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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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National Security State Bulletin, 2017 National Security State Bulletin, 2016 National Security State Bulletin, 2015

[Dec 14, 2019] The military-industrial-congressional complex is largely insulated from public accountability

Notable quotes:
"... The Pentagon’s entire budget operates in much the same way: unprecedented amounts in unnecessary appropriations resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Yet Congress continues to throw more and more money at the defense department every year without ever requiring it to account for how it spends the money. In fact, the war in Afghanistan is small potatoes by comparison. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The easy answer is that there’s a long tradition in Washington, particularly among the foreign policy establishment, that self-reflection, taking responsibility and admitting failure is a big no-no. Heck, you can get convicted of lying to Congress about illegal arms sales, and cover up brutal atrocities and still get a job at the state department. Did you torture anyone? No problem.

While DC’s culture of no culpability certainly plays a role in this case, the more compelling answer lies somewhere near the fact that once the American war machine kicks into gear, no amount of facts undermining its very existence is going to get in the way.

Indeed, the United States has so far doled out nearly one trillion dollars for the war in Afghanistan (the true cost of the war will be trillions more) and everyone’s on the take: from defense industry executives, lobbyists and US political campaign coffers to Afghan government officials and poppy farmers to anyone and anything in between.

What’s more is that this military-industrial-congressional complex is largely insulated from public accountability, so what’s the incentive to change course? The Pentagon’s entire budget operates in much the same way: unprecedented amounts in unnecessary appropriations resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Yet Congress continues to throw more and more money at the defense department every year without ever requiring it to account for how it spends the money. In fact, the war in Afghanistan is small potatoes by comparison.

The bottom line is that the Afghanistan Papers clearly show that a lot of people were killed, injured and subject to years, if not lifetimes, of psychological trauma and financial hardship because a bunch of men – yes, mostly men – in Washington didn’t want to admit publicly what they knew privately all along. If we don’t start holding these people to account – and it’s not just about Afghanistan – the DC foreign policy establishment will continue to act with impunity, meaning that it’s probably more likely than not that in 50 years there’ll be another batch of “papers” revealing once again that we’ve failed to learn obvious lessons from the past.

[Dec 14, 2019] An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

notabanker , December 13, 2019 at 6:02 pm

An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?

I'm past the point of blaming big tech companies. If you are fool enough to pay money to do this, you deserve what you get. American Idiots.

[Dec 14, 2019] Warmongeing is the national sport for the neoliberal elite in the USA

As Tony Kevin reported (watch-v=dJiS3nFzsWg) at one small fundraiser Bill Clinton made an interesting remark. He said that the USA should always have enemies. That's absolutely true, this this is a way to unite such a society as we have in the USA. probably the only way. And Russia simply fits the bill. Very convenient bogeyman.
Notable quotes:
"... The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Twolfe , 10 Dec 2019 16:30

One aspect of this report in the NYT is very troubling but not a great surprise to those who pay attention to Asian affairs.

The reports that US military leaders had no idea of what to do in Afghanistan and constantly lied to the public should rouse citizens in America to take a different view of military leaders. That view must be to trust nothing coming from the Pentagon or from spokespersons for the military. Included must be any and all secretaries of defence, and all branches of the military.

It is totally unacceptable that 1-2 trillion dollars and several thousand lives were spent by America for some nebulous cause. This does not include many thousands of civilians.

During the Vietnam disaster, it became obvious that American military was lying to the public and taking many causalities in an unwinnable war. Nothing was learned about Asia or Asian culture because America entered Afghanistan without a real plan and no understanding of the country or it's history.

The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium.

[Dec 13, 2019] Is there any book in JFK we can trust?

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website December 12, 2019 at 11:58 am GMT

Is there anyone we can trust?

Perhaps not.

Is it just part of the human condition that as any writer or any publication gains a reputation for truth and revelation and dependability, that that reputation is sooner or later leveraged for gain or influence or access?

I can think of a number of examples where I'm almost certain that that is the case, although I'll avoid writing their names.

In the end, we are all of us really quite alone in the universe, enjoying only periods with the illusion of support and fellowship.

On the example of the Kennedys, the assassinations provide perhaps the greatest illustration of how things work.

I should say that I regard them as two chapters in one book. John's killers had to be Bobby's killers also because that intense younger man, once holding the powers of the presidency, would have relentlessly hunted down his brother's killers.

We know that he did not believe the Warren Commission, though he did not go around saying that. He even apparently had some idea of who the killers might be, never telling others any details of his suspicions.

Books have for decades been churned out by either the CIA or friends of the CIA or unwitting assets of the CIA arguing for the truth of the Warren Commission.

On the other hand, as someone with a long interest in the events, I believe that a great many of the books against the Warren Commission were also written by the same interests. Not all of them, but many.

Books especially that either are so preposterous or poorly written and edited that they effectively discredit those who do not accept the (absurd) findings of the Warren Commission.

After all, it was some CIA disinformation officer who came up with the term "conspiracy theorist" in the 1960s to discredit genuine critics of the Warren Commission, a term of such lasting power, it is still widely used, its application having spread to a large number of topics.

Those with power do tend to keep guiding events no matter how hard we struggle to understand and correct the course of affairs.

Power is a very real thing, almost physical in its presence, and it is rarely overturned by truth or justice or fairness.

It's not an inspiring view, but I fear it is reality.

[Dec 13, 2019] Ellul makes the same point as the author here, that no group is more taken in by propaganda than the educated classes who fancy themselves above propaganda for being constantly immersed in it.

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

DanFromCT , says: December 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm GMT

Jacques Ellul's 1973 Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Minds is still the antidote to Bernaysian brainwashing. Short of reading it, there are excellent reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. Ellul makes the same point as the author here, that no group is more taken in by propaganda than the educated classes who fancy themselves above propaganda for being constantly immersed in it.
DESERT FOX , says: December 12, 2019 at 2:15 pm GMT
@Rebel0007 Agree, the book The Committee of 300 by ex MI6 officer John Coleman details who is behind these agendas, can be had on amazon.

[Dec 13, 2019] Chris Hedges presence on Bellingcat award: in view of Bellingcat role in MH 17 false flag operation it became clear that Hedges must be either an idiot or deeply embedded.

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

,

Adrian , says: December 12, 2019 at 6:35 am GMT
@Adrian About Chris Hedges' participation in presenting this award to Bellingcat "News from Underground" came yesterday up with this:

a friend who knows the background of Chris Hedges' involvement writes that "he was duped into presenting the Emmy to Bellingcat -- and, from what I hear, he believes it was done intentionally to smear him."

As this friend is someone I (and many others) quite admire for his integrity and bravery, and as it's wholly plausible that Hedges would have been set up, I am reserving judgementon his action, and urge people on this list to do so, too.

FB , says: Website December 12, 2019 at 6:46 am GMT
@Adrian Hedges would have known who the nominees are just seeing Bellingcat in there and knowing this is the Emmies well, it's hard to believe otherwise than Hedges is a clever fake as I have long suspected

Let's recall that Hedges in his previous life was an NYT war correspondent who covered the Bosnian conflict knowing Yugoslavia quite well from visits there in the 1980s his reports demonizing Serbs stood out like a sore thumb

I quickly pegged him as a complete liar, like the rest of the MSM propagandists that were repeating boilerplate canards meant to demonize the hugely successful nation of Yugoslavia which of course they were trying to tear apart

For instance, 'the Serb-dominated Yugoslavia' was a standard sentence that appeared literally in every single story repeated ad nauseum literallu dozens of times a day and clearly meant to convince the reader that dismantling the progressive and ethnically harmonious nation of Yugoslavia was somehow the right thing to do

But it was pure bullshit anyone who had ever been to Yugoslavia would instantly recognize that as a 'WTF ?'

There is much much more in Hedges' closet

But then, miraculously, he had a 'Road to Damascus' moment a few years later [we are supposed to believe] and somehow became a 'good guy'

Bullshit Mr. Curtin nails the sly method here exactly

[The] bread of truth is essential to conceal untruth.

An excellent article

PS Counterpunch is a complete bullshit rag that has been coopted completely Plutocrat Pierre Omidyar and his little 'Intercept' outfit is similarly continuing in the footsteps of prior plutocrat propagandists like the Ford foundation Rockefellers and others

The ultimate goal is controlling YOU they need you to be obedient and believing and not ask any questions

JoannF , says: December 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT
@FB Haven't looked at Bellingcat (not exactly a sophisticated operation if you ever worked in the ad business) since MH 17 and Putin's Syria pacification, but upon reading this article it became clear that Hedges must be either an idiot or deeply embedded.

One doesn't exclude the other, of course. The uneducated public wouldn't need to catch up on so much information, and still get a great head start if they ever found out wtf "cui bono" even means – but that's not gonna happen.
It's just not how the human mind works.

[Dec 13, 2019] Any particular American war has no purpose, but the USA waging it does.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Richard Thorton , 10 Dec 2019 15:03

Any particular American war has no purpose, but the USA waging it does. The main points of what war does:

1. Transfers wealth from social services to the military industrial complex. Americans don't have education, infrastructure, or healthcare, but they do have a generation of soldiers with PTSD, national debt, worldwide hatred, and an ever increasing sense of exceptionalism.

2. Traps Americans in a cycle of fear and persecution. Americans don't need a bogeyman, but our corporate overlords do, its how they monetize the populace. Find some disparate population of brown people who want self autonomy, send in the CIA to fuck them up, and when they retaliate tell Americans that people who live in a 3rd world land locked country several thousands of miles away are a threat to their very existence and way of life because they don't like God and Walmart.


CourgetteDream , 10 Dec 2019 14:36

Sadly the US uses the MIC to keep a large chunk of its population under control, as well as providing a convenient coverup of the actual numbers of people who are unemployable or would be unemployed if it were'nt for the taxpayer funding humungous spending in the so-called defence sector, which needs a a constant supply of conflict to keep going. The frankly moronic 'thank you for your service' soundbite drives me insane but it shows how much the American public has been brainwashed.
jimbomatic -> Michael Knoth , 10 Dec 2019 14:36
For years my home state of Washington had a New Deal Democrat Senator named Henry Jackson, AKA the Senator from Boeing.
He did good things for the state & was hugely popular here. One reason being that because he brought the Federal pork back home.
IMO the things Gen. Butler wrote about in the 1920s are still the modus operandi of US foreign policy.
Rikyboy , 10 Dec 2019 14:11
If the Afghanistan war ends, the USA will go to war with someone else. You cannot spend so much on military & not be at war. America must have an enemy. And, don’t forget, they always have “God on our side!”
Mauryan , 10 Dec 2019 13:05
The neocons in power during 2001 were hell bent on taking out Saddam Hussein. When 9/11 happened, they were looking for avenues to blame Iraq so that they could launch the war on that nation. Since things could not be put together, and all evidence pointed to Afghanistan, they took a detour in their war plan with a half hearted approach.

In fact Afghanistan was never the problem - It was Pakistan that held Afghanistan on the string and managed all terror related activities. Everything related to 9/11 and beyond pointed directly at Pakistan. Whatever threat Bush and his cronies projected about Iraq was true in the case of Pakistan. The war was lost when they made Pakistan an ally on the war on terror. It is like allying with Al Capone to crack down on the mafia.

Pakistan bilked the gullible American war planners, protected its assets and deflected all the rage on to the barren lands of Afghanistan. They hid all key Al Qaeda operatives and handed off the ones that did not align with their strategic interests to the US, while getting reward for it. War in Iraq happened in a hurry because the Bush family had scores to settle in Iraq. Pressure was lifted on Afghanistan. This is when the war reached a dead end.

The Taliban knew time was on their hands and waited it out. Obama did understand the situation and tried to put Af-Pak together and tightened the grip on Pakistan. He got the troops out of Iraq. Pakistan is almost bankrupt now for its deep investment on terror infrastructure. The US has drained billions of dollars and lives in Afghanistan due to misdirected goals. I am surprised Bush and Cheney have not been sent to jail on lies to launch the Iraq war and botching the real war on terror.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Inspector General's Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... a single American ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | theintercept.com
Just as was true when the Mueller investigation closed without a single American being charged with criminally conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election, Wednesday's issuance of the long-waited report from the Department of Justice's Inspector General reveals that years of major claims and narratives from the U.S. media were utter frauds .

Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI's gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.

If you don't consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is? But none of this is aberrational: the FBI still has its headquarters in a building named after J. Edgar Hoover – who constantly blackmailed elected officials with dossiers and tried to blackmail Martin Luther King into killing himself – because that's what these security state agencies are. They are out-of-control, virtually unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course.

In this case, no rational person should allow standard partisan bickering to distort or hide this severe FBI corruption. The IG Report leaves no doubt about it. It's brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit, all in service of persuading a FISA court of something that was not true: that U.S. citizen and former Trump campaign official Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government and therefore needed to have his communications surveilled.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Silicon Valley Gulag

Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BeeGee , 9 hours ago link

I seem to be missing something here. Isn't Marxism where the proletariat own the means of production? So, doesn't this look more like fascism where the corporations own everything?

hoytmonger , 9 hours ago link

Fascism is private ownership, but state control, of the means of production.

The US has had a fascist economy for quite a while now.

Even Mussolini declared, "He is one of us!" after reading FDR's biography.

cosmic dwarf , 8 hours ago link

"The proletariat" don't make decisions collectively - it's not possible given the nature of man. Every authoritarian system is fascism in practice - where a cabal of chosen ones call the shots. Whether it's corporate execs, billionaire playboys, demagogues, bureaucrats, union bosses, soldiers, intellectuals, or aliens at the top... it really only changes the flavor.

BobPaulson , 7 hours ago link

Ok, so it's not just me. The repeating of the word Marx in that article was getting weird. Can we actually talk about what that guy wrote instead of the symbol that name has become? It seems very boomer-ish to be reviving the talk of communism all the time when that system is essentially dead. Now a bunch of retirees are red-baiting again when Russia isn't communist, China isn't communist, and about the only communist country on earth is Cuba.

Meanwhile, just about every country on earth is becoming an oligarchic bureaucracy. They don't generally give a **** about **** Marx was on about.

[Dec 10, 2019] The revealed face of the the USA ruling class during Trump impeachment is Neo-Orwellian.

Dec 10, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , , December 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm

The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian.

"Nadler's committee will likely vote to impeach Trump. In a report defining what it considers impeachable offenses, the committee states that even if Trump did not actually break any laws in his supposed "quid pro quo" dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he can still be impeached for his unstated motives.

"The question is not whether the president's conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president's real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate, " it stated."

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980918000328

Certainly they are working on mind wave tech, to scan us for "unstated motives" as we live our day to day lives?

[Dec 10, 2019] The level of Neo-McCarthyism and the number of lunitics this NYT forums is just astonishing: When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

Highly recommended!
The tread is reproduced as is. And out 100 posts available in NYT "all view mode 90% can be classified as plain vanilla Neo-McCarthyism
If they are representative sample of the country, the country is crazy.
This editorial can also be classified as lunatic. But in reality it is much worse: the paper became completely subservant to intelligence agencies. Should probably be renamed the Voice of the CIA. .
Dec 10, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
Opinion With Trump, All Roads Lead to Moscow

Monday's congressional hearing and the inspector general's report tell a similar story.

By Jesse Wegman Mr. Wegman is a member of the editorial board.

When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

That's the most important lesson from the two big events that played out Monday on Capitol Hill -- the House Judiciary Committee's hearings on President Trump's impeachment and the release of the report on the origins of the F.B.I.'s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

One of these involved the 2016 election. The other involves the 2020 election. Both tell versions of the same story: Mr. Trump depends on, and welcomes, Russian interference to help him win the presidency. That was bad enough when he did it in 2016, openly calling for Russia to hack into his opponent's emails -- which Russians tried to do that same day . But he was only a candidate then. Now that Mr. Trump is president, he is wielding the immense powers of his office to achieve the same end.

That is precisely the type of abuse of power that the founders were most concerned about when they created the impeachment power, and it's why Democratic leaders in the House are pressing ahead with such urgency on their inquiry. They are trying to ensure that the 2020 election, now less than a year away, is not corrupted by the president of the United States, acting in league with a foreign power. "The integrity of our next election is at stake," said Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "Nothing could be more urgent."

On Monday morning, lawyers for the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees presented the clearest and most comprehensive narrative yet of President Trump's monthslong shakedown of the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, for Mr. Trump's personal political benefit. They explained in methodical detail how the president withheld a White House meeting and hundreds of millions of dollars in crucial, congressionally authorized military aid to Ukraine, all in an effort to get Mr. Zelensky to announce two investigations -- one into Mr. Trump's political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, and another into Ukraine's supposed interference in the 2016 election.

David Leonhardt helps you make sense of the news -- and offers reading suggestions from around the web -- with commentary every weekday morning.

Who would benefit from these announcements? Mr. Trump, who believes his re-election prospects are threatened most by Mr. Biden, and Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who has been working for years to make Ukraine the fall guy for his own interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Putin has not fooled serious people, like those in the American intelligence community who determined that his government alone was responsible for meddling on Mr. Trump's behalf . But he has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press.

... ... ...


sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut 12m ago

Republicans are in lawyer mode, advocating for Trump as if he were their client. Lawyers make the best case they can for their clients. It helps if they believe in the case, but it also helps to know the case's weaknesses so they can avoid them. The best lawyers can do both at the same time. Republicans are called on by the Constitution to exit lawyer mode and enter juror mode (which is, or should be, similar to why-did-this-aircraft-crash mode). So far, they are not heeding this call. From all appearances, they are mouthing the words of the Constitution while avoiding or refusing to hear or understand them. They took an oath to support the Constitution, but they are deaf to its call, or have moved to a place beyond understanding it.
Mark Larsen Cambria, CA 26m ago
The issue of whether to impeach was made by the President when he engaged in an abuse of his office for personal gain and then obstructed Congress' oversight function. We all understand the political downside arising from an acquittal in the Senate but that interest needs to be secondary to doing the right thing. On these facts, the decision representatives must make of whether to impeach really is no decision at all. Just do the right thing.
Twg NV 26m ago
When Senator John McCain died, he scripted his own funeral as a full bore defense against Trumpian Nationalism, and as an admonishment against a GOP too willing to sell the soul of our nation out to a cultist repudiation of objective fact, truth, and Constitutional order. McCain was a controversial maverick –a person I both admired and disliked in equal proportion. But there is one thing I will always admire him for: his final letter to the nation. It was a warning! He blew a golden bugle to sound the alarm against those entities both within and without our nation who wish to do our democratic republic harm. McCain, whether you agreed with the premise of the Vietnam war or not, was an American hero who served his country and his fellow soldiers with incontrovertible valor and love. President Donald Trump has no concept of what that dedication and sacrifice entails – and sadly, neither do many of the GOP members who continue to lie and make excuses for a president who is clearly abusing his office for personal gain. McCain characterized Trump's actions in Helsinki as an unfathomable 'abasement of the U.S. presidency.' All I can say is the GOP sure ain't the party of my father who fought in WWII against fascism and autocracy. It aggrieves me to no end to witness what too many members of Congress have become: tyrants toward the very meaning of American democracy. God save us from our own duplicity.
Jagmont Rousel Fresburg, Ca. 12m ago
@Twg Well said, and though I sometimes did not agree with McCain on matters of policy, I wish he were still with us, hopefully to show his fellow republicans what integrity looks like, and what America is supposed to be about. The Republican party I have known and respected is alas, like Senator McCain, no longer with us.
Consiglieri NYC 34m ago
Americans have to realize that the whole world is mocking us, and that doesn't necesarily inspire respect. That cold be dangerous. Many medical professionals have noticed a decay in the mental abilities of the president, and certain abnormalities. It would be wise to suggest to the family that maybe the best way forward, with minimal losses would be to motivate a retirement. That would be face saving for them, and save the country from a bitter impeachment spectacle that would not be positive for the USA.
Jennifer Francois Holland, Michigan 1h ago
I'm waiting for Trump's financial info to be released. There's something in there he doesn't even want his base to know . I think the logical conclusion is that whatever financials DJT has hidden do indeed lead to Moscow. Actually, all of this is very, very alarming. Does Putin have a political asset planted here? Y or N I wish the answer was no and that we had a different President. Can we as a nation hold things together when our leader wants to tear us apart?
AL NY 1h ago
All roads lead to the highest bidder(s). 21st century America in the era of Citizens United. Market pricing and the government is open for transactional business domestic and international. Alternate realities per GRU/FOX/GOP misinformation. Combine foreign money carefully grooming an in-need Trump, and a party worshipping money and you have a perfect storm removing any sense of civic duty. Hundreds of years to build and unwound in a few decades, the breathtaking and tragic fall of greatness and hope in our lifetime. It's not fiction, and every day I have to check if it's really happening, and shockingly it is.
DO5 Minneapolis 1h ago
There was no Russian meddling, only Ukraine who meddled in 2016 and they are still at it. Listening to the Judiciary Committee hearings, it seems that the Russians have hacked into the Republican Party servers and are sending talking points to Republicans who are defending the indefensible president.
We'll always have Paris Sydney, Australia 1h ago
At some point, Republicans have to ask themselves which is better for their party and the country. Slavish devotion to Trump, or losing an election and leaving Democrats a mess to clean up, as in 1932 and 2008?
Mike S. Eugene, OR 2h ago
Block witnesses from testifying, then say that the hearing is incomplete. Romney told America at the Republican Convention in 2012 that Russia was our biggest enemy, DJT wanted them to help Republicans win in 2016, said he believed Putin in 2018, and wants to convince us that it was really the Ukraine in 2019. The House has to impeach, even if politically it may be a bad move, because it is the right thing to do; indeed, the very actions I've seen in the past several weeks has given me glimmers of hope for the country.
Federalist California 2h ago
Trump will be reelected for the reason that the Russian intelligence agencies are still able to hack our election results, because Trump has blocked fixing the weaknesses. That is what happens when a Manchurian candidate is elected and then allowed to obstruct justice. It is not clear the US will survive Trump. One key thing he did was arrange to have the teams at DHS that watch for smuggled nuclear bombs were stood down and disbanded. See the report in the LA Times last July "Trump administration has gutted programs aimed at detecting weapons of mass destruction".
David Rochester 2h ago
I don't suppose a constructed transcript of Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow will be offered up as a token of our leader's transparency.
Markymark San Francisco 2h ago
It's clear now that AG William Barr isn't interested in enforcing the rule of law with fellow republicans, and especially the president. How can there be no recourse when an attorney general completely sells out to a criminal president? Can the employees of the Justice Dept hold a vote of no confidence in the AG? Can 10,000 attorneys nationwide express the same? The prospect of Trump and Barr running roughshod over the rule of law for another year is truly frightening.
Aluetian Contemplation 2h ago
65,845,063 voters knew clearly who this man was from the beginning and voted for what would have been a better now and future. It was never any secret. 62,980,160 voters also knew clearly who this man was and voted for him anyway. If the Democrats can ensure that we have a fair election in 2020. I'm confident they will win the majority in the house and senate and retake the White House and the end game for Trump will be jail. The problem is, he might not be the only one who's crimes come to light and I suspect a good lot of the GOP are threatening and blackmailing each other to hold the line. If there's any good men or women left in the GOP, your country and history are calling you.
Edwin a physician, scientist and realist 2h ago
It has easy to predict Trump's next move for the last 3 years. Just ask, "What would both benefit Trump, and benefit Putin?" Trump supporters = Putin supporters.
Kevin CO 2h ago
Do you know the American people are fed up with the discourse of all politicians. The republicans are fed up with any decency for the republic. The democrats are fed up with the republicans not facing the common sense of a exec not capable of being the President of the United states. I as a person am fed up with a political system that is not working for all people, just a select few. It's time too have term limits for all positions in gov't. That means all people that serve the people whether it be judges, senators or congressmen/women. It's time to find common sense again in our society as a whole society. We on this earth are all HUMAN.
Eben Spinoza 2h ago
Unfortunately their are serious problems with term limits. Just consider yourself in the role of a Congressional Representative limited to 4 terms. You know that in 8 years, you'll be be back on the job market. You can selflessly work for the public and damage your ability to get a job or tend to people who can hire you after you leave office. You're rational. Which future would you pick?
REBCO FORT LAUDERDALE FL 2h ago
Trump needs to keep Putin happy lest he unleash with all the damaging info he has collected on Trump and his financial crooked deals with Russians over decades. THe Russian mob reports to Putin as a former KGB agent he knows how to collect compromat on a politician and how to use it to get Trump to break into a giddy smile when he sees Putin his master it's obvious to most keen observers.
M. Barsoum Philadelphia 2h ago
Folks it is simple. Can we hear what Trump and Putin said to each other a few months ago. It is recored and on a server it should not be on. I am not sure why nobody is talking about these transcripts.
Nelly Half Moon Bay 2h ago
Finally! We get someone stating the obvious fact of Trump/Putin. Why are the Dems not talking about this all the time? Why are Congressmen and women not asking the witnesses about this? This is the ONE thing the Republicans are afraid of, so it is the one thing Democrats should do. I have been disappointed that the Russian asset thing hasn't been brought up....It's as if it is purposely bold. Trump is a Russian asset, either witting or unwitting. I doubt if there is one upper Intelligence Official that wouldn't say this. So find the right one and have them sit as a witness for this inquiry. And now the Russian big wig Diplomat and KGb spy, Lavarov, is visiting tomorrow. Good grief! Everyone is thinking this, so get out and say it Dems! Dr. Fiona Hill tried to lead into this direction but still the Dem Committee would take it up and aske her what she thought. Say it: All of Trump's Roads Lead to Russia.
Ro Laren Santa Monica 2h ago
Any American adult who has made an effort to educate himself or herself about Mr. Mueller's investigation or these impeachment proceedings understands that yes, with Trump all roads lead to Russia. Now if the poll numbers mean anything, Trump's crimes and Russia's involvement only matter to about 60% of us. As Trump's poll numbers remain steady, some 40% of Americans don't care what lawbreaking he is involved with or whether other nations now control our elections. Stop and think about this for a minute. Trump supporters know but literally do not care that Russia is tampering with our elections (2016 and 2020). Their cult-like support for Trump is why the Republican Senate will not remove him. There is no other reason Trump will remain in office. Trump has mesmerized his supporters like a modern day Rasputin. They will do literally anything for him, and Senate Republicans know this. Trump voters do not mind that Putin controls our nation at the highest levels of decision making. Again - think about this - they know he does, and they do not care. So I ask the rest of us. Is this the America we want to live in? To raise our families in? Where a large, rabid minority is in thrall to a lunatic puppet whose strings are firmly in Putin's hands? Because this is very much the America we live in now. The time will come, though, when we, the majority, will no longer tolerate the Trump/Putin regime. But the longer we wait, the harder it will be oust these tyrants.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said Russia was an important source of funding for the Trump businesses. American banks wouldn't lend him money. Saudi Arabia likely bailed out Jared's disastrous real estate investment in NYC. Follow. The. Money.
Huge Grizzly Seattle 2h ago
You say that Mr. Putin "has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press." You are correct on all counts, except that the Republicans have not been fooled by Putin. They have gone along, headlong and absolutely willingly, in a complete sellout of personal and national principle and integrity. They should not be forgiven for this conduct, any more than Mr. Trump should be forgiven for his sellout of America.
Look Ahead WA 2h ago
For Republicans who believe so fervently in their counterfactual narrative, there is an immediate remedy. Bring facts and evidence to the Committees and testify under oath. Without witnesses and evidence presented under oath, all of the GOP antics simply look foolish and very much like they are defending the guilty. It is unfortunate that there is no penalty for elected officials who share unfounded conspiracy theories, engage in innuendo and obstruct process in official Committee hearings. It is also regretable that this President is not held accountable for trying to intimidate witnesses in real time during testimony. And it is a sad reality that one of the most corrupt rulers in the world, who rules a hostile power, has managed to entirely win over one of our major parties.
Gerard PA 2h ago
The strangest defense advanced today was the idea that the alleged state of the economy was reason not to impeach the President: the Republicans assert that America, the Constitution, the principle of our government are for sale to be bought by the rising stock market and a plethora of low-wage jobs. We are Faust, and the smell of sulphur is nauseating.
richard wiesner oregon 2h ago
If the IG's report on the 2016 Russia investigation had found the only problem was that two of the agents involved had horrible hangnails, Barr and Trump would have condemned it.
Asian Philosopher Germany 2h ago
Whatever Trump is doing, he always care about his main benefactors, Putin and MBS. This is the first time I have witnessed in history that an American president became a Russian puppet with all his Republican followers at the Congress and Senate. American constitutional crisis happening right in front of the world. I heard the cries of James Madison, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin from their graves.
trudds sierra madre, CA 2h ago Times Pick
Sir, do you honestly think that House Republicans have been "fooled" by Mr. Putin? On the contrary, it's pretty obvious they understand and believe the conclusions from our Intel community. These are instead willful lies for political gain. And while some Americans may actually be misled by the theater presented as rebuttal to the impeachment, it's hard to imagine for most it's once again, not conviction but convenience that places such "patriots" solidly in Russia's back pocket.
Michele Seattle 2h ago Times Pick
The pattern of behavior is clear and compelling: Trump is selling out this country, its national security, its integrity and sovereignty, in order to keep power and avoid his own prosecution, and protect his financial interests. We must get the truth about his relationships and indebtedness to Putin, the Saudis, and Erdogan. Our country has been hijacked and Trump will continue to corrupt the US and turn it into an autocracy if he is not stopped and held accountable under the law.
Linus Internet 2h ago
The country voted for this President knowing he is a flawed man in many ways. I don't think anything changes here - the Senate will speedily acquit him and the voters in the swing states will have to decide if they want to give Mr. Trump a second chance while the rest of the country impotently watches.
David CT 2h ago
If one looks at all of his actions as "How could this benefit Russia?" most of it makes sense. Why start a trade war with China and Western allies? Why withdraw from Syria? Why try to polarize the American public? Effectively showing this to the public is critical.
Mark New York 2h ago
Excellent piece. We all know Trump, Inc. turned to Russian oligarchs after '08 for condo sales. It just so happened that those same oligarchs (read as kleptocrats) were laundering money through Deutsche Bank, who was the only bank willing to lend to Trump. Trump's loan officer amazingly was SC Justice Anthony Kennedy's son. Trump was and is a desperate man in need of cash/ Putin is a desperate man who knows that the geyser of oil money that funds his national budget, and has done so since the 1920's, is coming to an end. Russia has no large material economic exports other than oil and gas, but it does still have a large military, hence the military incursions into Moldova, Ossetia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. Desperate men do desperate things, and desperately try to project power with weak hands.
turbot philadelphia 2h ago
The Republicans in Congress were not fooled by the Russians. They believe in Trump no matter what the Russians do. The bottom line is - What does Putin have on Trump
stan continople brooklyn 2h ago
I don't understand why there hasn't been more of a pushback by the military. They went heavily for Trump in 20116, with many bases in the South and many recruits from economically devastated areas, but in the interim, they have seen his reckless, lurching foreign policy, worship of Putin, and clear evidence that somehow everything he does benefits Russia. A commander's first obligation is to their troops, so knowing the man in charge considers their lives subject to both Trump's whims, and Putin's whispers should provoke some reaction. No?
Steven Auckland 3h ago
Unfortunately - to put it mildly - impeachment will have no effect on the conduct of the 2020 election. The wheels are already turning, everyone knows their part, and only a massive commitment by an honest intelligence apparatus (if there is one) can stop it. One can only hope that, in 2020, the American people make a statement so overwhelming that there can be no doubt as to their intent, despite whatever meddling there may have been. It is entirely possible that there will never be a truly credible election again as long as there are bad actors who are power hungry or bent on destabilizing democratic governments. And make no mistake, these threats are coming from right wing autocracies, and they are in the ascendancy all over the world. American centrists and liberals are the only force that can change that. Are those stakes big enough for you?
Michael Kittle Vaison la Romaine, France 3h ago
We may finally have the answer as to why Trump is so accommodating to Putin. Trump has so many investments in Russia dependent on Putin's support. Trump financial reports will reveal this collusion between Trump and Putin. This should not come as a surprise to attentive Americans. Think of the worst an American president can do and that will bring you close to understanding Trump.
Ray Haining Hot Springs, AR 3h ago
Nobody's saying how Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine would benefit Putin and Russia in their WAR against Ukraine. It was, indeed, MILITARY aid he was withholding, was it not? I understand that this is not the impeachable offense of attempting to enlist a foreign government to win an election, but I believe this aspect of the situation should be brought out.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 3h ago
The Republican Party has been officially reduced to a giant miasma of fraud, fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theory, deflection, misdirection and prevarication. After tax cuts for rich people and rich corporations...the GOP has no other public policy ideas (except for bankrupting the government). A civilized country needs little things like infrastructure, education, technology, voting rights, law and order, regulations, fair taxation and facts to move forward. But none of those things are ever mentioned by the Republican Party; conspiracy-mongering and tax cuts are now the official governing planks of the Grand Old Propaganda/Grand One Percent party. This is no way to manage a nation anywhere except into the ground. Americans need to hit the Trump-GOP eject button before these Lord of the Fly Republicans take us over a very steep right-wing cliff of insanity.
Bob Hudson Valley 3h ago
The Republican Party is now Trump's party and the Republicans know it and are acting accordingly. You could call them opportunists following the way the political winds are blowing. The Constitution is based on members of Congress caring about the Constitution and searching for the truth. Since this is now not the case when if comes to the Republicans the Constitution has no remedy for this situation. The only remedy is an election and if Trump can manipulate elections to his advantage using foreign powers then there is no remedy and the system of government set up by the founders will be no more. The new system replacing it will be controlled by Trump. Putin figured out how to control Russian elections so he always wins and it is likely that Trump has a goal of imitating Putin. Ultimately this would mean taking over the press as Putin did. Trump cannot declare total victory as long as the there is a free press which he has labeled the enemy of the people.
DAWGPOUND HAR NYC 3h ago
From an acute perspective ..indeed shocking to say the least of the nature of this peculiar relationship. But looking at the big picture as evidence by all that has occurred in his or during this eye opening period for all the world to see....not so much so...For me, this dynamic is much expected.
James Ricciardi Panama, Panama 3h ago
"The witness has used language which impugns the motives of the president and suggests he's disloyal to his country, and those words should be stricken from the record and taken down," Mr. Johnson said. The Johnson rule effectively reads the impeachment power out of the constitution. How can you impeach a president if no one can say anything bad about him/her?
Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO 3h ago
We have yet to plow the most fertile road yet. What does Trump care about over all else? Trump. How does Trump gauge his progress? His money. Where does his money come from? Good question. We all know he has filed for bankruptcy 6 times. We all know that because of those bankruptcies, American banks will not loan him any money. We all know he has significant financial dealings with Deutsche Bank. Now, who put the money in Deutsche Bank that ended up financing Trump's business.? That is the two billion dollar question. We also know that Russian oligarchs deal in billions of dollars. We also know that Trump has close relations with Russian business interests. We also know that Trump kowtows to Putin like Pence kowtows to him. We also know that Trump is doing everything possible to conceal his financial dealings from everyone and everything. So, we know that one billion plus one billion equals two billion. But does it also equal Trump? This money road is one we should take a ride on. Will it also take us to Putin?
Mark New York 2h ago
@Bruce Rozenblit No, but it will take us to those who are surrogates for him. Those whose wealth only continues because of Vova's "good will."
Gluscabi Dartmouth, MA 3h ago
The first Democratic candidate who labels Trump a "Russian agent" will own the simplest and most effective tag line going into the general election, provided of course that that candidate does his best to channel his inner Trump by never backing down but instead doubling down every chance he or she gets. Is Trump a Russian agent, paid for and accounted for? Not easy to say without some doubt, but that doesn't really matter because he sure as shoottin' acts like one. And when have the facts ever stopped Trump from going on the attack? The more Trump denies the label, the more he'll be digging his own grave. The real crime here is not so much the strong arming of Zelenskyy for a Biden investigation. That's small potatoes compared to Trump's withholding congressionally designated US military aid from a country engaged in a hot war with Russia, the same cast of characters who starved anywhere from one to eleven million Ukrainians during the 1930's. The Russian agent must go.
Alan Columbus OH 3h ago
I would not say Trump's lying "is effective", I would say it "has been effective". At some point, the public and his party may have had it with the thuggery and we do not know when that breaking point is.
abigail49 georgia 3h ago
For the sake of protecting our 2020 elections from Russian hackers and disinformation, the House is justified in moving forward fast, over the process howls of Republicans, with the compelling evidence they have surrounding Ukraine. But they need to continue investigating his business and financial ties to Russia and any other autocratic governments and their oligarchs, e.g. Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Especially if he is not convicted and removed by the Senate and stands for re-election, Americans need to know what conflicts of interest he has in making foreign policy and military decisions because American soldiers' lives are at stake. The Mueller investigation did not go down that road. Any businessman with global interests is automatically compromised, even more than a vice president whose son sits on a foreign corporation's board of director. Trump's own children continue to do business in foreign countries and we have no idea what Ivanka and Jared, sitting in the White House with top security clearances, are doing. In short, Ukraine should not be the only concern of congressional oversight committees. There's a lot more.
Peter Portland OR 3h ago
Trump must believe that Russian help in 2016 did help him to win. He must feel that fake evidence presented by an "independent" investigator such as a foreign government appears to carry more weight that the same fake evidence from a partisan investigator. Otherwise why would he be taking such chances to duplicate via Ukraine what he got from the Russians in 2016. But now that the Russian connection is outed, he can't go back to that well.
NA Wilson Massachusetts 3h ago
I worry it's all for naught. Dems in the House vote to impeach, GOP in the Senate vote to acquit. Trump remains highly competitive in 2020 election, Russia and other adversaries interfere, Trump stays put. Then what?
Rafael SC 3h ago
@NA Wilson Think of this situation differently. To have all possible scope to defeat him, we must support everything we can to undermine him. Lack of impeachment would have been business as usual. At some point his finances will get out and then all bets are off.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
@NA Wilson: It's all Hands on deck to save the country. Don't just vote, donate what money you can, work for candidates, knock doors, make calls. It's the only way out of this nightmare.
N. Smith New York City 3h ago
The Impeachment hearings weren't really necessary to prove what most everyone who's been paying attention knows. With Trump, all roads lead to Moscow. In fact, he's already acting very Putin-esque in his own way by forbidding anyone in the White House to respond to subpoena, by installing the fear of God in those who do, by punishing anyone who dares to think or act on their own, and then there's the act of holding a foreign country ransom until they agree to do his bidding -- not to mention inviting outside interference in our presidential elections. All the signs are not only there but they are ominous. By holding himself above the U.S. Constitution, Trump has declared war on this country and all the laws that govern it. And while entertainment-starved Americans laugh and cheer at his rallies, he and the Republicans drain our right to vote, and with it our Democracy. Today wasn't an epiphany. It was a warning.
bl rochester 3h ago
There seems to be no discussion of the financial backing trump received after '08-09 from sources inside Russia and how these actors would have expressed their support (or conditions for their silence) to the trump campaign during '15-16. Did the FBI not identify and investigate the funders behind trump and their interactions with the campaign during 2016? Would this not have been reasonable for an investigation to look into when its entire raison d'etre was to detect sources of Russian influence?
Jim TX 3h ago
I wonder if Mr. Wegman believes that this editorial will change anyone's mind or influence how anyone votes in the upcoming presidential election. Basically, this is classic preaching to the choir and sadly mostly a wasted effort. I would like to read articles with proven ideas that worked to change the minds of Republicans and other like them. Such articles might give me some better ideas to convince my pro-Trump friends and neighbors to Vote for America next November.
Kingfish52 Rocky Mountains 3h ago
"When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected." This! This is the central fact of all the things Trump has done (so far), and yet, the Democrats have failed to make this the central focus of the case against him. Instead, they've focused on one incident, and not even the most egregious one, to justify impeachment and removal from office. This was a terrible miscalculation. No, there is no doubt that Trump attempted to coerce Ukraine into helping with his re-election by announcing a bogus investigation of the Bidens. Nor any doubt that this constituted "high crimes and misdemeanors". But this was not the highest of crimes he's committed, nor have the Dems been able to convince any Republicans, or many independents, that this deserves Trump's removal. Moreover, they failed to produce the "smoking gun" of one witness or document in Trump's own words directing the quid pro quo. They gave plenty of room for the Republican attack machine to cast enough doubt and confusion that all but ensures Trump's acquittal in the Senate. Instead of focusing only on this one incident, the Democrats should have built their case around the theme that "with Trump, all roads lead to Russia". That is a crime that even the most skeptical doubter can grasp, and when linked together, all of his crimes can be shown to be of a pattern of serving Putin, and not the people of the United States. All roads lead to Putin, but the Democrats chose to follow a dead end.
DW Philly 2h ago
@Kingfish52 I completely agree with you and truly don't understand why the Democrats have not been shouting this from the rooftops. For mercy's sake! The problem is not just that the president solicited help from a foreign power for his own personal gain! That's bad enough, but isn't the point that he did this because he is beholden to Russia? Russia. is. not. our. friend. Why aren't the Democrats explaining this clearly to the American people? Trump is Putin's puppet and it could not be more obvious! Don't people understand that it doesn't just happen to be Ukraine that Trump took a notion to squeeze for his "personal gain"? He doesn't just want to win because it is so nice to win elections. He has to do what Putin tells him. Obviously, every last Republican in Congress understands this clearly. Why can't the Democrats explain it to the American people clearly?
Mike Republic Of Texas 4h ago
Obama did not provide lethal aid to Ukraine, after the Russians invaded Crimea. Obama did not Russia prevent the Iranian nuclear deal. Trump cancelled the Iranian nuclear deal, then provided lethal aid to Ukraine. Now I get it. Trump is working for Putin.
Mick Montclair 3h ago
By March 2015, the US had committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine and had pledged an additional $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices and medical supplies, according to the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency. That assistance also included some 230 armored Humvee vehicles. Trump appears to be echoing a critique leveled at the Obama administration by the late Republican Sen. John McCain. "The Ukrainians are being slaughtered and we're sending blankets and meals," McCain said in 2015. "Blankets don't do well against Russian tanks." While it never provided lethal aid, many of the items that the Obama administration did provide were seen as critical to Ukraine's military. Part of the $250 million assistance package that the Trump administration announced (then froze and later unfroze) included many of the same items that were provided under Obama, including medical equipment, night vision gear and counter-artillery radar. The Trump administration did approve the provision of arms to Ukraine, including sniper rifles, rocket launchers and Javelin anti-tank missiles, something long sought by Kiev.
Ivan Memphis, TN 2h ago
@Mike Trump was not the one providing lethal aid to Ukraine. It was the house and senate that proposed and forced this aid into an appropriation bill - against the wishes of the Trump administration. After Trump realized he could not block this funding he did the second best thing - he used it to blackmail the Ukraine government to provide him with dirt on Biden and support for Putin's favorite narrative (that it was Ukraine not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election).
Mark New York 2h ago
@Mike It also took two acts of Congress to get the aid to Ukraine. Trump had nothing to do with it. Only the Impound Inclusion Act for foreign aid allows the President to time the release of the funds, which Trump did not follow. The Act was created because Nixon, like Trump, was playing fast and loose with our tax dollars. Who was the last President who asked for help from a foreign intelligence agency? Which President favored foregn intelligence agencies over his own? Answer no one other than Trump. If that doesn't show he's in someone's pocket, nothing does.

[Dec 09, 2019] I have doubts that zionists were central to, or instigators of, the JFK coup, but the Jewish mob sure was in on it, and since they knew and were involved, as was Lyndon, that gave the zionists Mossad the blackmail they needed to put Lyndon in their pocket

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [627] Disclaimer , says: December 7, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT

@Dave from Oz Dietrich Doerner's Logic of Failure makes clear that decision makers consistently make grotesque errors based on faulty modeling of the world, incomplete feedback assumed to be complete, and so on. Even the data are often mistaken for deductive truths, but if one looks at, for example, the number of actual weather data points used to create those complex surface maps, it becomes obvious why the results are disappointing -- in that case possibly spoiling a picnic, but with the military, destroying a civilization.

You might recall the lessons of Longterm Capital Management's use of predictions based on PDE's, with results that should have been foreseen as being predictably as unreliable as weather forecasting, and for the same reasons -- that beneath all the fancy math lie guesses of all too fallible men.

Regarding a faulty worldview, could there possibly be a more distorted model of reality than America serving as Israel's footstool, the country that with its fifth column is responsible for Lavon, USS Liberty, JFK/RFK, and, not least, 9/11. In the world of probabilities, there is no standard of textual evidence evaluation or mathematical demonstration so low it won't give cover to the Pentagon's costumed bureaucrats and members of Congress to look the other way regarding Israel and its fifth columns' acts of war against the country they're all sworn to protect.

Jim Christian , says: December 7, 2019 at 5:21 am GMT
@Anonymous

JFK/RFK, and, not least, 9/11.

MLK became a problem when he joined RFK against Vietnam in early 1968. When he started counseling his young Black men against Vietnam, he had to go too. I'll never forget that. Hideous.

Why do they always shoot their rivals in the head? Never a miss back then, ever..

Walter , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 3:08 pm GMT
@Anonymous I have doubts that zionists were central to, or instigators of, the JFK coup, but the Jewish mob sure was in on it, and since they knew and were involved, as was Lyndon, that gave the zionists Mossad the blackmail they needed to put Lyndon in their pocket. They proved this when he covered up the Liberty affair. Since then the zionists have been free to do as they wished. I propose these changes were gradual, and that zionism has been curated as a MI6 intelop since the Balfour Declaration, in part to create the 5th column we have now. Looks like it got out of control, Golem-like. This is a pity, as it may result in the ruin of their own people, just as we see Semitic zionists shooting Semitic natives in a sort of turkeyshoot every Friday is it kosher to kill on Shabbos? I wonder.. . a kind of civil war, so we see a vast schism forming between Jews and nominally Jewish zionists.
ivegotrythm , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT
@Walter The Zionism Psy-Op began much earlier than the Balfour declaration. It was a result of losing sovereignty when Poland disappeared in 1772 and was partitioned between Prussia, Russia, and Austria. (Poland was a condominium with two governments, a Jewish one and a Polish one. The Jews had their own parliament, and the Poles theirs, plus a king. This evolved out of the original agreements the Khazars of the south made with the Lithuanians to be a mercenary army, police force, and tax collectors.) Having lost control of one country, Poland (through their own misuse of taxes), the High Command in Lithuania decided they needed another country. The propaganda was that the riots -- pogroms -- that began in Russia at the end of the 19th century were anti-Jewish riots; that the Czar was anti-Jewish, etc. And the big Psy-Op was the Dreyfus Affair, which was completely fake. Which is why the original written offer to sell "secrets" -- which were not secrets at all -- mysteriously disappeared before the Germans occupied France in 1940. But the phony Dreyfus Affair immediately led to the first Zionist Congress in Basel. Herzl was only a hired propagandist, and disposed off when he finished the job for which he was recruited as a journalist (as was Wilhelm Marr -- who popularized the term "Antisemitism"). World War I and the Balfour agreement to get America into the war on the British side delivered the goods.

[Dec 09, 2019] Newsweek Reporter Resigns After Accusing Outlet Of Suppressing OPCW Leak Story by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer. ..."
"... Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets , and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard . ..."
"... Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

A Newsweek journalist has resigned after the publication reportedly suppressed his story about the ever-growing OPCW scandal, the revelation of immensely significant plot holes in the establishment Syria narrative that you can update yourself on by watching this short seven-minute video or this more detailed video here .

"Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason," journalist Tareq Haddad reported today via Twitter .

"I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US government was removed, though it was factually correct," Haddad said.

"I plan on publishing these details in full shortly. However, after asking my editors for comment, as is journalistic practice, I received an email reminding me of confidentiality clauses in my contract. I.e. I was threatened with legal action."

Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer.

"I could have kept silent and kept my job, but I would not have been able to continue with a clean conscience," Haddad said .

"I will have some instability now but the truth is more important."

This is the first direct insider report we're getting on the mass media's conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal that I wrote about just the other day . In how many other newsrooms is this exact same sort of suppression happening, including threats of legal action, to journalists who don't have the courage or ability to leave and speak out? There is no logical reason to assume that Haddad is the only one encountering such roadblocks from mass media editors; he's just the only one going public about it.

Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets , and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard .

The outlet will occasionally print oppositional-looking articles like this one by Ian Wilkie questioning the establishment Syria narrative , but not without immediately turning around and publishing an attack on Wilkie's piece by Eliot Higgins, a former Atlantic Council Senior Fellow who is the cofounder of the NED-funded imperial narrative management firm Bellingcat.

Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication .

The ubiquitous propagandistic tactic of fake news by omission distorts the public's worldview just as much as it would if mass media outlets were publishing bogus stories whole cloth every day, only if they were doing that it would be much easier to pin them down on their lies, hold them accountable, and discredit them.

A recent FAIR article by Alan MacLeod documents how the Hong Kong demonstrations are pushed front and center in mainstream consciousness despite the fact that to this day not one protester has been killed by security forces, while far more deadly violence is being directed at huge protests in empire-aligned nations like Haiti, Chile and Ecuador which have been almost completely ignored by these same outlets.

This deliberate omission causes a distorted worldview in casual and mainstream news media consumers in which protests are only happening in nations that are outside the US-centralized power alliance . We see the same kind of deliberate distortion-by-omission with the way mass media continually pushes the narrative that Donald Trump is "soft on Russia", while remaining completely silent on the overwhelming mountain of evidence to the contrary .

The time is now for everyone with a platform to start banging the drum about the OPCW scandal, because we're seeing more and more signs that the deluge of leaks hemorrhaging from that organisation is only going to increase. Mainstream propagandists aren't going to cover it, so if larger alternative media outlets want to avoid being lumped in with them and discredited in the same sweep it would be wise to start talking about this thing today. It's only going to get more and more awkward for everyone who chose to remain silent, and more and more validating for those who spoke out.

* * *

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[Dec 08, 2019] Karlan, US neocons and "The Russians Are Coming!" scare

Notable quotes:
"... When Bush and his allies used this rhetoric, they were trying to spin a war of aggression as an act of self-defense. Now it is part of an even more ludicrous effort to make supplying weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine seem as if it is vitally important to the U.S. Simply put, this is propaganda, and it isn't even very good propaganda at that. ..."
"... Obviously, we aren't going to be fighting the Russians "here" no matter what happens in this conflict. These are the sorts of irrational claims that we get after decades of irresponsible threat inflation and mistakenly assuming that every conflict in the world is somehow our business. ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Here is a congealing conventional wisdom around sending military assistance to Ukraine that is as absurd as can be, and it cropped up again this morning:

"Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" was extremely stupid when applied to terrorism. It is much more stupid when applied to Russia, and shows how impoverished the FP thinking of even bright, engaged Americans is. My goodness.

-- Justin Logan (@JustinTLogan) December 4, 2019

It is discouraging to see that one of the dumbest talking points from the Bush era has returned. "Fight them there" was always a silly justification for waging unnecessary wars in other countries, and now it is being repurposed to justify the questionable policy of throwing weapons at a conflict in Europe. When it was used in the context of Bush-era wars, it was an attempt to make what were clearly wars of choice seem as though they were unavoidable. When a government needs to defend a bad policy, it will usually claim that they have no choice but to do what they are doing.

When Bush and his allies used this rhetoric, they were trying to spin a war of aggression as an act of self-defense. Now it is part of an even more ludicrous effort to make supplying weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine seem as if it is vitally important to the U.S. Simply put, this is propaganda, and it isn't even very good propaganda at that.

I have written many times why I think it is a mistake to arm Ukraine. It just encourages escalation at worst and the prolongation of the conflict at best. Until recently, the arguments in favor of doing this have not been very compelling, but at least they weren't quite so mindless. Needless to say, Russia's conflict with Ukraine is a local one, and the U.S. doesn't have much at stake in that conflict. Ukrainians aren't fighting Russia and its proxies on our behalf or to prevent them from attacking someone else, but for the sake of their own country.

If Russia hawks insist on providing Ukraine with weapons and other assistance, they should at least be able to acknowledge that this is a peripheral interest of the United States. Exaggerating the importance of this policy to U.S. security just calls attention to how little it matters to U.S. security.

Obviously, we aren't going to be fighting the Russians "here" no matter what happens in this conflict. These are the sorts of irrational claims that we get after decades of irresponsible threat inflation and mistakenly assuming that every conflict in the world is somehow our business.

[Dec 08, 2019] The real threat of the Rome Statute to the USA is the universal obligation to prosecute or extradite war criminals and enemies of humanity.

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Bailiff, Whack his Peepee , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT

There's one additional revolutionary factor:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/12/05/612858/international-criminal-court-investigation-US-war-crimes-Afghanistan?jwsource=cl

The threat to US official impunity panics the regime more than any number of Russian Sarmats or nuclear ramjets. The ICC is one very new judicial forum, and its halting efforts to get its institutional footing panicked the US into imposing illegal sanctions on accredited diplomats. The real threat of the Rome Statute is the universal obligation to prosecute or extradite war criminals and enemies of humanity.

An increasing number of the most influential US functionaries will be unable to travel freely. This is, in effect, pariah-state status more abject than North Korea's. This has been a mounting challenge for years – GW Bush fled Switzerland, scared off by a war crimes accusation from a single legislator.

And international criminal law is one jaw of a pincer. It complements the doctrine of state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts. State responsibility provides the civil equivalent of international criminal law, with the potential to impose restitution, reparation, satisfaction, and compensation with interest. Satisfaction articulates directly with international criminal law by providing for prosecution of designated criminals. The US faces insupportable liabilities for its internationally wrongful acts, and US functionaries know that any one of them could be sacrificed to get the regime off the hook.

Russian policy is to enforce this law at gunpoint. Iranian policy is to make its case in independent international courts. China is vocal about upholding rule of law, and as its deterrent improves, it will be increasingly active in applying it. The G-192 – 96% of the world's population – pitches in by withholding the "waterfall" of G-5 privileges. The UK recently got pushed off the ICJ bench for the first time ever for its lawless conduct. The US is next.

The US is an underdeveloped country ineffectually waving second-rate weapons. The world is leaving it behind.

[Dec 08, 2019] US Militarism Promotes More Turmoil Than Stability In The Middle East by Rami G. Khouri

Dec 06, 2019 | responsiblestatecraft.org

For the past two centuries and, particularly the last three decades, direct foreign military intervention in the affairs of ostensibly sovereign and independent states has been perhaps the most consistent and destructive common denominator that shapes our region's worsening condition. Direct warfare by foreign powers almost always paves the way for decades, if not centuries, of continuing instability -- whether in the cases of Napoleon in 1798, the Soviet Union and the United States in Afghanistan in the decades after 1979, the U.S. in Iraq in 2003, or Russia, Iran, and seemingly half the world in Syria since 2015.

Direct foreign military attacks or other "security" activities inside Middle East lands inevitably create traumatic local power imbalances that portend chronic local ideological conflicts, and spark resentments and resistance to the foreign invader or to the invader's local ruling ally. Foreign invaders also create local authority vacuums that open the door for other states to intervene (see Iraq, Syria, and Libya), and also create the ideal spawning ground for radical, militant, resistance, or terrorist movements of all stripes. Israel repeatedly encountered this instinctive local resistance to its predatory militarism in Lebanon and Gaza, as did the U.S. and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and the U.S. and its allies in Iraq.

Almost nothing good emerges from direct foreign militarism in the Middle East, and even when the fighting stops surreptitious foreign support to local warring parties also perpetuates tensions and clashes, which only spur economic waste, corruption, collapse, and widespread poverty and suffering among the citizenry.

It is clear now that foreign militarism plays a destructive and sustained role in the two biggest problems that now tear apart much of the Arab region (and also touch on non-Arab Mideast states like Iran, Turkey and Israel). The first is mass pauperization that now sees over two-thirds of all Arab citizens living in poverty or vulnerability, in states that have reached or approach bankruptcy and allow citizens no meaningful political rights. This will get much worse because all prevailing economic trends that could counter it are flat or negative (trade, tourism, direct investment, remittances, job creation).

The second problematic big regional trend -- very much states' reactions to their citizens' helpless pauperization -- is the growing militarization and securitization of governance. This is evident in bloated military and security budgets that are controlled by a handful of unelected, unaccountable leaders, and expanded use of anti-terrorism laws since September 2011 to deter or imprison domestic political foes, or prevent any independent political expression by the public (see Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain). Foreign militarism since the 1940s has inevitably promoted local military rule within Arab states. The incompetence, autocracy, and corruption of Arab military rulers since the 1970s have driven economies into the ground, and sparked the nonstop street uprisings we witness today across the region.

The centuries of cumulative interventions by foreign powers inside Arab states reached a new peak in the past eight years in Syria, where dozens of foreign and regional actors that joined the fray inside the country charted new ground in the historical legacy that had mostly seen big power, usually Western and colonial, interventions in the region's affairs.

Of course Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Persian, and other imperial dominance in the region across time all played a role in defining the Middle East as a frontline battlefield in the recurring waves of global imperial dominance and cultural influence. Starting in the 19th Century, however, as imperial powers started to come to terms with their imminent historical demise, the British and the French mostly wrote the book on the ugly heritage of battling for strategic supremacy in our region. The 20th Century saw foreign powers fight at will in the Middle East, and also provide indirect political and "security" support to their favorite local partners, allies, surrogates, and stooges, who kept fighting it out inside Arab countries that proved to be only nominally sovereign and independent states.

The civil war in Syria that started in 2011 was the logical outcome of this legacy. It mirrors other states where authority and legitimacy collapsed in the eyes of their own people, and the sovereign control of their lands and resources succumbed to the many foreign actors that came in to save the dying beast or bite off pieces of its carcass. Syria offers one of the most important examples of this, given the wide variety of warring parties that joined its several overlapping local, regional, and global wars.

The fighters in Syria included dozens of Arab states and non-state armed groups, local militias and tribal forces, regional non-Arab powers like Iran, Turkey, Israel, and Hezbollah and their clients, wannabe regional powers like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, leading global powers like the U.S. and Russia, second-tier powers like the U.K. and France, and a few smaller countries around the world that joined directly or provided mercenaries mostly to win credits with bigger Arab or foreign powers.

The eight-year war in Syria is at once a consequence and a high-water mark of sustained foreign military interventions in the Arab region, and a harbinger of how such foreign and local militarism will operate there for years to come. We can already see in Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and scattered other corners of our troubled region several noteworthy legacies of today's foreign militarism in Syria and its antecedents since Napoleon.

Regional and foreign powers' rolling interventions in Syria have redefined how such powers engage across the region, where two opposing loose alliances, loosely allied with Saudi Arabia or Iran, now face off -- each comprises Arab states, regional Arab and non-Arab powers, global powers, and local non-state actors. The sheer number and variety of foreign forces that directly or indirectly fought in Syria portend badly for fragile states whose illusory sovereignty can collapse at any moment in the face of dozens of armed actors that pounce like wolves circling a dazed gazelle. The "international community" that actively joined and fueled the fighting also responded weakly to the alleged and real war crimes on both sides This suggests that the "international community" is something of a fiction, but also that, whatever it represents, it can live with the Middle East's continuing authoritarian, lawlessness, and violent political systems -- as long as the violence, refugees, terrorists, and turmoil remain in the Middle East.

Indeed, global and regional powers actively engage in cross-border militarism and neo-colonialism that we can see in several arenas: Washington's support for Israeli settlements expansion and annexations of occupied Arab lands, and its lingering presence in Syria and Iraq; Russian and American support for Turkish incursions into northern Syria; Saudi Arabian and Emirati moves to control parts of the south of Yemen for their own strategic aims; British and American direct involvement in the war on Yemen; and, French, Emirati, Russian, and Egyptian support for the rebel forces of Khalifa Haftar in Libya, to mention only the most obvious.

These are only the most current but ongoing consequences of over two centuries of non-stop foreign military and political interference that our region has experienced, with devastating long-term impacts. Internal and regional wars, in a climate of very high Arab military spending, continue to propel countries back into dilapidated or vulnerable conditions every few decades. The Arab examples of this only increase, including Lebanon, Palestine, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Jordan. Non-Arab Iran, Turkey, and Israel face their own challenges, as they simultaneously suffer the damages of external militarism and also engage in it themselves around the region.

It is time for all foreign and regional powers to start learning the hard lessons of these historical trends and instead seek non-violent diplomatic solutions to challenges they now mostly address with their guns blazing. A regional population of half a billion poor and powerless people held in check by hundreds of billions of dollars of military spending linked to foreign troops who enter our countries at will is probably a far greater real threat to their wellbeing than anything they can imagine today.

[Dec 08, 2019] WSJ Article Runs Through The Greatest Hits of a Dysfunctional Foreign Policy Debate

Notable quotes:
"... Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force. ..."
"... These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved. ..."
"... September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it. ..."
"... For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific." ..."
"... The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. ..."
"... This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | responsiblestatecraft.org

The unrivaled and unchallenged exertion of American military power around the world, or what's known as "primacy," has been the basis for U.S. Grand Strategy over the past 70 years and has faced few intellectual and political challenges. The result has been stagnant ideas, poor logic, and an ineffective foreign policy. As global security challenges have evolved, our foreign policy debate has remained in favor of primacy, repeatedly relying on a select few, poorly conceived ideas and arguments. Primacy's greatest hits arguments are played on repeat throughout the policy and journalism worlds and its latest presentation is in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, written by its chief foreign policy correspondent, titled, "America Can't Escape the Middle East." The piece provides a case study in how stagnant these ideas have become, and how different actors throughout the system present them without serious thought or contemplation.

Hyping the threat of withdrawal

The WSJ piece trotted out one of the most well-worn cases for unending American military deployments in the region. "The 2003 invasion of Iraq proved to be a debacle," it rightly notes. However, there's always a "but":[B]ut subsequent attempts to pivot away from the region or ignore it altogether have contributed to humanitarian catastrophes, terrorist outrages and geopolitical setbacks, further eroding America's standing in the world."

Primacists often warn of the dire security threats that will result from leaving Middle East conflict zones. The reality is that the threats they cite are actually caused by the unnecessary use of force by the United States in the first place. For example, the U.S. sends military assets to deter Iran, only to have Iran increase attacks or provocations in response. The U.S. then beefs up its military presence to protect the forces that are already there. Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force.

These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved.

Terrorism safe havens

And how many times have we heard that we must defend some undefined geographical space to prevent extremists from plotting attacks? "In the past, jihadists used havens in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq to plot more ambitious and deadly attacks, including 9/11," the WSJ piece says. "Though Islamic State's self-styled 'caliphate' has been dismantled, the extremist movement still hasn't been eliminated -- and can bounce back."

The myth of the terrorism safe havens enabling transnational attacks on the United States has persisted despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and significant scholarly research that contradicts it. The myth persists because it provides a simple and comforting narrative that's easy to understand. September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it.

Terrorists don't need safe havens to operate, and only gain marginal increases in capabilities by having access to them. Organizations engage in terrorism because they have such weak capabilities in the first place. These movements are designed to operate underground with the constant threat of arrest and execution. The Weatherman Underground in the United States successfully carried out bombings while operating within the United States itself. The Earth Liberation Front did the same by organizing into cells where no cell knew anything about the other cells to prevent the identification of other members if members of one cell were arrested. Organizations that engage in terrorism can operate with or without safe havens.

Although safe havens don't add significantly to a terrorist groups' capabilities, governing your own territory is something completely different. ISIS is a commonly used, and misused, example for why wars should be fought to deny safe havens. A safe haven is a country or region in which a terrorist group is free from harassment or persecution. This is different from what ISIS created in 2014. What ISIS had when it swept across Syria and Iraq in 2014 was a proto-state. This gave them access to a tax base, oil revenues, and governing resources. Safe havens don't provide any of this, at least not at substantial levels. The Islamic State's construction of a proto-state in Syria and Iraq did give them operational capabilities they wouldn't have had otherwise, but this isn't the same as the possible safe havens that would be gained from a military withdrawal from Middle Eastern conflicts. The conditions of ISIS's rise in 2014 don't exist today and the fears of an ISIS resurgence like their initial rise are unfounded .

Credibility doesn't work how you think it works

For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific."

Most commentators have made this claim without recognition of their own contradictions that abandoning the Kurds in Syria would damage American credibility. They then list all the other times we've abandoned the Kurds. Each of these betrayals didn't stop them from working with the United States again, and this latest iteration will be the same. People don't work with the United States because they trust or respect us, they do it because we have a common interest and the United States has the capability to get things done. As we were abandoning the Kurds this time to be attacked by the Turks, Kurdish officials were continuing to share intelligence with U.S. officials to facilitate the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi because both the United States and the Kurds wanted Baghdadi eliminated and only the United States had the capability to get it done.

Similarly, the idea that pulling out militarily in one region results in a direct chain of events where our adversaries move into countries or areas in a completely different region is quite a stretch of the imagination. Russia moved into Crimea because it's a strategic asset and it was taking advantage of what it saw as an opportunity: instability and chaos in Kiev. Even if we left troops in every conflict country we've ever been in, Russia would have correctly assessed that Ukraine just wasn't important enough to spark a U.S. invasion. When the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, did the United States invade Cuba? What alliance did the Soviets or Chinese abandon before the United States entered the Korean War? Assessments of credibility , especially in times of crisis (like that in Ukraine), are made based on what leaders think the other country's interests are and the capabilities they have to pursue those interests. There is no evidence to support -- in fact there is a lot of evidence that contradicts -- the idea that withdrawing militarily from one region or ending an alliance has any impact on assessments of a country's reliability or credibility.

Not all interests are created equal

Threat inflation isn't just common from those who promote a primacy-based foreign policy, it's necessary. Indeed, as the WSJ piece claimed, "There is no avoiding the fact that the Middle East still matters a great deal to U.S. interests."

The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. Vital interests are those that directly impact the survival of the United States. The only thing that can threaten the survival of the United States is another powerful state consolidating complete control of either Europe or East Asia. This would give them the capabilities and freedom to strike directly at the territorial United States. This is why the United States stayed in Europe after WWII, to prevent the consolidation of Europe by the Soviets. Addressing the rise of China -- which will require some combination of cooperation and competition -- is America's vital interest today and keeping troops in Afghanistan to prevent a terrorism safe haven barely registers as a peripheral interest. There are U.S. interests in the Middle East, but these interests are not important enough to sacrifice American soldiers for and can't easily be secured through military force anyway.

Consequences

Most of these myths and arguments can be summarized by the claim that any disengagement of any kind by the United States from the Middle East comes with consequences. This isn't entirely wrong, but it isn't really relevant either unless compared with the consequences of continuing engagement at current levels. We currently have 67,000 troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan and those troops are targets of adversaries, contribute to instability, empower hardliners in Iran, and provide continuing legitimacy to insurgent and terrorist organizations fighting against a foreign occupation. One article in The Atlantic argued that the problem with a progressive foreign policy is that restraint comes with costs, almost ironically ignoring the fact that the U.S.'s current foreign policy also comes with, arguably greater, costs. A military withdrawal, or even drawdown, from the Middle East does come with consequences, but it's only believable that these costs are higher than staying through the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions that inflate such risks and costs. No wonder then that these myths have become the greatest hits of a foreign policy that's stuck in the past.

This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com .

[Dec 07, 2019] Enough is enough. Viva Tulsi. Down with neocons. List of wars involving the United States

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 08:16 AM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States

List of wars involving the United States

[Only the listed war names and dates copied without all the references and details.]

  1. American Revolutionary War - (1775–1783)
  2. Cherokee–American wars - (1776–1795)
  3. Northwest Indian War - (1785–1793)
  4. Shays' Rebellion - (1786–1787)
  5. Whiskey Rebellion - (1791–1794)
  6. Quasi-War - (1798–1800)
  7. Fries Rebellion - (1799–1800)
  8. First Barbary War - (1801–1805)
  9. 1811 German Coast Uprising - (1811)
  10. Tecumseh's War - (1811)
  11. War of 1812 - (1812–1815)
  12. Creek War - (1813–1814)
  13. Second Barbary War - (1815)
  14. First Seminole War - (1817–1818)
  15. Texas–Indian Wars - (1820–1875)
  16. Arikara War - (1823)
  17. Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations of the United States - (1825–1828)
  18. Winnebago War - (1827)
  19. First Sumatran expedition - (1832)
  20. Black Hawk War - (1832)
  21. Texas Revolution - (1835–1836)
  22. Second Seminole War - (1835–1842)
  23. Second Sumatran expedition - (1838)
  24. Aroostook War - (1838)
  25. Ivory Coast expedition - (1842)
  26. Mexican–American War - (1846–1848)
  27. Cayuse War - (1847–1855)
  28. Apache Wars - (1851–1900)
  29. Bleeding Kansas - (1854–1861)
  30. Puget Sound War - (1855–1856)
  31. First Fiji expedition - (1855)
  32. Rogue River Wars - (1855–1856)
  33. Third Seminole War - (1855–1858)
  34. Yakima War - (1855–1858)
  35. Second Opium War - (1856–1859)
  36. Utah War - (1857–1858)
  37. Navajo Wars - (1858–1866)
  38. Second Fiji expedition - (1859)
  39. John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry - (1859)
  40. First and Second Cortina War - (1859–1861)
  41. Paiute War - (1860)
  42. American Civil War - (1861–1865)
  43. Yavapai War - (1861–1875)
  44. Dakota War of 1862 - (1862)
  45. Colorado War - (1863–1865)
  46. Shimonoseki War - (1863–1864)
  47. Snake War - (1864–1868)
  48. Powder River War - (1865)
  49. Red Cloud's War - (1866–1868)
  50. Formosa expedition - (1867)
  51. Comanche Campaign - (1867–1875)
  52. Korea expedition - (1871)
  53. Modoc War - (1872–1873)
  54. Red River War - (1874–1875)
  55. Las Cuevas War - (1875)
  56. Great Sioux War of 1876 - (1876–1877)
  57. Buffalo Hunters' War - (1876–1877)
  58. Nez Perce War - (1877)
  59. Bannock War - (1878)
  60. Cheyenne War - (1878–1879)
  61. Sheepeater Indian War - (1879)
  62. White River War - (1879–1880)
  63. Pine Ridge Campaign - (1890–1891)
  64. Garza Revolution - (1891–1893)
  65. Yaqui Wars - (1896–1918)
  66. Second Samoan Civil War - (1898–1899)
  67. Spanish–American War - (1898)
  68. Philippine–American War - (1899–1902)
  69. Moro Rebellion - (1899–1913)
  70. Boxer Rebellion - (1899–1901)
  71. Crazy Snake Rebellion - (1909)
  72. Border War - (1910–1919)
  73. Negro Rebellion - (1912)
  74. Occupation of Nicaragua - (1912–1933)
  75. Bluff War - (1914–1915)
  76. Occupation of Veracruz - (1914)
  77. Occupation of Haiti - (1915–1934)
  78. Occupation of the Dominican Republic - (1916–1924)
  79. World War I - (1914–1918)
  80. Russian Civil War - (1918–1920)
  81. Last Indian Uprising - (1923)
  82. World War II - (1939–1945)
  83. Korean War - (1950–1953)
  84. Laotian Civil War - (1953–1975)
  85. Lebanon Crisis - (1958)
  86. Bay of Pigs Invasion - (1961)
  87. Simba rebellion, Operation Dragon Rouge - (1964)
  88. Vietnam War - (1955–1964[a], 1965–1973[b], 1974–1975[c])
  89. Communist insurgency in Thailand - (1965–1983)
  90. Korean DMZ Conflict - (1966–1969)
  91. Dominican Civil War - (1965–1966)
  92. Insurgency in Bolivia - (1966–1967)
  93. Cambodian Civil War - (1967–1975)
  94. War in South Zaire - (1978)
  95. Gulf of Sidra encounter - (1981)
  96. Multinational Intervention in Lebanon - (1982–1984)
  97. Invasion of Grenada - (1983)
  98. Action in the Gulf of Sidra - (1986)
  99. Bombing of Libya - (1986)
  100. Tanker War - (1987–1988)
  101. Tobruk encounter - (1989)
  102. Invasion of Panama - (1989–1990)
  103. Gulf War - (1990–1991)
  104. Iraqi No-Fly Zone Enforcement Operations - (1991–2003)
  105. First U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War - (1992–1995)
  106. Bosnian War - (1992–1995)
  107. Intervention in Haiti - (1994–1995)
  108. Kosovo War - (1998–1999)
  109. Operation Infinite Reach - (1998)
  110. War in Afghanistan - (2001–present)
  111. 2003 invasion of Iraq - (2003)
  112. Iraq War - (2003–2011)
  113. War in North-West Pakistan - (2004–present)
  114. Second U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War - (2007–present)
  115. Operation Ocean Shield - (2009–2016)
  116. International intervention in Libya - (2011)
  117. Operation Observant Compass - (2011–2017)
  118. American-led intervention in Iraq - (2014–present)
  119. American-led intervention in Syria - (2014–present)
  120. Yemeni Civil War - (2015–present)
  121. American intervention in Libya - (2015–present)

{ finis }

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:25 AM
This list tells quite a story. It deserves a name such as "US History Written in Blood," but more ironically and yet sufficient would be "An Inconvenient List." In any case, mass murder for fun and profit has defined war throughout the entire history of humankind. That in the modern era of late that the US has pioneered rentier capitalism as a means of extracting profits from the industrial war machine is a matter of the natural evolution of state sanctioned murder, far better at returning profits to investors than the mere slaughter of stone age natives to steal their land.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:45 AM
Neoconservatives in this context are traditionalists rather than some aberration of modern political thought.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:50 AM
OTOH, pacifism is indeed an aberration of political thought, not necessarily an unwarranted aberration, yet one that should be subject to close inspection for its bona fides. My Cherokee ancestors inform me to always be suspect of the good intentions of white men claiming that they despise war.
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 03, 2019 at 05:14 AM
Rome martyred Christians bc up to Constantine they were all "draft dodgers".
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 03, 2019 at 05:20 AM
Pacifism for me is individual. I was a cold warrior (pacifist not!) from '72 to '85 when I went from supporting operating weapons to the "dark side" in weapons development, which a lot was also nuclear related.
JohnH -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 07:59 AM
One of the first things that happened after Trump announced his withdrawal [not!] from Syria is that Pelosi hopped on a plane to Jordan:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a group of American lawmakers on a surprise visit to Jordan to discuss "the deepening crisis" in Syria amid a shaky U.S.-brokered cease-fire."
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/20/nancy-pelosi-goes-to-jordan-for-vital-discussions-about-syria-crisis.html

I mean, what's with that?

It's pretty obvious that Team Pelosi is more concerned with the affairs of the Empire, even though she has no constitutional responsibility. than for the welfare of the American people. The focus of the impeachment hearing on American policy in Ukraine is further evidence.

Meanwhile, I have gotten no answer to my basic question: what are the top 5 pieces of progressive legislation that Pelosi has passed--legislation that representations can brag about to their constituents when running in 2020? It's pretty obvious that their have been almost none.

Team Pelosi has gone rogue as has Trump.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , December 02, 2019 at 12:30 PM
Yet, I have been assured by others here at EV that our two party representative political system is not merely engaging in so much Kabuki theatre in order to appear relevant. Who knew?
kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 05:02 PM
Outside of the fact that this fellow is a liar of monumental proportion - for instance, this post alone contains 3 different lies - it is fundamentally untrue that BOTH parties are just engaged in theater. One actually passes legislation to help people and to reduce the influence of $$$. The other - as former Republican party member Norm Orenstein has pointed out - is anti-democracy, pro-despotism and a insurgent danger with a propaganda arm.
ilsm -> kurt... , December 03, 2019 at 05:12 AM
Huh... all team Pelosi/Schumer of is rant against the US constitution, demean the congress, disdain the office of the President and make up things about the Donald.

See the continuing resolution good through 20 Dec because Pelosi who owns the House won't face the responsibility to try and run the US government's purse.

ilsm -> JohnH... , December 03, 2019 at 05:08 AM
Team Pelosi like the faux liberals are sponsored by the same owners of the swamp!

Never attribute to Trump derangement what can be explained by a criminal conspiracy.

JohnH -> EMichael... , December 05, 2019 at 05:13 PM
More selective outrage from EMichael, the partisan hack.

Sure, it's horrendous that Trump pardoned a war criminal. But let's not forget that Obama never even prosecuted torturers ... or closed Guantanamo as promised.

As usual for EMichael and his ilk, what's a horror when their party does something, it's perfectly acceptable when his party does it.

kurt -> EMichael... , December 06, 2019 at 11:18 AM
All these years of being a almost pacifist and now I am seeing the error in my ways. Sometimes - hopefully increasingly less often - good people must rise up and stomp out evil. The pardons were not just condoning war crimes - it was telling the nazi ahs in the ranks that they can do the same domestically. The right has an army within the US. Most of the officers are okay - but that said, they are tolerating nazis, white supremacists, oathkeepers and dominionists in their ranks. These exceptions are to let the other nazis know they can mass murder if the want.

[Dec 07, 2019] The average demorat, aside from worshipping Ba'al and hating the constitution, is depraved, been such since crooked Hillary forgot that the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world.

Notable quotes:
"... Just war theory and military ethics crumble to dust on the battle field. We rarely fight because it is right, but rather because in some context it seemed necessary at the time. After 9/11 there was an imperative that the US military wage an extended war against any and every group of Muslims that defied US global hegemony in any way. ..."
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> JohnH... , November 29, 2019 at 09:05 AM

The average demorat, aside from worshipping Ba'al and hating the constitution, is depraved, been such since crooked Hillary forgot that the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 11:56 AM
"...the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world."

[Who says that they do not? Certainly, it is close enough to that for government work. Besides, in the end corporations and the interests of the donor class dictate the rules of engagement for both illiberal and unconservative politicians. How the dogs of politics fight over scraps thrown out for them should be of less interest to the wage class than who is throwing out the scraps to them.]

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 12:04 PM
Of course a former Air Force military hardware procurements officer likely knows no more about present day life among the wage class than a banker. That would be like thinking that a kid raised in poverty by the welfare state knew how to farm. Still, it is possible for either one to be haunted by guilt late in life.
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 06:26 AM
I stand correct the closet cultural Marxists running with wall st centered on the left coasts forgot to fix the electoral college.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 06:35 AM
You are bound with your adversaries in ways known only to God, not a religious testimonial but merely a proxy for the abstraction of omniscience. Some things can be seen as clear as day and remain a complete mystery, to me at least.
ilsm -> EMichael... , November 29, 2019 at 09:08 AM
" Ethical military decision-making does not make us weak; it makes us strong. "

How does Obama busting up Libya, drone assassinating US citizens and arming up al Qaeda to give them Syria fit?

Trump has committed lesser war crimes than hios predecessors, and that gets hiom in trouble with the establishment....

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 12:15 PM
At the very least Trump is guilty of being Trump. So, if you believe the charges against Trump are Trumped up, then what else would you expect?

Just war theory and military ethics crumble to dust on the battle field. We rarely fight because it is right, but rather because in some context it seemed necessary at the time. After 9/11 there was an imperative that the US military wage an extended war against any and every group of Muslims that defied US global hegemony in any way.

The US Constitution was written and then rewritten repeatedly in blood going all the way back to Apr 19, 1775. That is what it means to be an American, son, my Cherokee ancestors notwithstanding.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 12:16 PM
We are all brethren, fellow sons of a bloody mother...

[Dec 06, 2019] Endless War Degrades the Military

Dec 06, 2019 | www.shutterstock.com

krill_makarov/Shutterstock

December 5, 2019

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12:44 pm

Daniel Larison TAC contributor Gil Barndollar calls attention to the damage that endless war is doing to the military:

The president has been rightly excoriated for these pardons, which dishonor the U.S. military and may degrade good order and discipline. But amid this uproar, Americans should note the bigger lesson: Endless wars, especially endless counterinsurgency or counterterrorism wars, slowly chip away at both a military's ethics and its critical war-fighting skills.

These wars are particularly corrosive because they cannot be conclusively won, and for every enemy that is destroyed it seems as if two or three more appear to replace it. Futile, open-ended wars contribute to breakdowns in discipline. Barndollar continues:

However, keeping their honor clean becomes harder and harder the longer these wars drag on. Wars among the people, as all our endless wars now are, are inherently dirty. When even senior members of the foreign policy establishment concede that we are not seeking victory in Afghanistan, it becomes harder for soldiers to make hollow mission accomplishment a higher priority than self-preservation. Treating U.S. soldiers like victims, as Trump implicitly does, also becomes more common.

When a war cannot be won, the rational thing to do would be to stop fighting it, but instead of doing that our political and military leaders treat endless war as a new normal that must not be questioned. It is bad enough when a government sends its soldiers to fight and die for a cause that it pretends can still be won when that isn't possible, but to keep sending them over and over again into war zones to fight a war they admit is futile has to be discouraging and frustrating. This also has to widen the division between the military and the civilian population. While military personnel are called on to go on multiple tours in pointless conflicts, most people back home mouth empty platitudes about supporting the troops and do nothing to bring the wars to an end. The public's failure to hold our political and military leaders accountable for these failed and unnecessary wars is bound to have corrosive effects as well.

At the same time, these wars degrade the military's ability to fight other adversaries:

Even more serious for American national security is the fact that endless small wars degrade a military's ability to fight and win big wars -- wars that have real consequences for our security and way of life.

Our endless wars have been enormously costly. It is estimated that all of the wars of the last twenty years will end up costing at least $6.4 trillion, and beyond that they have consumed our government's attention and resources to the detriment of everything else. Our political and military leaders perpetuate these wars, and the public has allowed them to do this, because they are still laboring under the faulty assumption that the U.S. is being made more secure in the process. The reality is that endless wars are undermining our security, weakening the military, and creating more enemies. They should be ended responsibly, but they must end. about the author Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .

[Dec 06, 2019] So now when a President doesn't allow The Blob to dictate Ukraine policy it's an impeachable offense? Really?

Notable quotes:
"... Thanks again for making explicit what I have long known: To America, Ukraine is nothing but a weapon against Russia. The whole point of support for Ukraine is to make Russia bleed—doesn’t matter how many people die or suffer in the process or how much of Ukraine is destroyed. https://twitter.com/BBuchman_CNS/status/1202267180219478024 … ..."
"... So fomenting on a war on Russia's border is, it appears, self-evidently aids our national security. What's next? A war scare? Ramping up MH17? ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"'Our Democracy Is at Stake.' Pelosi Orders Democrats to Draft Articles of Impeachment Against Trump" [ Time ]. With autoplay video. ""The President abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival." • So now when a President doesn't allow The Blob to dictate Ukraine policy it's an impeachable offense? Really? Yasha Levine quotes Democrat impeachment witness Karlan (see below) but the point is the same:

Yasha Levine ✔ @yashalevine

Thanks again for making explicit what I have long known: To America, Ukraine is nothing but a weapon against Russia. The whole point of support for Ukraine is to make Russia bleed—doesn’t matter how many people die or suffer in the process or how much of Ukraine is destroyed. https://twitter.com/BBuchman_CNS/status/1202267180219478024

So fomenting on a war on Russia's border is, it appears, self-evidently aids our national security. What's next? A war scare? Ramping up MH17?

"Read opening statements from witnesses at the House Judiciary hearing" [ Politico ]. "Democrats' impeachment witnesses at Wednesday's judiciary committee hearing plan to say in their prepared remarks that President Donald Trump's actions toward Ukraine were the worst examples of misconduct in presidential history." • So again, it's all about Ukraine. I feel like I've entered an alternate dimension. Aaron Maté comments:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/GkQDrYr4EZs

My very subjective impression: I've skimmed three, and read Turley. Karlan, in particular, is simply not a serious effort. Turley may be wrong -- a ton of tribal dunking on Twitter -- but at least he's making a serious effort. I'm gonna have to wait to see if somebody, say at Lawfare, does a serious effort on Turley. Everything I've read hitherto is and posturing and preaching to the choir. (Sad that Larry Tribe has so completely discredited himself, but that's where we are.)

While on Turley, see this from his testimony:

Hat tip to alert reader David in Santa Cruz for his early call on "inchoate":

Lambert, while Trump was unable to complete his attempt to extort the President of Ukraine, as someone who practiced the criminal law for 34 years, let me be the first to clue you in to the concept in the criminal law of the inchoate offense . This is criminal law, not contract law.

An inchoate offense includes an attempt, a conspiracy, and the solicitation of a crime. All focus on the state of mind of the perpetrator, and none require that the offense be completed -- only that a person or persons having the required criminal intent took material steps toward completing the crime. Such a person becomes a principal in the contemplated crime, and in the eyes of the law is just as guilty as if he or she had completed the attempted offense.

(The details of Trump's offense differ from what David in Santa Cruz said they would be.) "Inchoate" appears only in Turley's piece, indicating, to me, that his was the only serious effort.

[Dec 04, 2019] There Has Been No Retrenchment Under Trump

Notable quotes:
"... A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters. ..."
"... The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

aul MacDonald and Joseph Parent explain in detail that Trump hasn't reduced U.S. military commitments overseas:

But after nearly three years in office, Trump's promised retrenchment has yet to materialize. The president hasn't meaningfully altered the U.S. global military footprint he inherited from President Barack Obama. Nor has he shifted the costly burden of defending U.S. allies. To the contrary, he loaded even greater military responsibilities on the United States while either ramping up or maintaining U.S. involvement in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. On practically every other issue, Trump departed radically from the path of his predecessor. But when it came to troop deployments and other overseas defense commitments, he largely preserved the chessboard he inherited -- promises to the contrary be damned.

MacDonald and Parent's article complements my earlier post about U.S. "global commitments" very nicely. When we look at the specifics of Trump's record, we see that he isn't ending U.S. military involvement anywhere. He isn't bringing anyone home. On the contrary, he has been sending even more American troops to the Middle East just this year alone. While he is being excoriated for withdrawals that never happen, he is maintaining or steadily increasing the U.S. military presence in foreign countries. Many Trump detractors and supporters are so invested in the narrative that Trump is presiding over "withdrawal" that they are ignoring what the president has actually done. Trump's approach to U.S. military involvement might be described as "loudly declaring withdrawal while maintaining or increasing troop levels." Almost everyone pays attention only to his rhetoric about leaving this or that country and treats it as if it is really happening. Meanwhile, the number of military personnel deployed overseas never goes down.

The authors offer a possible explanation for why Trump has been able to get away with this:

A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters.

Trump is further insulated from scrutiny and criticism because he is frequently described as presiding over a "retreat" from the world. Most news reports and commentary pieces reinforce this false impression that Trump seeks to get the U.S. out of foreign entanglements. There are relatively few people pointing out the truth that MacDonald and Parent spell out in their article. The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them.

[Dec 04, 2019] American Pravda the Nature of Anti-Semitism by Ron Unz

Notable quotes:
"... Now consider the notion of "anti-Semitism." Google searches for that word and its close variants reveal over 24 million hits, and over the years I'm sure I've seen that term tens of thousands of times in my books and newspapers, and heard it endlessly reported in my electronic media and entertainment. But thinking it over, I'm not sure that I can ever recall a single real-life instance I've personally encountered, nor have I heard of almost any such cases from my friends or acquaintances. Indeed, the only persons I've ever come across making such claims were individuals who bore unmistakable signs of serious psychological imbalance. When the daily newspapers are brimming with lurid tales of hideous demons walking among us and attacking people on every street corner, but you yourself have never actually seen one, you may gradually grow suspicious. ..."
"... It has also become apparent that a considerable fraction of what passes for "anti-Semitism" these days seems to stretch that term beyond all recognition. A few weeks ago an unknown 28-year-old Democratic Socialist named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a stunning upset primary victory over a top House Democrat in New York City, and naturally received a blizzard of media coverage as a result. However, when it came out that she had denounced the Israeli government for its recent massacre of over 140 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, cries of "anti-Semite" soon appeared, and according to Google there are now over 180,000 such hits combining her name and that harsh accusatory term. Similarly, just a few days ago the New York Times ran a major story reporting that all of Britain's Jewish newspapers had issued an "unprecedented" denunciation of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, describing it as an "existential threat" to the Jewish community for the anti-Semitism it was fostering; but this apparently amounted to nothing more than its willingness to sharply criticize the Israeli government for its long mistreatment of the Palestinians. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

I recently published a couple of long essays, and although they primarily focused on other matters, the subject of anti-Semitism was a strong secondary theme. In that regard, I mentioned my shock at discovering a dozen or more years ago that several of the most self-evidently absurd elements of anti-Semitic lunacy, which I had always dismissed without consideration, were probably correct. It does seem likely that a significant number of traditionally-religious Jews did indeed occasionally commit the ritual murder of Christian children in order to use their blood in certain religious ceremonies, and also that powerful Jewish international bankers did play a large role in financing the establishment of Bolshevik Russia .

When one discovers that matters of such enormous moment not only apparently occurred but that they had been successfully excluded from nearly all of our histories and media coverage for most of the last one hundred years, the implications take some time to properly digest. If the most extreme "anti-Semitic canards" were probably true, then surely the whole notion of anti-Semitism warrants a careful reexamination.

All of us obtain our knowledge of the world by two different channels. Some things we discover from our own personal experiences and the direct evidence of our senses, but most information comes to us via external sources such as books and the media, and a crisis may develop when we discover that these two pathways are in sharp conflict. The official media of the old USSR used to endlessly trumpet the tremendous achievements of its collectivized agricultural system, but when citizens noticed that there was never any meat in their shops, "Pravda" became a watchword for "Lies" rather than "Truth."

Now consider the notion of "anti-Semitism." Google searches for that word and its close variants reveal over 24 million hits, and over the years I'm sure I've seen that term tens of thousands of times in my books and newspapers, and heard it endlessly reported in my electronic media and entertainment. But thinking it over, I'm not sure that I can ever recall a single real-life instance I've personally encountered, nor have I heard of almost any such cases from my friends or acquaintances. Indeed, the only persons I've ever come across making such claims were individuals who bore unmistakable signs of serious psychological imbalance. When the daily newspapers are brimming with lurid tales of hideous demons walking among us and attacking people on every street corner, but you yourself have never actually seen one, you may gradually grow suspicious.

Indeed, over the years some of my own research has uncovered a sharp contrast between image and reality. As recently as the late 1990s, leading mainstream media outlets such as The New York Times were still denouncing a top Ivy League school such as Princeton for the supposed anti-Semitism of its college admissions policy, but a few years ago when I carefully investigated that issue in quantitative terms for my lengthy Meritocracy analysis I was very surprised to reach a polar-opposite conclusion. According to the best available evidence, white Gentiles were over 90% less likely to be enrolled at Harvard and the other Ivies than were Jews of similar academic performance, a truly remarkable finding. If the situation had been reversed and Jews were 90% less likely to be found at Harvard than seemed warranted by their test scores, surely that fact would be endlessly cited as the absolute smoking-gun proof of horrendous anti-Semitism in present-day America.

It has also become apparent that a considerable fraction of what passes for "anti-Semitism" these days seems to stretch that term beyond all recognition. A few weeks ago an unknown 28-year-old Democratic Socialist named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a stunning upset primary victory over a top House Democrat in New York City, and naturally received a blizzard of media coverage as a result. However, when it came out that she had denounced the Israeli government for its recent massacre of over 140 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, cries of "anti-Semite" soon appeared, and according to Google there are now over 180,000 such hits combining her name and that harsh accusatory term. Similarly, just a few days ago the New York Times ran a major story reporting that all of Britain's Jewish newspapers had issued an "unprecedented" denunciation of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, describing it as an "existential threat" to the Jewish community for the anti-Semitism it was fostering; but this apparently amounted to nothing more than its willingness to sharply criticize the Israeli government for its long mistreatment of the Palestinians.

One plausible explanation of the strange contrast between media coverage and reality might be that anti-Semitism once did loom very large in real life, but dissipated many decades ago, while the organizations and activists focused on detecting and combating that pernicious problem have remained in place, generating public attention based on smaller and smaller issues, with the zealous Jewish activists of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) representing a perfect example of this situation. As an even more striking illustration, the Second World War ended over seventy years ago, but what historian Norman Finkelstein has so aptly labeled "the Holocaust Industry" has grown ever larger and more entrenched in our academic and media worlds so that scarcely a day passes without one or more articles relating to that topic appearing in my major morning newspapers. Given this situation, a serious exploration of the true nature of anti-Semitism should probably avoid the mere media phantoms of today and focus on the past, when the condition might still have been widespread in daily life.

Many observers have pointed to the aftermath of the Second World War as marking a huge watershed in the public acceptability of anti-Semitism both in America and Europe, so perhaps a proper appraisal of that cultural phenomenon should focus on the years before that global conflict. However, the overwhelming role of Jews in the Bolshevik Revolution and other bloody Communist seizures of power quite naturally made them objects of considerable fear and hatred throughout the inter-war years, so the safest course might be to push that boundary back a little further and confine our attention to the period prior to the outbreak of the First World War. The pogroms in Czarist Russia, the Dreyfus Affair in France, and the lynching of Leo Frank in the American South come to mind as some of the most famous examples from that period.

Lindemann's discussion of the often difficult relations between Russia's restive Jewish minority and its huge Slavic majority is also quite interesting, and he provides numerous instances in which major incidents, supposedly demonstrating the enormously strong appeal of vicious anti-Semitism, were quite different than has been suggested by the legend. The famous Kishinev Pogrom of 1903 was obviously the result of severe ethnic tension in that city, but contrary to the regular accusations of later writers, there seems absolutely no evidence of high-level government involvement, and the widespread claims of 700 dead that so horrified the entire world were grossly exaggerated, with only 45 killed in the urban rioting. Chaim Weizmann, the future president of Israel, later promoted the story that he himself and some other brave Jewish souls had personally defended their people with revolvers in hand even as they saw the mutilated bodies of 80 Jewish victims. This account was totally fictional since Weizmann happened to have been be hundreds of miles away when the riots occurred.

Although a tendency to lie and exaggerate was hardly unique to the political partisans of Russian Jewry, the existence of a powerful international network of Jewish journalists and Jewish-influenced media outlets ensured that such concocted propaganda stories might receive enormous worldwide distribution, while the truth followed far behind, if at all.

For related reasons, international outrage was often focused on the legal confinement of most of Russia's Jews to the "Pale of Settlement," suggesting some sort of tight imprisonment; but that area was the traditional home of the Jewish population and encompassed a landmass almost as large as France and Spain combined. The growing impoverishment of Eastern European Jews during that era was often assumed to be a consequence of hostile government policy, but the obvious explanation was extraordinary Jewish fecundity, which far outstripped that of their Slavic fellow countrymen, and quickly led them to outgrow the available spots in any of their traditional "middleman" occupations, a situation worsened by their total disinclination to engage in agriculture or other primary-producer activities. Jewish communities expressed horror at the risk of losing their sons to the Czarist military draft, but this was simply the flip-side of the full Russian citizenship they had been granted, and no different from what was faced by their non-Jewish neighbors.

Certainly the Jews of Russia suffered greatly from widespread riots and mob attacks in the generation prior to World War I, and these did sometimes have substantial government encouragement, especially in the aftermath of the very heavy Jewish role in the 1905 Revolution. But we should keep in mind that a Jewish plotter had been implicated in the killing of Czar Alexander II, and Jewish assassins had also struck down several top Russian ministers and numerous other government officials. If the last decade or two had seen American Muslims assassinate a sitting U.S. President, various leading Cabinet members, and a host of our other elected and appointed officials, surely the position of Muslims in this country would have become a very uncomfortable one.

As Lindemann candidly describes the tension between Russia's very rapidly growing Jewish population and its governing authorities, he cannot avoid mentioning the notorious Jewish reputation for bribery, corruption, and general dishonesty, with numerous figures of all political backgrounds noting that the remarkable Jewish propensity to commit perjury in the courtroom led to severe problems in the effective administration of justice. The eminent American sociologist E.A. Ross, writing in 1913, characterized the regular behavior of Eastern European Jews in very similar terms .

Lindemann also allocates a short chapter to discussing the 1911 Beilis Affair, in which a Ukrainian Jew was accused of the ritual murder of a young Gentile boy, an incident that generated a great deal of international attention and controversy. Based on the evidence presented, the defendant seems likely to have been innocent, although the obvious lies he repeatedly told police interrogators hardly helped foster that impression, and "the system worked" in that he was ultimately found innocent by the jurors at his trial. However, a few pages are also given to a much less well-known ritual murder case in late 19th century Hungary, in which the evidence of Jewish guilt seemed far stronger, though the author hardly accepted the possible reality of such an outlandish crime. Such reticence was quite understandable since the publication of Ariel Toaff's remarkable volume on the subject was still a dozen years in the future.

Lindemann subsequently expanded his examination of historical anti-Semitism into a much broader treatment, Esau's Tears , which appeared in 1997. In this volume, he added comparative studies of the social landscape in Germany, Britain, Italy, and several other European countries, and demonstrated that the relationship between Jews and non-Jews varied greatly across different locations and time periods. But although I found his analysis quite useful and interesting, the extraordinarily harsh attacks his text provoked from some outraged Jewish academics seemed even more intriguing.

For example, Judith Laikin Elkin opened her discussion in The American Historical Review by describing the book as a "545-page polemic" a strange characterization of a book so remarkably even-handed and factually-based in its scholarship. Writing in Commentary , Robert Wistrich was even harsher, stating that merely reading the book had been a painful experience for him, and his review seemed filled with spittle-flecked rage. Unless these individuals had somehow gotten copies of a different book, I found their attitudes simply astonishing.

I was not alone in such a reaction. Richard S. Levy of the University of Illinois, a noted scholar of anti-Semitism, expressed amazement at Wistrich's seemingly irrational outburst, while Paul Gottfried, writing in Chronicles , mildly suggested that Lindemann had "touched raw nerves." Indeed, Gottfried's own evaluation quite reasonably criticized Lindemann for perhaps being a little too even-handed, sometimes presenting numerous conflicting analyzes without choosing between them. For those interested, a good discussion of the book by Alan Steinweis, a younger scholar specializing in the same topic, is conveniently available online .

The remarkable ferocity with which some Jewish writers attacked Lindemann's meticulous attempt to provide an accurate history of anti-Semitism may carry more significance than merely an exchange of angry words in low-circulation academic publications. If our mainstream media shapes our reality, scholarly books and articles based upon them tend to set the contours of that media coverage. And the ability of a relatively small number of agitated and energetic Jews to police the acceptable boundaries of historical narratives may have enormous consequences for our larger society, deterring scholars from objectively reporting historical facts and preventing students from discovering them.

The undeniable truth is that for many centuries Jews usually constituted a wealthy and privileged segment of the population in nearly all the European countries in which they resided, and quite frequently they based their livelihood upon the heavy exploitation of a downtrodden peasantry. Even without any differences in ethnicity, language, or religion, such conditions almost invariably provoke hostility. The victory of Mao's Communist forces in China was quickly followed by the brutal massacre of a million or more Han Chinese landlords by the Han Chinese poor peasants who regarded them as cruel oppressors, with William Hinton's classic Fanshen describing the unfortunate history that unfolded in one particular village. When similar circumstances led to violent clashes in Eastern Europe between Slavs and Jews, does it really make logical sense to employ a specialized term such as "anti-Semitism" to describe that situation?

Furthermore, some of the material presented in Lindemann's rather innocuous text might also lead to potentially threatening ideas. Consider, for example, the notorious Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion , almost certainly fictional, but hugely popular and influential during the years following World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution. The fall of so many longstanding Gentile dynasties and their replacement by new regimes such as Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany, which were heavily dominated by their tiny Jewish minorities, quite naturally fed suspicions of a worldwide Jewish plot, as did the widely discussed role of Jewish international bankers in producing those political outcomes.

Over the decades, there has been much speculation about the possible inspiration for the Protocols , but although Lindemann makes absolutely no reference to that document, he does provide a very intriguing possible candidate. Jewish-born British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli certainly ranked as one of the most influential figures of the late 19th century, and in his novel Coningsby , he has the character representing Lord Lionel Rothschild boast about the existence of a vast and secret network of powerful international Jews , who stand near the head of almost every major nation, quietly controlling their governments from behind the scenes. If one of the world's most politically well-connected Jews eagerly promoted such notions, was Henry Ford really so unreasonable in doing the same?

Lindemann also notes Disraeli's focus on the extreme importance of race and racial origins, a central aspect of traditional Jewish religious doctrine. He reasonably suggests that this must surely have had a huge influence upon the rise of those political ideas, given that Disraeli's public profile and stature were so much greater than the mere writers or activists whom our history books usually place at center stage. In fact, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a leading racial theorist, actually cited Disraeli as a key source for his ideas. Jewish intellectuals such as Max Nordau and Cesare Lombroso are already widely recognized as leading figures in the rise of the racial science of that era, but Disraeli's under-appreciated role may have actually been far greater. The deep Jewish roots of European racialist movements are hardly something that many present-day Jews would want widely known.

One of the harsh Jewish critics of Esau's Tears denounced Cambridge University Press for even allowing the book to appear in print, and although that major work is easily available in English, there are numerous other cases where an important but discordant version of historical reality has been successfully blocked from publication. For decades most Americans would have ranked Nobel Laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn as among the world's greatest literary figures, and his Gulag Archipelago alone sold over 10 million copies. But his last work was a massive two-volume account of the tragic 200 years of shared history between Russians and Jews, and despite its 2002 release in Russian and numerous other world languages, there has yet to be an authorized English translation, though various partial editions have circulated on the Internet in samizdat form.

ORDER IT NOW

At one point, a full English version was briefly available for sale at Amazon.com and I purchased it. Glancing through a few sections, the work seemed quite even-handed and innocuous to me, but it seemed to provide a far more detailed and uncensored account than anything else previously available, which obviously was the problem. The Bolshevik Revolution resulted in the deaths of many tens of millions of people worldwide, and the overwhelming Jewish role in its leadership would become more difficult to erase from historical memory if Solzhenitsyn's work were easily available. Also, his candid discussion of the economic and political behavior of Russian Jewry in pre-revolutionary times directly conflicted with the hagiography widely promoted by Hollywood and the popular media. Historian Yuri Slezkine's award-winning 2004 book The Jewish Century provided many similar facts, but his treatment was far more cursory and his public stature not remotely the same.

Near the end of his life, Solzhenitsyn gave his political blessing to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russia's leaders honored him upon his death, while his Gulag volumes are now enshrined as mandatory reading in the standard high school curriculum of today's overwhelmingly Christian Russia. But even as his star rose again in his own homeland, it seems to have sharply fallen in our own country, and his trajectory may eventually relegate him to nearly un-person status.

A couple of years after the release of Solzhenitsyn's controversial final book, an American writer named Anne Applebaum published a thick history bearing the same title Gulag , and her work received enormously favorable media coverage and won her a Pulitzer Prize; I have even heard claims that her book has been steadily replacing that earlier Gulag on many college reading lists. But although Jews constituted a huge fraction of the top leadership of the Soviet Gulag system during its early decades, as well as that of the dreaded NKVD which supplied the inmates, nearly her entire focus on her own ethnic group during Soviet times is that of victims rather than victimizers. And by a remarkable irony of fate, she shares a last name with one of the top Bolshevik leaders, Hirsch Apfelbaum, who concealed his own ethnic identity by calling himself Grigory Zinoviev.

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The striking decline in Solzhenitsyn's literary status in the West came just a decade or two after an even more precipitous collapse in the reputation of David Irving , and for much the same reason. Irving probably ranked as the most internationally successful British historian of the last one hundred years and a renowned scholar of World War II, but his extensive reliance on primary source documentary evidence posed an obvious threat to the official narrative promoted by Hollywood and wartime propaganda. When he published his magisterial Hitler's War , this conflict between myth and reality came into the open, and an enormous wave of attacks and vilification was unleashed, gradually leading to his purge from respectability and eventually even his imprisonment.

These important examples may help to explain the puzzling contrast between the behavior of Jews in the aggregate and Jews as individuals. Observers have noticed that even fairly small Jewish minorities may often have a major impact upon the far larger societies that host them. But on the other hand, in my experience at least, a large majority of individual Jews do not seem all that different in their personalities or behavior than their non-Jewish counterparts. So how does a community whose individual mean is not so unusual generate what seems to be such a striking difference in collective behavior? I think the answer may involve the existence of information choke-points, and the ability of relatively small numbers of particularly zealous and agitated Jews in influencing and controlling these.

We live our lives constantly immersed in media narratives, and these allow us to decide the rights and wrongs of a situation. The vast majority of people, Jew and Gentile alike, are far more likely to take strong action if they are convinced that their cause is a just one. This is obviously the basis for war-time propaganda.

Now suppose that a relatively small number of zealous Jewish partisans are known to always attack and denounce journalists or authors who accurately describe Jewish misbehavior. Over time, this ongoing campaign of intimidation may cause many important facts to be left on the cutting-room floor, or even gradually expel from mainstream respectability those writers who refuse to conform to such pressures. Meanwhile, similar small numbers of Jewish partisans frequently exaggerate the misdeeds committed against Jews, sometimes piling their exaggerations upon past exaggerations already produced by a previous round of such zealots.

Eventually, these two combined trends may take a complex and possibly very mixed historical record and transform it into a simple morality-play, with innocent Jews tremendously injured by vicious Jew-haters. And as this morality-play becomes established it deepens the subsequent intensity of other Jewish-activists, who redouble their demands that the media "stop vilifying Jews" and covering up the supposed evils inflicted upon them. An unfortunate circle of distortion following exaggeration following distortion can eventually produce a widely accepted historical account that bears little resemblance to the reality of what actually happened.

So as a result, the vast majority of quite ordinary Jews, who would normally behave in quite ordinary ways, are misled by this largely fictional history, and rather understandably become greatly outraged at all the horrible things that had been done to their suffering people, some of which are true and some of which are not, while remaining completely ignorant of the other side of the ledger.

Furthermore, this situation is exacerbated by the common tendency of Jews to "cluster" together, perhaps respresenting just one or two percent of the total population, but often constituting 20% or 40% or 60% of their immediate peer-group, especially in certain professions. Under such conditions, the ideas or emotional agitation of some Jews probably permeates others around them, often provoking additional waves of indignation.

As a rough analogy, a small quantity of uranium is relatively inert and harmless, and entirely so if distributed within low-density ore. But if a significant quantity of weapons-grade uranium is sufficiently compressed, then the neutrons released by fissioning atoms will quickly cause additional atoms to undergo fission, with the ultimate result of that critical chain-reaction being a nuclear explosion. In similar fashion, even a highly agitated Jew may have no negative impact, but if the collection of such agitated Jews becomes too numerous and clusters together too closely, they may work each other into a terrible frenzy, perhaps with disastrous consequences both for themselves and for their larger society. This is especially true if those agitated Jews begin to dominate certain key nodes of top-level control, such as the central political or media organs of a society.

Whereas most living organizations exist solely in physical reality, human beings also occupy an ideational space, with the interaction of human consciousness and perceived reality playing a major role in shaping behavior. Just as the pheromones released by mammals or insects can drastically affect the reactions of their family members or nest-mates, the ideas secreted by individuals or the media-emitters of a society can have an enormous impact upon their fellows.

A cohesive, organized group generally possesses huge advantages over a teeming mass of atomized individuals, just as a Macedonian Phalanx could easily defeat a vastly larger body of disorganized infantry. Many years ago, on some website somewhere I came across a very insightful comment regarding the obvious connection between "anti-Semitism" and "racism," which our mainstream media organs identify as two of the world's greatest evils. Under this analysis, "anti-Semitism" represents the tendency to criticize or resist Jewish social cohesion, while "racism" represents the attempt of white Gentiles to maintain a similar social cohesion of their own. To the extent that the ideological emanations from our centralized media organs serve to strengthen and protect Jewish cohesion while attacking and dissolving any similar cohesion on the part of their Gentile counterparts, the former will obviously gain enormous advantages in resource-competition against the latter.

Religion obviously constitutes an important unifying factor in human social groups and we cannot ignore the role of Judaism in this regard. Traditional Jewish religious doctrine seems to consider Jews as being in a state of permanent hostility with all non-Jews , and the use of dishonest propaganda is an almost inevitable aspect of such conflict. Furthermore, since Jews have invariably been a small political minority, maintaining such controversial tenets required the employment of a massive framework of subterfuge and dissimulation in order to conceal their nature from the larger society surrounding them. It has often been said that truth is the first casualty in war, and surely the cultural influences of over a thousand years of such intense religious hostility may continue to quietly influence the thinking of many modern Jews, even those who have largely abandoned their religious beliefs.

The notorious Jewish tendency to shamelessly lie or wildly exaggerate has sometimes had horrifying human consequences. I very recently discovered a fascinating passage in Peter Moreira's 2014 book The Jew Who Defeated Hitler: Henry Morgenthau Jr., FDR, and How We Won the War , focused on the important political role of that powerful Secretary of the Treasury.

A turning point in Henry Morgenthau Jr.'s relationship with the Jewish community came in November 1942, when Rabbi Stephen Wise came to the corner office to tell the secretary what was happening in Europe. Morgenthau knew of the millions of deaths and the lampshades made from victims' skin, and he asked Wise not to go into excessive details. But Wise went on to tell of the barbarity of the Nazis, how they were making soap out of Jewish flesh. Morgenthau, turning paler, implored him, "Please, Stephen, don't give me the gory details." Wise went on with his list of horrors and Morgenthau repeated his plea over and over again. Henrietta Klotz was afraid her boss would keel over. Morgenthau later said the meeting changed his life.

It is easy to imagine that Morgenthau's gullible acceptance of such obviously ridiculous war-time atrocity stories played a major role when he later lent his name and support to remarkably brutal American occupation policies that probably led to the postwar deaths of many millions of innocent German civilians .

[Dec 04, 2019] The central question of Ukrainegate is whether CrowdStrike actions on DNC leak were a false flag operation designed to open Russiagate and what was the level of participation of Poroshenko government and Ukrainian Security services in this false flag operation by Factotum

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Republicans are afraid to raise this key question. Democrats are afraid of even mentioning CrowdStrike in Ukrainegate hearings. The Deep State wants to suppress this matter entirely.
Alperovisch connections to Ukraine and his Russophobia are well known. Did Alperovich people played the role of "Fancy Bear"? Or Ukrainian SBU was engaged? George Eliason clams that "I have already clearly shown the Fancy Bear hackers are Ukrainian Intelligence Operators." ... "Since there is so much crap surrounding the supposed hack such as law enforcement teams never examining the DNC server or maintaining control of it as evidence, could the hacks have been a cover-up?"
Notable quotes:
"... So far at least I cannot rule out the possibility that that this could have involved an actual 'false flag' hack. A possible calculation would have been that this could have made it easier for Alperovitch and 'CrowdStrike', if more people had asked serious questions about the evidence they claimed supported the 'narrative' of GRU responsibility. ..."
"... What she suggested was that the FBI had found evidence, after his death, of a hack of Rich's laptop, designed as part of a 'false flag' operation. ..."
"... On this, see his 8 October, 'Motion for Discovery and Motion to Accept Supplemental Evidence' in Clevenger's own case against the DOJ, document 44 on the relevant 'Courtlistener' pages, and his 'Unopposed Motion for Stay', document 48. Both are short, and available without a 'PACER' subscription, and should be compulsory reading for anyone seriously interested in ascertaining the truth about 'Russiagate.' (See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .) ..."
"... And here, is is also material that he may have had more than one laptop, that 'hard drives' can be changed, and that the level of computer skills that can be found throughout the former Soviet Union is very high. Another matter of some importance is that Ed Butowsky's 'Debunking Rod Wheeler's Claims' site is back up online. (See http://debunkingrodwheelersclaims.net ) ..."
"... The question of whether the 'timeline' produced by Hersh's FBI informant was accurate, or a deliberate attempt to disguise the fact that all kinds of people were well aware of Rich's involvement before his murder, and well aware of the fact of a leak before he was identified as its source, is absolutely central to how one interprets 'Russiagate.' ..."
"... Why did Crowdstrike conclude it was a "Russian breach", when other evidence does show it was an internal download. What was Crowdstrike's method and motivation to reach the "Russian" conclusion instead. Why has that methodology been sealed? ..."
"... Why did Mueller wholly accept the Crowdstrike Russian conclusion, with no further or independent investigation and prominently put this Crowdstrike generated conclusion in his Russiagate report? Which also included the conclusion the "Russians" wanted to help Trump and harm Clinton. Heavy stuff, based upon a DNC proprietary investigation of their own and unavailable computers. ..."
"... What were the relationships between Crowdstrike, DNC, FBI and the Mueller team that conspired to reach this Russian conclusion. ..."
"... Why did the Roger Stone judge, who just sent Stone away for life, refuse Stone's evidentiary demand to ascertain how exactly Crowdstrike reached its Russsian hacking conclusion, that the court then linked to Stone allegedly lying about this Russian link ..."
"... Indeed, let's set out with full transparency the Ukraine -- Crowsdtrike player links and loyalties to see if there are any smoking guns yet undisclosed. Trump was asking for more information about Crowdstrike like a good lawyer - never ask a question when you don't already know the right answer. Crowdstrike is owned by a Ukrainian by birth ..."
"... Among the 12 engineers assigned to writing a PGP backdoor was the son of a KGB officer named Dmitri Alperovich who would go on to be the CTO at a company involved in the DNC Hacking scandal - Crowdstrike. ..."
"... In addition to writing a back door for PGP, Alperovich also ported PGP to the blackberry platform to provide encrypted communications for covert action operatives. ..."
"... His role in what we may define as "converting DNC leak into DNC hack" (I would agree with you that this probably was a false flag operation), which was supposedly designed to implicated Russians, and possibly involved Ukrainian security services, is very suspicious indeed. ..."
"... Mueller treatment of Crowdstrike with "kid gloves" may suggest that Alperovich actions were part of a larger scheme. After all Crowdstike was a FBI contactor at the time. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Originally from: The Intelligence Whistleblower protection Act did not apply to the phone call ... Reposted - Sic Semper Tyrannis


Factotum , 20 November 2019 at 01:02 PM

The favor was for Ukraine to investigate Crowdstrike and the 2016 DNC computer breach.

Reliance on Crowdstrike to investigate the DNC computer, and not an independent FBI investigation, was tied very closely to the years long anti-Trump Russiagate hoax and waste of US taxpayer time and money.

Why is this issue ignored by both the media and the Democrats. The ladies doth protest far too much.

vig -> Factotum... , 21 November 2019 at 11:00 AM
what exactly, to the extend I recall, could the Ukraine contribute the the DNC's server/"fake malware" troubles? Beyond, that I seem to vaguely recall, the supposed malware was distributed via an Ukrainan address.

On the other hand, there seems to be the (consensus here?) argument there was no malware breach at all, simply an insider copying files on a USB stick.

It seems to either or. No?

What basics am I missing?

David Habakkuk -> vig... , 21 November 2019 at 12:53 PM
vig,

There is no reason why it should be 'either/or'.

If people discovered there had been a leak, it would perfectly natural that in order to give 'resilience' to their cover-up strategies, they could have organised a planting of evidence on the servers, in conjunction with elements in Ukraine.

So far at least I cannot rule out the possibility that that this could have involved an actual 'false flag' hack. A possible calculation would have been that this could have made it easier for Alperovitch and 'CrowdStrike', if more people had asked serious questions about the evidence they claimed supported the 'narrative' of GRU responsibility.

The issues involved become all the more important, in the light of the progress of Ty Clevenger's attempts to exploit the clear contradiction between the claims by the FBI, in response to FOIA requests, to have no evidence relating to Seth Rich, and the remarks by Ms. Deborah Sines quoted by Michael Isikoff.

What she suggested was that the FBI had found evidence, after his death, of a hack of Rich's laptop, designed as part of a 'false flag' operation.

On this, see his 8 October, 'Motion for Discovery and Motion to Accept Supplemental Evidence' in Clevenger's own case against the DOJ, document 44 on the relevant 'Courtlistener' pages, and his 'Unopposed Motion for Stay', document 48. Both are short, and available without a 'PACER' subscription, and should be compulsory reading for anyone seriously interested in ascertaining the truth about 'Russiagate.' (See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .)

It is eminently possible that Ms. Hines has simply made an 'unforced error.'

However, I do not – yet – feel able totally to discount the possibility that what is actually at issue is a 'ruse', produced as a contingency plan to ensure that if it becomes impossible to maintain the cover-up over Rich's involvement in its original form, his laptop shows 'evidence' compatible with the 'Russiagate' narrative.

And here, is is also material that he may have had more than one laptop, that 'hard drives' can be changed, and that the level of computer skills that can be found throughout the former Soviet Union is very high. Another matter of some importance is that Ed Butowsky's 'Debunking Rod Wheeler's Claims' site is back up online. (See http://debunkingrodwheelersclaims.net )

Looking at it from the perspective of an old television current affairs hack, I do think that, while it is very helpful to have some key material available in a single place, it would useful if more attention was paid to presentation.

In particular, it would be a most helpful 'teaching aid', if a full and accurate transcript was made of the conversation with Seymour Hersh which Ed Butowsky covertly recorded. What seems clear is that both these figures ended up in very difficult positions, and that the latter clearly engaged in 'sleight of hand' in relation to his dealings with the former. That said, the fact that Butowsky's claims about his grounds for believing that Hersh's FBI informant was Andrew McCabe are clearly disingenuous does not justify the conclusion that he is wrong.

It is absolutely clear to me – despite what 'TTG', following that 'Grub Street' hack Folkenflik, claimed – that when Hersh talked to Butowsky, he believed he had been given accurate information. Indeed, I have difficulty seeing how anyone whose eyes were not hopelessly blinded by prejudice, a\nd possibly fear of where a quest for the truth might lead, could not see that, in this conversation, both men were telling the truth, as they saw it.

However, all of us, including the finest and most honourable of journalists can, from time to time, fall for disinformation. (If anyone says they can always spot when they are being played, all I can say is, if you're right, you're clearly Superman, but it is more likely that you are a fool or knave, if not both.)

The question of whether the 'timeline' produced by Hersh's FBI informant was accurate, or a deliberate attempt to disguise the fact that all kinds of people were well aware of Rich's involvement before his murder, and well aware of the fact of a leak before he was identified as its source, is absolutely central to how one interprets 'Russiagate.'

Factotum -> vig... , 21 November 2019 at 01:45 PM
Several loose end issues about Crowdstrike:

1. Why did Crowdstrike conclude it was a "Russian breach", when other evidence does show it was an internal download. What was Crowdstrike's method and motivation to reach the "Russian" conclusion instead. Why has that methodology been sealed?

2. Why did Mueller wholly accept the Crowdstrike Russian conclusion, with no further or independent investigation and prominently put this Crowdstrike generated conclusion in his Russiagate report? Which also included the conclusion the "Russians" wanted to help Trump and harm Clinton. Heavy stuff, based upon a DNC proprietary investigation of their own and unavailable computers.

3. What were the relationships between Crowdstrike, DNC, FBI and the Mueller team that conspired to reach this Russian conclusion.

4. Why did the Roger Stone judge, who just sent Stone away for life, refuse Stone's evidentiary demand to ascertain how exactly Crowdstrike reached its Russsian hacking conclusion, that the court then linked to Stone allegedly lying about this Russian link .

5. Indeed, let's set out with full transparency the Ukraine -- Crowsdtrike player links and loyalties to see if there are any smoking guns yet undisclosed. Trump was asking for more information about Crowdstrike like a good lawyer - never ask a question when you don't already know the right answer. Crowdstrike is owned by a Ukrainian by birth .

likbez said in reply to Factotum... , 04 December 2019 at 01:29 AM

Hi Factotum,
Why did Mueller wholly accept the Crowdstrike Russian conclusion, with no further or independent investigation and prominently put this Crowdstrike generated conclusion in his Russiagate report? Which also included the conclusion the "Russians" wanted to help Trump and harm Clinton. Heavy stuff, based upon a DNC proprietary investigation of their own and unavailable computers.

Alperovich is really a very suspicious figure. Rumors are that he was involved in compromising PGP while in MacAfee( June 2nd, 2018 Alperovich's DNC Cover Stories Soon To Match With His Hacking Teams - YouTube ):

Investigative Journalist George Webb worked at MacAfee and Network Solutions in 2000 when the CEO Bill Larsen bought a small, Moscow based, hacking and virus writing company to move to Silicon Valley.

MacAfee also purchased PGP, an open source encryption software developed by privacy advocate to reduce NSA spying on the public.
The two simultaneous purchase of PGP and the Moscow hacking team by Metwork Solutions was sponsored by the CIA and FBI in order to crack encrypted communications to write a back door for law enforcement.

Among the 12 engineers assigned to writing a PGP backdoor was the son of a KGB officer named Dmitri Alperovich who would go on to be the CTO at a company involved in the DNC Hacking scandal - Crowdstrike.

In addition to writing a back door for PGP, Alperovich also ported PGP to the blackberry platform to provide encrypted communications for covert action operatives.

His role in what we may define as "converting DNC leak into DNC hack" (I would agree with you that this probably was a false flag operation), which was supposedly designed to implicated Russians, and possibly involved Ukrainian security services, is very suspicious indeed.

Mueller treatment of Crowdstrike with "kid gloves" may suggest that Alperovich actions were part of a larger scheme. After all Crowdstike was a FBI contactor at the time.

While all this DNC hack saga is completely unclear due to lack of facts and the access to the evidence, there are some stories on Internet that indirectly somewhat strengthen your hypothesis:

Enjoy and Happy Cyber Week shopping :-)

[Dec 04, 2019] Common Funding Themes Link 'Whistleblower' Complaint and CrowdStrike Firm Certifying DNC Russia 'Hack' by Aaron Klein

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia. The Council in turn is financed by Google Inc. ..."
"... In a perhaps unexpected development, another Atlantic Council funder is Burisma, the natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Those allegations were the subject of Trump's inquiry with Zelemsky related to Biden. The Biden allegations concern significant questions about Biden's role in Ukraine policy under the Obama administration. This took place during a period when Hunter Biden received $50,000 a month from Burisma. ..."
"... Google, Soros's Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblower's complaint alleging Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 presidential race. ..."
"... Another listed OCCRP funder is the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. ..."
"... Together with Soros's Open Society, Omidyar also funds the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which hosts the International Fact-Checking Network that partnered with Facebook to help determine whether news stories are "disputed." ..."
Sep 28, 2019 | www.breitbart.com

There are common threads that run through an organization repeatedly relied upon in the so-called whistleblower's complaint about President Donald Trump and CrowdStrike, the outside firm utilized to conclude that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee's servers since the DNC would not allow the U.S. government to inspect the servers.

One of several themes is financing tied to Google, whose Google Capital led a $100 million funding drive that financed Crowdstrike. Google Capital, which now goes by the name of CapitalG, is an arm of Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.

CrowdStrike was mentioned by Trump in his call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign, reportedly helped draft CrowdStrike to aid with the DNC's allegedly hacked server.

On behalf of the DNC and Clinton's campaign, Perkins Coie also paid the controversial Fusion GPS firm to produce the infamous, largely-discredited anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

CrowdStrike is a California-based cybersecurity technology company co-founded by Dmitri Alperovitch.

Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia. The Council in turn is financed by Google Inc.

In a perhaps unexpected development, another Atlantic Council funder is Burisma, the natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Those allegations were the subject of Trump's inquiry with Zelemsky related to Biden. The Biden allegations concern significant questions about Biden's role in Ukraine policy under the Obama administration. This took place during a period when Hunter Biden received $50,000 a month from Burisma.

Besides Google and Burisma funding, the Council is also financed by billionaire activist George Soros's Open Society Foundations as well as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc. and the U.S. State Department.

Google, Soros's Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblower's complaint alleging Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 presidential race.

The charges in the July 22 report referenced in the whistleblower's document and released by the Google and Soros-funded organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), seem to be the public precursors for a lot of the so-called whistleblower's own claims, as Breitbart News documented .

One key section of the so-called whistleblower's document claims that "multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelensky advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov."

This was allegedly to follow up on Trump's call with Zelensky in order to discuss the "cases" mentioned in that call, according to the so-called whistleblower's narrative. The complainer was clearly referencing Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate the Biden corruption allegations.

Even though the statement was written in first person – "multiple U.S. officials told me" – it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

That footnote reads:

In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

The so-called whistleblower's account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions. It does so to:

Write that Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko "also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters." Document that Trump adviser Rudi Giuliani "had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani." Bolster the charge that, "I also learned from a U.S. official that 'associates' of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team." The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, "I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above."

The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a "joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine."

BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.

The OCCRP and BuzzFeed "joint investigation" resulted in both OCCRP and BuzzFeed publishing similar lengthy pieces on July 22 claiming that Giuliani was attempting to use connections to have Ukraine investigate Trump's political rivals.

The so-called whistleblower's document, however, only mentions the largely unknown OCCRP and does not reference BuzzFeed, which has faced scrutiny over its reporting on the Russia collusion claims.

Another listed OCCRP funder is the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

Together with Soros's Open Society, Omidyar also funds the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which hosts the International Fact-Checking Network that partnered with Facebook to help determine whether news stories are "disputed."

Like OCCRP, the Poynter Institute's so-called news fact-checking project is openly funded by not only Soros' Open Society Foundations but also Google and the National Endowment for Democracy.

CrowdStrike and DNC servers

CrowdStrike, meanwhile, was brought up by Trump in his phone call with Zelensky. According to the transcript, Trump told Zelensky, "I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike I guess you have one of your wealthy people The server, they say Ukraine has it."

In his extensive report , Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller notes that his investigative team did not "obtain or examine" the servers of the DNC in determining whether those servers were hacked by Russia.

The DNC famously refused to allow the FBI to access its servers to verify the allegation that Russia carried out a hack during the 2016 presidential campaign. Instead, the DNC reached an arrangement with the FBI in which CrowdStrike conducted forensics on the server and shared details with the FBI.

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI registered "multiple requests at different levels," to review the DNC's hacked servers. Ultimately, the DNC and FBI came to an agreement in which a "highly respected private company" -- a reference to CrowdStrike -- would carry out forensics on the servers and share any information that it discovered with the FBI, Comey testified.

A senior law enforcement official stressed the importance of the FBI gaining direct access to the servers, a request that was denied by the DNC.

"The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated," the official was quoted by the news media as saying.

"This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier," the official continued.

... ... ...

Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ." Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

[Dec 04, 2019] DNC Russian Hackers Found! You Won't Believe Who They Really Work For by the Anonymous Patriots

Highly recommended!
Jan 01, 2017 | themillenniumreport.com

"If someone steals your keys to encrypt the data, it doesn't matter how secure the algorithms are."

Dmitri Alperovitch, founder of CrowdStrike.

By the Anonymous Patriots
SOTN Exclusive

Russians did not hack the DNC system, a Russian named Dmitri Alperovitch is the hacker and he works for President Obama. In the last five years the Obama administration has turned exclusively to one Russian to solve every major cyber-attack in America, whether the attack was on the U.S. government or a corporation. Only one "super-hero cyber-warrior" seems to "have the codes" to figure out "if" a system was hacked and by "whom."

Dmitri's company, CrowdStrike has been called in by Obama to solve mysterious attacks on many high level government agencies and American corporations, including: German Bundestag, Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the White House, the State Department, SONY, and many others.

CrowdStrike's philosophy is: "You don't have a malware problem; you have an adversary problem."

CrowdStrike has played a critical role in the development of America's cyber-defense policy. Dmitri Alperovitch and George Kurtz, a former head of the FBI cyberwarfare unit founded CrowdStrike. Shawn Henry, former executive assistant director at the FBI is now CrowdStrike's president of services. The company is crawling with former U.S. intelligence agents.

Before Alperovitch founded CrowdStrike in 2011, he was working in Atlanta as the chief threat officer at the antivirus software firm McAfee, owned by Intel (a DARPA company). During that time, he "discovered" the Chinese had compromised at least seventy-one companies and organizations, including thirteen defense contractors, three electronics firms, and the International Olympic Committee. He was the only person to notice the biggest cyberattack in history! Nothing suspicious about that.

Alperovitch and the DNC

After CrowdStrike was hired as an independent "vendor" by the DNC to investigate a possible cyberattack on their system, Alperovitch sent the DNC a proprietary software package called Falcon that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. According to Alperovitch, Falcon "lit up," within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC. Alperovitch had his "proof" in TEN SECONDS that Russia was in the network. This "alleged" evidence of Russian hacking has yet to be shared with anyone.

As Donald Trump has pointed out, the FBI, the agency that should have been immediately involved in hacking that effects "National Security," has yet to even examine the DNC system to begin an investigation. Instead, the FBI and 16 other U.S. "intelligence" agencies simply "agree" with Obama's most trusted "cyberwarfare" expert Dmitri Alperovitch's "TEN SECOND" assessment that produced no evidence to support the claim.

Also remember that it is only Alperovitch and CrowdStrike that claim to have evidence that it was Russian hackers . In fact, only two hackers were found to have been in the system and were both identified by Alperovitch as Russian FSB (CIA) and the Russian GRU (DoD). It is only Alperovitch who claims that he knows that it is Putin behind these two hackers.

Alperovitch failed to mention in his conclusive "TEN SECOND" assessment that Guccifer 2.0 had already hacked the DNC and made available to the public the documents he hacked – before Alperovitch did his ten second assessment. Alperovitch reported that no other hackers were found, ignoring the fact that Guccifer 2.0 had already hacked and released DNC documents to the public. Alperovitch's assessment also goes directly against Julian Assange's repeated statements that the DNC leaks did not come from the Russians.

The ridiculously fake cyber-attack assessment done by Alperovitch and CrowdStrike naïvely flies in the face of the fact that a DNC insider admitted that he had released the DNC documents. Julian Assange implied in an interview that the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich, was the source of a trove of damaging emails the website posted just days before the party's convention. Seth was on his way to testify about the DNC leaks to the FBI when he was shot dead in the street.

It is also absurd to hear Alperovitch state that the Russian FSB (equivalent to the CIA) had been monitoring the DNC site for over a year and had done nothing. No attack, no theft, and no harm was done to the system by this "false-flag cyber-attack" on the DNC – or at least, Alperovitch "reported" there was an attack. The second hacker, the supposed Russian military (GRU – like the U.S. DoD) hacker, had just entered the system two weeks before and also had done "nothing" but observe.

It is only Alperovitch's word that reports that the Russian FSB was "looking for files on Donald Trump."

It is only this false claim that spuriously ties Trump to the "alleged" attack. It is also only Alperovitch who believes that this hack that was supposedly "looking for Trump files" was an attempt to "influence" the election. No files were found about Trump by the second hacker, as we know from Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0's leaks. To confabulate that "Russian's hacked the DNC to influence the elections" is the claim of one well-known Russian spy. Then, 17 U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously confirm that Alperovitch is correct – even though there is no evidence and no investigation was ever conducted .

How does Dmitri Alperovitch have such power? Why did Obama again and again use Alperovitch's company, CrowdStrike, when they have miserably failed to stop further cyber-attacks on the systems they were hired to protect? Why should anyone believe CrowdStrikes false-flag report?

After documents from the DNC continued to leak, and Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks made CrowdStrike's report look foolish, Alperovitch decided the situation was far worse than he had reported. He single-handedly concluded that the Russians were conducting an "influence operation" to help win the election for Trump . This false assertion had absolutely no evidence to back it up.

On July 22, three days before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks dumped a massive cache of emails that had been "stolen" (not hacked) from the DNC. Reporters soon found emails suggesting that the DNC leadership had favored Hillary Clinton in her primary race against Bernie Sanders, which led Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, along with three other officials, to resign.

Just days later, it was discovered that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had been hacked. CrowdStrike was called in again and once again, Alperovitch immediately "believed" that Russia was responsible. A lawyer for the DCCC gave Alperovitch permission to confirm the leak and to name Russia as the suspected author. Two weeks later, files from the DCCC began to appear on Guccifer 2.0's website. This time Guccifer released information about Democratic congressional candidates who were running close races in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. On August 12, Guccifer went further, publishing a spreadsheet that included the personal email addresses and phone numbers of nearly two hundred Democratic members of Congress.

Once again, Guccifer 2.0 proved Alperovitch and CrowdStrike's claims to be grossly incorrect about the hack originating from Russia, with Putin masterminding it all. Nancy Pelosi offered members of Congress Alperovitch's suggestion of installing Falcon , the system that failed to stop cyberattacks at the DNC, on all congressional laptops.

Key Point: Once Falcon was installed on the computers of members of the U.S. Congress, CrowdStrike had even further full access into U.S. government accounts.

Alperovitch's "Unbelievable" History

Dmitri was born in 1980 in Moscow where his father, Michael, was a nuclear physicist, (so Dmitri claims). Dmitri's father was supposedly involved at the highest levels of Russian nuclear science. He also claims that his father taught him to write code as a child.

In 1990, his father was sent to Maryland as part of a nuclear-safety training program for scientists. In 1994, Michael Alperovitch was granted a visa to Canada, and a year later the family moved to Chattanooga, where Michael took a job with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

While Dmitri Alperovitch was still in high school, he and his father started an encryption-technology business. Dmitri studied computer science at Georgia Tech and went on to work at an antispam software firm. It was at this time that he realized that cyber-defense was more about psychology than it was about technology. A very odd thing to conclude.

Dmitri Alperovitch posed as a "Russian gangster" on spam discussion forums which brought his illegal activity to the attention of the FBI – as a criminal. In 2005, Dmitri flew to Pittsburgh to meet an FBI agent named Keith Mularski, who had been asked to lead an undercover operation against a vast Russian credit-card-theft syndicate. Alperovitch worked closely with Mularski's sting operation which took two years, but it ultimately brought about fifty-six arrests. Dmitri Alperovitch then became a pawn of the FBI and CIA.

In 2010, while he was at McAfee, the head of cybersecurity at Google told Dmitri that Gmail accounts belonging to human-rights activists in China had been breached. Google suspected the Chinese government. Alperovitch found that the breach was unprecedented in scale; it affected more than a dozen of McAfee's clients and involved the Chinese government. Three days after his supposed discovery, Alperovitch was on a plane to Washington where he had been asked to vet a paragraph in a speech by the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

2014, Sony called in CrowdStrike to investigate a breach of its network. Alperovitch needed just "two hours" to identify North Korea as the adversary. Executives at Sony asked Alperovitch to go public with the information immediately, but it took the FBI another three weeks before it confirmed the attribution.

Alperovitch then developed a list of "usual suspects" who were well-known hackers who had identifiable malware that they commonly used. Many people use the same malware and Alperovitch's obsession with believing he has the only accurate list of hackers in the world is plain idiocy exacerbated by the U.S. government's belief in his nonsense. Alperovitch even speaks like a "nut-case" in his personal Twitters, which generally have absolutely no references to the technology he is supposedly the best at in the entire world.

Dmitri – Front Man for His Father's Russian Espionage Mission

After taking a close look at the disinformation around Dmitri and his father, it is clear to see that Michael Alperovitch became a CIA operative during his first visit to America. Upon his return to Russia, he stole the best Russian encryption codes that were used to protect the top-secret work of nuclear physics in which his father is alleged to have been a major player. Upon surrendering the codes to the CIA when he returned to Canada, the CIA made it possible for a Russian nuclear scientist to become an American citizen overnight and gain a top-secret security clearance to work at the Oakridge plant, one of the most secure and protected nuclear facilities in America . Only the CIA can transform a Russian into an American with a top-secret clearance overnight.

We can see on Michael Alperovitch's Linked In page that he went from one fantastically top-secret job to the next without a break from the time he entered America. He seemed to be on a career path to work in every major U.S. agency in America. In every job he was hired as the top expert in the field and the leader of the company. All of these jobs after the first one were in cryptology, not nuclear physics. As a matter of fact, Michael became the top expert in America overnight and has stayed the top expert to this day.

Most of the work of cyber-security is creating secure interactions on a non-secure system like the Internet. The cryptologist who assigns the encryption codes controls the system from that point on .

Key Point: Cryptologists are well known for leaving a "back-door" in the base-code so that they can always have over-riding control.

Michael Alperovitch essentially has the "codes" for all Department of Defense sites, the Treasury, the State Department, cell-phones, satellites, and public media . There is hardly any powerful agency or company that he has not written the "codes" for. One might ask, why do American companies and the U.S. government use his particular codes? What are so special about Michael's codes?

Stolen Russian Codes

In December, Obama ordered the U.S. military to conduct cyberattacks against Russia in retaliation for the alleged DNC hacks. All of the attempts to attack Russia's military and intelligence agencies failed miserably. Russia laughed at Obama's attempts to hack their systems. Even the Russian companies targeted by the attacks were not harmed by Obama's cyber-attacks. Hardly any news of these massive and embarrassing failed cyber-attacks were reported by the Main Stream Media. The internet has been scrubbed clean of the reports that said Russia's cyber-defenses were impenetrable due to the sophistication of their encryption codes.

Michael Alperovitch was in possession of those impenetrable codes when he was a top scientist in Russia. It was these very codes that he shared with the CIA on his first trip to America . These codes got him spirited into America and "turned into" the best cryptologist in the world. Michael is simply using the effective codes of Russia to design his codes for the many systems he has created in America for the CIA .

KEY POINT: It is crucial to understand at this junction that the CIA is not solely working for America . The CIA works for itself and there are three branches to the CIA – two of which are hostile to American national interests and support globalism.

Michael and Dmitri Alperovitch work for the CIA (and international intelligence corporations) who support globalism . They, and the globalists for whom they work, are not friends of America or Russia. It is highly likely that the criminal activities of Dmitri, which were supported and sponsored by the FBI, created the very hackers who he often claims are responsible for cyberattacks. None of these supposed "attackers" have ever been found or arrested; they simply exist in the files of CrowdStrike and are used as the "usual culprits" when the FBI or CIA calls in Dmitri to give the one and only opinion that counts. Only Dmitri's "suspicions" are offered as evidence and yet 17 U.S. intelligence agencies stand behind the CrowdStrike report and Dmitri's suspicions.

Michael Alperovitch – Russian Spy with the Crypto-Keys

Essentially, Michael Alperovitch flies under the false-flag of being a cryptologist who works with PKI. A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a system for the creation, storage, and distribution of digital certificates which are used to verify that a particular public key belongs to a certain entity. The PKI creates digital certificates which map public keys to entities, securely stores these certificates in a central repository and revokes them if needed. Public key cryptography is a cryptographic technique that enables entities to securely communicate on an insecure public network (the Internet), and reliably verify the identity of an entity via digital signatures . Digital signatures use Certificate Authorities to digitally sign and publish the public key bound to a given user. This is done using the CIA's own private key, so that trust in the user key relies on one's trust in the validity of the CIA's key. Michael Alperovitch is considered to be the number one expert in America on PKI and essentially controls the market .

Michael's past is clouded in confusion and lies. Dmitri states that his father was a nuclear physicist and that he came to America the first time in a nuclear based shared program between America and Russia. But if we look at his current personal Linked In page, Michael claims he has a Master Degree in Applied Mathematics from Gorky State University. From 1932 to 1956, its name was State University of Gorky. Now it is known as Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod – National Research University (UNN), also known as Lobachevsky University. Does Michael not even know the name of the University he graduated from? And when does a person with a Master's Degree become a leading nuclear physicist who comes to "visit" America. In Michael's Linked In page there is a long list of his skills and there is no mention of nuclear physics.

Also on Michael Alperovitch's Linked In page we find some of his illustrious history that paints a picture of either the most brilliant mind in computer security, encryption, and cyberwarfare, or a CIA/FBI backed Russian spy. Imagine that out of all the people in the world to put in charge of the encryption keys for the Department of Defense, the U.S. Treasury, U.S. military satellites, the flow of network news, cell phone encryption, the Pathfire (media control) Program, the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Global Information Grid, and TriCipher Armored Credential System among many others, the government hires a Russian spy . Go figure.

Michael Alperovitch's Linked In Page

Education:

Gorky State University, Russia, MS in Applied Mathematics

Work History:

Sr. Security Architect

VT IDirect -2014 – Designing security architecture for satellite communications including cryptographic protocols, authentication.

Principal SME (Contractor)

DISA -Defense Information Systems Agency (Manager of the Global Information Grid) – 2012-2014 – Worked on PKI and identity management projects for DISA utilizing Elliptic Curve Cryptography. Performed application security and penetration testing.

Technical Lead (Contractor)

U.S. Department of the Treasury – 2011 – Designed enterprise validation service architecture for PKI certificate credentials with Single Sign On authentication.

Principal Software Engineer

Comtech Mobile Datacom – 2007-2010 – Subject matter expert on latest information security practices, including authentication, encryption and key management.

Sr. Software Engineer

TriCipher – 2006-2007 – Designed and developed security architecture for TriCipher Armored Credential Authentication System.

Lead Software Engineer

BellSouth – 2003-2006 – Designed and built server-side Jabber-based messaging platform with Single Sign On authentication.

Principal Software Research Engineer

Pathfire – 2001-2002 – Designed and developed Digital Rights Management Server for Video on Demand and content distribution applications. Pathfire provides digital media distribution and management solutions to the television, media, and entertainment industries. The company offers Digital Media Gateway, a digital IP store-and-forward platform, delivering news stories, syndicated programming, advertising spots, and video news releases to broadcasters. It provides solutions for content providers and broadcasters, as well as station solutions.

Obama – No Friend of America

Obama is no friend of America in the war against cyber-attacks. The very agencies and departments being defended by Michael Alperovitch's "singular and most brilliant" ability to write encryption codes have all been successfully attacked and compromised since Michael set up the codes. But we shouldn't worry, because if there is a cyberattack in the Obama administration, Michael's son Dmitri is called in to "prove" that it isn't the fault of his father's codes. It was the "damn Russians", or even "Putin himself" who attacked American networks.

Not one of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies is capable of figuring out a successful cyberattack against America without Michael and Dmitri's help. Those same 17 U.S. intelligence agencies were not able to effectively launch a successful cyberattack against Russia. It seems like the Russian's have strong codes and America has weak codes. We can thank Michael and Dmitri Alperovitch for that.

It is clear that there was no DNC hack beyond Guccifer 2.0. Dmitri Alperovitch is a "frontman" for his father's encryption espionage mission.

Is it any wonder that Trump says that he has "his own people" to deliver his intelligence to him that is outside of the infiltrated U.S. government intelligence agencies and the Obama administration ? Isn't any wonder that citizens have to go anywhere BUT the MSM to find real news or that the new administration has to go to independent news to get good intel?

It is hard to say anything more damnable than to again quote Dmitri on these very issues:
"If someone steals your keys to encrypt the data, it doesn't matter how secure the algorithms are." Dmitri Alperovitch, founder of CrowdStrike

Originally posted at: http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=62536

[Dec 04, 2019] June 4th, 2017 Crowdstrike Was at the DNC Six Weeks by George Webb

Highly recommended!
A short YouTube with the handwritten timeline
Nov 27, 2019 | www.youtube.com
AwanContra - George Webb, Investigative Journalist

[Dec 04, 2019] Cyberanalyst George Eliason Claims that the "Fancy Bear" Who Hacked the DNC Server is Ukrainian Intelligence – In League with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And RUH8 is allied with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike. ..."
"... Russia was probably not one of the hacking groups. The willful destruction of evidence by the DNC themselves probably points to Russia not being one of the those groups. The DNC wouldn't destroy evidence that supported their position. Also, government spy agencies keep info like that closely held. They might leak out tidbits, but they don't do wholesale dumps, like, ever. ..."
"... That's what the DNC is lying about. Not that hacks happened (they undoubtedly did), but about who did them (probably not Russian gov), and if hacks mattered (they didn't since everything was getting leaked anyway). ..."
"... The DNC/Mueller/etc are lying, but like most practiced liars they're mixing the lies with half-truths and unrelated facts to muddy the waters: ..."
"... An interesting question is, since it's basically guaranteed the DNC got hacked, but probably not by the Russians, is, what groups did hack the DNC, and why did the DNC scramble madly to hide their identities? ..."
"... And while you think about that question, consider the close parallel with the Awan case, where Dems were ostensibly the victims, but they again scrambled to cover up for the people who supposedly harmed them. level 2 ..."
"... DNC wasn't even hacked. Emails were leaked. They didn't even examine the server. Any "evidence" produced is spoofable from CIA cybertools that we know about from wikileaks. It's important to know how each new lie is a lie. But man I am just so done with all this Russia shit. level 2 ..."
"... Crowdstrike claims that malware was found on DNC server. I agree that this has nothing to do with the Wikileaks releases. What I am wondering is whether Crowdstrike may have arranged for the DNC to be hacked so that Russia could be blamed. Continue this thread level 1 ..."
"... George Eliason promises additional essays: *The next articles, starting with one about Fancy Bear's hot/cold ongoing relationship with Bellingcat which destroys the JIT investigation, will showcase the following: Fancy Bear worked with Bellingcat and the Ukrainian government providing Information War material as evidence for MH17: ..."
"... Fancy Bear is an inside unit of the Atlantic Council and their Digital Forensics Lab ..."
Dec 04, 2018 | www.reddit.com

Cyberanalyst George Eliason has written some intriguing blogs recently claiming that the "Fancy Bear" which hacked the DNC server in mid-2016 was in fact a branch of Ukrainian intelligence linked to the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike. I invite you to have a go at one of his recent essays:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/06/25/who-is-fancy-bear-and-who-are-they-working-for/

Since I am not very computer savvy and don't know much about the world of hackers - added to the fact that Eliason's writing is too cute and convoluted - I have difficulty navigating Eliason's thought. Nonetheless, here is what I can make of Eliasons' claims, as supported by independent literature:

Russian hacker Konstantin Kozlovsky, in Moscow court filings, has claimed that he did the DNC hack – and can prove it, because he left some specific code on the DNC server.

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/366696-russian-hacker-claims-he-can-prove-he-hacked-dnc

Kozlovsky states that he did so by order of Dimitry Dokuchaev (formerly of the FSB, and currently in prison in Russia on treason charges) who works with the Russian traitor hacker group Shaltai Boltai.

https://www.newsweek.com/russian-hacker-stealing-clintons-emailshacking-dnc-putinsfsb-745555 (Note that Newsweek's title is an overt lie.)

According to Eliason, Shaltai Boltai works in collaboration with the Ukrainian hacker group RUH8, a group of neo-Nazis (Privat Sektor) who are affiliated with Ukrainian intelligence. And RUH8 is allied with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/06/25/who-is-fancy-bear-and-who-are-they-working-for/

Cyberexpert Jeffrey Carr has stated that RUH8 has the X-Agent malware which our intelligence community has erroneously claimed is possessed only by Russian intelligence, and used by "Fancy Bear".

https://medium.com/@jeffreyscarr/the-gru-ukraine-artillery-hack-that-may-never-have-happened-820960bbb02d

Eliason has concluded that RUH8 is Fancy Bear.

This might help explain why Adam Carter has determined that some of the malware found on the DNC server was compiled AFTER Crowdstrike was working on the DNC server – Crowdstrike was in collusion with Fancy Bear (RUH8).

In other words, Crowdstrike likely arranged for a hack by Ukrainian intelligence that they could then attribute to Russia.

As far as I can tell, none of this is pertinent to how Wikileaks obtained their DNC emails, which most likely were leaked.

How curious that our Deep State and the recent Mueller indictment have had nothing to say about Kozlovsky's confession - whom I tend to take seriously because he offers a simple way to confirm his claim. Also interesting that the FBI has shown no interest in looking at the DNC server to check whether Kozlovsky's code is there.

I will ask Adam Carter for his opinion on this. 19 comments 84% Upvoted This thread is archived New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast Sort by View discussions in 1 other community level 1



zer0mas 1 point · 1 year ago

Its worth noting that Dimitri Alperovich's (Crowdstrike) hatred of Putin is second only to Hillary's hatred for taking responsibility for her actions. level 1

veganmark 2 points · 1 year ago

Thanks - I'll continue to follow Eliason's work. The thesis that Ukrainian intelligence is hacking a number of targets so that Russia gets blamed for it has intuitive appeal. level 1

alskdmv-nosleep4u -1 points · 1 year ago

I see things like this:

DNC wasn't even hacked.

and have to cringe. Any hacks weren't related to Wikileaks, who got their info from leakers, but that is not the same thing as no hack. Leaks and hacks aren't mutually exclusive. They actually occur together pretty commonly.

DNC's security was utter shit. Systems with shit security and obviously valuable info usually get hacked by multiple groups. In the case of the DNC, Hillary's email servers, etc., it's basically impossible they weren't hacked by dozens of intruders. A plastic bag of 100s will not sit untouched on a NYC street corner for 4 weeks. Not. fucking. happening.

Interestingly, Russia was probably not one of the hacking groups. The willful destruction of evidence by the DNC themselves probably points to Russia not being one of the those groups. The DNC wouldn't destroy evidence that supported their position. Also, government spy agencies keep info like that closely held. They might leak out tidbits, but they don't do wholesale dumps, like, ever.

That's what the DNC is lying about. Not that hacks happened (they undoubtedly did), but about who did them (probably not Russian gov), and if hacks mattered (they didn't since everything was getting leaked anyway).

The DNC/Mueller/etc are lying, but like most practiced liars they're mixing the lies with half-truths and unrelated facts to muddy the waters:

Any "evidence" produced is spoofable from CIA cybertools

Yes, but that spoofed 'evidence' is not the direct opposite of the truth, like I see people assuming. Bad assumption, and the establishment plays on that to make critic look bad. The spoofed evidence is just mud.


An interesting question is, since it's basically guaranteed the DNC got hacked, but probably not by the Russians, is, what groups did hack the DNC, and why did the DNC scramble madly to hide their identities?

And while you think about that question, consider the close parallel with the Awan case, where Dems were ostensibly the victims, but they again scrambled to cover up for the people who supposedly harmed them. level 2

alskdmv-nosleep4u 2 points · 1 year ago

What's hilarious about the 2 down-votes is I can't tell if their from pro-Russiagate trolls, or from people who who can't get past binary thinking. level 1

Honztastic 2 points · 1 year ago

DNC wasn't even hacked. Emails were leaked. They didn't even examine the server. Any "evidence" produced is spoofable from CIA cybertools that we know about from wikileaks. It's important to know how each new lie is a lie. But man I am just so done with all this Russia shit. level 2

veganmark 2 points · 1 year ago

Crowdstrike claims that malware was found on DNC server. I agree that this has nothing to do with the Wikileaks releases. What I am wondering is whether Crowdstrike may have arranged for the DNC to be hacked so that Russia could be blamed. Continue this thread level 1

Inuma I take the headspace of idiots 9 points · 1 year ago

So you mean to tell me that WWIII is being prepared by Mueller and it was manufactured consent?

I'd be shocked, but this only proves that the "Deep State" only cares about their power, consequences be damned. level 1

veganmark 8 points · 1 year ago

George Eliason promises additional essays: *The next articles, starting with one about Fancy Bear's hot/cold ongoing relationship with Bellingcat which destroys the JIT investigation, will showcase the following: Fancy Bear worked with Bellingcat and the Ukrainian government providing Information War material as evidence for MH17:

HillaryBrokeTheLaw Long live dead poets 10 points · 1 year ago

Nice.

I'm glad you're still following this. Crowdstrike is shady af. level 1

[Dec 04, 2019] Fancy Bear - Conservapedia

Highly recommended!
Dec 04, 2019 | www.conservapedia.com

Fancy Bear (also know as Strontium Group, or APT28) is a Ukrainian cyber espionage group. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike incorrectly has said with a medium level of confidence that it is associated with the Russian military intelligence agency GRU . CrowdStrike founder, Dmitri Alperovitch , has colluded with Fancy Bear. American journalist George Eliason has written extensively on the subject.

There are a couple of caveats that need to be made when identifying the Fancy Bear hackers. The first is the identifier used by Mueller as Russian FSB and GRU may have been true- 10 years ago. This group was on the run trying to stay a step ahead of Russian law enforcement until October 2016. So we have part of the Fancy bear hacking group identified as Ruskie traitors and possibly former Russian state security. The majority of the group are Ukrainians making up Ukraine's Cyber Warfare groups.

Eliason lives and works in Donbass. He has been interviewed by and provided analysis for RT, the BBC , and Press-TV. His articles have been published in the Security Assistance Monitor, Washingtons Blog, OpedNews, the Saker, RT, Global Research, and RINF, and the Greanville Post among others. He has been cited and republished by various academic blogs including Defending History, Michael Hudson, SWEDHR, Counterpunch, the Justice Integrity Project, among others.

Contents [ hide ] Fancy Bear is Ukrainian Intelligence Shaltai Boltai

The "Fancy Bear hackers" may have been given the passwords to get into the servers at the DNC because they were part of the Team Clinton opposition research team. It was part of their job.

According to Politico ,

"In an interview this month, at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities -- including Ukrainian-Americans -- she said that, when Trump's unlikely presidential campaign. Chalupa told Politico she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. While her consulting work began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump's ties to Russia, as well." [1]

The only investigative journalists, government officials, and private intelligence operatives that work together in 2014-2015-2016 Ukraine are Shaltai Boltai, CyberHunta, Ukraine Cyber Alliance, and the Ministry of Information.

All of these hacking and information operation groups work for Andrea Chalupa with EuroMaidanPR and Irena Chalupa at the Atlantic Council. Both Chalupa sisters work directly with the Ukrainian government's intelligence and propaganda arms.

Since 2014 in Ukraine, these are the only OSINT, hacking, Intel, espionage , terrorist , counter-terrorism, cyber, propaganda , and info war channels officially recognized and directed by Ukraine's Information Ministry. Along with their American colleagues, they populate the hit-for-hire website Myrotvorets with people who stand against Ukraine's criminal activities.

The hackers, OSINT, Cyber, spies, terrorists, etc. call themselves volunteers to keep safe from State level retaliation, even though a child can follow the money. As volunteers motivated by politics and patriotism they are protected to a degree from retribution.

They don't claim State sponsorship or governance and the level of attack falls below the threshold of military action. Special Counsel Robert Mueller had a lot of latitude for making the attribution Russian, even though the attacks came from Ukrainian Intelligence. Based on how the rules of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber are written, because the few members of the coalition from Shaltai Boltai are Russian in nationality, Fancy Bear can be attributed as a Russian entity for the purposes of retribution. The caveat is if the attribution is proven wrong, the US will be liable for damages caused to the State which in this case is Russia.

How large is the Fancy Bear unit? According to their propaganda section InformNapalm, they have the ability to research and work in over 30 different languages.

This can be considered an Information Operation against the people of the United States and of course Russia. After 2013, Shaltay Boltay was no longer physically available to work for Russia. The Russian hackers were in Ukraine working for the Ukrainian government's Information Ministry which is in charge of the cyber war. They were in Ukraine until October 2016 when they were tricked to return to Moscow and promptly arrested for treason.

From all this information we know the Russian component of Team Fancy Bear is Shaltai Boltai. We know the Ukrainian Intel component is called CyberHunta and Ukraine Cyber Alliance which includes the hacker group RUH8. We know both groups work/ worked for Ukrainian Intelligence. We know they are grouped with InformNapalm which is Ukraine's OSINT unit. We know their manager is a Ukrainian named Kristina Dobrovolska. And lastly, all of the above work directly with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike's Dimitry Alperovich.

In short, the Russian-Ukrainian partnership that became Fancy Bear started in late 2013 to very early 2014 and ended in October 2016 in what appears to be a squabble over the alleged data from the Surkov leak.

But during 2014, 2015, and 2016 Shaltai Boltai, the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance, and CyberHunta went to work for the DNC as opposition researchers .

The First Time Shaltai Boltai was Handed the Keys to US Gov Servers

The setup to this happened long before the partnership with Ukrainian Intel hackers and Russia's Shaltai Boltai was forged. The hack that gained access to US top-secret servers happened just after the partnership was cemented after Euro-Maidan.

In August 2009 Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department Huma Abedin sent the passwords to her Government laptop to her Yahoo mail account. On August 16, 2010, Abedin received an email titled "Re: Your yahoo account. We can see where this is going, can't we?

"After Abedin sent an unspecified number of sensitive emails to her Yahoo account, half a billion Yahoo accounts were hacked by Russian cybersecurity expert and Russian intelligence agent, Igor Sushchin, in 2014. The hack, one of the largest in history, allowed Sushchin's associates to access email accounts into 2015 and 2016."

Igor Sushchin was part of the Shaltai Boltai hacking group that is charged with the Yahoo hack.

The time frame has to be noted. The hack happened in 2014. Access to the email accounts continued through 2016. The Ukrainian Intel partnership was already blossoming and Shaltai Boltai was working from Kiev, Ukraine.

So when we look at the INFRASTRUCTURE HACKS, WHITE HOUSE HACKS, CONGRESS, start with looking at the time frame. Ukraine had the keys already in hand in 2014.

Chalupa collusion with Ukrainian Intelligence
See also: Ukrainian collusion and Ukrainian collusion timeline

Alexandra Chalupa hired this particular hacking terrorist group, which Dimitry Alperovich and Crowdstrike dubbed "Fancy Bear", in 2015 at the latest. While the Ukrainian hackers worked for the DNC, Fancy Bear had to send in progress reports, turn in research, and communicate on the state of the projects they were working on. Let's face it, once you're in, setting up your Fancy Bear toolkit doesn't get any easier. This is why I said the DNC hack isn't the big crime. It's a big con and all the parties were in on it.

Hillary Clinton exposed secrets to hacking threats by using private email instead of secured servers. Given the information provided she was probably being monitored by our intrepid Ruskie-Ukie union made in hell hackers. Anthony Weiner exposed himself and his wife Huma Abedin using Weiner's computer for top-secret State Department emails. And of course Huma Abedin exposed herself along with her top-secret passwords at Yahoo and it looks like the hackers the DNC hired to do opposition research hacked her.

Here's a question. Did Huma Abedin have Hillary Clinton's passwords for her private email server? It would seem logical given her position with Clinton at the State Department and afterward. This means that Hillary Clinton and the US government top secret servers were most likely compromised by Fancy Bear before the DNC and Team Clinton hired them by using legitimate passwords.

Dobrovolska

Hillary Clinton retained State Dept. top secret clearance passwords for 6 of her former staff from 2013 through prepping for the 2016 election. [2] [3] Alexandra Chalupa was running a research department that is rich in (foreign) Ukrainian Intelligence operatives, hackers, terrorists, and a couple Ruskie traitors.

Kristina Dobrovolska was acting as a handler and translator for the US State Department in 2016. She is the Fancy Bear *opposition researcher handler manager. Kristina goes to Washington to meet with Chalupa.

Alexandra types in her password to show Dobrovolska something she found and her eager to please Ukrainian apprentice finds the keystrokes are seared into her memory. She tells the Fancy Bear crew about it and they immediately get to work looking for Trump material on the US secret servers with legitimate access. I mean, what else could they do with this? Turn over sensitive information to the ever corrupt Ukrainian government?

According to the Politico article, Alexandra Chalupa was meeting with the Ukrainian embassy in June of 2016 to discuss getting more help sticking it to candidate Trump. At the same time she was meeting, the embassy had a reception that highlighted female Ukrainian leaders.

Four Verkhovna Rada [parlaiment] deputies there for the event included: Viktoriia Y. Ptashnyk, Anna A. Romanova, Alyona I. Shkrum, and Taras T. Pastukh. [4]

According to CNN , [5] DNC sources said Chalupa told DNC operatives the Ukrainian government would be willing to deliver damaging information against Trump's campaign. Later, Chalupa would lead the charge to try to unseat president-elect Trump starting on Nov 10, 2016.

Accompanying them Kristina Dobrovolska who was a U.S. Embassy-assigned government liaison and translator who escorted the delegates from Kyiv during their visits to Albany and Washington.

Kristina Dobrovolska is the handler manager working with Ukraine's DNC Fancy Bear Hackers. [6] She took the Rada [parliament] members to dinner to meet Joel Harding who designed Ukraine's infamous Information Policy which opened up their kill-for-hire-website Myrotvorets. Then she took them to meet the Ukrainian Diaspora leader doing the hiring. Nestor Paslawsky is the surviving nephew to the infamous torturer The WWII OUNb leader, Mykola Lebed.

Fancy Bear's Second Chance at Top Secret Passwords From Team Clinton

One very successful method of hacking is called social engineering . You gain access to the office space and any related properties and physically locate the passwords or clues to get you into the hardware you want to hack. This includes something as simple as looking over the shoulder of the person typing in passwords.

The Fancy Bear hackers were hired by Alexandra Chalupa to work for DNC opposition research. On different occasions, Fancy Bear handler Kristina Dobrovolska traveled to the US to meet the Diaspora leaders, her boss Alexandra Chalupa, Irena Chalupa, Andrea Chalupa, US Dept of State personnel, and most likely Crowdstrike's Dimitry Alperovich. Alperovich was working with the hackers in 2015-16. In 2016, the only groups known to have Fancy Bear's signature tools called X-tunnel and X-Agent were Alperovich, Crowdstrike, and Fancy Bear (Shaltai Boltai, CyberHunta, Ukraine Cyber Alliance, and RUH8/RUX8. Yes, that does explain a few things.

Alleged DNC hack

There were multiple DNC hacks. There is also clear proof supporting the download to a USB stick and subsequent information exchange (leak) to Wikileaks . All are separate events.

At the same time this story developed, it overshadowed the Hillary Clinton email scandal. It is a matter of public record that Team Clinton provided the DNC hackers with passwords to State Department servers on at least 2 occasions, one wittingly and one not. Fancy Bear hackers are Ukrainian Intelligence Operators.

If the leak came through Seth Rich , it may have been because he saw foreign Intel operatives given this access from the presumed winners of the 2016 US presidential election . The leaker may have been trying to do something about it. I'm curious what information Wikileaks might have.

Alperovitch and Fancy Bear

George Eliason, Washingtonsblog: Why Crowdstrike's Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart- Say Hello to Fancy Bear. investigated. [7]

  • In the wake of the JAR-16-20296 dated December 29, 2016 about hacking and influencing the 2016 election, the need for real evidence is clear. The joint report adds nothing substantial to the October 7th report. It relies on proofs provided by the cyber security firm Crowdstrike that is clearly not on par with intelligence findings or evidence. At the top of the report is an "as is" statement showing this.
  • The difference bet enough evidence is provided to warrant an investigation of specific parties for the DNC hacks. The real story involves specific anti-American actors that need to be investigated for real crimes. For instance, the malware used was an out-dated version just waiting to be found. The one other interesting point is that the Russian malware called Grizzly Steppe is from Ukraine. How did Crowdstrike miss this when it is their business to know?
  • The bar for identification set by Crowdstrike has never been able to get beyond words like probably, maybe, could be, or should be, in their attribution. The bar Dimitri Alperovitch set for identifying the hackers involved is that low. Other than asking America to trust them, how many solid facts has Alperovitch provided to back his claim of Russian involvement?
  • information from outside intelligence agencies has the value of rumor or unsubstantiated information at best according to policy. Usable intelligence needs to be free from partisan politics and verifiable. Intel agencies noted back in the early 90's that every private actor in the information game was radically political.
  • Alperovitch first gained notice when he was the VP in charge of threat research with McAfee. Asked to comment on Alperovitch's discovery of Russian hacks on Larry King, John McAfee had this to say. "Based on all of his experience, McAfee does not believe that Russians were behind the hacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), John Podesta's emails, and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. As he told RT, "if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians."
  • How does Crowdstrike's story part with reality? First is the admission that it is probably, maybe, could be Russia hacking the DNC. "Intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin 'directing' the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to Wiki Leaks." The public evidence never goes beyond the word possibility. While never going beyond that or using facts, Crowdstrike insists that it's Russia behind both Clinton's and the Ukrainian losses.
  • NBC carried the story because one of the partners in Crowdstrike is also a consultant for NBC. According to NBC the story reads like this."The company, Crowdstrike, was hired by the DNC to investigate the hack and issued a report publicly attributing it to Russian intelligence. One of Crowdstrike's senior executives is Shawn Henry , a former senior FBI official who consults for NBC News.
  • In June, Crowdstrike went public with its findings that two separate Russian intelligence agencies had hacked the DNC. One, which Crowdstrike and other researchers call Cozy Bear, is believed to be linked to Russia's CIA, known as the FSB. The other, known as Fancy Bear, is believed to be tied to the military intelligence agency, called the GRU." The information is so certain the level of proof never rises above "believed to be." According to the December 12th Intercept article "Most importantly, the Post adds that "intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin 'directing' the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks."
  • The SBU, Olexander Turchinov, and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense all agree that Crowdstrike is dead wrong in this assessment. Although subtitles aren't on it, the former Commandant of Ukrainian Army Headquarters thanks God Russia never invaded or Ukraine would have been in deep trouble. How could Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike be this wrong on easily checked detail and still get this much media attention?
  • Crowdstrike CEO Dmitri Alperovitch story about Russian hacks that cost Hillary Clinton the election was broadsided by the SBU (Ukrainian Intelligence and Security) in Ukraine. If Dimitri Alperovitch is working for Ukrainian Intelligence and is providing intelligence to 17 US Intelligence Agencies is it a conflict of interest?
  • Is giving misleading or false information to 17 US Intelligence Agencies a crime? If it's done by a cyber security industry leader like Crowdstrike should that be investigated? If unwinding the story from the "targeting of Ukrainian volunteers" side isn't enough, we should look at this from the American perspective. How did the Russia influencing the election and DNC hack story evolve? Who's involved? Does this pose conflicts of interest for Dmitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? And let's face it, a hacking story isn't complete until real hackers with the skills, motivation, and reason are exposed.
  • According to journalist and DNC activist Andrea Chalupa on her Facebook page "After Chalupa sent the email to Miranda (which mentions that she had invited this reporter to a meeting with Ukrainian journalists in Washington), it triggered high-level concerns within the DNC, given the sensitive nature of her work. "That's when we knew it was the Russians," said a Democratic Party source who has been directly involved in the internal probe into the hacked emails. In order to stem the damage, the source said, "we told her to stop her research."" July 25, 2016
  • If she was that close to the investigation Crowdstrike did how credible is she? Her sister Alexandra was named one of 16 people that shaped the election by Yahoo news. The DNC hacking investigation done by Crowdstrike concluded hacking was done by Russian actors based on the work done by Alexandra Chalupa ? That is the conclusion of her sister Andrea Chalupa and obviously enough for Crowdstrike to make the Russian government connection.
  • How close is Dimitri Alperovitch to DNC officials? Close enough professionally he should have stepped down from an investigation that had the chance of throwing a presidential election in a new direction. According to Esquire.com, Alperovitch has vetted speeches for Hillary Clinton about cyber security issues in the past. Because of his work on the Sony hack, President Barrack Obama personally called and said the measures taken were directly because of his work.
  • Alperovitch's relationships with the Chalupas, radical groups, think tanks, Ukrainian propagandists, and Ukrainian state supported hackers [show a conflict of interest]. When it all adds up and you see it together, we have found a Russian that tried hard to influence the outcome of the US presidential election in 2016.
  • The Chalupas are not Democrat or Republican. They are OUNb. The OUNb worked hard to start a war between the USA and Russia for the last 50 years. According to the Ukrainian Weekly in a rare open statement of their existence in 2011, "Other statements were issued in the Ukrainian language by the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (B) and the International Conference in Support of Ukraine. The OUN (Bandera wing) called for" What is OUNb Bandera? They follow the same political policy and platform that was developed in the 1930's by Stepan Bandera . When these people go to a Holocaust memorial they are celebrating both the dead and the OUNb SS that killed. [8] There is no getting around this fact. The OUNb have no concept of democratic values and want an authoritarian fascism .
  • Alexandra Chalupa- According to the Ukrainian Weekly , [9]
"The effort, known as Digital Miadan, gained momentum following the initial Twitter storms. Leading the effort were: Lara Chelak, Andrea Chalupa, Alexandra Chalupa, Constatin Kostenko and others." The Digital Maidan was also how they raised money for the coup. This was how the Ukrainian emigres bought the bullets that were used on Euromaidan. Ukraine's chubby nazi, Dima Yarosh stated openly he was taking money from the Ukrainian emigres during Euromaidan and Pravy Sektor still fundraises openly in North America. The "Sniper Massacre" on the Maidan in Ukraine by Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, University of Ottowa shows clearly detailed evidence how the massacre happened. It has Pravy Sektor confessions that show who created the "heavenly hundred. Their admitted involvement as leaders of Digital Maidan by both Chalupas is a clear violation of the Neutrality Act and has up to a 25 year prison sentence attached to it because it ended in a coup.
  • Andrea Chalupa-2014, in a Huff Post article Sept. 1 2016, Andrea Chalupa described Sviatoslav Yurash as one of Ukraine's important "dreamers." He is a young activist that founded Euromaidan Press. Beyond the gushing glow what she doesn't say is who he actually is. Sviatoslav Yurash was Dmitri Yarosh's spokesman just after Maidan. He is a hardcore Ukrainian nationalist and was rewarded with the Deputy Director position for the UWC (Ukrainian World Congress) in Kiev.
  • In January, 2014 when he showed up at the Maidan protests he was 17 years old. He became the foreign language media representative for Vitali Klitschko, Arseni Yatsenyuk, and Oleh Tyahnybok. All press enquiries went through Yurash. To meet Dimitri Yurash you had to go through Sviatoslav Yurash as a Macleans reporter found out.
  • At 18 years old, Sviatoslav Yurash became the spokesman for Ministry of Defense of Ukraine under Andrei Paruby. He was Dimitri Yarosh's spokesman and can be seen either behind Yarosh on videos at press conferences or speaking ahead of him to reporters. From January 2014 onward, to speak to Dimitri Yarosh, you set up an appointment with Yurash.
  • Andrea Chalupa has worked with Yurash's Euromaidan Press which is associated with Informnapalm.org and supplies the state level hackers for Ukraine.
  • Irene Chalupa- Another involved Chalupa we need to cover to do the story justice is Irene Chalupa. From her bio– Irena Chalupa is a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She is also a senior correspondent at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), where she has worked for more than twenty years. Ms. Chalupa previously served as an editor for the Atlantic Council, where she covered Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Irena Chalupa is also the news anchor for Ukraine's propaganda channel org She is also a Ukrainian emigre leader.
  • According to Robert Parry's article [10] At the forefront of people that would have taken senior positions in a Clinton administration and especially in foreign policy are the Atlantic Council . Their main goal is still a major confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.
  • The Atlantic Council is the think tank associated and supported by the CEEC (Central and Eastern European Coalition). The CEEC has only one goal which is war with Russia. Their question to candidates looking for their support in the election was "Are you willing to go to war with Russia?" Hillary Clinton has received their unqualified support throughout the campaign.
  • What does any of this have to do with Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? Since the Atlantic Council would have taken senior cabinet and policy positions, his own fellowship status at the Atlantic Council and relationship with Irene Chalupa creates a definite conflict of interest for Crowdstrike's investigation. Trump's campaign was gaining ground and Clinton needed a boost. Had she won, would he have been in charge of the CIA, NSA, or Homeland Security?
  • When you put someone that has so much to gain in charge of an investigation that could change an election, that is a conflict of interest. If the think tank is linked heavily to groups that want war with Russia like the Atlantic Council and the CEEC, it opens up criminal conspiracy.
  • If the person in charge of the investigation is a fellow at the think tank that wants a major conflict with Russia it is a definite conflict of interest. Both the Atlantic Council and clients stood to gain Cabinet and Policy positions based on how the result of his work affects the election. It clouds the results of the investigation. In Dmitri Alperovitch's case, he found the perpetrator before he was positive there was a crime.
  • Alperovitch's relationship with Andrea Chalupa's efforts and Ukrainian intelligence groups is where things really heat up. Noted above she works with Euromaidanpress.com and Informnapalm.org which is the outlet for Ukrainian state-sponsored hackers.
  • When you look at Dimitri Alperovitch's twitter relationships, you have to ask why the CEO of a $150 million dollar company like Crowdstrike follows Ukrainian InformNapalm and its hackers individually. There is a mutual relationship. When you add up his work for the OUNb, Ukraine, support for Ukraine's Intelligence, and to the hackers it needs to be investigated to see if Ukraine is conspiring against the US government. Crowdstrike is also following their hack of a Russian government official after the DNC hack. It closely resembles the same method used with the DNC because it was an email hack.
  • Crowdstrike's product line includes Falcon Host, Falcon Intelligence, Falcon Overwatch and Falcon DNS. Is it possible the hackers in Falcons Flame are another service Crowdstrike offers?
  • In an interview with Euromaidanpress these hackers say they have no need for the CIA. [11] They consider the CIA amateurish. They also say they are not part of the Ukrainian military Cyberalliance is a quasi-organization with the participation of several groups – RUH8, Trinity, Falcon Flames, Cyberhunta. There are structures affiliated to the hackers – the Myrotvorets site, Informnapalm analytical agency."
Although this profile says Virginia, tweets are from the Sofia, Bulgaria time zone and he writes in Russian. Another curiosity considering the Fancy Bear source code is in Russian. This image shows Crowdstrike in their network. Crowdstrike is part of Ukrainian nationalist hacker network. In the image it shows a network diagram of Crowdstrike following the Surkov leaks. The network communication goes through a secondary source. Although OSINT Academy sounds fairly innocuous, it's the official twitter account for Ukraine's Ministry of Information head Dimitri Zolotukin. It is also Ukrainian Intelligence. The Ministry of Information started the Peacekeeper or Myrotvorets website that geolocates journalists and other people for assassination. If you disagree with OUNb politics, you could be on the list.
  • Should someone tell Dimitri Alperovitch that Gerashchenko, who is now in charge of Peacekeeper recently threatened president-elect Donald Trump that he would put him on his "Peacemaker" site as a target? The same has been done with Silvio Berscaloni in the past.
  • Trying not to be obvious, the Head of Ukraine's Information Ministry (UA Intelligence) tweeted something interesting that ties Alperovitch and Crowdstrike to the Ukrainian Intelligence hackers and the Information Ministry even tighter. This single tweet on a network chart shows that out of all the Ukrainian Ministry of Information Minister's following, he only wanted the 3 hacking groups associated with both him and Alperovitch to get the tweet. Alperovitch's story was received and not retweeted or shared. If this was just Alperovitch's victory, it was a victory for Ukraine. It would be shared heavily. If it was a victory for the hacking squad, it would be smart to keep it to themselves and not draw unwanted attention.
  • These same hackers are associated with Alexandra, Andrea, and Irene Chalupa through the portals and organizations they work with through their OUNb. The hackers are funded and directed by or through the same OUNb channels that Alperovitch is working for and with to promote the story of Russian hacking.
  • When you look at the image for the hacking group in the euromaidanpress article, one of the hackers identifies themselves as one of Dimitri Yarosh's Pravy Sektor members by the Pravy Sektor sweatshirt they have on. Noted above, Pravy Sektor admitted to killing the people at the Maidan protest and sparked the coup.
  • Going further with the linked Euromaidanpress article the hackers say "Let's understand that Ukrainian hackers and Russian hackers once constituted a single very powerful group. Ukrainian hackers have a rather high level of work. So the help of the USA I don't know, why would we need it? We have all the talent and special means for this. And I don't think that the USA or any NATO country would make such sharp movements in international politics."
  • What sharp movements in international politics have been made lately? Let me spell it out for the 17 US Intelligence Agencies so there is no confusion. These state sponsored, Russian language hackers in Eastern European time zones have shown with the Surkov hack they have the tools and experience to hack states that are looking out for it. They are also laughing at US intel efforts.
  • The hackers also made it clear that they will do anything to serve Ukraine. Starting a war between Russia and the USA is the one way they could serve Ukraine best, and hurt Russia worst. Given those facts, if the DNC hack was according to the criteria given by Alperovitch, both he and these hackers need to be investigated.
  • According to the Esquire interview "Alperovitch was deeply frustrated: He thought the government should tell the world what it knew. There is, of course, an element of the personal in his battle cry. "A lot of people who are born here don't appreciate the freedoms we have, the opportunities we have, because they've never had it any other way," he told me. "I have."
  • While I agree patriotism is a great thing, confusing it with this kind of nationalism is not. Alperovitch seems to think by serving OUNb Ukraine's interests and delivering a conflict with Russia that is against American interests, he's a patriot. He isn't serving US interests. He's definitely a Ukrainian patriot. Maybe he should move to Ukraine.
  • The evidence presented deserves investigation because it looks like the case for conflict of interest is the least Dimitri Alperovitch should look forward to. If these hackers are the real Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, they really did make sharp movements in international politics. By pawning it off on Russia, they made a worldwide embarrassment of an outgoing President of the United States and made the President Elect the suspect of rumor.
Obama, Brazile, Comey, and CrowdStrike

According to Obama the hacks continued until September 2016. According to ABC, Donna Brazile says the hacks didn't stop until after the elections in 2016. According to Crowdstrike the hacks continued into November.

Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile said Russian hackers persisted in trying to break into the organization's computers "daily, hourly" until after the election -- contradicting President Obama's assertion that the hacking stopped in September after he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to "cut it out."-ABC

This time frame gives a lot of latitude to both hacks and leaks happening on that server and still agrees with the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs). According to Bill Binney , the former Technical Director for the NSA, the only way that data could move off the server that fast was through a download to a USB stick. The transfer rate of the file does not agree with a Guciffer 2.0 hack and the information surrounding Guciffer 2.0 is looking ridiculous and impossible at best.

The DNC fiasco isn't that important of a crime. The reason I say this is the FBI would have taken control over material evidence right away. No law enforcement agency or Intel agency ever did. This means none of them considered it a crime Comey should have any part of investigating. That by itself presents the one question mark which destroys any hope Mueller has proving law enforcement maintained a chain of custody for any evidence he introduces.

It also says the US government under Barrack Obama and the victimized DNC saw this as a purely political event. They didn't want this prosecuted or they didn't think it was prosecutable.

Once proven it shows a degree of criminality that makes treason almost too light a charge in federal court. Rest assured this isn't a partisan accusation. Team Clinton and the DNC gets the spotlight but there are Republicans involved.

Further reading

[Dec 04, 2019] June 2nd, 2018 Alperovich's DNC Cover Stories Soon To Match With His Hacking Teams by George Webb

Highly recommended!
Nov 27, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Investigative Jouralist George Webb worked at MacAfee and Network Solutions in 2000 when the CEO Bill Larsen bought a small, Moscow based, hacking and virus writing company to move to Silicon Valley.

MacAfee also purchased PGP, an open source encryption software developed by privacy advocate to reduce NSA spying on the public.

The two simultaneous purchase of PGP and the Moscow hacking team by Metwork Solutions was sponsored by the CIA and FBI in order to crack encrypted communications to write a back door for law enforcement.

Among the 12 engineers assigned to writing a PGP backdoor was the son of a KGB officer named Dmitri Alperovich who would go on to be the CTO at a company involved in the DNC Hacking scandal - Crowdstrike.

In addition to writing a back door for PGP, Alperovich also ported PGP to the blackberry platform to provide encrypted communications for covert action operatives.

[Dec 04, 2019] America's War Exceptionalism Is Killing the Planet by William Astore

Highly recommended!
Our leaders like to say we value human rights around the world, but what they really manifest is greed. It all makes sense in a Gekko- or Machiavellian kind of way.
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Think of this as the new American exceptionalism. In Washington, war is now the predictable (and even desirable) way of life, while peace is the unpredictable (and unwise) path to follow. In this context, the U.S. must continue to be the most powerful nation in the world by a country mile in all death-dealing realms and its wars must be fought, generation after generation, even when victory is never in sight. And if that isn't an "exceptional" belief system, what is? ..."
"... A partial list of war's many uses might go something like this: war is profitable , most notably for America's vast military-industrial complex ; war is sold as being necessary for America's safety, especially to prevent terrorist attacks; and for many Americans, war is seen as a measure of national fitness and worthiness, a reminder that "freedom isn't free." In our politics today, it's far better to be seen as strong and wrong than meek and right. ..."
"... If America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen prove anything, it's that every war scars our planet -- and hardens our hearts. Every war makes us less human as well as less humane. Every war wastes resources when these are increasingly at a premium. Every war is a distraction from higher needs and a better life. ..."
"... I think that the main reason of the current level of militarism in the USA foreign policy is that after dissolution of the USSR neo-conservatives were allowed to capture the State Department and foreign policy establishment. This process actually started under Reagan. During Bush II administration those “crazies from the basement” fully controlled the US foreign policy and paradoxically they continued to dominate in Obama administration too. ..."
"... Which also means that the USA foreign policy is not controlled by the elected officials but by the “Deep State” (look at Vindman and Fiona Hill testimonies for the proof). So this is kind of Catch 22 in which the USA have found itself. We will be bankrupted by our neoconservative foreign establishment (which self-reproduce in each and every administration). And we can do nothing to avoid it. ..."
"... they are not only lobbyists for MIC, but they also serve as "ideological support", trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of militarism. ..."
"... Yes. Ideology is vital. During the Cold War it was all about containing/resisting/defeating the godless Communists. Once they were defeated, what then? We heard brief talk about a "peace dividend," but then the neocons came along, selling full-spectrum dominance and America as the sole superpower. ..."
"... The neocons were truly unleashed by the 9/11 attacks, which they exploited to put their vision in motion. The Complex was only too happy to oblige, fed as it was by massive resources. ..."
"... Leaving that specific incident aside, the bigger picture is that the brains behind the Deep State understand that global capitalism is running out of new resources (which includes human labor) to exploit. Why is the US so concerned with Africa right now, with spies and Special Forces operatives all over that continent? Africa is the final frontier for development/exploitation. (The US is also deeply concerned about China's setting down business roots there, and wants to counterbalance their activities.) ..."
"... The brains in the US Ruling Class know full well that natural resources will become ever more valuable moving forward, as weather disasters make it harder to access them. Thus, the Neo-Cons (you thought I'd never get around to them, right?) came to the fore because they advocate the unbridled use of brute military force to obtain what they want from the world. Or, to use their own terminology, the US "must have the capability to project force anywhere on the planet" at a moment's notice. President Obama was fully in agreement with that concept. Beware the wolf masquerading as a peaceable sheep! ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and history professor. His personal blog is Bracing Views . Originally published at TomDispatch

Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch , I've been arguing against America's forever wars, whether in Afghanistan , Iraq , or elsewhere . Unfortunately, it's no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined . And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

Sadly, there isn't just one obvious reason for this generational debacle. If there were, we could focus on it, tackle it, and perhaps even fix it. But no such luck.

So why do America's disastrous wars persist ? I can think of many reasons , some obvious and easy to understand, like the endless pursuit of profit through weapons sales for those very wars, and some more subtle but no less significant, like a deep-seated conviction in Washington that a willingness to wage war is a sign of national toughness and seriousness. Before I go on, though, here's another distinctive aspect of our forever-war moment: Have you noticed that peace is no longer even a topic in America today? The very word, once at least part of the rhetoric of Washington politicians, has essentially dropped out of use entirely. Consider the current crop of Democratic candidates for president. One, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, wants to end regime-change wars, but is otherwise a self-professed hawk on the subject of the war on terror. Another, Senator Bernie Sanders, vows to end " endless wars " but is careful to express strong support for Israel and the ultra-expensive F-35 fighter jet.

The other dozen or so tend to make vague sounds about cutting defense spending or gradually withdrawing U.S. troops from various wars, but none of them even consider openly speaking of peace . And the Republicans? While President Trump may talk of ending wars, since his inauguration he's sent more troops to Afghanistan and into the Middle East, while greatly expanding drone and other air strikes , something about which he openly boasts .

War, in other words, is our new normal, America's default position on global affairs, and peace, some ancient, long-faded dream. And when your default position is war, whether against the Taliban, ISIS, "terror" more generally, or possibly even Iran or Russia or China , is it any surprise that war is what you get? When you garrison the world with an unprecedented 800 or so military bases , when you configure your armed forces for what's called power projection, when you divide the globe -- the total planet -- into areas of dominance (with acronyms like CENTCOM, AFRICOM, and SOUTHCOM) commanded by four-star generals and admirals, when you spend more on your military than the next seven countries combined, when you insist on modernizing a nuclear arsenal (to the tune of perhaps $1.7 trillion ) already quite capable of ending all life on this and several other planets, what can you expect but a reality of endless war?

Think of this as the new American exceptionalism. In Washington, war is now the predictable (and even desirable) way of life, while peace is the unpredictable (and unwise) path to follow. In this context, the U.S. must continue to be the most powerful nation in the world by a country mile in all death-dealing realms and its wars must be fought, generation after generation, even when victory is never in sight. And if that isn't an "exceptional" belief system, what is?

If we're ever to put an end to our country's endless twenty-first-century wars, that mindset will have to be changed. But to do that, we would first have to recognize and confront war's many uses in American life and culture.

War, Its Uses (and Abuses)

A partial list of war's many uses might go something like this: war is profitable , most notably for America's vast military-industrial complex ; war is sold as being necessary for America's safety, especially to prevent terrorist attacks; and for many Americans, war is seen as a measure of national fitness and worthiness, a reminder that "freedom isn't free." In our politics today, it's far better to be seen as strong and wrong than meek and right.

As the title of a book by former war reporter Chris Hedges so aptly put it , war is a force that gives us meaning. And let's face it, a significant part of America's meaning in this century has involved pride in having the toughest military on the planet, even as trillions of tax dollars went into a misguided attempt to maintain bragging rights to being the world's sole superpower.

And keep in mind as well that, among other things, never-ending war weakens democracy while strengthening authoritarian tendencies in politics and society. In an age of gaping inequality , using up the country's resources in such profligate and destructive ways offers a striking exercise in consumption that profits the few at the expense of the many.

In other words, for a select few, war pays dividends in ways that peace doesn't. In a nutshell, or perhaps an artillery shell, war is anti-democratic, anti-progressive, anti-intellectual, and anti-human. Yet, as we know, history makes heroes out of its participants and celebrates mass murderers like Napoleon as "great captains."

What the United States needs today is a new strategy of containment -- not against communist expansion, as in the Cold War, but against war itself. What's stopping us from containing war? You might say that, in some sense, we've grown addicted to it , which is true enough, but here are five additional reasons for war's enduring presence in American life:

The delusional idea that Americans are, by nature, winners and that our wars are therefore winnable: No American leader wants to be labeled a "loser." Meanwhile, such dubious conflicts -- see: the Afghan War, now in its 18th year, with several more years, or even generations , to go -- continue to be treated by the military as if they were indeed winnable, even though they visibly aren't. No president, Republican or Democrat, not even Donald J. Trump, despite his promises that American soldiers will be coming home from such fiascos, has successfully resisted the Pentagon's siren call for patience (and for yet more trillions of dollars) in the cause of ultimate victory, however poorly defined, farfetched, or far-off. American society's almost complete isolation from war's deadly effects: We're not being droned (yet). Our cities are not yet lying in ruins (though they're certainly suffering from a lack of funding, as is our most essential infrastructure , thanks in part to the cost of those overseas wars). It's nonetheless remarkable how little attention, either in the media or elsewhere, this country's never-ending war-making gets here. Unnecessary and sweeping secrecy: How can you resist what you essentially don't know about? Learning its lesson from the Vietnam War, the Pentagon now classifies (in plain speak: covers up) the worst aspects of its disastrous wars. This isn't because the enemy could exploit such details -- the enemy already knows! -- but because the American people might be roused to something like anger and action by it. Principled whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning have been imprisoned or otherwise dismissed or, in the case of Edward Snowden, pursued and indicted for sharing honest details about the calamitous Iraq War and America's invasive and intrusive surveillance state. In the process, a clear message of intimidation has been sent to other would-be truth-tellers. An unrepresentative government: Long ago, of course, Congress ceded to the presidency most of its constitutional powers when it comes to making war. Still, despite recent attempts to end America's arms-dealing role in the genocidal Saudi war in Yemen (overridden by Donald Trump's veto power), America's duly elected representatives generally don't represent the people when it comes to this country's disastrous wars. They are, to put it bluntly, largely captives of (and sometimes on leaving politics quite literally go to work for) the military-industrial complex. As long as money is speech ( thank you , Supreme Court!), the weapons makers are always likely to be able to shout louder in Congress than you and I ever will. \ America's persistent empathy gap. Despite our size, we are a remarkably insular nation and suffer from a serious empathy gap when it comes to understanding foreign cultures and peoples or what we're actually doing to them. Even our globetrotting troops, when not fighting and killing foreigners in battle, often stay on vast bases, referred to in the military as "Little Americas," complete with familiar stores, fast food, you name it. Wherever we go, there we are, eating our big burgers, driving our big trucks, wielding our big guns, and dropping our very big bombs. But what those bombs do, whom they hurt or kill, whom they displace from their homes and lives, these are things that Americans turn out to care remarkably little about.

All this puts me sadly in mind of a song popular in my youth, a time when Cat Stevens sang of a " peace train " that was "soundin' louder" in America. Today, that peace train's been derailed and replaced by an armed and armored one eternally prepared for perpetual war -- and that train is indeed soundin' louder to the great peril of us all.

War on Spaceship Earth

Here's the rub, though: even the Pentagon knows that our most serious enemy is climate change , not China or Russia or terror, though in the age of Donald Trump and his administration of arsonists its officials can't express themselves on the subject as openly as they otherwise might. Assuming we don't annihilate ourselves with nuclear weapons first, that means our real enemy is the endless war we're waging against Planet Earth.

The U.S. military is also a major consumer of fossil fuels and therefore a significant driver of climate change. Meanwhile, the Pentagon, like any enormously powerful system, only wants to grow more so, but what's welfare for the military brass isn't wellness for the planet.

There is, unfortunately, only one Planet Earth, or Spaceship Earth, if you prefer, since we're all traveling through our galaxy on it. Thought about a certain way, we're its crewmembers, yet instead of cooperating effectively as its stewards, we seem determined to fight one another. If a house divided against itself cannot stand, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out so long ago, surely a spaceship with a disputatious and self-destructive crew is not likely to survive, no less thrive.

In other words, in waging endless war, Americans are also, in effect, mutinying against the planet. In the process, we are spoiling the last, best hope of earth: a concerted and pacific effort to meet the shared challenges of a rapidly warming and changing planet.

Spaceship Earth should not be allowed to remain Warship Earth as well, not when the existence of significant parts of humanity is already becoming ever more precarious. Think of us as suffering from a coolant leak, causing cabin temperatures to rise even as food and other resources dwindle . Under the circumstances, what's the best strategy for survival: killing each other while ignoring the leak or banding together to fix an increasingly compromised ship?

Unfortunately, for America's leaders, the real "fixes" remain global military and resource domination, even as those resources continue to shrink on an ever-more fragile globe. And as we've seen recently, the resource part of that fix breeds its own madness, as in President Trump's recently stated desire to keep U.S. troops in Syria to steal that country's oil resources, though its wells are largely wrecked (thanks in significant part to American bombing) and even when repaired would produce only a miniscule percentage of the world's petroleum.

If America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen prove anything, it's that every war scars our planet -- and hardens our hearts. Every war makes us less human as well as less humane. Every war wastes resources when these are increasingly at a premium. Every war is a distraction from higher needs and a better life.

Despite all of war's uses and abuses, its allures and temptations, it's time that we Americans showed some self-mastery (as well as decency) by putting a stop to the mayhem. Few enough of us experience "our" wars firsthand and that's precisely why some idealize their purpose and idolize their practitioners. But war is a bloody, murderous mess and those practitioners, when not killed or wounded, are marred for life because war functionally makes everyone involved into a murderer.

We need to stop idealizing war and idolizing its so-called warriors. At stake is nothing less than the future of humanity and the viability of life, as we know it, on Spaceship Earth.

likbez December 2, 2019 at 3:17 AM

I think that the main reason of the current level of militarism in the USA foreign policy is that after dissolution of the USSR neo-conservatives were allowed to capture the State Department and foreign policy establishment. This process actually started under Reagan. During Bush II administration those “crazies from the basement” fully controlled the US foreign policy and paradoxically they continued to dominate in Obama administration too.

They preach “Full Spectrum Dominance” (Wolfowitz doctrine) and are not shy to unleash the wars to enhance the USA strategic position in particular region (color revolution can be used instead of war, like they in 2014 did in Ukraine). Of course, being chichenhawks, neither they nor members of their families fight in those wars.

For some reason despite his election platform Trump also populated his administration with neoconservatives. So it might be that maintaining the USA centered global neoliberal empire is the real reason and the leitmotiv of the USA foreign policy. that’s why it does not change with the change of Administration: any government that does not play well with the neoliberal empire gets in the hairlines.

Which also means that the USA foreign policy is not controlled by the elected officials but by the “Deep State” (look at Vindman and Fiona Hill testimonies for the proof). So this is kind of Catch 22 in which the USA have found itself. We will be bankrupted by our neoconservative foreign establishment (which self-reproduce in each and every administration). And we can do nothing to avoid it.

wjastore says: December 2, 2019 at 8:09 AM
Good point. But why the rise of the neocons? Why did they prosper? I'd say because of the military-industrial complex. Or you might say they feed each other, but the Complex came first. And of course the Complex is a dominant part of the Deep State. How could it not be? Add in 17 intelligence agencies, Homeland Security, the Energy Dept's nukes, and you have a dominant DoD that swallows up more than half of federal discretionary spending each year.
likbez December 2, 2019 at 12:09 PM
I agree, but it is a little bit more complex. You need an ideology to promote the interests of MIC. You can't just say -- let's spend more than a half of federal discretionary spending each year..

That's where neo-conservatism comes into play. So they are not only lobbyists for MIC, but they also serve as "ideological support", trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of militarism.

wjastore December 2, 2019 at 12:25 PM

Yes. Ideology is vital. During the Cold War it was all about containing/resisting/defeating the godless Communists. Once they were defeated, what then? We heard brief talk about a "peace dividend," but then the neocons came along, selling full-spectrum dominance and America as the sole superpower.

The neocons were truly unleashed by the 9/11 attacks, which they exploited to put their vision in motion. The Complex was only too happy to oblige, fed as it was by massive resources.

Think about how no one was punished for the colossal intelligence failure of 9/11. Instead, all the intel agencies were rewarded with more money and authority via the PATRIOT Act.

The Afghan war is an ongoing disaster, the Iraq war a huge misstep, Libya a total failure, yet the Complex has even more Teflon than Ronald Reagan. All failures slide off of it.

greglaxer , December 2, 2019 at 4:12 PM

There is a still bigger picture to consider in all this. I don't want to open the door to conspiracy theory–personally, I find the claim that explosives were placed inside the World Trade Center prior to the strikes by aircraft on 9/11 risible–but it certainly was convenient for the Regime Change Gang that the Saudi operatives were able to get away with what they did on that day, and in preparations leading up to it.

Leaving that specific incident aside, the bigger picture is that the brains behind the Deep State understand that global capitalism is running out of new resources (which includes human labor) to exploit. Why is the US so concerned with Africa right now, with spies and Special Forces operatives all over that continent? Africa is the final frontier for development/exploitation. (The US is also deeply concerned about China's setting down business roots there, and wants to counterbalance their activities.)

Once the great majority of folks in Africa have cellphones and subscriptions to Netflix whither capitalism? Trump denies the severity of the climate crisis because that is part of the ideology/theology of the GOP.

The brains in the US Ruling Class know full well that natural resources will become ever more valuable moving forward, as weather disasters make it harder to access them. Thus, the Neo-Cons (you thought I'd never get around to them, right?) came to the fore because they advocate the unbridled use of brute military force to obtain what they want from the world. Or, to use their own terminology, the US "must have the capability to project force anywhere on the planet" at a moment's notice. President Obama was fully in agreement with that concept. Beware the wolf masquerading as a peaceable sheep!

[Dec 02, 2019] The cost of militarism cannot be measured only in lost opportunities, lives and money. There will be a long hangover of shame

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "The cost cannot be measured only in lost opportunities, lives and money. There will be a long hangover of shame. Its essence was summed up by Col. Ted Westhusing, an Army scholar of military ethics who was an innocent witness to corruption, not a participant, when he died at age 44 of a gunshot wound to the head while working for Gen. David Petraeus training Iraqi security forces in Baghdad in 2005. He was at the time the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq." ..."
"... " 'I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars,' Colonel Westhusing wrote, abbreviating the word mission. 'I am sullied.' " ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com

Michael N. Moore , says: at 12:13 pm

In my opinion the most under-reported event of the Iraq war was the suicide of military Ethicist Colonel Ted Westhusing. It was reported at the end of a Frank Rich column that appeared in the NY Times of 10-21-2007:

"The cost cannot be measured only in lost opportunities, lives and money. There will be a long hangover of shame. Its essence was summed up by Col. Ted Westhusing, an Army scholar of military ethics who was an innocent witness to corruption, not a participant, when he died at age 44 of a gunshot wound to the head while working for Gen. David Petraeus training Iraqi security forces in Baghdad in 2005. He was at the time the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq."

"Colonel Westhusing's death was ruled a suicide, though some believe he was murdered by contractors fearing a whistle-blower, according to T. Christian Miller, the Los Angeles Times reporter who documents the case in his book "Blood Money."

Either way, the angry four-page letter the officer left behind for General Petraeus and his other commander, Gen. Joseph Fil, is as much an epitaph for America's engagement in Iraq as a suicide note."

" 'I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars,' Colonel Westhusing wrote, abbreviating the word mission. 'I am sullied.' "

Michael N. Moore , says: February 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm
As per the request of James Canning for more information on Col. Ted Westhusing, please see:

http://www.correntewire.com/a_disturbing_suicide_note_from_iraq

Or the book "Blood Money" by T. Christian Miller

thefatefullightning , says: June 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm
"The tiny pink candies at the bottom of the urinals are reserved for Field Grade and Above." --sign over the urinals in the "O" Club at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, 1965.

Now that sentiment, is Officer-on-Officer. The same dynamic tension exists throughout all Branches and ranks.

My background includes a Combat Infantry Badge and a record of having made Spec Four , two times. If you don't know what that means, stop reading here.

I feel that no one should be promoted E-5 or O-4, if they are to command men in battle, unless they have had that life experience themselves. It becomes virgins instructing on sexual etiquette.

Within the ranks, there exists a disdain for officers, in general. Some officers overcome this by their actions, but the vast majority cement that assessment the same way.
What makes the thing run is the few officers who are superior human beings, and the NCOs who are of that same tribe. And there is a love there, from top to bottom and bottom to top, a brotherhood of warriors which the civilian population will forever try to discern, parse and examine to their lasting frustration and ignorance.

It is the spirit of this nation [Liberty, e pluribus unum and In God We Trust ] that is the binding filament of it all. The civilians responsible for the welfare of the armed services need to be more fully aware of that spirit and they need to bring it into the air-conditioned offices they inhabit when they make decisions about men who know sacrifice.

Terrence Zehrer , says: July 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm
But the Pentagon is excellent at what it does – extort money from the US taxpayer. I call it treason.

"Massive military budgets erode the economic foundation on which true national security is dependent."

– Dwight Eisenhower

[Dec 02, 2019] A bunch of neocons in key positions in Trump administration really represents a huge threat to world peace

Notable quotes:
"... No. My point was it's very misleading. Misleading to set the parameters of discussion on U.S. posture toward Russia in such a way as to assume that Putin's actions against a purported Russian "democracy" have anything at all to do with USian antagonism of Russia. I'm sure you'll note current U.S. military cooperation with that boisterous hotbed of democratic activity, Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. Our allies in the house of Saud require help in defending their democratic way of life against the totalitarianism of Yemeni tribes, you see. The U.S. opposes anti-democratic forces whenever and where ever it can, especially in the Middle East. I guess that explains USian antipathy to Russia. ..."
Oct 28, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
Howard Frank in this blog provides a good example of Vichy left thinking...

Howard Frant 10.26.16 at 6:19 am 73

Stephen @58

Howard Frant 10.26.16 at 6:19 am ( )

Stephen @58

Yes, it was late and I was tired, or I wouldn't have said something so foolish. Still, the point is that after centuries of constant war, Europe went 70 years without territorial conquest. That strikes me as a significant achievement, and one whose breach should not be taken lightly.

phenomenal cat @64

So democratic structures have to be robust and transparent before we care about them? I'd give a pretty high value to an independent press and contested elections. Those have been slowly crushed in Russia. The results for transparency have not been great. Personally, I don't believe that Ukraine is governed by fascists, or that Ukraine shot down that jetliner, but I'm sure a lot of Russians do.

Russian leaders have always complained about "encirclement," but we don't have to believe them. Do you really believe Russia's afraid of an attack from Estonia? Clearly what Putin wants is to restore as much of the old Soviet empire as possible. Do you think the independence of the Baltic states would be more secure or less secure if they weren't members of NATO? (Hint: compare to Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova.)

phenomenal cat 10.26.16 at 6:55 pm 84

"So democratic structures have to be robust and transparent before we care about them?"

No. My point was it's very misleading. Misleading to set the parameters of discussion on U.S. posture toward Russia in such a way as to assume that Putin's actions against a purported Russian "democracy" have anything at all to do with USian antagonism of Russia. I'm sure you'll note current U.S. military cooperation with that boisterous hotbed of democratic activity, Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. Our allies in the house of Saud require help in defending their democratic way of life against the totalitarianism of Yemeni tribes, you see. The U.S. opposes anti-democratic forces whenever and where ever it can, especially in the Middle East. I guess that explains USian antipathy to Russia.

"I'd give a pretty high value to an independent press and contested elections."

Yeah, it'd be interesting to see what the U.S. looked like with those dynamics in place.

"Those have been slowly crushed in Russia. The results for transparency have not been great."

If you say so. For now I'll leave any decisions or actions taken on these outcomes to Russian citizens. I would, however, kindly tell Victoria Nuland and her ilk to fuck off with their senile Cold War fantasies, morally bankrupt, third-rate Great Game machinations, and total spectrum dominance sociopathy.

"Personally, I don't believe that Ukraine is governed by fascists, or that Ukraine shot down that jetliner, but I'm sure a lot of Russians do."

There's definitely some of 'em hanging about, but yeah it mostly seems to be a motley assortment of oligarchs, gangsters, and grifters tied into international neoliberal capital and money flows. No doubt Russian believe a lot things. I find Americans tend to believe a lot things as well.

[Dec 02, 2019] The Vichy left – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their own prosperity

Notable quotes:
"... Pretty consistent, I agree. IMHO Sanjait might belong to the category that some people call the "Vichy left" – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their 'own' prosperity and support the candidate who intends to protect it, everybody else be damned. ..."
"... Very neoliberal approach if you ask me. Ann Rand would probably be proud for this representative of "creative class". ..."
"... Essentially the behavior that we've had for the last 8 years with the king of "bait and switch". ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Sanjait -> Sandwichman ... October 24, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Some paranoid claptrap to go along with your usual anti intellectualism.

Interestingly, with your completely unrelated non sequitur, you've actually illustrated something that does relate to Krugmans post. Namely that there are wingnuts among us. They've taken over the Republican Party, but the left has some too. Fortunately though the Democratic Party hasn't been taken over by them yet, and is still mostly run by grown ups.

Sandwichman -> Sanjait... , October 24, 2016 at 10:42 AM

I am confident that what you say here is consistent with your methods and motivations.
likbez -> Sandwichman ...
"I am confident that what you say here is consistent with your methods and motivations."

Pretty consistent, I agree. IMHO Sanjait might belong to the category that some people call the "Vichy left" – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their 'own' prosperity and support the candidate who intends to protect it, everybody else be damned.

Very neoliberal approach if you ask me. Ann Rand would probably be proud for this representative of "creative class".

Essentially the behavior that we've had for the last 8 years with the king of "bait and switch".

[Dec 02, 2019] Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple AI

Notable quotes:
"... Seeing Like a State ..."
"... More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai. ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

The theory behind this is one of strength reinforcing strength – the strengths of ubiquitous data gathering and analysis reinforcing the strengths of authoritarian repression to create an unstoppable juggernaut of nearly perfectly efficient oppression. Yet there is another story to be told – of weakness reinforcing weakness. Authoritarian states were always particularly prone to the deficiencies identified in James Scott's Seeing Like a State – the desire to make citizens and their doings legible to the state, by standardizing and categorizing them, and reorganizing collective life in simplified ways, for example by remaking cities so that they were not organic structures that emerged from the doings of their citizens, but instead grand chessboards with ordered squares and boulevards, reducing all complexities to a square of planed wood . The grand state bureaucracies that were built to carry out these operations were responsible for multitudes of horrors, but also for the crumbling of the Stalinist state into a Brezhnevian desuetude, where everyone pretended to be carrying on as normal because everyone else was carrying on too. The deficiencies of state action, and its need to reduce the world into something simpler that it could comprehend and act upon created a kind of feedback loop, in which imperfections of vision and action repeatedly reinforced each other.

So what might a similar analysis say about the marriage of authoritarianism and machine learning? Something like the following, I think. There are two notable problems with machine learning. One – that while it can do many extraordinary things, it is not nearly as universally effective as the mythology suggests. The other is that it can serve as a magnifier for already existing biases in the data. The patterns that it identifies may be the product of the problematic data that goes in, which is (to the extent that it is accurate) often the product of biased social processes. When this data is then used to make decisions that may plausibly reinforce those processes (by singling e.g. particular groups that are regarded as problematic out for particular police attention, leading them to be more liable to be arrested and so on), the bias may feed upon itself.

This is a substantial problem in democratic societies, but it is a problem where there are at least some counteracting tendencies. The great advantage of democracy is its openness to contrary opinions and divergent perspectives . This opens up democracy to a specific set of destabilizing attacks but it also means that there are countervailing tendencies to self-reinforcing biases. When there are groups that are victimized by such biases, they may mobilize against it (although they will find it harder to mobilize against algorithms than overt discrimination). When there are obvious inefficiencies or social, political or economic problems that result from biases, then there will be ways for people to point out these inefficiencies or problems.

These correction tendencies will be weaker in authoritarian societies; in extreme versions of authoritarianism, they may barely even exist. Groups that are discriminated against will have no obvious recourse. Major mistakes may go uncorrected: they may be nearly invisible to a state whose data is polluted both by the means employed to observe and classify it, and the policies implemented on the basis of this data. A plausible feedback loop would see bias leading to error leading to further bias, and no ready ways to correct it. This of course, will be likely to be reinforced by the ordinary politics of authoritarianism, and the typical reluctance to correct leaders, even when their policies are leading to disaster. The flawed ideology of the leader (We must all study Comrade Xi thought to discover the truth!) and of the algorithm (machine learning is magic!) may reinforce each other in highly unfortunate ways.

In short, there is a very plausible set of mechanisms under which machine learning and related techniques may turn out to be a disaster for authoritarianism, reinforcing its weaknesses rather than its strengths, by increasing its tendency to bad decision making, and reducing further the possibility of negative feedback that could help correct against errors. This disaster would unfold in two ways. The first will involve enormous human costs: self-reinforcing bias will likely increase discrimination against out-groups, of the sort that we are seeing against the Uighur today. The second will involve more ordinary self-ramifying errors, that may lead to widespread planning disasters, which will differ from those described in Scott's account of High Modernism in that they are not as immediately visible, but that may also be more pernicious, and more damaging to the political health and viability of the regime for just that reason.

So in short, this conjecture would suggest that the conjunction of AI and authoritarianism (has someone coined the term 'aithoritarianism' yet? I'd really prefer not to take the blame), will have more or less the opposite effects of what people expect. It will not be Singapore writ large, and perhaps more brutal. Instead, it will be both more radically monstrous and more radically unstable.

Like all monotheoretic accounts, you should treat this post with some skepticism – political reality is always more complex and muddier than any abstraction. There are surely other effects (another, particularly interesting one for big countries such as China, is to relax the assumption that the state is a monolith, and to think about the intersection between machine learning and warring bureaucratic factions within the center, and between the center and periphery).Yet I think that it is plausible that it at least maps one significant set of causal relationships, that may push (in combination with, or against, other structural forces) towards very different outcomes than the conventional wisdom imagines. Comments, elaborations, qualifications and disagreements welcome.


Ben 11.25.19 at 6:32 pm (no link)

This seems to equivocate between two meanings of bias. Bias might mean a flaw that leads to empirically incorrect judgements and so to bad decisions, and it's true that that type of bias could destabilize an authoritarian state. But what we usually worry about with machine learning is that the system will find very real, but deeply unjust, patterns in the data, and reinforce those pattern. If there's a particular ethnic group that really does produce a disproportionate number of dissidents, and an algorithm leads to even-more-excessive repression of that group -- I'm not sure why an authoritarian state would see a stability threat in that tendency.

More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai.

faustusnotes 11.26.19 at 1:00 am (no link)
I'd just like to point out (re: the tweet in the original post) that the "Uighur face-matching AI" idea is bullshit invented by scaremongers, with no basis in fact and traceable to a shoddy reddit thread. The Chinese government is not using facial recognition to identify Uighur, and the facial recognition fears about the Chinese government are vastly overstated.

Australia's border control facial recognition software is far more advanced than China's, as is the UK's, and facial recognition is actually pretty common in democracies. See e.g. the iPhone.

The main areas in which China uses facial recognition are in verifying ID for some high cost functions (like buying high speed rail tickets), and it's quite easy to avoid these functions by joining a queue and paying a human. The real intrusiveness of the Chinese security state is in its constant bag searches and very human-centric abuses of power in everyday life in connection with "security". Whether you get stopped and searched depends a lot on very arbitrary and error prone judgments by bored security staff at railway stations, in public squares, and on buses, not some evil intrusive state technology.

Conversely, the UK is a world leader in installing and using CCTV cameras, and has been for a long time. Furthermore, these CCTV cameras are a huge boon to law-abiding citizens, since they act as both excellent forms of crime prevention (I have had this experience myself) and for finding serious criminals. The people responsible for the death of those 39 Vietnamese labourers in the ice truck were caught because of CCTV; so was the guy who murdered that woman on the street in Melbourne a few years ago.

Finally to address another point that's already been raised (sadly): China no longer harvests organs, and the 2019 report that says it does is a sham. The social credit system is also largely a myth, and nobody from China even seems to know wtf it is.

If you're going to talk about how state's work, and the relative merits of autocratic vs. democratic states and their interaction with technology, it's a really good idea to get the basic facts right first.

Nathanael 11.26.19 at 6:10 am (no link)
I'll add that John Quiggin's point that Xi has already lost control of the provinces is correct -- but it DOES threaten his position as dictator. Once the provincial governors know they can act with impunity, it is absolutely standard for the next step to be getting rid of that annoying guy who is pretending to be dictator. It may take a few years but Xi now has dozens of powerful insiders who know that he's a weakling. They'll bide their time but when he crosses too many of them they'll take him out. And if China doesn't shut down coal, he's going to look like a weakling internationally too, in a couple of years. This will create a new group of ambitious insiders with a different reason to take him out.

Xi broke the "technocratic consensus" which was present after Deng, of central committee members who strove for competence and fact-based decision-making. That was a surprisingly effective type of junta government which led to lots of thinkpieces about whether authoritarian China would beat the democratic west. But it succumbed to the succession problem, like all authoritarian systems; Xi made himself Premier-for-life and the country is now exhibiting all the usual failures of authoritarian countries.

Hidari 11.26.19 at 9:08 am (no link)
@11 Yes it's strange that allegations of Chinese use of facial recognition software is gaining so much traction at a time when the Trump regime is deliberately ratcheting up tensions with China to pursue nakedly imperial goals, when the objective facts of Israeli use of similar software, which the Israelis boast about ( https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/why-did-microsoft-fund-israeli-firm-surveils-west-bank-palestinians-n1072116 ) doesn't cause so much interest, at a time when the Trump regime has simple decreed that the Israeli invasion/colonisation of Palestine is 'legal under international law'.

One of life's little mysteries I guess.

If we must talk about China could we at least bring it back to areas where we are responsible and where, therefore, we can do something about it?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/01/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-to-build-training-camp-in-chinas-xinjiang

[Dec 01, 2019] The Short Road Democracy to Fascism - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Dec 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

The Short Road: Democracy to Fascism By Larry Romanoff Global Research, November 30, 2019 Region: USA Theme: History

Fascism is a political ideology fundamentally authoritarian in character, with a strong nationalism and an essentially belligerent militaristic outlook. Fascism carries primarily a corporate perspective as opposed to a socialist view, directed to satisfying the needs, values and objectives of finance and corporations, organising both the economy and the political system according to this agenda.

A fascist government actively suppresses any objection to its ideology and typically will crush any movement which opposes it. In keeping with their belligerent nature, fascist governments generally view violence and war as stimulants to national spirit and vitality.

Being politically Right-Wing, they maintain their position through firm control or compliance of the media, and most often engage in a vast array of lies and deception. These governments tend to be bigoted, if not racist, invariably require "enemies" to achieve public solidarity, and are often supremacist or at least 'exceptional' in their self-assessment. They either believe, or pretend to believe, that they have a license on truth. Large military budgets, the creation and demonisation of fictitious enemies to propagate fear and maintain population control, are all typical characteristics of a fascist regime, as is massive public surveillance.

In 1995 the Italian Scholar Umberto Eco produced a paper titled 'Eternal Fascism' (1) in which he examined the characteristics of fascist regimes. In 2003, Laurence W. Britt did an excellent and scholarly work in dissecting and categorising past fascist regimes (2), in which he revealed common threads that linked all of them in "patterns of national behavior and abuse of power". He wrote that "Even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi, (which is) not a revelation but useful to shed needed light on current circumstances." I am including here a composite of edited extracts from these two papers with additional commentary of my own. Significant statements by these two authors are in quotation marks. This is a list of the characteristics of fascist states, taken from Britt's original article:

Early Warning Signs of Fascism

If we examine the US on these categories, we find an almost perfect match. Certainly the US has the most strident nationalism of all nations today, with the hysteria of patriotism and flag-worship unabated and even increasing, with the delusional theory of American Exceptionalism as virulent as ever.

There is no question about military supremacy , with the US spending almost twice as much on its military as the rest of the world combined and being by an order of magnitude the world's largest arms manufacturer and dealer. Obama once stated flatly that for the US to remain 'peaceful and prosperous' it needed the world's largest and most powerful military to maintain an overwhelming military supremacy. Obsession with issues of national security is so common in the US today they have become objects of ridicule. Every manner of information is withheld, every manner of lie is told, every manner of crime is committed, all with the excuse of 'national security'. Britt noted that a national security apparatus was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints, with its actions always justified under the rubric of protecting "national security", and that questioning these oppressive activities is now often portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

All the fascist regimes have an obsession with crime and punishment, Britt stating that most "maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations" – a perfect description of America today, including the 'unchecked power and rampant abuse' by the police. He also noted that in all these fascist states, 'normal' crime and political crime were almost interchangeable, "often merged into trumped-up criminal charges used against political opponents of the regime". These characteristics of crime, punishment and incarceration are all fields in which America leads the world by a wide margin today as we have already seen.

In terms of enemies being needed for solidarity and to maintain "a unifying cause", the US is also the outstanding world leader, creating real and fictitious enemies not only for itself, but doing a rather good job in creating animosities throughout the world. In fact, a signature feature of the US is its worldwide propagation of regional unrest, as we see in Asia today, and with interference in the Ukraine, Russia, China, and dozens of other countries. Creating political chaos and large military risks is a common fascist trait, which is partly why military supremacy is necessary, black and white America attempting to partition the world into ideological factions, often in preparation for war.

For some decades, the US milked the Cold War for all it was worth, casting the Soviet Union as a bitter enemy and creating animosity where none would have existed. With the fall of the USSR, the US turned immediately to other nations, never really forgetting Russia, and then created its 9-11 'Pearl Harbor Moment' that would permit it to have a permanent enemy in the person of 'terrorism', a war that will never be won since the US creates all the terrorist events to prolong it. It has the added advantage of demonising all the world's Muslims while equating all Arabs with terrorists. Enough enemies here for a lifetime of fascism.

A fundamental practice of a fascist or pre-fascist government is demonisation of 'the others', outsiders who are the enemy.

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