the FBI decided their behavior was no big deal and let them go. It was only later that our Keystone Kops discovered that “a suspect in a counterterrorism investigation in Phoenix was driving Shalawi’s car” and this “student” had “trained at terrorist camps in Afghanistan and had received explosives training to perform attacks on American targets.” As for Qudhaeein, the FBI concluded he “was a Saudi intelligence agent, based on his frequent contact with Saudi officials.”

Move along, folks — nothing to see here!

wrote about the connection between the Saudi government and the activities of some of the hijackers in San Diego, which was revealed when the 28 pages of the redacted Joint Inquiry report were partially unredacted. We wouldn’t know anything about this part of the 9/11 plot if Robert Mueller – then FBI director, now the “special counsel” heading up the “Russia-gate” probe – had had his way. When the Joint Inquiry sent former FBI lawyer and counterterrorism expert Michael Jacobson to San Diego to investigate Saudi links to 9/11, Mueller was furious, as Andrew Cockburn reports in Harper’s:

“Bob Graham, the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told me recently that Robert Mueller, then the FBI director (and now the special counsel investigating connections between Russia and the Trump campaign) made “the strongest objections” to Jacobson and his colleagues visiting San Diego.

“Graham and his team defied Mueller’s efforts, and Jacobson flew west. There he discovered that his hunch was correct. The FBI files in California were replete with extraordinary and damning details …”

Jacobsons’s San Diego sojourn unearthed much evidence of FBI incompetence, including the fact that two of the hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar,who had arrived in California from Malaysia and been taken under the wing of Saudi agents, “had been close with an FBI informant, Abdussattar Shaikh,” as Cockburn informs us:

“Hazmi had actually lived in his house after Mihdhar left town. Shaikh failed to mention his young Saudi friends’ last names in regular reports to his FBI case officer, or that they were taking flying lessons. Understandably, the investigators had a lot of questions for this man. Nevertheless, Mueller adamantly refused their demands to interview him, even when backed by a congressional subpoena, and removed Shaikh to an undisclosed location ‘for his own safety.’ Today, Graham believes that Mueller was acting under orders from the White House.”

Think about this for a moment: the man now in charge of investigating the President of these United States for “collusion” with Russia and possible “obstruction of justice” himself obstructed a congressional investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Was Mueller, possibly on orders from President George W. Bush, colluding with the Saudis to cover up their role?

The Bush administration, with its familial ties to the Saudis, had every interest in covering up Riyadh’s active complicity. Aside from that, they were pushing the fable of Saddam Hussein’s ‘links” to the 9/11 attacks.

So many lies! So much official obstruction! Now, however, the truth is finally coming out. With the passage of legislation stripping the Saudis of their “sovereign immunity” – over President Obama’s veto – the class action suit against the Saudis is moving forward. Armed with thousands of pages of documents showing how Riyadh and its global network of Islamic extremists have succored, aided, and directed al-Qaeda and allied organizations in terrorist attacks against US citizens and interests, the families of those killed, wounded, and traumatized on September 11, 2001, are about to get their day in court.

And what is bound to come out is the complicity of US officials in the cover-up. It looks to me like Robert Mueller’s time in the spotlight is about to get a lot more interesting.

A NOTE TO MY READERS: Our fundraising campaign is over, and I’m happy to report that we reached our goal. Many thanks to all of you who contributed. Without your support, we just could not continue our work.

Independent journalism in the foreign policy field is more important than ever, and we’re grateful for your support. It’s a good thing that we can confront the future, however problematic it may be, with the full confidence of our readers and supporters. Again, many thanks.

And a very special thank you to the heroic Daniel Ellsberg, who helped us with such a kind letter of endorsement.

Read more by Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of <a href=”http://Antiwar.com” rel=”nofollow”>Antiwar.com</a>, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000]. View all posts by Justin Raimondo

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Why Did Robert Mueller Obstruct Congress’s 9/11 Probe? – Antiwar.com

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Why Did Robert Mueller Obstruct Congress’s 9/11 Probe?
Sixteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we still don’t know what happened. How did a ragtag bunch of hijackers, armed only with box cutters, manage to gain control of those airliners? How did they get and more »

Bannon: Trump firing of Comey was the ‘biggest mistake in modern political history’ – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Bannon: Trump firing of Comey was the ‘biggest mistake in modern political history’
Washington Post
Former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon believes the firing of FBI director James B.Comey by President Trump was the biggest mistake “maybe in modern political history.” Bannon made the extraordinary statement during an online segment of his …
Bannon Calls Comey Firing the Biggest Mistake in ‘Modern Political History’New York Timesall 109 news articles »

Who Is Felix Sater, and Why Is Donald Trump So Afraid of Him?

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Felix Sater speaks at the Chabad of Port Washington in Port Washington, New York, in 2014. (YouTube: Felix Sater)

Every time someone asks Donald Trump if he knows Felix Sater, his Russian-born, Brooklyn-bred former business associate, Trump draws a blank. Despite the fact that Sater worked on and off for a decade with the Trump Organization, and despite his recent headline-making appearance as an exuberant negotiator on behalf of Trump’s hardnosed attorney, Michael Cohen, in seeking to build a “massive Trump Tower in Moscow” last year, Trump ducks.

“I mean, I’ve seen him a couple of times; I have met him,” Trump said, in a deposition in a court case involving Sater in 2013. And The New York Times reported him as saying, “If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.” As late as 2015, when asked about Sater, Trump hemmed and hawed. “Boy, I have to even think about it.”

It’s no wonder that Trump, especially now that he’s under investigation over his ties to Russia and its meddling in the 2016 election, would respond to questions about Sater by saying: Who’s he?

Of all the characters caught up in Russiagate, none come close to Sater for having a decades-long record as a larger-than-life, outside-the-law, spy agency-linked wheeler-dealer from the pages of a John le Carré novel. His past record includes a conviction for lacerating a man’s face with a broken margarita glass in a bar brawl and his involvement in a multimillion-dollar stock fraud and money-laundering scheme. Despite that record, which came before he worked with Trump, Sater spent nearly a decade working with the Trump Organization in search of deals in Russia and other former Soviet republics. But on August 28, Sater made the front pages of the Times and The Washington Post, thanks to leaked copies of e-mails that he sent in late 2015 and early 2016 to Cohen, concerning Sater’s efforts to work with a group of Russian investors to set up a flagship Trump property in the Russian capital.

In language that Cohen himself described to the Times as “colorful,” Sater seemed nearly beside himself as he reported on his work in Moscow on behalf of Trump:

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” wrote Sater. “I will get all of [Vladimir] Putins [sic] team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.… I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.” Echoing a line that would later become Trump’s own description of why he and Putin might get along, Sater wrote that the Russian leader “only wants to deal with a pragmatic leader, and a successful business man is a good candidate for someone who knows how to deal.”

Sater couldn’t resist adding, “Michael I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins [sic] private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin.” According to the Times, Sater was “eager to show video clips to his Russian contacts of instances of Mr. Trump speaking glowingly about Russia.” Which, of course, Trump has done repeatedly over the years. And, though Trump has denied that he has any business interests in Russia, even as he was gearing up for the Republican presidential primary race, Cohen and Sater were deep into previously undisclosed talks with Russian partners about constructing a Trump-branded hotel, according to The Washington Post. In a statement to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last week, Cohen did admit writing to Dmitry Peskov in connection with Sater’s work. Peskov, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin, confirmed the contact.

So who, exactly, is Felix Sater? Tim O’Brien, author of a biography of Trump, wrote about Sater in an article titled “Lean, Mean Trump-Russia Machine.” He was born in 1966 in the Soviet Union, and he and his family moved to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York, when he was just 8. According to a recent Guardian profile, Sater’s relationship with Cohen—and to organized crime—goes way back:

Sater’s links to Trump’s circle can be traced back to not long after he came to the US as a child. His father, Mikhail Sheferovsky (who changed the family name after arriving in New York) became a local crime boss in Brighton Beach and Sater grew up on that side of Brooklyn, where he got to know another teenager in the neighbourhood, Michael Cohen, a Long Island boy who would go on to become Trump’s personal lawyer and vice-president of the Trump Organization.

Sorting out Sater’s checkered past leads into a convoluted labyrinth of crime, legal entanglements, shady deals, alleged ties to US and foreign intelligence agencies and, of course, intimate connections to Donald Trump and the Trump Organization. The best comprehensive account of Sater’s long and complicated path was written by Andrew Rice and published in August in New York magazine under the headline “The Original Russia Connection.” Rice’s account, which includes parts of a lengthy interview with Sater, draws heavily on a 2007 breakthrough piece by Charles Bagli in The New York Times. Bagli was the first to uncover and report in depth on Sater’s criminal past. This past February the Times published a blockbuster story by Megan Twohey and Scott Shane recounting an effort by Sater, Cohen, Gen. Mike Flynn, and a Ukrainian politician to put forward a half-cocked Ukrainian “peace plan” and deliver it, freelance fashion, to the White House. In addition, various lawsuits, testimony, and depositions by the characters in Sater’s erratic orbit, including by Trump himself, provide valuable material in figuring out who Sater is and what role he plays in the Trump-Russia story. In this piece, I draw on all of these sources and more.

Sater’s first run-in with the law came in 1991—according to the indictment, as reported by Bagli in the Times—when Sater, then an upstart stockbroker in his mid-20s, “grabbed a large margarita glass, smashed it on the bar and plunged the stem into the right side of [a rival] broker’s face. The man suffered nerve damage and required 110 stitches to close the laceration on his face.”

Sater, who served time in prison for that assault, was barred from financial trading by the National Association of Securities Dealers. Yet in 1993, Sater and several partners took over a securities firm called White Rock Partners, later called State Street Capital Markets, which portrayed itself as a legitimate brokerage firm but, in fact, ran a criminal enterprise involving stock fraud, money laundering, and a so-called “pump and dump” scheme that involved conspiring to inflate the apparent value of near-worthless stocks, sell them off to unsuspecting investors, and cash in. In so doing, for protection Sater drew on the assistance of his father’s friends in the Genovese crime family. According to Rice’s New York piece, Sater “laundered fraud proceeds through a labyrinthine network of Caribbean shell companies, Israeli and Swiss bank accounts, and contacts in New York’s Diamond District.” In the mid-1990s, New York reports, Sater spent a great deal of time in Moscow, where, according to a friend and business partner, Sal Lauria—who later wrote a book about all of this—“We were dealing with ex-KGB generals and with the elite of Russian society.”

It all came crashing down in 1998, when New York City police uncovered a stash of guns and documents in a mini-storage locker in SoHo implicating Sater and his partners in the fraud and money-laundering schemes. According to the Times, citing other defendants in the case, Sater pled guilty to racketeering charges for bilking at least $40 million from his investors. Using Sater’s testimony, the feds eventually convicted 19 of Sater’s cronies, including half a dozen who had mob connections. Significantly, the prosecutor who oversaw Sater’s cooperation agreement in the 1998 indictment, now sealed, was Andrew Weissmann—who is currently one of 16 prosecutors and criminal justice officials on the staff of special counsel Robert Mueller, who’s leading the Russiagate inquiry.

Enter the spies. During his time in Moscow and traveling around eastern Europe, Sater began cultivating ties to arms dealers, officials in US law enforcement and national security agencies, and—according to his interview in New York—even meeting with the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency. In order to get some bargaining power after he was indicted in 1998, according to Sater himself, he told the FBI that he had obtained valuable information about Osama bin Laden, a cache of Stinger missiles, and more. His information, it seems didn’t pan out—but after 9/11, Sater did cooperate in some fashion with the US government. Overseeing the Sater case back then was none other than Loretta Lynch, then US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn). In her confirmation hearing to serve as US Attorney General under President Obama, Lynch confirmed that Sater did in fact work with the FBI “and other agencies”—presumably the CIA—in “providing information crucial to national security.” Where and how Sater gathered the information that he provided, whether or not it involved contacts with the Russian FSB (the successor to the KGB) and GRU, and whether those agencies themselves established a covert connection with Sater is something that both Mueller and the US intelligence community ought to be looking at today, of course.

Sater’s connection with Trump starts in the mid-2000s, when Sater joined a real estate firm called the Bayrock Group, which had been founded in 2001 by Tevfik Arif, a former Soviet official from Kazakhstan. Arif hired Sater in 2003, making him the firm’s chief operating officer. The firm later set up its headquarters on the 24th floor of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, just below Trump’s own suite of offices. (Sater’s first office suite, with his criminal enterprise called State Street Capital, had its offices in a Trump-owned building, 40 Wall Street, in the mid-1990s.)

Over the next several years Arif and Sater, via Bayrock, started or collaborated with Trump on a series of hotel and resort projects in Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, and elsewhere. Their most important collaboration was the development in 2005 of the Trump SoHo project, which, according to the Times’s 2007 exposé of Sater, was a “sleek, 46-story glass tower condominium hotel [then] under construction on a newly fashionable section of Spring Street.” New York magazine adds that, oddly enough, the Trump SoHo tower “happened to be directly across the street from the storage facility that had been Sater’s previous undoing.”

When told by the Times about Sater’s criminal past, Alex Sapir, president of the Sapir Organization, which was involved in the SoHo project, said, “This is all news to me.” At the time, though, Trump didn’t separate himself from Sater, mingling with him at the SoHo opening, hanging out in Colorado while working on another project, and—according to Sater, at least—regularly interacting.

“How did I get to Donald?” Sater asked New York magazine, with typical braggadocio. “I walked in his door and told him, ‘I’m gonna be the biggest developer in New York, and you want to be my partner.’” After that, Sater said, he’d frequently pop into Trump’s own office to talk about this or that deal. “Donald wanted me to bring deals to him,” Sater told New York. “Because he saw how many I put on the table at Bayrock.”

Sater and Bayrock sought to extend the Trump brand to Ukraine, Poland, and elsewhere—including Moscow. Around 2005, Sater identified a location for a Trump Tower in the Russian capital, and he says that he personally escorted Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump around Moscow back then—an assertion that neither of the Trumps have denied. Last January The New York Times reported, “During a trip in 2006, Mr. Sater and two of Mr. Trump’s children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, stayed at the historic Hotel National Moscow opposite the Kremlin, connecting with potential partners over the course of several days.”

After the financial crisis of 2008, Bayrock ran into difficulty, and Sater went out on his own. According to New York, following his separation from Bayrock he went to work for the Trump Organization, even carrying a business card listing his title as “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump.” Despite that, Trump denies ever employing Sater directly.

Sater’s links to Trump in recent years are obscure. According to recent reporting by the Times and the Post, however, as recently as 2015-16, Sater and Cohen, Trump’s lawyer and the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, were working together on a Trump Tower Moscow arrangement, though that too didn’t pan out.

But Sater and Cohen would cooperate on another venture. Following Trump’s election, the two men worked together to develop a curious peace plan for Ukraine. In it, Sater and Cohen worked with Andrii Artemenko, a Ukrainian opposition politician who himself had a questionable past, having spent time in prison in Ukraine for an embezzlement scheme, according to the New York Times story last February that first broke the news of his collaboration with Sater and Cohen (the charges against Artemenko were eventually dropped). According to the Times, Sater met Cohen and Artemenko at a New York hotel just two blocks from Cohen’s current residence in Trump Park Avenue. Cohen, who’s married to a Ukrainian woman, has business ties there himself, having once tried to get a Ukrainian ethanol business off the ground.

In 2014, a popular revolt toppled Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was replaced by another oligarch, the pro-Western Petro Poroshenko. Paul Manafort, the GOP operative who would later sign on as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, was on Yanukovych’s payroll for years, and when Yanukovych fled Ukraine for Russia, Manafort contracted with opposition politicians in Kiev to help build an anti-Poroshenko bloc—and Artemenko joined in. (Manafort, of course, is under intense scrutiny in the Russiagate investigation from Mueller and two committees of Congress over his possible role as a go-between in collusion between Russia’s spy network and the Trump campaign. In July, Mueller ordered a pre-dawn raid at Manafort’s Virginia home seeking evidence in the case, amid speculation that Manafort might “flip” and turn against Trump.)

According to the Times, the Artemenko plan—delivered to Sater and Cohen, and then to Michael Flynn, the short-lived White House national security adviser who was forced to resign in February—involved using unflattering or compromising information (kompromat) to help oust Poroshenko and then winning the support of a new Ukrainian government for a 50- to 100-year lease of Crimea to Russia—which in 2014 occupied and annexed Crimea, which for many decades had been part of Ukraine. Because the vast majority of Ukrainian political forces would never agree to surrender their claim to Crimea, the plan was considered a hopeless nonstarter by most experts familiar with the Ukraine crisis. Yet the role of Sater and Cohen, both Trump associates, contributed to the growing belief in Washington that Trump, who has steadily refused to criticize Putin for his authoritarian excesses, extrajudicial killings, and suppression of free expression in Russia, has questionable ties to Russia.

The plan went nowhere, however. According to the Times, Sater gave Cohen the proposal in a sealed envelope, who reportedly said he left it in Flynn’s office. But in an interview with HuffPost, Cohen said he never delivered the envelope. But that doesn’t quite jibe with the Times’s original report, which noted that when Flynn resigned (because of his own still unexplained conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the transition), Cohen was still waiting for a response, “hoping a new national security adviser will take up their cause.” So far, as far as we know, current National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster hasn’t responded to the idea, which is probably long dead.

Even allowing for Sater’s long-established record as a liar and self-promoter, there’s plenty here for Mueller and other investigators to dig into. And Sater, too, seems to believe that something big is coming. In his interview with New York magazine, he hinted ominously about the near future. “In about the next 30 to 35 days,” he told reporter Rice, “I will be the most colorful character you have ever talked about. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it now, before it happens. And believe me, it ain’t anything as small as whether or not they’re gonna call me to the Senate committee.”

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Felix Sater – Google Search

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Story image for Felix Sater from The Nation.

Who Is Felix Sater, and Why Is Donald Trump So Afraid of Him?

The Nation.Sep 8, 2017
Every time someone asks Donald Trump if he knows Felix Sater, his Russian-born, Brooklyn-bred former business associate, Trump draws a …
Not at all quiet for Trump on the Russia front
St. Louis AmericanSep 8, 2017

felix sater – Google News: Trump’s pal plotted to hire journalist for negative stories – Page Six

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Page Six
Trump’s pal plotted to hire journalist for negative stories
Page Six
Felix Sater — the Russian-born, real estate mogul who helped build Trump Soho — once looked to hire a journalist for $1,000 a month to post and blog negative stories about an enemy. Randi Newton, currently a dating columnist for the New York Observer 

 felix sater – Google News

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Trump’s pal plotted to hire journalist for negative stories – Page Six

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Page Six
Trump’s pal plotted to hire journalist for negative stories
Page Six
Felix Sater — the Russian-born, real estate mogul who helped build Trump Soho — once looked to hire a journalist for $1,000 a month to post and blog negative stories about an enemy. Randi Newton, currently a dating columnist for the New York Observer 

‘Russian mafia’ from Brighton Beach charged with arson of illegal poker club in New York – https://en.crimerussia.com/

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‘Russian mafia’ from Brighton Beach charged with arson of illegal poker club in New York
In particular, Aleksey Tsvetkov aka Pelmen, who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1992, used to be an expert in debt collecting. In 2003, he was arrested by the FBI as a member of another Russian organized crime group, the Brighton Beach …

‘Russian mafia’ from Brighton Beach charged with arson of illegal poker club in New York

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Four out of six suspects in the arson of a three-story building in May last year were arrested in November 2016 as part of a large-scale operation of the FBI and the New York police against the organized crime groups of immigrants from the former Soviet Union countries.

The US Prosecutor’s Office in the Eastern District of New York has unveiled an indictment on charges of arson of the 3-story residential building in the Brighton Beach/Coney Island district of New York, in which an illegal poker club was located.

The major fire occurred on the night of May 2, 2016, but its reasons have not been officially announced until now. Residents of the building were evacuated, but firemen had to rescue two people blocked by flame in an apartment on the third floor. As a result of the fire-fighting operations, several New York fire fighters suffered injuries and burns.

According to the document, six members of the so-called Russian mafia have been convicted of arson; five of them were arrested almost a year ago on suspicion of other crimes, whereas the sixth person, Viktor Zelinger, is still at large.


Members of a transnational OCG Aleksey Tsvetkov, Leonid Gershman (Lenchik), Vyacheslav Malkeev (Steve Bart), and Librado Riviera (Macho), arrested on charges of racketeering, drug trafficking, illegal possession of firearms, illegal usury, and the organization of an underground gambling business in November 2016, are currently in custody. As reported by the CrimeRussia, the investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies.


Detention of members of the criminal syndicate, November 2016

It is known that exerting pressure on their victims through their relatives in the US, the crime group would extort money abroad, namely in Israel and Eastern Europe. It was reported that the majority of those detained during the police operation had previous criminal experience. In particular, Aleksey Tsvetkov aka Pelmen, who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1992, used to be an expert in debt collecting. In 2003, he was arrested by the FBI as a member of another Russian organized crime group, the Brighton Beach Crew, headed by Zinovy Bari.


Aleksey Tsvetkov

According to the prosecutor’s office, Gershman and Malkeev were the Brighton Beach gang’s ‘power hitters’ along with Tsvetkov.

As reported by the press service of the Prosecutor’s Office of New York, all of them face various prison terms in accordance with the charges (from 17 years to life imprisonment).

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The Myth of Deep Throat

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Columnists, talking heads and op-ed writers are holding open auditions for a role that presumably needs to be filled if we are ever going to get to the bottom of what seems fated to be dubbed, for better or worse, Russiagate: a new Deep Throat.

I get it. In the years since Watergate, the Washington Post’s famous golden source—later revealed to be former FBI No. 2 executive W. Mark Felt—has become practically synonymous with the ideal of the noble leaker. The original Deep Throat “was instrumental in thwarting the conspiracy and bringing [President Richard] Nixon down,” Harry Litman, a former deputy assistant attorney general, approvingly wrote in the Los Angeles Times in May“Was it wrong for Deep Throat, as FBI official Mark Felt was then known, to guide the investigation?” Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan asked in June, in the midst of a column praising leaks and anonymous sources, and inviting more. New York magazine columnist Frank Rich has gone a step further and already announced his casting choice: James Comey is today’s Deep Throat.

Story Continued Below

The unarticulated presumption, which Sullivan, Litman and Rich are not alone in making, is that Felt—the FBI’s deputy director in June 1972, and subsequently the parking-garage interlocutor who steered Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to reportorial heights—was an honorable, selfless whistleblower intent on exposing the lawlessness rampant in the Nixon White House. Or, as David Remnick spelled out in the New Yorker—echoing Deep Throat’s original hagiographers, Woodward and Bernstein—Felt “believed that the Nixon administration was corrupt, paranoid and trying to infringe on the independence of the bureau.” The president and his top aides ran, Felt believed, “a criminal operation out of the White House, and [Felt] risked everything to guide” the Post reporters. A new biopic about Felt, starring Liam Neeson, is due out on September 29th and shows every sign of continuing to portray Deep Throat as a profound patriot and dedicated FBI lifer.

But here’s a heretical thought: Mark Felt was no hero. Getting rid of Nixon was the last thing Felt ever wanted to accomplish; indeed, he was banking on Nixon’s continuation in office to achieve his one and only aim: to reach the top of the FBI pyramid and become director. Felt didn’t help the media for the good of the country, he used the media in service of his own ambition. Things just didn’t turn out anywhere close to the way he wanted.

Only recently, more than four decades after Nixon’s downfall, has it become possible to reconstruct Felt’s design and what really happened during those fateful six months following the Watergate break-in. Doing so requires burrowing through a great number of primary documents and government records against the backdrop of a vast secondary literature. Nixon’s surreptitious tape recordings rank first in importance, but only mark the starting point. One has to also research documents from the FBI’s vast Watergate investigation; the bureau’s subsequent internal leak investigation; records from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force; documents from Felt’s own FBI file; and lastly, two unintentionally rewarding books: Mark Felt’s original 1979 memoir, The FBI Pyramid, and the slightly reworked version published in 2006, A G-Man’s Life.

What you’ll end up with is the real story of Deep Throat. And you might be left with this realization: No matter what happens to Donald Trump—whether he’s absolved, exposed or neither—you should hope there’s nobody as duplicitous as Mark Felt manipulating out understanding of Russiagate.


On May 1, 1972, John Edgar Hoover was days away from marking his 48th year as FBI director, or as one of his arch-critics labeled him, the “No. 1 Sacred Cow of American Politics.” The wily, 77-year-old bureaucrat was the closest thing to a cult of personality in the federal government that has ever existed; not even an unprecedented, year-long spate of bad publicity beginning in late 1970 had loosened his grip on the directorship. Sycophancy within the FBI was rife. Presidents and underlings came and went, but Hoover seemed invincible if not immortal, as inseparable from the law-enforcement empire he had built as the empire was unimaginable without him.

Yet behind the scenes, Hoover’s selfish refusal to step down when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 1964, and two presidents’ lack of gumption to force him out, had put into motion a fierce, no-holds-barred struggle within the FBI to succeed him. It bore a striking resemblance to what used to happen inside the Kremlin, once a doddering Soviet leader neared the end of his term. More than a few top FBI executives saw a potential director when they looked in the mirror during their morning shave. And Hoover’s unwillingness to let go had unleashed what the dean of Watergate historians, the late Stanley Kutler, noted as the “war of the FBI succession.”

The executive with the inside track during Nixon’s first years was William C. Sullivan, who carried the title assistant to the director. A mercurial, intense, secretive personality, Sullivan was regarded by Hoover for a time almost like a son. The standard measure for where subordinates stood with the stern and formal Hoover was his method of addressing them. If someone was “Miller” instead of “Mr. Miller,” that person had achieved a high level of familiarity. Hoover called Sullivan, who oversaw the bureau’s all-important counterintelligence and domestic security responsibilities, simply “Bill.”

Yet Sullivan had a character flaw that became fatal the closer he got to the top of the pyramid: He was impatient. When the Nixon administration soured on the aging Hoover—chief of staff H. R. “Bob” Haldeman acidly described the director as a “real character out of days of yore”—Sullivan saw an opening, encouraged by like-minded Justice Department officials. He began leaking derogatory information about Hoover to journalists considered sympathetic, including, most notably, Robert Novak, the reporting half of the Rowland Evans and Robert Novak syndicated column.

Hoover’s FBI leaked all the time, of course, to favored reporters. The bureau may not have invented the practice, but it had perfected the art. No federal agency rivaled the FBI in terms of the well-placed, exquisitely timed disclosure designed with an end in mind. Information is the currency of power in Washington, and leaking to the press was instrumental to the bureau’s unofficial clout, the reason the FBI engendered fear in many quarters beyond its actual brief. But until Sullivan came along, leaking had largely been controlled, sanctioned and institutional—that is, directed against the bureau’s perceived adversaries or to burnish the FBI’s image and reputation. Never had leaks been employed for personal gain at Hoover’s expense.

Hoover soon figured it out. He fired Sullivan for disloyalty, insolence and insubordination, but not before a confrontation that instantly became part of FBI lore. In October 1971, Sullivan returned from a leave to find the locks in his office changed. Sullivan exchanged harsh words with the FBI executive who had thought up that particular touch. When the executive called him a “Judas,” the perpetually rumpled, bantam-sized Sullivan promptly challenged his dapper, six-foot tall adversary, William Mark Felt, to a fist fight.

Following Sullivan’s hasty exit, Felt became the front-runner to replace Hoover, despite being widely disliked internally. His nickname inside the bureau was the “White Rat.” He had acquired that sobriquet during the six years he headed up the Inspection Division, Hoover’s instrument for enforcing discipline and meting out punishment. Felt’s martinet-like inspection tours, where he out-Hoovered Hoover to curry the director’s favor, had earned him the enmity of agents and agents-in-charge throughout the country. Felt’s inspection report after the infamous break-in at the Media, Pennsylvania, FBI office in March 1971 by anti-war activists was typical. Felt’s report absolved the “Seat of Government” (as FBI headquarters was immodestly called during Hoover’s reign) of all culpability, and made the Media agent-in-charge the scapegoat, as former Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger wrote in her 2014 book, The Burglary. “We would probably not have pissed on [Felt] if he was on fire,” retired agent Robert P. Campbell recalled in a 2011 interview, reflecting the rank-and-file’s disdain.

Felt never enjoyed strong support within the Nixon administration either, unlike Sullivan. While “Crazy Billy” had worn his ambition to succeed Hoover on his sleeve, Felt was self-serving in an unattractive way. Though consumed with what he believed was his rightful inheritance, Felt often exhibited a false humility, perhaps out of fear that his ambition would become too obvious to Hoover. “If you wanted to ruin somebody’s career in the FBI,” a former agent later recalled, “all you had to do [was] leak it to somebody in the press that so-and-so [was] being groomed as Hoover’s successor.” The result was that Felt “did not interact with credibility” with his peers, recalled Donald Santarelli, then an associate attorney general at the Justice Department, in a 2011 interview.

On the morning of May 2, 1972, Hoover’s lifeless body was discovered on the floor of his bedroom one hour after the ever-punctual director failed to come downstairs for his 7:30 a.m. breakfast. Later, mourners at the funeral home were stunned by what they saw in the casket. There in the coffin lay a small, gray-haired, frail-looking man. The mortician had washed Hoover’s hair and all the dye had come out—from his eyebrows too.

Felt was not surprised by the portrait of infirmity. For all intents and purposes he had been running the bureau for more than a year, confident that if he bided his time (unlike Sullivan), Nixon would inevitably turn to Hoover’s natural legatee.

Felt was wrong.

Nixon’s surprise appointment of a dark horse outsider, assistant attorney general L. Patrick Gray, to be acting director within hours stands as one of the most far-reaching personnel decisions ever taken by a president inadvertently. His attention consumed by the upcoming election, geopolitical strategy and the effort to withdraw U.S. ground troops from Vietnam, Nixon was anxious to avoid having Hoover’s FBI become an issue in 1972. For the first time, a director was going to have to win Senate confirmation, and Nixon was leery of giving Democrats on the Judiciary Committee the opportunity to work over a nominee in an election year, possibly even block his confirmation. The president considered the appointment equal to nominating a chief justice to the Supreme Court. Nixon wanted a vigorous man who would occupy the post long after his second term ended. Gray’s acting appointment was roundly criticized on the grounds that he was a Nixon crony. But he otherwise aroused little opposition because he was as colorless as his name.

Gray wasn’t promised the permanent appointment, only that he would be considered for the post if he did a creditable job. Yet the message behind Gray’s interim status—that Nixon was intent on bringing in someone from outside the bureau—was an unmistakable signal to several executives angling for the job, and they decided to retire. The ambitious Felt saw the acting designation, however, as a small opening. It still left six months in which to persuade Nixon to “see the light” by nominating an insider, as Felt wrote in his 1979 memoir.

Felt was acting the part of Gray’s indispensable top deputy, while simultaneously belittling the interim director behind his back, according to interviews I conducted with contemporary FBI officials, when the Watergate break-in serendipitously occurred on June 17, 1972. The burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office complex by Nixon campaign operatives presented Gray with a dilemma that Felt could easily exploit to his advantage. If Gray could not manage the FBI’s politically sensitive Watergate investigation to the White House’s satisfaction, he risked alienating the president and losing out on the nomination. Yet if Gray didn’t allow an unbridled investigation to run its full course, he might fail to win confirmation before what was sure to remain a Democrat-controlled Senate. Gray essentially resolved the dilemma by absenting himself as much as possible, while leaving supervision of the investigation in the hands of professional subordinates, most prominently, Felt.

Gray’s decision facilitated Felt’s recourse to that bureau specialty, the artful leak. As John Dean has confirmed in numerous interviews beginning in 2011, Felt knew that nothing was more likely to incite the White House against Gray, and prove he was Hoover’s unworthy successor, than stories in the press about the politically sensitive probe. As White House counsel and desk officer for the cover-up, Dean was person most frequently tasked with conveying the president’s ire to Gray. Similarly, Democrats’ hackles would be raised by any stories suggesting that the FBI was conducting a lax or superficial investigation.

Felt acted quickly. On June 20, three days after the break-in, the Washington Post published a story headlined, “White House Consultant Tied to Bugging Figure.” The article, citing “Federal sources close to the investigation,” revealed that a one-time White House consultant named E. Howard Hunt, who was also a former CIA officer, had an as-yet undetermined connection to the five burglars nabbed red-handed at the Watergate office complex. Hunt, of course, would turn out to be the co-ringleader of the break-in, along with G. Gordon Liddy, the Nixon campaign’s finance counsel.

In his 2005 book about Felt, The Secret Man, Woodward described in detail how Felt provided the “critical and substantial buttress” for the scoop about Hunt. Although this investigative development would have become public inevitably, the fact that it happened so swiftly stunned a White House still grappling with how to respond to the break-in. The White House’s initial pose was to appear nonchalant and above the story, as captured in Ron Ziegler’s infamous, contemptuous observation that he would not be commenting on “a third-rate burglary attempt.” But the morning the article appeared special counsel Charles Colson roared to the president, as captured on an Oval Office recording, “Pick up that God-damn Washington Post and see that guilt by association!” Colson had been responsible for hiring Hunt, and instantly, the administration became obsessed with how information known only to the police, Justice Department prosecutors and the FBI had come out. “Where the hell are all these leaks from our side coming from?” Nixon wondered aloud. The impulse to circle the wagons, rather than make a clean breast of the campaign’s culpability, took root.

Yet that kind of Watergate story was only half of Felt’s influence operation. Four days later, Felt managed to get fabled Time magazine reporter Sandy Smith interested in allegations that Gray had conferred with John Mitchell, the head of the president’s campaign, right after the break-in, and that Gray had been overheard boasting that the FBI’s investigation would be wrapped up in “24 to 48 hours”—the clear inference being that the probe would be a whitewash. Smith presented the allegations for comment to Gray, who vehemently denied both. Merely being asked such questions left him furious. He knew that a journalist of Smith’s caliber, who had access to the highest echelons in the bureau, would not be posing such questions unless the allegations came from someone Smith firmly believed was in a position to know. When the Time story actually appeared in print on June 26, the piece was thankfully “trimmed of its falsehoods,” Gray noted in a memo. Apparently, Sandy Smith had been unable to corroborate the allegations to his or his editors’ satisfaction—which was hardly surprising, since neither of them was true. The leak to Time came from Felt himself, as Deep Throat’s revised autobiography, published in 2006, acknowledged. Subsequent leaks to Smith would prove more successful.

In the four months that remained before the election, Felt continued to feed the Washington Post and Time tidbits—ranging from the connection between Watergate and the White House operatives known as “plumbers” to how campaign funds had been laundered through Mexico—although the weekly magazine never received the public acclaim the daily newspaper later did. Felt could leak with relative impunity because Watergate was not, and never became, a significant issue during the campaign, and therefore, presented no threat to the only presidential candidate who might appoint Felt director—Richard Nixon. George McGovern, the Democrats’ nominee, was a “jackal” in Hoover’s parlance, anathema to every Hoover disciple and vice versa. The South Dakota senator had spent much of 1971 publicly lambasting the late director for various deficiencies, including alleged senility. Nixon, on the other hand, did discuss potentially appointing Felt to the position at one point, according to Oval Office tapes.

As Nixon’s confidence in Gray waned over the leaks, William Sullivan re-emerged as a potential rival after securing a top job in the Justice Department. That complicated Felt’s scheme greatly, for now he had to figure out how to damage Sullivan’s reputation too. He did so in leaks to Time’s Smith, whose discretion in such matters was legendary, in contrast to the untested Woodward. As in June, Felt was not above misleading Smith on occasion; we also know from Woodward’s handwritten notes that Deep Throat told the cub reporter an enormous number of falsehoods (as John Dean was the first to point out), including during their famous clandestine rendezvous in an Arlington, Virginia parking garage. But then Felt’s relationship to the truth was always casual at best. His goal was incitement, rather than protecting the presidency, the bureau, democracy, or the rule of law from Nixon’s predations. Even the Post’s most celebrated Watergate story of October 10, 1972—the seminal or “centerpiece” story that alleged a “massive campaign of political spying and espionage”—prominently featured a lie uttered by Felt. Deep Throat falsely asserted to Woodward that a letter damaging to the campaign of Senator Edmund Muskie—considered the Democrats’ strongest candidate until he finished poorly in the New Hampshire primary—was “a White House operation,” concocted “inside the gates surrounding the White House.” What Woodstein represented in the Post as “hard evidence” of a political dirty trick was a fabrication, as an internal FBI inquiry and later, the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, determined.

Felt never achieved his goal of becoming director, of course, except for the two hour and fifty minute interregnum that occurred between Gray’s sudden resignation in May (for having destroyed embarrassing documents unrelated to Watergate found in E. Howard Hunt’s White House safe) and the appointment of a new acting director—another outsider named William Ruckelshaus. Unbeknownst to Felt, Nixon had learned in October 1972 that Felt was leaking to Time’s Sandy Smith. The president’s impulse was to fire Felt immediately, but cooler heads at the White House explained that Felt knew too much to make such a move just before the election. His removal would have to wait until after November, when a new director could be ordered to clean out the pestilence in the FBI’s upper ranks.

As it turned out, Felt abruptly resigned from the bureau in May 1973 to avoid being investigated right then and there for leaking. It was a fate he didn’t entirely escape, because a year-long internal investigation was launched a few months later anyway. Subsequently, the Inspection Division learned from Carol Tschudy, a bureau secretary for 17 years, that she was unable to recall how many calls transpired between a Washington Post reporter and her former boss, Felt. However, she said, “the frequency of Woodward’s calls seemed to depend upon various developments in the Watergate case.” Felt tried to make a go of consulting and the lecture circuit, and worked on his memoir after he retired from government service. In 1980, Felt made news when he was tried and convicted of ordering illegal FBI break-ins targeting the left-wing Weather Underground, a violent faction of domestic anti-war radicals. Nixon contributed to Felt’s defense fund and testified at his trial, and Reagan later pardoned him.

Meanwhile, Deep Throat went down in history as a do-gooder who saved the rule of law and American democracy from a criminal president. This was largely thanks to the large dose of buncombe in Woodward and Bernstein’s initial 1974 description of their source in All the President’s Men, and greatly magnified by the depiction in the eponymous Hollywood movie. Deep Throat, they wrote, was “trying to protect the office [of the presidency].” It wasn’t until 2005 that Woodward admitted in his book about Felt, The Secret Man, that Felt “never really voiced pure, raw outrage to me about Watergate or what it represented” (which is not surprising, given Felt’s contemporaneous role in sanctioning illegal FBI break-ins).

It remains true that Felt’s information, regardless of his motive, helped keep Watergate in the news at a time when few Americans cared, and that was important. Stories in the PostTime and elsewhere helped shield the three original federal prosecutors from political interference. And after they won convictions of all five burglars, plus Hunt and Liddy, in January 1973, the prospect of serious prison time finally broke the back of the cover-up. One of the burglars, James McCord, alleged that perjury had been committed during the trial, precipitating a foot-race to the prosecutors by John Dean and deputy campaign director Jeb Magruder, which, in turn, unleashed a flood of revelations that eventually put the president himself at risk.

Primarily because the Post (most prominently) reported increments of the break-in story (but never the cover-up, remember) before the burglars were actually tried, the fable took hold that the press “exposed” Watergate. This was a legend propagated by a media eager to bask in the Post’s reflected glory. The press was the decidedly junior partner to the legal machinery. For an authority on the subject, one need look no further than Sandy Smith, who broke as many significant stories about Watergate as anyone in the media. “There’s a myth that the press did all this, uncovered all the crimes,” he was quoted as saying in an official history of Time, Inc., published in 1986. “It’s bunk. The press didn’t do it. People forget that the government was investigating all the time. In my material there was less than two percent that was truly original investigation. There was [a federal] investigation being carried out here.”

This fact, in all likelihood, is the reason why Felt never came forward to claim the riches and acclaim that supposedly awaited Deep Throat. Indeed, he perpetually lied about being Deep Throat after theWashingtonian fingered him in June 1974 as the first prime suspect, just as All the President’s Menwas being published. Felt had to fear his actions could not withstand close scrutiny. His motive would be exposed as base and self-serving, and he would be roundly condemned in the only fraternity that he knew and cared about, the society of current and former FBI executives and agents. When finally outed in Vanity Fair in 2005 by his family, who had understandably imbibed the fable, Felt was dehabilitated by dementia and the few remaining peers able to recognize Felt for who he was and what he did were drowned out by the wave of nostalgia for the legacy media.

Felt’s admission left Pat Gray reeling; he likened it to being hit with a sledgehammer. Suffering from pancreatic cancer with only a few weeks to live, Gray summoned the strength to denounce publicly the man he considered, until that moment, his loyal and trustworthy executive officer. He had never grasped Felt’s treachery despite ample contemporaneous warnings. Now Gray belatedly realized that Felt had been a “formidable foe” primarily because he was such “a skilled liar.” The Vanity Fair story also stunned John J. McDermott, the special agent-in-charge of the Washington Field Office when it conducted the Watergate investigation. McDermott had long thought that the mysterious Deep Throat was actually a reporter’s invention and composite, meant to fuzz up the identities of several discrete White House sources. But once Felt claimed the mantle and Woodward confirmed it, McDermott immediately recognized that Felt had engaged in the same underhanded tactics as Sullivan. McDermott expressed “shock, dismay, and disgust” at Felt’s perfidy, and the bogus media-driven theory that Felt had a need “to expose information which otherwise would have been suppressed.” He defied anyone to prove that the FBI had failed to follow a single Watergate lead, concealed information from the Justice Department or did anything to warrant Felt’s behavior. “It’s embarrassing … for the bureau to be exposed as having had such people as Felt and Sullivan,” McDermott said in November 2010.

When the biopic comes out later this month, don’t be fooled. Felt betrayed the bureau, and more importantly, the investigative and legal machinery that is, more manifestly than ever, the last barrier between a government of laws and not of men or women.

There should be no pining for another Deep Throat. Leaks from bona fide whistle-blowers are one thing. Leaks from a self-aggrandizing FBI executive in the know, even if good for a few headlines, are bad for the rule of law. Nor would it be helpful to have an FBI executive plying reporters with false stories, indifferent to what gets printed or broadcast so long as it harms his bureaucratic enemies. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is far too important for that.

Read the whole story
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The Myth of Deep Throat – POLITICO Magazine

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The Myth of Deep Throat
New York magazine columnist Frank Rich has gone a step further and already announced his casting choice: James Comey is today’s Deep Throat. ….. Felt never achieved his goal of becoming director, of course, except for the two hour and fifty minute 

Five major revelations from Congress’s Russia probes

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By Morgan Chalfant – 09/10/17 07:30 AM EDT



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Five major revelations from Congress’s Russia probes – The Hill

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The Hill
Five major revelations from Congress’s Russia probes
The Hill
Nearly six months ago, it was a House Intelligence Committee hearing that brought to light the federal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Comey, then still the FBI director, disclosed in dramatic … on and more »

Felix Sater has been the key to unraveling the Trump-Russia scandal all along – Palmer Report 

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Who in the hell is Felix Sater?! Everything you were afraid to ask about this suddenly important person

Who in the hell is Felix Sater?!

Everything you were afraid to ask about this suddenly important person
Here’s the deep dirt on the Russian businessman who promised “Our boy can become president of the USA” – by BILL SCHEFT – SATURDAY, SEP 9, 2017 02:00 PM EDT 

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Felix Sater has been the key to unraveling the Trump-Russia scandal all along

This week cable news began breathlessly practicing saying the name “Felix Sater” over and over again, after it leaked that he had conspired with Donald Trump and Michael Cohen to try to build Trump Tower Moscow during the election.

Who is this Sater guy? Where did he come from? Why haven’t you heard his name before?

Well, if you’ve been reading a site like Palmer Report, you’ve known full well who Felix Sater is and why he’s so crucial to all of this for a very long time.Palmer Report first began trying to connect the dots between Felix Sater, Russia and Donald Trump back in February. We weren’t the first. To be frank, it was rather easy to see that something was there.

Sater and Cohen had been exposed as part of the truly weird Kremlin plot to convince Trump to use blackmail material to oust the president of Ukraine, so Putin could install a puppet. 

That plot was only derailed because Michael Flynn got himself fired for unrelated Russia reasons before he could put it on Trump’s desk. Sater had previously been convicted for Russian mafia money laundering. He’d also become an FBI informant at some point. It wasn’t difficult to see where this was all going.

That plot was only derailed because Michael Flynn got himself fired for unrelated Russia reasons before he could put it on Trump’s desk. Sater had previously been convicted for Russian mafia money laundering. He’d also become an FBI informant at some point. It wasn’t difficult to see where this was all going.

It was abundantly clear back then that Sater was the linchpin to unraveling Donald Trump’s connections to the Kremlin,

and that Sater and Cohen were in close cahoots when it came to those connections. The trouble: at the time, no one could piece together specifically what those connections were. Sater was confirmed to have been involved in some of Trump’s sketchiest real estate deals, such as Trump SoHo. Cohen was Trump’s attorney at the Trump Organization. But what were they doing together, and what did it have to do with the Kremlin?

This week the answer finally arrived: Felix Sater and Michael Cohen were trying to help Donald Trump get his Trump Tower Moscow built during the election.

Cohen even went so far as to contact the Kremlin for help. Sater bragged in an email that the project would get Trump installed in the Oval Office.

Now that the crucial missing piece is in place, everyone from Congress to the Special Counsel is using it to zero in on Sater to get him to flip on Trump. Things are finally in motion.

But if you’ve been playing close attention, you’ve known for the past eight months that it was going to come down to Sater,

his relationship to the Putin-controlled Russian underworld, and his relationship to Trump through Cohen.

Palmer Report is often among the first to highlight a Trump-Russia storyline that we know is going to important, even if we don’t yet know how it all fits together. Skeptics invariably question why some of our reporting still hasn’t yet been vindicated, weeks or months later. It’s because these things take time to unravel in full detail. But this was always going to come down to Sater. We told you that back in February.

Palmer Report is often among the first to highlight a Trump-Russia storyline that we know is going to important, even if we don’t yet know how it all fits together. Skeptics invariably question why some of our reporting still hasn’t yet been vindicated, weeks or months later. It’s because these things take time to unravel in full detail. But this was always going to come down to Sater. We told you that back in February.

The post Felix Sater has been the key to unraveling the Trump-Russia scandal all along appeared first on Palmer Report.

‘The New Washington’: How Schumer’s Power Play Led to a Deal With Trump – New York Times

Washington Post
‘The New Washington’: How Schumer’s Power Play Led to a Deal With Trump
New York Times
Even when I was on vacation with my family in August, I started looking, said Mr. Schumer, the New Yorker who leads Senate Democrats, as he recounted the buildup to the stunning debt limit deal that Democrats struck with President Trump this past 
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Felix Sater has been the key to unraveling the Trump-Russia scandal all along 

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This week cable news began breathlessly practicing saying the name “Felix Sater” over and over again, after it leaked that he had conspired with Donald Trump and Michael Cohen to try to build Trump Tower Moscow during the election. Who is this Sater guy? Where did he come from? Why haven’t you heard his name before? Well, if you’ve been reading a site like Palmer Report, you’ve known full well who Felix Sater is – and why he’s so crucial to all of this – for a very long time.

Palmer Report first began trying to connect the dots between Felix Sater, Russia and Donald Trump back in February. We weren’t the first. To be frank, it was rather easy to see that something was there. Sater and Cohen had been exposed as part of the truly weird Kremlin plot to convince Trump to use blackmail material to oust the president of Ukraine, so Putin could install a puppet. That plot was only derailed because Michael Flynn got himself fired for unrelated Russia reasons before he could put it on Trump’s desk. Sater had previously been convicted for Russian mafia money laundering. He’d also become an FBI informant at some point. It wasn’t difficult to see where this was all going.

It was abundantly clear back then that Sater was the linchpin to unraveling Donald Trump’s connections to the Kremlin, and that Sater and Cohen were in close cahoots when it came to those connections. The trouble: at the time, no one could piece together specifically what those connections were. Sater was confirmed to have been involved in some of Trump’s sketchiest real estate deals, such as Trump SoHo. Cohen was Trump’s attorney at the Trump Organization. But what were they doing together, and what did it have to do with the Kremlin?

This week the answer finally arrived: Felix Sater and Michael Cohen were trying to help Donald Trump get his Trump Tower Moscow built during the election. Cohen even went so far as to contact the Kremlin for help. Sater bragged in an email that the project would get Trump installed in the Oval Office. Now that the crucial missing piece is in place, everyone from Congress to the Special Counsel is using it to zero in on Sater to get him to flip on Trump. Things are finally in motion.

But if you’ve been playing close attention, you’ve known for the past eight months that it was going to come down to Sater, his relationship to the Putin-controlled Russian underworld, and his relationship to Trump through Cohen. Palmer Report is often among the first to highlight a Trump-Russia storyline that we know is going to important, even if we don’t yet know how it all fits together. Skeptics invariably question why some of our reporting still hasn’t yet been vindicated, weeks or months later. It’s because these things take time to unravel in full detail. But this was always going to come down to Sater. We told you that back in February.

The post Felix Sater has been the key to unraveling the Trump-Russia scandal all along appeared first on Palmer Report.

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Who in the hell is Felix Sater?! Everything you were afraid to ask about this suddenly important person – Salon

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Who in the hell is Felix Sater?! Everything you were afraid to ask about this suddenly important person
WHY WE CARE: Sater was the intermediary who brought Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and representatives of Vladimir Putin a plan in late 2015 to discuss building a Trump Tower in Moscow in exchange for sanctions against Russia eventually being lifted if …

A Russian propaganda group purchased ads on Facebook during the 2016 election. Here’s what that means. – PBS NewsHour

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PBS NewsHour
A Russian propaganda group purchased ads on Facebook during the 2016 election. Here’s what that means.
PBS NewsHour
In January, the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin led a campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Paid trolls — social media users who were compensated to deliberately post controversial 
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A Russian propaganda group purchased ads on Facebook during the 2016 election. Here’s what that means.

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A giant Facebook “like” seen at the company’s new headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Photo by Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Facebook announced Wednesday that a Russian propaganda organization used the social media platform to purchase $100,000 of political advertising.

Here’s what you need to know about this news:

What was found?

Facebook found 470 inauthentic accounts associated with approximately 3,000 political ads from June 2015 to May 2017. The ad purchases and accounts are affiliated with a Russian “troll farm,” dubbed the Internet Research Agency, which spreads pro-Russian propaganda and false information across the World Wide Web.

Most of the ads did not contain references to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, voting or the candidates. “Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights,” Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos said in a blog post on the company’s website.

Facebook also conducted a wider search for political ads that potentially originated from Russia. The company found $50,000 worth of spending on 2,200 ads. A Facebook spokesperson, however, cautioned that this group of ads carried a low amount of certainty because the company’s search included sources with weak connections to Russia.

How does the Russian propaganda machine work? Special correspondent Nick Schifrin talked to someone who used to work as a “troll” inside the Internet Research Agency. Watch his July 2017 report from “Inside Putin’s Russia.”

What is the Internet Research Agency?

“The agency had become known for employing hundreds of Russians to post pro-Kremlin propaganda online under fake identities, including on Twitter, in order to create the illusion of a massive army of supporters,” journalist Adrian Chen wrote in 2015 in the New York Times Magazine.

Chen reported that the agency was responsible for false reports of toxic fumes in Louisiana and an outbreak of Ebola in Atlanta, both in 2014.

Learn more about the Internet Research Agency from this 2015 conversation between PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown and journalist Adrian Chen.

Why it’s important

In January, the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin led a campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Paid trolls — social media users who were compensated to deliberately post controversial content — and the social media accounts of the pro-Kremlin television network RT were part of this effort, according to their report.

What Facebook found is “one small piece of this larger, consistent, Russian effort,” John Sipher, a former CIA agent who ran the agency’s Russia program for three years, told the NewsHour.

“This is a big deal because I think it’s more evidence of a coordinated Russian attack against our system,” Sipher said.

And for those who suggest that $100,000 in ads is not much: “This is just one troll farm that Facebook has proven” was Russian, Sipher said. “I’m sure there’s all kinds of other stuff that hasn’t been picked up on yet.”

In addition to the ad buying, an investigation published late Thursday by The New York Times, with research from the cybersecurity company FireEye, detailed other ways that suspected Russian trolls disseminated false and hacked information.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told the Washington Post that Facebook’s disclosure is a “profound warning to us and others about future elections.” A question left to answer, he said, is whether any of the pro-Russian trolls coordinated with President Trump’s 2016 campaign team.

What’s next?

Stamos, the chief security officer, said Facebook has since shut down the 470 suspicious accounts and pages.

“We have shared our findings with U.S. authorities investigating these issues, and we will continue to work with them as necessary,” Stamos said.

But Facebook has not shared copies of the ads with the public, and does not plan to, a Facebook spokesperson told the NewsHour. A Facebook official told the Washington Post that “our data policy and federal law limit our ability to share user data and content, so we won’t be releasing any ads.”

Facebook’s refusal to share the ads has drawn criticism from eBay founder, philanthropist and First Look Media founder Pierre Omidyar and former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter.

Stamos noted that Facebook has made improvements to weed out fake accounts based on their activity on the platform and end the spread of fake news in the past year, with more improvements planned.

“We are looking at how we can apply the techniques we developed for detecting fake accounts to better detect inauthentic pages and the ads they may run,” Stamos said. “We are also experimenting with changes to help us more efficiently detect and stop inauthentic accounts at the time they are being created.”

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