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National Security State as Protection Racket on the Danger of Terrorism: Review of Literature

“Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

Tacitus, Agricola
 

News Corporatism Recommended Links Skripal poisoning Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Neofascism Nation under attack meme
Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy False flag operations in cyberspace FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Vault 7 scandal
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Operation Gladio - Wikipedia The Deep State Litvinenko poisoning Inverted Totalitarism Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance To whom Euromaydan Sharp-shooters belong?
Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Douma gas attack: Yet another false flag poisoning? Khan Sheikhoun gas attack Idlib false flag chemical attack
Demonization of Putin White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Two Party System as Polyarchy Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools DNC and Podesta emails leak and  subsequent false flag operation to  blame Vladimir Putin Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Iron Law of Oligarchy
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Grand Chessboard Humor Etc

"The greatest threat is that we shall become like those who seek to destroy us"

the legendary US diplomat George Kennan warned in 1947

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”


Ronal Reagan about a different crisis

Books have been written about President Eisenhower’s famous farewell warning in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex,” and what he described as its “unwarranted influence.” But an even greater leviathan today, one that the public knows little about, is the “intelligence-industrial complex.”

Michael Hirsh in

How America's Top Tech Companies
Created the Surveillance State )

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

- James Madison


Introduction

The National Security State is an ideology and practice of the USA elite, closely connected with the idea of the rule of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex, and especially three-letter agencies (called "Trumanites" because of our 33rd president's role in founding the CIA, the modern Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Agency).  It is somewhat different from national socialist idea as itdoes not reuare a single party system and the dominant ideology. Also the state can has less decisive, more flexible role in economic sphere. Formally, the  National Security State is the state, where the institutions of imperial and state security override any elected government.  In other words the state where Intelligence agencies are in change (and please note that CIA can be viewed as armed branch of Wall Street and historical ally top positions were initially staffed with Wall Street lawyers, such as Allen Dulles )

Under neoliberalism society has become increasingly the society of mass surveillance, with increasingly militarized police, meaning that as most aspects of the social-democratic state (New Deal state) are eliminated, a police state is rising in its place. All problems that in the past were seen as social problems, and hence required social solutions, now acquire police solutions.

Moreover intelligence services became Praetorian Guard of  neoliberal elite that is in power and that completely changed the nature of governance in the USA. Now there is a country within the country in the USA. It can be called "Classified America".  It has population of around 5 million people and it controls the other 320 million. Almost 5 million people is ~ 2% of total USA population but a higher percentage of the adult population  of working  age (around 200 millions). And now it become a formidable political force which in 20176 (and not only in 2016) strived to become a kingmaker.

Much like Praetorian Guard in ancient Role it is clearly out of control of elected government and has its own, sometimes nefarious agenda.  All-in-all this is the fastest growing part of media-military-industrial complex and connected to it influential caste of "Imperial Servants" -- people well being of which is dependent on the existence and expansion of the US global neoliberal empire. This is probably no less then 10 million people if we count defense contractors, Pentagon brass, Intelligence agencies staff, State Department employees, top layers from Wall-Street and Silicon Valley,  and the Staff of the Congress.)  

In economic sphere deregulation (economic liberalism or neoliberalism) produces social conflict, which at some point can not be masked by neoliberal demagogy ("shareholder value", "stakeholder participation" and other neoliberal crap).  At this point it requires police methods of suppression of dissent like was the case with "Occupy Wall Street" movement suppression. As the state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under Bolshevism with the only difference that until 1970th the USSR "Nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became more detached from that interest of lower 80% of population, and in 80th adopted neoliberal ideology, became turncoats and facilitated dissolution of the USSR privatizing its wealth in the process. 

The neoliberal state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under Bolshevism with the only difference that until 1970th the USSR "Nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became detached from that interest of lower 80% of population, adopted neoliberal ideology, became turncoats and facilitated dissolution of the USSR privatizing its wealth in the process. 

 

Both neoliberalism and the national security state are results of the "revolution from above"

Under neoliberalism, which established itself in the USA since late 70th, tax laws, inheritance rules, status to trade unions, "revolving door" regulations (which highly correlates with the degree of corruption of the society) became the result of political decisions favoring neoliberal elite at the expense of common citizens. So it was a typical revolution from above. To hide this requires constant brainwashing of the population and instilling fear using external threat (with Russia as preferred object). That's where intelligence agencies come handy as they by-and-large control key journalists and key MSM. For example Washington Post for a long time was called "voice of CIA" even in the US establishment. 

Since 9/11 terrorism is used as a smoke screen to hide the warts of neoliberalism and facilitate the transition of state into national security state. Adoption of Patriot Act and resulting hypertrophied growth of intelligence agencies in the USA are just a tip of the iceberg. In reality the situation became pretty much Orwellian with Intelligence agencies as the new incarnation of the "Big Brother" as well as the "permanent war for permanent peace" between Oceania (USA and NATO vassals) and Eurasia (Russia and China) in the Orwell's famous  novel 1984. 

It is clear that the war with terrorism launched also can be called  "permanent war for permanent peace" as the enemy is illusive and can be  really easily faked with minimal propaganda efforts by intelligence agencies (who control most "terrorists" anyway).  The level of rampant militarism in the USA now is close to what we observe in typical neo-fascist movements, especially under Trump when American Exeptionalism (or, more correctly, the American version of nationalism) got the features of a regular supremacist ideology  similar to Zionism (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[3][4]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[5][6] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[5][6]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[7] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[7] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[8][9][10][11] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[12]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.[13]

Paradoxically intelligence agencies and Pentagon can't live peacefully with each other and struggle for power. That why intelligence  agencies launched a color revolution against Trump, who can in some ways be viewed as the Presidential Candidate of Pentagon (especially if we view neocons as Pentagon lobbyists and Israel as a state-lobbyist for Pentagon; that might explain pro-Israeli stance of Trump).

After coming to power Trump introduced several new measures which in some way signify a new stage of the development of neoliberalism and can be  "national neoliberalism". He explicitly rejects old model of neolioberal globalization on the base of multinational treaties (which was neoliberalism Modus operandi since its inception)  and wants to use the power of the US to bully all nations  "one-to-one" basis.  Creating "exclusive" trading blocks. Those who behave against the USA wishes have sanctions imposed, cut from US dominated financial system and are threatened with war.  Iran is the latest example here. 

In this mutation of  neoliberalism as a social system US intelligence apparatus and military establishment are raised to the level above and beyond civilian control and become a somewhat autonomous system, a hidden government of the USA. The Deep state as it is now called. For example, intelligence agencies now strive and de facto achieved the role of king maker for the most top positions in the USA government. And, if necessary, can act as a king remover (JFK assassination is a nice example here; CIA fingerprints are all over the place, but nobody from CIA went to jail for this: "mission accomplished"; Nixon removal is another although less visible one).

The colossal budget with  juicy cost-plus contracts of affiliated private companies gives intelligence agencies and Pentagon not only tremendous power, but also create vested ideological and financial interests of the whole caste of "imperial servants", the well being of which depends of their continuation.  Wars became necessary for maintaining the level of those budgets. Existence of the "country-scapegoat" is important too for projecting on it all evil that happens within the USA under neoliberalism and blowbacks from neoliberal foreign policy.

Existence of the "country-scapegoat" is important too for projecting on it all evil that happens within the USA under neoliberalism and blowbacks from neoliberal foreign policy.

It is important to understand that the USA intelligence agencies are probably closer connected to Wall Street and military contractors then the federal government and often serve as enforcers of specific interests. They are able to work against particular administration officially proclaimed policies, for example in organizing the foreign coup d'état.  For example, for the moment of its creation, due to Allen Dulles background CIA was aligned with the interests of Wall Street.

There no real overseeing of three letter agencies from neither executive branch, not from the Congress, nor from the Justice Department. But the reverse is not true: the intelligence agencies have appointees in all mentioned above branches of government. The natural line of development of intelligence agencies  since its inception and toward acquiring more power and securing higher budget. With time, the tail start wagging the dog.  This phenomenon is not limited to the USA. Actually the term the "Deep State" originated in Turkey.  The same hijacking of executive, parliamentarian and judicial braches of govern happened in other countries. A very interesting example provides the USSR: it was actually betrayal of KGB brass (under Andropov, who was instrumental in installing Gorbachov into power), who switched side and decided to privatize the country, that was the key factor that led to the dissolution of the USSR.

The key "three letter agencies" (CIA, DOD, NSA, FBI) were established by the National Security Act of 1947, signed in September 18, 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. This year can be considered as the year when National Security State was born and probably should be celebrated accordingly instead of old-fashioned Independence Day.  Very little was preserved from the "old republic" after this transformation of the USA. 

It is prudent to view National Security State as a modern form of corporatism, closely related to concepts of neo-fascism and Inverted Totalitarism. As ellatynemouth noted in the comment to the Guardian article Internet privacy as important as human rights, says UN's Navi Pillay (Dec 26, 2013):

The surveillance state is the ruling class's key hole through which they monitor us and our potential dissent. It's now an integral part of capitalism and can't be removed.

The game has changed. It's now about convincing us as much as possible that they will stop snooping on us. They won't though. It will just become more heavily hidden.

Surveillance state was made possible with the advent of computers, Internet and wireless communication. In some features it is close to neo-fascism and Latin-American far right authoritarian regimes, but there are important difference. Instead of organized violence against opponents it achieved its goals without relentless physical repression/elimination of opponents. It's key feature is mass surveillance, discreditation and blackmailing of opponents (like in German Democratic Republic there are dossier for every member of society and skeletons from the closet can be revealed for any politician or activist)  as well as control and manipulation of media, not mass repression of opponents. Like neofascist regimes of the past (such as Pinochet regime in Chile) and authoritarian "communist" regimes of the past and present, it make organized opposition to the government virtually impossible. Of the 20 characteristic traits of neo-fascist regimes probably around a half are applicable to the national security state.

After 9/11, Bush government's behavior and especially appeals to public clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas ("America is an exceptional nation"). As an amazing example of doublespeak Bushists managed to integrate American exceptionalism into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime (as the command-and-control center for neoliberal world empire, no less).

Bush government inspired post-9/11 paranoia doesn’t come cheaply, though. Costs were staggering: the military ($682 billion), Homeland Security (about $60 billion), and 15 intelligence agencies (official figure of combined budget is perhaps $75 billion; but in reality more then that). The total is probably over a trillion.  Add to this several trillion dollars wasted on war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq. The Congressional Research Service estimate for 2001-2016 is 1.6 trillion; Brown university estimate is 3.6 trillion; some estimates are as high as six trillions (PolitiFact).  Only future medical care and disability benefits for veterans of these war is near $1 trillion (Center for Strategic and International Studies )

Nothing changed under President Obama, which suggests that he is just a figurehead and the  "deep state" is actually in charge. In most areas the Obama administration was more like Bush II administration, with "change we can believe in" as a smokescreen for nefarious actions. Obama launched more wars then Bush II too.  In this sense this was the most blatant and the most successful  "bait and switch" in the recent  political history of the USA.  Later is lightly different form repeated with Trump, who  also during election campaign proposed reasonable steps of improving standard of living of the US population and finishing forign wars, but instance switched sides after election pushing neoliberal policies at home, and continuing all Bush-Obama wars foreign wars abroad.  He also appointed open war hawks into his administration. The list of neocons in Trumps administration is as long as in Bush II administration and includes people in key positions such as Haley, Bolton, and Pompeo.

This is the view of Professor Michel Greenon, who in his book advocated the view that tradition troika of powers in the USA became by and large ceremonial and that real actors, at least in area of national security are not non-elected executives of super-powerful and well financed three-letter agencies. Here is a brief overview taken from review published by Reason (National Security State - Reason.com):

Though Glennon doesn't describe his thesis in terms of public choice theory, it echoes that discipline's insight that institutions are run for the benefit of the people who run the institutions. For the Trumanites, Glennon explains, "benefits take the form of enlarged budgets, personnel, missions; costs take the form of retrenchments in each." Witness the vast archipelago of intelligence facilities-nearly three Pentagons' worth of office space-that have been erected in greater Washington, D.C., since 9/11.

The national security state is becoming an autonomous, self-perpetuating entity, Glennon warns. It sets the table for elected officials' choices and increasingly dictates terms to them. The permanent bureaucracy basks in the "glow" of Madisonian institutions, drawing legitimacy from the illusion that elected officials are in charge. But while the buck may stop with the president, the real power resides with the Trumanites.

This explanation is strongest in the realm of state surveillance, which serves as Glennon's central case study. Recall the embarrassing revelation, in the summer of 2013, that the NSA was tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. What did the president know, and when did he know it? If you believe top administration officials, Obama was almost as surprised as Merkel. Glennon quotes Secretary of State John Kerry to the effect that the Merkel wiretap, like a lot of NSA programs, occurred "on autopilot."

On one hand, that's what you'd expect them to say. On the other hand, the claim is entirely plausible, and it is consistent with the earlier history of NSA abuses uncovered by the Church Committee in the 1970s. Under Project SHAMROCK, for example, the NSA collected the content of virtually all cable traffic entering or leaving the United States for three decades-150,000 messages a month at its height. It was, the committee's final report concluded, "probably the largest governmental interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken." And yet it's not clear that any president ordered, approved, or was even aware of SHAMROCK. When the program's existence was exposed in the mid-'70s, Louis Tordella, longtime deputy director of the NSA, admitted that he didn't know whether any president or attorney general had ever been briefed on it.

The picture grows somewhat more complicated when we look at the modern practice of presidential war making. From the Truman administration onward, the president has accumulated enormous unchecked authority, despite James Madison's conviction that, since the executive department was "most distinguished by its propensity to war," it is "the practice of all states, in proportion as they are free, to disarm this propensity of its influence."

When it comes to picking the wars we wage, it's not clear that the Trumanites are fully in charge. Take four major war-powers decisions during the Obama administration: the Afghan surge, the escalation of drone attacks, the Libya intervention, and the current war against ISIS. I put the Trumanite win-loss record at roughly .500 here. The military and national security bureaucracy fought hard for the surge and the drone escalation, and got them. They generally opposed the Libyan action, and some prominent Trumanites-such as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs -appear to have been reluctant to endorse our latest war in the Middle East.

In the case of this most recent war, domestic politics seems a better explanation: The president yielded to the near-irresistible demand that he "do something" about the beheading of Americans and the implosion of the Iraqi state. Bombing ISIS is something, so we're doing it.

The Obama experience suggests we get the wars the Trumanites want -- and also some they don't. But this is hardly fatal to Glennon's thesis. He stresses that "a good theory of institutional behavior can predict, at best, only tendency over time"; his "predicts only that national security policy will change little from one administration to the next." So far, that theory is holding up rather well.

Even so, I've always been partial to one version of the "government politics" explanation. A few years ago, I wrote a book arguing that "Americans' unconfined conception of presidential responsibility is the source of much of our political woe and some of the gravest threats to our liberties." If the political reality is such that the president will be held personally accountable for any domestic terror attack, don't be surprised when he seeks powers nearly as vast as the expectations put upon him.

Glennon acknowledges it's not either-or; "explanations overlap," he writes. Dumb wars and security-state overreach are the result of political choices and the bureaucratic imperative. Policy continuity is depressingly overdetermined.

Real-time histories of key national security decisions in the Obama years tend to underscore this point. In Kill or Capture, reporter Daniel Klaidman describes the enormous political pressure the Obama administration was under after the failed "underwear bomber" attack on December 25, 2009. "For the White House," Klaidman writes, "the psychic toll of Christmas Day was profound. Obama realized that if a failed terror attempt could suck up so much political oxygen, a successful attack would absolutely devastate his presidency. And much as he liked to talk about returning to first principles, Obama also had a powerful instinct for self-correction-as well as self-preservation."

The psychic aftershock of Christmas 2009 helped shape a lot of what followed: from body scanners at airports to ramped-up drone strikes to the lethal targeting of an American citizen.

But to Glennon's point, the administration was under pressure from the Trumanites well before that. In the 2012 book, The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power, James Mann describes a concerted effort by then-CIA director Michael Hayden and other senior intelligence officials to preserve business as usual by scaring the hell out of the incoming Obama team. Their private name for this scheme was the "Aw, Shit! Campaign."

The scare tactics worked. Klaidman reports that both Harold Koh, legal advisor at the State Department, and Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's general counsel, used the same metaphor to describe the military pressure for more targeted killings: a runaway train. It was like "a massive freight train hurling down the tracks" Koh said. "You would have to throw yourself on the tracks to try to stop it," said Johnson.

All this helps shed light

 
e border="2" width="90%" bgcolor="#FFFF00">   ;s strange and disorienting May 2013 "drone speech" at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., in which the president seemed to be speaking not as commander in chief, but as his own loyal opposition.

In the speech, Obama said things like "Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers." And: "The very precision of drone strikes can also lead a president and his team to view [them] as a cure-all for terrorism." I remember thinking: "A president"? Which one? Anyone in particular? Who's in charge here, anyway?

National Security and Double Government suggests that the answer to that last question isn't quite so obvious, that the "most powerful man in the world" isn't nearly as powerful as he might appear.

It remains the case that Obama had the formal authority to say no to mass surveillance and perpetual war. But saying no would require resisting enormous bureaucratic and political pressure. And anybody willing to do what it takes to become president is unlikely to transform himself into a self-denying Cincinnatus once in office. Political survivors don't jump in front of trains.

While US government spent around $3.67 trillion in 2013, the revenue was just $2.77 trillion. Of that amount over one trillion went to three-letter agencies and DOD. Now you understand to whom real power belongs.  Moreover the government has to borrow about $900 billion in order to maintain national security state programs intact. And there are 5 million (yes million) people in the USA with security clearance and around 3 million with top security clearance. In other words "Welcome to the USSR." or even Third Reich (actually republican senators opposed Truman initiative due to fear that he replicated institution of the Third Reich in the USA and only support of powerful Democrats allowed the president to push the act through the Congress.

But even if it was close to the Third Reich in political effects and its essence, this type of political structure is different, because it does not rely on mass mobilization. Instead it relied on the power of "deep state" and mass surveillance as well as passivity of most electorate. 

As Paxton describes it (Tracking Fascism) fascism as just hypertrophied and misguided nationalism, a specific flavor of far right nationalism. The central emotions in fascism and nationalism are identical. In other words at the core of fascist emotional mobilization always lies far right nationalism and that is important distinction with national security state and neoliberalism which are globalist and  "imperial" and does not stress particular nationality as long of the person/group serves empire interests:

...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

Post 9/11  "passions" in the USA were definitely skillfully used by Bush administration to push the nation into the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it were pretty vicious, really in traditions of Third Reich ("you are either with us, or with our enemies"). 

But public was not really central in this whole issue. Americans were extras at best, patsies at worst,  Essentially all major decisions were made "behind the curtain" by deep state structures and public was just brainwashed into approval of those action. That's an important different between national security state and classical fascist regimes. In classic fascist state the leading fascist party would be central to unleashing such a war.  Here it was bust a bunch of highly placed bureaucrats in Bush II administration (so called neocons, which is an ideological group allied with the military industrial complex, but not an organized party as such).

Here is a more extended treatment of this issue (cited from Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):

1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.

I would like to stress that similar processes occurred in different states after WWII as well (Latin America military dictatorships are one example). And with new force and on the new level after the dissolution of the USSR in Russia.  Of course the USSR was a National Security Surveillance State even before WWII, being one of the "pioneers" of this form of state along with Italy and Germany. But it was a rather "primitive" form of national security state  in a sense that it did not rely on computers, collecting "envelope" of all Internet communication, emails headers and other "meta-data" as well as systematic interception of SMS-based communications as well interception of wireless communication and financial operations via computerized banking (especially credit card transactions)  for surveillance.

Rule of Trumanites as the essence of the US National security state -- Boston Globe review of Michael Glennon book

Mickey Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, and is the author of “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans.” published a very penetrating review of the book in  The Boston Globe. In which he stated:

It has long been the province of conspiracy theorists to claim that the real power of government is not wielded by the obvious practitioners of statecraft — presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary — but by secret or semi-secret entities, real wizards whose hidden machinations send us to war, sell us out to enemies, siphon public treasure into private hands. Depending on your talk show or paranoia of choice, these are the bankers, oil barons, one-worlders, war profiteers, Bilderbergers, Masons, Catholics, Jews, or Trilateralists. Our formal institutions, in this scenario, are stage sets, Potemkin villages; our officials are puppets; we are an unsuspecting audience.

Michael Glennon, a respected academic (Tufts’s FLETCHER SCHOOL) and author of a book brought to us by an equally respected publisher (Oxford University Press), is hardly the sort to indulge in such fantasies. And that makes the picture he paints in “National Security and Double Government” all the more arresting. Considering Barack Obama’s harsh pre-election criticisms of his predecessor’s surveillance policies, for example, Glennon notes that many of those same policies — and more of the same kind — were continued after Obama took office. “Why,” he asks, “does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”

The answer Glennon places before us is not reassuring: “a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy.” The result, he writes, is a system of dual institutions that have evolved “toward greater centralization, less accountability, and emergent autocracy.”

If this were a movie, it would soon become clear that some evil force, bent on consolidating power and undermining democratic governance, has surreptitiously tunneled into the under-structure of the nation. Not so. In fact, Glennon observes, this hyper-secret and difficult-to-control network arose in part as an attempt to head off just such an outcome. In the aftermath of World War II, with the Soviet Union a serious threat from abroad and a growing domestic concern about weakened civilian control over the military (in 1949, the Hoover Commission had warned that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had become “virtually a law unto themselves”), President Truman set out to create a separate national security structure.

By 2011, according to The Washington Post, there were 46 separate federal departments and agencies and 2,000 private companies engaged in classified national security operations with millions of employees and spending of roughly a trillion dollars a year. As Glennon points out, presidents get to name fewer than 250 political appointees among the Defense Department’s nearly 700,000 civilian employees, with hundreds more drawn from a national security bureaucracy that comprise “America’s Trumanite network” — in effect, on matters of national security, a second government.

Glennon’s book is not a breezy read: It’s thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum (“The government is seen increasingly by elements of the public as hiding what they ought to know, criminalizing what they ought to be able to do, and spying upon what ought to be private. The people are seen increasingly by the government as unable to comprehend the gravity of security threats.”). Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require “a general public possessed of civic virtue,” which prompts Glennon to cite retired Supreme Court justice David Souter’s bemoaning of a “pervasive civic ignorance.” Not all of the problem can be laid at Truman’s feet. And if we ourselves are part of the zeitgeist that allows invisible governments to flourish, repair will be difficult. As Glennon puts it, “the term Orwellian will have little meaning to a people who have never known anything different, who have scant knowledge of history, civics, or public affairs, and who in any event have never heard of George Orwell.”

This is no secret conspiracy nor a plot to deprive Americans of their civil liberties. It is the unintended consequence of a thoughtful attempt to head off the very threats that those attempts have inadvertently created. But if Glennon’s book is enlightening it is also scary. And it’s not fiction.

Why National Security State needs provocations -- pseudo terrorist attacks (false flag attacks)

There are multiple reasons such as to instill fear, and to demonstrate competence (Big Brother’s Liberal Friends — Crooked Timber)

Dr. Hilarius, 10.27.14 at 11:44 pm
An excellent analysis and summation.

Any defense of the national security state requires the proponent to show, at a minimum, that the present apparatus is competent at its task. Having lived through Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention many smaller governmental adventures) I see no evidence of competence. Instead, it’s repetitive failures of analysis and imagination no matter how much raw intelligence is gathered.

Nor is there any evidence that existing oversight mechanisms function as intended. Recent revelations about the CIA spying on the Senate should be enough to dispel the idea that leakers have no role to play.

Kinsley is particularly loathsome. His position is little more than “your betters know best” and that the state’s critics are guttersnipes needing to be kicked to the curb. Kinsley doesn’t need a coherent position, his goal is to be a spokesman for the better sorts, nothing more...

Tremendous push (or acceleration of pre-existing tendencies) toward National Security State occurred after 9/11 under the banner of fighting terrorism. At the point technological capabilities of mass surveillance using computers and the ability to have a dossier for everybody were in place, while mass deployment of PC, credit cards and cell phones provides constant stream of information to those dossiers, not that different from "gum shoes" reports. On November, 2001 the phone records of most Americans begin flowing to the N.S.A. After 9/11, President Bush authorizes the N.S.A. to collect phone and Internet content and metadata without a warrant. Within weeks, under the so-called President’s Surveillance Program (P.S.P.), the major telephone companies voluntarily hand over the data. The N.S.A. creates a twenty-four-hour “Metadata Analysis Center” (MAC) to search the phone records. In October 26, 2001: The Patriot Act is passed. Section 215 allows the government to seize “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

At this point the process started with adoption of Truman doctrine came to a logical end: national surveillance state became a reality. Formally Truman Doctrine was created "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." but in reality their function was more questionable and after 9/11 (some people date this event as early as 1963 -- JFK assassination) those activities created what is called "The State Within a State" similar to the USSR KGB role (see The State Within a State by Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick). Here is one review of the book:

A Customer

passionate albeit muddled, August 24, 1999

I have problems with the author's obvious hatred of the Russian Revolution and Stalin and the way she claims there is an unbroken chain of horror going all the way back to 1917. Obviously things are better today -- hence her book! She says 66.7 million people died under "Chekist" rule since the Russian Revolution -- and then cites the Guiness Book of Records as her source!? No one could ever prove such a figure, I think its one of things that's repeated 'til it becomes fact.

I also find the author's lack of knowledge about our own CIA kind of disheartening. This fine organization has spread as much death and terror in the Third World (Indonesia, Guatemala,Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc. etc. ) as the KGB ever did anywhere, yet she seems to make them out to be benevolent compared to the KGB (which if you read this book are responsible for everything wrong with the world today).

After reading this book I still don't understand why she thinks the KGB or its incarnations are as bad today as they were at the height of the Terror in 1937. Its not really explained in the book. I still am not convinced that the KGB was the NKVD, and definitely convinced that either was the SS. Research I have done casually has never come up with hard, convincing figures for a Nazi style genocide in the USSR, and this anecdotal, unconvincing book didn't change my historical views.

See Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998; which "explains the transformative process that ended in the ultimate demise of the New Deal state with its emphasis on social spending and ushered in the militarist National Security State." From Amazon review:

Hogan, a specialist in American diplomatic and national security studies, has written a complex but interesting work on the emergence of the national security state. To create this state, it was necessary to merge the armed forces, the Defense Department, and scientists into a single unit to enhance the military's capabilities. To a large extent, this unification was accomplished in the 1950s. The driving forces were James Forrestal, Dean Acheson, and powerful members of Congress such as Carl Vinson (D-GA), who chaired the Committee on Naval Affairs, along with presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

Hogan presents a compelling case but overemphasizes the importance of Truman and Eisenhower while downplaying the role of Vinson and others in the security state's creation. In fact, both Truman and Eisenhower often seemed opposed to it but succumbed to pressure from Congress and key figures like Acheson. This extremely complex study, which deals with a subject few other books handle, is designed for scholars and informed lay readers interested in the creation of the "military-industrial complex." by Richard P. Hedlund, Ashland Community Coll., KY

Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti in his book "Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History" noted:

"As I pointed out in the preface to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974, democratic governments fighting totalitarian enemies run the risk of imitating their methods and thereby destroying democracy. By suppressing historical fact, and by manufacturing historical fiction, the CIA, with its obsessive secrecy and its vast resources, has posed a particular threat to the right of Americans to be informed for the present and future by an objective knowledge of the past.

As long as the CIA continues to manipulate history, historians of its activities must be Revisionist if we are to know the truth about the agency's activities, past and present."

Attempts to curtain the surveillance proved to by fruitless.  Church Committee was probably the most important "after JFK assassination" attempt to somewhat tame three latter agencies and especially CIA, but it ended in nothing.

Later NSA overtook CIA in many areas of intelligence gathering activities. Which create internal frictions between two agencies. State Department also "infringed" in CIA role in foreign countries and, for example, in organization of neoliberal color revolutions in oil rich or strategically important countries it is difficult to tell when clandestine actions of State Department ends and clandestine actions of CIA stars and vice versa. 

In is interesting to note that even Senators feel threatened by this total surveillance system. In December 14, 2005 Senators Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Richard Durbin, and several colleagues sign a letter warning that Section 215 “would allow the government to obtain library, medical and gun records and other sensitive personal information” that “would allow government fishing expeditions targeting innocent Americans.” They demand that the records requested should “have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy,” a requirement that would

protect innocent Americans from unnecessary surveillance and ensure that government scrutiny is based on individualized suspicion, a fundamental principle of our legal system.

In March, 2006, the Patriot Act is reauthorized without the changes sought by Obama and others.

In his October 19, 2012 review of the book Saman Mohammadi (The Excavator) wrote:

The case could be made that the creation of the CIA and the National Security State in 1947 was necessary. But after sixty years of human rights abuses, systematic attacks on the constitution, false flag terror events, assassinations of political reformers, and other horrible crimes against humanity, should not the CIA be reformed?

Let's put the question of morality aside. What are the "national security" reasons that legitimize the existence of the CIA? Once you learn that Al-Qaeda is a CIA creation and proxy insurgent army and that 9/11 was a massive false flag operation, you come to the natural conclusion that the CIA does not perform a national security role.

The CIA plays a much dirtier role: engineering the American mind. It is not denied that the shadow CIA has major influence in the mainstream media, especially amongst top newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Michael S. Rozeff speculates that the New York Times is entirely run by the CIA.

We can't know for certain if that is true because of the lack of historical documentation in the public domain, but there is a mountain of observable evidence that proves the CIA has many of its spooks working for the New York Times. Go here for just one example.

Until the American people demand that the U.S. government commit to radical transparency and the principles enshrined in the U.S. constitution, the shadow CIA and the mainstream media can twist history and manage public perceptions of reality as much as they like.

The shadow CIA's greatest power comes from its command of the American public mind as well as its ability to create a fictional version of history. The false flag September 11 events was the shadow CIA's biggest media operation to date. It was their Mona Lisa. They painted the canvas of reality with the brush of myth, and worked day and night to shape the collective memory of the American people while the horror of the tragic attacks was still fresh in the nation's mind.

Although the shadow CIA doesn't have a total command of the American mind and of history, as proven by the rise of the global 9/11 truth and justice movement, it possesses enough media power to mold world public opinion and dictate government policy for the United States with ease. There is no question that its power is totalitarian in nature and its aims are evil. It does not serve the interests of the American people; that much is clear.

How can there be freedom when CIA officials in television studios, newspaper offices, and publishing companies drive the public conversation and form the national narrative on every issue of significance. The global alternative media is the only global civil society actor that is putting limits on the CIA's power to make up history and suppress the truth about historical events like 9/11 and the occult sacrifice of JFK.

In the past, the shadow CIA was presented with roadblocks in the Congress. But 9/11 fixed that problem. The laws and the politics changed. In "The Big Chill," author Dan Froomkin says the absence of Congressional leadership in the post-9/11 political universe has strengthened executive power. Here is an excerpt his article:

After past periods of executive excess, the Fourth Estate was certainly more robust and arguably more persistent, but it also found natural allies in the other branches of government—particularly Congress. By contrast, over the summer of 2012, the publication of a minimal amount of new information regarding drones, cyberwarfare and targeted killings incited bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill—not to conduct hearings into what had been revealed, but to demand criminal investigations into the leaking.

That's how Congress has been ever since the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. "We never got our post 9/11 Church Committee," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists's Project on Government Secrecy, referring to a special investigative Senate committee that held hearings on widespread intelligence abuses after the Watergate scandal. "What we've got instead is the intelligence oversight committee drafting legislation to penalize leaks."

Since the Congress is not willing to stand up for the rights of the American people, the truth, human rights, and the U.S. Constitution, then the American people and global civil society must stand up. Congress has no real power. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, Congress only has an eight percent approval rating. There are underground, neo-Nazi groups in Europe that are more popular than the Congress.

The mainstream media is no better. It is content with its role as a propaganda arm of the shadow CIA, and that is a tragedy. American newspapers have the power to improve their nation and change the world for the better, but instead they choose to cover up independent investigations of shady events like 9/11 that shed light on how the U.S. government really operates.

Alternative media outlets like Infowars.com, Veterans Today, Lew Rockwell.com, Washington's Blog, The Corbett Report, and countless others are doing the best they can to educate the American people and wake up humanity.

The last thing the shadow CIA wants to see is an informed and awakened America. It is waging a silent war on human consciousness because it is scared of an enlightened world. A world that is awake and aware of its crimes against humanity is its greatest nightmare.

If the shadow CIA has its way, it will continue inventing stories and passing it off as history with total immunity. But the global alternative media is telling the shadow CIA: Enough is enough, stop lying to the American people and the world.

The CIA's reckless disregard of U.S. traditions and laws made former President Harry Truman rethink his decision to create the CIA in the first place. On December 22, 1963, Truman wrote in The Washington Post:

For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.

On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA about this agency (Wikipedia):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer list of features of National security state

In his book "Brave New World Order" (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer argues that the Bush I war in Iraq (as well as Bush II invasion and occupation of the country) was an action of the military industrial complex usurping the "peace dividend". Iraq was attractive target as it has oil and far enough away to prove a good vehicle for eating up contract cash. He views the rise of the National Security Defense State as a consequence of "the threat of peace" for military industrial complex and identifies seven characteristics of a such a state:

  1. The military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
  2. Political democracy and democratic elections are viewed with suspicion, contempt, or in terms of political expediency. National Security States often maintain an appearance of democracy. However, ultimate power rests with the military or within a broader National Security Establishment.
  3. The military and related sectors wield substantial political and economic power. They do so in the context of an ideology which stresses that 'freedom" and "development" are possible only when capital is concentrated in the hands of elites.
  4. Obsession with enemies. There are enemies of the state everywhere. Defending against external and/or internal enemies becomes a leading preoccupation of the state, a distorting factor in the economy, and a major source of national identity and purpose.
  5. The working assumption is that the enemies of the state are cunning and ruthless. Therefore, any means used to destroy or control these enemies is justified.
  6. It restricts public debate and limits popular participation through secrecy or intimidation. Authentic democracy depends on participation of the people. National Security States limit such participation in a number of ways: They sow fear and thereby narrow the range of public debate; they restrict and distort information; and they define policies in secret and implement those policies through covert channels and clandestine activities. The state justifies such actions through rhetorical pleas of "higher purpose" and vague appeals to "national security."
  7. The church is expected to mobilize its financial, ideological, and theological resources in service to the National Security State.
Now we can add one additional feature
  1. Total surveillance

Compare that definition of the National Security State with the definition of Inverted Totalitarism. Most countries now have features of both.

The debate about National Security State reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don’t currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here’s why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the “Two to Three Hop” scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).”

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

Whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it ?

The book American Exceptionalism and Human Rights (edited by Ignatieff) raised an important and probably the most controversial question in world politics: whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it.

Following are based on the article by Laurence W. Britt published in Free Inquiry magazine

To a secular humanist, the principles of international law seems logical, right, and crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.

The following regimes can be studies in this respect: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. They constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible. Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

One can wonder how many of those are applicable to Bush/McCain. What do you think ?
  1. Propaganda of nationalism and Exceptionalism ("shining city on the hill", beckon of democracy, etc). Prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins. The fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy. Pride in the military, and demands for unity are way of expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a level of suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia (French fries - Freedom fries).

  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. Despite "freedom rhetorics" the party views human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious and truth about gulags is out, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the parties would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, such as Muslims, communists/socialists/liberals, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Opponents of these party were inevitably labeled as terrorists stooges and dealt with accordingly.

  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites identified closely with the military. A disproportionate share of national budget is allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an ultimate expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

  5. Sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, the party covertly views women as second-class citizens. Often are both anti-abortion and homophobic with the cover of religious values. For propaganda reasons those attitudes were masterfully blended into strong support of the fundamentalist religious sects, thus lending the party some legitimacy to cover for its abuses.

  6. A controlled mass media. The mass media could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Control can be indirect and subtle with formal adoption of slogan about "free media". Methods included the control of licensing, access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders and owners of the mass media are part of the power elite. The result is rampant brainwashing, which usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the party's excesses.

  7. Obsession with national security. A national security apparatus is bend to come under direct control of the ruling elite. It is used to bypass laws as a direct instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

  8. Abuse of religion. The party attaches itself to the dominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of religious values. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with those values is swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents are “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the party is tantamount to an attack on religion.

  9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

  10. Power of organized labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Being poor was considered akin to a vice.

  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these party. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities professors come under close scrutiny; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or scientific theories, especially economic, are strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed.

  12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police is often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Criminal charges sometimes are used against political opponents. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

  14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of two candidates representing the same power elite are usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, suppressing responsibilities for legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

Edward Snowden quotes about National Security State

The most recent debate about the legitimacy of national security state as exists in the USA was sparked by Edward Snowden revelations. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about National Security State modus operandi  might send a chill up your spine...


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[Nov 26, 2020] The Cunning Plot to Kill Kennedy - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Nov 26, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

The Cunning Plot to Kill Kennedy By Jacob G. Hornberger Global Research, November 25, 2020 The Future of Freedom Foundation 20 November 2020 Region: USA Theme: Intelligence , Media Disinformation

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If anyone murders a federal official, you can be assured of one thing: the feds will do everything they can to ensure that everyone involved in the crime is brought to justice. It's like when someone kills a cop. The entire police force mobilizes to capture, arrest, and prosecute everyone involved in killing the cop. The phenomenon is even more pronounced at the federal level, especially given the overwhelming power of the federal government.

Yet, the exact opposite occurred in the Kennedy assassination. The entire effort immediately became to pin the crime solely on a communist ex-U.S. Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald and to shut down any aggressive investigation into whether others were involved in the crime.

What's up with that? That's not the way we would expect federal officials to handle the assassination of any federal official, especially the president of the United States. We would expect them to do everything -- even torture a suspect -- in order to capture and arrest everyone who may have participated in the crime.

For example, just three days after the assassination and after Oswald himself had been murdered, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach sent out a memo stating,

"The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial."

How in the world could he be so certain that Oswald was the assassin and that he had no confederates? Why would he want to shut down the investigation so soon? Does that sound like a normal federal official who is confronted with the assassination of a president?

The answer to this riddle lies in the brilliantly cunning scheme of the U.S. national-security establishment to ensure that the investigation into Kennedy's assassination would be shut down immediately and, therefore, not lead to the U.S. national-security establishment.

The assassination itself had all the earmarks of a classic military ambush, one in which shooters were firing from both the front and back of the president. It is a virtual certainty that responsibility for the ambush lay with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had been waging a vicious war against Kennedy practically since the time he assumed office. (See FFF's book JFK's War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne, who served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s.)

While the JCS were experts at preparing military-style ambushes, they lacked the intellectual capability of devising the overall plot and cover-up, given its high level of cunning and sophistication. That responsibility undoubtedly lay with the CIA, whose top officials were brilliant graduates of Ivy League Schools. Moreover, practically from its inception the CIA was specializing in the art of state-sponsored assassinations and in how to conceal the CIA's role in them.

To ensure that the role of the Pentagon and the CIA in the Kennedy assassination would be kept secret, they had to figure out a way to shut down the investigation from the start. Their plan worked brilliantly. While the normal thing would have been all out investigations into the murder, in this particular murder the state of Texas and U.S. officials did the exact opposite. They settled for simply pinning the crime on Oswald, the purported lone nut communist ex-U.S. Marine.

Here is how they pulled it off.

As the years have passed, it has become increasingly clear that Oswald was a government operative, most likely for military intelligence or maybe the CIA and the FBI as well. His job was to portray himself as a communist, which would enable him to infiltrate not only domestic communist and socialist organizations but also communist countries, such as Cuba and the Soviet Union.

After all, how many communist Marines have you ever heard of? The Marines would be a good place to recruit people for intelligence roles. Oswald learned fluent Russian while in the military. How does an enlisted man do that, without the assistance of the military's language schools? When he returned from the Soviet Union after supposedly trying to defect and after promising that he was going to give up secret information he had acquired in the military, no federal grand jury or congressional investigation was launched into his conduct, even though this was the height of the Cold War.

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters

Thus, Oswald would make the perfect patsy. He could be stationed wherever his superiors instructed. And he would have all the earmarks of a communist, which would immediately prejudice Americans at the height of the Cold War.

But simply framing Oswald wouldn't have been enough to shut down the investigation. An aggressive investigation would undoubtedly be able to pierce through the pat nature of the frame-up. They needed something more.

If you're going to frame someone who is supposedly firing from the rear, then doesn't it make sense that you would have shots being fired only from the rear? Why would they frame a guy who is supposedly firing from the rear by having shots fired from the front?

That's where the sheer brilliance of this particular regime-change operation came into play. The plan was much more cunning than even the successful regime-change operations and assassinations that took place prior to the one against Kennedy -- i.e., Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Cuba from 1959-1963, and the Congo in 1961.

There is now virtually no doubt that Kennedy was hit by two shots fired from the front. Immediately after Kennedy was declared dead, the treating physicians at Parkland Hospital described the neck wound as a wound of entry. They also said that Kennedy had a massive, orange-sized wound in the back of his head. Nurses at Parkland said the same things. Two FBI agents said they saw the big exit-sized wound. Secret Service agent Clint Hill saw it. Navy photography expert Saundra Spencer told the ARRB in the 1990s that she developed the JFK autopsy photos on a top-secret basis on the weekend of the assassination and that they depicted a big exit-sized wound in the back of JFK's head. A bone fragment from the back of the president's head was found in Dealey Plaza after the assassination. That is just part of the overwhelming evidence that establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the shot that hit Kennedy in the head came from the front.

Okay, if you've got a shooter firing from the back and he's a communist, and if you have other shooters firing from the front, then they have to be working together. So, who would the shooters be who were firing from the front? The logical inference is that they had to be communist cohorts of Oswald.

That's what Oswald's supposed visits to the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico just before the assassination were all about -- making it look like Oswald was acting in concert with the Soviet and Cuban communists to kill Kennedy.

If the assassination was part of the Soviet Union's supposed quest to conquer the world, retaliation would mean World War III, which almost surely would have meant nuclear war, which was the biggest fear among the American people in 1963.

But why not retaliate in some way? Would U.S. officials at the height of the Cold War hesitate to retaliate for the communist killing of a U.S. president, simply because they were scared of nuclear war? Not a chance! In fact, throughout Kennedy's term in office the Pentagon and the CIA were champing at the bit to attack Cuba and go to war with the Soviet Union.

But here's the catch: How do you take action that is going to destroy the world when it was your side that started the assassination game in the first place? Remember: It was the CIA that started the assassination game by partnering with the Mafia to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Thus, Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, and the JCS had the perfect excuse to shut down the investigation and pin the crime only on Oswald: If they instead retaliated, it would be all-out nuclear war based on an assassination game that the U.S. had started.

In fact, when Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade alleged from the start that Oswald was part of a communist conspiracy, Johnson told him to shut it down for fear that Wade might inadvertently start World War III.

Moreover, when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren initially declined Johnson's invitation to serve on what ultimately became the Warren Commission, Johnson appealed to his sense of patriotism by alluding to the importance of avoiding a nuclear war. Johnson used the same argument on Senator Richard Russell Jr.

From the start, the Warren Commission proceedings were shrouded in "national-security" state secrecy, including a top-secret meeting of the commissioners to discuss information they had received that Oswald was an intelligence agent. When Warren was asked if the American people would be able to see all the evidence, Warren responded yes, but not in your lifetime.

Does that make any sense? If the assassination was, in fact, committed by some lone nut, then what would "national security" and state secrecy have to do with it?

That's undoubtedly how they induced the three military pathologists to conduct a fraudulent autopsy -- by telling them that they had to hide the fact that shots had been fired from the front in order to ensure that there was no all-out nuclear war. That's how we ended up with a fraudulent autopsy. (See my books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2 .)

Thus, the plan entailed operating at two levels: One level involved what some call the World War III cover story. It entailed shutting down the investigation, as well as a fraudulent autopsy, to prevent nuclear war. The other level involved showing the American people that their president had been killed by only one person, a supposed lone nut communist former Marine.

Obviously, secrecy and obedience to orders were essential for the plan to succeed. That was why the autopsy was taken out of the hands of civilian officials and given to the military. With the military, people could be ordered to participate in the fraudulent autopsy and could be forced to keep everything they did and witnessed secret.

That's why Navy photography expert Saundra Spencer kept her secret for some 30 years. She had been told that her development of the JFK autopsy photos was a classified operation. Military people follow orders and keep classified information secret. Imagine if Spencer had told her story suggesting a fraudulent autopsy in the week following the assassination.

Gradually, as the years have passed, the incriminating puzzle has come together. The big avalanche of secret information came out in the 1990s as part of the work done by the Assassination Records Review Board.

Of course, there are still missing pieces to the puzzle, many of which are undoubtedly among the records that the CIA and national-security establishment are still keeping secret. But enough circumstantial evidence has come to light to enable people to see the contours of one of the most cunning and successful assassination plots in history.

*

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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics.

[Nov 26, 2020] The Ruling Elite's War on Truth by Chris Hedges

Notable quotes:
"... Trump and Giuliani are vulgar and buffoonish, but they play the same slimy game as their Democratic opponents. The Republicans scapegoat the deep state, communists and now, bizarrely, Venezuela; the Democrats scapegoat Russia. The widening disconnect from reality by the ruling elite is intended to mask their complicity in the seizure of power by predatory global corporations and billionaires. ..."
"... Silicon Valley billionaires, including Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, donated more than $100 million to a Democratic super PAC that created a torrent of anti-Trump TV ads in the final weeks of the campaign to elect Biden. The heavy infusion of corporate money to support Biden wasn't done to protect democracy. It was done because these corporations and billionaires know a Biden administration will serve their interests. ..."
"... Democratic Senator Chris Murphy told CNN during this campaign that Russian disinformation efforts are "more problematic" than in 2016. He warned that "this time around, the Russians have decided to cultivate U.S. citizens as assets. They are attempting to try to spread their propaganda in the mainstream media." ..."
"... This will be the official mantra of the Democratic Party, a vicious redbaiting campaign without actual reds, especially as the country spirals out of control. The reason I have a show on Russia-funded RT America ..."
"... Voice of America ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site, ..."
"... We let these companies get this monopolistic share of the distribution system. Now they're exercising that power. ..."
"... In the Soviet Union the truth was passed, often hand to hand, in underground samizdat documents, clandestine copies of news and literature banned by the state. The truth will endure. It will be heard by those who seek it out. It will expose the mendacity of the powerful, however hard it will be to obtain. Despotisms fear the truth. They know it is a mortal threat. If we remain determined to live in truth, no matter the cost, we have a chance. ..."
"... The New York Times, ..."
"... The Dallas Morning News ..."
"... The Christian Science Monitor ..."
Nov 23, 2020 | scheerpost.com
40 Comments on Chris Hedges: The Ruling Elite's War on Truth American political leaders display a widening disconnect from reality intended to mask their complicity in the seizure of power by global corporations and billionaires. By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

Joe Biden's victory instantly obliterated the Democratic Party's longstanding charge that Russia was hijacking and compromising US elections. The Biden victory, the Democratic Party leaders and their courtiers in the media now insist, is evidence that the democratic process is strong and untainted, that the system works. The elections ratified the will of the people.

But imagine if Donald Trump had been reelected. Would the Democrats and pundits at The New York Time s , CNN and MSNBC pay homage to a fair electoral process? Or, having spent four years trying to impugn the integrity of the 2016 presidential race, would they once again haul out the blunt instrument of Russian interference to paint Trump as Vladimir Putin's Manchurian candidate?

Trump and Giuliani are vulgar and buffoonish, but they play the same slimy game as their Democratic opponents. The Republicans scapegoat the deep state, communists and now, bizarrely, Venezuela; the Democrats scapegoat Russia. The widening disconnect from reality by the ruling elite is intended to mask their complicity in the seizure of power by predatory global corporations and billionaires.

... ... ...

The two warring factions within the ruling elite, which fight primarily over the spoils of power while abjectly serving corporate interests, peddle alternative realities. If the deep state and Venezuelan socialists or Russia intelligence operatives are pulling the strings no one in power is accountable for the rage and alienation caused by the social inequality, the unassailability of corporate power, the legalized bribery that defines our political process, the endless wars, austerity and de-industrialization. The social breakdown is, instead, the fault of shadowy phantom enemies manipulating groups such as Black Lives Matters or the Green Party.

"The people who run this country have run out of workable myths with which to distract the public, and in a moment of extreme crisis have chosen to stoke civil war and defame the rest of us – black and white – rather than admit to a generation of corruption, betrayal, and mismanagement," Matt Taibbi writes.

These fictional narratives are dangerous. They erode the credibility of democratic institutions and electoral politics. They posit that news and facts are no longer true or false. Information is accepted or discarded based on whether it hurts or promotes one faction over another. While outlets such as Fox News have always existed as an arm of the Republican Party, this partisanship has now infected nearly all news organizations, including publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post , along with the major tech platforms that disseminate information and news. A fragmented public with no common narrative believes whatever it wants to believe.

... ... ...

The flagrant partisanship and discrediting of truth across the political spectrum are swiftly fueling the rise of an authoritarian state. The credibility of democratic institutions and electoral politics, already deeply corrupted by PACs, the electoral college, lobbyists, the disenfranchisement of third-party candidates, gerrymandering and voter suppression, is being eviscerated.

Silicon Valley billionaires, including Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, donated more than $100 million to a Democratic super PAC that created a torrent of anti-Trump TV ads in the final weeks of the campaign to elect Biden. The heavy infusion of corporate money to support Biden wasn't done to protect democracy. It was done because these corporations and billionaires know a Biden administration will serve their interests.

The press, meanwhile, has largely given up on journalism. It has retreated into competing echo chambers that only speak to true believers. This catering exclusively to one demographic, which it sets against another demographic, is commercially profitable. But it also guarantees the balkanization of the United States and edges us closer and closer to fratricide.

When Trump leaves the White House millions of his enraged supports, hermetically sealed inside hyperventilating media platforms that feed back to them their rage and hate, will see the vote as fraudulent, the political system as rigged, and the establishment press as propaganda. They will target, I fear, through violence, the Democratic Party politicians, mainstream media outlets and those they demonize as conspiratorial members of the deep state, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci. The Democratic Party is as much to blame for this disintegration as Trump and the Republican Party.

The election of Biden is also very bad news for journalists such as Matt Taibbi, Glen Ford, Margaret Kimberley, Glenn Greenwald, Jeffrey St. Clair or Robert Scheer who refuse to be courtiers to the ruling elites. Journalists that do not spew the approved narrative of the right-wing, or, alternatively, the approved narrative of the Democratic Party, have a credibility the ruling elite fears.

The worse things get – and they will get worse as the pandemic leaves hundreds of thousands dead and thrusts millions of Americans into severe economic distress –the more those who seek to hold the ruling elites, and in particular the Democratic Party, accountable will be targeted and censored in ways familiar to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, now in a London prison and facing possible extradition to the United States and life imprisonment.

Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties, which included the repeated misuse of the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers, the passage of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to permit the military to act as a domestic police force and the ordering of the assassination of U.S. citizens deemed to be terrorists in Yemen, was far worse than those of George W. Bush. Biden's assault on civil liberties, I suspect, will surpass those of the Obama administration.

The censorship was heavy handed during the campaign. Digital media platforms, including Google, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, along with the establishment press worked shamelessly as propaganda arms for the Biden campaign. They were determined not to make the "mistake" they made in 2016 when they reported on the damaging emails, released by WikiLeaks, from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. Although the emails were genuine, papers such as The New York Times routinely refer to the Podesta emails as "disinformation." This, no doubt, pleases its readership, 91 percent of whom identify as Democrats according to the Pew Research Center. But it is another example of journalistic malfeasance.

Following the election of Trump, the media outlets that cater to a Democratic Party readership made amends. The New York Times was one of the principal platforms that amplified Russiagate conspiracies, most of which turned out to be false. At the same time, the paper largely ignored the plight of the disposed working class that supported Trump. When the Russiagate story collapsed, the paper pivoted to focus on race, embodied in the 1619 Project. The root cause of social disintegration -- the neoliberal order, austerity and deindustrialization -- was ignored since naming it would alienate the paper's corporate advertisers and the elites on whom the paper depends for access.

Once the 2020 election started, The New York Times and other mainstream outlets censored and discredited information that could hurt Biden, including a tape of Joe Biden speaking with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, which appears to be authentic. They gave credibility to any rumor, however spurious, which was unfavorable to Trump. Twitter and Facebook blocked access to a New York Post story about the emails allegedly found on Hunter Biden's discarded laptop.

Twitter locked the New York Post out of its own account for over a week. Glenn Greenwald, whose article on Hunter Biden was censored by his editors at The Intercept, which he helped found, resigned. He released the email exchanges with his editors over his article. Ignoring the textual evidence of censorship, editors and writers at The Intercept engaged in a public campaign of character assassination against Greenwald. This sordid behavior by self-identified progressive journalists is a page out of the Trump playbook and a sad commentary on the collapse of journalistic integrity.

The censorship and manipulation of information was honed and perfected against WikiLeaks. When WikiLeaks tries to release information, it is hit with botnets or distributed denial of service attacks. Malware attacks WikiLeaks' domain and website. The WikiLeaks site is routinely shut down or unable to serve its content to its readers. Attempts by WikiLeaks to hold press conferences see the audio distorted and the visual images corrupted. Links to WikiLeaks events are delayed or cut. Algorithms block the dissemination of WikiLeaks content. Hosting services, including Amazon, removed WikiLeaks from its servers. Julian Assange, after releasing the Iraqi war logs, saw his bank accounts and credit cards frozen. WikiLeaks' PayPal accounts were disabled to cut off donations. The Freedom of the Press Foundation in December 2017 closed down the anonymous funding channel to WikiLeaks which was set up to protect the anonymity of donors. A well-orchestrated smear campaign against Assange was amplified and given credibility by the mass media and filmmakers such as Alex Gibney. Assange and WikiLeaks were first. We are next.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy told CNN during this campaign that Russian disinformation efforts are "more problematic" than in 2016. He warned that "this time around, the Russians have decided to cultivate U.S. citizens as assets. They are attempting to try to spread their propaganda in the mainstream media."

This will be the official mantra of the Democratic Party, a vicious redbaiting campaign without actual reds, especially as the country spirals out of control. The reason I have a show on Russia-funded RT America is the same reason Vaclav Havel could only be heard on the US-funded Voice of America during the communist control of Czechoslovakia. I did not choose to leave the mainstream media. I was pushed out. And once anyone is pushed out, the ruling elite is relentless about discrediting the few platforms left willing to give them, and the issues they raise, a hearing.

"If the problem is 'American citizens' being cultivated as 'assets' trying to put 'interference' in the mainstream media, the logical next step is to start asking Internet platforms to shut down accounts belonging to any American journalist with the temerity to report material leaked by foreigners (the wrong foreigners, of course – it will continue to be okay to report things like the 'black ledger')," writes Taibbi , who has done some of the best reporting on the emerging censorship. "From Fox or the Daily Caller on the right , to left-leaning outlets like Consortium or the World Socialist Web Site, to writers like me even – we're all now clearly in range of new speech restrictions, even if we stick to long-ago-established factual standards."

Taibbi argues that the precedent for overt censorship took place when the major digital platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Spotify, YouTube – in a coordinated move blacklisted the right-wing talk show host Alex Jones.

"Liberal America cheered," Taibbi told me when I interviewed him for my show, " On Contact ":

They said 'Well this is a noxious figure. This is a great thing. Finally, someone's taking action.' What they didn't realize is that we were trading an old system of speech regulation for a new one without any public discussion. You and I were raised in a system where you got punished for speech if you committed libel or slander or if there was imminent incitement to lawless action, right? That was the standard that the Supreme Court set, but that was done through litigation. There was an open process where you had a chance to rebut charges. That is all gone now.

Now, basically there's a handful of these tech distribution platforms that control how people get their media.

They've been pressured by the Senate, which has called all of their CEOs in, and basically ordered them, 'We need you to come up with a plan to prevent the sowing of discord and spreading of misinformation.' This has finally come into fruition. You see a major reputable news organization like the New York Post -- with a 200-year history -- locked out of its own Twitter account.

The story [Hunter Biden's emails] has not been disproven. It's not disinformation or misinformation. It's been suppressed as it would be suppressed in a Third World country. It's a remarkable historic moment. The danger is that we end up with a one-party informational system. There's going to be approved dialogue and unapproved dialogue that you can only get through certain fringe avenues. That's the problem. We let these companies get this monopolistic share of the distribution system. Now they're exercising that power.

In the Soviet Union the truth was passed, often hand to hand, in underground samizdat documents, clandestine copies of news and literature banned by the state. The truth will endure. It will be heard by those who seek it out. It will expose the mendacity of the powerful, however hard it will be to obtain. Despotisms fear the truth. They know it is a mortal threat. If we remain determined to live in truth, no matter the cost, we have a chance.


[Chris Hedges writes a regular original column for ScheerPost every two weeks. Click here to sign up for email alerts.]

Chris Hedges Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News , The Christian Science Monitor , and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show On Contact. paul easton NOVEMBER 23, 2020 AT 10:28 AM

It seems like the masters are just as deluded as the slaves. But the situation is unsustainable. When many millions of slaves become homeless and hungry that reality will become unavoidable. Who will they blame? Will they attack one another or will they revolt against the system? Soon we will see. Carolyn L Zaremba NOVEMBER 24, 2020 AT 10:30 AM

I share only alternative media since I don't trust "mainstream" media one iota. I post articles from the World Socialist Web Site, Consortium News, the Grayzone, Caitlin Johnstone and others all the time. I am a socialist. I was only banned from posting on FB once, for criticizing Israel. No surprise there. But I suspect FB of shadow banning, i.e., making it look like you've posted an article but making it invisible to others in their news feeds. I first learned of this practice from Craig Murray, another whose articles I post regularly. paul easton NOVEMBER 25, 2020 AT 1:35 AM

That is a chilling thought. I was shadow banned by medium.com a few years ago. It appeared to me that my posts and comments went in, but no one else could see them. At least with them I could tell something was wrong because I had regular conversations with some people. With FB I don't know if you could ever be sure. R Zwarich NOVEMBER 25, 2020 AT 5:37 AM

Mr. Easton is indeed correct. It is VERY chilling, especially if people would imagine what THEY would do, if they had our Enemy's morally depraved motivations, and if they had the control our Enemy has over ALL our communications switches.

There are three basic types of mass communications. One to many. Many to one. And many to many.

The Enemy has complete access to 'one to many' communications, and complete control over anyone's else's access to same. Many to one communications are ineffective for intrinsic reasons. Many to many communications offer myriad methods of cunningly creative control.

If we send out group emails, for example, in simple old-fashioned list-serves, they who control the switches could easily 'filter', to determine who among addressees gets any message, and who doesn't.

I used to write comments in the Boston Globe, the wholly owned plaything of a VERY weird old Billionaire and his proud and beautiful young trophy wife. (Less than half his age, of course). At first I thought the Globe NEVER censored. I could write anything, and it would post. Ahh but then I learned that the Globe is a HEAVY handed censor, but was clever enough to put a 'cookie' in your browser folder to tell their server to let you see your own comments, so you would not even know that no one else could see them. It was 'stealth censorship'.

We should try to remember that these people are morally depraved, in their constant paroxysms of raw Greed and raw Lust. No force exists any longer in our nation to restrain them. Anything we can 'see' that they CAN do, we can pretty much figure they already DO do, or else sooner or later will. Carol Shapiro NOVEMBER 23, 2020 AT 1:44 PM

While I don't agree with you, Chris Hedges, all the time, I believe you are our one. true. journalist. Thankful for your honesty. Insight. Huge intellect. Global experience. I am an "unenrolled" voter -- an extremely disillusioned former Bernie Sanders supporter. Truly, I feel like he would have been our closest attempt to achieving a real "citizen government". What a laughable term that is these days. Bernie never would have had a chance running as a Democrat – absurd. He should have walked out of that convention four years ago and taken his supporters with him. Oh wait- you said that. Never NOVEMBER 23, 2020 AT 2:59 PM

Don't forget that the selective coverage by the NY Times in this campaign didn't start when Biden became the nominee. Up to that time, the Times ran one or two articles on Sanders it seems. Whatever the number, it was miniscule. They almost completely ignored one of the most significant campaigns in modern history, thus helping to ensure it died on the vine. And when they did cover it one or two times, it was always negative.

Thank you, Chris, for your tireless work in defense of our stolen democracy. yuri NOVEMBER 23, 2020 AT 4:37 PM

US liberals more fascist than conservatives–long observed by historians/social philosophers
"amerikans do not converse as Tocqueville wrote, amerikans entertain each other. amerikans do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. the problem w amerikans is not Orwellian–it is huxleyan: amerikans love their oppression: Neil Postman Stephen Morrell NOVEMBER 24, 2020 AT 1:18 AM

Glenn Greenwald's points need stressing: (i) some of the most vociferous proponents of online censorship are mainstream and 'alternative' 'journalists' who on repeated occasions have egged on the carriers to shut sites, pages, accounts or postings; (ii) these 'journalists' aren't just serving the narrowest band of oligarchic media empires in history, but also are ivy-league bourgeois brats with no interest at all in exposing the injustices or malfeasance of bourgeois society, unlike many journalists of the past; and (iii) that it's not in the immediate material interests of the carriers to conduct the censorship, especially in the longterm, since it consumes resources and lowers traffic and profits. They'd much rather the government do it and for them to be compensated at taxpayer expense.

To avoid future potential government antitrust measures or nationalisation (heaven forbid!), Zuckerberg and his ilk have been censoring in heavyhanded and hamfisted ways that aren't so 'autonomous' but for the moment at least can be traced along the usual Democrat-controlled thinktank and CIA/FBI lines, which of course also are beyond public scrutiny. Despite the prospects for freedom of reach (and reach is what it's really about) apparently growing dimmer with each senate committee appearance by the carrier oligarchs, ways and means will be found to circumvent their draconian measures. While alternative non-censoring platforms have yet to gain significant traction, it likely won't take much for one to catch on, perhaps sparked by an outrageous event of suppression, that turns Facebook, Twitter, etc, into museum pieces. One might imagine, for instance, Wikileaks-style YouTube, Facebook, Twitter equivalents that act as true carriers, purely machine-based and devoid of human interference, that precludes them becoming the 'moral guardians' that Twitter, Facebook etc, are quickly metamorphising into.

As increasing swathes of the population appear not to be aligning within the bourgeoisie's preset ideological 'tribal' boundaries, there's a certain schadenfreude in seeing the rulers in dread of the truth getting out and spreading uncontrollably. Their tailored counter-narratives simply are too enfeebled and slight to square with the hard reality that's hitting everyone, from the most educated and brainwashed to the least. That ivy-league stenographers are being pressed into the service of censorship gives some indication of the desperation of the rulers. We all know, as do they but can never admit it publicly, that censorship and repression are frank admissions that they've lost all 'arguments' for their very existence.

To an extent, Trump has been responsible for letting the genie out of the bottle, as the first president probably since before Andrew Jackson to have failed, repeatedly, to put lipstick on the racist, capitalist imperial pig. The efforts by the ruling class at censorship and naked suppression of freedom of reach and of access to sources of truthful information will only increase in desperation as their myth-making narratives become ever more unable to rationalise a crisis that's they're beginning to see as intractable and endangering their rule.

[Nov 26, 2020] Propaganda, Election Fraud and the Death of Journalism

Nov 26, 2020 | www.realclearpolitics.com

COMMENTARY

By Frank Miele
RealClearPolitics

Easy question: Is it illegal to steal an election or not?

You would have to assume that it is no big deal based on the response to claims of widespread fraud in the contest between President Trump and Joe Biden. Big Media says the evidence just doesn't exist, and most Americans seem to be lost in a blue haze of blind acceptance that whatever they are told by the talking heads on TV must be true.

This kind of unthinking obedience to authority is a frightening harbinger of an America that is no longer a nation of laws, but rather a nation of edicts. You can already see that unfolding in the sheep-like acceptance of COVID-19 restrictions that blatantly ignore the Constitution. But if you dare do your own independent assessment of facts -- whether regarding the efficacy of mask use in preventing spread of coronavirus or regarding the security of electronic voting -- you will quickly come to a different conclusion than that which is approved by Big Tech, Big Media and Big Money.

Unfortunately, most people don't take the time to do their own research. They simply believe whatever is told to them. For those in thrall to the establishment media, that means they believe that Trump's allegations of election fraud are "baseless." Remember, the media made that declaration within hours of the election, long before any evidence had been presented in a court of law and before analysis had begun on the raw vote totals. Once that narrative was established, it didn't matter how many affidavits were presented, how many witnesses came forward, or how much analysis suggested that the vote count may have been manipulated. The jury of the American people had already been tainted by Big Media to believe the narrative that Trump is a sore loser.

Don't forget, the mainstream media -- in the interests of public enlightenment (now known as wokeness) -- have spent the past four years reporting as fact that the duly elected president of the United States is a liar, a tax cheat, a Russian puppet, and a racist. In other words, he is a con man who never should have been anywhere near the Oval Office in the first place. So why would anyone now believe his claims that Democrats used phony mail ballots, vote-counting software and foreign manipulation to steal the election? Most of the media is pretending that there is not even a real story to report in what, if true, would be one of the gravest constitutional crises in the history of our republic.

As Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said in his press conference Thursday, "The coverage of this has been almost as dishonest as the scheme itself. The American people are entitled to know this," he warned the press. "You don't have a right to keep it from them. You don't have a right to lie about it."

But, the newsrooms at CNN and MSNBC are keeping it from the public. They refused to even carry Giuliani's press conference laying out the evidence of election fraud. As for Fox News, they covered it, and then put a reporter on the air to say the claims were "simply not true" or "baseless." Clearly, we are not going to get the truth from the media. Has there been even one reporter for a mainstream outlet such as the Washington Post asking questions about the vulnerability of electronic voting systems to hacking or manipulation? Is any news organization demanding that the Justice Department or FBI get to the bottom of the story?

The loss of a free and neutral press means that democracy cannot work even if its elections were completely above board. The capacity of the people to self-govern is dependent on their access to true and accurate information. Sadly, the opposite principle applies as well. When journalism abandons objectivity in favor of an agenda, then the people are in the position of cattle being led to slaughter.

Thomas Jefferson described the abuses of a free press in 1814 in a letter to his friend Walter Jones:

"I deplore the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed and the malignity, the vulgarity and the mendacious spirit of those who write for them These ordures are rapidly depraving the public taste and lessening its relish for sound food. As vehicles of information and a curb on our functionaries, they have rendered themselves useless by forfeiting all title to belief This has, in a great degree, been produced by the violence and malignity of party spirit."

Ouch! Take that, New York Times! Take that, CNN!

Of course, it is just such a malign "party spirit" that informs almost all mainstream journalism in the Age of Trump -- a spirit that is visible in the hostility towards Trump himself, but also in the accommodation towards Democrats such as Joe Biden. Last Monday's Biden press conference was a stunning abdication of responsibility by the media for its much-vaunted role of "speaking truth to power" -- or at least asking tough questions.

Three of the first four queries were merely anti-Trump questions asked in a new way. Instead of asking Trump "How do you justify your unprecedented attempt to obstruct and delay a smooth transfer of power?" the reporters merely asked Biden what he thought about Trump's "unprecedented attempt" blah blah blah. Then the next three questions were about COVID, which after six months of campaigning, even Sleepy Joe Biden could answer with his eyes closed.

Isn't the media going to hold Biden accountable just like they claimed to hold Trump accountable? Why not ask about the curious patterns of vote counting in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia that make millions of people think Biden tried to steal the election? Shouldn't he be asked to support a full investigation to prove his victory was legitimate? How about a question about whether Hunter Biden will come out of hiding now that the election is over? How about asking the "president-in-waiting" to condemn the BLM and antifa violence that sent several innocent Trump supporters to the hospital two weeks ago?

How about our celebrity journalists celebrate their own crucial role as defenders of democracy? If they don't want to "render themselves useless," they need to swear allegiance to facts, wherever they lead, and not to one party. Or as Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana put it more indelicately, "They have to be equal opportunity assholes."

But they aren't -- and sooner or later the American people will get tired of being manipulated. Journalism is supposed to give an honest account of the facts so that people can make up their own minds what they believe to be true. Propaganda, on the other hand, is a dishonest attempt to persuade people not to examine the facts for themselves. Journalism starts with facts and allows people to reach their own conclusion. Propaganda starts with a conclusion and manipulates people into accepting it as fact. You can decide for yourself whether what we have today is journalism or propaganda.

But the bottom line is this: Whether or not Donald Trump can prove his case in court should be irrelevant to the job of the press. What honest reporters ought to recognize is the significance of the allegation itself, the historical nature of the crime being alleged, and the importance to the future of our republic that the case must be heard.

Too bad there are so few honest reporters left.

[Nov 25, 2020] A military fiasco of the United States might be needed in order to bring "cruise missile liberals" to understand the need of of abandoning Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine

Nov 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

One Too Many , Nov 25 2020 6:24 utc | 93

This is nothing new, the war machine keeps going and going. I actually found an individual that has the same outlook on stopping the behavior of the United States as I do. International lawyer Christopher Black in this interview had the following to say.

A Biden Administration Will Be Dominated by More U.S. Aggression

Question: What in your view needs to change in order to make U.S. foreign conduct abide by international law and therefore enhance the prospects for world peace?

Christopher Black: It will require a revolution in the United States to do that, an overthrow of the economic powers that control the machinery of the state, but there is no prospect of that happening. There is really no effective opposition to these policies in the U.S. The peace movement is weak and fragmented, dominated by the "cruise missile liberals". The voices of reason have no power, no real influence among the masses of the people which are dominated by a sophisticated propaganda machine known as the "media". Censorship is increasing and the few critical voices that exist are being silenced.

It will take, in my view, a military defeat of the United States in order to bring about the conditions necessary for the required changes. And, perhaps that will happen, as China has stated time and again, that if Washington decides to take direct control of their island of Taiwan and the Americans interfere or if they are attacked in the South China Sea, they will defeat the U.S. But such a war would have world consequences and would cause realignments of power not only in the USA, if we all survive it.


Line Islands , Nov 25 2020 11:05 utc | 103

Biden is a tent revival for the aptly named "cruise missile liberals" and some of the more shadowy neo-conservative forces in retreat and determined to bring democracy building home after their colonial expeditions extinguished it at home, hastening the rise of America's own Saddam in Trump. Biden's own instincts may be decisive, however, and he was against war in Libya while also in favor of splitting Iraq. The dementia rumors are nonsense; Biden is a canny and often mendacious operator, and while I think Trump is a fascist and quite possibly a Russian mafia sub-boss, Biden may well be the restoration of more homegrown, American mafia rule. An argument that Giuliani has made in so many words, standing as he does on the Russian side and yelling into the shifting parapolitical winds.

William Gruff , Nov 25 2020 11:59 utc | 104

Line Islands @102

It's not really that complicated for China. They have no interest in or need to strike the American mainland. That would only be necessary if they were seeking global hegemony like the US, which they are not. Their strategic nuclear capabilities are strictly deterrence. All China has to do is survive the coming conflict arising from the Thucydides Trap that the US and China are caught in with minimal damage to their industrial capacity, infrastructure, and population.

That I specified "survive" and not "win" is not a mistake. The default outcome if nothing is done is that China ascends to uncontested sole global economic superpower status. That is not necessarily their intention but rather the natural outcome of China continuing the development of their domestic human capital and quality of life for 1.4 billion people. China doesn't have to take the fight to the US to end up on top, and the US has no choice but to somehow turn back the economic clock in China to keep its position as global imperial hegemon. Color revolution attempts, trade war, and bioweapon attacks have all failed the empire miserably, so all the US has left is to go kinetic.

The "US aircraft carrier force projection model" is effectively nullified by China, but those assets are still protected by America's delusional reality exclusion zone: "Destroying our carriers is unthinkable! No one would ever dare do that!" . That defense will prove inadequate against China's variety of "carrier killer" missiles.

As for America's stealth aircraft, China's defenses will likely be a surprise to many in the American empire. Furthermore, America's only stealth aircraft with sufficient range to reach China's mainland on anything other than a one way suicide mission would be the B-2 bomber, of which America only has 21. Those 21 will not last long in a kinetic conflict. Quite a few will likely simply be destroyed on the runway in Diego Garcia while the survivors will get to find out how well China's nifty new quantum radar works. The F-22 and F-35 would require refueling to get from carrier stand-off distance to the mainland and refueling again to get back, with America's aerial tankers needing to loiter within range of China's air defenses... not a good battle plan for the empire. Those stealth aircraft will not shift the advantage in the empire's favor, and attrition will be much higher than expected among them.

It must be repeated that China doesn't need to destroy the United States. They are not playing the board game "Risk" after all. China just needs to defeat the American empire's military force projection capabilities in their own neighborhood, and China already has that capacity right now. Every day that elapses shifts the advantage further into China's favor, so the empire needs to act while they still have the ability to do so. Trump's unwillingness to do more than bark loudly and his resistance to going kinetic is why the imperial elites had to fraud the elections so openly to get a more compliant figurehead into office ASAP. That the empire couldn't wait another four years means that we will see "interesting times" (yeah, even more interesting than the preceding twelve months!) real soon now.

Bemildred , Nov 25 2020 13:29 utc | 111

"A cornered dog will bite, even if it is obvious that it cannot win."

So will I, so what?

"It was never China's nor Iran's intention to "corner" the empire. That is simply the situation that America finds itself in now that its economy is in "late capitalism" decline. It is really not even anyone's fault, not even Trump or Reagan or any of the other usual suspects."

I agree, but again, so what? I'm not concerned with who is morally correct, I'm mainly concerned with whether there is going to be a big war and what happens if there is, that's not a moral question. I've been waiting around 40 years to watch our collapse, and I still think there is enough that is/was good here to be worth hoping for a soft landing. That's probably better for the rest of the planet too, but it's arguable.

Neither Iran of China is cornered, they are well-prepared, well-supported by "partners", and on their home turf. WE are not ready. We are vunerable. But we are not cornered either, nobody is going to come over here and interfere while we fight among ourselves.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 13:10 utc | 109

oldhippie , Nov 25 2020 13:34 utc | 112

What scares me about Blinken and Sullivan is the career trajectory. Both had completely unearned and unreasonable success every step of their lives. There is never any explanation for this manner of success but family connections. Neither has done anything of note other than to occupy positions of power.

Sullivan is all of 43 years old, has been a mover and shaker since his twenties. Any who have never read Halberstam's Best and Brightest might look at that now. We are in for a shit show. Biden is not going to do anything but take his meds and take a lot of naps. Already he is not to be seen. The crew named so far will steamroller Kamala, she is no more than a figurehead.

Likely she won't even stay in the room when it gets serious. Best possible outcome is that kids who have never done anything but suck up won't know what to do when they are left in charge with no adult supervision. Or there will be shadowy figures in background who steady the rudder.

More likely is war.

William Gruff , Nov 25 2020 13:45 utc | 114

Bemildred @111

Yes, it is not a moral question, it is an economic one. Wars have never been about morality.

That said, China has for a number of years now been preparing for a minimally damaging escape from the Thucydides Trap, and by "minimally damaging" I mean for the US as well. As I said above the Chinese are not at all interested in hurting the US.

The plan is to "spring" the Thucydides Trap in the South China Sea and hopefully confine most of the damage to that area. If successful then the empire gets its soft landing (albeit with significant amounts of military materiel and personnel sacrificed) and humanity moves beyond the Trap.

I have my fingers crossed that the plan works.

Piotr Berman , Nov 25 2020 14:31 utc | 116

@ PB 75
visible costs of vassaldom . . costs of American presence....decreasing the national security. . .participating in sanctions
Yes, plus a primary reason . . .Cost of buying US military junk like F-35. Foreign military sales is a mainstay of the US economy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 3:43 utc | 83

When you add the numbers, "military junk" has notable prestige -- with matching prices, but the total loot of American companies is probably many times larger. For example, Trump waged a series of trade wars to perpetuate negligible taxation of "technology giants" like Google or Amazon. "Intellectual property" was a stumbling block in the trade war with China, with dire consequences for soy growing farmers in USA (and a boon to their colleagues in South America). Then there is pharma. It seems that the really big companies are comfortable being in relative shadow behind arms makers, and discourse on security threats and needs --because Russian use trolls to interfere with elections, we (all countries that cherish what is good and precious) need new generations of nukes, planes, ships and toilet seats. However illogical, it is more noble sounding than preventing the likes of Apple from more than nominal taxation.

[Nov 25, 2020] New York Times job listing shows how Western propaganda operates by Caitlin Johnstone -

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Once you've learned a bit more you realize it's not quite happening that way. Most mainstream news reporters are not really witting propagandists – those are to be found more in plutocrat-funded think tanks and other narrative management firms, and in the opaque government agencies which feed news media outlets information designed to advance their interests. The predominant reason mainstream news reporters say things that aren't true is because in order to be hired by mainstream news outlets, you need to jack your mind into a power-serving worldview that is not based in truth. ..."
"... Mainstream establishment orthodoxy is essentially a religion, as fake and power-serving as any other, and if you want to work in mainstream politics or media you need to demonstrate that you are a member of that religion. ..."
"... That's all you're ever seeing when you notice blue-checkmarked reporters tweeting in promotion of imperialist interests and status quo politics. They are not laboring under the delusion that they are saying anything new or insightful that a hundred other people aren't saying at the exact same time; they are signaling. ..."
Nov 21, 2020 | caitlinjohnstone.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

People who are only just beginning to research what's wrong with the world often hold an assumption that mainstream news reporters are just knowingly propagandizing people all the time.

That they sit around scheming up ways to deceive their audiences into supporting war, oligarchy and oppression for the benefit of their plutocratic masters.

Once you've learned a bit more you realize it's not quite happening that way. Most mainstream news reporters are not really witting propagandists – those are to be found more in plutocrat-funded think tanks and other narrative management firms, and in the opaque government agencies which feed news media outlets information designed to advance their interests. The predominant reason mainstream news reporters say things that aren't true is because in order to be hired by mainstream news outlets, you need to jack your mind into a power-serving worldview that is not based in truth.

A recent job listing for a New York Times Russia Correspondent which was flagged by Russia-based journalist Bryan MacDonald illustrates this dynamic perfectly. The listing reads as follows:

"Vladimir Putin's Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.

It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.

If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year."

Does this sound like the sort of job someone with a less than hostile attitude toward the Russian government would apply to? Is it a job listing that indicates it might welcome someone who sees mainstream Russia hysteria as cartoonish hyperbole designed to advance the longstanding geostrategic interests of Western power structures against a government which has long resisted bowing to the dictates of those power structures? Someone who voices skepticism about the plot hole - riddled establishment narratives of Russian election meddling and Novichok assassinations ? Someone who, as Moon of Alabama notes , might point out that Putin is in fact at work in the Kremlin right now and not "hiding out" in a "villa" ?

Of course not. In order to get a job at the New York Times, you need to demonstrate that you subscribe to the mainstream oligarchic imperialist worldview which forms the entirety of Western mass media output. You need to demonstrate that you have been properly indoctrinated, and that you can be guided into toeing the imperial line with simple attaboys and tisk-tisks from your superiors rather than being explicitly told to knowingly lie.

Because if they did tell you to knowingly lie to the public to advance the interests of the powerful, that would be propaganda. And propaganda is what happens in evil backwards countries like Russia.

Mainstream establishment orthodoxy is essentially a religion, as fake and power-serving as any other, and if you want to work in mainstream politics or media you need to demonstrate that you are a member of that religion.

That's all you're ever seeing when you notice blue-checkmarked reporters tweeting in promotion of imperialist interests and status quo politics. They are not laboring under the delusion that they are saying anything new or insightful that a hundred other people aren't saying at the exact same time; they are signaling. They are letting current and prospective peers and employers know, "I am a believer. I am a member of the faith." This way they are ensured the continued advancement of their careers in mainstream news media.

This is why you have labels for anyone expressing skepticism of establishment narratives like "conspiracy theorist," "useful idiot," "Russian asset" or "Assadist" ; the powerful people who understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world need labels to separate the faithful from the heathens. It means the same thing as "heretic . "

The fast and easy way to get rich and famous has always been to promote the interests of the powerful. This is as true in every other sector as it is in media. For this reason, those who pour their energy into criticizing existing power structures and shining a bright light on their dynamics aren't likely to be living in fancy mansions or going to ritzy parties any time soon, while those who do the opposite actually will. And yet when someone sets up a Substack or a Patreon account to make criticizing the powerful their life's work, it is they who will get called money-grubbing grifters by the propagandized.

www.youtube.com/embed/Y2EPgix5_5w

The faces you see thrust onto screens by the plutocratic media are not spouting falsehoods while being aware of their deception, any more than any preacher is knowingly lying when they say you'll burn for eternity if you don't accept the gospel. Most of them believe everything they are saying , because they have been propagandized into becoming good acolytes and proselytizers of the faith.

The most propagandized people on earth are those who are responsible for promulgating propaganda.


Naughtylus 15 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 04:08 AM

Spot on article. Journalists in MSM media constantly brag about their independence, impartiality, truthfulness, etc. and I always wanted to ask them how long they think they would keep their job if they simply questioned the established narrative of their company. People hired in the media these days are not hired for the job of informing or being journalists, but to act as a mere transmission for opinion manipulation campaigns, devised by those in real power circles.
KennethKeen 15 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 04:18 AM
Excellent explanation. I would add an additional method of climbing the career ladder. If you do something criminal, that others in the system are aware of, then you can soar up the ranks, as they are guaranteed the possibility of blackmailing you. That is how the house of cards is held in place.
1justssayn 12 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 07:26 AM
Absolutely spot on. It applies to a lot of other occupations as well.
shadow1369 15 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 04:27 AM
The strange thing is that while not a single statement in the NYT summary was true of Russia, they cvould all be applied to the us. I guess that is the point, applicants must be prepared to simply substitute the Russia for the US whenever thery describe crimes against humanity. So zero intelligence is required, but more importantly zero integrity either.
Fenianfromcork 12 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 07:47 AM
Sounds more like an add for joining the CIA.
Insulyn Fenianfromcork 9 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 10:11 AM
I wonder just how many who are hired either work for the CIA already or start working for the CIA soon after? The add was possibly written with CIA direction. Embedded propagandists. The ad just shows how journalism simply doesn't matter to the MSM, it's all narrative and spin.
Geo Graphy 12 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 07:50 AM
The fourth estate has let their ego override their common sense. They are not an elected representation of any portion of the American or any other country's public. They are employees of organizations that operate for profit. They do not have a public mandate to provide their opinion as news. They are incapable of reporting news without slanting the view they present. Since it is slanted, it is not news, it is garbage. What the media presents to the public is pure propaganda made up by the staff and management of the so called news organizations. If the fourth estate will not return to reporting the news, then they rightfully belong on the trash heap of history.
PhillisStein 8 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:04 PM
'The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.' - Edward Bernays In other words, democracy is a 'majority rules' model and, since, in our current consciousness, you can fool most of the people most of the time, then democracy is able to be easily manipulated, and thus is not true democracy. We cannot have anything approaching civil society until we are able to exercise our free will with informed consent, which requires objective information. Sadly, everything is based upon the 'victim' model, which treats us as children - 'don't worry, we'll just do all your thinking for you and just tell you what to think.'
bos000 11 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 08:23 AM
Propaganda for americans: "US army "heroes" are around the world to protect america,s freedom and democracy", by killing innocents in other countries, when no one ever attack US.
Smythe_Mogg 7 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:38 PM
Perhaps journalists are not responsible for the content of propaganda but they are complicit in its transmission. Journalism for the most part, if ever it was, is not a profession with respect to practitioners upholding standards they refuse to deviate from. 'Hacks' working for the popular press are commonly derided. These days it is those employed by 'broadsheet' papers (and equivalent digital media) who truly merit opprobrium. The days when the Times fielded gentlemen are long gone. Few independent thinkers are to be found among prominent journalists. 'Broadsheet' decline has far more serious consequences than the worst the popular press can do. The popular press always has catered for 'low brow' and 'middle brow' readers; its lower reaches being little more than scandal sheets with titillating pictures. These readers are not movers and shakers: they are followers. The educated class, nowadays sadly depleted, relies on news outlets to be under editorial control capable of picking wheat from amidst chaff of no consequence and seeking accurate reporting thereof. A concomitant is choosing informed individuals to offer opinion pieces; top of this pile is the editorial which at one time could shake government. Lack of a properly informed upper tier of the population capable of challenging the self-styled political elite (and their owners) betokens descent into oligarchy and thereby kakistocracy.
OneGenericUser Gatineau25deA 15 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 04:50 AM
I have a somewhat cliche' opinion. I don't care Americans want their country to rule the world, I want the world to have a choice on wether they want America as a leader, and I bet the majority of countries don't. If you're impose your "leadership" then you're not a leader, you're a dictator.

[Nov 25, 2020] Biden's foxes guard the henhouse

You can't find better smarter neocons to pursue the Full Spectrum Dominance Doctrine to the total decimation of the standard of living of ordinary Americans ;-)
Nov 25, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants.

Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military's doctrine of permanent war – what it called "full spectrum dominance."

Flournoy called for "unilateral use of military power" to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources."

... During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Biden declared, "In my judgment, President Bush is right to be concerned about Saddam Hussein's relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction"

As Iraq was plunged into chaos and bloodshed, Flournoy was among the authors of a paper titled "Progressive Internationalism" that called for a "smarter and better" style of permanent war. The paper chastised the anti-war left and stated that "Democrats will maintain the world's most capable and technologically advanced military, and we will not flinch from using it to defend our interests anywhere in the world."

... In 2005, Flournoy signed onto a letter from the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century, asking Congress to "increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps (by) at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years."

[Nov 24, 2020] 'Manipulative BULLS--T'- Glenn Greenwald defends calling NBC a CIA mouthpiece, mocks accusation of 'endangering journalists'

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Greenwald earlier this week said NBC "has always existed to disseminate US government, CIA and corporate propaganda." ..."
"... NBC also helped the CIA sell the Iraq War on its Meet the Press program, and sister network MSNBC was "ground zero for mindless CIA stenography of the most unhinged Russiagate conspiracy theories," he said. ..."
"... The C.I.A. owns anyone of any significance in the media. -William Colby. Former Director of the CIA. In 1974, the Rockefeller Commission was established to investigate shennanigans carried out by the Agency. President Ford fired William Colby and replaced him with George Herbert Walker Bush. Why? Because Gerald Ford thought that Colby was being too honest with the Commission about CIA wrong doings. ..."
"... Interestingly, Gerald Ford was often referred to as "The CIA's Best Friend in The Senate", which would explain his old appointment to the Warren Commission. It was Ford who ordered JFK's bullet wound in the back to be raised six inches up to his neck, thus allowing Arlen Specter to float his "Magic bullet Theory" ..."
"... As is not generally known, Bush I was lifetime CIA and became I believe the first CIA President. There is a little known picture of a young Bush standing outside the Texas Book Depository on the day of the assassination. ..."
"... The CIA controls the media in subtle ways. Blacklists for instance. I have experience after one of my buddies fell for the spiel of an agent provocateur. Never trust anyone, always assume they could be CIA and assess what damage they can do to you (and your associates) before you interact with them. Misleading them would be best. ..."
"... As shocking as it may sound, Glenn is stating the obvious. Even AFP and Reuters are CIA mouthpieces. Look up Operation Mockingbird. Look up "propaganda multiplier" by the Swiss policy research. ..."
"... Interesting that nobody even tried to deny it, they just come up with the same line they used to attack Wikileaks for telling the truth: exposing this might put out operatives at risk. ..."
"... Perilous Environments because the CIA is probably manipulating another of its regimes change, to very undemocratically put someone they control into office. Surely you remember Poroshenko? ..."
"... Operation Mockingbird was a secret CIA effort to influence and control the American media. The first report of the program came in 1979 in the biography of Katharine Graham, the owner of the Washington Post, written by Deborah Davis. Davis wrote that the program was established by Frank Wisner, the director of the Office of Policy Coordination, a covert operations unit created under the National Security Council. ..."
"... Reporters who work for the CIA are not spies, because the CIA is a lying agency, not a spying agency. If a terrorist accuses you of being a CIA agent, you can honestly reply that the CIA is the terrorist's friend. ..."
"... The CIA wants the world to believe that China, Russia and Iran are the leading state sponsors of terrorism, and that those seeking the overthrow of Syria's Bashar al-Assad are freedom fighters, not terrorists... ..."
Nov 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald torched accusations that he endangered reporters by saying NBC News spouts CIA propaganda, saying he only spoke of a well-known fact, and the effort to shame him was "manipulative bulls**t."

"Profoundly sorry for endangering the lives of NBC executives and TV personalities by spilling the extremely well-kept secret of their close working relationship with the CIA," Greenwald tweeted sarcastically on Saturday. His message showed a picture of a headline about NBC's 2018 hiring of ex-CIA chief John Brennan as an NBC and MSNBC contributor.

Greenwald's retort came in reply to reporter Sulome Anderson, who accused him of endangering journalists who work in places where any CIA affiliation is "life-threatening." Greenwald earlier this week said NBC "has always existed to disseminate US government, CIA and corporate propaganda."

"This crosses a line," Anderson said. "Like some of his proteges, Glenn is endangering journalists working in perilous environments by telling his massive following that they are mouthpieces for US intelligence."

Greenwald said on Saturday that NBC has a "long-standing role" in spouting CIA propaganda, as evidenced by its hiring of Ken Dilanian, who was accused of sharing stories with the CIA press office prior to publication while working as a Los Angeles Times reporter. NBC also helped the CIA sell the Iraq War on its Meet the Press program, and sister network MSNBC was "ground zero for mindless CIA stenography of the most unhinged Russiagate conspiracy theories," he said.

"If you don't want to be known as a CIA outpost, then don't be one," Greenwald tweeted. He added that NBC hired "John Brennan, Ken Dilanian and every other operative puked up by the security state. People already know."

Anderson has written at least two opinion pieces on Lebanon for NBC in recent months. She has been critical of Hezbollah, designated a terrorist group by the US government, but also has interviewed some of its fighters.

Anderson, who said she is "morally opposed" to journalists working as intelligence agents, may have good reason for her sensitivity about alleged CIA ties. Her parents were both journalists who covered Lebanon's 15-year civil war, and she said her father was kidnapped by terrorists.

"They tortured him again and again for years, calling him CIA," she said Saturday on Twitter. "'I am not a spy,' he would scream. 'I am a reporter.' It never stopped them."

Anderson acknowledged journalists being used as intelligence-agency assets, but said such cases are rare. "Time and again, American hostages – journalists and otherwise – have been falsely called spies, tortured and killed," she said. "I have been in many situations where I've had to convince the very dangerous men I am with that I am not a spy. My saving grace has always been that I am not."

Greenwald came to international fame by breaking the Edward Snowden NSA whistleblower story in 2013. He later co-founded the Intercept but quit the outlet last month after saying editors there suppressed his coverage of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.


fezzie035fezzm 19 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 11:52 PM

The C.I.A. owns anyone of any significance in the media. -William Colby. Former Director of the CIA. In 1974, the Rockefeller Commission was established to investigate shennanigans carried out by the Agency. President Ford fired William Colby and replaced him with George Herbert Walker Bush. Why? Because Gerald Ford thought that Colby was being too honest with the Commission about CIA wrong doings.

Bush, as the new Director, stonewalled the hearings and put the lid on any information coming out, which would explain why CIA Headquarters in Langley was named after Bush. Colby is no longer among the living. Let's just say that he didn't die from "natural causes".

Interestingly, Gerald Ford was often referred to as "The CIA's Best Friend in The Senate", which would explain his old appointment to the Warren Commission. It was Ford who ordered JFK's bullet wound in the back to be raised six inches up to his neck, thus allowing Arlen Specter to float his "Magic bullet Theory"

JOHNCHUCKMAN fezzie035fezzm 1 hour ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:48 PM
Yes, Colby was an unusually frank man at times. He also told us about the ghastly Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, a CIA run assassination scheme of village leaders and prominent men. They killed 30 or 40 thousand people by sending in belly-crawling special forces guys to enter villages at night and cut throats.

As is not generally known, Bush I was lifetime CIA and became I believe the first CIA President. There is a little known picture of a young Bush standing outside the Texas Book Depository on the day of the assassination. You'll find it on my site Chuckman's Words in Comments on Wordpress. Its title to search is: A REMARKABLE DULL LITTLE PHOTOGRAPH OF GEORGE H W BUSH WITH EXPLOSIVE SUGGESTIONS. Sorry, but RT doesn't like links.

Of course, Colby himself may have been assassinated. He had a very odd boating accident.

Ally Hauptmann-Gurski 20 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 11:14 PM
The CIA controls the media in subtle ways. Blacklists for instance. I have experience after one of my buddies fell for the spiel of an agent provocateur. Never trust anyone, always assume they could be CIA and assess what damage they can do to you (and your associates) before you interact with them. Misleading them would be best.
Enorm 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:01 PM
NBC operatives don't have an opinion. They follow da money,. I feel sorry for folks glued to propaganda TV.
Oregon Observer Enorm 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:41 PM
WikiLeaks and other investigative outfits have looked at the conglomerates over the years and over half of them are CIA "assets"...
Chris Cottrell 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 08:25 PM
Are they spies? Probably not. Are they tools of the CIA even if unwittingly, yes.
Oregon Observer Chris Cottrell 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:43 PM
Most ARE spies in every sense of the term. They look for specific information that they pass onto their handler(s). It bears noting that the FBI and the 10,000 or so outfits that contract with them and NSA and DHS and the pentagon and the various state Fusion programs are as bad or worse and every stinking one if those outfits recruits reporters.
fakiho2 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:28 PM
As shocking as it may sound, Glenn is stating the obvious. Even AFP and Reuters are CIA mouthpieces. Look up Operation Mockingbird. Look up "propaganda multiplier" by the Swiss policy research.
shadow1369 fakiho2 6 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:30 PM
Interesting that nobody even tried to deny it, they just come up with the same line they used to attack Wikileaks for telling the truth: exposing this might put out operatives at risk. My response to that is good, time to have these roaches taken out.
Edward698 18 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 01:43 AM
You can bet on Glenn to tell you the truth unlike the main stream media which fed us with lots of non sense on Syria. Read his interview with "Democracy now": .... Glenn Greenwald on "Submissive" Media's Drumbeat for War and "Despicable" Anti-Muslim Scapegoating By Democracy Now! ....

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, that clip is unbelievable. It is literally one of the three most important military officials of the entire war on terror, General Flynn, who was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He's saying that the U.S. government knew that by creating a vacuum in Syria and then flooding that region with arms and money, that it was likely to result in the establishment of a caliphate by Islamic extremists in eastern Syria -- which is, of course, exactly what happened.

They knew that that was going to happen, and they proceeded to do it anyway. So when the U.S. government starts trying to point the finger at other people for helping ISIS, they really need to have a mirror put in front of them, because, by their own documents, as that extraordinary clip demonstrates, they bear huge responsibility for that happening, to say nothing of the fact that, as I said, their closest allies in the region actually fund it.

Debra Edward698 14 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:37 AM
The US was not only counting on their ISIS creation to destabilize Syria in the hope of an Assad exit but also to decimate the Hezbollah. I credit the Hezbollah for saving Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, but they suffered heavy, heavy losses. "So when the U.S. government starts trying to point the finger at other people for helping ISIS, they really need to have a mirror put in front of them, because, by their own documents, as that extraordinary clip demonstrates, they bear huge responsibility for that happening, to say nothing of the fact that, as I said, their closest allies in the region actually fund it."
frankfalseflag 19 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:08 AM
** "Glenn is endangering journalists working in perilous environments by telling. . ." ** . . Perilous Environments because the CIA is probably manipulating another of its regimes change, to very undemocratically put someone they control into office. Surely you remember Poroshenko? ...
pogohere 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 10:16 PM
Operation Mockingbird was a secret CIA effort to influence and control the American media. The first report of the program came in 1979 in the biography of Katharine Graham, the owner of the Washington Post, written by Deborah Davis. Davis wrote that the program was established by Frank Wisner, the director of the Office of Policy Coordination, a covert operations unit created under the National Security Council.

According to Davis, Wisner recruited Philip Graham of the Washington Post to head the project within the media industry. Davis wrote that, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles."

Davis also writes that Allen Dulles convinced Cord Meyer, who later became Mockingbird's "principal operative," to join the CIA in 1951.

The Taliban Won the War 7 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:28 PM
It is true and it is an undisputed fact that all Western governments use Journalists, aid workers and so called human relief organisations as cover for espionage, undercover and dark operations. Not just that, they also use exchange teachers and students, they use priests and pastors. They use anything and anyone that can hid
Isiah Steele 8 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 11:45 AM
The Motion Picture Industry of Hollywood, too are CIA! Propagates: war and constant US Military dominated narratives.
Sergio Weigel 16 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:31 AM
I'm pretty sure that most journalists don't know, or don't wanna know, the dirty open secret that editorial lines of most outlets are indeed determined or influenced by the CIA. The trouble is their working conditions. There are far more journalists than job openings, and they already earn badly. In order to keep the job, they just play ball, and as humans are, they make themselves believe that what they were doing was just right. Cognitive dissonance, and the result is outrage and defensive anger when someone points out their hypocrisy. That is also why they avoid to even read alternative media, they don't have their noses pointed to it. In a way, we can pity them. Then again, why become a journalist these days?
shadow1369 Sergio Weigel 7 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:43 PM
I used to think maybe 'journalists' were simply misled, but the narrative on too many stories, from 9/11 to Iraq, from Syria to the ukraine, from the Skripals to Navalny, was so ludicrous that a five year old could see through the lies. Nope, they know full well that they are lying, and do so regardless. A great example was when some bbc l!cksp!ttle was interviewing a general about events in Syria. Somehow they got the wrong guy, or he had not been properly briefed, because his responses were factual and balanced. After trying to challenge him, the interviewer finally said 'Don't you realise this is an informatioon war'.
Debra 4 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:11 PM
This is another warning for people: Over the last two years Facebook has been advertising for viewers to join Facebook groups. Many political groups on Facebook are set up by CIA and FBI agents. Facebook is full of agents, and that is why the ones in Michigan were caught in their attempted coup against the Michigan governor...
Quick Draw 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:46 PM
Just NBC?
imnotarobot22 16 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:05 AM
google 'Udo Ulfkotte' ex editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine - he'll tell you about it.
Richard Burden 2 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:07 PM
Reporters who work for the CIA are not spies, because the CIA is a lying agency, not a spying agency. If a terrorist accuses you of being a CIA agent, you can honestly reply that the CIA is the terrorist's friend.

The CIA wants the world to believe that China, Russia and Iran are the leading state sponsors of terrorism, and that those seeking the overthrow of Syria's Bashar al-Assad are freedom fighters, not terrorists...

[Nov 23, 2020] Administrations change but Full Spectrum Dominance Doctine and the desire to portect and emand global neoliberal empire controlled from Washinton is intact. It will eventually banrupt the country much like was the case with the British Empire

Highly recommended!
Neocons still dominate both the State Department and NSC. That's bad.
Nov 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Top Biden Advisors Flournoy & Blinken Promise More Secretive 'Permanent War' Policy - Zero Hedge

Authored by Dan Cohen via TheGrayZone.com,

Throughout his campaign, Joe Biden railed against Donald Trump's 'America First' foreign policy, claiming it weakened the United States and left the world in disarray. "Donald Trump's brand of America First has too often led to America alone," Biden proclaimed.

He pledged to reverse this decline and recover the damage Trump did to America's reputation. While Donald Trump called for making America Great Again, Biden seeks to Make the American Empire Great Again .

Joe Biden: "Tonight, the whole world is watching America. And I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. We will lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example."

Among the president-elect's pledges is to end the so-called forever wars – the decades-long imperial projects in Afghanistan and Iraq that began under the Bush administration.

"It's long past time we end the forever wars which have cost us untold blood and treasure," Biden has said.

Yet Biden – a fervent supporter of those wars – will delegate that duty to the most neoconservative elements of the Democratic Party and ideologues of permanent war .

Michele Flournoy and Tony Blinken sit atop Biden's thousands-strong foreign policy brain trust and have played central roles in every U.S. war dating back to the Bill Clinton administration.

During the Trump era, they've cashed in through WestExec Advisors – a corporate consulting firm that has become home for Obama administration officials awaiting a return to government.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Flournoy is Biden's leading pick for Secretary of Defense and Blinken is expected to be the president's National Security Advisor.

Biden's foxes guard the henhouse

Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants.

Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military's doctrine of permanent war – what it called "full spectrum dominance."

Flournoy called for "unilateral use of military power" to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ivFFZ95EQvY

This video report was originally published at Behind The Headlines . Support the independent journalism initiative here .

As Bush administration officials lied to the world about Saddam Hussein's supposed WMD's, Flournoy remarked that "In some cases, preemptive strikes against an adversary's [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities may be the best or only option we have to avert a catastrophic attack against the United States."

Tony Blinken was a top advisor to then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Joe Biden, who played a key role in shoring up support among the Democrat-controlled Senate for Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq.

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Biden declared, "In my judgment, President Bush is right to be concerned about Saddam Hussein's relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction."

As Iraq was plunged into chaos and bloodshed, Flournoy was among the authors of a paper titled "Progressive Internationalism" that called for a "smarter and better" style of permanent war . The paper chastised the anti-war left and stated that "Democrats will maintain the world's most capable and technologically advanced military, and we will not flinch from using it to defend our interests anywhere in the world."

With Bush winning a second term, Flournoy advocated for more troop deployments from the sidelines.

In 2005, Flournoy signed onto a letter from the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century, asking Congress to "increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps (by) at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years."

In 2007, she leveraged her Pentagon experience and contacts to found what would become one of the premier Washington think tanks advocating endless war across the globe: the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). CNAS is funded by the U.S. government, arms manufacturers, oil giants, Silicon Valley tech giants, billionaire-funded foundations, and big banks.

Flournoy joined the Obama administration and was appointed as under secretary of defense for policy, the position considered the "brains" of the Pentagon. She was keenly aware that the public was wary of more quagmires. In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, she crafted a new concept of warfare that would expand the permanent war state while giving the appearance of a drawdown.

Flournoy wrote that "unmanned systems hold great promise" – a reference to the CIA's drone assassination program. This was the Obama-era military doctrine of hybrid war. It called for the U.S. to be able to simultaneously wage war on numerous fronts through secret warfare, clandestine weapons transfers to proxies, drone strikes, and cyber-attacks – all buttressed with propaganda campaigns targeting the American public through the internet and corporate news media.

Architects of America's Hybrid wars

Flournoy continued to champion the endless wars that began in the Bush-era and was a key architect of Obama's disastrous troop surge in Afghanistan. As U.S. soldiers returned in body bags and insurgent attacks and suicide bombings increased some 65% from 2009 and 2010, she deceived the Senate Armed Services Committee, claiming that the U.S. was beginning to turn the tide against the Taliban: "We are beginning to regain the initiative and the insurgency is beginning to lose momentum."

Even with her lie that the U.S. and Afghan government were starting to beat the Taliban back, Flournoy assured the senate that the U.S. would have to remain in Afghanistan long into the future: "We are not leaving any time soon even though the nature and the complexion of the commitment may change over time."

Ten years later – as the Afghan death toll passed 150,000 – Flournoy continued to argue against a U.S. withdrawal: "I would certainly not advocate a US or NATO departure short of a political settlement being in place."

That's the person Joe Biden has tasked with ending the forever war in Afghanistan. But in Biden's own words, he'll "bring the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan" implying some number of American troops will remain, and the forever war will be just that. Michele Flournoy explained that even if a political settlement were reached, the U.S. would maintain a presence.

Michele Flournoy: "If we are fortunate enough to see a political settlement reached, it doesn't mean that the US role or the international community is over. Afghanistan without outside investment is not a society that is going to survive and thrive. In no case are we going to be able to wash our hands of Afghanistan and walk away nor should we want to. This is something where we're going to have to continue to be engaged, just the form of engagement may change."

In 2011, the Obama-era doctrine of smart and sophisticated warfare was unveiled in the NATO regime-change war on Libya.

Moammar Gaddafi – the former adversary who sought warm relations with the U.S. and had given up his nuclear weapons program – was deposed and sodomized with a bayonet.

Flournoy, Hillary Clinton's State Department, and corporate media were in lockstep as they waged an elaborate propaganda campaign to deceive the U.S. public that Gadaffi's soldiers were on a Viagra-fueled rape and murder spree that demanded a U.S. intervention.

Fox News: "Susan Rice reportedly told a security council meeting that Libyan troops are being given viagra and are engaging in sexual violence."

MSNBC jumped on the propaganda bandwagon, claiming: "New reports emerge that the LIbyan dictator gave soldiers viagra-type pills to rape women who are opposed to the government."

So did CNN.

As the Libyan ambassador to the US alleged "raping, killing, mass graves," ICC Chief Prosecutor Manuel Ocampo claimed: "It's like a machete. Viagra is a tool of massive rapes."

All of this was based on a report from Al Jazeera – the media outlet owned by the Qatari monarchy that was arming extremist militias in Libya to overthrow the government.

Yet an investigation by the United Nations called the rape claims "hysteria." Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch found no credible evidence of even a single rape.

Even after Libya was descended into strife and the deception of Gadaffi's forces committing rape was debunked, Michele Flournoy stood by her support for the war: "I supported the intervention in Libya on humanitarian grounds. I think we were right to do it."

Tony Blinken, then Obama's deputy national security advisor, also pushed for regime change in Libya. He became Obama's point man on Syria, pushed to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" that fought alongside al-Qaeda and ISIS, and designed the red line strategy to trigger a full-on U.S. intervention. Syria, he told the public, wasn't anything like the other wars the U.S. had waging for more than a decade.

Tony Blinken: "We are doing this in a very different way than in the past. We're not sending in hundreds of thousands of American troops. We're not spending trillions of American dollars. We're being smart about this. This is a sustainable way to get at the terrorists and it's also a more effective way."

Blinken added: "This is not open-ended, this is not boots on the ground, this is not Iraq, it's not Afghanistan, it's not even Libya. The more people understand that, the more they'll understand the need for us to take this limited but effective action ."

Despite Blinken's promises that it would be a short affair, the war on Syria is now in its ninth year. An estimated half a million people have been killed as a result and the country is facing famine.

Largely thanks to the policy of using "wheat to apply pressure" – a recommendation of Flournoy and Blinken's CNAS think tank.

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When the Trump administration launched airstrikes on Syria based on mere accusations of a chemical attack, Tony Blinken praised the bombing, claiming Assad had used the weapon of mass destruction sarin. Yet there was no evidence for this claim, something even then-secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted: "So I can not tell you that we had evidence even though we had a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used ."

While jihadist mercenaries armed with U..S-supplied weapons took over large swaths of Syria, Tony Blinken played a central role in a coup d'etat in Ukraine that saw a pro-Russia government overthrown in a U.S.-orchestrated color revolution with neo-fascist elements agitating on the ground.

At the time, he was ambivalent about sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, instead opting for economic pressure.

Tony Blinken: "We're working, as I said, to make sure that there's a cost exacted of Russia and indeed that it feels the pressure. That's what we're working on. And when it comes to military assistance, we're looking at it. The facts are these: Even if assistance were to go to Ukraine that would be very unlikely to change Russia's calculus or prevent an invasion."

Since then, fascist militias have been incorporated into Ukraine's armed forces. And Tony Blinken urged Trump to send them deadly weapons – something Obama had declined to do.

But Trump obliged.

The Third Offset

While the U.S. fueled wars in Syria and Ukraine, the Pentagon announced a major shift called the Third Offset strategy – a reference to the cold war era strategies the U.S. used to maintain its military supremacy over the Soviet Union.

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The Third Offset strategy shifted the focus from counterinsurgency and the war on terror to great power competition against China and Russia. It called for a technological revolution in warfighting capabilities, development of futuristic and autonomous weapons, swarms of undersea and airborne drones, hypersonic weapons, cyber warfare, machine-enhanced soldiers, and artificial intelligence making unimaginably complex battlefield decisions at speeds incomprehensible to the human mind. All of this would be predicated on the Pentagon deepening its relationship with Silicon Valley giants that it birthed decades before: Google and Facebook.

The author of the Third Offset, former undersecretary of defense Robert Work, is a partner of Flournoy and Blinken's at WestExec Advisors. And Flournoy has been a leading proponent of this dangerous new escalation .

In June, Flournoy published a lengthy commentary laying out her strategy called " Sharpening the U.S. Military's Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration ."

She warned that the United States is losing its military technological advantage and reversing that must be the Pentagon's priority. Without it, Flournoy warned that the U.S. might not be able to defeat China in Asia: "That technological investment is still very important for the United States to be able to offset what will be quantitative advantages and home theater advantages for a country like China if we ever had to deal with a conflict in Asia, in their backyard."

While Flournoy has called for ramping up U.S. military presence and exercises with allied forces in the region, she went so far as to call for the U.S. to increase its destructive capabilities so much that it could launch a blitzkrieg style-attack that would wipe out the entire Chinese navy and all civilian merchant ships in the South China Sea . Not only a blatant war crime but a direct attack on a nuclear power that would spell the third world war.

At the same time, Biden has announced he'll take an even more aggressive and confrontational stance against Russia , a position Flournoy shares: "We need to invest to ensure that we maintain the military edge that we will need in certain critical areas like cyber and electronic warfare and precision strike, to again underwrite deterrence, to make sure Vladimir Putin does not miscalculate and think that he can cross a border into Europe or cross a border and threaten us militarily."

As for ending the forever wars, Tony Blinken says not so fast: "Large scale, open-ended deployment of large standing US forces in conflict zones with no clear strategy should end and will end under his watch . But we also need to distinguish between, for example, these endless wars with the large scale open ended deployment of US forces with, for example, discreet, small-scale sustainable operations, maybe led by special forces, to support local actors In ending the endless wars I think we have to be careful to not paint with too broad a brush stroke."

The end of forever wars?

So Biden will end the forever wars, but not really end them. Secret wars that the public doesn't even know the U.S. is involved in – those are here to stay.

In fact, leaving teams of special forces in place throughout the Middle East is part and parcel of the Pentagon's shift away from counterinsurgency and towards great power competition.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy explains that, "Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities" and the U.S. will "consolidate gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach."

As for the catastrophic war on Yemen, Biden has said he'll end U.S. support; but in 2019, Michele Flournoy argued against ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia .

Biden pledged he will rejoin the Iran deal as a starting point for new negotiations. However, Trump's withdrawal from the deal discredited the Iranian reformists who seek engagement with the west and empowered the principlists who see the JCPOA as a deal with the devil.

In Latin America, Biden will revive the so-called anti-corruption campaigns that were used as a cover to oust the popular social democrat Brazilian president Lula da Silva.

His Venezuela policy appears little different from Trump's – sanctions and regime change.

In Central America, Biden has presided over a four billion dollar package to support corrupt right-wing governments and neoliberal privatization projects, fueling destabilization and sending vulnerable masses fleeing north to the United States.

Behind their rhetoric, Biden, Flournoy, and Blinken will seek nothing less than global supremacy , escalating a new and even more dangerous arms race that risks the destruction of humanity. That's what Joe Biden calls "decency" and "normalcy."

naughty.boy , 14 hours ago

deep state will bankrupt the USA with forever wars.

Distant_Star , 14 hours ago

Yes. As a bonus neither of these Deep State wretches has even seen a shot fired in anger. They are too "important" to be at risk.

[Nov 23, 2020] JFK was assassinated 57 years ago today

Nov 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Nov 22 2020 17:47 utc | 19

JFK was assassinated 57 years ago today.

Wonder how the various generations, generally speaking, view that event and it's cause?

(perhaps)

Baby Boomers: I surmise we generally don't believe in the Lone Gunman Theory. Ironically, those Baby Boomers that count themselves
as Democrats now support Trump's enemy the CIA.

Gen X: "My history teacher said..."

Gen Y: "JFK?"

Gen Z: "Whatever"

gottlieb , Nov 22 2020 17:57 utc | 21

Today of course is the sad anniversary of the assassination of the 35th American President, JFK. Killed, history tells us, by a lone gunman, communist sympathizer, traitor, and failure who wanted his 15 minutes of fame.

Meanwhile, the CIA continues to run the world.

[Nov 22, 2020] The Unfinished Work of the Church Committee, by Marisol Nostromo

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Thanks for reading. If you find this material interesting, perhaps you might contact Twitter and ask them why ..."
"... my account was suspended ..."
"... on June 30 of this year. I would very much like to find out the reason. ..."
Nov 08, 2020 | marisol-nostromo.medium.com

According to Merriam-Webster , a "secret police" is "a police organization that is run by a governm e nt and that operates in a secret way to control the actions of people who oppose the government." Of course, in this day and age, it's not easy to define "the government". We live in an oligarchical society. There are elected officials, including the President, who stay in office for a fixed amount of time and have a certain amount of power to change the way that things are done. But on the other hand, there are permanent institutions, both within the government itself and within society at large, that also wield significant power and are responsible for safeguarding the interests of the oligarchy, should they be threatened by the policies of the temporary, elected government.

There are various ways to describe this superstructure of oligarchic rule. One term which has become popular of late is "Deep State." Because the term has been used by Donald Trump, it has been ridiculed in the press as a "conspiracy theory," an expression which is often used to identify an "unauthorized narrative". A more technical term, favored by the British and the neocons , is "Continuity of Government" (COG.) There has been plenty of analysis of this concept, some well-founded, some highly speculative.

But a few things are self-evident here. One is that there is a huge number of career civil servants working in all branches of government who don't leave their jobs at the end of a 4- or 8-year presidential term. They remain, offering their professional experience, as well as their established political allegiances and ideological habits, to the incoming administration. Secondly, these career professionals are connected in multiple ways to non-governmental institutions with which they have formed closed working relationships, such as the media and the financial community, or the arms industry (the famed " Military Industrial Complex .")

Agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) devote much of their efforts to covert activity, and these agencies have at times clashed with elected officials. There have been allegations that these agencies are more loyal to permanent oligarchic power centers than to any temporary occupant of the White House. There are even compelling reasons to believe that these secretive agencies have been deployed against U.S. elected officials and even presidents .

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Senator Frank Church

In the early 1970s there were troubling revelations about covert operations, including illegal spying on American citizens and assassinations of dissident leaders such as Fred Hampton. Growing public concern about these abuses led to the formation of the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, better known as the Church Committee after its chairman, Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho. Creation of the Committee was approved on January 27, 1975 by the U.S. Senate. It published an extensive final report in April of 1976.

The Committee investigated the activities of the CIA and FBI, as well as the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It investigated assassinations of foreign leaders, unauthorized surveillance of U.S. citizens, and other covert operations. Efforts were made by political leaders, including President Gerald Ford, to keep these findings secret. These efforts were only partially successful.

Some of the projects which were exposed by the Church Committee included:

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Edward Snowden

Typically, the agencies under investigation would issue a mea culpa and assure the public that these naughty activities had all been discontinued. However, new revelations over the past decades have demonstrated that nothing could be further from the truth. Of particular interest is the case of Edward Snowden , the NSA whistleblower who revealed the truly staggering extent of the unlawful surveillance being carried out on American citizens.

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Some things which were once done with utmost discretion, such as the infiltration of the news media by the CIA under Operation Mockingbird, are now done completely out in the open without the public batting an eye. For example, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who both lied under oath to the US Congress about illegal activity by the CIA and NSA, now hold high-profile positions at MSNBC and CNN respectively.

It was Russiagate that brought into sharp relief the depth and breadth of CIA/NSA/FBI involvement in the manipulation of domestic politics. It originated in London, the great mecca of the neocons, with the preparation of the "Steele Dossier" by a "former" operative of MI6. For four years in the U.S., Russiagate was propagated through regular leaks of anonymous "assessments" from members of the "intel community" to their assets in the media, some of whom were themselves ostensibly retirees from the "intel community."

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FDPt-zXn05ac%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DDPt-zXn05ac&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FDPt-zXn05ac%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

These leakers were dutifully characterized in the media as courageous, patriotic whistleblowers, unlike those individuals such as Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning or Julian Assange who revealed material that was embarrassing to the neocons. The condemnation of those latter persons by intel community appendage Congressman Adam Schiff, who had his own personal whistleblower on tap for his impeachment effort, is also illuminating.

One organization which has earned the gratitude of the American public for shedding light on the malignant activities of the "intel community" is group of genuine, high-profile whistleblowers that calls itself Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). They have played an important role in debunking the story that Russia "hacked" the DNC servers and furnished information on DNC misconduct to Wikileaks. A particularly insightful voice is that of Ray McGovern , who was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990, and in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief.

But what has come out of the shadows and into full view during the past four years is a new sort of complex, where the covert agencies, the media, and the corporations which now monopolize social media, join forces to create an unprecedented, "total immersion" propaganda environment. Initially, the internet and social media appeared to be a "wild west" sort of venue where anyone could say anything. Much of the population soon began to prefer this as a source for news over the corporate media, and the neocons cried foul. Facebook hastened to accomodate them , bringing in the vociferously neocon Atlantic Council and the mother of all Regime Change organizations, the National Endowment for Democracy, as consultants in 2018 to help decide which voices should be silenced.

Not to be outdone, Twitter hired a part-time officer in the British Army's psychological warfare unit as senior executive with editorial responsibility for the Middle East in 2019. The following year Facebook upped the ante by hiring the former Director-General of Israel's Justice Ministry , a specialist in censorship, as a member of its new "oversight board."

The FBI joined the fun, seizing over 100 internet domains in late 2020 and claiming that they were operated by Iran. This included the site for the American Herald Tribune , an alternative press organ with a substantial following. The FBI Special Agent in charge issued a statement, saying that "Thanks to our ongoing collaboration with Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the FBI was able to disrupt this Iranian propaganda campaign and we will continue to pursue any attempts by foreign actors to spread disinformation in our country."

However, it doesn't stop with propaganda and censorship. During the presidential election of 2020, there was an escalated intervention by the secret police agencies into the electoral process. A few courageous individuals spoke out against this.

When election day arrived, numerous vote-counting anomalies were reported all around the country , partially obscured by deliberate disinformation, "fact-checking", and general hysteria. One particularly noteworthy allegation was made by Sidney Powell, an attorney who has represented General Michael Flynn. She alleged that computer programs called HAMMER and SCORECARD, which had been developed for the intelligence agencies for use in rigging elections in other countries, had been used to benefit Biden in the election. Former NSA senior analyst and member of VIPS, Kirk Wiebe, explained the use of these cyber-weapons, and reported that the man who developed them, Dennis Montgomery, was prepared to testify to this effect:

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Why would the covert agencies attack Trump, who supposedly is a hardline right-winger? Well, apparently he is not regarded as such in establishment circles. One of the preeminent establishment megaphones, The Atlantic , published a very revealing article in which they compared Trump to Henry Wallace, who served as Vice President under FDR and went on to found the Progressive Party. Wallace opposed the Cold War, and Trump's reluctance to embrace the Cold War 2.0 that began with the neocon-sponsored 2014 coup in Ukraine appears to be what put him on the enemies list.

The many allegations of fraud in the 2020 election may be the subject of controversy, litigation, and even civil unrest for possibly years to come. As Republicans so often do, Sidney Powell has damaged her credibility by alleging that the Venezuelan government and assorted communists played a role in orchestrating vote fraud, a red herring on a par with Democratic Party claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. If the CIA and/or NSA did in fact use cyber-warfare techniques to manipulate the outcome, they most certainly did not do so at the behest of Hugo Chavez. And if they did tamper with the vote totals, they will have ample opportunity to wipe the evidence.

But at this point, can anyone argue that it is not urgent for the Congress to resume an investigation of misconduct by our secret police agencies, and that this time they not be satisfied with polite assurances that the bad behavior will cease? Trump has many warts, but there is a proper way to remove him from office, if that is what the electorate wants. A color revolution , or any other form of coup run by secret police agencies, is odious.

Thanks for reading. If you find this material interesting, perhaps you might contact Twitter and ask them why my account was suspended on June 30 of this year. I would very much like to find out the reason.

[Nov 22, 2020] How NYT Select Their Foreign Correspondents

Nov 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Nov 20 2020 23:47 utc | 30

The winning candidate will be issued little stickies for her computer screen including "Russian Aggression", "Annexed Crimea" and "Poisoned the Skripals"

[Nov 21, 2020] How 'Western' Media Select Their Foreign Correspondents

Nov 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

How 'Western' Media Select Their Foreign Correspondents gottlieb , Nov 20 2020 19:21 utc | 1

Did you ever wonder why 'western' mainstream media get stories about Russia and other foreign countries so wrong?

It is simple. They hire the most brainwashed, biased and cynic writers they can get for the job. Those who are corrupt enough to tell any lie required to support the world view of their editors and media owners.

They are quite upfront about it.

Here is evidence in form of a New York Times job description for a foreign correspondent position in Moscow:

Russia Correspondent

Job Description

Vladimir Putin's Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.

It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.

If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year.


bigger

To be allowed to write for the Times one must see the Russian Federation as a country that is ruled by just one man.

One must be a fervent believer in MI6 produced Novichok hogwash. One must also believe in Russiagate and in the multiple idiocies it produced even after all of them have been debunked.

One must know that vote counts in Russia are always wrong while U.S. vote counting is the most reliable ever. Russian private military contractors (which one must know to be evil men) are 'secretly deployed' to wherever the editors claim them to be. Russia's hospitals are of cause always much worse than ours.

Even when it is easy to check that Vladimir Putin (the most evil man ever) is at work in the Kremlin the job will require one to claim that he is hiding in a villa.

Most people writing for the Times will actually not believe the above nonsense. But the description is not for a position that requires one to weight and report the facts. It is for a job that requires one to lie. That the Times lists all the recent nonsense about Russia right at the top of the job description makes it clear that only people who support those past lies will be considered adequate to tell future lies about Russia.

No honest unbiased person will want such a job. But as it comes with social prestige, a good paycheck and a probably nice flat in Moscow the New York Times will surely find a number of people who are willing to sell their souls to take it.

Interestingly the job advertisement does not list Russian language capabilities as a requirement. It only says that 'Fluency in Russian is preferred'.

'Western' mainstream media are filled with such biased, cynic and self-censoring correspondents who have little if any knowledge of the country they are reporting from. It is therefore not astonishing that 'western' populations as well as their politicians have often no knowledge of what is really happening in the world.

Hilarious. Don't need no stinking Operation Mockingbird anymore. Just put out a want-ad and plenty of brainwashed folks will come flocking. Propaganda works.

powerandpeople , Nov 20 2020 19:29 utc | 2

Soomeone said:

"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations."

In this case "everything else is propaganda."

The job title is really 'Anti-Russia Propagandist'.

Jen , Nov 20 2020 19:31 utc | 3
This is such an odd job description with very few specific requirements and none detailing how much experience or what level of knowledge or skill is required (in the form of X number of years worked in some area requiring Russian language skills or university qualifications obtained) that I almost wonder if this advertisement is for real.

One notices also that "Vladimir Putin's Russia" is presented as a story. Everything else that follows in the second paragraph of the advertisement is also a story. Indeed everything in the news media industry is a "story" as if instead of employing investigative reporters on the beat grimly searching for hard facts like old pulp fiction detectives, the media now only wants Hollywood script writers or graduates straight out of creative writing courses.

But then I suppose whoever gets the job at the NYT can hardly do worse than what the hack Luke Harding did as The Fraudian's Moscow correspondent nearly 15 years ago, so much so that the Russian govt must have suspected that he was more than just a bad paranoid plagiarist ... he must have been a spy as well, that it would initially refuse to renew his visa. One would like to see the job specifications for the position of The Fraudian's Moscow reporter that Harding held for a number of years.

JimmyG. , Nov 20 2020 19:32 utc | 4
Incredible. What the acronym 'SMH' (shake my head) was invented for.

It's no wonder I switched off CBC radio, our national broadcaster here in Canada. Their music programs were okay, but every hour they had a news update, and those were stomach-turning. Superficial, biased, Empire-friendly nonsense...

Don Bacon , Nov 20 2020 19:32 utc | 5

Norman Solomon wrote about this problem fifteen years ago in his book "War Made Easy, How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us To Death"
. . .from Amazon: In War Made Easy, nationally syndicated columnist, media critic, and author Norman Solomon cuts through the dense web of spin to probe and scrutinize the key "perception management" techniques that have played huge rolls in the promotion of American wars in recent decades.

p.116

. . .The attitudes of reporters covering U.S. foreign policy officials are generally similar to the attitudes of those officials. "Most journalists who get plum foreign assignments already accept the assumptions of empire," according to longtime foreign correspondent Reese Erlick. He added, "I didn't meet a single foreign reporter in Iraq who disagreed with the notion that the U.S. and Britain have the right to overthrow the Iraq government by force. They disagreed only about timing, whether the action should be unilateral, and whether a long-term occupation is practical." After decades of freelancing for major U.S. news organizations, Erlich offered this blunt conclusion: "Money, prestige, career options, ideological predilections--combined with the down sides of filing stories unpopular with the government--all cast their influence on foreign correspondents. You don't win a Pulitzer prize for challenging the basic assumptions of empire."
uncle tungsten , Nov 20 2020 20:02 utc | 9

Thank you b.

Now here is a fine journalist they could simply contract for sane reporting on China . Plus excellent Russian analysis as well.

Good read with a link or two to consider.

Canadian Cents , Nov 20 2020 20:21 utc | 12

> social prestige, a good paycheck and a probably nice flat

The term that Paul Craig Roberts often uses, " presstitute ", comes to mind.

Echoing JimmyG. @4 and spudski @7, in Canada, our taxpayer-funded state news agency's flagship program "The National" gives us regular Two Minutes Hate pieces currently being churned out every two weeks or so by Moscow correspondent Chris Brown who fits this article's description to a T.

I've lost count of how many times he and CBC The National's editors have singled out Russia's handling of COVID-19 for criticism, when so many other countries have far worse per capita fatality numbers than Russia.

While decrying Russia's COVID-19 deaths, they, of course, never mention the fact that Canada has had more COVID-19 deaths per capita than Russia ...

Jpc , Nov 20 2020 21:00 utc | 15

It's absolutely pathetic.
5 years ago the truly great journalist Robert Fisk made the following observations during an interview with the journal.ie amongst others.
Back's up everything you have pointed out about the sheer disappearance of any impartial reportage from the NYT and printed media in general.

"Most newspapers that have lost circulation, particularly in the States, it's not because of the internet, it's because those newspapers were simply no good. When I go to San Francisco the coverage of the Middle East in its papers is frightened, cowardly, pathetic, there's no serious foreign coverage at all."

"Newspapers themselves are to blame for the deterioration in their readership. I read the New York Times when its free, period, it doesn't deserve to be paid for. It's not worth it.
It doesn't matter whether it's online or not. If a paper's not worth buying you'll read for free online regardless"

William Gruff , Nov 20 2020 21:03 utc | 17

"Most people writing for the Times will actually not believe the above nonsense."

Our host is much too charitable to the presstitutes. Those in the "Mockingbird" mass media eat their own effluent like a sort of group ouroboric scatophagia. To maintain their perverse form of "mental hygiene" they studiously avoid information sources outside of their own circular reprocessing of yesterday's delusions into fresh steaming piles for today's consumption. They have become so accustomed to feeding off their own delusions that if a hint of reality were to intrude into their looped intellectual food chain their minds would reject it like poison. They would likely exhibit physical symptoms, which doubtless would be attributed to evil Soviet mind rays from Havana.

Canadian Cents , Nov 20 2020 21:16 utc | 18

Quite scary how Western mainstream media are all marching in unison to the same beat.

Unfortunately it sounds like this creeping facism could get even worse:

Biden State Media Appointee Advocated Using Propaganda Against Americans

Stengel stated clearly that a "news cartel" of mainstream corporate media outlets had long dominated US society, but he bemoaned that those "cartels don't have hegemony like they used to."

Stengel made it clear that his mission is to counter the alternative perspectives given a voice by foreign media platforms that challenge the US-dominated media landscape.

"The bad actors use journalistic objectivity against us."

Wow ...

I clicked on the New York Times job link, and journalistic objectivity and integrity are nowhere to be found in the job descripton. But I did notice these lines that add to the ones that b brought to our attention:

We are looking for someone who will embrace the prospect of traversing 11 time zones to track a populace that is growing increasingly frustrated with an economy dragged down by corruption, cronyism and excessive reliance on natural resources. This posting offers the chance to chronicle the continuing reign of one of the world's most charismatic leaders, President Vladimir V. Putin.

Not to mention, Putin ushered in changes to the constitution, so he will likely stay in power for many years to come.

And, of course, we are on the cusp of a new, less Putin-friendly president in the US, which should only raise the temperature between Washington and Moscow.

Wow again ...

Don Bacon , Nov 20 2020 21:19 utc | 19

It's not Russia it's "Vladimir Putin's Russia," so that's one mandatory term checked off, i.e. personalizing the appointed enemy. But then we read "It sends out hit squads. . ." instead of the usual obligatory: 'The regime' . . . . .but the Times can't get everything right.

Paco , Nov 20 2020 21:21 utc | 20

A flat in Moscow!!! A soul could sold for it... but, there are job openings in Russia, here, a farmer is recruiting:

https://youtu.be/8HZ4DnVfWYQ

Kooshy , Nov 20 2020 22:07 utc | 24

The amount of hourly propaganda directed at and leveled at American people is unprecedented, I had not seen it this intense in past years it reminds me of my High school days in Shah's Iran. This kind and this intense of control on news can only be due to instability of the regime. IMO in coming Biden Adminstration regime will impose new rules for control of internet and access to foreign news. Currently using my Mobil cellular I can't access any Iranian news site.

kiwiklown , Nov 21 2020 1:30 utc | 37

"Those who are corrupt enough to tell any lie required to support the world view of their editors and media owners."

C S Lewis called this type bastards.

I agree, and hope they are reading this right now.

Oz , Nov 21 2020 0:32 utc | 36

https://marisol-nostromo.medium.com/the-unfinished-work-of-the-church-committee-f702ac8f94b1

[Nov 20, 2020] Why Facebook, Twitter, Google, Fox News, CNN, and more giant corporations keep screaming at us that there was no election fraud

Because they are part of it ;-)
Pretty damning condemnation of fake news at 51:50
Nov 20, 2020 | www.nytimes.com
DNC PoliticalPrisoner 31 minutes ago Many wouldn't have believed there was election fraud except the media and Big Tech keep insisting that there wasn't. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Fox News, CNN, and more giant corporations keep screaming at us via notifications, messages, and broadcasts that there was no election fraud. Now, we're starting to think maybe there is something fishy going on.

[Nov 18, 2020] 77th Brigade revisited - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Nov 18, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"The personnel of 77 th Brigade is not that of your typical military unit.

Soldiers in the 77th Brigade, which was formed in 2015, are based in Berkshire and spend their time producing video and audio content, using data to understand how the public receives different messages, and creating "attitude and sentiment awareness" from large sets of social media data

One of their most infamous members is Gordon MacMillan, a Senior Twitter executive. He joined the social media company's UK office in 2013, and has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade, a unit formed in 2015 to develop "non-lethal" ways of waging war.

The 77th Brigade uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as podcasts, data analysis and audience research to conduct what the head of the UK military, General Nick Carter, describes as "information warfare".

Carter says the 77th Brigade is giving the British military "the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level" and to shape perceptions of conflict. Some soldiers who have served with the unit say they have been engaged in operations intended to change the behaviour of target audiences.

What exactly MacMillan is doing with the unit is difficult to determine, however: he has declined to answer any questions about his role, as has Twitter and the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Twitter would say only that "we actively encourage all our employees t o pursue external interests". The MoD said that the 77th Brigade had no relationship with Twitter, other than using it for communication.

The current training regime of the soldiers is unclear. Back in 2008, an annual report by 15 (UK) Psychological Operations Group showed that there was a "robust training" going on for all incoming troops, and current ones as well.

This involved internal, as well as external trainings."

-------------

There is something vaguely ominous about all this. The US capability to do similar things is spread all over the government; CIA, USAID, Army Psyops, USIA, etc.

This UK thing is consolidated, has a lot of social media people and academics as reservists and has the typical clubbiness of British upper class institutions. I wonder what the tie looks like.

The White Helmet film company has to be connected to this as well as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Interesting. pl

https://southfront.org/influence-and-outreach-the-uks-evolving-psyops-capability/


Deap , 18 November 2020 at 12:31 PM

Whisky ..Tango... Foxtrot?

james , 18 November 2020 at 01:12 PM

and as far as i am concerned the UK and USA are tied at the hip in all of this too... sad kettle of fish when your own country is propagandizing you.. 5 eyes is like the blind leading the blind at this point...

akaPatience , 18 November 2020 at 01:26 PM

Great. More sources of gaslighting and censorship. Just what's needed to advance authoritarianism and thwart democracy.

I read some thought-provoking comments somewhere yesterday that essentially said if leftists' ideas were truly popular, why do they have to resort to censorship, election fraud and other unscrupulous means?

The Twisted Genius , 18 November 2020 at 01:48 PM

So we've come full circle to the subject of the article I posted damned near exactly four years ago. That one got a lot of people's panties in a twist. Propaganda. Information operations. The theory of reflexive control. We all do it. Rather than using pamphlets and loudspeakers, we now use the internet and social media. The difference lies in the speed and spread of these "dark arts" in the world today. That and the complete obliteration of the line between tactical and strategic in this field.

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/12/the-russian-concept-of-reflexive-control-ttg.html

English Outsider , 18 November 2020 at 03:21 PM

77 Brigade! I remember it well.

Used to be that little chat rooms would pop up on the internet run by employees of this or that organisation. I remember one run by a senior police officer that was devoted to the dubious doings of even more senior officers. That one got taken down suddenly when the doings spoken of got a bit too dubious.

I imagine that having spent the best part of his career feeling collars the blogging Inspector found an irate superior feeling his. The entire site, back numbers and all, disappeared in a flash and was never seen again.

Similarly a few years back I happened upon a chat room allegedly run by army personnel. At that time 77 Brigade was putting the word out that it was needing staff. The comments weren't enthusiastic. Housing tricky. Terrible commute. It'd be no more than "Three men and a Doris in a hut". And the comments then tailed off into a seemingly well-informed discussion about the local talent in the Aldershot area.

So well informed that, knowing how interested Army men are in that subject, I marked the site down as possibly genuine. Probably was genuine too, since that chat room disappeared in a flash as well.

So I took something of a proprietorial interest in 77 Brigade. Adopted it, one might say. When submitting comments to English sites on Brexit (Don't go there. Could be the saddest subject on the planet.) I was sometimes accused of being a troll for Brussels. Or of course for Putin. I would rebut all such suggestions by proudly announcing I was with 77 Brigade and the tea was dreadful. I remembered Doris, you see, and something told me that tea-making wasn't one of her strengths.

And now my draughty hut (I had imagined typewriters and bulky coding machines but that would surely be anachronistic) has morphed into just another part of the squalid world of information warfare. From Oxbridge and Dearlove and Halpern and the select souls in academia down through the media and the think tanks and right down to the scrubby little subsidised websites and the Bellingcats. Your article has substituted reality for my cosy little troll farm and I suppose I'll have to give my allegiance to the BND now or some such boring outfit.

Shame. Not something one would mention to SHMBO but I'd always got on well with Doris.

Cortes , 18 November 2020 at 04:08 PM

Sir,

"the typical clubbiness of British upper class institutions" reference made me wonder if the current Gordon MacMillan might not be a grandson of

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_MacMillan

and thus part of a service family over several generations.

I have heard suggestions that in "retirement" Sir Gordon MacMillan was encouraged to engage in gentlemanly lobbying on behalf of local, beleaguered Clyde shipbuilding yards when tenders for constructing new vessels were issued by HMG up to around 1980.

Effinghell , 18 November 2020 at 04:25 PM

It can be quite good sport finding their interactions, they have shall we say, a certain style. Some are good at spotting the tell tell signs, in such cases you will see 77 in the reply.

[Nov 18, 2020] Governments are "tools" to accomplish things and in centran situation totalitarian goverments are better tools

Nov 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stephen Laudig , Nov 18 2020 20:03 utc | 8

Governments are "tools" to accomplish things. The totalitarian Han Communist Party runs the PRC in a way that the Democratic/Republican Party does not run the United States. Totalitarians recognize no inherent limit on their 'authority' to act. Non-totalitarians do. A totalitarian government is a better 'tool' to command lock step obedience to a central authority because most of the population at large and ALL of the political population knows what happens should the central command total authority be disobeyed or be seen to be disobeyed.

So in a plague, war maybe, flooding, famine, fires, the totalitarians will be more effective.

So what? In ordinary times I'd rather live under non-totalitarians because incarceration for thought crime is vastly less frequent.

Totalitarianism is a 'good tool' for exceptional matters requiring "uniform and disciplined" response. Under normal times its just another Third Reich.

Ask any Han who wishes to state a non-approved opinion; any Tibetan wishing to display a photo of the Dalai Lama and any Muslim wishing to be orthodox. Why is it that you don't see people illegally entering totalitarian Han Communist China? well except from an even worse place North Korea. While millions want to "be" in the US? People vote with their feet. They flee from the Totalitarians. They flee toward the US. Power to people feet.

psychohistorian , Nov 18 2020 20:53 utc | 19

@ Stephen Laudig | Nov 18 2020 20:03 utc | 8 who wrote about totalitarian

Totalitarian is the definition of the effect of global private finance on the West, is it not?

Totalitarian describes the social contract in the West much more than in China.

[Nov 18, 2020] As the German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte revealed in his book, Bought Journalism, the European and US media speak with one voice -- the voice of the CIA

NOVEMBER 12, 2020
Notable quotes:
"... Democracy cannot work in America because the money of the elite prevails. American democracy is organized in order to prevent the people from having a voice. A political campaign is expensive. The money for candidates comes from interest groups, such as defense contractors, Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the Israel Lobby. Consequently, the winning candidate is indebted to his funders, and these are the people whom he serves. ..."
Nov 18, 2020 | www.unz.com
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS • • 1,700 WORDS • 310 COMMENTS 48 NEWREPLY

Paul Craig Roberts' Interview with the European magazine Zur Zeit ( In This Time ):

https://zurzeit.at/index.php/die-demokraten-haben-die-praesidentenwahl-gestohlen/

.... Digital technology has also made it easy to alter vote counts. US Air Force General Thomas McInerney is familiar with this technology. He says it was developed by the National Security Agency in order to interfere in foreign elections, but now is in the hands of the CIA and was used to defeat Trump. Trump is considered to be an enemy of the military/security complex because of his wish to normalize relations with Russia, thus taking away the enemy that justifies the CIA's budget and power.

... ... ...

Mainstream media in Europe claim, that Trump had "divided" the United States. But isn`t it actually the other way around, that his opponents have divided the country?

As the German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte revealed in his book, Bought Journalism , the European and US media speak with one voice -- the voice of the CIA. The very profitable and powerful US military/security complex needs foreign enemies. Russiagate was a CIA/FBI successful effort to block Trump from reducing tensions with Russia. In 1961 in his last address to the American people President Dwight Eisenhower warned that the growing power of the military/industrial complex was a threat to American democracy. We ignored his warning and now have security agencies more powerful than the President.

The military/security complex favors the disunity that the Democrat Party and media have fostered with their ideology of Identity Politics. Identity politics replaced Marxist class war with race and gender war. White people, and especially white heterosexual males, are the new oppressor class. This ideology causes race and gender disunity and prevents any unified opposition to the security agencies ability to impose its agendas by controlling explanations. Opposition to Trump cemented the alliance between Democrats, media, and the Deep State.

... ... ...

The introduction of a report of the Heritage Foundation states that "the United States has a long and unfortunate history of election fraud". Are the 2020 presidential elections another inglorious chapter in this long history?

This time the fraud is not local as in the past. It is the result of a well organized national effort to get rid of a president that the Establishment does not accept.

Somehow you get the impression that in the USA – as in many European countries democracy is just a facade – or am I wrong?

You are correct. Trump is the first non-establishment president who became President without being vetted by the Establishment since Ronald Reagan. Trump was able to be elected only because the Establishment thought he had no chance and took no measures to prevent his election. A number of studies have concluded that in the US the people, despite democracy and voting, have zero input into public policy.

Democracy cannot work in America because the money of the elite prevails. American democracy is organized in order to prevent the people from having a voice. A political campaign is expensive. The money for candidates comes from interest groups, such as defense contractors, Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the Israel Lobby. Consequently, the winning candidate is indebted to his funders, and these are the people whom he serves.

European mainstream media are portraying Biden as a luminous figure. Should Biden become president, what can be expected in terms of foreign and security policy, especially in regard to China, Russia and the Middle East? I mean, the deep state and the military-industrial complex remain surely nearly unchanged.

...The military/security complex needs enemies for its power and profit and will be certain to retain the list of desirable foreign enemies -- Russia, Iran, China, and any independent-inclined country in Latin America. Being at war is also a way of distracting the people of the war against their liberties.

What the military/security complex might not appreciate is that among its Democrat allies there are some, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who are ideological revolutionaries...

[Nov 18, 2020] Ike's a mystery. Why did he NOT question Harry Truman's action as for CIA and NATO? He actrually facilites the rise of military-insdutrial complex (especially CIA -- he appointed Allen Dulles) and then complained about it

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... His farewell address was just flapdoodle; it wasn't really dredged up till the 70s. Eisenhower spent eight years spreading tripwires and mines and then said "Watch out." Thanks buddy. ..."
Nov 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Franz , says: November 12, 2020 at 10:54 pm GMT • 21.0 hours ago

@endthefed

Eisenhower is always lauded for his MIC warning. Frankly he ticks me off. Thanks for the warning AFTER you were in some position to mitigate.

Ike's a mystery. Why did he NOT question Harry Truman's commitments to NATO, the UN, and all that rubbish? Ike was a WWII guy. He knew Americans hated the UN in 1953 as much as they hated the League of Nations after WWI. But he let it all slide and get bigger.

His farewell address was just flapdoodle; it wasn't really dredged up till the 70s. Eisenhower spent eight years spreading tripwires and mines and then said "Watch out." Thanks buddy.

endthefed , says: November 12, 2020 at 11:08 pm GMT • 20.7 hours ago
@Bragadocious

Well, agree on your points however, on the other side of the ledger, he never understood the stupidity of the Korean war (that he could have ended) and majorly up-ramped CIA activities in all manner of regime change (bay of pigs anyone?). Almost a direct path to our foreign policy now (and now domestic policy)

[Nov 18, 2020] Jewish financial oligarchy and the rise of NSDAP in Germany

Nov 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

karel , says: November 16, 2020 at 2:38 am GMT • 2.6 days ago

Yes indeed '

'One may wonder: where was the German Left when Hitler's popularity increased amongst Germany's Working class at a speed that puts Covid-19 to shame?

" The left was very much around and the combined electorate of communists and social democrats exceeded in November 1932 that of the NSDAP. I cannot think of a single plausible explanation for the rise in popularity of NSDA. As always and more probably, there was a multitude of reasons, not easily identified then and now. My guess is that during the economic collapse of Germany the citizens have lost patience with the left wing parties as the communist and socialists did little, or perhaps could do little, to alleviate their hardship. Then there was a novelty feature of the NSDAP and the belief or a hope that nationalism could reduce the foreign interference in the affairs of Germany. Furthermore, the legend of the "Dolchstoss" was steadily gaining in popularity with the increasingly distant armistice of 1918. Feelings that "we were cheated" and dreams that Germany could be great again were also on the rise. Finally, die NSDAP propaganda apparatus was much better at identifying the "enemies" of the working classes and unemployed by pointing out the factual dominance of the Jews in running the state.

Wielgus , says: November 16, 2020 at 6:47 am GMT • 2.4 days ago
@karel hing. Basically, conservatives like von Papen thought the weakening of the Nazis and their inexperience meant that they could be manipulated.
"The factual dominance of the Jews running the state" – they didn't. They had no significant footing in the armed forces or the civil service in Germany. The Nazis called Weimar the Judenrepublik but had it actually been so, they would have encountered more resistance and less cooperation from state elements than they did. In reality, this was a state that in the 1920s thought about deporting Hitler back to Austria (he did not gain actual German citizenship until relatively late) but never did.
karel , says: November 16, 2020 at 1:56 pm GMT • 2.1 days ago
@Wielgus cillations in support of one or another party are quite common in any system.

The perception that the Jews were running the state was overwhelming, whether you like it or not. Most banks were in Jewish hands as well as large sections of the retail and textile industry. Apparently, almost 80% of all lawyers were Jews. In fact, prior to the putsch in 1933, most Jews could be described as German nationalists. It is paradox that Jews in Czechoslovakia were also leaning towards German nationalism. Czech speaking Jews were more like rare exotic birds. The putsch in 1933 brought them to their senses and those who did not emigrate started to learn Czech.

SolontoCroesus , says: November 16, 2020 at 7:58 pm GMT • 1.8 days ago
@Wielgus Jewish intellectual, Kurt Eisner, and after his assassination, two other Jewish leaders, Gustav Landauer and Eugen Levine, assumed positions of major influence in the "Raterepublik" ("Soviet" Republic"). Rosa Luxemburg, who was also assassinated, was a leader of the revolutionary Spartakus- bund, which was one of the predecessors of the German Communist party.
In the following years as well, Jews held major political posts, primarily in the leadership of the democratic and socialist parties. The most prominent Jewish Political figure was Walther Rathenau, who served first as minister for economic affairs and then as foreign minister.
neutral , says: November 18, 2020 at 7:55 am GMT • 8.3 hours ago
@Wielgus "The factual dominance of the Jews running the state" – they didn't. They had no significant footing in the armed forces or the civil service in Germany.

This is no different to current ZOG regimes now. Just because they are not the rank and file in the military or the government paper pusher does not mean they are not in charge. What they were in charge of was the cultural, financial and academic institutions, when you run these things then you run everything. Luckily for Germany the military was not overrun by the cuckservative types like in the US military is now, there were enough decent types that overthrew the jew in their government.

[Nov 17, 2020] Decapitations at DOD: A Purge, a Coup' or Something Else

Nov 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Exactly a week after Esper was unceremoniously dismissed, the Pentagon issued a notice to commanders to prepare to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500, and to reduce the number of troops in Iraq to 2,500 by January 15.

Despite the dark rumors, Esper and his associates weren't fired because they failed to assist Trump in a domestic military takeover, or because they were insufficiently loyal and didn't grovel enough before the person of Donald Trump. The real reason for their dismissal is simple: Esper didn't think U.S. troops should be removed from Afghanistan by Christmas. Trump disagreed.

The commander in chief has "the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views" are aligned with his own, as former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. This hardly represents a coup.


disgustoo 22 minutes ago

"The commander in chief has "the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views" are aligned with his own, as former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. This hardly represents a coup."

It's a "coup", alright. A coup against the deep state. Long overdue, but better late than never. President Trump giving The Swamp the middle finger one last time. And flushing out warmonger Biden, daring him to show his true colors & re-escalate again. Checkmate.

M Orban disgustoo 15 minutes ago

Then why did he hire these people the first place?
Now there is only two months left out of 48?

Thuto November 16, 2020 at 6:18 am

It used to be that "it took a village to raise a child", and where I'm from at least this was meant in a very literal sense: it took not only parents but other elders in the community to impart the accumulated wisdom that instills pro-social, community-building values into children, ensuring that it wasn't the sins, but rather the virtues of the elders that were visited upon the children, even unto the seventh generation. The "village" has now largely replaced parents and community elders with a dizzying, eclectic mix of social media influencers, tv personalities, pseudo-thought leaders and an education system that's been captured by our elites to instill their own preferred version of values into our children.

The analogue with the "horizon of understanding" is that for most individuals, defining what it represents has been outsourced to a dizzying mix of experts who are tasked with creating and maintaining a national value system. In a world paralyzed by partisanship, each side of the ideological divide has its own (bought and paid for) triangulated opinion of experts to shape what people on each side come to believe is real. As the chances of creating a harmonious, pro-social horizon of understanding are sacrificed at the altar of partisanship and polarization, the disorientation and discomfort felt by most people as we navigate the unfolding crises of our times is only going to increase.

Reply ↓ >
PlutoniumKun November 16, 2020 at 7:33 am

Thanks, you express this very eloquently.

It seems these days that we are simultaneously bombarded with information and opinions, while also being herded into our ideological corners by unseen algorithms. I honestly don't know what the long term consequences of this will be, but its hard to see good outcomes.

Reply ↓ >
Thuto November 16, 2020 at 8:54 am

Going forward, I suspect the unseen algorithms are going to be the most malign influence in widening the divide, a sort of social herding at scale. On the subject of opinions, most people, for better or worse, still defer to the opinions of experts on important matters, so you can imagine what happens when expert opinion is drawn not from "mere" PMC hired guns but from the upper, upper crust of the oligarchy, even the most independent thinkers are bound to subject their deeply held perceptions/beliefs to a review, if for nothing else but to get in early on a nascent bull market and profit from it.

To take an example, the early adopter set for bitcoin was for a long time made up of hackers, criminals and other fringe players who dabbled out of curiosity. The professional money management industry on the other hand took a dim view of the whole crypto thing, disparaging it at every opportunity and making sure portfolio allocations to it were extremely scarce at the best of times to non-existent every other time. Then came covid, and along with that activist central banks printing unprecedented amounts of money to shore up collapsing economies. With fiat currencies being devalued as a result, the previously skeptical titans of fund management started talking up bitcoin as a store of value comparable to gold, first Paul Tudor Jones, then Stan Druckenmiller, followed most recently by Bill Miller. Granted there are still holdouts like Ray Dalio and Peter Schiff who haven't hopped on to the bitcoin bandwagon but, along with the guys at Microstrategy also becoming fervent evangelists, I suspect the pronouncements of these titans alone are enough to take bitcoin mainstream as an asset class, volatility be damned. I'm not a crypto bull by any stretch but the power of expert opinion raining down from the very top of the class hierarchy to move the herd further down will remain undiminished for a while still, and if said opinion is programmed into an algorithm, heaven help us all.

Reply ↓ >
Eustachedesaintpierre November 16, 2020 at 9:43 am

+1

Reminds me of the old proverb " If it ain't broke don't fix it " while I believe that at some point in time someone decided to come up with a money making child rearing manual which started a flood of variations on that theme resulting in constant tinkering, which in my job would be the equivalent of overworking clay.

Only part of the story of course. /section >

hunkerdown November 16, 2020 at 10:29 am

Consider the structure of the term "common sense", which is just shared opinion. If there is no common sense, there will be no common action.

The problem with coming together is that the ruling class divides and rules us as a normal procedure of creating a class system. Nobody in the ruling class has a problem with this. Their purpose in life is to reproduce the system of mass slavery and adapt it to present conditions and they, being among the elect, are fine with this.

/section >

>

The Rev Kev November 16, 2020 at 9:26 am

Glenn Greenwald
@ggreenwald
'This is endlessly amazing: Brazil, a huge country, has nationwide municipal elections today. Voting is mandatory. *All* votes will be counted & released by tonight.'

Ah, I see the problem here. The difference is that Brazil is a Third World nation that is kept that way by morons such as Bolsanaro. America, on the other hand, is being turned into a Third World nation because the elite is seeing a profit in doing so.

>

[Nov 16, 2020] Regretfully, US liberals now out-hawk conservatives in eagerness for aggression war -- RT Op-ed

Nov 16, 2020 | www.rt.com
Get short URL

Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is author of the recently-released No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using "Humanitarian" Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests. You might have noticed something curious following Biden's apparent election win – liberal politicians and media are sounding the alarm that Trump may use his remaining months in office to draw down our troops from Afghanistan.

For example, the New York Times ran a piece on November 12 claiming that " both in Kabul and Washington, officials with knowledge of security briefings said there was fear that President Trump might try to accelerate an all-out troop withdrawal in his final days in office " before the more "responsible" Biden can take over and try to stop or at least slow this. It is clear now that it is the liberal establishment, and the Democratic Party, which is more wedded to war than their counterparts across the aisle, and that should be disturbing to people hoping for progressive change with the incoming Administration.

First of all, we must start with this discussion with the undisputed fact that our leaders do not know, and have not known for some time, what the US' goals and strategy in Afghanistan even are. One would be forgiven for not knowing, or for forgetting this fact because the incontrovertible evidence of it – the so-called " Afghanistan Papers " – received scant and only momentary attention when they were exposed last year by the Washington Post.

ALSO ON RT.COM George Galloway: Kiss of death – The winner of the most coveted Henry Kissinger endorsement is... Joe Biden

As these documents, consisting of interviews with hundreds of insiders responsible for prosecuting the war show, the American public was intentionally lied to about the alleged " progress " of this war, even as our leaders were unsure what " progress " meant.

As the Washington Post noted, the US government never even decided who it was really fighting there: " Was al-Qaeda the enemy, or the Taliban? Was Pakistan a friend or an adversary? What about Islamic State and the bewildering array of foreign jihadists, let alone the warlords on the CIA's payroll? According to the documents, the US government never settled on an answer ." Almost to a person, everyone involved in this morass agreed that the billions of dollars spent, and thousands of lives lost, have been in vain. It has all been a colossal waste.

Now, however, we are being told to panic that Trump may end this disastrous conflict. For example, the quite liberal and almost blatantly pro-Biden news outlet, National Public Radio (NPR) ran segments all last week about female soccer teams in Afghanistan. The message of these segments was clear – these soccer teams are (allegedly) proof of women's advances in Afghanistan as a result of the US' intervention since 2001, and these advances are in jeopardy if Trump ends this intervention.

Such manipulative stories of course obscure the real fact that the US has been undermining women's rights in Afghanistan since it began intervening there in 1979, and Afghanistan still ranks at the very bottom of all countries for women's rights. But there is no doubt that such stories will warm the hearts of many Biden supporters to continue war there.

ALSO ON RT.COM The US military is NOT a feminist organization: It can't protect women's rights abroad as it can't protect its own female soldiers

Meanwhile, it is not only Afghanistan which is the focus of the liberal enthusiasm for war. Thus, as the Grayzone has reported , Dana Stroul, the Democratic co-chair of the Congressionally-appointed Syria Study Group, recently outlined the plans for even deeper US intervention in Syria – an intervention which Trump has at least paid lip service to ending.

Specifically, Stroul emphasized that " one-third of Syrian territory was owned via the US military, with its local partner the Syrian Democratic Forces, " that this territory happened to be the richest in Syria in terms of oil and agriculture, and that the US would intensify its intervention in and against Syria to keep its control of this territory and its resources. Of course, taking over other nations' resources is a violation of international law, including the Geneva Conventions prohibition against "plunder," but that seems to be of no concern.

The liberal media is also elated by the prospect of a Biden White House being more aggressive in its foreign policy towards both Russia and China.

As CNBC explains , " Now there is likely to be a change in the air when it comes to U.S.-Russia relations. At the very least, analysts told CNBC before the result that they expected a Biden win to increase tensions between Washington and Moscow, and to raise the probability of new sanctions on Russia...Experts from risk consultancy Teneo Intelligence said they expected more cooperation between Biden and Europe on global issues such as 'countering China, Russia' ."

While one might think that increased tensions with two major nuclear powers would not be a welcome development, years of the false Russiagate narrative have groomed liberals for such tensions.

ALSO ON RT.COM Trump's Pentagon shuffle suggests either no more wars or just one with Iran

Incredibly, Trump has been portrayed as being soft on Russia, even as he backed out of a major anti-proliferation treaty (The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) which had been signed with the Kremlin back in 1987, and even as he sent the largest contingent of US troops (20,000) in a quarter of a century to train with European soldiers on the Russian border. I must note here that the converse – Russia's sending tens of thousands of troops to the border with the US – is simply inconceivable and would indeed be seen in Washington as an occasion for war. I, for one, am quite alarmed to think of what a Biden policy of "getting tougher" with Russia would look like, and what kind of catastrophe it could bring about.

Regretfully, I now live in a country in which liberals outflanking conservatives in terms of their tolerance and even eagerness for aggression and war, especially when that aggression and war is being led by officials who, as I'm sure we will see in the new Biden Administration, happen to be women or people of color. For the first time recently, I have seen the concept of "intersectional imperialism" being used to describe this situation, and I believe this to be a very real phenomenon; to be but another means of making war that much easier to swallow for broad swaths of the American public.

The irony, of course, is that the bombs dropped by the US in war, no matter who happens to be in charge of the US government at the time, disproportionately fall upon women and children of a darker skin hue, and they maim and kill just as much as those dropped by old white male Republicans. Sadly, few seem to understand or care about this.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


benalls 31 minutes ago 16 Nov, 2020 10:27 AM

It's not the "left" or "right", republicans or democrats, but a new American movement,,,, CBM,,, wich usually means 'silent but deadly' but in this case it stands for "CEO's Bonus Matters" . The movement congressional members from Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing vowed to support. Its time for us to grab our shields, helmets, and frozen water bottles and travel to a new neighborhood to loot and burn. Israel has given Harris and JOJO their instructions.

razzims 49 minutes ago
16 Nov, 2020 10:10 AM
same ol empire of chaos and their eternal war. no matter which party wins election
HypoxiaMasks 1 hour ago 16 Nov, 2020 09:42 AM
Other than the Bush and lil Bush, every war from the beginning of the 20th century was started with a Democrat president. Tell me again how the Republicans are the party of war
MarkG1964 5 minutes ago 16 Nov, 2020 10:54 AM
The democrats and republicans are two wings on the same bird.

[Nov 16, 2020] America's Social Credit System Is Worse than China's by Gregory Hood

Nov 16, 2020 | www.unz.com

Two years ago, Foreign Policy explained that "unless people are sole proprietors or company representatives, have taken a loan or credit card, violated the law, or defaulted on a court judgment, they're unlikely to be in the social credit database."

China wants to get all 1.4 billion people into the system. Since China routed the Hong Kong autonomy movement, the system will surely spread there too. "All regions and departments should have ideological unity," says the plan.

China is working hard in two areas that will help it control its people. The first is artificial intelligence to manage vast amounts of data. The United States and China are competing in AI systems, and that battle could help determine who rules this century. Collecting enormous amounts of data on citizens will mean finely detailed control.

The second area is digital currency. China is already experimenting with a digital yuan. Most people in China already use mobile apps for transactions, not cash. A full record of transactions, combined with AI, means tremendous government power to track individual behavior and modify social credit scores.

A "cashless," total-social-credit China could be a prison. It would mean no unauthorized buying or selling, no political opposition ("ideological unity"), and little privacy. However, citizens would be forced to fulfill basic duties such as taking care of families and paying bills. They would be rewarded for helping their communities. The Chinese Communist Party would succeed in turning the people it rules into typical petit bourgeois with conservative norms.

The Chinese government wants to "broadly shape a strong atmosphere in the entire society that keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful . . . ." In other words, China wants a high-trust society.

[Nov 15, 2020] "What Syria withdrawal- There was never a Syria withdrawal," Jeffrey said

Notable quotes:
"... "Un hombre sin honor." ..."
Nov 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal," Jeffrey said.


" ... even as he praises the president's support of what he describes as a successful "realpolitik" approach to the region, he acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria.

"We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there," Jeffrey said in an interview. The actual number of troops in northeast Syria is "a lot more than" the roughly two hundred troops Trump initially agreed to leave there in 2019. Defense One

-------------

"We?" Who are "We?"

State Department people? Well, certainly some of those were involved.

But ... IMO it would not have been possible to deceive or mislead the WH and specifically the Commander in Chief without the active cooperation of CENTCOM, the JCS and OSD.

If they had not been participating in the lying, it would have been obvious in any number of interactions with President Trump that the president's understanding of troop numbers in Syria was not correct and that he was being deceived by "we." (whoever that was). That revelation evidently did not happen. The NSC staff should have detected the lack of truth in reported numbers. That it did not tells me that at least some of the NSC staff were disloyal to Trump. Obvious? Yes, but that is worth re-stating.

James Jeffrey is quite proud of his achievement in maintaining a "realpolik" stalemate in Syria, one that stymies both Russia and the Syrian government.

IMO opinion he is revealed by his own words as a treacherous back stabber. "Un hombre sin honor." pl

https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2020/11/outgoing-syria-envoy-admits-hiding-us-troop-numbers-praises-trumps-mideast-record/170012/


Polish Janitor , 14 November 2020 at 10:55 AM

This is exactly the result of Trump's lack of interest in fulfilling his original promise of ending the "forever wars" in the middle east. This is exactly the result of putting opelny-Democrat Jared Kushner (a lifelong member of Chabad-Lubavich network) and his ilk in charge of the middle east geopolitics.

It also clearly proves that the State Dep. is a monsterous autonomous entity with its own permanent objectives and agendas, independent of the WH. No matter what Trump wanted to achieve in the ME, the so-called Blob (or as Col. Lang here has coined as the "BORG") do what they will. You have to also remember that back in '17, career diplomats and high-ranking State Dep. officials sounded the alarm that Rex Tillerson was down-sizing the Department so much and that it was contrary to American interests abroad etc...fast forward to today, it would not have mattered how much down-sizing Tillerson actually managed to do, they (people like Jeffries) were still able to pursue their own agenda and undermine Trump's original promise of ending the forever wars in the middle east.

The liberal elites managed to 'allegedly' manipulate the election against a sitting president in favor of an highly unappealing candidate in Joe Biden. In all honesty, does anyone think the Blob/Borg would NOT undermine the president's agenda and follow their own permanent objectives aboard?

The Twisted Genius , 14 November 2020 at 11:10 AM

Trump should be furious about this. He should be firing everyone involved in the deception. Those involved don't belong in ANY administration. Was convincing Trump that he was getting the Syrian oil part of this despicable con? As you mentioned last night, this deception is probably also going on in Afghanistan. This is a clear sign of a totally dysfunctional nation security apparatus... Trump's national security apparatus. Could Trump find no one he could trust to carry out his orders? Or did he just not even care? He certainly wasn't up to the task.

However, our troop level in Syria has been widely and openly reported to be above the 200 level since Trump's initial announcement of a total pull out in December 2018. I thought it was odd when shortly after that it was announced that more troops were being sent in to facilitate the withdrawal of the 2,000 plus troops already there. We did reduce the level somewhat, but then we brought in mech infantry with their Bradleys to secure the oil fields and later more to counter the Russian patrols in northeast Syria. And isn't counting whatever we have in Tanf.

Fred , 14 November 2020 at 11:32 AM

TTG,

"He should be firing everyone involved in the deception"

He just fired Esper. "Trump's national security apparatus." You mean America's natonal security apparatus, the one that gave us LTC Vindman and that crew of Ambassadors, and the 'whistlebolower' Chief Justice Robert's wouldn't let any senator name nor ask questions about during the impeachment. You remember all that don't you? I'm sure the same cast of characters Biden would bring back if he succeeds in the rigged election would never do that to him.

JM Gavin , 14 November 2020 at 11:45 AM

COL(R) Mark Mitchell stated the following recently, regarding the duties and responsibilities of the SECDEF in response to POTUS directives. The comments were in regard to Acting SECDEF Miller (a longtime friend and colleague of Mitchell), but apply to any Cabinet or sub-Cabinet post:

"He [POTUS] may make decisions that other people disagree with. They have two options: they can do what he directs them to do, or after they've offered their advice, if they find it illegal, immoral, unethical, unadvisable, they can step down," retired Col. Mark Mitchell, who most recently served in the Pentagon as the principal deputy assistant defense secretary for special operations/low-intensity conflict.

Mitchell added that he resented the implication at the defense secretary should be expected to stand up to the president, or in his way, as the duly elected commander in chief.

"You either carry out your lawful orders or you resign," he said. "We don't get the option to 'stand up to him.' "(End of quote)

Unfortunately, President Trump made many poor personnel decisions, and selected people who believed they had the duty and right to work against the President from within the Administration. This has driven me nuts for the last four years, as I have watched senior civilian and uniformed leaders actively undermining the Commander-in-Chief. They weren't subtle about it. For whatever reason, they mostly got away with it.

To be clear, I am not writing this as a Trump supporter. As a career military professional, I have a duty to support the Commander-in-Chief, and obey lawful orders from the Commander-in-Chief.

It is very easy to play shell games with the BOG caps in the war zones.

JMG

Deap , 14 November 2020 at 11:53 AM

Looking forward to a reprise of Trump's former starring role in The Apprentice, and finally uttering yet again his immortal words: You're Fired!

The final days of Trump's first term are going to be awesome. Banish the Borg. BAMN. Put Biden's fingerprints on any re-hiring.

Typically a new CEO will ask for everyone's resignation, and select and cull according to new needs and new directions. Something Trump should have done, but he too was the apprentice in this office when his term began.

Nothing to stop Trump from doing this now in reverse, and finally cleaning out the dross that was dedicated to his administration's destruction. Better late than never. Our country deserves nothing less. These insider traitors deserve to have their termination for cause permanently be part in their career resumes.

j , 14 November 2020 at 12:33 PM

It appears that POTUS Trump once his re-election is affirmed, urgently needs to fire a large percentage of top-level ranks at the Pentagon, fire the CENTCOM CC and his staff, fire the JCS, close down the NSC until it's thoroughly bleached, and charge all of them under the UCMJ. Bust them down to slick-sleeves and show them the door. How many back-stabbing Vindman types remain within the NSC? They need to be fired and prosecuted under the UCMJ as well.

Robert G Spenser , 14 November 2020 at 01:29 PM

As a citizen I am having great difficulty not concluding that the US is showing all the signs of decline like the late Roman Republic.

James Jeffrey along with the rest of the herd that have run one agitprop disinformation scheme after another since the 2016 election are like the roman senators that had the intent to save the Republic but fatally weakened it by killing Caesar at its very center, in the Senate.

Biden's people are openly calling for even more internet censorship and continuing to rush out inherently dangerous mRNA vaccines without proper testing - and may force us to take it. Groups are starting to create a database of Trump supporters to enable censoring them where they work and live - what is this other than terrorism against half the voting population? If just five percent of the 70M that voted for Trump moves together in resistance then the new regime herd will be holding a tiger by is tail and with the election showing the people are split right down the middle I fail to see how we can avoid even much worse chaos the next four years. The American Republic is disintegrating while the herd is having a romp and thinks it is winning while they are its assassins.

I am sick at heart of this and fear for the future of my children whose standard of living opportunities are in free-fall.

JM Gavin , 14 November 2020 at 02:34 PM

Robert G Spenser,

As the saying goes:

Good times create soft men.

Soft men create hard times.

Hard times create hard men.

Hard men create good times.

Rinse, wash, repeat until your civilization starts to outsource the hard men.

JMG

Fredw , 14 November 2020 at 04:06 PM

We are shocked, SHOCKED! that military bureaucrats are acting in the same ways that they always have. Come on now. The job of president is to get all these people to work in concert to an extent adequate for getting things to come out mostly in our favor. None of this is unique to Trump. Nearly every president in my lifetime has had to learn to deal with these aspects of the military. Jimmy Carter trusted them to plan a rescue mission. They used navy pilots for a mission over the desert! With no extra to enable adaptation to events! Ronald Reagan sent a battleship to Lebanon and then found out the brass wouldn't take the risk of actually using it for anything. Not to mention the superbly uncoordinated near simultaneous invasion of Grenada. John Kennedy accepted a duplicitous projection of events for the bay of pigs. Bill Clinton got caught in Somalia. George W. got sucked into a strategically unplanned invasion of Iraq. Obama was told that an 18-month escalation would resolve Afghanistan. He believed it! Boy were they shocked when he actually enforced the deadline. This is not a criticism of any of those presidents. It is normal, however bizarre that may sound. My point is that they mostly get bit once and learn not to trust the military's own estimates of what they can or should do. Then they begin to do the job more adequately. They learn to pay attention to goals and to manage their resources. Trump does not seem capable of this kind of learning. The last months of an administration are not the time to suddenly discover the nature of the organizations you are leading. And in any case, there is no time left for learning how to get actual results.

Deap , 14 November 2020 at 04:54 PM

JFK never should have unionized the government workforce.

Pits existential self-interests against patriotic national interest, should these interests become in conflict. FDR warned against doing this. More attention needs to be paid to this fundamental national turning point.

What ills were cured by this act (EO) and has the cure become worse than the perceived disease. Must like term limits in California - the cure was 100 times worse than the original disease.

Entrenched political personalities come and go; entrenched and corrupted political systems are forever, because in the process they learned to self-perpetuate.

Much like HAL in the movie 2001.

Deap , 14 November 2020 at 04:57 PM

Name your favorite EO to strike down with an counter-mand EO, before a sitting president leaves office:
1. Anchor baby citizenship triggering chain migration
2. Unionized government workforce

Deap , 14 November 2020 at 05:27 PM

2016: Democrat Game Plan:

1. Use Democrat's standard politics of personal destruction to attack and harass any Trump appointments; make working for the Trump administration so undesirable none dare even ask for consideration.

2. Tie up the President's time with endless personal attacks, lies and investigations, so Trump has no time as elected Chief Executive to oversee and clean up valid government operations;

3. Take advantage of Trump's exclusively private sector experience to lull Trump into thinking entrenched government BORGs are loyal government employees, who serve only to help Trump carry out his Executive Office duties;

4. Leak like crazy; make things up if necessary that ensure the Trump administration narrative appears chaotic and dysfunctional. Claim anonymous sources that undermine positive functioning within Trump administration. Make everyone suspicious of everyone else.

5. Obliterate any recognition for the remarkable Trump administration accomplishments that occurred, regardless of all of the above.

6. Pout relentlessly because regardless of the above, the President and the GOP Senate appointed over 200 new federal judge and 3 new SCOTUS members.

7. In full public view, tear up the SOTU address listing remarkable administration accomplishments mouthing - these are all lies -- laying down the gauntlet for all out war.

8. Gin up pandemic hysteria to fill in any and all loopholes not yet covered by all of the above.

Democrat skullduggery may have effectively destroyed an temporal administration, but Trump Judiciary appointments are the equivalent of a very welcomed forever.

President Trump, you are missed already. But I suspect in short order it is you, who will not miss the office. You are enshrined forever - #45 as President of the United States of America. History will treat you far kinder than your current fellow citizens.

You broke up the Democrat plantation. You exposed the dark underbelly of the body politic. Mission accomplished. There is no going back.

J , 14 November 2020 at 07:27 PM

DHS head Chad Wolf is another anti-Trump in sheep's clothing that Trump needs to get rid of ASAP.

https://nypost.com/2020/11/13/dhs-boss-chad-wolf-defies-trump-order-to-fire-cyber-chief-chris-krebs/

james , 14 November 2020 at 08:21 PM

this sounds like the definition of a traitor to me - jeffery.... on the other hand one could say he is working for wall st and the mil complex and has done a good job... which is it??

Yeah, Right , 15 November 2020 at 12:24 AM

I don't understand this. Trump is the Commander in Chief, at any time he could have asked a straight-up question: How. Many. Troops. Do. We. Still. Have. In. Syria?

I find it astonishing that the military leadership would tell a lie to their Commander in Chief when the question itself leaves no wriggle-room.

Heck, Trump could has asked for a list of every single one of those brave 200 boys, and even if it included Name, Rank, and Serial Number that would still fit on a single letter-sized printout.

I can't understand how Jeffrey's and his band of "we's" could get away with this unless Trump wasn't paying any attention at all.

turcopolier , 15 November 2020 at 12:26 AM

Yeah, right

Yes. He trusted people as I would never have done.

Mike C , 15 November 2020 at 12:33 AM

Questions for the committee:

What legal recourse if any is there against Jeffery or his fellow travelers?

How might Trump "put a kink in the hose" to hobble a potential Biden admin from putting us back into these quagmires?

I'm not at all surprised to see MSM sniping now at Col. Macgregor.

[Nov 10, 2020] Neoliberal Dems, Russia and neo McCarthyism campaign in the USA in 2016-2020

Nov 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: November 10, 2020 at 5:15 pm GMT • 4.1 hours ago

Third, on the international front, we can expect even more hysterical Russia bashing (the Dems all hate Russia with a passion, especially since they have brainwashed themselves for four years that "Putin" had "attacked" the US elections). But there is really nothing the US can do to Russia, it is way too late for that. So I would expect even more hot air than from the Trump Administration, and probably not much more action, although that is by no means certain, since a braindead nominal President like Biden would not have Trump's intelligence to understand that a war against Russia, China or Iran would end in a disaster: Dems always start wars to try to convince the public that they are "tough" (Dukakis in his M-1 tank).

The Dems don't hate Russia it is used as a bogeyman to re direct the populace anget at the neoliberal social system .

Russia, China, Iran and all the rest of the world probably can't believe their good fortune the US is destroying itself.

Biden will not be in control of the US, or any part of it he will be in the corner pissing his pants. The Deep State will be calling the shots.

[Nov 10, 2020] The NYT article on Barr's salvo reveals the Democrats and their Allied Media shift from the no longer defendable "No evidence of voter fraud," to no evidence that the fraud was "widespread."

Nov 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

MLK , says: November 10, 2020 at 2:10 pm GMT • 7.2 hours ago

@MLK

By the way, the NYT article on Barr's salvo reveals the Democrats and their Allied Media shift from the no longer defendable "No evidence of voter fraud," to no evidence that the fraud was "widespread."

In other words, "Forget about PA. We don't need it." But while their Allied Media will of course dutifully abide, Trump pulled the lawsuit trigger yesterday. More are coming soon. Including WI and MI.

Thus it's a mistake to think that Biden being declared the winner in AZ and GA, with the attendant "both controlled by Republicans!" shouting, will abort the process now in motion.

[Nov 09, 2020] When Brennan's already purple face almost burst because Trump disputed a CNN story, we ALREADY had proof that its the CIA who SPONSORS CNN, that without that support CNN could simply not exist.

Nov 09, 2020 | www.breitbart.com

Christian Party MurraySuid 5 hours ago

When Brennan's already purple face almost burst because Trump disputed a CNN story, we ALREADY had proof that its the CIA who SPONSORS CNN, that without that support CNN could simply not exist.

I base that on 15 months of LEGALLY living in Russia, long before Trump, and the Russians themselves were shocked about how much CNN misrepresented Russia.

Half of their coverage of Russia was simply made up, and the half that was based on some facts was so distorted that it was worthless--giving them more than a 50% error rate.

I never thought they could be off by more than 50% on anything until Trump came along, with a 92% error rate by their OWN count. Joe Jones Secret Squirrel 10 hours ago

Forget about the Chinese and the Russians, this fraud was carried out by the douchebags at our very own, CIA. Those people are the most arrogant bunch of low life's that you will ever meet. I had to deal with a bunch of them while overseas.

[Nov 07, 2020] CIA, FBI and the USA elections

Notable quotes:
"... Obviously the 2016 elections were just as rigged and choreographed (despite backfiring dramatically) as the most recent one, but who could have done the choreography? What organization could get the "Operation Mockingbird" mass media to sing in chorus? What organization that is deeply intertwined with the State Department that Clinton was the head of also has long-running plans like color revolution preparations, proxy wars, and covert actions around the globe that would greatly benefit from a seamlessly smooth transition of imperial figureheads? ..."
Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Nov 7 2020 13:40 utc | 24

"The seeds of this scheme were planted several months prior to the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton authorized a smear campaign against Trump..." --quoted by our host above.

In other words, this was initiated during the primaries, at which point Trump even being allowed to be a candidate in the general election was inconceivable. How could the Clinton campaign have known that the corporate mass media would be giving Trump hundreds of $millions in free advertising at that point? How could the Clinton campaign have known that the joke candidate could beat out serious career politicians? How could the Clinton campaign have known so early they would be facing off against the Great Orange Ogre in the general?

Obviously the 2016 elections were just as rigged and choreographed (despite backfiring dramatically) as the most recent one, but who could have done the choreography? What organization could get the "Operation Mockingbird" mass media to sing in chorus? What organization that is deeply intertwined with the State Department that Clinton was the head of also has long-running plans like color revolution preparations, proxy wars, and covert actions around the globe that would greatly benefit from a seamlessly smooth transition of imperial figureheads?

That would be the same organization that thinks crickets in Cuba are Soviet brain rays damaging its operatives' soft and fragile minds, so it really is no surprise that they screwed the pooch with their "brilliant plan" in 2016. They only managed to regain control of the imperial figurehead position in 2020 by using banana republic election fraud. Fortunately they have a lot of practice with that kind of work and they have Big Tech and the corporate mass media fully on board to help. It is quite obvious that they would have failed again otherwise.

Basically, we can take some comfort from the gross incompetence that the CIA has had on display for many years now.


Down South , Nov 7 2020 13:54 utc | 29

William Gruff @ 24

Timeline according to Wiki:

Trump was declared the presumptive Republican nominee by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on May 3.

In April 2016, an attorney for Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump. In June 2016, Fusion GPS subcontracted Steele's firm to compile the dossier.

William Gruff , Nov 7 2020 13:56 utc | 30

"The majority of Trump's recent tweets are currently censored. I don't care how misleading or even false they are. That's not for Twitter to arbitrate. People cheering this power-grab by unelected tech officials are authoritarian dupes" --quoted by our host

There is a shorter word for "authoritarian dupes" . It is "fascist" .

"Sure, we'll have fascism in this country, and we'll call it anti-fascism" " --Huey Long

[Nov 07, 2020] Granny farming and other forms of mail-in votes abuse

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , Nov 7 2020 13:16 utc | 16

MAIL-IN VOTING: Sifting through the misinformation

The article is specific to Reno, Nevada, but the discussion is applicable to other states.


False Claim 4: Ballot harvesting and 'granny farming'

In August, Nevada passed AB4, which clarifies who can collect ballots. According to language in AB4, "a person authorized by the voter may return the mail ballot on behalf of the voter by mail or personal delivery to the county or city clerk." There are strict regulations against any unauthorized person interfering with the return of mail-in ballots.

Yet, there have been misleading claims from critics of mail-in ballots that this would lead to ballot harvesting. The accusation is that dishonest people will go to assisted living homes and manipulate grandmas into giving away their ballots for harvesting.

Lately, ballot harvesting is being talked about as a malpractice. But this has been a common, legal practice of collecting and submitting the ballots by specified agents such as family members, authorized legal guardians and, in some states, paid staff where harvesting is legal, such as in California and Colorado. Some states have limitations in place on how many ballots a paid agent can collect.

In the current political climate, politicians have painted a picture of an agent running off with someone else's ballot or "one of the post guys" delivering a "handful of" ballots "to some Democratic political operative," as President Trump claimed at his September rally in Minden. Comments like these create an image of lawlessness, incompetency and chaos and can scare law-abiding citizens. However, the checks and balances embedded in AB4 make it nearly impossible for anyone to collect ballots without authorization.

In parts of rural and frontier Nevada, some voters have said ballot collection is a lifeline.

And this article comments:


And yes, The New York Times published a report in 2012 suggesting that mail-in voting would lead to fraud. As I wrote at the time, the story quoted a former county attorney in Florida, who was concerned about "granny farming." This is where fraudsters allegedly go into nursing homes and "help" elderly people vote by more or less filling out their ballots for them and mailing them in.

Related
Why Trump supports mail-in voting in Florida and not in Nevada

But the story never attempted to document this happening. In any event, it would be a slow and laborious way to alter an election, and easily detectable by nursing home officials who, especially in today's pandemic, ought to monitor visitors carefully.

Back then, the Times noted, mail-in voting was seen as a way to help Republicans win. "In the 2008 general election in Florida," the story said, "47% of absentee voters were Republicans and 36% were Democrats."

Today, President Donald Trump seems worried it will help Democrats.

The vote-by-mail bogeyman, it seems, can be a convenient tool for whichever party feels the need to use it.

Credible evidence suggests all this is overblown. A study earlier this year by Daniel Thompson, Jesse Yoder, Jennifer Wu and Andrew Hall of Stanford University concluded, "In normal times, based on our data at least, vote-by-mail modestly increases participation while not advantaging either party."

Part of that data came from Utah, one of five states that conduct all mail-in voting. Utah has phased this in since 2012. As a Deseret News story this week suggested, the Beehive State knows how to do it right. It has safeguards in place. No one has alleged widespread fraud here.

It's one thing to wave hands and speculate on various forms of vote fraud. It's another to produce actual evidence of any widespread use - and yet another to produce actual evidence that it has happened over the last few days in this election. b has elected to not do so, but rely on the same innuendo and speculation the Trump supporters do.

However, I do agree with the rest of b's analysis. The Biden-Harris administration will be a nightmare just as much as Trump's was. And yes, I expect them to start a war with Iran once Biden's fake attempt to restart the JCPOA is rejected by Iran due to demands over Iran's ballistic missile program. And I expect "Trumpism" - as they are calling the populist movement - to continue going forward with negative results for the country.

But it's ridiculous to start eulogizing Trump as if he wasn't the worst President in US history - which he was. He was certainly the biggest joke President in US history. Even Clinton's blue dress didn't rise to the level of Trump.


librul , Nov 7 2020 13:51 utc | 27

@Posted by: visak | Nov 7 2020 13:39 utc | 23

The NYT is not trying to "lie", they are trying to serve a narrative.

In 2012 when the NYT addressed mail-in ballots they did not know at that time
what narrative they would be selling in 2020.

visak , Nov 7 2020 13:58 utc | 31

librul@27 "The NYT is not trying to "lie", they are trying to serve a narrative."

The track record of the NYT is indisputable concerning their history of lying.

You exhibit olympic level gymnastics here. What is the difference between lieing and serving a narrative?

Perhaps if I could figure out how your brain is able to do this I would have the answer to my question.

librul , Nov 7 2020 14:19 utc | 35

@Posted by: visak | Nov 7 2020 13:58 utc | 31

The NYT does not **set out** to lie, they lie, lie, lie
and then lie again; but they **set out** to serve a narrative.

If the truth serves that narrative then the NYT will tell the truth.
They did not **set out** to tell the truth, the truth just **happened** to
serve a narrative.

"What is the difference between lying and serving a narrative?" - visak
When someone serves a narrative they are not necessarily lying it might just
serve the narrative to tell the truth. When someone is lying then they are lying, period.

[Nov 07, 2020] Was Q is 666D professional psyop created by CIA/FBI/NSA/MI5/FSB/Mossad (pick your choice of originator) to manipulate trailer park rednecks for (pick your choice of secret plan).

Nov 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

another anon , says: November 7, 2020 at 7:53 am GMT • 9.8 hours ago

For another important (sort of) take: what is going on with Qanon?

Q is silent since the election, and Qanonists are desperate.

https://qalerts.app/

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-9&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1324764684088725505&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.unz.com%2Fakarlin%2Fmaga-cope%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=500px

Daniel Chieh , says: November 7, 2020 at 9:55 am GMT • 7.7 hours ago
@another anon

I feel the original Q was probably an actual civil servant with a bit of a speculation, and gradually was replaced by increasingly more parodical versions of himself.

[Nov 07, 2020] A tried and trusted mechanism to "unite" the people is some designated foreign enemy. Given the xeiai of neoliberlaisn , it is all the more imperative for the US ruling class retain the some level of legitimacy and restore the essential authority of governing power. Tt can therefore be expected that American foreign policy will become more aggressive and militaristic in the next four years.

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Down South , Nov 6 2020 19:22 utc | 117

What is patently clear is how bitterly polarized and divisive US domestic politics have become. This is due to the historic failing of the two-party system which has, over decades, left whole swathes of the population, in particular the majority working class, alienated from the political class. There is irreparable distrust and distortion among the American populace. To the point where it would seem impossible for any nominal winner of the election to be able to command a mandate.

A tried and trusted mechanism for galvanizing is to "unite" the people by rallying them around the flag against some designated foreign enemy. Given the increasing unwieldy, fractious nature of American society, it is all the more imperative for the US ruling class to impose some level of coherence in order to restore the essential authority of governing power. With this paramount need to shore up a sense of authority, it can therefore be expected that American foreign policy will become more aggressive and militaristic in the next four years.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/11/06/american-election-is-not-a-reset-for-better-global-relations/

[Nov 07, 2020] Trotsky: Fascism is what occurred when the socialists don't have a solution to the problems.

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Nov 6 2020 20:26 utc | 131

The transcript of the Michael Hudson-Paul Jay podcast is now available here . Yes, it's a long read with much being a rehash of his many previous interviews. IMO, his newest most important point is the need for a revamped Constitution:

"Let's get back to fascism because that's very important. Around the time that Roosevelt made that comment [1938], Trotsky analyzed fascism in Germany and Italy, and he said that fascism is what occurred when the socialists don't have a solution to the problems.

"I think we are indeed emerging in that kind of fascism today because you don't have the left or the progressive interests really coming up with a solution to the problems. And that's because the only kind of solution is so radical that it can't be solved within the existing political framework and the existing legal framework. There has to be the equivalent of a revolution. [If] It's not going to be an anti-fascist revolution; then it'll be a fascist revolution. What we're seeing is that kind of a slow revolution....

"Now and all throughout Europe, it was the upper house of government, the House of Lords, or the Senate that tried to block any kind of reform, not only leading to socialism, but that helped capitalism. There had to be a political revolution strengthening the House of Commons relative to the House of Lords. And that occurred in 1909-10 in England. Now, here you're going to have a similar constitutional crisis in order to do the socialist policies that you mentioned. The crisis is not only because there's federalism in the United States, states' rights that are written in the Constitution, to have an economy that can rescue the American industry, and rescue the American working class, you need to rewrite the Constitution.

"But the efforts to make plans for a constitutional convention have all been done by the ultra-right, by the Federalist Society, and by the people that you and I have made fun of for many years. And I don't see any movement on the left to say the situation is so serious that we need a radical rewrite of the Constitution in order to become really a parliamentary democracy that can provide the political context in order to introduce socialist policies ."[My Emphasis]

He's correct. When you have a Bernie Sanders being equated with Leftism, then you have no Left.

[Nov 06, 2020] Trump now governs as a standard Republican

Nov 06, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

24

Hidari 10.22.20 at 5:32 pm

I'm not going to flog this particular horse to death, because, at this stage, if you are still seriously arguing that Trump is The New Hitler™ then there is no reasoning with you, but one of the innumerable differences between Trump's Republican Party and Hitler's Nazi Party (and Mussolini's Fascist Party etc.) was that the Nazis and Fascists were the 'New Kids on the Block'. In other words they are outsiders trying to 'break in' to the existing structure, usually with the help of massive ( non-state ) violence. And they were led by young, angry men, who bitterly resented the Establishment and simply demanded that they be allowed to lead (cf the fact that European fascists and Nazis invariably came to power after WW1: the view, common at the time, that this was a war when old men had led young men to their deaths, is highly significant here).

The American Republican Party on the other hand, is going on 200 years old, and is led by complacent, tired, wealthy old men. They are the Establishment.

The only way round this problem for those insisting that the United States, one of the oldest and most stable of all the Western Republics/democracies, now stands quivering on the verge of tyranny/civil war, is to claim that Trump is a radical, fundamentally different force in Western politics, that Trumpism has practically no antecedents (apart from Hitler etc.) and that Trump has radically and fundamentally transformed the Republican Party into something radically new.

Which is .obviously not true. There is little that Trump has done that Romney would not have done, most of Romney's supporters are also Trump's, and the amount of violence that Trump has unleashed (and the vast majority of this is state violence not non-state a huge difference between Trump and the Nazis) pales into insignificance when compared to what Bush Sr. did in similar circumstances, let alone LBJ/Nixon.

Far from terrifying the Establishment, Trump is openly ridiculed by it on late night TV (and, increasingly, daytime TV), and his inchoate and half-assed 'revolt' against Republican shibboleths has long since petered out: Trump now governs as a standard Republican, no ifs, ands or buts. You just need to ask yourself: what policy pronouncements has Trump made recently that Romney would not have made? The answer is that there are none. Romney might have managed Covid a bit better. That's it.

In any case, as has been tirelessly pointed out, there is simply no equivalent in the US Constitution for a 'total' Enabling Act of the kind that Hitler used. As Corey also points out, to describe the Nazi coup as 'constitutional' is a very big stretch: Hitler had murdered no small number of his political opponents by the time of a 'vote' which met no one's idea of 'free and fair'.

tl;dr The Republicans do not and will never rebel against the Establishment. They are the Establishment. Those who deny this are essentially arguing that the Republicans will overthrow themselves.

ph 10.23.20 at 7:49 am (no link)

Welcome back, Corey and congrats on the piece.

@24 You're right. The idea that literally a fascist would permit his government, his supporters, family, and himself to be mocked on halloween pumpkins (some of these are great), on SNL, by late-night comedians, on the front page of the press and by a very substantial percentage of the population doesn't say much for his authoritarian credentials.

Re: the OP and New Yorker piece. Plenty of Dems are just as conservative as Republicans depending on the issue. Nor, do the older distinctions of conservative/liberal apply – if they ever did.

Reform act politicians and those after were much of a kind – branding various forms of sexist and elitist capitalism to appeal to a wealthy minority of like-minded bigots. The issues were opportunities to exploit sinecures and alliances, utterly un-related to any sense of the public good.

So, what do we get in 2020? At the end of the final debate we saw exactly the kind of choice we'd expect to see from any Republican and any Democrat of the modern era. Biden offered big government, higher taxes, and better equality of outcome. Trump warned that electing the Democrat would make the country less safe and send the economy over the cliff.

Based on the Frank Luntz independents post-debate response, Corey's sound analysis of the GOP electoral college strengths, and Biden's weakness among African-American males, in particular, my current call is a Trump electoral college victory similar to that in 2016, and a similar loss in the popular vote. Biden didn't do himself any favors tonight by taking a hard stance on getting rid of fossil fuels. Winning Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania just took a big hit.

The Luntz independents also wanted to know why the media has suddenly stopped talking about Biden's Burisma email problem – now that actual evidence has surfaced. RUSSIA DID IT AGAIN!!!! didn't get much traction with this particular group.

Biden succeeded in looking like the same polished, lifeless, pol from the past who voters know so well, and who does so little to win their support, especially when he's on the media loves to call Biden's 'A' game. He presented himself as the only professional politician on stage: slippery, defensive, and evasive. In doing so, Biden convinced the independent voters Luntz polled to choose Trump over Biden by a large majority.

From the Luntz group: "Words to describe Trump tonight: • "Controlled" • "Reserved" • "Poised" • "Con artist" • "Surprisingly presidential"

Words to describe Biden tonight: • "Vague" • "Unspecific" • "Elusive" • "Defensive" • "Grandfatherly"

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/10/22/luntz_focus_group_confused_why_media_wont_investigate_hunter_biden_allegations.html

BlueHugh 10.23.20 at 6:20 pm ( 30 )

Today's GOP stool consists of the the Plutocrats, the Theocrats, and the Yahoos. Bush the Lesser won by being a Chimera of the three; Trump is a Plutocrat who bought off the Theocrats and made himself King of the Yahoos.

[Nov 05, 2020] Why I have so little confidence in the nice liberals with big egos- four reasons

Nov 05, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cassiodorus on Tue, 11/03/2020 - 9:14pm

1) Everyone is totally engaged in a debate over whether or not Donald Trump is a "fascist." Maybe he is. But, as I've pointed out in a previous diary , it's a weird sort of fascism that allows people the same freedom of speech and freedom of political action that they would have if Donald Trump were not President, and which in fact celebrates freedom . And indeed it is true that Donald Trump has shown what William I. Robinson calls "fascist tendencies." Robinson, for his part, projects "21st-century fascism" into the future. But, honestly, if this were 20th-century fascism, the type that actually came to fruition as fascism , you would not be reading this diary right now because it would have been censored out of existence. The state would be busy reimposing Jim Crow, and denying women rights in the manner specified in The Handmaid's Tale . It would have abolished democracy altogether, in a way that would prohibit those yelling the word "fascist" the loudest from voting him out of power. It took Adolf Hitler less than two months to establish a permanent dictatorship; Donald Trump has had four years at the pinnacle of power and does not appear to be even close to having the powers Der Fuhrer had. There is, by the way, a term for the ongoing dictatorship at the heart of our situation, the dictatorship that has persisted before Trump and during Trump and will persist after Trump; it's called "inverted totalitarianism," and it pervades the writings of Sheldon Wolin . Yet we are all obliged to call Trump a "fascist," in a sort of mandatory panic.

Saner voices have seen Donald Trump for what he is: an asshole and a troll. Yeah, let's vote him out of office, because who the f*ck likes being trolled? But those voices do not win the day, because there is nothing grandiose about not wanting to be trolled, nothing earth-shaking about saying "gee, aren't you tired of Trump's trolling of us? Let's get rid of him because he's a pest." There is also, I suppose, the attempts to abolish the Postal Service, privatize the public schools, and destroy the EPA. I put this stuff under "pest" because it's not clear that the Republicans under Biden won't try to do these same things under the radar. ("Under the radar," here, means "out of MSNBC's visual range.") The nice liberals with big egos thus appear immature for not being able to admit their (and indeed our) quotidian motive behind their (and indeed our) hatred of Trump.

2) The nice liberals with big egos are going to " Dump Trump, Then Battle Biden ." But there really is no precedent for the nice liberals with big egos actually taking on the party they've put so much energy into supporting so far, as against those evil Republicans. Is there going to be some point at which the nice liberals with big egos all say "okay, the Republicans are no longer worse, so you all have our permission to battle Biden"? It's easy to be skeptical about promises to do something that has never happened before, and that, given the way the system is set up, won't be likely to happen. The nice liberals with big egos need a contingency plan for when their vows to "battle Biden" do not reach audiences, and when the Biden administration tells us all "what are you going to do, vote Republican?". Such a plan would start, but not end, with the Movement for a People's Party .

3) The nice liberals with big egos still can't admit to the great forfeiture of Democratic Party power that happened under Obama. All branches of the Federal government, 12 governor's seats, and 900+ seats in state legislatures , from (D) to (R). It was the primary event of politics in this century, and it escapes their notice. When confronted with its reality, their explanations are lame to the point of not being credible. Come on, folks -- Obama preferred a party which didn't fight for anything YOU believed in, and all the while you were worshiping the ground upon which he walked. Admit it!

4) The nice liberals with big egos insist upon vast overestimates of the power of the Left in a situation in which the Left really has damned little in the way of any power at all. The Left had a lot of potential power in those two short periods in which Bernie Sanders was running for President. You could hear the conversations opening up -- Medicare for All, College for All, the Green New Deal. Okay, so let's go back to that atmosphere, and really put some enthusiasm into it. Or at the very least let's start with a realistic estimate of the power we have, and of the extent to which we've squandered that power by supporting neoliberals like Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and Clinton Two.

So there it is. If the nice liberals with big egos want to restore my confidence in them, there's where they can start.

[Nov 03, 2020] Election Day- One Thing's for Sure, an Interventionist Will Win - Antiwar.com Original

Nov 03, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

Election Day: One Thing's for Sure, an Interventionist Will Win

by Dave DeCamp Posted on November 03, 2020

The 2020 presidential election is here. Americans are turning out in record numbers to vote, with pre-election voting surpassing two-thirds of the number of all ballots cast in 2016 . The country is divided, and the two major-party candidates are presented as starkly different options. But one thing Donald Trump and Joe Biden have in common is their admiration for the US empire, and both candidates have plans to keep the war machine chugging along.

Comparing the foreign policy of a second Trump term to a new Biden administration is tough. There are certain areas where Trump is marginally better, and there are areas where a Biden administration could be better.

Afghanistan is one place where Trump seems superior to Biden. Although Trump dropped a record number of bombs on Afghanistan in 2018 and 2019 , the US-Taliban peace deal signed in February paved the way for a complete US withdrawal by Spring 2021. The timing of the withdrawal means Trump could reverse the plan after being elected for a second term, but he seems committed to ending this one war. Biden, on the other hand, said in an interview with Stars and Stripes in September that he cannot promise a full withdrawal from Afghanistan and that he favors keeping a small troop presence in the country.

Biden said the same for Syria and Iraq in the Stripes interview, two other countries Trump has said he would like to get out of. Regarding Syria, Trump failed miserably to follow through on a withdrawal and decided to stay in the country to "secure" the oil . Besides the criminality of occupying a sovereign country to steal its resources, the small US occupation force risks confrontation with Russia. With Syrian President Bashar al-Assad being a favorite enemy of the Democratic establishment, it's possible the number of US troops in the Syria could increase under a Biden administration.

In Iraq, the US recently announced its plan to draw down troops from 5,200 to 3,000 . Trump says he wants a full withdrawal from the country , where US troops are no longer welcome since the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Iraq's parliament voted unanimously to expel US troops after Trump's enormous provocation towards Iran that brought the region to the brink of a major new war. Trump's Iran policy clashes with his desire to withdraw from Iraq. It's likely the Iran hawks driving the "maximum pressure" campaign would not want to give up bases in Iraq, which could serve as a launchpad for attacks against Iran.

Iran is one area where Biden could be much better than Trump. The "maximum pressure" campaign against the Islamic Republic has been disastrous and shows no sign of waning. Biden has said he would work with Iran to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal , a foreign policy achievement of the Obama administration.

Recent comments from Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) suggest Biden will face pressure from both Republicans and Democrats to try to make a tougher deal with Iran. Menendez said Biden should seek an agreement that further restricts Iran's nuclear and military capabilities, something Tehran would never agree to before sanctions relief. Biden will also face pressure from Israel to be tough on Iran.

Some believe Biden is the most pro-Israel presidential nominee ever from either side of the aisle. President Trump has arguably been the most pro-Israel president of all time, recognizing Jerusalem as the country's capital, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, changing US policy to no longer consider Jewish settlements in the West Bank illegal, and the so-called "Vision for Peace" that would essentially formalize apartheid rule over Palestinians.

Biden says he opposes Israeli annexation of the West Bank, but there's no reason to believe he would reverse any of Trump's policies, like moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, something Biden said he would not change . As far annexation, the Israelis have decided to hold off on annexing portions of the West Bank allocated to them in Trump's plan and are going back to the slower, more politically palatable form of annexation, through settlements , something Biden would probably not interfere with.

Perhaps the worst stain on the Trump administration is the war in Yemen. President Trump chose to continue this genocidal war in April 2019, when he vetoed a war powers resolution passed by Congress that called for an end to US military involvement in Yemen. The president did it again in July 2019, when he vetoed three separate resolutions that would have banned US arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Experts agree , if the US cuts off support for the Saudis in Yemen, the war would quickly come to an end.

Joe Biden has repeatedly said he would end US support for the war in Yemen. "Under a Biden-Harris administration, we will reassess our relationship with the Kingdom, end US support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, and make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil," the former vice president said in a statement on the anniversary of Jamal Khashosggi's death.

President Trump also significantly escalated the war against al-Qaeda in Yemen and carried out more ground and air operations in the country than the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama combined. Trump also broke records in Somalia. The first seven months of 2020 saw more US airstrikes on the African country than under Bush and Obama combined. With virtually no opposition in Washington to the drone war against al-Shabab in Somalia, the Biden administration would likely continue the campaign.

There's no telling which candidate would be worse on Russia and China. Despite every liberal news outlet saying otherwise, President Trump has been extremely hawkish on Russia . One area where Biden outshines Trump with respect to Moscow is arms control treaties. The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty , which banned medium-range missiles, and the Open Skies Treaty , which allowed unarmed aerial surveillance between its signatories.

The New START is the last nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia and will expire in February 2021. Russia has repeatedly offered to extend the agreement for five years with no preconditions, but the Trump administration is demanding more and seems to be intentionally sabotaging the vital treaty . If the New START expires, there will be no constraint on the US and Russia's nuclear arsenal for the first time in decades, setting up a new nuclear arms race, something the Trump administration seems prepared for . Biden's policy plan says he will pursue the extension of New START and use it as a foundation for new arms control treaties. Despite being better on arms control, Biden would still be a Russia hawk. In an interview with 60 Minutes in October , Biden identified Russia as the greatest national security threat to the US and said China is Washington's greatest competitor.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration's hawkish China policies have been thrown into hyper-drive. The US has increased its military presence in the Indo-Pacific, frequently sending warships into the South China Sea and flying spy planes near China's coast . Although they got bogged down in the Middle East, the Obama administration started the "pivot to Asia," and a Biden administration would likely continue boosting the US military presence in the region.

One of the Trump administration's most embarrassing failures is its Venezuela policy, which Trump appointed washed up neocon Elliot Abrams to run. Since January 2019, the US has recognized Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela, despite Nicolas Maduro still holding power in Caracas. Guaido's coup attempts were utter failures , and the crippling economic sanctions on the country have done nothing but made the civilian population suffer . Democrats criticize Trump for his Venezuela policy, not for the harm it does to the people, but because it failed to depose Maduro .

Another disgraceful thing about the Trump administration is the attempt to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for exposing US war crimes. On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump praised WikiLeaks for exposing corruption in the DNC. After Assange was arrested in the UK, Trump said he knew "nothing" about WikiLeaks .

The British judge presiding over Assange's extradition case is expected to make a decision in January 2021. This author has little faith that Joe Biden would drop the charges against Assange since he has previously likened the WikiLeaks founder to a "hi-tech terrorist." It's clear Biden does not consider Assange to be a journalist.

Unfortunately, the issues listed above are far down on the list of priorities for Americans today. Throughout the pandemic, the civil unrest, and the antics surrounding the election, the drones have continued to buzz, the bombs continued to fall, and the sanctions continued to strangle economies. While these crimes committed by the empire are just background noise to the subjects living within the 50 states, they are absolutely everything to the people affected.

It's tough to blame Americans for their lack of awareness of their country's murderous foreign policy. The corporate press ignores the atrocities going on overseas and amplifies the skirmishes on the streets of the US between people with opposing political views. It's easy to keep people unaware of the mass-murder funded by their tax dollars on the other side of the world while they are fighting with each other.

The lack of concern over US foreign policy was put on stark display by the two presidential debates. The two men auditioning to control the military of the largest empire in the history of the world didn't even have to tell the voters what they plan to do with it. The best the candidates could muster up was some tough talk on Russia and China, and Biden criticized one of the few good things Trump did in his term – meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

For these reasons, it is more important than ever for independent media outlets like Antiwar.com to continue to shine a light on the crimes of the empire, even when so few care. We can guarantee that no matter who wins on Tuesday, we will cover their foreign policy critically. And if by some freak chance Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen wins, we will not rest until she fulfills her plan to withdraw US troops from every foreign country.

While our staff might celebrate Trump's declarations to bring the troops home and is hopeful Biden would end the war in Yemen, we are under no illusions. The major-party options this year are this: An incumbent president who campaigned on ending "endless war" but has only escalated them or a lifelong politician who led the charge in the Senate to give George W Bush his invasion of Iraq and now lies about it . Antiwar.com needs your help to cover the interventionist foreign policy of whichever candidate wins on Tuesday. Consider making a donation today , and spread the word. Tell your friends and family about us and help make Washington's imperialist wars part of the national conversation.

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com and is based in Richmond, VA. Follow him on Twitter @decampdave .

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[Nov 02, 2020] Sacha Baron Cohen, Propagandist - The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Borat Subsequent Moviefilm ..."
"... Plenty has been said about the cheapness of Borat's humor, and the tiredness of the shtick. Likewise, many have observed that Cohen's comedy -- always heavily political -- has crossed the line into blatant politicking, especially with respect to the Giuliani interview. But there is more than enough here to suggest that the politics run much deeper than might be evident at first glance. ..."
Nov 02, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

CIA contacts, a web of lies, and a robust propaganda operation. It's time to start asking questions about Borat's methods -- and his goals. (Screenshot, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm trailer.)

NOVEMBER 2, 2020

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12:01 AM

DECLAN LEARY

Ayman Abu Aita is a family man. For years, he was a grocer by trade, running his shop in Bethlehem while serving on the board of the Holy Land Trust, a nonprofit group working for peaceful reconciliation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Like many Palestinians, he is a Christian, a practicing member of the Greek Orthodox Church.

He must have been as shocked as everybody else to see his face broadcast across the world above the identifier: "ayman abu aita, terrorist group leader, al-aqsa martyrs brigade."

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

The interview in question -- conducted in character by Sacha Baron Cohen and featured in his movie Bruno -- had been held under false pretenses, and deceptively edited to boot. Abu Aita pursued legal action and, in a rare (albeit measured) victory for one of Cohen's victims, managed to settle out of court. The lawsuit ended in 2012, and the interview had been conducted in 2009, so this all may seem like ancient history. But a few of the episode's more bizarre details have never been adequately explained, and Borat's carefully timed return ought to revive our interest.

In addition to his long record of peaceful activism -- which had earned Abu Aita two years in an Israeli jail on unsubstantiated charges -- Baron Cohen's fake terrorist just happens to have been a parliamentary candidate in Palestine at the time of the Bruno debacle. Thanks to Cohen's actions, Abu Aita received death threats and sustained serious damage to his reputation, his business, and his campaign.

While it remains possible that Abu Aita was a random victim, it practically defies belief: why travel halfway across the world to interview a random person who is manifestly not a terrorist? Had the goal here solely been the bit, the same scene could have been shot for a fraction of the cost in a cheap LA motel, with an unknown actor of a reasonably believable ethnic extraction. It is immensely difficult to consider the great lengths to which Cohen went in painting Abu Aita as a terrorist to be somehow independent of who he was, of his years of political activity, and of the damage done to him by the stunt. It is hard to see any of this as accidental.

In Abu Aita's account , the interview "was set up via Awni Jubran, a journalist for the Palestinian news agency, PNN," with the supposed purpose of discussing peace efforts and life in Palestine. Cohen, in an interview with David Letterman the week after Bruno 's premiere, offered a somewhat different account of how he first became interested in Abu Aita. Out of character, clean-shaven, sporting a t-shirt, a blazer, and the Queen's English, Cohen provided a sometimes-necessary reminder that he is neither a poor Kazakh reporter nor a gay Austrian fashionista, but an obscenely wealthy, Cambridge-educated Brit. This rarely seen, authentic Cohen informed Letterman that he had sought a list of names from a contact at the CIA, and from there did some asking around in the Middle East until he located the "terrorist" he wound up interviewing. The million questions that ought to arise from this admission -- Who does Cohen know at the CIA, and why? Why did this CIA contact share any information with him? What was the CIA's interest in Abu Aita? and countless others -- were simply brushed aside, and the conversation continued.

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00:13 / 00:59

In his answer to Abu Aita's complaints, Cohen swore, through his lawyers, that the statements in question were "substantially true." Likewise, Letterman's answer attested to the substantial truth of the interview while also "admit[ting] Cohen stated that he received information from a contact at the 'C.I.A.'" While substantial truth in libel and slander law allows for "slight inaccuracies of expression," any conceivable definition of the term still includes Cohen's insistence on the sincerity of the CIA claim.

* * *

Fast forward eight years, and Cohen once again has his sights set on a candidate for office. This time it's the vice president of the United States, in the midst of a heated reelection campaign. (Cohen has never been shy about his Trump/Pence hatred, and has often stated publicly that his sole reason for returning to his trademark brand of activist comedy was to help bring an end to the present administration.)

On Thursday, February 27th, a man dressed as Donald Trump burst into the Potomac Ballroom at the Gaylord in National Harbor, MD, where Vice President Pence was addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). With a woman in a green dress and ripped tights slung over his shoulder, the man shouted something at the vice president in labored and heavily accented English. Ian Walters, communications director of the American Conservative Union which runs CPAC, said that it sounded vaguely obscene (suffice it to say the impersonator bungled the VP's surname) but he could not make out clearly what the man was saying. Video footage of the incident shows the crowd clearly appalled, and the pair were quickly escorted out by CPAC security, Secret Service agents, and officers of the Prince George's County Police Department.

Though no charges were pursued, the police report from the incident identifies the man as Sacha Noem Cohen, while the woman identified is a stunt double who has worked extensively in Hollywood. ( TAC has been in touch with the woman in question, but she had not responded to our inquiries as of press time.) The PGPD report claims that all information was shared with CPAC security, who then confiscated the pair's access passes. But CPAC personnel maintain that they were never informed of Cohen's identity, and did not confiscate any pass that would have tipped them off.

The police department's claim is hard to square with CPAC personnel's obvious confusion about the events that followed. Over the next two days, two more Trump impersonators appeared at the convention, both in professional-grade costumes. The third and final Trump impersonator was detained by the Secret Service. His prosthetics were so elaborate that he had to call an associate -- a professional makeup artist -- to assist in their removal so that the Secret Service could confirm his identity. That wasn't the only person who came to help him, though: Brian Stolarz, an attorney specializing in white-collar criminal defense, was at the ready.

From there, an hour and a half passed before the big event: somebody ran through a highly trafficked area of the hotel in full Klan robes, while numerous CPAC attendees looked on in horror. Security arrived quickly, and the Klan impersonator was detained as well. Stolarz -- the lawyer who had shown up for the Trump impersonator that same day -- was on the scene here too, further confirming the link between what otherwise might have passed for unrelated episodes.

Given everything that has occurred in the interim -- COVID became the big news just a few days after CPAC -- most people seem to have forgotten that the Klansman story took on a life of its own at the time. Because Cohen's presence was not made public at the time, despite the discovery of his identity on Thursday, speculation ran wild. Clips of a man in Klan robes running through CPAC made the rounds on the internet -- often, according to Walters, via accounts that seemed obviously bogus. In addition to the social media buzz, the CPAC incidents were given a good bit of airtime in major news outlets. The ACU fielded calls from, among others, leaders of D.C.'s Black Lives Matter, outraged that one of the largest gatherings of mainstream conservatives in the country would tolerate a Klansman strolling through. (The initial clips that surfaced did not show the horrified reactions of actual CPAC attendees, nor the actor's detainment by security.) Just as with the Abu Aita interview, what was ostensibly a comedy act apparently doubled as a very real political influence operation.

It was more than six months before what actually happened at CPAC became apparent to the public. With Borat Subsequent Moviefilm 's hurried release (a week and a half before Election Day), the Trump impersonators and the Klansman were all shown to be part of a massive Cohen stunt -- perhaps his biggest to date. But it is worth considering how carefully the film itself glosses over the complexity of this production. Walters estimates that a team of a dozen unauthorized security personnel were operating at CPAC, accompanying a slightly larger, undercover film crew. It came to the attention of CPAC personnel that this group had rented, and were operating out of, a block of rooms at the nearby Westin. All of these personnel had purchased access passes to CPAC (which aren't cheap) and security also suspected that some registration credentials may have been forged -- with top-notch equipment and skill, at that. Walters estimated the cost of the operation to be somewhere around a quarter of a million dollars, if not more.

To an impartial observer, this all would seem to be not a goofy comedy sketch, but a serious information op at a major political event in the midst of an important election year. In a way, it was: all these scenes existed independently, floating around the internet -- forming opinions and sparking controversies and stoking hatred -- for months before they were folded into the context of the film. First as tragedy and then as farce, right?

* * *

Between the CPAC saga and the movie's release, another major operation -- in some ways more complex than that in February -- had been carried out at the end of June. The third annual March for Our Rights rally was set to be a small affair, operated out of one organizer's flatbed truck, run by a local crew with hardly any budget to speak of.

A few months before the event, though, the rally's three organizers -- Allen Acosta, Matt Marshall, and Tessa Ashley -- were contacted by a production company who asked to film at the event for a documentary. Something seemed off, and the organizers declined. Then, just a few weeks out from the rally, they were contacted by a group representing themselves as a PAC based in Southern California. The name they used was "Back-to-Work USA," and beside a cell phone number -- which now goes to voicemail -- and one press release, there was little out there to attest to their existence. Again, the organizers were skeptical, but the group seemed eager to offer financial support.

Acosta, who has been the event's lead organizer in each of the three years it's occurred, started out slow. He asked the two women from "Back-to-Work" -- the names they gave were Tamara Young and Mary Harris -- if their group would pay to rent out porta-potties for the event. When they followed through, he took it as a sign that they were legitimate, and that their offer of support was sincere. At breakneck pace, the supposed PAC contracted a professional stage and other equipment, an army of security, and a number of legitimate musical acts, including Larry Gatlin. In all, the expenses -- the group virtually paid for the whole event -- amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.

The morning of June 27th, Acosta kept close watch over the setup. He directed participants, including Young and Harris, exactly where to park their cars. He gave a security briefing to the team that Back-to-Work USA had hired -- about 40 locals hired for the day. Once the event began, he immersed himself in the crowd, making conversation with attendees and making sure everything went smoothly audience-side.

Meanwhile, the Back-to-Work crew claimed they were rushing to get one more act to warm the crowd up for Gatlin. They told Marshall that they had found one at the last minute, and in the middle of the action neither he nor any of the other event organizers had much time to vet the new find.

The first portion of the event, which featured stump speeches from conservative political candidates, was wrapping up, and they were ready to pivot to the entertainment segment, with Gatlin headlining. At this point, organizers noticed a substantial swell in the crowd. Acosta didn't think anything of it at the time, as he had encouraged people who might not be interested in the political rally to come enjoy the music nonetheless. In retrospect, a number of the new arrivals seem suspect. Notably, a group with Gadsden and Confederate flags were standing off in the back, hesitant to join the main body of people even at Acosta's urging. Looking back on the moment months later, he said it was "like they were waiting for a cue."

It was then that Acosta got a call from the police. One woman, upset by some Trump flags at the rally, was causing a scene across the street. A few attendees were engaging with her verbally. Acosta went over to help get a handle on the situation. The lone protestor continued for about 15 minutes, and her outburst escalated until she was eventually arrested. At that point, Acosta crossed back over to rejoin the event.

As soon as he returned, he was met with complaints from worried parents: somebody was walking through the crowd with a backward-facing camera in his backpack, which the parents thought was pointed down to the level of their children. Acosta actually found the man, and was questioning him when a commotion broke out in the area of the stage. Acosta turned in that direction, and in the blink of an eye the man had bolted for the parking lot.

The ruckus that caught Acosta's attention has been widely publicized, though very little of what actually happened has broken into the mainstream narrative. The second act which "Back-to-Work" had supposedly booked last minute was actually Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as Borat who was in character as "Country Steve." Country Steve sang a song about injecting various liberals with the Wuhan flu, as well as chopping up journalists "like the Saudis do." Parts of the song also featured anti-Semitic undertones.

This was hardly met without resistance: one video -- distinctly absent from most reporting of the event -- shows a young attendee, draped in an Israeli flag, grabbing a bullhorn and rushing to the front of the crowd to confront Cohen. At the same time, Marshall and one other rally participant (who happens to be the son of a Holocaust survivor) managed to get past Cohen's security -- with a good bit of effort -- and chase him off the stage. In a late-October interview with Steven Colbert, Cohen claimed that one of the two men reached for his gun while rushing the stage. Marshall, who was carrying an unloaded pistol at the event, denies that this ever happened. Cohen seems to relish the idea that he has placed himself in danger for these stunts: he claimed to Letterman that his interview with Abu Aita was conducted at a secret location, with two hulking bodyguards accompanying the "terrorist," while in reality it was conducted at a popular hotel under Israeli jurisdiction, with Abu Aita accompanied by a journalist friend and the peace activist who runs the Holy Land Trust.

Country Steve, clearly unwelcome, ran into a staged ambulance that rushed away with the lights on. Acosta hurried to the parking lot and saw that the cars of the Back-to-Work crew had all disappeared as well. In a matter of seconds the scam became apparent. But the spin was quickly applied online: clips of the violent and anti-Semitic song started to pop up on social media, with the confrontation by the young Jewish activist and the moment where Marshall chased Cohen offstage conveniently left out. Special attention was given to the members of the crowd who enthusiastically sang along. But, by and large, these do not seem to be actual attendees of the March for Our Rights. For the most part, they seem to have come from the group of bystanders that Acosta suggests were "waiting for a cue." Marshall -- who is convinced that these were hired extras -- points out that these people are dressed in over-the-top, stereotypical MAGA get-ups, complete with straw hats and Rebel flags. He also notes that, given Washington's history and location, Confederate flags simply aren't a part of the culture, even in more provocative corners of the right.

Nevertheless, the episode was cast as a classic Borat sting: Cohen, it was assumed, had shown up at this rally, hopped on stage, and easily gotten the right-wingers to show their racist side. Nobody looked into the immense effort that had gone into the scene. That somebody had spent tens of thousands of dollars even to get him there, and apparently planted willing collaborators in the crowd, was hardly considered at all.

Once again, the stunt took on a substantial political character. Reports that right-wing rally-goers had gleefully participated in Country Steve's act cropped up all over the internet, bolstered by social media buzz -- supposedly showing the dark underbelly of MAGA-world right before the election. And once again -- as with CPAC, and Abu Aita, and any number of Cohen's marks -- great pains were taken to hide just how orchestrated the whole thing was.

* * *

It's interesting how Borat -- within the plot of the movie -- is supposed to have wound up at the rally in Washington. While quarantining with two new friends -- Jim Russell and Jerry Holleman, two supposed QAnoners with virtually no online presence -- Borat stumbles upon a video of his daughter, Tutar (played by newcomer Maria Bakalova) pretending to be a journalist named Grace. In the clip, Tutar/Grace/Bakalova is interviewing two anti-lockdown activists about the risk COVID emergency measures pose for a long-term slide into authoritarianism.

What's really interesting here is that this interview actually happened. The two interviewees, Ashley and Adam Smith, are leaders of ReopenNC, a grassroots movement with over 80,000 members in their Facebook group. On April 22nd -- long before the March for Our Rights rally in late June -- Ashley received an email from someone using the name Charlotte Richardson, claiming to be "a producer for More Than Sports TV, a production company working together with One America News Network on a documentary that explores the horrors of socialism and its corrosive impact on creativity, success and innovation here in America." More Than Sports TV had a website, registered in November of 2019. Likewise, Held Back, the supposed documentary project in the works, had a website that was just registered on March 9th of this year. (Neither website remains active today.) Given the apparently legitimate websites and the purported connection to OAN, Smith agreed to the interview.

She conducted a 40-minute interview over Zoom with "Grace," in which the two talked seriously about the subject matter; Bakalova did not break character once, and Smith never suspected a thing. Charlotte even reached out to set up another interview, this time with Ashley's husband, Adam, participating. It was from this second interview that a brief clip was pulled and posted to The Patriots Report, ostensibly a news site. It is this posting that Borat stumbles upon in the film.

The Patriots Report domain was registered in September of 2019. Like all the other sites in play here, it was registered using an anonymous proxy service, making it impossible to determine who purchased the domain. The bulk of its content is plagiarized from popular sites like The Gateway Pundit -- though some portion, notably the Bakalova/Smith interview, is original, fabricated content. As of October 31st, The Patriots Report is still active, still masquerading as a news site, and still posting new content. In these last days before the election, there seems to be a focus on just that. One story , pulled from Politico without attribution, warns that "Most social media users in three key states have seen ads questioning the election." Another story , ripped straight from Daily Kos , has been pinned to the site's homepage for days: "It's not just social media: Election disinformation now spreading through text, emails." If the site was meant solely as a prop for a comedy film, it's hard to imagine why it's being used to spread fears over "election disinformation" a week after the movie opened and mere days before the election itself.

This is particularly interesting given Cohen's public activism calling for stricter censorship of speech by tech platforms, with a special focus on Facebook, in close association with the Anti-Defamation League. Cohen is fond of talking about "fake news" on the talk show circuit, but he has not offered any explanation as to why he is apparently running a fake news outlet himself.

* * *

Besides the Smith interview and the widely discussed Rudy Giuliani interview, Borat revealed in a tweet on October 24th that Bakalova, posing as an aspiring journalist for The Patriots Report, had been given a brief tour of the White House press room by One America News Network's chief White House correspondent, Chanel Rion. (That a White House correspondent generously offered advice and a tour to a hopeful fellow journalist is somehow meant to be taken as a prank.) On the surface level, he seems to just be suggesting that the current White House is unserious because this actor -- who passed a Secret Service background check two days before the tour -- was allowed into the press room and onto the north lawn.

But another interesting (and deeply concerning) dimension to Sacha Baron Cohen's operation -- on top of CIA sources connecting with Palestinian activists, small fortunes spent crafting political scenes that spread through the internet like a virus, and online disinformation campaigns undertaken in earnest while publicly pushing for tech censorship -- is added by a detail that Rion observed.

The camera crew Bakalova used in her White House stunt were neither amateur pranksters nor Hollywood professionals: they were credentialed members of the press corp. When Rion inquired about this, Bakalova's producer "shrugged and told [her] he has friends at CBS." According to Rion, all three members of the crew had congressional press badges, and at least two of the three had White House hard passes. Hard passes are issued to those who have been on the White House grounds at least 180 times within a six month period -- suggesting that Bakalova's accomplices were full-time, long-term members of the White House press.

Plenty has been said about the cheapness of Borat's humor, and the tiredness of the shtick. Likewise, many have observed that Cohen's comedy -- always heavily political -- has crossed the line into blatant politicking, especially with respect to the Giuliani interview. But there is more than enough here to suggest that the politics run much deeper than might be evident at first glance.

If we're supposed to be so worried about "election disinformation" and foreign election meddling, shouldn't we be concerned about a British multimillionaire -- with unexplained connections to the CIA and the White House press corps, and public affiliation with other institutions clearly hostile to Trump like the ADL -- carrying out massive information ops in the lead-up to an election that he has publicly expressed an interest in influencing? Or should we just pretend it's all okay because the press told us we're supposed to be laughing?


M Orban 14 hours ago

I thought Borat was Mossad, not CIA - but you always learn something new here.

...with respect to the Giuliani interview
It was my impression that the President's personal lawyer was conducting a counterintelligence operation to catch the deep state in the act. As you can see in the movie, he caught them red handed. They infiltrated much closer than anybody thought.

Megan S 9 hours ago

It seems just like Project Veritas, but for comedy instead of political gain.

bumbershoot Megan S 8 hours ago • edited

Except that Project Veritas claims that its scams are true.

(Also Project Veritas is comedy -- just not intentionally)

Andrew Megan S 5 hours ago

Then you should object to it in the same way you would Project Veritas. If a tactic is wrong, it's wrong.

GraniteLiberty303 Megan S an hour ago

If Cohen's stated purpose is the defeat of President Trump this election cycle, how is it not for political gain?

kirthigdon 9 hours ago

Great expose! It's always interesting to find out that what appears to be random leftist filthy-minded comedy is in fact well planned deep state conspiracy. The matrix is far more complex and evil than we suspected.

Kirt Higdon

Tom Riddle kirthigdon 8 hours ago

My sources in the Deep State have confirmed to me that Dave Chappelle ran COINTELPRO

1701 Tom Riddle 4 hours ago • edited

Mmmm... Our Lord and Saviour told me not to believe anonymous sources
twitter.com/realDonaldTrump...

Slenderman2008 kirthigdon 39 minutes ago

It all goes back to the deep state. Even comedy.

bumbershoot 8 hours ago

Well this certainly is a detailed analysis of a minor comedian.

I'm looking forward to future hard-hitting installments where we learn that Sarah Cooper is a big meanie or that Dennis Miller isn't actually funny!

Blood Alcohol bumbershoot 5 hours ago

Dennis Miller was never actually funny. He sounded funny and witty because of the good writers on his team. Good thing he got flushed.

ZizaNiam Blood Alcohol 3 hours ago

Reminds of a Simpsons dialogue:

*Lisa reads Comic Book Guy's Shirt*
Lisa: C:, C:\Dos, C:\Dos\Run. Ha! Only one person in a million would find that funny.
Prof. Frink: Yes, we call that the Dennis Miller Ratio

Benjamin Wood bumbershoot 5 hours ago

This film is being plastered over one of the largest streaming services on earth. Stop gaslighting people.

bumbershoot Benjamin Wood 4 hours ago

Don't like it? Don't watch.

Benjamin Wood bumbershoot 3 hours ago

Misdirection. Your point was that this was an overly detailed analysis of a minor comedian, and then mocked the sincerity of the article's concern. When confronted with the reality that this is in no way minor, but in fact a widely promoted film, you insist I'm free not to watch it, which is completely irrelevant.

Gaslighting & disingenuous.

bumbershoot Benjamin Wood 3 hours ago

Misdirection. Your point was that some random comedian has a movie on Amazon, and somehow this is upsetting (?) to conservatives. When confronted with the reality that it's just a silly film, you insist that it is "plastered" all over a streaming service, which is completely irrelevant.

Gaslighting & disingenuous.

stephen pickard 8 hours ago

Oh my. A lot of hang wringing over a cheap, silly, no account, failed movie. No one with any sense would take Cohen seriously. He is a known provocateur. His movies aren't funny any more. And , while a Democrat, he has me feeling some sympathy for the targets he exploits.

Except for Giuliani. He gets what he sows. He the king of disinformation. But one thing which I have noticed. The successful parodies are by left leaning protagonists. Mostly showing the stupidity of Trump supporters at his rallies. The Daily Show has made a staple of humiliating boring Trump supporters.

Surely there are Biden supporters who are just as wacky. If not, that is interesting. It does seem that right leaning Trump supporters are subject to believing the right's disinformation. Now that is a problem which our author should investigate. And that is actually important. Cohen's movies, not so much.

Update. It was just revealed that a Republican ad doctored a video of Biden being confused about whether he was in Minnesota or Florida. While actually in Florida, the ad doctored the clip to make it seem like he was in Minneapolis. Big difference. One has to pay to be deceived by a liberal. It is free to be deceived by a conservative.

Bugg 7 hours ago • edited

Cohen's pro-Israel turn in "The Spy" could have been produced by the Mossad. While the story is in broad strokes true, every Arab and Syrian is depicted as drunk, incompetent, corrupt, or a cuckold. Would appear being used by or in cahoots intelligence services is nothing new for him.

marqueemoons 7 hours ago

'Carrying out massive information ops' oh get over yourself petal. It's called satire and you're just upset because Republicans are the joke.

Andrew marqueemoons 5 hours ago • edited

Did you actually read the article or just scan it for something to complain about? Take your own advice and get over yourself "petal".

If you read the actual reviews of the movie, or bother to watch it for yourself, people are interpreting the actual events in the film, other than Cohen's actual actions, as real. If the entire thing is a hoax, guess what? It IS a big deal.

marqueemoons Andrew 3 hours ago

Read the article, watched the film. Again - it's called satire, and it couldn't have been made without interrupting things like CPAC; that a lot of work went in to getting it right isn't a surprise. If it's a big deal, I imagine that's just how Cohen wanted it.

Andrew marqueemoons an hour ago

No, not all of it is satire. Don't just reflexively defend Cohen because he went after Republicans. Now, if all you are going to talk about is CPAC and you ignore everything else in the article, it's just a complex and expensive prank. However that's not all there is in the article. Portraying a Palestinian politicians who isn't even Muslim as an Islamist terrorist is NOT satire. It's slander. Don't pretend you don't understand that. If they brought in fake protesters to perform as right wing fanatics at the March for Our Rights, that's not satire. The film has two kids of jokes. Borat is a fictional character. The viewer is aware of that. So there are the jokes which are based on his misunderstandings and stranger from a strange land persona. The other jokes depend on his character evoking legitimate reactions from unsuspecting people he is pranking. Either way the audience is in on what's real and what isn't. In the Country Steve sequence the flag waving protesters joining in to sing about killing and torturing their political enemies are being depicted as authentic to the audience. If they aren't real that's not satire, it's slander against the actual participants and it's fraud at the expense of the audience. I am sure on an intellectual level you can understand this even if you really want to disagree with me for the sake of not conceding the argument and defending a person who is theoretically on your side.

GGinPG marqueemoons an hour ago

Right. And I suppose if Cohen were a right-winger interrupting the sacred ritual of baby dismemberment at Planned Parenthood, this would be acceptable to you in the name of satire?

JS 7 hours ago

I thought it interesting the Borat character is jailed in a gulag at the start. So he's aware of their awfulness.

Did SBC not make the connection that gulags exist in nations with totalitarian governments? It seems unlikely, since he regularly flatters the party of more government at the expense of the liberty-loving conservatives.

sonicfilter 6 hours ago

Only a conservative would think this is a topic for discussion.

M Orban 6 hours ago

While we are at propaganda, organizations and finances,...
... can someone in the know explain what "Collegiate Network" is and how it is financed?

fondatorey 5 hours ago

Great article. Basically a member of the richest class making sport of his perceived racial enemies by slandering us.

Tyro 5 hours ago

The pearl clutching over the fact that an extremely elaborate and well-organized stunt at CPAC required high levels of coordination to pull off is extremely funny to me.

For some reason we need to believe that entertainers and pranksters are dumb people getting by on luck and audaciousness, so we are somehow offended when it turns out they're professionals who make things that are extraordinarily complex look easy.

LFM Tyro 4 hours ago

Outrage isn't pearl-clutching and it is not in this case concerned merely with the fact that this stunt took time and money, or that a political leader or his supporters were mocked. It is concerned with the fact that something that was initially portrayed as a spontaneous event, and latterly as a mere humorous 'stunt' - and that is where the scale and above all the expense of the thing becomes relevant - genuinely reflects the nature of one political party and its supporters. In the case of the 'stunt' in Israel, it seems at face value - I'm not familiar with the story so I can't say - that the detestable Mr Baron Cohen deliberately tried to influence an election and ruin a man's reputation. So much the worse for him if he did it all in good fun.

Constantinople Tyro 3 hours ago

It's almost as if the writer has no idea how movies are made; that movies just spontaneously appear on the screen; that the credits which list the names of scores of specialists, are some kind of inside Hollywood joke; and that movie making, unlike every other business, doesn't requires financing.

Bob Cottle 5 hours ago

Anyone making light of Dear Leader's inner circle is clearly deep-state and Enemy of the People.

Borat is no James Woods or even a Ted Nugent.

DaJuan Hayes 5 hours ago

I think you're taking Sacha Cohen WAY too seriously.

Andrew 5 hours ago • edited

Okay for a lot of you this is going to fall on deaf ears because you just come to The American Conservative to whine about the existence of American Conservatives and whine further if any actual American conservative objects. I suppose some of you will whine about me pointing this out too. It just proves my point, so spare me the snark.

Okay that said.

The reason this article matters is that Sacha Baron Cohen's whole angle is that the absurd characters he portrays lure the unsuspecting into revealing the unpleasantness of their true selves. If you've actually taken the time to watch the movie you know that the sing along at the March for Our Rights really is treated as actually documentary footage, Cohen's charterer is supposed to be fake, but we are supposed to believe that that crowd singing enthusiastically about murdering and torturing their political opponents is completely real. If all of that was staged then what Cohen is doing is extremely deceptive and probably grounds for a civil suit by the event's original organizers.

If you read the actual reviews, both professional reviews and user reviews, (the professional reviews are overwhelmingly positive BTW) all of that is taken at face value and many people are commenting on how Cohen had once again "hilariously" uncovered the dark nature of American culture.

If he's fabricating large parts of this movie, which Amazon Prime is both giving away and heavily promoting, that's a big deal. If partisanship is just going to lead you to respond to this by blowing the whole thing off as Republicans not being able to take being the butt of the joke Cohen has uncovered a dark aspect of our culture, not racism, sexism and violence, but gullibility, apathy and partisanship.

Mccormick47 4 hours ago • edited

Grow up! Comedians have been ridiculing politicians since mass media was invented. Cohen is very successful, and he's not on your side. So you hint at some sort of Jewish conspiracy and demand an investigation. Paranoid thinking at its finest.

Hoffnungslos 4 hours ago

The worst part about Cohen is that he thinks he's funny.
But that also applies to people like Woody Allen, Seinfeld etc.

M Orban Hoffnungslos 3 hours ago

That's why nobody watches them... oh, wait!

eddie parolini 4 hours ago • edited

The President of these United States tweets that the killing OBL was fake, and that the then VP of the United States ordered the murders of the SEALS who killed the stand-in OBL, and you want to talk about how a comedian is unfairly going after Trump?

Andrew eddie parolini 3 hours ago

Who do you think is talking about that?

Chris in Appalachia 4 hours ago

Aww, now, how bad can Cohen be? After all, he was the keynote speaker at the ADL's 2019 Summit, and even received their International Leadership Award. Those are some pretty high honors.

AX2_USN 2 hours ago • edited

Cohen is a sick freak. I told him so in my one-star review of his latest freak show "movie." If he violates US law against foreign meddling in elections, he should be deported or arrested.

Philip Giraldi 2 hours ago

I would observe that even though Cohen insisted "on the sincerity of the CIA claim" in court the assertion might not be true as there is no way to check or verify it. If Cohen has an intelligence relationship it is far more likely to be with an agency from where he was born (Israel) or where he lives (UK). Neither Mossad nor SIS would be likely to confirm any such relationship if it does exist, so Cohen is quite free to make something up that enhances his story without any fear of being exposed.

Wydra an hour ago

And before there was Borat, there was Da Ali G Show another Cohen creation.
From 2009 episode featuring TAC's own Patrick Buchanan.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FJtcFxg4yT0s%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DJtcFxg4yT0s&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FJtcFxg4yT0s%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Seek an hour ago

Could never figure this man out. This article puts things in clearer focus.

[Nov 02, 2020] Glen Greenwald is at his peak in his Tucker Carlson interview, talking of infiltration of "the left" by the agencies.

Nov 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Australian lady , Nov 1 2020 23:39 utc | 54

It makes me nauseous just thinking about who might be chosen for a Biden administration.

There will be no hope for reform within the Democratic Party, ever, with a 2020 win.

A win will be the formal announcement of the death of "the left" as the ideology that has traditionally represented the interests of the people. The credibility of "the left" has been eroding with each regime change war the U.S. has been initiating and participating in, with NATO, since the war on Yugoslavia, but particularly in the Middle East and Libya. There has not been a reckoning. Moral transgressions and cowardice, greed and inertia have in fact been rewarded, and institutionalised. Eichman's plea a badge of honour and the whistleblower blown away. The neocons, those influential Jewish, X-Trotskyite political chameleons pushed those wars, and soft sold them through their many corporate media connections to produce "left wing" journalism which manipulated concern for cruel dictators, for persecuted ethnic minorities, refugees, weapons of mass destruction (the latest toxic version is chemical weapons) and the unavailability of certain kinds of human rights, in nations which were experiencing wars of "bomb them back to the stone age" aggression and psychopathic proxy terror arranged by these very same neocons.
"The left" signalled their virtue by believing the war propaganda, and have not sufficiently grasped the gravity of the sham perpetrated on their minds by this array of war criminals. The derangement by Donald syndrome has also proven to be a most emphatic signal of virtue with "the left", a commandment of wokeness. It is also most apparent that the deplorables, aka the rednecks, can never be included in a census of the left- oh that is just way beyond the pale! Very hard to imagine a large group of people who are so denigrated, and not just within the US. Even the bourgeois left has become elitist, and the elitist as in Marxist left has paradoxically no time for people, let alone the common ones. Vk has left us in no doubt.

Glen Greenwald is at his peak in his Tucker Carlson interview, talking of infiltration of "the left" by the agencies. This is compelling journalism because these truths are dangerous. If there is a deep state, then it is the Dems, they've got it covered and the Atlanticists are their allies. It fits in with Giraldi's latest prognostications, and what would be a counterrevolution and not a revolution should "the left" decide to make the push. By left he means Dems and their corporate sponsored affiliates, partisan elements of the spy agencies and big tech. (I think of Mark2 and his misspelt slogans straight from the Gene Sharpe handbook and wonder if earnest Mark2 is a typical lefty cadre, and muse over his enthusiasm for the gutless Jeremy Corbyn, whom I'm sure is a very nice chap personally, but look at the Labour Party now. Mark2, have you heard of the two forms of fascism, fascism and anti fascism?). Jimmy Dore continues to be heroic when faced with unpleasant truths. Keep being mad Jimmy, and just don't stand for it anymore!

Some of us are grateful for these individuals (and thanks to b for his meta commentary) because they are publically enacting a kind of meaculpa, and they have premonitions and we are being warned. There is grace in that. There still are still some good people who can speak publically.
I used to be left politically, but got disillusioned some time ago. Not knowing what progressivism is leading to, and not trusting its practitioners, I find conservatism to be the more reasonable and tolerant position for these times.

[Nov 02, 2020] All the so-called social media platforms have become near totally taken over by the intelligence agencies and their allies

Nov 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

michaelj72 , Nov 1 2020 21:41 utc | 39

fyi

b, you may want to file this one
All the so-called social media platforms have become near totally taken over by the intelligence agencies and their allies, so I guess they themselves are propaganda networks, eh? The Empire can't tolerate the least bit of 'election interference' now can it


https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/01/media/scott-atlas-russian-media/index.html

Dr. Scott Atlas, White House Coronavirus Task Force adviser, apologizes for interview with Russian propaganda network


Dr. Scott Atlas, an adviser on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, apologized after appearing in an interview with Russian state broadcaster RT, just days before Election Day. In his apology, Atlas claimed he was unaware RT was a registered foreign agent.

....The Kremlin uses RT to spread English-language propaganda to American audiences, and was part of Russia's election meddling in 2016, according to a 2017 report from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Twitter labeled a video from the Russian-state controlled broadcaster RT as election misinformation on Thursday. YouTube videos posted by RT carry the disclaimer: "RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government.".....

Norwegian , Nov 1 2020 21:50 utc | 40

@michaelj72 | Nov 1 2020 21:41 utc | 39
"RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government.".....

And the BBC is funded by the British government... and NrK is funded by the Norwegian government ... and CNN is funded by ... who?

[Oct 31, 2020] The ban against domestic propaganda that had been in place since shortly after WW2 was repealed in 2013

Et tu, Obama?
Oct 31, 2020 | greenwald.substack.com


Willow
Oct 29

The ban against domestic propaganda that had been in place since shortly after WW2 was repealed in 2013. It was known as the Smith-Mundt Act. As part of the repeal, NDAA authorized a huge grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in "counter-propaganda" related work. Sounds like doublespeak for censorship and support for "fake news." I hope Glenn will investigate and connect the dots some day.

Tru Oct 29

omg. I read the whole article...and I'm not really that smart.

Best line: " ...but in journalism, evidence is required before news outlets can validly start blaming some foreign government for the release of information. And none has ever been presented."

[Oct 31, 2020] What CIA does not like about Trump: Trump is bait; his presence is resulting in many, many bad actors revealing themselves to be nefarious.

Oct 31, 2020 | greenwald.substack.com

Abbybwood 22 hr

Four years ago I was railing against Hillary Clinton on Facebook without any censoring.

Tonight I watched an interview Tucker Carlson did with Glenn Greenwald regarding the Hunter Biden/Joe Biden scandal and Tucker showed a poll revealing that 51% of those polled believe this scandal is "Russian Disinformation" with ZERO evidence.

Why do those being polled believe this? Because the bulk of the MSM they watch have told them so and the major tech platforms have ALL censored the pertinent information so there is NO debate amongst the electorate. All of this less than one week from our national election.

With Facebook and Twitter and Google's and the bulk of the MSM's heavy fingers on the scales of public information there are only two words to describe this:

ELECTION INTERFERENCE.

And this with over 70 million voters already having cast their ballots!

Regardless of the outcome next Tuesday, these tech/media corporations should ALL be brought down at least to the point where they can never be allowed to interfere in another American election again, regardless of the higher-ups personal political preferences.

And this is the system the war-mongering DNC wants to "spread around the world" with their "regime change wars"?!

No thank you.

Reply
Stephanie Shaw Oct 29

Glenn-I'm a new subscriber this evening. I want Trump gone. But I appreciate your non-partisan search of truth.

Reply Frank P Huguenard Oct 29

Stephanie, why do you want Trump gone? Trump is bait. His presence is resulting in many, many bad actors revealing themselves to be nefarious. Just look at Twitter/Facebook censoring this blockbuster news (along with the rest of the media). We, The People, are finally seeing first had the level of tyranny that's upon us. None of it has anything to do with Trump. But it's Trump's existence in the White House that is bringing it to light. Without him, we would have never seen it for what it is. Think about that.

Reply Calbeck 19 hr

I may disagree with your take on CIA involvement, but the above paragraph couldn't be more accurate. Trump's election was like throwing a brick through a rotten, wasp-infested beehive.

Reply bitskipper 13 hr

I'll second that. Though perhaps to be fair to the original sentiment, perhaps the brick has only knicked the beehive, and then smashed a window or two along it's way. He is arguably inevitable, even desirable from some perspective, but the degree of nuisance is not erased, so much as outweighed, by the necessity. We would be living in a better world, by definition, if someone like him had never been required to improve it.

Reply Calbeck 9 hr

Agreed. I have been telling Democrats all they need do is run better candidates - and virtually every time, I get people trying to claim there was never anything wrong with Hillary or Joe and also Trump is Literally Hitler Incarnate.

I grew up watching psychos in the Extreme Right talk that way about whoever THEY didn't like politically. Arguing that Bill Clinton was going to send Janet Reno to take their guns and cart them off to FEMA camps like a scene out of "Red Dawn" or something. But this isn't the fringes talking anymore. It's the mainstream, and it's on the Left.

Seriously chilling.

[Oct 31, 2020] This is project Mockingbird happening on a scale almost unimaginable

Oct 31, 2020 | greenwald.substack.com

Frank P Huguenard Oct 29

Glen, I just paid for a subscription so that I can say this one FACT. The PODESTA EMAILS WERE NOT THE RESULT OF A HACK.

Please stop reporting this nonsense. The cover story was all part of the plan (approved by HRC) to shift attention to a Trump-Russia collusion narrative that has always been fiction. Guccifer 2.0 was created out of this same scheme. The meta data on the files prove that it's impossible that those emails were hacked, they had to be downloaded on a local device (thumbdrive most likely).

The FISA Abuse, the spying on Trump, The plan to implicate collusion, the Flynn frameup, the Impeachment, The Mueller investigation were not the base crimes, those were all part of a cover up. By you insinuating that the DNC server got hacked (which there is zero evidence for), you are wittingly or unwittingly complicit in perpetuating the lie that it was. You're missing a much, much bigger story here. The biden laptop isn't even the tip of the icebeg here.

Ask yourself this; "Why would dozens of high level DOJ, FBI, CIA and Whitehouse officials in the Obama Administration put their careers on the line and commit literally hundreds of felonies all in an effort to obstruct/neutralize Trump?" That is first question any true journo should be asking right now.

Reply
Frank P Huguenard Oct 29

You mention in this article that the media is basically over-compensating for helping Trump win in 2016. That is extremely naive on your part. The media/twitter/facebook/CNN/MSNBC, etc. is too well orchestrated, too well coordinated to be operating even vaguely independently. This is project Mockingbird happening on a scale almost unimaginable. Maybe even the Intercept was intercepted. Why would the publication that you founded not allow you to publish this? If you look back at 2016, the entire media industrial complex was just as coordinated as it is now, they just got sloppy because they were certain Trump wasn't going to win. Who's being naive now Kay?

Reply Elizabeth Renee Oct 29

I also get frustrated with what I see as a naive interpretation, by figures like Dan Bongino, Tim Pool, etc. I wonder if there is a fear by some to point behind the curtain, that they will be attacked and cancelled for "conspiracy theories."

Reply Frank P Huguenard Oct 29

Neither Tim or Dan are really journalists and besides, this story is so massive and so incomprehensibly large in scope/scale/magnitude that we shouldn't get too frustrated.

The main point to remember here is that none of this has anything to do with Trump. Look at the timeline in its entirety, the best we are able to do and then plot a graph of the Media Industrial Complex's behavior. They were out to derail Trump from the moment he came down the escalator and it's not because he's a womanizer or that he's a game show host. They couldn't afford to have an non-establishment player come in and wreck their plans. The question is, what the f#$% were their plans? Why did they risk so much to keep him out of the WH?

Reply ScuzzaMan 15 hr

My view is that the constant sturm und drang about the corruption of the elections (voter suppression, mail fraud, ballot harvesting, etc, etc) is a ploy to distract from the fact that the real corruption already happened long before the election.

The real corruption is even mentioned by Glenn in his draft: the SELECTION process.

The media do what they're told, and what they are doing is keeping up the drumbeat of election corruption. In other words, they've been told to distract all attention from the real story.

The real story is that, to the people who control candidate selection, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO WINS.

That is the whole point of controlling the selection process. Oh yes, I know the media hates Trump and so do the establishment. Really? The same establishment that just benefitted from the greatest upward transfer of wealth in human history, during a pandemic panic, under Trump? Bezos has gained over 70 billion in net worth this year, under Trump. You think he hates Trump? Really?

You think Biden will do less? Or perhaps you think he would do more than the greatest upward transfer of wealth in human history?

Republicans versus Democrats is a con game. It's a kabuki theatre of manipulation of parochial tribalism, a Punch n Judy Show for the rubes.

As was once mentioned in the UT threads at Salon, isn't it time for a second political party, Mr Greenwald?

Reply 13 replies Ron Wagner 21 hr

Because they were sure Hillary would win and they would be protected and rewarded.

Reply Substack Commenter 34 12 hr

It's not about their plans. It's just a non-violent (so far) class war. Trump is a vessel for the working classes to carry their dissatisfaction of elite leadership. It's easier to communicate directly to the people now due to social media, so the traditional media can't tell the people how to vote (can't declare a candidate to be beyond the pale any more, squashing their chances, and they used to have that power). The media are part of the elite leadership, they don't like the working classes not listening to them, and they don't like the loss of power. That's their agenda.

They have taken to "any means necessary" to keep that power, even though now it's basically lying and obfuscation. They are trading off their legacy trustworthiness for short term benefit, but they are destroying that foundation of trust as well. That happens slowly but surely as more people see through them. Takes too long in the experience of everyone who is reading this, because we're well ahead of the curve. The average mid level elite is a working professional with kids too busy and not interested enough to dig to the next level and has been taking their word - but they too see the truth every time they really look and over time that is going to go as we all hope it will. It's just going to take a while.

Reply 2 new replies Bob Oct 29

Except Trump was/is good for ratings and business.

Reply 2 replies Calbeck 21 hr

"The guy who co-founded one of the current-day major online journalism outlets isn't really a journalist" - Someone Posting to the Comments on an Article by a Guy Who Co-Founded One of the Current-Day Major Online Journalism Outlets

Reply 5 replies Bob Oct 29

not to mention ;The Intercept (Omidyar et.al .), intercepting their cache of the "Snowden Files" from the public..

Reply Frank P Huguenard Oct 29

There is good cause to question the Snowden story. He was CIA. Once a CIA agent, always a CIA agent. It's plausible that he was inserted into booz allen hamilton in an attempt to harm the NSA (on behalf of the CIA). Tell me this Glen, how did Snowden evade the largest dragnet/manhunt ever on the planet to evade the authorities and make it to Moscow? Am I the only one who finds this a little fishy? As someone who has been in software for 40 years, when I heard him on Joe Rogan podcast about a year ago, I didn't find his backstory credible at all. He sounds intelligent, but when you get beyond that and listen to him from a technological perspective, his story doesn't add up. I find it hard to believe.

Reply Scott 22 hr

Why would a "patriot" doing work on behalf of the CIA be thrown to the wolves? Why wouldn't they cover for him after it was released? I haven't been in software for 40 years, but I believe that the Snowden story is extremely credible.

Reply 13 replies e.pierce 2 hr

Snowden was a libertarian high school dropout hacker

The Deep State hired 800,000 employees/contractors around the Beltway after 9/11 on a war footing, so anyone that was seen as clean and patriotic may not have needed a lot of standard credentials by the usual bureaucratic managerial idiot types working for the Feds

I've been told that military field grade IT is all from the 1990s, dunno about national security agencies, but unless you have actually worked with national security IT stuff I'm not sure why your views should hold much weight

Senior people I know in the military and national security apparatus have told me that corruption, waste and inefficiency are rampant (80-90%?)

Reply Calbeck 21 hr

Sorry, but I've heard that "anything CIA is automatically X" way too many times in my life. Often from people trying to sell books about how we never landed on the Moon (you'd be amazed how many ex-[alphabet agency] agents "back up" these claims with the worst sort of pseudo-authoritative malarkey).

Reply 13 replies Hugo Mossner 19 hr

I thought Snowden was NSA vice CIA.

Reply 1 reply Bob 23 hr

After reading Surveillance Valley by Yasha Levine; things really smell fishy

Reply 3 replies Calbeck 21 hr

Hah! They "helped" Trump by running two billion dollars' worth of 95% negative coverage. It made Trump look like the victim of a massive smear campaign by partisan hacks. What have they been doing to "over-compensate", exactly? Make it 99%?

Reply Frank P Huguenard 14 hr

Whether or not they helped Trump, Greenwald's article claimst that journalists feel responsible for Trump being elected last time so they are trying not to make the same 'mistake'. At least that's what Glenn is asserting here.

Reply Calbeck 10 hr

They're not wrong. They helped elect him with their sheer negativity. I've seen these people argue the point, and they always point the finger at other journalists somehow NOT being negative enough. It's never themselves.

So there's no collective soul-searching going on, no self-awareness, only a drive to be angrier and finger-wagging with less concern for the actual facts of any given matter. They don't realize how transparent it's become for those not already personally invested in the extant narratives.

This, I think, is why we are seeing many more people defect to Trump rather than away from him; when one is personally and deeply invested in a narrative, it's an article of faith. Imagine you walk into church one day and the pastor says "this just in: the Archangel Gabriel was a child molestor who felt up Baby Jesus". Next week, they accuse the Virgin Mary of the same. Would a member of the faithful just roll with that, or consider moving to another church altogether just to avoid the emotional whiplash?

Reply 2 replies Liz Burton 9 hr

More to the point, the head of Crowdstrike, the company run by a known Russia-hater the Democrats sent their server to instead of the FBI, and who never provided that server to the FBI, admitted in a Senate hearing that there was, in fact, no evidence of hacking. He was under oath that time. Russiagate remains one of the most successful propaganda campaign in history.

Reply Rochelle Levy 23 hr

What Frank Huguenot said is likely.

Just before or just after Trump's 2016 election I was in a Manhattan restaurant with my domestic partner talking with strangers from DC. It turned out that they worked in the State Dept. and they told us that since Trump questioned the veracity of some things the intelligence establishment had said, they would absolutely bring him down. We were shocked but have remembered this throughout the FISA debacle,the Mueller mess,the impeachment and this election cycle.

Reply Linda Jansen Oct 29

Right. Thank you. I wrote to Matt T. about this same issue in his article. I'm hoping they will do the investigation required for them to amend their articles. It really is a fundamental mistake to perpetuate this propaganda.

Reply Frank P Huguenard Oct 29

It's literally in the Mueller report that the DNC server was hacked, without a shred of evidence. As Fox Mulder said "Trust No One". Matt & Glen really need to get to the point where they chuck everything they think they know and start over. Everything has been a lie. Why would anyone believe ANYTHING the FBI or DOJ of Obama WH put out at this point? The MSM has no credibility, FBI/DOJ/CIA? This cancer has metasticized to the point where the patient is on life support.

We need to understand that Trump is Chemo. It takes an outsider to come in, someone who didn't need this job, someone who couldn't be bought, to come in and kill that cancer.

Reply e.pierce 3 hr

See Matt Taibbi's reporting on how CNN groomed Trump to run in 2015/16 to increase views/clicks and advertising $$$

Reply Bernard 16 hr

Just to offer some confirmation for that, Here is a CNN article from the time: "A phishing email sent to Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta may have been so sophisticated that it fooled the campaign's own IT staffers, who at one point advised him it was a legitimate warning to change his password."

https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/28/politics/phishing-email-hack-john-podesta-hillary-clinton-wikileaks/

However, they also report that the link was from " no-reply@accounts.googlemail.com ." I searched for whether that email address had been reported as malicious on the day that the story broke. Far from being "sophisticated", it was just a phishing link that was going around randomly, and had already been reported to this spam reporting site:

http://report-spam.email/no-reply/accounts.google.com?fbclid=IwAR26KFL4k6sOWS-rqi7V15UR0KtdlirODcKP5q-v_rqvFa5HegoAMXoZM7Q

And in fact people were talking about the phishing link on reddit as much as two years before the 2016 election:

https://www.reddit.com/r/google/comments/1vqzza/suspicious_sign_in_prevented/

So, despite (much of) the media converging on a "sophisticated spear phishing" narrative, this looks to be a link that was sent to a large number of people over a long period, and just a case of random spam phishing that got lucky.

Reply e.pierce 2 hr

re: "so sophisticated that it fooled the campaign's own IT staffers"

I'm not a google mail user, but in general it is pretty rare for a phishing email to NOT have extended headers (server route log) that reveal a bogus or weird looking origin.

Reply Frank P Huguenard 14 hr

ummmm....did you just quote CNN in a thread about how CNN is a misinformation/disinformation arm of the CIA?

Reply Calbeck 10 hr

"Alleging" would be more accurate. They've been acting quite more brazenly as a misinfo/disinfo arm of the DNC. Whether or not the DNC has deep enough connections with the CIA to provide a useful and reliable data/policy bridge is another question, but both DNC and GOP likely have enough connections to establish semi-functional "lamprey" networks just due to their longevity and resulting personal/professional contacts therein.

Reply Ron Wagner 21 hr

Frank, you need to be frank with yourself. You are fooling yourself by evading the obvious truth. Democrats are now demoncrats.

Reply David G Horsman 17 hr

Hi Frank. " The PODESTA EMAILS WERE NOT THE RESULT OF A HACK.

Please stop reporting this nonsense. The cover story was all part of the plan (approved by HRC) to shift attention to a Trump-Russia collusion narrative that has always been fiction. Guccifer 2.0 was created out of this same scheme. The meta data on the files prove that it's impossible that those emails were hacked, they had to be downloaded on a local device (thumbdrive most likely)."

Based on the forensics that was my conclusion but beware of these rabbit holes. It has never been discussed that those details can also be faked (the meta data.) Certainly Gucifer which seemed like damage control. I am unsure of the claims about his being backtracked tho.

So it's possible that the evidence is faked having accepted the conclusions of VIPS analysts.

Reply Frank P Huguenard 14 hr

Could be. It would also mean that it was the first time Wikileaks published something that wasn't authentic. Assange knows where the emails came from and he asserted that they didn't come from Russia.

Reply David G Horsman 17 hr

Note to all: You must use actual (historical) ISP speeds as of the specific months in question. They increased a good deal in the months that followed in that area.

Reply Substack Commenter 34 9 hr

I agree that there was a massive fake Russia story created by GPS Fusion, the Clinton campaign, Clinton allies, with the help of US intelligence, often willing and sometimes just incompetent.

But there is definitely some evidence of a DNC hack. Among other things, the Dutch intelligence services seem to have observed evidence in their spying on the Internet Research Agency - reported by mutliple sources including Dutch media. What the nature of the hack was and how it gibes with the evidence that there must have been a person on the ground to transfer the data files that fast is of course fair to discuss.

There is also evidence, both purposely forgotten in media coverage after Jan 2017, of an attempted RNC hack and the overt public hack and release of Colin Powell's email to embarass and hurt Trump. There is plenty of other evidence of Internet Research Agency activity that was pro-BLM and anti-Trump, making their more likely overall goal the sowing of chaos than only supporting Trump. Thus the need for GPS/Clintonistas/Intelligence/Mueller's team to spin a narrative.

Reply Alex G. 23 hr

I became a fan of yours when I was in law school at UC Hastings in 2003. Your the best, for sure. But fuck...

I got to be honest...I'm glad the press is ignoring this story. There's just too much at stake. Biden might be losing his edge, his family might be trading in his name, but who gives a shit? The alternative is worse by light years.

And yeah, I don't trust the "people" out there to get it right. The "people" are rubes. Those idiots voted for this piece of shit once before, they'll do it again, in a heartbeat.

More importantly, you really want to do Rudy Giuliani's work for him? I don't know, I don't get it...why so eager to make the campaign's case for them? It's not a rhetorical question. I just don't get it.

Reply Rupert Giles 11 hr

Alex: you are saying that we should not have independent press, that the media ought to be agents of propaganda, consciously decieving the public for the greater good.

Maybe Biden is the lesser evil in this election. But without actual journalists like Glenn we could never know.

I get the frustrations over Trump. He is a disaster. But the answer to that disaster does not concist in advocating for more lies and propaganda.

Reply Calbeck 10 hr

I have yet to hear a reasonable case for Trump being either the greater evil or a disaster. Many of the allegations against Trump have remained that - allegations - but in Biden's case some of the same accusations (particular about racism) is in his Senate record. He was a terrible candidate to position against Trump, and he picked as his veep the only person in the entire primary season to get blown out by a single phrase from Tulsi Gabbard - who the rest of the party's establishment absolutely despised because Hillary said so.

With Trump? Roaring economy brought to a halt not even by coronavirus, but massive economic lockdowns that break the economy down to virtually Blue-State (down) / Red-State (up) comparisons. Democrats were accusing Trump of "meddling" when he was still a candidate and nonetheless pressured a Detroit factory into staying in the US. The man understands economic leverage, and to ignore or deny that is like denying the Sun heats the Earth.

Three Middle East peace deals leading to an equal number of Nobel nominations. He is roasted for de-escalating international tensions, lauded only when he fires missiles at nations Democrats think need shooting at, and then castigated for killing a terrorist leader in the same nation they were cheering him for firing missiles at.

I see very little criticism of Trump that isn't associated with bald-faced party-based opposition, from establishment Republicans who hated his cockblocking of JEB BUSH FOR GODSAKE to Democrats who still think Hillary's shit job as Secretary of State (ruining more nations than Trump has cut peace deals for) is beyond reproach.

Speaking as a lifetime independent, please: the naked, incessant and baseless fury demonstrated by Democrats and the Radical Left since 2016 has NOT been a selling point for us.

Reply Calbeck 11 hr

"The alternative is worse by light years"

Biden has been credibly accused of actually pinning a staffer against the wall and stuffing his fingers up her vagina. The media didn't attack her story, but her college credentials, and dumped the story after.

Biden has actually authored racist legislation and in recent years spoke of "being able to work across the aisle" - with racist segregationists.

Trump's been merely ACCUSED of a shit-ton of things. But I don't join lynch-mobs. Same reason the lynching of Justice Kavanaugh (seriously, you guys went after him over "I like beer" and school calendars you had to try and reinterpret as codebooks?) made me see the Democratic Party as a progressively more lunatic outfit. Reducing impeachment to "who needs criminal charges? we really just hate the guy" wasn't a winner with us independents either, not just speaking for myself there.

A pox on both your damned parties, and thank Trump for being that pox.

Reply AZJeff 10 hr

Gee Alex, elitist much? You don't like Trump so the people making an informed choice is not a worthy goal? Anyone who disagrees with your world view is a rube who is not smart enough to see the light - as defined by you? And you wonder why Trump won last time. The left is populated by arrogant asses who think because they came out of college with a degree in some worthless major, they are smarter than everyone else. Well, I went to college to but got a degree in engineering vice sociology but I guess I'm just an educated rube.

Reply LookingforTrubble 1 hr

Your law school tuition dollars were clearly wasted. Most of the people/rubes/idiots I know and love learned the difference between "your" and "you're" in high school - and acquired critical thinking skills at the same time. Too bad you missed out.

Reply tp3192000 22 hr

Yeah, we the people (rubes) are fn sick of the fn lawyers (especially from UC Hastings) being in political control of our country and want a non-political person to clean up. What's so hard for you to understand?

Reply Alex G. 22 hr

How's your guy doing you fucking rube? Great choice! Job well done!! If you ever wonder why nobody gives a shit about your opinion, the fact that you chose a fucking reality star who ran every business he ever owned into the ground, and fancies a bizarre hairdo, that's why no one cares what you say. You're fucking stupid.

Reply tp3192000 22 hr

Meet me.

Reply Alex G. 22 hr

bahahahahaha...go crawl back into your fucking prol shit hole dwelling and latch onto Tucker's teat. You're a fucking joke and always will be, no matter how special your dear leader makes you feel.

Reply 5 replies Calbeck 11 hr

Three Nobel nominations for actual peace deals, to start. Wow, you're a hateful person. Have you considered therapy?

Reply 11Bravo 9 hr

You are a lawyer? You sound more like a garbage truck driver. You learn to talk in a trash can?

Reply Smaack 7 hr

It would appear that either UC Hastings has low admission standards or that Alex was short-changed in his education.

Reply Eric 7 hr

Our local sanitation workers are much more thoughtful and respectful actually. I am voting for Biden but I find this lawyer's response detestable. We need to grow up and stop with ad hominem attacks that do nothing to advance the discussion.

Reply Urepiphany 2 hr

You're a bit of a bully. Have you noticed how cruel your side has become? You ever read Don Quixote?

Reply CJ4700 7 hr

Anyone who feels the need to not-so-subtlety brag that they're an attorney should know the difference between "your" and "you're"...

Reply Scott 22 hr

Morals and ethics obviously mean nothing to a lawyer. If this was Don Jr, you would be out for blood. As an independent voter, I want to know that I'm not voting for a piece of shit that has been compromised by the Russians and Chinese! People like you, the FAKE NEWS media, and antifa, etc are a major reason why I won't ever give my vote to Biden!

Reply Piper Scott 5 hr

Elitists like Alex G. made the election of Donald Trump as president both inevitable and necessary. The more he disses the "people" aka "rubes," the more President Trump's re-election becomes equally inevitable and necessary. To borrow from Sen. Ted Cruz's exchange with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, "Who the hell made Alex G. the final authority on how and what people should think, say and do?"

One thing we know for sure is Alex G. never learned any humility or manners growing up. To substantiate this, he stands condemned out of his own mouth. Last thing this country needs is to have an authoritarian demagogue like him anywhere near the levers of power.

Reply Urepiphany 2 hr

Please go back and fact check the old stories that made us hate Trump in the first place. They've proven to be lies. He isn't perfect, but Biden will destroy this country. He's beyond corrupt. Go look at the source materials.

Reply Political Economist 15 hr

So after Biden wins, assuming he does, you think the press will suddenly become interested in these things. Most lawyers aren't that naive.

Reply e.pierce 3 hr

Arrogant, smug D party loyalist goons and assholes like you are a very large part of why people voted for Trump in 2016 and will vote for him in this election. T-R-0-L-L

---

Drunk? On drugs? Ran out of psych meds?

Reply NYEngineer 12 hr

I believe in the democratic system. The people may make mistakes, but so can anyone else. An average of all the people is more accurate than randomly picking subsets of people to make decisions. You say that you and your friends are not a random subset, you are better than average. Your opponents say the same thing. We have a system for resolving these disputes. Maybe you can invent a better one, but "I'm right and my opponents are wrong" is not a new approach.

In answer to your "Why" question, perhaps Mr. Greenwald believes the same thing.

I'm a Biden voter.

Reply Bottlethrower 4 hr

Why report it?

*thinking*

Because it's important news, serious allegations concerning possibly the next POTUS?

Am I close?

Btw, got really depressed after your 3rd paragraph, when I realized you weren't joking

Quite an anti-democratic edge for someone who calls himself a "Democrat"

Reply KTA Oct 29

Glenn - new subscriber today (saw you with Tucker Carlson). As a conservative voter, I support your new venture, not because your story is critical or suspicious of Biden, but because we need more talented journalists willing to just investigate possible corruption and inform the public. I also support Matt Taibbi for the same reason. The last line of your article sums it up best for me.

"The whole point is that the press loses its way when it cares more about who benefits from information than whether it's true."

Good luck, I hope you find this new path rewarding professionally and financially.

Reply Eric 17 min

Agreed, I also like reading Quillette for it's equal publication of articles (they printed that big article from the Environmentalist who demonized Environmentalism after he was banned from his original publisher), and I also like reading Sharyl Attkisson as well.

Reply Frank P Huguenard 14 hr

I find it interesting how Glenn sees all the propoganda from these agencies in the media, but fails to see the full extent of it in social media and therefore is unable to report on it adequately. The DNC server hack is more of the same.

Reply NV Oct 29

I paid for a subscription precisely because I believe that, despite what you may or may not personally believe, you don't allow it to influence your pursuit of the truth. I want the truth - nothing less and nothing more.

Reply 11Bravo 8 hr

I just signed up, too, for that very reason. When those in positions of power put on a mask and practice deception, they must be exposed. Sunlight is the cure for the disease of corruption.

Reply fidelity Oct 29

Personally, having read your work going back to Cato Institute and Volokh, I'm happy you're independent and I can directly fund you. I'm willing to throw even more money at your projects. Consider crowdfunding video documentary teams and other large projects. Your following after all of this is going to be as large as ever.

Reply Herbie Oct 29

I've supported him here as well because I think he is an important voice right now. There are few journos out there right now who have Glenn's credibility who are willing to take on media groupthink. But it is a tough environment. With NYT offering their digital for 4$ a month that gives access to all of their writers/content, it is very difficult for writers like Glenn to compete.

Reply Political Economist Oct 29

For me it's easy. Glenn is worth a multiple of the NYT. I can read their take anywhere. His is much harder to find.

Now if I lived in NYC it might be different, but, luckily for me, I do not.

Reply John Oct 29

I have, and it's still worth the multiple

Reply David G Horsman 18 hr

I had a rule to never use paywalls but this is Glenn Greenwald we are talking about here. He's worth every Canadian ruble I forked over.

Reply bamage Oct 29

[Oct 31, 2020] Democracy Dies in Darkness. And also at the Washington Post, these days...

If this is humor, this is very dark humor. The saddest thing of all in this is that very little of Glenn's excellent article is new. One of Donald Trump's presidency greatest accomplishment has been to show me how the main stream media 'plays' its dirty games... The entire mainstream media collectively abandoned its integrity during the last decade.
Oct 31, 2020 | greenwald.substack.com

It's beyond what Orwell could have ever possibly imagined. Targeted gaslighting on an individual basis using social media to brainwash people into believing whatever they want you to believe?


B.A. Berg
Oct 29

I just paid for an annual subscription out of a total frustration with the current outrageous, unfair, evil and dishonest media situation in the US (and elsewhere also). Totalitarism is approaching and I have decided to participate in the fight against the threatening darkness. Good luck.

[Oct 25, 2020] The Trillion-Dollar F-35 Fighter Program Does Not Make Americans Safer

Notable quotes:
"... Overspending on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program does not make America any safer. The president's military spending increase is based on the false premise that more spending equals more security. More spending may even make America less safe by spending us into bankruptcy. ..."
"... One big problem with this massive spending on one defense program is that it gives interventionist politicians the tools of war that they desire. ..."
"... While some support this flawed program no matter how much it costs and actually advocate spending more taxpayer cash on it, Americans want that $1.7 trillion spent at home and not on a transnational defense spending program to defend other nations. ..."
"... The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is not worthy of a massive investment by the taxpayer when it does not make America safer while also being a poorly negotiated government contract that has stuck the taxpayer with a massive bill. ..."
Oct 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Norm Singleton via The Mises Institute,

Overspending on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program does not make America any safer. The president's military spending increase is based on the false premise that more spending equals more security. More spending may even make America less safe by spending us into bankruptcy.

The F-35 program is expected to cost well over $1 trillion when it is fully operational and deployed. That massive investment will serve to enrich government contractors while giving interventionist politicians an offensive weapon of war. This program was created as a "too big to fail" scheme where once the government starts the process of making these fighter jets, they will have spent so much money that they can't back away. The F-35 program is a bad deal for the taxpayer while promoting a policy that will make these same taxpayers less safe.

It appears that the massive amount put into the program has purchased a lemon of a jet. The program has been troubled from day one and is currently experiencing some padding of the contract. On September 11, 2020, Bloomberg reported, "the Pentagon's five-year budget plan for the F-35 falls short by as much as $10 billion, the military's independent cost analysis unit has concluded, a new indication that the complex fighter jet may be too costly to operate and maintain." The plan for the F-35 for the next five years was an estimated "$78 billion for research and development, jet procurement, operations and maintenance and military construction dedicated to the F-35 built by Lockheed Martin Corp." This $10 billion mistake is going to fall on the shoulders of an already overtaxed taxpayer.

One big problem with this massive spending on one defense program is that it gives interventionist politicians the tools of war that they desire. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program contains a number of versions of a stealth fighter jet that can engage other aircraft and conduct military strikes. The goal is to use these aircraft as the primary fighter jets for the air force, navy, and marines. These can be used as offensive weapons in the hands of politicians who desire to engage in the endless war policies that have left the United States vulnerable to attack. This is a very expensive program that will not provide $1 trillion in security for American citizens.

Typical with government defense contracting, there have been numerous problems that have shifted significant increased cost onto the Pentagon. Defense News reported recently that the contractor was trying to stick the taxpayer with the cost of spare parts for the F-35. According to Bloomberg , the taxpayer received more bad news: "the F-35's total 'life cycle' cost is estimated at $1.727 trillion in current dollars." That is an insane amount of taxpayer cash and "$1.266 trillion is for operations and support of the advanced plane that's a flying supercomputer." When pressed by Bloomberg , a Pentagon spokesman bragged that a Pentagon "cost analysis office projects that the average procurement cost for an F-35, including its engines, is dropping from a planned $109 million to $101.3 million in 2012 dollars." Only in Washington would a bureaucrat brag about ripping off American citizens by just under $8 million less as a deal for the taxpayer.

While some support this flawed program no matter how much it costs and actually advocate spending more taxpayer cash on it, Americans want that $1.7 trillion spent at home and not on a transnational defense spending program to defend other nations.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is not worthy of a massive investment by the taxpayer when it does not make America safer while also being a poorly negotiated government contract that has stuck the taxpayer with a massive bill.

[Oct 24, 2020] Treason in America- An Overview of the FBI, CIA and Matters of 'National Security'

In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security.
Oct 24, 2020 | themadtruther.com

The tragedy of Hamlet does not just lie in the action (or lack of action) of one man, but rather, it is contained in the choices and actions of all its main characters. Each character fails to see the longer term consequences of their own actions, which leads not only to their ruin but towards the ultimate collapse of Denmark. The characters are so caught up in their antagonism against one another that they fail to foresee that their very own destruction is intertwined with the other.

This is a reflection of a failing system.

A system that, though it believes itself to be fighting tooth and nail for its very survival, is only digging a deeper grave. A system that is incapable of generating any real solutions to the problems it faces.

The only way out of this is to address that very fact. The most important issue that will decide the fate of the country is what sort of changes are going to occur in the political and intelligence apparatus, such that a continuation of this tyrannical treason is finally stopped in its tracks and unable to sow further discord and chaos.

When the Matter of "Truth" Becomes a Threat to "National Security"

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the "free" world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time , and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22 nd , 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time .

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their "intelligence," that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government's ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here ), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something "credible" to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on "terror," that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the U.S. for the last four years over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called "mistaken" intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.

When Great Figures of Hope Are Targeted as Threats to "National Security"

The Family Jewels report , which was an investigation conducted by the CIA to investigate itself , was spurred by the Watergate Scandal and the CIA's unconstitutional role in the whole affair. This investigation by the CIA reviewed its own conduct from the 1950s to mid-1970s.

The Family Jewels report was only partially declassified in June 25, 2007 (30 years later). Along with the release of the redacted report included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

" The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots , and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s. " [emphasis added]

Despite this acknowledged violation of its charter for 25 years, which is pretty much since its inception, the details of this information were kept classified for 30 years from not just the public but major governmental bodies and it was left to the agency itself to judge how best to "reform" its ways.

On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the "family jewels". This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time . In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of U.S. citizens.

Largely as a reaction to Hersh's findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate.

The Church Committee's final report was published in April 1976, including seven volumes of Church Committee hearings in the Senate.

The Church Committee also published an interim report titled "Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders", which investigated alleged attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of Zaire, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and Fidel Castro of Cuba. President Ford attempted to withhold the report from the public, but failed and reluctantly issued Executive Order 11905 after pressure from the public and the Church Committee.

Executive Order 11905 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on February 18, 1976, by a very reluctant President Ford in an attempt to reform the United States Intelligence Community, improve oversight on foreign intelligence activities, and ban political assassination.

The attempt is now regarded as a failure and was largely undone by President Reagan who issued Executive Order 12333 , which extended the powers and responsibilities of U.S. intelligence agencies and directed leaders of the U.S. federal agencies to co-operate fully with the CIA, which was the original arrangement that CIA have full authority over clandestine operations (for more information on this refer to my papers here and here ).

In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled " Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973 ". The rest were kept secret at the CIA's request.

Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK , in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List.

In 1975, the Church Committee decided to unilaterally declassify the particulars of this operation, against the objections of President Ford's administration (refer here and here for more information).

The Church Committee's reports constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but over 50,000 pages were declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22 nd , 1963. Two days before his assassination a hate-Kennedy handbill (see picture) was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer.

On March 1 st , 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of David Ferrie and others. After a little over a one month long trial, Shaw was found not guilty on March 1 st , 1969.

David Ferrie, a controller of Lee Harvey Oswald, was going to be a key witness and would have provided the "smoking gun" evidence linking himself to Clay Shaw, was likely murdered on Feb. 22 nd , 1967, less than a week after news of Garrison's investigation broke in the media.

According to Garrison's team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy's assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation.

Though Garrison's team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison's book for further details and Oliver Stone's excellently researched movie JFK ]

To date, it is the only trial to be brought forward concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in 1994 by the Congress enacted President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection within the National Archives and Records Administration. In July 1998, a staff report released by the ARRB emphasized shortcomings in the original autopsy.

The ARRB wrote , "One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist." [emphasis added]

The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy's brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.

The Washington Post reported :

" Asked about the lunchroom episode [where he was overheard stating his notes of the autopsy went missing] in a May 1996 deposition, Finck said he did not remember it. He was also vague about how many notes he took during the autopsy but confirmed that "after the autopsy I also wrote notes" and that he turned over whatever notes he had to the chief autopsy physician, James J. Humes.

It has long been known that Humes destroyed some original autopsy papers in a fireplace at his home on Nov. 24, 1963. He told the Warren Commission that what he burned was an original draft of his autopsy report. Under persistent questioning at a February 1996 deposition by the Review Board, Humes said he destroyed the draft and his "original notes."

Shown official autopsy photographs of Kennedy from the National Archives, [Saundra K.] Spencer [who worked in "the White House lab"] said they were not the ones she helped process and were printed on different paper. She said "there was no blood or opening cavities" and the wounds were much smaller in the pictures [than what she had] worked on

John T. Stringer, who said he was the only one to take photos during the autopsy itself, said some of those were missing as well. He said that pictures he took of Kennedy's brain at a "supplementary autopsy" were different from the official set that was shown to him. " [emphasis added]

This not only shows that evidence tampering did indeed occur, as even the Warren Commission acknowledges, but this puts into question the reliability of the entire assassination record of John F. Kennedy and to what degree evidence tampering and forgery have occurred in these records.

We would also do well to remember the numerous crimes that the FBI and CIA have been guilty of committing upon the American people such as during the period of McCarthyism. That the FBI's COINTELPRO has been implicated in covert operations against members of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s. That FBI director J. Edgar Hoover made no secret of his hostility towards Dr. King and his ludicrous belief that King was influenced by communists, despite having no evidence to that effect.

King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 and the civil rights movement took a major blow.

In November 1975, as the Church Committee was completing its investigation, the Department of Justice formed a Task Force to examine the FBI's program of harassment directed at Dr. King, including the FBI's security investigations of him, his assassination and the FBI conducted criminal investigation that followed. One aspect of the Task force study was to determine "whether any action taken in relation to Dr. King by the FBI before the assassination had, or might have had, an effect, direct or indirect, on that event."

In its report , the Task Force criticized the FBI not for the opening, but for the protracted continuation of, its security investigation of Dr. King:

" We think the security investigation which included both physical and technical surveillance, should have been terminated in 1963. That it was intensified and augmented by a COINTELPRO type campaign against Dr. King was unwarranted; the COINTELPRO type campaign, moreover, was ultra vires and very probably felonious. "

In 1999, King Family v. Jowers civil suit in Memphis, Tennessee occurred, the full transcript of the trial can be found here . The jury found that Lloyd Jowers and unnamed others, including those in high ranking positions within government agencies, participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.

During the four week trial, it was pointed out that the rifle allegedly used to assassinate King did not have a scope that was sighted, which meant you could not have hit the broad side of a barn with that rifle, thus it could not have been the murder weapon .

This was only remarked on over 30 years after King was murdered and showed the level of incompetence, or more likely, evidence tampering that was committed from previous investigations conducted by the FBI.

The case of JFK and MLK are among the highest profile assassination cases in American history, and it has been shown in both cases that evidence tampering has indeed occurred, despite being in the center of the public eye. What are we then to expect as the standard of investigation for all the other cases of malfeasance? What expectation can we have that justice is ever upheld?

With a history of such blatant misconduct, it is clear that the present demand to declassify the Russiagate papers now, and not 50 years later, needs to occur if we are to address the level of criminality that is going on behind the scenes and which will determine the fate of the country.

The American People Deserve to Know

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decades' long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country .

On Oct. 6 th , 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan's handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to "vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service."

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13 th , 2017 – Jan. 3 rd , 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7 th , 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3 rd , 2015 – Jan. 3 rd , 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus. Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the "national security" of the American people?

The truth must finally be brought to light, or the country will rot from its head to tail.

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[Oct 23, 2020] Russia are mixed with Iran in a new wave of election hacking hysteria

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The sustained tosh from the good old boys at state, cia, fbi & nsa isn't worthy of comment, given that it is 100% evidence-free accusations which surprise surprise 'just happens' to align with these provenly corrupt organisations' most prioritsed foreign policy goals. ..."
Oct 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Silly Season

Washington Post , November 19, 2017

Justice Department pushing Iran-connected charges in HBO hack, other cases

Last month, national security prosecutors at the Justice Department were told to look at any ongoing investigations involving Iran or Iranian nationals with an eye toward making them public.

The push to announce Iran-related cases has caused internal alarm, these people said, with some law enforcement officials fearing that senior Justice Department officials want to reveal the cases because the Trump administration would like Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Washington Post , October 22, 2020

U.S. government concludes Iran was behind threatening emails sent to Democrats

U.S. officials on Wednesday night accused Iran of targeting American voters with faked but menacing emails and warned that both Iran and Russia had obtained voter data that could be used to endanger the upcoming election.

The disclosure by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe at a hastily called news conference marked the first time this election cycle that a foreign adversary has been accused of targeting specific voters in a bid to undermine democratic confidence -- just four years after Russian online operations marred the 2016 presidential vote.

The claim that Iran was behind the email operation, which came into view on Tuesday as Democrats in several states reported receiving emails demanding they vote for President Trump, was leveled without specific evidence .
...
Metadata gathered from dozens of the emails pointed to the use of servers in Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, according to numerous analysts.

Reuters , October 22, 2020

U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran, Russia have tried to interfere in 2020 election

The emails are under investigation, and one intelligence source said it was still unclear who was behind them.
...
... the evidence remains inconclusive.

The claims that Iran is behind this are as stupid as the people who believe them.

I for one trust (not) those 50 former intelligence officials who say that all emails are Russian disinformation. They are intended to 'sow discord' which is something the U.S. has otherwise never ever had throughout its history.

Politico , October 19, 2020

Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails ... "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."
...
While the letter's signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them "deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case" and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin's hand at work.

"If we are right," they added, "this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this."

No, this doesn't make any sense. It is not supposed to do that.

Posted by b on October 22, 2020 at 7:21 UTC | Permalink


Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 8:11 utc | 1


The sustained tosh from the good old boys at state, cia, fbi & nsa isn't worthy of comment, given that it is 100% evidence-free accusations which surprise surprise 'just happens' to align with these provenly corrupt organisations' most prioritsed foreign policy goals.

We know that these yarns align in syncopation with what the amerikan empire most wants to promulgate, yet bereft of even a a cunt hair's worth of evidence, the only truth which can be inferred from this foggy bottom tosh is the obvious one - that is that the empire is becoming so desperate they will happily toss their credibility with the many to the winds if they can, please sir, just convince a few of the few.

Tuyzentfloot , Oct 22 2020 8:14 utc | 3
Stuff like this is a suitable test of how the media are supposed to represent our interests and help us in not getting fooled. You report, and afterwards you test what your readers believe.

Independently of questionable bias issues serious newspapers will defend news like this with formal justifications of journalistic code
- neutrality and objectivity: we just report but don't judge.
- null hypothesis of trustworthiness: official sources are to be trusted unless proven otherwise. At least, proven otherwise by someone we consider trustworthy.
The propaganda is already embedded in the lofty ethics codes journalists will proudly adhere to.

Antonym , Oct 22 2020 8:42 utc | 4
"Other documents that have emerged include FBI paper work that reveals the bureau's interactions with the shop's owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, who reported the laptop's contents to authorities. The document shows that Isaac received a subpoena to testify before the U.S. District Court in Delaware on Dec. 9, 2019 . One page appears to show the serial number for a MacBook Pro laptop and a hard drive that were seized by the agency." https://www.ibtimes.sg/signed-receipt-hunter-bidens-name-delaware-laptop-repair-store-surfaces-52672

So the FBI kept Hunter Biden's bomb shell HDDs under wraps for almost a year. Enough time to figure out they where not filled with Russian kompromat.

Down South , Oct 22 2020 8:46 utc | 5
hunter-biden-story-russian-disinfo

Hunter's attorneys emailed the repair shop owner asking for the hard drives back.

Giuliani has handed over pictures of underage girls found in the laptop to Delaware police so we will know soon enough if they are fake.

Rutherford82 , Oct 22 2020 8:46 utc | 6
If you needed a leaked email to understand why it was corrupt for Hunter Biden to be getting 50k a month to be on the board of a Ukranian energy company, then you are likely already so propagandized that you will vote for Joe Biden no matter what gets printed.

Really this propaganda is a brilliant move for those who control what is in print. They have a clear circle of blame in Russia, Iran, or China, who are to blame for everything, and this allows the media to limit the scope of discussion greatly by suppressing real criticisms towards actual problems (the Bidens being corrupt across multiple generations) and deflecting that energy into hating Russia, China, and Iran, which are the main targets for imperialism. It is also a crude and vague lie to use anonymous sources to blame foreign entities for these types of things, which actually makes it an elegant argument for a simpleton as it is difficult if not impossible to disprove.

Because the media is really owned and operated by so few people who all have a hive-mind about money and power, the messages are consistent, even though ridiculous, and they resonate with many of the readers who really ought to know better, but have become inured to the damaging effects of the lies they have consumed for decades. Stories like these will keep working for a long time. If one of the sources in the article reported 'Up is Down, Left is Right!', there would be a wave of car accidents until they issued a retraction.

kiwiklown , Oct 22 2020 9:05 utc | 7
The Russians ( Putin / Lavrov) say ever so politely that the US is not agreement-capable.

I add that the US ( politicians, Wall Streeters, MSM, think tanks ) are:
-- not truth-capable;
-- not ethics-capable;
-- not shame-capable;
-- not honour-capable.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?
He turns into a ghoul without a soul, says I, a devil without human-ness!
How dare they call us deplorables when they are the despicables?

Et Tu , Oct 22 2020 9:35 utc | 10
In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security.
Miranda , Oct 22 2020 10:21 utc | 12
More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails ... "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."

Do American journalists actually believe it's still in Russia interest to re-elect Trump? Washington-Kremlin relations have deteriorated rapidly under Trump.

S.O. , Oct 22 2020 10:32 utc | 13
@11 Miranda

It's quite doubtful many of them ever did. It's simply a useful control function.

kiwiklown , Oct 22 2020 10:49 utc | 14
Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 22 2020 9:35 utc | 9 -- "In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security."

Nice one... Meet Mr Truth, un-registered foreign agent !!! and Mr World Peace, national security threat !!!

American leadership would not be so despicable IF they do not pretend to be "spreading freedom / democracy" when they wreak their global malice.

They do not even care for their own people (covid19 fiasco, anyone?), but pretend to care for the Chinese people so much they would regime-change the CCP; they pretend to care for the Russian people so much they would sooner shoot Putin's plane from the sky; they pretend to care for the Iranian people so much they block their access to covid19 medicines.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 10:50 utc | 15
To address the 2nd part of your post:

Here's a part of a comment I posted back in February 2020 that none of you took seriously.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 28 2020 20:29 utc | 124:

The planet of extremely bad karma SATURN is moving into Bloomberg's sign, Aquarius, right after mid-March and forming a square to Biden's sign, Scorpio. This is a very malefic aspect.

People under these two signs, Aquarius and Scorpio ie Bloomberg and Biden will experience obstacles, setbacks and challenges, create hidden enemies , and aging will be accelerated and serious health issues could emerge.

So I was criticized for injecting astrology into that election thread, mostly by AntiSpin.

Turns out as usual I hit the mark.

Bloomberg lost close to a BILLION dollars and failed badly in the primaries. That's what I call a major setback. However, as of December after a 6-month retrograde into Capricorn, Saturn is returning to Aquarius, so it ain't over for Bloomberg and things will get complicated for Biden , for the U.S. and the rest of the world.

I also stated back then that nominating Joe Biden would be a greater risk for Dems than nominating Bernie Sanders because Joe Biden was heading for serious astrological head winds relating to something unseen at the time involving a serious family issue.

While I was certain that whatever the issue was would come to light and could affect him in the Presidential campaign, I couldn't figure out the family aspect at the time, since he appears to have a solid marriage and tragedy is in the rear view now.

Last night however it all suddenly became clear and I've come to the realization that I was 100% right when I wrote that comment back in February 2020. Tonight I realized that the family issue...is Hunter Biden!

I was sounding the alarm that something bad would come to light because Saturn was headed into Aquarius, Biden's Home and Family sector squaring Biden's sign.

However, to make matters worse, it turns out that Hunter Biden is an Aquarian and Saturn the karmic taskmaster is headed on a collision course to upend his life.

At the time I wrote the comment I obviously couldn't predict exactly what would unfold, how or the precise timing, only that it would be bad and that's why I warned back then that Democrats should have chosen Bernie. I believed Bernie could beat Trump and I was right, because Trump is in total mental meltdown and self-destructing with his handling of the pandemic.

Now even if Saturn will square Biden's Scorpio that's not to say that Biden won't still win, but we are approaching a very bad full moon on October 31st. There is massive tension building, subterfuge lurking and the situation is going to get ugly. A battle royal is brewing. This is a powder keg moment.

Trump will not behave at the debate today. Must see t.v. With Obama's scorching speech yesterday seething in Trump's brain, and his Iran stunt unravelling and ineffective at distracting from the spotlight from Obama and the laptop bone clenched between his teeth; he's a rabid dog fit to be tied. Give him a padded cell, already.

As for the U.S. and the world: The pandemic started with Saturn crossing Pluto's path in Capricorn and entering full force into Aquarius in March when the world shut down.

So what will happen when karmic Saturn crosses Pluto again on it's way out of Capricorn and enters Aquarius for the next 3 years?

Fasten your seat belts everyone...we're heading into major turbulence. There's so much karmic tension gathering steam; it's very scary.

How much does it cost to get a trip to the moon?

I'll get back to sleazy Giuliani and his Pandora's box. There's too much to unpack there than meets the eye. Just know that when circumstances appear too convenient-it's because they are.

Trump's dirty play is a day late and a dollar short plus he's not playing with a full deck. Must be one of those Covid long-term effects.

It's time...to get these scum-sucking, misery mongers out of the damn White House already!

Jen , Oct 22 2020 10:56 utc | 16
You know the US government is suffering from severe Alzheimer's disease when it claims that Iran (of all nations) sent threatening emails to Democrat voters demanding that they vote for a President who authorised the murder of a popular Iranian military general back in early January this year.
Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 11:11 utc | 17
Kabuki theater on FOX

Brian Kilmeade and morning crew run the fake Iranian emails story by former CIA station Chief Daniel Hoffman.

Kabuki Actor Hoffman:
'[Uses opportunity to say Iranian Mantra] Iran has been attacking us for years, they have attacked our shipping in the Gulf (???, that's a new one) blah-blah-blah.
'Iran and Russia are attacking our democracy because that is what they fear most about America. Democracy would be the end of both regimes (Iran has no other motive to dislike the U.S. such as us killing their top General, the Stuxnet virus, murderous sanctions, ...)'
So they hate us because of our freedoms, a classic.

Kabuki Actor Kilmeade:
'Can't we do something about this?' [note, the U.S. is the perpetual victim, never the bully]
'Can't we pushback?' [The aggrieved victim, the U.S. is defending itself]
'Iran is doing this, Russia is sending bombers, can't we blow up an oil well?'

Kabuki Actor Kilmeade represents the entire degenerate U.S. public, unable to process information that views another country as having rational motives or our Intel agencies of being deceptive.

God, if you exist, You must hate this more than I do. How long?

Abe , Oct 22 2020 11:14 utc | 18
Guys.

All that rubbish is distraction. Discussing it is just playing to Borg's music.

They come up with so outlandish and jaw dropping crap that half he people thinks "it is so outlandish it gotta be true, who would lie so much?" and other half that knows better is in such a shock and disbelief that it needs some time to come to its senses and start tearing apart the lie piece by piece BUT.... Time is lost, distraction worked and MSM/Borg come up with next outrageous lie for next round. Russia, China, Navalny etc. etc.

And while marry go round Borg is doing it's deeds in dark while people is obsessing with Trump's knickers.

Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 11:21 utc | 19
Barack oblamblam held off until as long as he possibly could, a move most likely connected to two realities, (1) not wanting to contradict what he, oblamblam said back in march "do not underestimate Joe's ability to screw anything up" and (2) Oblamblam's desire not to be found to be associated with sleepy joe's blatant corruption. Mud sticks n all that. Oblamblam was much more subtle in lining up wedges to be trousered. eg. Try as people might they have yet to uncover how a community worker turned prez found the dough to purchase a 45 acre Martha's vineyard estate off a notorious billionaire and Oblambam is reluctant to do anything which could prompt those questions,

Hence it wasn't until the 2020 election was mostly over that some DNC extortionists managed to convince oblam to say a few words, or else, to the Philadelphia african american males who chose to stay home on election day 2016.

Barack can claim 'he paid his dues' whilst keeping as much space as he can organise between himself and crooked joe, who has already brought oblamblam's prezdency into disrepute with the shameless & ugly ukraine rort that he and his bagman hunter had concocted.

There we mentioned the philly speech oh rabid, irrationally superstitious dembot.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 12:28 utc | 20
Here's my prediction
Trump re-elected I fortell will mean more racist murdering thugs on the street. an guess what they'l be In uniform and directly or indirectly trained by Israel.
And then there's the military presence on your streets -- you ain't seen nothing yet.
Wake the f up your gunna be massively oppressed by a fascist govenment ya skin couloir won't matter, nore who you voted for. You already live in a one party dictatorship.
ie the elite. Face it your redundant as a human being replaced by a micro-chip.
Revolt I tell you revolt !!
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 12:37 utc | 21
The greater American public are about to become the next oppressed Palistinians ! oppressed devalued and slowly distroyed. Like a frog in a heated pan.
You won't notice till it's to late will you ?
No really, will you ?
librul , Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22
Everything use to be blamed on witches. If your cow died - witches! If a tree fell on your fence - witches! If the reverend's wife died - witches!

Now it is, I lost the election - Russians, some ducks died in a park in Salisbury - Russians, someone fell sick - Russians.

When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rMsgmaBV8g

Witches must feel left out these days.

oldhippie , Oct 22 2020 13:14 utc | 23
So far Circe has Obama's speech described as fiery, blistering, and scorching.

Everyone else on this planet listens to Obama and falls asleep.

Jpc , Oct 22 2020 13:25 utc | 24
@ Tuyzentfloot 3

Journalism love's that high minded nonsense.
They write what they are paid to write.
Looking at the guardian wrt Assange
these clowns are beneath contempt.
Don't know if you are familiar with the box populi blog.
There a very good set of chapters from a book about journalist ethics.

pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:29 utc | 25
i'm just surprised they haven't brought in venezuela and bolivia yet. that's supposed to be sarcasm, but reality keeps outstripping sarcasm. i am actually worried they are ramping up for a war in biden's first 100 days, either against iran or some serious provocation of russia like provoking some incident in azerbaijan and blaming armenia. they're f/n batshit.
pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:32 utc | 26
mark2 i think you're correct about more jackbooted government thugs on the street, but that's gonna happen under either trump or crime bill joe/copmala. you're right about the israeli training too, they trained cops in that kneeling on the throat technique. field tested on palestinians.
pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:42 utc | 27
iirc no ducks died, it's a miracle, the deadliest nerve poison ever invented is helpless against ducks. and house pets.
augusto , Oct 22 2020 13:45 utc | 28
Idiotic.
The united States was once a nest of excellence in nearly everything. Now it s a hub of naked idiocy.
The Russians have nothing to fear from the US or Nato, except in the economy but they can fix it. The Iranians have enough of what it takes to keep the Zio anglos away and at bay: thousands of missiles to target Israel, Saudiland, a 25 year economic alliance program with Beijing.
And clearly the time and opportunity where it was possible to still erase in a single coup the Iranian military might is over.
Josh , Oct 22 2020 13:46 utc | 29
Looks like they are imagineering again...
arby , Oct 22 2020 14:01 utc | 30
"Breaking WaPo: The U.S. government has concluded that Iran is behind a series of threatening emails arriving this week in the inboxes of Democratic voters, according to two U.S. officials. https://washingtonpost.com/technology/202"
Richard Steven Hack , Oct 22 2020 14:08 utc | 31
Posted by: librul | Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22 When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

Absolutely correct. You win the thread.

Neither Iran nor Russia nor China give a rat's ass about the US election. There may be literally thousands of private enterprise hackers who want to breach US election servers precisely to get the Personal Identifying Information which is coin of the realm on the Dark Web, but they couldn't care less about the election itself. It's physically impossible for any country outside of the US to significantly influence the election in a country of 300 million people - and every country knows that. The only country that *doesn't* know that is the US, which is why it spends scores and hundreds of millions of dollars - up to five billion in Ukraine, allegedly - to influence foreign elections. That's the level of effort needed to influence a foreign election more than the influence of the actual inhabitants of that nation. But every time some private group in Russia launches an ad campaign for a couple hundred thousand bucks tops, with zero effect on the US election, Putin gets blamed for some plan to mastermind the overthrow of "democracy."

It's a crock.

Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 14:21 utc | 32
I rather liked Obama's speech If for no other reason than the tone was completely different from the two candidates.

1. I'm tired of Trump's narcissism .

2. Can't stand Biden's fake 'I'm one of you'. He is corrupt, feels guilty about it, and has to reassure us that he's Lunch Box Joe .

I've noticed this about Biden for a while, he conjures up these fake memories ...

'You know what I'm talking about because I've been on that park bench at noon when you only have 20 minutes to eat your lunch because that whistle going to blow and you have to run back to your Tuna canning station or lose your job and with that your health insurance, car, and home.'

Okay this is not a literal quotation but it is a pattern and you know what I'm talking about :-)

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 14:45 utc | 33
Pretzelatack @ 26
Yes to all you say their.
Re-reading my above comments they sound pretty harsh !
I am sorry, and do apologise !
It was part desperation and part morbid humour in the spirit of b's post.
Comparing Americans to a frog in pan may be a bit much !
I am in the U.K. we had a gen election one year ago !
I WAS THAT FROG IN A PAN.
Now I live in a pox ridden bankrupt banana republic run by a bunch of Israel bootlickers.
I don't go down well at party's.
Circe , Oct 22 2020 15:01 utc | 34
@19 Debsisdead

Barack can claim 'he paid his dues'

Hate to break it to ya all-knowing one...

obama-to-visit-miami-on-saturday-to-campaign-for-biden

And it's not superstition when the facts start to align with planetary motion.

How do you explain the Moon's effect on nature?

You think it's the only celestial body in the Solar System that influences life on Earth? That cosmic order is inescapable. Astrology is thousands of years old dating back to the Babylonians and has evolved through centuries of study and cannot, should not be dismissed as mere superstition.

I'm not an expert at all, but I recognize order and higher authority when I see it and believe me those planets are there for a reason and they rule everything. They're like carrots and sticks (IMHO mostly sticks). Now who put them there and to what ultimate purpose besides order and evolution is another matter.

I don't often bring it into a discussion, especially not to throw a discussion off topic, except when I intuitively feel fate present in important events both personally and on a universal scale.

This is a time of fated/karmic events, the pandemic being the most important (lesson) of these.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 15:05 utc | 35
Two hours delay and counting, Valday Club waiting for Vlad, something hearty must be getting cooked back stage...
Paul , Oct 22 2020 15:09 utc | 36
It's time for Grunter Biden to discover his inner Khazar and convert to judaism, why not it worked for both the Clintons and the Trumps.
Perimetr , Oct 22 2020 15:14 utc | 37
I think a more appropriate title would be "Fascist Season" . . . Fascism has come of age here in the land of the fee. The "intelligence agencies" create disinformation campaigns to overthrow the elected President while the "justice department" et al withhold evidence and fail to prosecute all the oligarchs and crooks who are busy censoring information and preparing to rig and disrupt the impending presidential election.

There are No Consequences for Anything when the Deep State and Central Banks run the show.

Of course, US corporate fascism has been developing for a very long time (see The U.S. Did Not Defeat Fascism in WWII, It Discretely Internationalized It ) . . . maybe more accurate to go back to the takeover of the US currency by the Federal Reserve in 1913 and the first Banker World War (see All Wars are Bankers' Wars! )

But technology and the "progressive" (pun intended) destruction of the US Constitution has led the dumbed-down US masses (don't forget Canada and Australia lol) into a whole new world of Orwellian lock-downs and wholesale economic destruction aimed at finishing off what was left of the US middle class. Soon we will have our cash taken away and replaced with a digital currency that can always be taken away or tailored for limited use, subject to negative interest rates that it cannot escape, etc. And all this is ushered in via hyperinflation leading to a collapse of the bond and equities markets, and finally the collapse of the US dollar (and all other Western fiat currencies).

Nothing like freedumb and democracy

Virgile , Oct 22 2020 15:27 utc | 38
The USA is so naive. They have been interfering in so many elections using money, blackmail,CIA operations. There was no way for other countries with less means to do the same to the USA. Now with social media they can, and they are absolutely right to take their revenge for all the troubles they got into with the USA plotting to promote a pro-US leader.
Now the battle is equal and the USA does not have the monopoly of interfering in other countries election!
Tit for tat...
Noirette , Oct 22 2020 15:32 utc | 39
All these stories are risible. Note the struggle to clarify who these 'malign' Régimes are attacking the US, and why.

Russia-R-R for Trump, but Iran-Ir-Ir for Trump doesn't quite hit the spot so now Iran is trying to damage Pres. Trump (from one of the articles..) .. is Iran trying to promote the election of Kamala Harris? What? Russia is for Trump and Iran against ?

The fall-back is a blanket, these evil leaders are trying to 'undermine democracy', influence 'US voters', meddle in 'our freedom-loving' politics, etc.

The attempt to stir up the spectre of threatening enemies far off is a hackneyed ploy. In the case of the USA, it is now melded with the promotion and control of planned internal strife, with internal enemies being natives (not islamist terrorists who sneak in and are under cover before erupting in murderous madness..) - Color Revolution Style.

-- BLM + Antifa haven't been active recently (or not in MSM top stories) as the election is approaching. Such would be upping the Trump vote for "law-and-order."

(imho from far off..) Many in the US don't take any of this seriously, it is just game-playing, false alarm, pretend concern.

"Oh wow, Iran is targetting Trump, did you know, real serious, did you hear, tell me is Zoe-chick divorcing that creep Edmond, I want to know, did you have that interview with Gov. X for the job? Is she hot? How much "

The credentialised class and the movers and shakers just roll their eyeballs, and the poor are in any case stuck in a desperado cycle of struggle against misery, what is going on with Putin / Iran / Xi is off the radar.

observer today , Oct 22 2020 15:39 utc | 40
Look! Look! A Squirrel!

Vilification of China (hate hate hate); claimed by the media and the pundits and our "Fearless Covid Conquering Leader" and all the good little parrots, to be the source of evil itself... Scapegoat extraordinaire... Hacking and Cheating and Aggressing and exercising Brutality towards its own citizens... The worst of the worst per our "intelligence" apparatus (and blind ideologues). Existential threat numero uno.

But wait!

The US is being attacked! Attacked they say; by all of the "bad" guys simultaneously.

The forces of evil out there are broad and out to get us. They hate our (imagined) freedoms.


Evidence (not):


Justice Department pushing Iran-connected charges in HBO hack, other cases

U.S. government concludes Iran was behind threatening emails sent to Democrats

U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran, Russia have tried to interfere in 2020 election

Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say


Invariably in all cases, The Voice of "Intelligence" (not bloody likely from ANY of this crew) deeply intoned to impart the "certainty", neatly encapsulated in the words "highly likely", delivered without a scrap of proof but loud, prominent, regular, mind numbing pontification.

Trust me! We lie, We cheat, We steal; and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The US, all on its own, engenders distrust within the population because the US and all its political and Executive, and Legislative and Judicial and "intelligence" bureaucracies are corrupt to the core... Worse, they make no bones about it if you pay attention. And Partisanship is nothing but distraction because they are ALL corrupt and morally bankrupt; without empathy, remorse, sense of guilt or shame.

It was the US itself that thought it could subjugate the world through its faux "democratic" business practices and its claim of natural superiority... Its self declared Rules of Order instead of adhering to and supporting consensus established International LAW... Hegemon pompously declaring it has a RIGHT to Full Spectrum Dominance and slavish obedience.

Not the Iranians, not the Russians, not the Chinese, not the CCP, not the North Koreans, not the Venezuelans; none of them are disrupting, threatening or meddling in the US elections.

If you believe what the morons are smearing across the public consciousness through every communication medium possible you are a sucker... Totally disconnected any critical thinking faculties that may have been present. The very definition of sheeple... baaaa! (the sound drowns out reason and thought).

The rest of the World beyond NATO and Five Eyes isn't attacking the US or its institutions. They have all been attacked every which way from Sunday BY the US and its Satraps (targets of, victims of, and willing accomplices to our sophisticated excessively funded and supported global protection racquet).

The US, our Government, always blames our designated and non-compliant, non-obeisant existential threats for all the things we do to them.


And all this cacophony of alleged evil "attacks" from outside right now?

Look!!! Look!!! Over here!

Don't pay any attention to who and what decided to put us in the position we find ourselves in and what we have done to vast swaths of the world's populations "over there".

Now go vote for one of two degenerate teams, both of which are headed by supremely unqualified psychopaths.

Dissonance of cognition anyone? Orwell???

gottlieb , Oct 22 2020 15:43 utc | 41

The CIA really needs a new playbook. The Russia/Iran thing is laughable to the rest of the world, and to many 'Americans' as well. Unfortunately Partisans run the country, and those folks are addicted to the Kool Aid of MAGA – just different versions.

This October is like an Advent Calendar of October Surprises with plenty of time still on the clock for some great Golden Shower or Democratic child orgy deep fakes. Who the hell knows at this point – the acceleration of events this year makes Future Shock look like an Ambien commercial.

Trump is toast and good riddance. And sure Biden et al are war criminals and corrupt creatures of the Swamp. The Establishment is a much easier target to resist vis a vis policy than a crazy cretin without any policy but his own self-aggrandizement.

Lawrence Miller , Oct 22 2020 15:44 utc | 42
@15

[***]

"Astrology believers tend to selectively remember predictions that turn out to be true, and do not remember those that turn out false. Astrology has not demonstrated its effectiveness in controlled studies and has no scientific validity.[6]:85;[11] The study, published in Nature in 1985, found that predictions based on natal astrology were no better than chance, and that the testing "...clearly refutes the astrological hypothesis."[10] " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology

Erelis , Oct 22 2020 15:50 utc | 43
As for getting voter US state voter databases, most states allow people to purchase part of a voter's information. Other parts like birth dates remain private. But the publicly available list is probably enough as it identifies party affiliation, voting history as when dates they voted (not how they voted). All the other private information is more useful to identity thieves and Indian scam centers. And as one poster noted, those databases like gold on dark web.

As for email addresses that implies those must be acquired through party officials and candidates off donor lists. Off hand I do not know that an email address is required to register to vote--I seriously doubt it. I know that Bernie famously refused to give his donor database to Hillary. The emails imply some sort of inside job or some false flag.

james , Oct 22 2020 15:54 utc | 44
@ librul | Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22 When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

ditto that...

vinnieoh , Oct 22 2020 16:04 utc | 45
Just read the story on Truthout of voters in Alaska & Florida, and possibly Pennsylvania and Arizona receiving threatening messages if they should vote against Trump. "We know you're a Democrat and we have access to your voting records..." Metadata indicates servers located in the kingdoms of Israel's new friends...

Well, I just went to the Board of Elections website for my county here in Ohio and I can, with a few clicks, generate a report from their site of a county listing of voters filtered in over a half-dozen ways - i.e. by Party affiliation and including addresses. Comes under the heading of "Voter and Candidate Tools."

So some concoct a tale which blames Iran, Russia, etc. for information freely available from your State's BOE? This information has always been available, but not exploited before in this way by US neo Nazis.

So, even though your ballot is secret, intimidation is easy to engage in based solely on Party affiliation of record. If Trump loses, should some people expect bricks through their windows, or perhaps fire-bombings? Trump and his supporters are certainly ratcheting up the apocalyptic messaging, working themselves into a frenzy - that is obvious and not even debatable.

I never read Dante; which circle of hell are we entering now?

Circe , Oct 22 2020 16:05 utc | 46
Everyone here knows I was 100% behind Bernie Sanders for the Presidency because I felt he was the right person for these times, but the mass is dumb and blind. I agree with the comment I read on the previous thread I think by someone called Horseman that portrays Bernie's goal as moving the Dem Party to the Left and not sheepdogging, but recognizing the stakes involved superceded Left purity.

At the same time I was totally against Biden because he is much more Zionist than Bernie, therefore more corrupt, as Zionism is counter-evolutionary being inherently supremacist, entitled, and undemocratic.

However, Trump is exponentially worse! He is a fascist Zionist and totally depraved. There is a choice here of monumental significance. Short term loss for greater future gain.

Biden is very flawed, but I'm inclined to view a man who suffered multiple life-altering tragedies to reach this point and who is grappling with embracing a son, Hunter, who probably was destroying his life, than a narcissistic less than evolved baby-man pig with a god complex who squandered life and daddy's money on material and artificial pursuit and has no notion of humanity, as the only sane choice.

Yes, Joe Biden should face his flaws and answer for whatever corruption exists in him, but that laptop issue should not be a reason to stop people from getting Trump, the most corrupt President in my lifetime next to Bush OUT. That goal is paramount. This is 2nd to the pandemic in fated events. If people do not make the right choices and learn something from these events then let this planet devolve into hell because that will be what is deserved! The stakes right now are astronomical and super-fated!

Don't blow a singular opportunity to get rid of that Fascist pig Trump over a laptop that's really a Pandora's box being used by Shmeagol Gollum Giuliani as a trap to unleash misery for years to come.

William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 16:08 utc | 47
This is clearly the Deep State and imperial establishment spouting obvious nonsense in order to discredit themselves and therefore to help in Trump's reelection bid! Henry Kissinger told me so! What incredibly subtle and intricate plans they have!

Or... maybe it is just a bunch of incompetent baboons in the Deep State control room randomly flipping switches and pulling levers in the desperate hopes that something, anything, works.

Nah! This is all part of the Great Plan! It just seems like abject stupidity because we cannot grasp its intricate complexities.

NemesisCalling , Oct 22 2020 16:20 utc | 48
All these new threads are defaulting to election threads. Sorry, b.

But I'll bite.

In the case of a Biden victory, which do you think will happen first?:

1) Renewed hostilities w/ Assad in Syria leading to his violent ousting and thrusting the west into violent confrontation w/ Russia...

Or...

2) Forcible entry into the Armenian/Azerbaijan conflict and establishing a no-fly zone...

Or...

3) a combination of both and would throw us into a direct confrontation with either Russia or Iran or both?

It looks like the demonizing of Iran is ramping up with the mail-threats telling dims to vote Trump or else. Dims don't like hostile, foreign powers helping the Don and swaying elections. It's a nice tip-off as to what Biden and the dim establishment might consent to once Obama-era sycophants and technocrats move back in to the White House.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 16:30 utc | 49
Seems to be the year of anniversaries; another's being celebrated today but not by the Outlaw US Empire. China & North Korea Celebrate 70th Anniversary of China's intervention in Outlaw US Empire's invasion of Korea , which is how it's being portrayed, "China, N. Korea stand together 'for self-protection against US hegemony' like 70 years ago" reads the headline at the link. To mark the anniversary, China has published an official history , explaining its decision "To resist US aggression and aid Korea, China had no choice but to fight a war;" the 3-volume work is The War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea . From China's perspective, it defeated Outlaw US Empire forces; so, it's not "forgotten" at all. Xi's using the occasion to give a major speech, the subject of which hasn't been disclosed.

Just 12 days to go until the refusals to abide by the outcome day arrives. If one wants to look, there's lots of illegal foreign influence happening but from sources that go unmentioned: Corporations that have foreign owners, which most do, who provided campaign contributions in any form to any entity associated with the election.

arby , Oct 22 2020 16:31 utc | 50
Gruffy said

"Nah! This is all part of the Great Plan! It just seems like abject stupidity because we cannot grasp its intricate complexities."

Perfect,))

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51
HeHeHe!!! The first bits of Putin's appearance at the Valdai Club today are being published . In a jab back at those accusing Russia of interfering in elections and such Putin said:

"Strengthening our country and looking at what is happening in the world, in other countries, I want to say to those who are still waiting for the gradual demise of Russia: in this case, we are only worried about one thing -- how not to catch a cold at your funeral."

There's more, although a transcript has yet to be published.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 16:47 utc | 52
@48NemesisCalling

There's a thread right before this one on International Events. Why don't you go spew your poisonous Trump Kool-Aid there instead of polluting with Trumpian-laced propaganda here?

I know-I know, Election threads raise the common sense factor further and that leads to Trump's demise, so you can't help but rush in to correct that dangerous shift. Why don't you do something equally meaningless like pounding sand down a rat hole?

vk , Oct 22 2020 16:53 utc | 53
After the Russiagate fiasco I thought the Americans had learned their lesson, but it seems I was wrong.

Honestly, this may be the beginning of an irreversible process of ideological polarization of the American Empire.

The thing is it's one thing to wage propaganda warfare against a foreign enemy to your domestic audience: the foreign enemy will be destroyed either way, so they will never be able to tell their version of the story, plus the domestic audience can give itself the luxury of living the lie indefinitely as it doesn't affect their daily lives. Plus they'll directly benefit from the conquest of a foreign enemy, e.g. cheaper gas to your car after the destruction and conquest of Iraq; the abundance in the shelves of Walmarts after the subjugation of China, and so on.

It's a completely different story when you wage propaganda warfare against yourself: the Trump voter knows he/she didn't vote for Trump because of Russian influence, while the Hilary Clinton/Joe Biden voter knows he/she didn't vote in either of them because of Chinese influence. But each part will believe the half of the lie that benefits them against the other, creating a vicious cycle of mistrust between the two halves.

Meanwhile, the American economy (capitalism) continues to decline. Time is running up:

US economy looks to be on indefinite life support from government, Professor Wolff tells Boom Bust

At the same time, there's excess money in the USA:

The Fed's $4 Trillion Lifeline Never Materialized: The Fed was meant to take $454 billion and drastically expand it. So far, it has lent $20 billion.

It was a shock-and-awe moment when lawmakers gave the package a thumbs up. Yet in the months since, the planned punch has not materialized.

The Treasury has allocated $195 billion to back Fed lending programs, less than half of the allotted sum. The programs supported by that insurance have made just $20 billion in loans, far less than the suggested trillions.

The programs have partly fallen victim to their own success: Markets calmed as the Fed vowed to intervene, making the facilities less necessary as credit began to flow again.

So, the very announcement of the Fed it would lend indefinitely and unconditionally made such loans unnecessary!

I didn't like it at the beginning, but the term "Late Capitalism" is growing on me.

mk , Oct 22 2020 17:16 utc | 54
This "Circe" chick is mentally retarded and should not be allowed to roam free outside a looney bin.

Oh boy is she not deranged.

elkern , Oct 22 2020 17:16 utc | 55
MSM pushing the the Iran angle shows that they are more anti-Iran than anti-Trump.

What effect would Iran intend by sending fake threatening emails from right-wing guns nuts to Democrats? I doubt it would discourage those Democrats from voting (for Biden), and I doubt Iran would think it would. The only effect it would have is to increase the fear, distrust, and disgust Democrats already have for those groups - which is "sowing discord", not "meddling with elections".

The Trump regime pushes this because it makes Trump look good & makes Iran look bad (at least the way it's been framed). MSM generally doesn't like Trump, but prints this because hyping fear & loathing toward Iran matters more to them than dumping Trump.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:17 utc | 56
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51

Great that they are working on it, I was taking notes but kind of lousy its not easy to listen and write at the same time. Started kind of nervous, but right now it is Putin at his most relaxed and eloquent.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:22 utc | 57
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51

It is interesting to see how Putin is way more at ease when answering journalist's questions than when exposing his part of the event. Right now they asked him about his image, punk, criminal etc etc. Answer: my function is the main thing, and I do not take it personally, now the chinese will ask.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 17:36 utc | 58
@47 William Gruff

In case the truth gets lost in your purposely misleading translation. This hare-brained scheme was cooked up by Trump and his newly-appointed right-hand bootlicker RATcliffe, at DNI and delivered to the American people by the latter as a desperate distraction minutes after Obama smacked down Trump on every air wave.

It immediately gave off an offensive odor, as I stated previously, of Trump turd floating in golden toilet.

And that's why Chris Wray looked so awkward and uneasy behind that RAT.

Tuyzentfloot , Oct 22 2020 17:45 utc | 59
@
Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 60
Three hours of serious talking about any and all world problems. I wonder how long Lunch Box Joe could hold on his own. The orange man probably could do it, but just talking about himself. The US need someone like VVP.
Circe , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 61
@54 mk

Projecting much?

@57 Paco

I knew Paco was a strange name for a Russiabot!

Russia is now averaging 13,000 to 15,000 infections and close to 300 hundred deaths daily. I wouldn't laugh first if I were Putin.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 62
Paco @56&57--

I ought to listen while also reading the Russian close-captioning so I can rebuild my Russian language facility and catch the body language messages, but I still need to read/hear it all in English. As for his response to questions, IMO Putin knows what to expect from media reporters but not from other experts in the audience whose questions are usually more complex. Then there's the need to remain tactful, although there are times when he does need to get indignant, as with the issue of illegal sanctions that harm nations's abilities to deal with the pandemic--the utter immorality and inhumanity of the Outlaw US Empire that never gets the attention it deserves.

Haven't seen this nickname for Biden--Lieden.

Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 17:56 utc | 63
Fake emails: cui bono

What would Iran gain by scaring lower end of the spectrum Democrats into voting for Trump, is that desirable for Iran?

Ah ... but it was a pump fake, Iran thought that people would think that the emails were genuine, arrest a few of the Proud Boys and this would hurt Trump by associating him with a domestic terror group. Not only is this scenario convoluted but it is extremely risky because it might scare a handful of impressionable Democrats into voting for Trump and any investigation would uncover hacking of some kind.

Most likely suspect, Israel. They have the means to hack and the contacts in the U.S. to suggest Iranian origin.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 17:58 utc | 64
As Putin said, Russia was able to find "balance" in its reaction to COVID; and as with China but unlike the Outlaw US Empire, it put the safety of the Russian people first and foremost. The Empire is experiencing yet another big outbreak nationwide and has yet to put the interests of its citizenry first.
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 17:59 utc | 65
Is Circe deranged?
I don't know but I doubt if she spends trillions of dollars each year on murdering inocent men women and children.
Mmmmm
Perhaps to people living in a ''loony bin'' (America) people outside must seem quite strange !
I live near Glastonbury finest bunch of people you'd ever meet. Not known for genocidel tendency's.
Any ways Iran, Russia interfering in America's elections -- -- - pure paranoid delusion (weaponised)
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 17:59 utc | 66
The Mighty Wurlitzer has begun to sound more like the New York Philharmonic tuning up while riding the Empire State Express as it crashes endlessly into Grand Central Station.

Symbolism not unintentional.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 18:06 utc | 67
Posted by: Circe | Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 61

Dear Circe, each language is a world view, I wish I had the resources available today when I was younger, I would speak as many as possible, I consider that with the means available today speaking half a dozen would be no problem at all. You have the blessing and the curse of speaking english, so no need for anything else, but that is your problem, you are so relaxed about it that you're not able to spell correctly the name of one of your best known cities, San Francisco, with a c before the s.
Again, come up with something else, the bot label is as primitive as your knowledge of your own language and geography.

William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 18:06 utc | 68
"I doubt if she spends trillions of dollars each year on murdering inocent men women and children."

She votes for it, though.

Oriental Voice , Oct 22 2020 18:19 utc | 69
kiwiklown@14:
They do not even care for their own people (covid19 fiasco, anyone?), but pretend to care for the Chinese people so much they would regime-change the CCP; they pretend to care for the Russian people so much they would sooner shoot Putin's plane from the sky; they pretend to care for the Iranian people so much they block their access to covid19 medicines.

Well said, although rather sad! The last pretension reveals exactly the mentality that was behind the genocide upon the Native American centuries ago, resorting to tactics such as passing out smallpox infected blankets, dispensation of whisky, as well as outright slaughters of course.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 18:22 utc | 70
Gruffy @ 68
Maybe but she martches to a different drum beat. Not the trump drum beat of war that you follow, and will lead you all over the cliff.
Don't get me wrong ! You'd have to squeeze my nuts pretty dam hard (tears in my eyes) before I'd vote for Biden.
But you must know two things -- -
A. Trump is bat shit crazy and has his finger on the button whilst the Dems are money mad and there is know profit in Armageddon.
And
B. I'm antifa my hobby is smashing the filthy fascists !!
Who's streets ? Our streets !!
karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 18:43 utc | 71
Without mentioning its name, Putin in his speech pinned the tail on the donkey regarding TrumpCo's pandemic failure:

"The values of mutual assistance, service and self-sacrifice proved to be most important. This also applies to the responsibility, composure and honesty of the authorities, their readiness to meet the demand of society and at the same time provide a clear-cut and well-substantiated explanation of the logic and consistency of the adopted measures so as not to allow fear to subdue and divide society but, on the contrary, to imbue it with confidence that together we will overcome all trials no matter how difficult they may be.

"The struggle against the coronavirus threat has shown that only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis ..." [My Emphasis]

Yes, it didn't begin with Trump, but he sure did accelerate the process of making the domestic part of the Outlaw US Empire dysfunctional, which for me makes this "silly season" even worse than usual.

Sakineh Bagoom , Oct 22 2020 18:47 utc | 72
I view this as shit-against-the-wall policy. You throw it up there. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't.
This is how lowly vermin do foreign policy nowadays.
Remember the story -- first reported as Russians, then Iranians -- paying bounty to the Talibs to kill (as if they needed motivation) American soldiers?
Well, in that case, I guess neither story really stuck, but you see where I'm going with this. It's all shite
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 18:53 utc | 73
And silly season continues with self-proclaimed anti-fascists who don't know what fascists are.

Fascism doesn't necessarily have anything to do with race or religion. Is there any racial difference between Ukropians and Russians? Fascism is simply a tool that capitalists use to smash class consciousness. Literally any differences can be used by the capitalists to direct the violent mobs at their victims, even differences that are completely imaginary and don't really exist except in the group mind of the mob.

Now I wonder... who is it that will attack someone for saying "But ALL lives matter!" ? Who is smashing class consciousness?

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 18:59 utc | 74
71 Cont'd--

And this is why the USA is turning into a failed state and Russia isn't:

"Nevertheless, I am confident that what makes a state strong, primarily, is the confidence its citizens have in it . That is the strength of a state. People are the source of power , we all know that. And this recipe doesn't just involve going to the polling station and voting, it implies people's willingness to delegate broad authority to their elected government, to see the state, its bodies, civil servants, as their representatives – those who are entrusted to make decisions, but who also bear full responsibility for the performance of their duties .

"This kind of state can be set up any way you like. When I say 'any way,' I mean that what you call your political system is immaterial. Each country has its own political culture, traditions, and its own vision of their development. Trying to blindly imitate someone else's agenda is pointless and harmful. The main thing is for the state and society to be in harmony .

"And of course, confidence is the most solid foundation for the creative work of the state and society. Only together will they be able to find an optimal balance of freedom and security guarantees ." [My Emphasis]

What a brilliant collection of words emphasizing the absolute requirement for the state to do its utmost to support and develop its human capital--its citizens--while also saying citizens have their own duty to ensure the quality of the state, which means installing representatives that will work for them and promote their interests first and foremost since they are the backbone of the state. Don't feed and care for the citizenry as in the USA and you'll have a corrupt, feeble state when it comes to keeping itself strong. And IMO the primary difference that's making Russia stronger while the USA atrophies is that Russia listens to its people and genuinely cares for and acts in their interests while in the USA the demands of the citizenry have fallen on deaf ears for decades, regardless the political party running the government.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 19:14 utc | 75
Gruffy is trying to conflate perpetrator as opposed to the victim/ victems !
Classic -- -
US geo-politics.
Blame shifting fascist tactic.
Learned far right tactic.
Or
Psychopathic projection.
Example -- --
US attacks Iran &Russia but blames them for attacking The US.
Also Gruffy I note how you side step a point well made by
Asking a deliberately distracting question. Yawn
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 19:23 utc | 76
"Blame shifting" absolutely is part of smashing class consciousness. Shift the blame for people's difficulties from capitalism to various parts of the working class. Those who participate violently in this process are fascists and perpetrators. Of course, they are also victims because they are destroying their own class consciousness. Class consciousness is necessary if they are ever to be able to address the real issues causing them hardship.
Paco , Oct 22 2020 19:26 utc | 77
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 18:59 utc | 74

When the question and answers segment comes online it is worth reading his opinion about the Karabakh conflict and how it is a very difficult situation for Russia since both countries involved, Armenia and Azerbaijan are part of a common family. The question implied that Russia would unequivocally side with Armenia based on religion, to which Putin answered that 15% of Russia population professes the islamic faith and that he considers Azerbaijan a country as close to Russia as Armenia, with over two million nationals from each of the warring countries living in Russia and as part of a very influential and productive community.

Interesting too his take on Turkey, admitting that there are a lot of disagreements Putin had good words for Erdogan admitting that he is independent and that he is someone able to uphold his word, the Turk Stream project, it was agreed upon and completed, compared to the europeans to whom he did not spare in his almost contemptuous words insinuating their lack of sovereignty.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 19:38 utc | 78
Gruffy error !!
In this context the 'mob'
Is trump followers.
The thugs in uniform.
The proud boys.
The US forces abroad and at home.
Gruffy 'you' ARE the mob.
I feel you watched to many cowboy films portraying native Americans as the bad guys! It shows.
I won't be replying more. as I see your very shabby diversionary tactic. Nice try though. We see you !! What you are and what you do.
karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 19:46 utc | 79
Paco @77--

Thanks for your reply! Even before the Q&A Putin skewers both the Empire and EU in this paragraph:

"Genuine democracy and civil society cannot be imported.' I have said so many times. They cannot be a product of the activities of foreign 'well-wishers,' even if they 'want the best for us.' In theory, this is probably possible. But, frankly, I have not yet seen such a thing and do not believe much in it. We see how such imported democracy models function. They are nothing more than a shell or a front with nothing behind them, even a semblance of sovereignty. People in the countries where such schemes have been implemented were never asked for their opinion, and their respective leaders are mere vassals. As is known, the overlord decides everything for the vassal . To reiterate, only the citizens of a particular country can determine their public interest." [My Emphasis]

And that "particular country" is one where both the citizens and the government share "confidence" in each other such that they work in "harmony." Thus the #1 goal of the Outlaw US Empire to sow chaos within nations so such confidence and harmony can't be established; and if they are, then destroyed.

Kooshy , Oct 22 2020 19:50 utc | 80
No one has ever lied to American people more than the American regime and her terrorizing intelligence community organization, Snowden is the living proof of this . Anyone still alive and living on this planet if it ever believed a word on anything coming out of the USG not only is a fool and a total idiot but his/her head must be seriously checked. Regardless of their party affiliations they have no shame of lying cheating steeling those United oligarchy' Secretary of State is the proof that.
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 19:58 utc | 81
This poster is on neither "side" . More like Putin looking in pain over Azerbaijan and Armenia killing each other at the prompting of some third party that doesn't care about either of them. This poster is neither faux left nor right wing; however, this poster's grandmother was Cherokee. There is no anger directed your way for your failure to understand, though.
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 20:11 utc | 82
If Americans had any backbone they would be on the streets protesting about this sham election prior to the election, of false choice no choice.
You earn your democracy or you loose your democracy.
Iran, Russia bashing ! Just how low have you people sunk.
No hind sight, no insight and no foresight !
No hope. Spineless.
Jams O'Donnell , Oct 22 2020 20:36 utc | 83
Totally weird! You all, please get behind re-electing Trump. He is doing such a good job of destroying the US empire and its pretensions. If you are really a leftist, this is a GOO:-D thing!

The alternative is to vote Independent or Green but they don't have a chance right now.

Tom , Oct 22 2020 20:41 utc | 84
Posted by: Circe | Oct 22 2020 10:50 utc | 15

My horrorscope has Biden circling Uranus.

Kooshy , Oct 22 2020 20:42 utc | 85
Walking only 3 miles on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles , going west I have counted 47 homeless (male,females,wht,black,Asian)asking for handouts. These lost soles are the ones who have paid the price for the for ever wars to secure the Israel' realm,
The propose of yesterday's security show at FBI was to convince the public that all negative comments and cretics coming their way by internet blogs, email , media etc. is not really from disfranchised Americans public, but rather foreign countries operation that they do not like our democracy and way of life, It was solely meant to make people not to subscribe and believe what negativity they hear or read on US( non existing)democracy ,
This is a cheap standard operation by totalitarian regimes.


Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 21:07 utc | 86
Thanks kooshy for that and all your comments !
A true voice of sanity with heart and soul.
I hear you.
winston2 , Oct 22 2020 21:24 utc | 87
53
That money went to the ESF,what else do you think is levitating stocks and bonds ?
You assumed wrongly, but Kudlow let slip they(ESF) were broke and actually stated the money was going to them in a presser.
Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 21:29 utc | 88
I dunno why I'm bothering to do this because astrology is such a lame easily disproven superstition that gets by because there are just so many con artists making predictions that occasionally some must be correct - the stopped clock effect, but here goes.
The moon's effect on our planet's oceans is proven to be caused by a known phenomenon, gravity. These stars whose positions we are told influence our human lives (just another anthrocentric load of bulldust what about beings on other planets?) are thousands of light years away from earth, meaning when the con-artists draw up their star charts or WTF they call 'em, they are looking at formations that happened thousands of years ago - all different depending on a particular star's distance from earth.
Claiming to be able to predict anything rational from such a mish mash of incorrect data is risible, sad really and goes much to explain the house dembot's mania.

As for oblammer in Miami? I guess the dnc know where quite a few oblammer bodies are buried.
My view is changing, Biden is so crooked that even though if he wins, the corporate media will try hard to leave him alone, but he's just too clumsy, so that some dems are going to side with the rethugs to impeach him and fast, however that may be what the oligarchy is counting on, as that brings bad karmala harris to the fore, a women so unpopular with dem rank and file she withdrew from the primary before any votes were cast, how's that for 'democracy'.

This is the real issue, both dem & rethug prez candidates are crooks through and through, if the dems win, then the spotlight the corporate media shone on orangeutan will be turned off. At least some of trump's worst rorts were stopped by a fear of being found out, but if the dems win dopey joe will have no such constraint - until he does something so over the top eg kick off nuclear war, that the media finally wakes up. too late but at least now they're awake.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 22 2020 21:39 utc | 89
Posted by: vinnieoh | Oct 22 2020 16:04 utc | 45 If Trump loses, should some people expect bricks through their windows, or perhaps fire-bombings?

That is the threat. If either side loses, there will be massive civil unrest - at least it's very likely that is (part of) "the plan" - whatever the plan actually is. In any event, plan or not, it's predictable. Most of the preppers I follow on Youtube are urging everyone to stock up on food and water because there's a good chance that everyone will be back on movement restrictions of some sort, if not full-on martial law, within the next couple months. As I said before, this country is going to start looking like Turkey or Italy in the 70's when the Grey Wolves and the Red Brigades were terrorizing those countries. It may not be "civil war", but it's likely to be uglier than what happened this summer.

NemesisCalling , Oct 22 2020 23:01 utc | 90
@89 rsh

Massive civil unrest if Trump loses?

Wtf? You...smoking? Man!

Lol.

There will be cries of joy in the streets and maybe some celebratory looting, all from the urban left.

Trump's supporters might assemble peacefully in a very sparse manner, but I would bet most would simply take the newly alotted time from the Biden-victory to prep and ready a little more before the real fireworks begin. Violence would only erupt from the urban left attacking those demonstrations.

Real men are lying in wait. The city is not their playground any longer.

kiwiklown , Oct 23 2020 0:23 utc | 91
Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 22 2020 11:21 utc | 19 -- "Barack can claim 'he paid his dues' whilst keeping as much space as he can organise between himself and crooked joe, who has already brought oblamblam's prezdency into disrepute with the shameless & ugly ukraine rort that he and his bagman hunter had concocted."

Thanks for your astute observations. Am learning much.

A compromised man never escapes blackmail: he is but a tool in the hands of his owners. It is not IF, but WHEN he will be used / abused. Over and over again, like a banker's boot stomping on his arrogant face.

But then, who is to say that Obanger Obummer was unaware of his VP, that Basement-Biding Bidet Biden's 'arrangements' for wealth accretion? And more (there is always more), who is to say that Obanging Ohumming gets NO share therefrom at some 'convenient' time?

Evil thinks himself clever to hide in the dark, yet lives in daily fear of the light. Thusly Obanging Ohummer's calculations that you noted above, and his dark demeanour these days. He knows he is walking on a knife edge, with a sword hanging over his head, and a safety net (those 17 intelligence agencies?) that can turn into a fowler's snare (sorry, mixed metaphors!)

Yet, looking at the happier demeanour (she used to scowl all through 2017/2018) on that shallow face called Michelle Ohummer, we can guess that she thinks they have escaped clean with their 'rewards of office'.

Christian J. Chuba @17 asked, "How long?" I ask, how does an immoral leadership ever going to turn moral? When does America get the leadership that she deserves?

Smith , Oct 23 2020 0:39 utc | 92
I doubt there will be much protests if Biden wins, the "right" in America is basically toothless.

There will be much violence when Trump wins though, much money will be spent to rile things up, just like when he won the first time.

Grieved , Oct 23 2020 1:00 utc | 93
@71 karlof1 - "only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis" - Putin

What a brilliant equation from Putin. Even more penetrating and useful than the formerly existing observation that socialist-style societies have performed best in response to the virus. Putin's criterion cuts exactly to the essence of the thing.

What the US has demonstrated from the virus response is that it is not a viable state. The benchmark now exists. Thanks for bringing it over.

Grieved , Oct 23 2020 1:03 utc | 94
@81 William Gruff

I have a friend of Cherokee ancestry. She told me how once she was speaking with an elder woman of the tribe, and described herself as "one-eighth Cherokee".

The old woman shook her head and said, "The Cherokee spirit cannot be diluted."

Yeah, Right , Oct 23 2020 1:18 utc | 95
Reuters: "The emails are under investigation, and one intelligence source said it was still unclear who was behind them."

No, it's perfectly clear who was behind them: Hunter Biden.

Honestly, the lies are now so brazen that they are no longer credible, they are just insulting.

Those are Biden Hunter's emails. QED the person "behind them" is Hunter Biden

Q: How do you know?
A: F**k me, dumbass: he wrote them, ergo, he is responsible for them.

Rob , Oct 23 2020 3:26 utc | 96
This comments thread reads like a collection of D-minus essays from a creative writing class.
Formerly T-Bear , Oct 23 2020 10:15 utc | 97
Should any here be interested, Wikipedia has aa extensive listing of governmental scandals for the 20th and 21st century administrations. Note the number of executive, legislative and judicial scandals for each administration. Note also the volume of scandals as administrations go from Franklin D. Roosevelt through to D.J. Trump for both executive and legislative branches. The political parties of the malfeasant are of interest as well - trending can be discerned, maybe, for the observant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Electoral_College

Formerly T-Bear , Oct 23 2020 10:25 utc | 98
@ 97

That link should be:

List_of_federal_political_scandals_in_the_United_States

[Oct 23, 2020] Hating Russia is a full time and well paid job

Neocons do not want to fight Russia, they just want to profit from Russophobia while getting nice money from the US MIC.
Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Mister Delicious , 7 hours ago

  1. Introduction
  2. The euphemisms
  3. Hostility to Putin's Russia is largely a Jewish phenomenon
  4. The media
  5. A de facto violation of free speech
  6. Shutting down an honest examination of Russian history
  7. The best alt-media journalists are neutered
  8. Much of what is written about Russian relations and history becomes meaningless and deceptive
  9. A lesson in relevance from the Alt-Right
  10. Malice towards none
  11. The problem extends to all areas of public life
  12. We need serious scholarship and analysis
  13. Low expectations from the existing alt-media
  14. A call for articles and support
  15. https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/hating-russia-is-a-full-time-job/
ebear , 6 hours ago

Has any nation on Earth suffered more destruction and loss of life in the 20th century? And yet, there they still are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btff8DmOg1k

John Hansen , 7 hours ago

I'd have more hope for Russia if the Russian ruling class weren't so obsessed with the West and didn't send their children to Western (woke) schools, etc.

theallseeinggod , 7 hours ago

They're not doing that well, but they're not repeating many of the west's mistakes.

Normal , 5 hours ago

Now the West has rules only for poor people.

Helg Saracen , 6 hours ago

Advice to Americans (for the sake of experiment): prohibit lobbying in US and the right of citizens with dual citizenship to hold public office in US. I assure - you will be surprised how quickly Russians go from non-kosher to kosher for Americans and how American politicians, the media will convince Americans of this at every intersection. :) Ha ha ha

Nayel , 5 hours ago

If the [Vichy] Left in America weren't so determined to project their own Bolshevik leanings on to a possible great ally that their ideology now fears, Russia would be just that: a great ally that could help America shake the Bolsheviks that have infiltrated the American government and plan the same program their Soviet forefathers once held over Russia...

Arising 2.0 , 1 hour ago

Western zionist controlled propaganda reminds me of Mohamed Ali- he used to talk up the ******** so much before a fight that when the time came to fight the opponent was usually traumatised or confused. Until Ali met with Joe Frazier (Russia) who didn't fall for all the pre-fight BS.

ThePinkHole , 39 minutes ago

Time for a pop quiz! Name the two countries below:

Country A - competency, attention to first principles, planning based on reality, consistency of purpose, and unity of execution.

Country B - incompetency, interfering in everything everywhere, planning based on hubris and sloppy assumptions, confusion, and disunity.

(Source: Adapted from Patrick Armstrong)

foxenburg , 3 hours ago

This one is always good for a laugh....the Daily Telegraph's Con Coughlin explaining in 2015 how Putin will fail in Syria...

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6990/russia-failure-syria

Money-Liberty , 6 hours ago

We have all this talk of the 'Ruskies' when in fact it is not the ordinary Russian people but rather a geopolitical power struggle. The ordinary US citizen or European just wants to maintain their liberty and be able to profit from their endeavours. The rich and powerful globalists who hide behind their military are the ones that play these games. I am no friend of Putin but equally I am no friend of our own political establishment that have been captured by Wall Street. I care about Main Street and as the US dollar loses its privilege there will be real pain to share amongst our economies. The last thing we need is for the elites of the Western alliance to profit with cold/hot wars on the backs of ourselves.

Having been behind the iron curtain as a young Merchant Navy Officer I found ordinary citizens fine and even organized football matches with the local communist parties. People have the same desires and aspirations and whether rich or poor we should respect each others cultures and territories. http://www.money-liberty.com/gallery/Predictions-2021.pdf

[Oct 23, 2020] In politicizing intelligence, America is blaming everyone but itself for its self-inflicted woes -- RT Op-ed

Oct 23, 2020 | www.rt.com

In politicizing intelligence, America is blaming everyone but itself for its self-inflicted woes Scott Ritter Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf's staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter 22 Oct, 2020 18:48 Get short URL In politicizing intelligence, America is blaming everyone but itself for its self-inflicted woes John Ratcliffe © REUTERS/Loren Elliott 64 3 Follow RT on RT In the latest episode in the US' single-minded crusade toward self-destruction, Russia and Iran are being fingered for election interference based on intelligence that doesn't pass the smell test.

You would be justified in thinking that the various news conferences put on by US law enforcement and intelligence officials in which foreign actors – Russia, China and Iran are the usual suspects – are accused of meddling in all things American are little more than a giant practical joke, a parody of how a government should behave, instead of the damning indictment of reality that they are.

The most recent iteration of this embarrassing spectacle took place on Wednesday evening, during a hastily convened press conference suspiciously timed to coincide with former president Barack Obama's inaugural stump speech in support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Normally, the citation of such coincidences would relegate any subsequent analysis to the rabbit hole of conspiracy theory. However, we do not live in normal times. The press conference was convened by the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, who was in turn accompanied by the Director of the FBI, Christopher Wray.

ALSO ON RT.COM Iran issues diplomatic protest over 'absurd' accusation of US election meddling

Ratcliffe has come under fire from Congressional Democrats for his selective declassification of documents pertaining to allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential campaign. Former CIA director John Brennan, who was the subject of some of the leaked documents, accused Ratcliffe of releasing them to "advance the political interests" of President Donald Trump ahead of the November 3 election.

The declassification caper was followed by Ratcliffe's unsolicited intervention regarding the acquisition by the FBI of computer hard drives allegedly belonging to Joe Biden's son, Hunter. Ratcliffe declared that the contents of the drives were not part of a Russian disinformation campaign and thereby drew the ire of Democrats, who view the sordid computer story as a smear campaign against the former vice president.

The October 21 press conference followed in the path of Ratcliffe's prior interventions, and appeared to be little more than an insufficiently sourced allegation wrapped in highly politicized conclusions. Ratcliffe claimed the US intelligence community had " confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately, by Russia ." This was the gist of the press conference, and it added virtually nothing to the statement released by Ratcliffe in August in which he noted that the US intelligence community was " primarily concerned about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran ."

ALSO ON RT.COM Iran sent fake 'Proud Boys' emails to intimidate American voters & 'damage President Trump,' US spy chief and FBI director claim

What made Ratcliffe's announcement even less spectacular was the fact that the data he accused Iran and Russia of stealing was publicly available, leading some anonymous intelligence officials to speculate that the hacking operations were little more than an effort to avoid paying the fees associated with accessing this data. As far as crimes go, this one was eminently forgettable.

Ratcliffe noted that the US officials " have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump ," referring to a scheme alleged to have been implemented by Iran, using this information, to disseminate emails to potential voters claiming to be from the controversial Proud Boys organization, that threatened physical violence unless the recipient voted for Trump in the coming election.

The purpose of this scheme appears to be less about actually changing votes (voting is done in secret, so the sender of the letter would have no way of confirming an outcome, thereby negating the threat) and more about undermining confidence in the electoral process as a whole. Both Iran and the Proud Boys have denied any involvement in the letter writing campaign.

This latest incursion by the US intelligence community into the topic of election interference by outside powers has been loudly condemned by the Democrats, with the House Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson, tweeting " Ratcliffe has TOO OFTEN politicized the Intelligence Community to carry water for the President ."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1319095427375968256&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F504300-politicizing-intelligence-election-russia-iran%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

But Ratcliffe's actions only continue in the vein of a history of electioneering by the US intelligence community during contentious presidential elections. Much of the Democrats' current ire against Ratcliffe stems from his exposing documents that point to similar politically motivated interventions by John Brennan and others during the 2016 election, ostensibly for the purpose of undermining the campaign of then-candidate Trump.

The fact is, what passes for domestic US politics is virtually impossible to manipulate by outside agencies. The effort by Cambridge Analytica to predict voting preferences in 2016 by accessing the confidential online data of millions of Americans has been shown to have been spectacularly ineffective, and it exceeded by some way the sophistication and data collection activities attributed to foreign powers such as Russia, China, and Iran.

The mind of the American voter is influenced by a wide variety of inputs that are highly individualized and, in many instances, virtually unquantifiable. The notion that a sophisticated data mining organization such as Cambridge Analytica, or the intelligence services of any of those three nations, could succeed in doing over the course of months what American political organizations have been struggling to achieve over two-plus centuries is not only laughable, but insulting.

Yet the level of domestic political insecurity that exists today is such that both political parties, lacking confidence in their own inherent messaging capability, have succumbed to the psychosis of political victimhood, blaming others for their own inherent failures. By allowing the work of the US intelligence community to be used as a foil in this self-destructive blame game, a succession of US intelligence professionals, led by John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Richard Grenell, John Ratcliffe, and others, have turned the once respected profession of intelligence into a politicized joke.

In this, however, it is in good company, joined by both political parties, the US media and, frankly speaking, the US electorate. American democracy is a mirror image of the nation it purports to serve, and, at the moment, the reflection displayed is a thoroughly tragic one.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Oct 23, 2020] Russia has been a fixture of the US military-industrial complex for a reason: they need more money and threat inflation is possible only with a suitable bogeyman

Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

rotorhead1871 , 5 hours ago

..they have always been the reason for the industrial-military complex....but now, who needs them.....we got china to point the finger at. so having 2 useful idiot countries...will keep the weapons boys going for quite some time....

Snaffew , 7 hours ago

...he boogeyman has never been Russia, it resides right here in the US under the guise of government, military, mainstream media, propaganda and sanctions, sanctions, sanctions against anyone that rightfully takes our slice of entitled pie because they built a far better and far cheaper mousetrap.

Oh the horrors of claiming to be a democracy and a capitalist nation when you just can't seem to play by the rules. **** America---we have let the elites take us down the road to ruins. We are as much at fault as they are for believing their nonsensical bs the whole while all the evidence was smoking right in front of our face. Who's more stupid...them or us? I'd tell everyone to take a good long look in the mirror if you are looking for an answer to that question---

[Oct 21, 2020] Like rise of the Praetorian Guard in Rome, the rise of political role of US intelligence agencies and an ominous sign by cynthia chung

Notable quotes:
"... When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years. ..."
"... From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later. ..."
"... These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their "intelligence," that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government's ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people. ..."
"... Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here ), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something "credible" to American intelligence. ..."
"... In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on "terror," that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the US for the last four years over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this. ..."
"... "The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s." [emphasis added] ..."
"... On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the "family jewels". This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time. In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of US citizens. ..."
"... Largely as a reaction to Hersh's findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate. ..."
"... In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled " Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973 ". The rest were kept secret at the CIA's request. ..."
"... Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK , in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List. ..."
"... According to Garrison's team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy's assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation. ..."
"... Though Garrison's team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison's book for further details and Oliver Stone's excellently researched movie JFK ] ..."
"... On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the US intelligence agencies. ..."
"... Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation . ..."
Oct 20, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org

"Treason doth never prosper; what is the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason." – Sir John Harrington.

As Shakespeare would state in his play Hamlet, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark," like a fish that rots from head to tail, so do corrupt government systems rot from top to bottom.

This is a reference to the ruling system of Denmark and not just the foul murder that King Claudius has committed against his brother, Hamlet's father. This is showcased in the play by reference to the economy of Denmark being in a state of shambles and that the Danish people are ready to revolt since they are on the verge of starving. King Claudius has only been king for a couple of months, and thus this state of affairs, though he inflames, did not originate with him.

Thus, during our time of great upheaval we should ask ourselves; what constitutes the persisting "ruling system," of the United States, and where do the injustices in its state of affairs truly originate from?

The tragedy of Hamlet does not just lie in the action (or lack of action) of one man, but rather, it is contained in the choices and actions of all its main characters. Each character fails to see the longer term consequences of their own actions, which leads not only to their ruin but towards the ultimate collapse of Denmark. The characters are so caught up in their antagonism against one another that they fail to foresee that their very own destruction is intertwined with the other.

This is a reflection of a failing system.

A system that, though it believes itself to be fighting tooth and nail for its very survival, is only digging a deeper grave. A system that is incapable of generating any real solutions to the problems it faces.

The only way out of this is to address that very fact. The most important issue that will decide the fate of the country is what sort of changes are going to occur in the political and intelligence apparatus, such that a continuation of this tyrannical treason is finally stopped in its tracks and unable to sow further discord and chaos.

When the Matter of "Truth" Becomes a Threat to "National Security"

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the "free" world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time.

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their "intelligence," that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government's ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here ), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something "credible" to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on "terror," that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the US for the last four years over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called "mistaken" intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.

When Great Figures of Hope Are Targeted as Threats to "National Security"

The Family Jewels report , which was an investigation conducted by the CIA to investigate itself, was spurred by the Watergate Scandal and the CIA's unconstitutional role in the whole affair. This investigation by the CIA reviewed its own conduct from the 1950s to mid-1970s.

The Family Jewels report was only partially declassified in June 25, 2007 (30 years later). Along with the release of the redacted report included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

"The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s." [emphasis added]

Despite this acknowledged violation of its charter for 25 years, which is pretty much since its inception, the details of this information were kept classified for 30 years from not just the public but major governmental bodies and it was left to the agency itself to judge how best to "reform" its ways.

On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the "family jewels". This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time. In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of US citizens.

Largely as a reaction to Hersh's findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate.

The Church Committee's final report was published in April 1976, including seven volumes of Church Committee hearings in the Senate.

The Church Committee also published an interim report titled "Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders", which investigated alleged attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of Zaire, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and Fidel Castro of Cuba. President Ford attempted to withhold the report from the public, but failed and reluctantly issued Executive Order 11905 after pressure from the public and the Church Committee.

Executive Order 11905 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on February 18, 1976, by a very reluctant President Ford in an attempt to reform the United States Intelligence Community, improve oversight on foreign intelligence activities, and ban political assassination.

The attempt is now regarded as a failure and was largely undone by President Reagan who issued Executive Order 12333 , which extended the powers and responsibilities of US intelligence agencies and directed leaders of the US federal agencies to co-operate fully with the CIA, which was the original arrangement that CIA have full authority over clandestine operations (for more information on this refer to my papers here and here ).

In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled " Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973 ". The rest were kept secret at the CIA's request.

Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK , in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List.

In 1975, the Church Committee decided to unilaterally declassify the particulars of this operation, against the objections of President Ford's administration (refer here and here for more information).

The Church Committee's reports constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but over 50,000 pages were declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22nd, 1963. Two days before his assassination a hate-Kennedy handbill (see picture) was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer.

On March 1st, 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of David Ferrie and others. After a little over a one month long trial, Shaw was found not guilty on March 1st, 1969.

David Ferrie, a controller of Lee Harvey Oswald, was going to be a key witness and would have provided the "smoking gun" evidence linking himself to Clay Shaw, was likely murdered on Feb. 22nd, 1967, less than a week after news of Garrison's investigation broke in the media.

According to Garrison's team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy's assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation.

Though Garrison's team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison's book for further details and Oliver Stone's excellently researched movie JFK ]

To date, it is the only trial to be brought forward concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in 1994 by the Congress enacted President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection within the National Archives and Records Administration. In July 1998, a staff report released by the ARRB emphasized shortcomings in the original autopsy.

The ARRB wrote , "One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist." [emphasis added]

The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy's brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.

The Washington Post reported :

Asked about the lunchroom episode [where he was overheard stating his notes of the autopsy went missing] in a May 1996 deposition, Finck said he did not remember it. He was also vague about how many notes he took during the autopsy but confirmed that 'after the autopsy I also wrote notes' and that he turned over whatever notes he had to the chief autopsy physician, James J. Humes.

It has long been known that Humes destroyed some original autopsy papers in a fireplace at his home on Nov. 24, 1963. He told the Warren Commission that what he burned was an original draft of his autopsy report. Under persistent questioning at a February 1996 deposition by the Review Board, Humes said he destroyed the draft and his 'original notes.'

Shown official autopsy photographs of Kennedy from the National Archives, [Saundra K.] Spencer [who worked in 'the White House lab'] said they were not the ones she helped process and were printed on different paper. She said 'there was no blood or opening cavities' and the wounds were much smaller in the pictures [than what she had] worked on

John T. Stringer, who said he was the only one to take photos during the autopsy itself, said some of those were missing as well. He said that pictures he took of Kennedy's brain at a 'supplementary autopsy' were different from the official set that was shown to him. [emphasis added]

This not only shows that evidence tampering did indeed occur, as even the Warren Commission acknowledges, but this puts into question the reliability of the entire assassination record of John F. Kennedy and to what degree evidence tampering and forgery have occurred in these records.

We would also do well to remember the numerous crimes that the FBI and CIA have been guilty of committing upon the American people such as during the period of McCarthyism. That the FBI's COINTELPRO has been implicated in covert operations against members of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s. That FBI director J. Edgar Hoover made no secret of his hostility towards Dr. King and his ludicrous belief that King was influenced by communists, despite having no evidence to that effect.

King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 and the civil rights movement took a major blow.

In November 1975, as the Church Committee was completing its investigation, the Department of Justice formed a Task Force to examine the FBI's program of harassment directed at Dr. King, including the FBI's security investigations of him, his assassination and the FBI conducted criminal investigation that followed. One aspect of the Task force study was to determine "whether any action taken in relation to Dr. King by the FBI before the assassination had, or might have had, an effect, direct or indirect, on that event."

In its report , the Task Force criticized the FBI not for the opening, but for the protracted continuation of, its security investigation of Dr. King:

"We think the security investigation which included both physical and technical surveillance, should have been terminated in 1963. That it was intensified and augmented by a COINTELPRO type campaign against Dr. King was unwarranted; the COINTELPRO type campaign, moreover, was ultra vires and very probably felonious."

In 1999, King Family v. Jowers civil suit in Memphis, Tennessee occurred, the full transcript of the trial can be found here . The jury found that Lloyd Jowers and unnamed others, including those in high ranking positions within government agencies, participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.

During the four week trial, it was pointed out that the rifle allegedly used to assassinate King did not have a scope that was sighted, which meant you could not have hit the broad side of a barn with that rifle, thus it could not have been the murder weapon.

This was only remarked on over 30 years after King was murdered and showed the level of incompetence, or more likely, evidence tampering that was committed from previous investigations conducted by the FBI.

The case of JFK and MLK are among the highest profile assassination cases in American history, and it has been shown in both cases that evidence tampering has indeed occurred, despite being in the center of the public eye. What are we then to expect as the standard of investigation for all the other cases of malfeasance? What expectation can we have that justice is ever upheld?

With a history of such blatant misconduct, it is clear that the present demand to declassify the Russiagate papers now, and not 50 years later, needs to occur if we are to address the level of criminality that is going on behind the scenes and which will determine the fate of the country.

The American People Deserve to Know

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decades' long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country.

On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the US intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan's handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to "vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service."

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus. Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the "national security" of the American people?

The truth must finally be brought to light, or the country will rot from its head to tail.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .


[Oct 21, 2020] How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex by Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Highly recommended!
Tramp was essentially the President from military industrial complex and Israel lobby. So he was not played. That's naive. He followed the instructions.
Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com

On March 20, 2018, President Donald Trump sat beside Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman at the White House and lifted a giant map that said Saudi weapons purchases would support jobs in "key" states -- including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, all of which were crucial to Trump's 2016 election victory .

"Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment but if you look, in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million, $525 million -- that's peanuts for you. You should have increased it," Trump said to the prince, who was (and still is) overseeing a military campaign in Yemen that has deployed U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Trump has used his job as commander-in-chief to be America's arms-dealer-in-chief in a way no other president has since Dwight Eisenhower, as he prepared to leave the presidency, warned in early 1961 of the military-industrial complex's political influence. Trump's posture makes sense personally ― this is a man who regularly fantasizes about violence, usually toward foreigners ― and he and his advisers see it as politically useful, too. The president has repeatedly appeared at weapons production facilities in swing states, promoted the head of Lockheed Martin using White House resources, appointed defense industry employees to top government jobs in an unprecedented way and expanded the Pentagon's budget to near-historic highs ― a guarantee of future income for companies like Lockheed and Boeing.

Trump is "on steroids in terms of promoting arms sales for his own political benefit," said William Hartung, a scholar at the Center for International Policy who has tracked the defense industry for decades. "It's a targeted strategy to get benefits from workers in key states."

In courting the billion-dollar industry, Trump has trampled on moral considerations about how buyers like the Saudis misuse American weapons, ethical concerns about conflicts of interest and even part of his own political message, the deceptive claim that he is a peace candidate. He justifies his policy by citing job growth, but data from Hartung , a prominent analyst, shows he exaggerates the impact. And Trump has made clear that a major motivation for his defense strategy is the possible electoral benefit it could have.

Next month's election will show if the bargain was worth it. As of now, it looks like Trump's bet didn't pay off ― for him, at least. Campaign contribution records, analysts in swing states and polls suggest arms dealers have given the president no significant political boost. The defense contractors, meanwhile, are expected to continue getting richer, as they have in a dramatic way under Trump.

Playing Corporate Favorites

Trump has thrice chosen the person who decides how the Defense Department spends its gigantic budget. Each time, he has tapped someone from a business that wants those Pentagon dollars. Mark Esper, the current defense secretary, worked for Raytheon; his predecessor, Pat Shanahan, for Boeing; and Trump's first appointee, Jim Mattis, for General Dynamics, which reappointed him to its board soon after he left the administration.

Of the senior officials serving under Esper, almost half have connections to military contractors, per the Project on Government Oversight. The administration is now rapidly trying to fill more Pentagon jobs under the guidance of a former Trump campaign worker, Foreign Policy magazine recently revealed ― prioritizing political reasons and loyalty to Trump in choosing people who could help craft policy even under a Joe Biden presidency.

Such personnel choices are hugely important for defense companies' profit margins and risk creating corruption or the impression of it. Watchdog groups argue Trump's handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests.

"Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration , certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago," said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.

The theoretical dangers of Trump's approach became a reality last year, when a former employee for the weapons producer Raytheon used his job at the State Department to advocate for a rare emergency declaration allowing the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates to buy $8 billion in arms ― including $2 billion in Raytheon products ― despite congressional objections. As other department employees warned that Saudi Arabia was defying U.S. pressure to behave less brutally in Yemen, former lobbyist Charles Faulkner led a unit that urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give the kingdom more weapons. Pompeo pushed out Faulkner soon afterward, and earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general criticized the process behind the emergency declaration for the arms.

Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention cente MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI / REUTERS
Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention center in Yemen on Sept. 1, 2019. The Saudis military campaign in Yemen has relied on U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Even Trump administration officials not clearly connected to the defense industry have shown an interest in moves that benefit it. In 2017, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pressured Republican lawmakers to permit exports to Saudi Arabia and Jared Kushner, the president's counselor and son-in-law, personally spoke with Lockheed Martin's chief to iron out a sale to the kingdom, The New York Times found.

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When Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to develop medical supplies as part of this year's coronavirus relief package, most of the money went to defense contractors for projects like jet engine parts instead, a Washington Post investigation showed .

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"It's a very close relationship and there's no kind of sense that they're supposed to be regulating these people," Hartung said. "It's more like they're allies, standing shoulder to shoulder."

Seeking Payback

In June 2019, Lockheed Martin announced that it would close a facility that manufactures helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 450 people. Days later, Trump tweeted that he had asked the company's then-chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, to keep the plant open. And by July 10, Lockheed said it would do so ― attributing the decision to Trump.

The president has frequently claimed credit for jobs in the defense industry, highlighting the impact on manufacturing in swing states rather than employees like Washington lobbyists, whose numbers have also grown as he has expanded the Pentagon's budget. Lockheed has helped him in his messaging: In one instance in Wisconsin, Hewson announced she was adding at least 45 new positions at a plant directly after Trump spoke there, saying his tax cuts for corporations made that possible.

Trump is pursuing a strategy that the arms industry uses to insulate itself from political criticism. "They've reached their tentacles into every state and many congressional districts," Scherb of Common Cause said. That makes it hard for elected officials to question their operations or Pentagon spending generally without looking like they are harming their local economy.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat who represents Coatesville, welcomed Lockheed's change of course, though she warned, "This decision is a temporary reprieve. I am concerned that Lockheed Martin and [its subsidiary] Sikorsky are playing politics with the livelihoods of people in my community."

The political benefit for Trump, though, remains in question, given that as president he has a broad set of responsibilities and is judged in different ways.

"Do I think it's important to keep jobs? Absolutely," said Marcel Groen, a former Pennsylvania Democratic party chair. "And I think we need to thank the congresswoman and thank the president for it. But it doesn't change my views and I don't think it changes most people's in terms of the state of the nation."

With polls showing that Trump's disastrous response to the health pandemic dominates voters' thoughts and Biden sustaining a lead in surveys of most swing states , his argument on defense industry jobs seems like a minor factor in this election.

Hartung of the Center for International Policy drew a parallel to President George H.W. Bush, who during his 1992 reelection campaign promoted plans for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia to purchase fighter jets produced in Missouri and Texas. Bush announced the decisions at events at the General Dynamics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis that made the planes. That November, as Bill Clinton defeated him, he lost Missouri by the highest margin of any Republican in almost 30 years and won Texas by a slimmer margin than had become the norm for a GOP presidential candidate.

President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July MANDEL NGAN VIA GETTY IMAGES
President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019. Trump does not appear to be winning his political bet that increased defense spending would help his political fortunes.

Checking The Receipts

The defense industry can't control whether voters buy Trump's arguments about his relationship with it. But it could, if it wanted to, try to help him politically in a more direct way: by donating to his reelection campaign and allied efforts.

Yet arms manufacturers aren't reciprocating Trump's affection. A HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records showed that top figures and groups at major industry organizations like the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association and at Lockheed, Trump's favorite defense firm, are donating this cycle much as they normally do: giving to both sides of the political aisle, with a slight preference to the party currently wielding the most power, which for now is Republicans. (The few notable exceptions include the chairman of the NDIA's board, Arnold Punaro, who has given more than $58,000 to Trump and others in the GOP.)

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that's the case for contributions from the next three biggest groups of defense industry donors after Lockheed's employees.

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One smaller defense company, AshBritt Environmental, did donate $500,000 to a political action committee supporting Trump ― prompting a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center, which noted that businesses that take federal dollars are not allowed to make campaign contributions. Its founder told ProPublica he meant to make a personal donation.

For weapons producers, backing both parties makes sense. The military budget will have increased 29% under Trump by the end of the current fiscal year, per the White House Office of Management and Budget. Biden has said he doesn't see cuts as "inevitable" if he is elected, and his circle of advisers includes many from the national security world who have worked closely with ― and in many cases worked for ― the defense industry.

And arms manufacturers are "busy pursuing their own interests" in other ways, like trying to get a piece of additional government stimulus legislation, Hartung said ― an effort that's underway as the Pentagon's inspector general investigates how defense contractors got so much of the first coronavirus relief package.

Meanwhile, defense contractors continue to have an outsize effect on the way policies are designed in Washington through less political means. A recent report from the Center for International Policy found that such companies have given at least $1 billion to the nation's most influential think tanks since 2014 ― potentially spending taxpayer money to influence public opinion. They have also found less obvious ways to maintain support from powerful people, like running the databases that many congressional offices use to connect with constituents, Scherb of Common Cause said.

"This goes into a much bigger systemic issue about big money in politics and the role of corporations versus the role of Americans," Scherb said.

Given its reach, the defense industry has little reason to appear overtly partisan. Instead, it's projecting confidence despite the generally dreary state of the global economy: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has said he expects similar approaches from either winner of the election, arguing even greater Democratic control and the rise of less conventional lawmakers isn't a huge concern.

In short, whoever is in the White House, arms dealers tend to do just fine.

[Oct 19, 2020] The Emails Are Russian- Will Be The Narrative, Regardless Of Facts Or Evidence by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com,

Fight it all you want, but there's nothing you can do. "The emails are Russian" is going to be the official dominant narrative in mainstream political discourse, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Resistance is futile.

Like the Russian hacking narrative, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, the Russian bounties in Afghanistan narrative, and any other evidence-free framing of events that simultaneously advances pre-planned cold war agendas, is politically convenient for the Democratic party and generates clicks and ratings, the narrative that the New York Post publication of Hunter Biden's emails is a Russian operation is going to be hammered and hammered and hammered until it becomes the mainstream consensus. This will happen regardless of facts and evidence, up to and including rock solid evidence that Hunter Biden's emails were not published as a result of a Russian operation.

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This is happening. It's following the same formula all the other fact-free Russia hysteria narratives have followed. The same media tour by pundits and political operatives saying with no evidence but very assertive voices that Russia is most certainly behind this occurrence and we should all be very upset about it.

"To me, this is just classic textbook Soviet Russian tradecraft at work," Russiagate founder and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is heard assuring CNN's audience .

"Joe Biden – and all of us – SHOULD be furious that media outlets are spreading what is very likely Russian propaganda," begins and eight-part thread by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who claims the emails are "Kremlin constructed anti-Biden propaganda."

"It's not really surprising at all, this was always the play, but still kind of head-spinning to watch all the players from 2016 run exactly the same hack-leak-smear op in 2020. Even with everyone knowing exactly what's happening this time," tweets MSNBC's Chris Hayes.

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"How are you all circling the wagons instead of being embarrassed for peddling Russian ops 18 days before the election. It's not enough that you all haven't learned from your atrocious handling of 2016 -- you are doubling down," Democratic Party think tanker Neera Tanden tweeted in admonishment of journalists who dare to report on or ask questions about the emails.

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Virtually the entirety of the Democratic Party-aligned political/media class has streamlined this narrative of Russian influence into the American consciousness with very little inertia, despite the fact that neither Joe nor Hunter Biden has disputed the authenticity of the emails and despite a complete absence of evidence for Russian involvement in their publication.

This is surely the first time, at least in recent memory, that we have ever seen such a broad consensus within the mass media that it is the civic duty of news reporters to try and influence the outcome of a presidential general election by withholding negative news coverage for one candidate. There was a lot of fascinated hatred for Trump in 2016, but people still reported on Hillary Clinton's various scandals and didn't attack one another for doing so. In 2020 that has changed, and mainstream news reporters have now largely coalesced along the doctrine that they must avoid any reporting which might be detrimental to the Biden campaign.

"Dem Party hacks (and many of their media allies) genuinely believe it's immoral to report on or even discuss stories that reflect poorly on Biden. In reality, it's the responsibility of journalists to ignore their vapid whining and ask about newsworthy stories, even about Biden," tweeted The Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald recently.

"You don't even have to think the Hunter Biden materials constitute some kind of earth-shattering story to be absolutely repulsed at the authoritarian propaganda offensive being waged to discredit them -- primarily by journalists who behave like compliant little trained robots ," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

Last month The Spectator 's Stephen L Miller described how the consensus formed among the mainstream press since Clinton's 2016 loss that it is their moral duty to be uncritical of Trump's opponent.

"For almost four years now, journalists have shamed their colleagues and themselves over what I will call the 'but her emails' dilemma," Miller writes. "Those who reported dutifully on the ill-timed federal investigation into Hillary Clinton's private server and spillage of classified information have been cast out and shunted away from the journalist cool kids' table. Focusing so much on what was, at the time, a considerable scandal, has been written off by many in the media as a blunder. They believe their friends and colleagues helped put Trump in the White House by focusing on a nothing-burger of a Clinton scandal when they should have been highlighting Trump's foibles. It's an error no journalist wants to repeat."

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So "the emails are Russian" narrative serves the interests of political convenience, partisan media ratings, and the national security state's pre-planned agenda to continue escalating against Russia as part of its slow motion third world war against nations which refuse to bow to US dictates, and you've got essentially no critical mainstream news coverage putting the brakes on any of it. This means this narrative is going to become mainstream orthodoxy and treated as an established fact, despite the fact that there is no actual, tangible evidence for it.

Joe Biden could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and the mainstream press would crucify any journalist who so much as tweeted about it. Very little journalism is going into vetting and challenging him, and a great deal of the energy that would normally be doing so is going into ensuring that he slides right into the White House.

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If the mainstream news really existed to tell you the truth about what's going on, everyone would know about every questionable decision that Joe Biden has ever made, Russiagate would never have happened, we'd all be acutely aware of the fact that powerful forces are pushing us into increasingly aggressive confrontations with two nuclear-armed nations, and Trump would be grilled about Yemen in every press conference.

But the mainstream news does not exist to tell you the truth about the world. The mainstream news exists to advance the interests of its wealthy owners and the status quo upon which they have built their kingdoms. That's why it's so very, very important that we find ways to break away from it and share information with each other that isn't tainted by corrupt and powerful interests.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[Oct 19, 2020] New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 17 2020 23:20 utc | 76

New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks
Esper's speech demonstrates a confluence of policies, ideas, and funds that permeate through the system, and are by no means unique to a single service, think tank, or contractor.

First, Esper consistently situated his future expansion plans in a need to adapt to "an era of great power competition." CNAS is one of the think tanks leading the charge in highlighting the threat from Beijing.

They also received at least $8,946,000 from 2014-2019 from the U.S. government and defense contractors, including over $7 million from defense contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Huntington Ingalls, General Dynamics, and Boeing who would stand to make billions if the 500-ship fleet were enacted.

It's all about the money. Foreign and domestic policy is always all about the money, either directly or indirectly. Of course, the ultimate goal is power - or more precisely, the ultimate goal is relief of the fear of death, which drives every single human's every action, and only power can do that, and in this world only money can give you power (or so the chimpanzees believe.)

[Oct 01, 2020] Why say riot when you can be vague and sensitive instead, AP Stylebook urges in newest Orwellian guidelines by Nebojsa Malic

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... AP is hardly the Ministry of Truth, dictating Newspeak under the penalty of torture. As it turns out, it doesn't have to be. A bit of updated style – and thought – guidance announced on Twitter from time to time will do. ..."
Oct 01, 2020 | www.rt.com
Used as the journalism Bible by most English-language media, the AP Stylebook has updated its guidance for employing the word 'riot,' citing the need to avoid "stigmatizing" groups protesting "for racial justice."

While acknowledging the dictionary definition of riot as a "wild or violent disturbance of the peace," AP said the word somehow "suggests uncontrolled chaos and pandemonium."

Worse yet, "Focusing on rioting and property destruction rather than underlying grievance has been used in the past to stigmatize broad swaths of people protesting against lynching, police brutality or for racial justice " the Stylebook account tweeted on Wednesday.

The claim that something has been used in the past in a racist way has already led to banishing many English terms to the Orwellian "memory hole." It certainly appears the AP is trying to do the same with "riot" now.

Instead of promoting precision, the Stylebook is urging reporters to use euphemisms such as "protest" or "demonstration." It advises "revolt" and "uprising" if the violence is directed "against powerful groups or governing systems," in an alarming shift in focus from what is being done towards who is doing it to whom .

READ MORE: CBS News whitewashes Kenosha destruction as mostly 'peaceful protests' as city smolders in aftermath

There is even a helpful suggestion to use "unrest" because it's "a vaguer, milder and less emotional term for a condition of angry discontent and protest verging on revolt."

Translated to plain English, this means a lot more mentions of "unrest" and almost no references to "riot," in media coverage going forward, regardless of how much actual rioting is happening.

Mainstream media across the US have already gone out of their way to avoid labeling what has unfolded since the death of George Floyd in May as "riots." Though protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota turned violent within 48 hours, before spreading to other cities across the US – and even internationally – the media continued calling them "peaceful" and "protests for racial justice."

Yet in just the first two weeks of the riots, 20 people have been killed and the property damage has exceeded $2 billion , according to insurance estimates – the highest in US history.

AP is no stranger to changing the language to better comport to 'proper' political sensitivities. At the height of the riots in June, the Stylebook decided to capitalize "Black" and "Indigenous" in a "racial, ethnic or cultural sense."

We're in a sinister new era of totalitarianism, where PC combat units use social media to destroy anyone who disagrees with them

A month later, the expected decision to leave "white" in lowercase was justified by saying that "White people in general have much less shared history and culture, and don't have the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color."

Moreover, "Capitalizing the term 'white,' as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs," wrote AP's vice-president for standards John Daniszewski.

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, as its full name goes, has effectively dictated the tone of English-language outlets around the world since it first appeared in 1953. It is also required reference material in journalism schools.

So when it embraces vagueness over precision and worrying about "suggestions" and "subtly conveying" things over plain meaning, that rings especially Orwellian – in both the '1984' sense of censoring speech and thought and regarding the corruption of language the author lamented in his famous 1946 essay 'Politics and the English language.'

AP is hardly the Ministry of Truth, dictating Newspeak under the penalty of torture. As it turns out, it doesn't have to be. A bit of updated style – and thought – guidance announced on Twitter from time to time will do.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

[Oct 01, 2020] Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations cost him -- but he never gave up by Lev Golinkin

Highly recommended!
I draw your attention to the irrefutable fact that Mr. Cohen said that the Buk missile, which brought down Malaysian Flight 370 over the skies of Donbas, was the Ukraine government "playing with its new toys and made a big mistake." -- and I draw your attention to the irrefutable fact that Mr. Cohen said that the Buk missile, which brought down Malaysian Flight 370 over the skies of Donbas, was the Ukraine government "playing with its new toys and made a big mistake."
He was a real giant in comparison with intellectual scum like Fiona Hill, Michael McFaul and other neocons.
Notable quotes:
"... I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members, distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was. ..."
"... There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto. ..."
"... Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well, from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become inconvenient. ..."
"... After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014, he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world. ..."
"... It was something far colder, more sustained, something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind of people who win races by kneecapping the competition. ..."
"... I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap, he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting. ..."
"... It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers. ..."
"... In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the parrots and pundits were lined up against him. ..."
"... Always I was skeptical of prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy. ..."
"... Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or margaret kimberly. ..."
"... His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the sand. ..."
Oct 01, 2020 | www.thenation.com

I first reached out to Stephen Cohen because I was losing my mind.

In the spring of 2014, a war broke out in my homeland of Ukraine. It was a horrific war in a bitterly divided nation, which turned eastern Ukraine into a bombed-out wasteland. But that's not how it was portrayed in America. Because millions of eastern Ukrainians were against the US-backed government, their opinions were inconvenient for the West. Washington needed a clean story about Ukraine fighting the Kremlin; as a result, US media avoided reporting about the "wrong" half of the country. Twenty-plus million people were written out of the narrative, as if they never existed.

I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members, distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was.

And so I e-mailed him, asking for guidance as I began my own writing career. Of course, there were many who clamored for Steve's time, but I had an advantage over others. Steve and I were both night owls, real night owls, the kind who have afternoon tea at three am. It was then, when the east coast was sleeping, that he became my mentor and friend.

There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto.

But one thing Steve taught me is to stick to my strengths, and truth be told, there are others who can describe his life better than I. I'll stick to what I learned during our conversations at three in the morning, which is that, above all else, Stephen F. Cohen was a man of faith.

Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well, from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become inconvenient.

After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014, he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world.

The DC apparatchiks couldn't discredit Steve's credentials or track record -- he'd predicted events in Ukraine and elsewhere years before they occurred. They couldn't intimidate him -- he'd faced far worse threats, like the KGB. Instead, they set out to turn him into an America-hating, Putin-loving pariah.

This went beyond an ad hominem campaign. It was something far colder, more sustained, something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind of people who win races by kneecapping the competition.

I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap, he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting.

It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers.

Steve liked movies and would often end a lecture with a movie reference to drive home the thesis. When I think of him, I think of the ending of The Shawshank Redemption , the line about Andy Dufresne crawling through filth and coming out clean on the other side. Steve didn't live in a movie; I can't claim he emerged unscathed. What he did was come through without bitterness or cynicism. He refused to turn away from the ugliness, but he didn't allow it to blind him to beauty. He walked with grace. And he lost neither his convictions nor his faith.

Lev Golinkin Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon's Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d'Europa. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time (online), among other venues; he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.


Pierre Guerlain says: October 1, 2020 at 12:42 pm

In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the parrots and pundits were lined up against him. He was a Mensch. History will bear him the historian out.

Valera Bochkarev says to Lance Haley: October 1, 2020 at 11:09 am

Hmm, who's the apologist here ?

If the Ukraine is SO sovereign how is it I did not see any outrage in your diatribe against 'Toria, Pyatt and the rest orchestrating the Maidan putsch or the $5Billion US spent on softening up the ukraine for the regime change ?

I believe in numbers, as in the number of military bases any given country has surrounding the ones it wants to subvert, in the amount of money allocated to vilify and eventually bring down the "unwanted" regimes and the quantity and 'quality' of sanctions imposed against those regimes; and the sum of all of the above perpetrated against humanity in the past 75 or so years.

Your vapid drivel, Mr Haley, evaporates almost without a trace once seen with those parameters in mind.

Numbers don't lie.

Michael Batinski says: September 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Let me add from the perspective of an American historian who taught for forty years in a midwestern university. From the start I depended on William Appleman Williams to keep perspective and to counter prevailing interpretive trends.

Always I was skeptical of prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy.

I will always be thankful.

Michael Batinski

Tim Ashby says: September 30, 2020 at 2:37 pm

The smothering agitprop in America trumps even Goebbels and co. with its beautifully dressed overton window and first-amendment-free-press bullshit.

Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or margaret kimberly.

Let's face it, we were lucky to win the editorial fight to even give him space in the Nation.

His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the sand.

[Sep 28, 2020] No wonder Pompey and his friend Jeffries won't give up on Syria! No wonder

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it. ..."
Sep 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network."

"Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria's political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile . These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK's Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV .

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and "influencers," and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to "re-brand" Syria's Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by "softening its image ." ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that "aired almost every day on" major Arabic-language TV networks."

"The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing "an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work."

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign , a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently "following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams" that The Syria Campaign "selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news," the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office." thegreyzone

--------------

Using really basic intelligence analytic tools; Occam's Razor, Walks like a duck, Smileyesque back azimuth's, etc. it has been clear that the UK government has been deeply involved in sponsoring and influencing the Syrian/ jihadi opposition in that miserable country. The wide spread British Old Boys network of aspirants to the tradition of imperial manipulation has been visible just below the surface if you had eyes to look and a brain to think.

A lot of the money for this folly came right out of USAID.

pl

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/23/syria-leaks-uk-contractors-opposition-media/


ISL , 27 September 2020 at 04:03 PM

Dear Colonel agreed.

I object to the line in the article that they "played the media like a fiddle" - as it implies the mainstream media is a victim as opposed to willing accomplice.

The American public very strongly told Obama they didn't want another invasion and war in the middle east (red lines or not) so rather ineffective propaganda.

Moreover, I suspect that given the US public inattention to overseas events that do not involve much US blood (in places they can not find on a map). Today's mess would be where more or less the same if the entire IO had never happened - though maybe with less cynicism of US/UK gov'ts and media.

OTH, it is curious how well the British Old Boys network (and US) aligns with Israeli interests (and runs counter to US or British interests). Maybe grayzone will investigate that (impressive) IO campaign. I think a small country in the middle east played US and UK elites like a fiddle.

The Twisted Genius , 27 September 2020 at 04:48 PM

I've only given this article a cursory reading so far and it is clear that the Brits are going balls to the wall on the PSYOPS/perception management front. This campaign flows naturally from the strong material support for the Syrian "moderate rebels" provided by the US, the Brits and probably others for years. We may still be blowing up IS jihadis, but we're also supporting our own brand of jihadis around Al-Tanf, giving free hand to Erdogan's jihadis along the Turkish-Syrian border and doing our best to stymie R+6 efforts to crush the remaining jihadis and unite Syria.

The article focuses on the contractors role in PSYOP. I'm not sure if it mentions the British government's role in this. The GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) probably manages most of those contractors. The British Army also has the 77th Brigade. This brigade's slogan is: "behavioural change is our unique selling point". Gordon MacMillan, a reserve officer with the 77th Brigade, is now Twitter's head of editorial operations for the Middle East.
The 77th was formed in 2015 and subsumed the 15th Psychological Operations Group which was headed by Steve Tathan, who went on to head the defence division of SCL, the now defunct parent of Cambridge Analytica. I'm sure the 77th is capable of managing some of those contractors, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of contractors were also reservists in the 77th.

I bet we're not letting the Brits have all the fun. The CIA Special Activities Center (formerly SAD) includes the Political Action Group for PSYOP, economic warfare and cyberwarfare. That dovetails nicely with what CENTCOM is doing in Syria. I knew some of those guys a while back. I remember scaring them with some of my own anarchist hacker rantings when I was penetrating those hackers.

Our Army has fours PSYOP groups brigade-sized), two active and 2 reserve. I would think they have advanced their methodology since I took the course at Bragg. For a few years, they were called military information support operations (MISO) groups rather than PSYOP groups. They have since reverted to their PSYOP name although their activities are referred to as MISO. I don't know what the difference is.

Babak makkinejad , 27 September 2020 at 05:10 PM

ISL

No, no, no.

There is no such small country as you describe in the Near East.

There is an self-disciplined proxy force masquerading as a state which is mostly funded by the United States to further the religious policies of the WASP Culture Continent.

It is no accident that in this context, the names of US and UK occur often in the same sentences; one declared a crusade to wrestle control of Plastine from Muslims, and the otber one carried out that crusade and escalated it.

That is also the reason that US cannot end the war over Palestine or leave Islamdom

(Oil, Geostrategic considerations, arms sales, Realpolitik are just pseudo-rationications to obscure the real war.)

Diana Croissant , 28 September 2020 at 07:45 AM

Where is Candide (aka Voltaire) when we need him?

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 28 September 2020 at 09:14 AM

Ishmael Zechariah

How WASP-dom has arrived in this crusade is not, in my opinion, as significant as that it has been waging it for more than a hundred years.

fakebot , 28 September 2020 at 10:43 AM

"WASP Culture" is into golfing, not crusading. Erik Prince and the religious fundamentalists, maybe, but they don't drive US policy.

Russia and/or Chinese dominion over Eurasia cannot be permitted. Their means to achieve that would be less ethical, not that the US or UK have been prince among men and salts of the earth, as noted in the article.

The US has tried in vain to win over hearts and minds. It has been a mostly noble effort to bring countries like Iraq and Afghanistan into the 21st century, but it was always more of a losing game. The problem lies too much in Islam and tribal rivalries.

[Sep 23, 2020] How fake media actually works: reporter are given the narrative and they should rehash their stories to fit it

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The blogger Caitlin Johnstone accurately states that these most of these mainstream corporate journalists are really *narrative managers* in that their primary role is to peddle the official narrative of the US corporate/political establishment for any given topic. ..."
"... I would add that the managing editors of these "journalists"/narrative managers would be more honestly described as "handlers," to use the parlance of spooks. ..."
"... Waste of time. They control the media. The Internet may have lots of influence, but it still does not set "consensus reality" - that remains with the MSM. The MSM issues one coordinated narrative. The Internet is all over the place. Without one coordinated narrative, you can't set "reality". ..."
"... In addition, those who issue the narrative and control the MSM have the power. People want to believe those in power, due to cognitive dissonance - otherwise they'd have to accept that everyone ruling their lives is a corrupt liar. The electorate may *say* they understand that their rulers are corrupt - but they can't act* on that realization without compromising their own internal belief systems. So again, waste of time to try ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Sep 22 2020 0:59 utc | 22 can we not invent a method that can counter this tactic of using propaganda to control the narrative?

1) Hack them. Release their planning documents, emails, phone calls, etc. showing how the scam was set up.

2) Waste of time. They control the media. The Internet may have lots of influence, but it still does not set "consensus reality" - that remains with the MSM. The MSM issues one coordinated narrative. The Internet is all over the place. Without one coordinated narrative, you can't set "reality".

3) In addition, those who issue the narrative and control the MSM have the power. People want to believe those in power, due to cognitive dissonance - otherwise they'd have to accept that everyone ruling their lives is a corrupt liar. The electorate may *say* they understand that their rulers are corrupt - but they can't act* on that realization without compromising their own internal belief systems. So again, waste of time to try.

snake , Sep 22 2020 10:19 utc | 36

time2wakeupnow , Sep 21 2020 23:36 utc | 20

Well....as always, and especially if it involves anything even remotely relating to 'Russia', or Iran, or whatever adversarial operational target of the day might be -- one can reliably count on our very own "Izvestia on the Hudson" to faithfully execute their officially sanctioned nation security state propaganda mission by dutifully steno-graphing as much dis/mis-information as their NSA/CIA/Pentagon handlers request (require) from them.

Petri Krohn , Sep 21 2020 22:50 utc | 18

A former editor and correspondent of the The New York Times , Michael Cieply describes how the newspaper works:
Stunned By Trump, The New York Times Finds Time For Some Soul-Searching

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper's movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called "the narrative." We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

Reality usually had a way of intervening. But I knew one senior reporter who would play solitaire on his computer in the mornings, waiting for his editors to come through with marching orders. Once, in the Los Angeles bureau, I listened to a visiting National staff reporter tell a contact, more or less: "My editor needs someone to say such-and-such, could you say that?"

The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper's daily Page One meeting: "We set the agenda for the country in that room.

ak74 , Sep 22 2020 0:14 utc | 22
The blogger Caitlin Johnstone accurately states that these most of these mainstream corporate journalists are really *narrative managers* in that their primary role is to peddle the official narrative of the US corporate/political establishment for any given topic.

I would add that the managing editors of these "journalists"/narrative managers would be more honestly described as "handlers," to use the parlance of spooks.

In fact, it would be apt to described venerable institution of journalism itself as an intelligence operation.

THE CIA AND THE MEDIA

http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

Richard Steven Heck , Sep 22 2020 4:01 utc | 28

@snake | Sep 22 2020 0:59 utc | 22 can we not invent a method that can counter this tactic of using propaganda to control the narrative?

1) Hack them. Release their planning documents, emails, phone calls, etc. showing how the scam was set up.

2) Waste of time. They control the media. The Internet may have lots of influence, but it still does not set "consensus reality" - that remains with the MSM. The MSM issues one coordinated narrative. The Internet is all over the place. Without one coordinated narrative, you can't set "reality".

3) In addition, those who issue the narrative and control the MSM have the power. People want to believe those in power, due to cognitive dissonance - otherwise they'd have to accept that everyone ruling their lives is a corrupt liar. The electorate may *say* they understand that their rulers are corrupt - but they can't act* on that realization without compromising their own internal belief systems. So again, waste of time to try.

[Sep 17, 2020] Why the Blob Needs an Enemy by ARTA MOEINI

Highly recommended!
Crisis of neoliberal undermines the USA supremacy and the US elite hangs by the stras to the Full Specturm Domionanc edoctrine, whih it now can't enforce and which is financially unsustainable for the USA.
Collapse of neoliberalism means the end of the USA supremacy and the whole political existence on the USA was banked on this single card.
Notable quotes:
"... In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily. ..."
"... In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well. ..."
"... There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism. ..."
"... Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. ..."
Sep 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The international order is no longer bipolar, despite the elites' insistence otherwise. Fortunately there is hope for change.

Despite its many failings and high human, social, and economic costs, American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War has shown a remarkable degree of continuity and inflexibility. This rather curious phenomenon is not limited to America alone. The North Atlantic foreign policy establishment from Washington D.C. to London, which some have aptly dubbed the "blob," has doggedly championed the grand strategic framework of "primacy" and armed hegemony, often coated with more docile language such as "global leadership," "American indispensability," and "strengthening the Western alliance."

In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily.

On the Left, and in the wake of President Trump's election, the Democratic establishment began fixating its wrath on Russia–adopting a confrontational stance toward Moscow and fueling fears of a renewed Cold War. On the Right, the realigning GOP has increasingly, if at times inconsistently, singled out China as the greatest threat to U.S. national security, a hostile attitude further exacerbated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alarmingly, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has recently joined the hawkish bandwagon toward China, even attempting to outflank Trump on this issue and attacking the president's China policy as too weak and accommodating of China's rise.

In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well.

Indeed, the dominant tendency among many foreign policy observers is to overprivilege the threat of rising superpowers and to insist on strong containment measures to limit the spheres of influence of the so-called revisionist powers. Such an approach, coupled with the prospect of ascendant powers actively resisting and confronting the United States as the ruling global hegemon, has one eminent International Relations scholar warning of the Thucydides Trap.

There are others, however, who insist that the structural shifts undermining the liberal international order mark the end of U.S. hegemony and its "unipolar moment." In realist terms, what Secretary Esper really means to protect, they would argue, is a conception of "rules-based" global order that was a structural by-product of the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War and whose very rules and institutions were underwritten by U.S. hegemony. This would be an exercise in folly -- not corresponding to the reality of systemic change and the return of great power competition and civilizational contestation.

What's more, the sanctimony of this "liberal" hegemonic order and the logic of democratic peace were both presumably vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian system, a black swan event that for many had heralded the "end of history" and promised the advent of the American century. A great deal of lives, capital, resources, and goodwill were sacrificed by America and her allies toward that crusade for liberty and universality, which was only the most recent iteration of a radically utopian element in American political thought going back to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Alas, as it had eluded earlier generations of idealists, that century never truly arrived, and neither did the empire of liberty and prosperity that it loftily aimed to establish.

Today, the emerging reality of a multipolar world and alternate worldviews championed by the different cultural blocs led by China and Russia appears to have finally burst the bubble of American Triumphalism, proving that the ideas behind it are "not simply obsolete but absurd." This failure should have been expected since the very project the idealists had espoused was built on a pathological "savior complex" and a false truism that reflected the West's own absolutist and distorted sense of ideological and moral superiority. Samuel Huntington might have been right all along to cast doubt on the long-term salience of using ideology and doctrinal universalism as the dividing principle for international relations. His call to focus, instead, on civilizational distinction, the permanent power of culture on human action, and the need to find common ground rings especially true today. Indeed, fostering a spirit of coexistence and open dialogue among the world's great civilizational complexes is a fundamental tenet of a cultural realism.

And yet, despite such permanent shifts in the global order away from universalist dichotomies and global hegemony and toward culturalism and multi-polarity, there exists a profound disjunction between the structural realities of the international system and the often business-as-usual attitude of the North Atlantic foreign policy elites. How could one explain the astonishing levels of rigidity and continuity on the part of the "blob" and the military-industrial-congressional complex regularly pushing for more adventurism and interventionism abroad? Why would the bipartisan primacist establishment, which their allies in the mainstream media endeavor still to mask, justify such illiberal acts of aggression and attempts at empire by weaponizing the moralistic language of human rights, individual liberty, and democracy in a world increasingly awakened to arbitrary ideological framing?

There are, of course, systemic reasons behind the power and perpetuation of the blob and the endurance of primacy. The vast economic incentives of war and its instruments, institutional routinization and intransigence, stupefaction and groupthink of government bureaucracy, and the significant influence of lobbying efforts by foreign governments and other vested interest groups could each partly explain the remarkable continuity of the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. The endless stream of funding from the defense industry, neoliberal and neoconservative foundations, as well as the government itself keeps the "blob" alive, while the general penchant for bipartisanship around preserving the status quo allows it to thrive. What is more, elite schools produce highly analytic yet narrowly focused and conventional minds that are tamed to be agreeable so as to not undermine elite consensus. This conveyor belt feeds the "blob," supplying it with the army of specialists, experts, and wonks it requires to function as a mind melding hive, while in practice safeguarding employment for the career bureaucrats for decades to come.

There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. The world might have changed fundamentally with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the bipolar structure of the international system might have ended irreversibly, but the personnel -- the Baby Boomer Generation elites conducting foreign policy in the North Atlantic -- did not leave office or retire with the collapse of the USSR. They largely remain in power to this day.

Every generation is forged through a formative crisis, its experiences seen through the prism that all-encompassing ordeal. For the incumbent elites, that generational crisis was the Cold War and the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. The dualistic paradigm of the international system during the U.S.-Soviet rivalry bred an entire generation to see the world through a black-and-white binary. It should come as no surprise that this era elevated the idealist strain of thought and the crusading, neo-Jacobin impulse of U.S. foreign policy (personified by Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson) to new, ever-expanding heights. Idealism prizes a nemesis and thus revels in a bipolar order.

Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism.

Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. After all, a nemetic zeitgeist during which ideology reigned supreme and realism was routinely discounted was tailor-made for dogmatic absolutism and moral universalism. In such a zero-sum strategic environment, it was only natural to demand totality and frame the ongoing geopolitical struggle in terms of an existential opposition over Good and Evil that would quite literally split the world in two.

Today, that same kind of Manichean thinking continues to handicap paradigmatic change in foreign policy. A false consciousness, it underpins and promotes belief in the double myths of indispensability and absolute exceptionality, suggesting that the North Atlantic bloc holds a certain monopoly on all that is good and true. It is not by chance that such pathological renderings of "exceptionalism" and "leadership" have been wielded as convenient rationale and intellectual placeholders for the ideology of empire across the North Atlantic. This sense of ingrained moral self-righteousness, coupled with an attitude that celebrates activism, utopianism, and interventionism in foreign policy, has created and reinforced a culture of strategic overextension and imperial overreach.

It is this very culture -- personified and dominated by the Baby Boomers and the blob they birthed -- that has made hawkishness ubiquitous, avoids any real reckoning as to the limits of power, and habitually belittles calls for restraint and moderation as isolationism. In truth, however, what has been the exceptional part in the delusion of absolute exceptionalism is Pax Americana, liberal hegemony, and the hubris that animates them having gone uncontested and unchecked for so long. That confrontation could begin in earnest by directly challenging the Boomer blob itself -- and by propagating a counter-elite offering a starkly different worldview.

Achieving such a genuine paradigm shift demands a generational sea-change, to retire the old blob and make a better one in its place. It is about time for the old establishment to forgo its reign, allowing a new younger cohort from among the Millennial and post-Millennial generations to advance into leadership roles. The Millennials, especially, are now the largest generation of eligible voters (overtaking the Baby Boomers) as well as the first generation not habituated by the Cold War; in fact, many of them grew up during the "unipolar moment" of American hegemony. Hence, their generational identity is not built around a dualistic alterity. Free from obsessive fixation on ideological supremacy, most among them reject total global dominance as both unattainable and undesirable.

Instead, their worldview is shaped by an entirely different set of experiences and disappointments. Their generational crisis was brought on by a series of catastrophic interventions and endless wars around the world -- chief among them the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq and the toppling of Libya's Gaddafi -- punctuated by repeated onslaughts of financial recessions and domestic strife. The atmosphere of uncertainty, instability, and general chaos has bred discontent, turning many Millennials into pragmatic realists who are disenchanted with the system, critical of the pontificating establishment, and naturally skeptical of lofty ideals and utopian doctrines.

In short, this is not an absolutist and complacent generation of idealists, but one steeped in realism and a certain perspectivism that has internalized the inherent relativity of both power and truth. Most witnessed the dangers of overreach, hubris, and a moralized foreign policy, so they are actively self-reflective, circumspect, and restrained. As a generation, they appear to be less the moralist and the global activist and more prudent, level-headed, and temperamentally conservative -- developing a keen appreciation for realpolitik, sovereignty, and national interest. Their preference for a non-ideological approach in foreign policy suggests that once in power, they will be less antagonistic and more tolerant of rival powers and accepting of pluralism in the international system. That openness to civilizational distinction and global cultural pluralism also implies that future Millennial statesmen will subscribe to a more humble, less grandiose, and narrower definition of interest that focuses on securing core objectives -- i.e., preserving national security and recognizing spheres of influence.

Reforming and rehabilitating the U.S. foreign policy establishment will require more than policy prescriptions and comprehensive reports: it needs generational change. To transform and finally "rein in" North Atlantic foreign policy, our task today must be to facilitate and expedite this shift. Once that occurs, the incoming Millennials should be better positioned to discard the deep-seated and routinized ideology of empire, supplanting it with a greater emphasis on partnership that is driven by mutual interests and a general commitment to sharing the globe with the world's other great cultures.

This new approach calls for America to lead by the power of its example, exhibiting the benefits of liberty and a constitutional republic at home, without forcibly imposing those values abroad. Such an outlook means abandoning the coercive regime change agendas and the corrosive projects of nation-building and democracy promotion. In this new multipolar world, America would be an able, dynamic, and equal participant in ensuring sustainable peace side-by-side the world's other great powers, acting as "a normal country in a normal time." Reflecting the spirit of republican governance authentically is far more pertinent now and salutary for the future of the North Atlantic peoples than is promulgating the utopian image of a shining city on a hill.

Arta Moeini is research director at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy and a postdoc fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Dr. Moeini's latest project advances a theory of cultural realism as a cornerstone to a new understanding of foreign policy.

The Institute for Peace and Diplomacy will be co-sponsoring "The Future of Grand Strategy in the Post-COVID World," with TAC, tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Register for free here .

[Sep 17, 2020] Military desperados and Mattis "military messiah syndrome" by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
I always assumed that Trump was the candidate of MIC in 2016 elections, while Hillary was the candidate of "Intelligence community." But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts.
But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts. Military desperados are not interested in how many American they deprived of decent standard of living due to outside military expenses. All they want is to dominate the word and maintain the "Full Spectrum Dominance" whatever it costs.
Sep 16, 2020 | www.rt.com

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It is Trump's tortured relationship with the military that stands out the most, especially as told through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, a retired marine general. It is clear that Bob Woodward spent hours speaking with Mattis -- the insights, emotions and internal voice captured in the book show a level of intimacy that could only be reached through in-depth interviews, and Woodward has a well-earned reputation for getting people to speak to him.

The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the US' standing as the defender of a rules-based order -- built on the back of decades-old alliances -- that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.

It also makes it clear that Mattis and the military officers he oversaw placed defending this order above implementing the will of the American people, as expressed through the free and fair election that elevated Donald Trump to the position of commander-in-chief. In short, Mattis and his coterie of generals knew best, and when the president dared issue an order or instruction that conflicted with their vision of how the world should work, they would do their best to undermine this order, all the while confirming to the president that it was being followed.

This trend was on display in Woodward's telling of Trump's efforts to forge better relations with North Korea. At every turn, Mattis and his military commanders sought to isolate the president from the reality on the ground, briefing him only on what they thought he needed to know, and keeping him in the dark about what was really going on.

In a telling passage, Woodward takes us into the mind of Jim Mattis as he contemplates the horrors of a nuclear war with North Korea, and the responsibility he believed he shouldered when it came to making the hard decision as to whether nuclear weapons should be used or not. Constitutionally, the decision was the president's alone to make, something Mattis begrudgingly acknowledges. But in Mattis' world, he, as secretary of defense, would be the one who influenced that decision.

Mattis, along with the other general officers described by Woodward, is clearly gripped with what can only be described as the 'Military Messiah Syndrome'.

What defines this 'syndrome' is perhaps best captured in the words of Emma Sky, the female peace activist-turned adviser to General Ray Odierno, the one-time commander of US forces in Iraq. In a frank give-and-take captured by Ms. Sky in her book 'The Unravelling', Odierno spoke of the value he placed on the military's willingness to defend "freedom" anywhere in the world. " There is, " he said, " no one who understands more the importance of liberty and freedom in all its forms than those who travel the world to defend it ."

Ms. Sky responded in typically direct fashion: " One day, I will have you admit that the [Iraq] war was a bad idea, that the administration was led by a radical neocon program, that the US's standing in the world has gone down greatly, and that we are far less safe than we were before 9/11. "

Odierno would have nothing of it. " It will never happen while I'm the commander of soldiers in Iraq ."

" To lead soldiers in battle ," Ms. Sky noted, " a commander had to believe in the cause. " Left unsaid was the obvious: even if the cause was morally and intellectually unsound.

his, more than anything, is the most dangerous thing about the 'Military Messiah Syndrome' as captured by Bob Woodward -- the fact that the military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present, driven by p