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Deep State

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Introduction


DEEP STATE n. A hard-to-perceive level of government or super-control that exists regardless of elections and that may thwart popular movements or radical change. Some have said that Egypt is being manipulated by its deep state.

A Wordnado of Words in 2013 - NYTimes.com , Dec 21, 2013

"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.... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations."

President Harry Truman

"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence - on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.

It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed."

President John_F._Kennedy, speech on April 27, 1961

In the mind of ordinary American the term "Deep State" and "democracy" happily coexist. Most do not even understand that they are infected  with what in famous George Orwell novel 1984 is called "Doublethink."  The  existence of uncontrollable elite in the form of the "Deep State" that core of which consititute Wall Street bankers, MIC and brass of the intelligence agencies is incompatible with the existence of the democracy, unless we assume that democracy exists for the top 1% or even less of the population. It is some modernized feudalism for all the rest. This strange, but stable combination is called neoliberalism.

In a way, the concept of  Corporatism and the concept of  "deep state" are very close. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy, or via back door including the "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In the latter case part of power of  the "surface state" is preserved. But it just provided the legitimacy to the rule of the "Deep State" or "Inner Party in terms of Orwell dystopia 1984.  

Deep state just adds another component to pre-existing since the end of WWII  military industrial complex (see Eisenhower warning about MIC ) corporatism power structure -- intelligence agencies.  With this addition elections became simply device to legitimize the governance of the current elite, with undesirable for the elite candidates filtered before they can compete in election by various means, including radical as was the case with JFK assassination.  Elections serve just of Potemkin village legitimizing the candidate that was chosen by tiny elite. With the exception of deep social crisis like was the case with election of Trump, who definitely was less preferred by the deep state candidate then Hillary Clinton.

 Elections serve just of Potemkin village legitimizing the candidate that was chosen by tiny elite, an important part of which are now intelligence agencies, which acquired political role. The problem of control by the civil society of intelligence agencies so far is unresolved.

We can say that Deep State emerged simultaneously with powerful intelligence agencies after WWII.  In case of the USA it was Truman who created added CIA to the roster of intelligence agencies and as such he can be called a godfather of the US deep state. This concept became more well known recently in view of color revolution against Trump launched by Clinton wing of Democratic party (so called "soft neoliberal" wing)  in association the supporting them elements of intelligence agencies such as State Department, CIA and FBI. 

The concept of the deep state is related to the answer the another fundamental question: Can democracy exists in a state with powerful intelligence agencies like NSA, CIA, FBI (which plays the role of counterintelligence agency in the USA; look at Russiagate) and the State Department (which has functions,  which duplicate those of CIA).  Thus  the concept of the "deep state" can be viewed as a reformulation of the iron law of oligarchy  on a new level (state level), explaining the role of intelligence agencies as an immanent part of the ruling elite.  For example, the neoliberals elite which rules the USA since late 70th (Carter not Reagan was the first neoliberal president of the USA).

The concept of the deep state is related to the answer the another fundamental question: Can democracy exists in a state with powerful intelligence agencies like NSA, CIA, FBI

Intelligence agencies  acquired a special status under corporatism. They became the backbone and the intellectual center of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) which also includes major Wall Street banks (which historically have a very close ties with CIA; CIA was formed by lawyers which served their interests such  as Allen Dulles).   Under neoliberalism the financial oligarchy became the most important part of MIC (especially oligarchy of such banks as Goldman Sachs  and Citibank). Recently Silicon Valley mega corporations also joined it and all of them are closely connected to NSA and CIA (especially Amazon, Google and Facebook).  In a way, military-industrial complex mutated into Media-Military-Financial-Industrial-Silicon Valley complex.

This is a new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources and zero accountability. Members of this  clan stand above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions by civil authorities. They now are a new incarnation of  the "royal court", or in more modern term Nomenklatura, which can, like in old times,  to depose a monarch (or Supreme Leader) or even kill him.

This is a new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources and zero accountability. Members of this  clan stand above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions by civil authorities (on intelligence agencies level, J. Edgar Hoover   who managed to die in his official position, much like the USSR members of Politburo, is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of  the "royal court", or in more modern term Nomenklatura, which can, like in old times,  to depose a monarch (or Supreme leader) or even kill him.

So in a way the concept of "deep state"  implies and emphasizes the hypertrophied role of three letter agencies among unelected government bureaucracy. They are  joined at the heap with financial oligarchy, MIC and Silicon Valley in national politics. Especially in formulating foreign policy. Influence of MIC on  the US foreign policy is nothing new and power of neocon, who are, in essence, lobbyists of MIC attests that. They dominate the USA foreign policy since then end of WWII.  After all one of the most plausible hypotheses of why JFK was killed is that his policies were directed against and curtain power of intelligences agencies (especially CIA which he hated) and MIC.

But devil is always in details and some features of the USA deep state are unique and different the deep state in other neoliberal countries such as EU, GB, Turkey, or Russia. BTW the term "deep state" originated in Turkey. 

The "deep state" victory over voters and political dominance is always "incomplete."  The "surface state" is still keeping some positions and periodically even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas (Church Committee.) Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA/ FBI also has its own internal contradictions. For example NSA and CIA competes for funds. State Department, which is forth most important intelligence  agency  in the USA (and the oldest of all four)  now lost its independence  and can generally be viewed as a subsidiary of CIA, see Emailgate and  Strzogate for details ). Alliance of CIA and Wall Street also can never be absolute. They have somewhat different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. Also there is a fierce competition between intelligence agencies for state resources, which pitch, for example, CIA against NSA and both of then against DIA (just look at Sacrifice of Michael Flynn to neocons story). As we can see from Syria war such differences can lead to essentially supporting hostile to each other  groups of insurgent while trying to achieve the same color revolution based "regime change" in the country.

The statement that relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious are supported by leaked story about how CIA ('humint") was very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint") and tried to duplicate its capabilities ( Vault 7 scandal)  They lie to each other and try to poach  funds from the other agencies. Vault 7 scandal is a strong confirmation that CIA brass is very concerted about increased role and influence of NSA in the era on Internet communications and is trying to counterattack and undermine it.

Add to this a special, more independent, status and role of military intelligence which also now is not in best relations with both CIA and NSA. Destiny of General Flynn, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency,  and in 2017 was entrapped by FBI with the help of NSA and CIA is a strong sign there not much love left between DIA and other agencies (with DIA probably being the most competent of them all three). So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and DIA and vise versa. That gives us some hope. 

The rise of intelligence  agenizes inevitably led to conversion of the state into national security state and we can talk about "election democracy" in such state only with great reservations. Yes some freedom to chose candidatures still exist (as Sanders and, possibly, Trump emergence in 2016 elections attests), but the  final choice is more often then not is determined by intelligence agencies, not so much by voters (FBI derailing of Sanders in favor of establishment candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- quite vividly attests this fact; not that Sanders fought a good fight in this respect serving more like a sheep dog in the elections).

Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism.  But there is second trend here which increase the elite control of the county:  this is dramatic transfer of power to institutions of "deep state", which in certain sense now like TBTF are beyond civil  control. As well as a secret alliance between Wall Street and CIA and other three letter agencies.

All those factors essentially make Presidential and Congress election in the USA truly optional, serving mostly ceremonial, decorative function. Yes elections still continue to exist and sometime provide good theater, within the strict rules of an emasculated "two parties, winner takes all" system, which if you think about it is not that different from one party elections in the USSR.

They still have a role in legitimizing the current rulers, although actual rules are not the same as those who were elected. This is especially true about the two recent US Presidents: George W Bush and Barack Obama.  And that explains why Barack Obama foreign policy is essentially a continuation of policy of George W Bush with minor tweaks.  Just the fact that neocon Victoria Nuland who worked for Cheney was promoted to the key role of the  Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs  tells that Obama controls very little in foreign policy area and that 'deep state" is functioning autonomously and without control of "surface state".

The USA political system does not have a single government. It actually has two distinct governments. They are called "surface state" or Madisonians and "deep state" or Trumanites (national security establishment in alliance with selected members of financial oligarchy, media owners and technocrats). The latter term emerged because it was Harry Truman who signed National Security Act of 1947  which created major three letter agencies (CIA, DOD, FBI and NSA).

Simplifying the complex relation between those two US governments (sometimes Madisonians fight back and have Trumanites to make a temporary retreat) we can say that:

In other words, the "Deep state" represent the actual government of the society by unelected elite, which is composed of high-level officials within the intelligence services, military, law enforcement, judiciary and, often, organized crime. It should be viewed as an extended and more realistic variant of military industrial complex dominance (see Media-Military-Industrial Complex) as it includes selected members of financial oligarchy along with industrialists, Internet moguls,  and media owners.  In British author John le Carré’s latest novel, A Delicate Truth, a character describes the Deep State as

“… the ever-expanding circle of non-governmental insiders from banking, industry and commerce who were cleared for highly classified information denied to large swathes of Whitehall and Westminster.”

Conversion of system of governance to "deep state" which happened in the USA almost immediately after 1947 essentially made large part of federal elections including Presidential elections optional, but they still continue to exist as a ceremonial function for the sake of providing the legitimacy of the government in an emasculated "two parties system" form.  While relationship is more complex then simple dominance, in essence "deep state" is the tail that wags the dog. And JFK assassination (Nov 22, 1963)  meant first of all the triumph of "deep state" over "surface state". In this sense 9/11 was just the last nail in the coffin of democracy.

The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey (and actually Wikipedia discusses only it) but it is widespread modern phenomenon which is a typical model of governance in all major neoliberal states, including the USA, GB and France. For example, it able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process. That's why elected candidates swiftly perform "bat and switch" maneuver and conduct polices radically different from those for which they were elected. As any elite dominance project it is deeply anti-democratic although it uses fig leaf of democracy for foreign expansion via color revolutions and wars. 

Like in Third Reich, this dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. There is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

In other words this is a hidden set of political actors and powerful institutions that are concealed within the wider, “visible” state which, essentially, took over the functions of traditional state, leaving such organization of Executive branch, President, congress and courts mainly ceremonial role. Such transformation is well explained by the Iron Law of Oligarchy and in various forms happened in Third Reich, the USSR, Turkey, China and many other countries.

Mike Lofgren: the “deep state” is the Washington-Wall-Street-Silicon-Valley Establishment

Here is how The American Conservative covers this topic:

Steve Sailer links to this unsettling essay by former career Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren, who says the “deep state” — the Washington-Wall-Street-Silicon-Valley Establishment — is a far greater threat to liberty than you think. The partisan rancor and gridlock in Washington conceals a more fundamental and pervasive agreement.

Excerpts:

These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude.
 

More:

Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee. [3]

The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others. Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus’ expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at theBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy.

Lofgren goes on to say that Silicon Valley is a node of the Deep State too, and that despite the protestations of its chieftains against NSA spying, it’s a vital part of the Deep State’s apparatus. More:

The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.”

Read the whole thing.  Steve Sailer says that the Shallow State is a complement to the Deep State. The Shallow State is, I think, another name for what the Neoreactionaries call “The Cathedral,” defined thus:

The Cathedral — The self-organizing consensus of Progressives and Progressive ideology represented by the universities, the media, and the civil service. A term coined by blogger Mencius Moldbug. The Cathedral has no central administrator, but represents a consensus acting as a coherent group that condemns other ideologies as evil. Community writers have enumerated the platform of Progressivism as women’s suffrage, prohibition, abolition, federal income tax, democratic election of senators, labor laws, desegregation, popularization of drugs, destruction of traditional sexual norms, ethnic studies courses in colleges, decolonization, and gay marriage. A defining feature of Progressivism is that “you believe that morality has been essentially solved, and all that’s left is to work out the details.” Reactionaries see Republicans as Progressives, just lagging 10-20 years behind Democrats in their adoption of Progressive norms.

You don’t have to agree with the Neoreactionaries on what they condemn — women’s suffrage? desegregation? labor laws? really?? — to acknowledge that they’re onto something about the sacred consensus that all Right-Thinking People share. I would love to see a study comparing the press coverage from 9/11 leading up to the Iraq War with press coverage of the gay marriage issue from about 2006 till today. Specifically, I’d be curious to know about how thoroughly the media covered the cases against the policies that the Deep State and the Shallow State decided should prevail. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy here, not at all. I’m only thinking back to how it seemed so obvious to me in 2002 that we should go to war with Iraq, so perfectly clear that the only people who opposed it were fools or villains. The same consensus has emerged around same-sex marriage. I know how overwhelmingly the news media have believed this for some time, such that many American journalists simply cannot conceive that anyone against same-sex marriage is anything other than a fool or a villain. Again, this isn’t a conspiracy; it’s in the nature of the thing. Lofgren:

Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called “groupthink,” the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington: The town is characterized by sudden fads, be it negotiating biennial budgeting, making grand bargains or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the town’s cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive. As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

A more elusive aspect of cultural assimilation is the sheer dead weight of the ordinariness of it all once you have planted yourself in your office chair for the 10,000th time. Government life is typically not some vignette from an Allen Drury novel about intrigue under the Capitol dome. Sitting and staring at the clock on the off-white office wall when it’s 11:00 in the evening and you are vowing never, ever to eat another piece of takeout pizza in your life is not an experience that summons the higher literary instincts of a would-be memoirist. After a while, a functionary of the state begins to hear things that, in another context, would be quite remarkable, or at least noteworthy, and yet that simply bounce off one’s consciousness like pebbles off steel plate: “You mean the number of terrorist groups we are fighting is classified?” No wonder so few people are whistle-blowers, quite apart from the vicious retaliation whistle-blowing often provokes: Unless one is blessed with imagination and a fine sense of irony, growing immune to the curiousness of one’s surroundings is easy. To paraphrase the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, I didn’t know all that I knew, at least until I had had a couple of years away from the government to reflect upon it.

When all you know is the people who surround you in your professional class bubble and your social circles, you can think the whole world agrees with you, or should. It’s probably not a coincidence that the American media elite live, work, and socialize in New York and Washington, the two cities that were attacked on 9/11, and whose elites — political, military, financial — were so genuinely traumatized by the events.

Anyway, that’s just a small part of it, about how the elite media manufacture consent. Here’s a final quote, one from the Moyers interview with Lofgren:

BILL MOYERS: If, as you write, the ideology of the Deep State is not democrat or republican, not left or right, what is it?

MIKE LOFGREN: It’s an ideology. I just don’t think we’ve named it. It’s a kind of corporatism. Now, the actors in this drama tend to steer clear of social issues. They pretend to be merrily neutral servants of the state, giving the best advice possible on national security or financial matters. But they hold a very deep ideology of the Washington consensus at home, which is deregulation, outsourcing, de-industrialization and financialization. And they believe in American exceptionalism abroad, which is boots on the ground everywhere, it’s our right to meddle everywhere in the world. And the result of that is perpetual war.

This can’t last. We’d better hope it can’t last. And we’d better hope it unwinds peacefully.

I, for one, remain glad that so many of us Americans are armed. When the Deep State collapses — and it will one day — it’s not going to be a happy time.

Questions to the room: Is a Gorbachev for the Deep State conceivable? That is, could you foresee a political leader emerging who could unwind the ideology and apparatus of the Deep State, and not only survive, but succeed? Or is it impossible for the Deep State to allow such a figure to thrive? Or is the Deep State, like the Soviet system Gorbachev failed to reform, too entrenched and too far gone to reform itself? If so, what then?

Professor Michael J. Glennon   book “National Security and Double Government.”

The second important thinker in this area is  Professor Michael J. Glennon who wrote the book  “National Security and Double Government.”. The strong point of his views on the subject is that he assumes that there is an internal struggle between those two forms of government, not just passive submission one to another, but in most cases deep state prevails. This move led the USA "beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy."

The "deep state" (call by Professor Michael J. Glennon) The Trumanites, exercise their power due to alliance with Wall Street, almost unlimited funding (with many hidden sources belong US budget),  higher efficiency, abuse of secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and corruption of  the key decision-makers.

Here is how Amazon reviewer Mal Warwick summarized the book in his review written on December 22, 2014

Who makes national security decisions? Not who you think!

Why does Barack Obama's performance on national security issues in the White House contrast so strongly with his announced intentions as a candidate in 2008? After all, not only has Obama continued most of the Bush policies he decried when he ran for the presidency, he has doubled down on government surveillance, drone strikes, and other critical programs.

Michael J. Glennon set out to answer this question in his unsettling new book, National Security and Double Government. And he clearly dislikes what he found.

The answer, Glennon discovered, is that the US government is divided between the three official branches of the government, on the one hand — the "Madisonian" institutions incorporated into the Constitution — and the several hundred unelected officials who do the real work of a constellation of military and intelligence agencies, on the other hand. These officials, called "Trumanites" in Glennon's parlance for having grown out of the national security infrastructure established under Harry Truman, make the real decisions in the area of national security. (To wage the Cold War, Truman created the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the NSA, and the National Security Council.) "The United States has, in short," Glennon writes, "moved beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy. . . . The perception of threat, crisis, and emergency has been the seminal phenomenon that has created and nurtures America's double government." If Al Qaeda hadn't existed, the Trumanite network would have had to create it — and, Glennon seems to imply, might well have done so.

The Trumanites wield their power with practiced efficiency, using secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and the ability to mask the identity of the key decision-maker as their principal tools.

Michael J. Glennon comes to this task with unexcelled credentials. A professor of international law at Tufts and former legal counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee, he came face to face on a daily basis with the "Trumanites" he writes about. National Security and Double Government is exhaustively researched and documented: notes constitute two-thirds of this deeply disturbing little book.

The more I learn about how politics and government actually work — and I've learned a fair amount in my 73 years — the more pessimistic I become about the prospects for democracy in America. In some ways, this book is the most worrisome I've read over the years, because it implies that there is no reason whatsoever to think that things can ever get better. In other words, to borrow a phrase from the Borg on Star Trek, "resistance is futile." That's a helluva takeaway, isn't it?

On reflection, what comes most vividly to mind is a comment from the late Chalmers Johnson on a conference call in which I participated several years ago. Johnson, formerly a consultant to the CIA and a professor at two campuses of the University of California (Berkeley and later San Diego), was the author of many books, including three that awakened me to many of the issues Michael Glennon examines: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. Johnson, who was then nearly 80 and in declining health, was asked by a student what he would recommend for young Americans who want to combat the menace of the military-industrial complex. "Move to Vancouver," he said.

Another good summary of the book can be found is review by Bruce Morgan (Shadow Government )

October 28, 2014 | Tufts Now

Elected officials are no longer in charge of our national security—and that is undermining our democracy, says the Fletcher School's Michael Glennon

Michael Glennon in his office

"We are clearly on the path to autocracy," says Michael Glennon. "There's no question that if we continue on that path, [the] Congress, the courts and the presidency will ultimately end up . . . as institutional museum pieces." Photo: Kelvin Ma

Michael Glennon knew of the book, and had cited it in his classes many times, but he had never gotten around to reading the thing from cover to cover. Last year he did, jolted page after page with its illuminating message for our time.

The book was The English Constitution, an analysis by 19th-century journalist Walter Bagehot that laid bare the dual nature of British governance. It suggested that one part of government was for popular consumption, and another more hidden part was for real, consumed with getting things done in the world. As he read, Glennon, a professor of international law at the Fletcher School, where he also teaches constitutional law, saw distinct parallels with the current American political scene.

He decided to explore the similarities in a 30-page paper that he sent around to a number of his friends, asking them to validate or refute his argument. As it happens, Glennon's friends were an extraordinarily well-informed bunch, mostly seasoned operatives in the CIA, the U.S. State Department and the military. "Look," he told them. "I'm thinking of writing a book. Tell me if this is wrong." Every single one responded, "What you have here is exactly right."

Expanded from that original brief paper, Glennon's book National Security and Double Government (Oxford University Press) takes our political system to task, arguing that the people running our government are not our visible elected officials but high-level—and unaccountable—bureaucrats nestled atop government agencies.

Glennon's informed critique of the American political system comes from a place of deep regard. Glennon says he can remember driving into Washington, D.C., in the late spring of 1973, at the time of the Senate Watergate hearings, straight from law school at the University of Minnesota, to take his first job as assistant legislative counsel to the U.S. Senate. Throughout his 20s, he worked in government, culminating in his position as legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Sen. Frank Church from 1977 to 1980. Since entering academic life in the early 1980s, Glennon has been a frequent consultant to government agencies of all stripes, as well as a regular commentator on media outlets such as NPR's All Things Considered, the Today show and Nightline.

In his new book, an inescapable sadness underlies the narrative. "I feel a great sense of loss," Glennon admits. "I devoted my life to these [democratic] institutions, and it's not easy to see how to throw the current trends into reverse." Tufts Now spoke with Glennon recently to learn more of his perspective.

Tufts Now: You've been both an insider and an outsider with regard to government affairs. What led you to write this book?

Michael Glennon: I was struck by the strange continuity in national security policy between the Bush administration and the Obama administration. Obama, as a candidate, had been eloquent and forceful in criticizing many aspects of the Bush administration's national security policies, from drone strikes to Guantanamo to surveillance by the National Security Agency—the NSA—to covert operations. Yet as president, it turned out that he made very, very few changes in these policies. So I thought it was useful to explain the reason for that.

Were you surprised by the continuity?

I was surprised by the extent of it. I knew fundamentally from my own experience that changing national policies is like trying to change the course of an aircraft carrier. These policies in many ways were set long ago, and the national security bureaucracy tends to favor the status quo. Still, I thought that a president like Obama would, with the political wind in his sails and with so much public and congressional support for what he was criticizing, be more successful in fulfilling his promises.

You use the phrase "double government," coined by Walter Bagehot in the 1860s. What did he mean by that?

Walter Bagehot was one of the founders of the Economist magazine. He developed the theory of "double government," which in a nutshell is this. He said Britain had developed two sets of institutions. First came "dignified" institutions, the monarchy and the House of Lords, which were for show and which the public believed ran the government. But in fact, he suggested, this was an illusion.

These dignified institutions generate legitimacy, but it was a second set of institutions, which he called Britain's "efficient" institutions, that actually ran the government behind the scenes. These institutions were the House of Commons, the Cabinet and the prime minister. This split allowed Britain to move quietly from a monarchy to what Bagehot called a "concealed republic."

The thesis of my book is that the United States has also drifted into a form of double government, and that we have our own set of "dignified" institutions—Congress, the presidency and the courts. But when it comes to national security policy, these entities have become largely for show. National security policy is now formulated primarily by a second group of officials, namely the several hundred individuals who manage the agencies of the military, intelligence and law enforcement bureaucracy responsible for protecting the nation's security.

What are some components of this arrangement?

The NSA, the FBI, the Pentagon and elements of the State Department, certainly; generally speaking, law enforcement, intelligence and the military entities of the government. It's a diverse group, an amorphous group, with no leader and no formal structure, that has come to dominate the formation of American national security policy to the point that Congress, the presidency and the courts all defer to it.

You call this group the "Trumanite network" in your book. What's the link to Harry Truman?

It was in Truman's administration that the National Security Act of 1947 was enacted. This established the CIA and the National Security Council and centralized the command of the U.S. military. It was during the Truman administration as well that the National Security Agency [NSA] was set up, in 1952, although that was a secret and didn't come to light for many years thereafter.

In contrast to the Trumanites you set the "Madisonians." How would you describe them?

The Madisonian institutions are the three constitutionally established branches of the federal government: Congress, the judiciary and the president. They are perceived by the public as the entities responsible for the formulation of national security policy, but that belief is largely mistaken.

The idea is driven by regular exceptions. You can always point to specific instances in which, say, the president personally ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden or Congress enacted the War Powers Resolution. But these are exceptions. The norm is that as a general matter, these three branches defer to the Trumanite network, and that's truer all the time.

So the trend is toward increased power on the Trumanite side of the ledger.

Correct.

If that's true, why has there not been a greater outcry from the public, the media—all the observers we have?

I think the principal reason is that even sophisticated students of government operate under a very serious misunderstanding. They believe that the political system is self-correcting. They believe the framers set up a system of government setting power against power, and ambition against ambition, and that an equilibrium would be reached, and that any abuse of power would be checked, and arbitrary power would be prevented.

That is correct as far as it goes, but the reality is that's only half the picture. The other half is that Madison and his colleagues believed that for equilibrium to occur, we would have an informed and engaged citizenry. Lacking that, the entire system corrupts, because individuals are elected to office who do not resist encroachments on the power of their branches of government, and the whole equilibrium breaks down.

What role, if any, have the media played?

The media have pretty much been enablers. Although there are a handful of investigative journalists who have done a heroic job of uncovering many of the abuses, they are the exception, for a number of reasons. Number one, the media are a business and have a bottom line. It takes a huge amount of money to fund an investigative journalist who goes about finding sources over a period of years. Very few newspapers or television concerns have those sorts of deep pockets.

Second, access for the press is everything. There is huge incentive to pull punches, and you don't get interviews with top-ranking officials at the NSA or CIA if you're going to offer hard-hitting questions. Look, for example, at the infamous 60 Minutes puff piece on the NSA, a really tragic example of how an otherwise respectable institution can sell its soul and act like an annex of the NSA in order to get some people it wants on the TV screen.

What is the role of terror in this environment?

The whole transfer of power from the Madisonian institutions to the Trumanite network has been fueled by a sense of emergency deriving from crisis, deriving from fear. It's fear of terrorism more than anything else that causes the American people to increasingly be willing to dispense with constitutional safeguards to ensure their safety.

Madison believed that government has two great objects. One object of a constitution is to enable the government to protect the people, specifically from external attacks. The other great object of a constitution is to protect the people from the government. The better able the government is to protect the people from external threats, the greater the threat posed by the government to the people.

You've been involved with the U.S. government for 40 years. How has your view of government changed?

Double government was certainly a factor in the 1970s, but it was challenged for the first time thanks to the activism stemming from the civil rights movement, Vietnam and Watergate. As a result, there were individuals in Congress—Democrats and Republicans like William Fulbright, Frank Church, Jacob Javits, Charles Mathias and many others—who were willing to stand up and insist upon adherence to constitutionally ordained principles. That led to a wave of activism and to the enactment of a number of pieces of reform legislation.

But there is no final victory in Washington. Those reforms have gradually been eaten away and turned aside. I think today we are in many ways right back where we were in the early 1970s. NSA surveillance is an example of that. The Church Committee uncovered something called Operation Shamrock, in which the NSA had assembled a watch list of antiwar and civil rights activists based upon domestic surveillance. Church warned at the time that NSA capabilities were so awesome that if they were ever turned inward on the American people, this nation would cross an abyss from which there is no return. The question is whether we have recently crossed that abyss.

To what degree are we still a functioning democracy? I'm sure you know that President Jimmy Carter told a German reporter last year that he thought we no longer qualified as a democracy because of our domestic surveillance.

We are clearly on the path to autocracy, and you can argue about how far we are down that path. But there's no question that if we continue on that path, America's constitutionally established institutions—Congress, the courts and the presidency—will ultimately end up like Britain's House of Lords and monarchy, namely as institutional museum pieces.

Bruce Morgan can be reached at bruce.morgan@tufts.ed

Here is how Christopher Bellavita in Homeland Security Watch summarize an interesting discussion at Cato think tank which I highly recommend to watch:

Why has American national security policy changed so little from the Bush administration to the Obama

That’s the question Michael J. Glennon asks in his book “National Security and Double Government.”

His answer: national security policy is determined largely by “the several hundred managers of the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies who are responsible for protecting the nation and who have come to operate largely immune from constitutional and electoral restraints.” The president, congress and the courts play largely a symbolic role in national security policy, Glennon claims.

You can read a Harvard National Security Journal article that outlines Glennon’s argument at this link: http://harvardnsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Glennon-Final.pdf.  The paper is not an especially easy read, but I found it to be well researched and – for  me – persuasive.

His book adds more analysis to the argument, using (from Graham Allison’s Essence of Decision) the rational actor model, the government politics model, and the organizational behavior model. Glennon extends that framework by discussing culture, networks, and the myth of alternative competing hypotheses.  The book is richer, in my opinion.  But the core of Glennon’s position is in the paper.

This link takes you to a video of Glennon talking about his book at the Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/events/national-security-double-government (the talk starts at the 5:20 mark).

From the Cato site:

In National Security and Double Government, Michael Glennon examines the continuity in U.S. national security policy from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. Glennon explains the lack of change by pointing to the enervation of America’s “Madisonian institutions,” namely, the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. In Glennon’s view, these institutions have been supplanted by a “Trumanite network” of bureaucrats who make up the permanent national security state. National security policymaking has been removed from public view and largely insulated from law and politics. Glennon warns that leaving security policy in the hands of the Trumanite network threatens Americans’ liberties and the republican form of government.

Some blurb reviews:

I’ve spoken to three people I consider to be members of the “shadow national security state.”   One person said Glennon’s argument is nothing new.  The second told me he’s got it exactly right.  The third said it’s even worse.

Professor Peter Dale Scott book and articles

If Michael Glennon conceded defeat, but still has some hope, here we enter perfect Dante hell picture along the lines "Leave all hopes those who dare to enter"

Professor Peter Dale Scott book and article represent probably the most comprehensive coverage, especially his book. But the article in the Asia-Pacific journal represents fair summary of his views on the subject (The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld (Updated March 13, 2014):

In the last decade it has become more and more obvious that we have in America today what the journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin have called

two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1

And in 2013, particularly after the military return to power in Egypt, more and more authors referred to this second level as America’s “deep state.”2 Here for example is the Republican analyst Mike Lofgren:

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.3

At the end of 2013 a New York Times Op-Ed noted this trend, and even offered a definition of the term that will work for the purposes of this essay:

DEEP STATE n. A hard-to-perceive level of government or super-control that exists regardless of elections and that may thwart popular movements or radical change. Some have said that Egypt is being manipulated by its deep state.4

The political activities of the deep state are the chief source and milieu of what I have elsewhere called “deep politics:” “all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged.”5

Others, like Tom Hayden, call the deep state a “state within the state,” and suggest it may be responsible for the failure of the Obama administration to follow the policy guidelines of the president’s speeches:

We have seen evidence of a "state within the state" before, going back as far as the CIA's operations against Cuba. In Obama's time, the president correctly named the 2009 coup in Honduras a "coup", and then seemed powerless to prevent it.6

This development of a two-level or dual state has been paralleled by two other dualities: the increasing resolution of American society into two classes – the “one percent” and the “ninety-nine percent” – and the bifurcation of the U.S. economy into two aspects: the domestic, still subject to some governmental regulation and taxation, and the international, relatively free from governmental controls.7 All three developments have affected and intensified each other – particularly since the Reagan Revolution of 1980, which saw American inequality of wealth cease to diminish and begin to increase.8 Thus for example we shall see how Wall Street – the incarnation of the “one percent” – played a significant role in increasing the deep state after World War Two, and how three decades later the deep state played a significant role in realigning America for the Reagan Revolution.

In earlier books I have given versions of this America-centered account of America’s shift into empire and a deep state. But another factor to be mentioned is the shift of global history towards an increasingly global society dominated by a few emergent superpowers. This trend was accelerated after the Industrial Revolution by new technologies of transport, from the railroad in the 19th century to the jet plane and space travel in the 20th.9

In the fallout from this rearrangement we must include two world wars, as a result of which Britain ceased to act as the dominant superpower it had been since Napoleon. Not surprisingly, the Soviet Union and the United States subsequently competed in a Cold War to fill the gap. It  was not however predetermined that the Cold War would be as thuggish and covertly violent as for decades it continued to be. For that we should look to more contingent causes on both sides of the Iron Curtain – starting with the character of Stalin and his party but also including the partly responsive development of the American deep state.

The Deep State, The Shadow Government and the Wall Street Overworld

The “deep state” was defined by the UK newsletter On Religion as “the embedded anti-democratic power structures within a government, something very few democracies can claim to be free from.”10 The term originated in Turkey in 1996, to refer to U.S.-backed elements, primarily in the intelligence services and military, who had repeatedly used violence to interfere with and realign Turkey’s democratic political process. Sometimes the definition is restricted to elements within the government (or “a state-within-the state”), but more often in Turkey the term is expanded, for historical reasons, to include “members of the Turkish underworld.”11 In this essay I shall use “deep state” in the larger sense, to include both the second level of secret government inside Washington and those outsiders powerful enough, in either the underworld or overworld, to give it direction. In short I shall equate the term “deep state” with what in 1993 I termed a “deep political system:” “ one which habitually resorts to decision-making and enforcement procedures outside as well as inside those publicly sanctioned by law and society.”12

Like myself, Lofgren suggests an ambiguous symbiosis between two aspects of the American deep state:

1)  the Beltway agencies of the shadow government, like the CIA and NSA, which have been instituted by the public state and now overshadow it, and

2)  the much older power of Wall Street, referring to the powerful banks and law firms located there.

In his words,

It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice - certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.13

I shall argue that in the 1950s Wall Street was a dominating complex. It included not just banks and oil firms but also the oil majors whose cartel arrangements were successfully defended against the U.S. Government by the Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, home to the Dulles brothers. This larger complex is what I mean by the Wall Street overworld.

The Long History of the Wall Street Overworld

Lofgren’s inclusion of Wall Street is in keeping with Franklin Roosevelt’s observation in 1933 to his friend Col. E.M. House that “The real truth … is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”14

FDR’s insight is well illustrated by the efficiency with which a group of Wall Street bankers (including Nelson Rockefeller’s grandfather Nelson Aldrich and Paul Warburg) were able in a highly secret meeting in 1910 to establish the Federal Reserve System – a system which in effect reserved oversight of the nation’s currency supply and of all America’s banks in the not impartial hands of its largest.15 The political clout of the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve Board (where the federal Treasury is represented but does not dominate) was clearly demonstrated in 2008, when Fed leadership secured instant support from the successive administrations of a Texan Republican president, followed by a Midwest Democratic one, for public money to rescue the reckless management of Wall Street banks: banks Too Big To Fail, and of course far Too Big To Jail, but not Too Big To Bail.16

Wall Street and the Launching of the CIA

Top-level Treasury officials, CIA officers, and Wall Street bankers and lawyers think alike because of the “revolving door” by which they pass easily from private to public service and back. In 1946 General Vandenberg, as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), recruited Allen Dulles, then a Republican lawyer at Sullivan and Cromwell in New York, "to draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947." Dulles promptly formed an advisory group of six men, all but one of whom were Wall Street investment bankers or lawyers.17 Dulles and two of the six (William H. Jackson and Frank Wisner) later joined the agency, where Dulles proceeded to orchestrate policies, such as the overthrow of the Arbenz regime in Guatemala, that he had previously discussed in New York at the Council on Foreign Relations.18

There seems to be little difference in Allen Dulles’s influence whether he was a Wall Street lawyer or a CIA director. Although he did not formally join the CIA until November 1950, he was in Berlin before the start of the 1948 Berlin Blockade, “supervising the unleashing of anti-Soviet propaganda across Europe.”19 In the early summer of 1948 he set up the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), support of what became by the early 1950s “the largest CIA operation in Western Europe.”20

The Deep State and Funds for CIA Covert Operations

Wall Street was also the inspiration for what eventually became the CIA’s first covert operation: the use of “over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].”21 (The fundraising had begun at the wealthy Brook Club in New York; but Allen Dulles, still a Wall Street lawyer, persuaded Washington, which at first had preferred a private funding campaign, to authorize the operation through the National Security Council and the CIA.)22

Dulles’s friend Frank Wisner then left Wall Street to oversee an enlarged covert operations program through the newly created Office of Policy Co-ordination (OPC). Dulles, still a lawyer, campaigned successfully to reconstruct Western Europe through what became known as the Marshall Plan.23 Together with George Kennan and James Forrestal, Dulles also “helped devise a secret codicil [to the Marshall Plan] that gave the CIA the capability to conduct political warfare. It let the agency skim millions of dollars from the plan.”24

This created one of the earlier occasions when the CIA, directly or indirectly, recruited local assets involved in drug trafficking. AFL member Irving Brown, the assistant of AFL official Jay Lovestone (a CIA asset), was implicated in drug smuggling activities in Europe, at the same time that he used funds diverted from the Marshall Plan to establish

a "compatible left" labor union in Marseilles with Pierre Ferri-Pisani. On behalf of Brown and the CIA, Ferri-Pisani (a drug smuggler connected with Marseilles crime lord Antoine Guerini), hired goons to shellack striking Communist dock workers.25

An analogous funding source for the CIA developed in the Far East: the so-called

"M-Fund," a secret fund of money of enormous size that has existed in Japan [in 1991] for more than forty years. The Fund was established by the United States in the immediate postwar era for essentially the same reasons that later gave rise to the Marshall Plan of assistance by the U.S. to Western Europe, including the Federal Republic of Germany….. The M-Fund was used not only for the building of a democratic political system in Japan but, in addition, for all of the purposes for which Marshall Plan funds were used in Europe.26

For at least two decades the CIA lavishly subsidized right-wing parties in countries including Japan and Indonesia, possibly still using captured Axis funds.27 (One frequently encounters the claim that the source of the M-fund was gold looted by Japan during World War Two (“Yamashita’s gold”).28

As a general rule the CIA, rather than assimilating these funds into its own budget, appears to have left them off the books in the hands of cooperative allied powers – ranging from other U.S. agencies like the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA. set up in 1948 to administer the Marshall Plan) to oil companies to powerful drug kingpins.29

The CIA never abandoned its dependency on funds from outside its official budget to conduct its clandestine operations. In Southeast Asia, in particular, its proprietary firm Sea Supply Inc., supplied an infrastructure for a drug traffic supporting a CIA-led paramilitary force, PARU.30 The CIA appears also to have acted in coordination with slush funds from various U.S. government contracts, ranging from the Howard Hughes organization to (as we shall see) the foreign arms sales of U.S. defense corporations like Lockheed and Northrop.31

... ... ....


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[May 20, 2019] The dirty art of politicians entrapment: Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers, gay sex, pedophilia, or what-have-you, all or in combination

Highly recommended!
That remind me how old Kushner tried to smear his relative...
Notable quotes:
"... They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician. ..."
"... The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right. ..."
"... So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely. ..."
"... As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties. ..."
"... Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level. ..."
"... Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches. ..."
"... Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan. ..."
"... The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns. ..."
"... The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset. ..."
"... B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc. ..."
"... It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. ..."
"... I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria. ..."
"... Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions. ..."
"... Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation? ..."
"... The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents. ..."
"... If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia ..."
"... François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously. ..."
"... Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy. ..."
"... In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern? ..."
"... This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months. ..."
"... Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest. ..."
"... Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. ..."
"... As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country". ..."
"... To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch's fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union's wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he'd been the victim of a "political assassination" -- a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger's parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week's election. Salvini's unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.
...
The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as "populism". It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink


james , May 19, 2019 1:40:31 PM | 1

b - thanks .. i agree "elaborate sting" and "the video was held back until the right moment"... clearly this was a set up.. strache says he is going to pursue this legally..

"working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust." injustices are being done on a constant basis now and being justified by the msm regularly.. i think this is part of the reason people are seeking alternatives - whatever they might be... power to the people..screw the neoliberal agenda and blackmail artists that are so rampant at present...

Bratislav Metulski , May 19, 2019 1:40:51 PM | 2
Funny thing is e.g.- a German comedian Jan Böhmerman knew before. Already in April he said in a Video call live in Austian television duringthe TV-prize-giving of the trophy "Romy" that he couldn´t attend personally to receive the price because right know he was sitting together with some FPÖ-buddies in a Russian oligarch-villa on Ibiza, sniffing cocain, drinking and negotiating the takeover of the "Krone-Zeitung" (the biggest rag in Austira, smth like the "Bild" in Germany or "The sun" in Britain).

Böhmers management released a statement yesterday that Böhermann did know before but didn´t name the source he knew it from.
https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article193725535/FPOE-Vize-Strache-Was-Boehmermann-mit-dem-Video-zu-tun-hat.html

Cui bono?

Paul Damascene , May 19, 2019 1:43:18 PM | 3
Your article here raises a number of important issues. More or less at random:

* If I understand your characterization of your political leanings, based on this and on the perspectives MoA offers, I share many of your views. And whereas there may be a certain Schadenfreude at seeing a right-wing, B-team operator reveal himself, I agree that the forces behind the sting itself are of potentially far greater interest (and danger)..

* For every sting and smear such as this that we see, how many others take place sub rosa, corrupting our political and social landscapes, leaving no evidence that might trigger criticism or resistance?

* I'm not sure of how this plays out legally, but this seems not just to have been a sting, but entrapment, in which (if these were law enforcement agents) we could protest that the only illegal activity being proposed, was by those conducting the sting.

* If this was, as you suggest, authored by the BND, then this would be a clear instance of election "meddling" -- though not of the sort that our shining democracies are now being warned against. (At least President Putin will not be accused of conducting it, for once. That oligarch's daughter could have come from anywhere, but of course Russia.) Russia gets smeared is probably the larger aim, rather than this particularly Austrian politician.

hallelujah hinton , May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4
The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician.
somebody , May 19, 2019 1:56:55 PM | 5
I think the word is protofascist. b. you have got a blind spot seeing geopolitics everywhere. Truth is most of this is simply a battle of billionaires. The key to understand the Ibiza video is the product placement. Everybody there drinks Red Bull plus alcohol (I am not sure about the alcohol the loss of control of the politicians who are present suggests cocaine).

The owner of Red Bull is an Austrian billionaire called Dietrich Mateschitz. Mateschitz is a right wing crank building a media empire in Austria including an "investigative platform" called addendum that is something like the Austrian version of Breitbart.

For some reason "addendum" began to shoot against Rene Benzko, an Austrian real estate billionaire, who intends to take over Kronenzeitung.

And guess what, Rene Benzko was mentioned in the video "as a friend", and a large part of the conversation centered on taking over Kronenzeitung something Rene Benzko is involved in.

Strache, Vice Chancellor of Austria, explained in the video for every Austrian to understand, that his party's scheme is based on accepting illegal contributions via a ngo, and lowering taxes in return. According to what he says in the video he also intends to charge for water by selling the right to the Latvian/Russien "niece of a Russian oligarch" or someone else prepared to pay to his party's ngo.

Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.

Arioch , May 19, 2019 1:58:49 PM | 6
> with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin

Putin himself though stresses his non involvement in that party, he also tried to bootstrap organizations that could supplant or even challenge U.R. at least in some niches.

While U.R. probably is party of Russian ruling elites, it is hardly one-man-show of LDPR/Zhirinovsky kind and whether Putin is "gray cardinal" of U.R. is very questionable.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:05:52 PM | 7
It is said that children and drunk people always say the truth... Why is it not to be taken into account what he said once drunk enough?

For to be a strong leftist, b, you spend a great effort in discharging this man, while whitewashing the far-right saying they are no danger for our societies and assuring that they are clean, when that is a thing you do not know since they have not had yet the possibility to rule.

They are neither cleaner nor inocuous for our societies. For starters they have chosen as scapegoat the migrants when who is to blame for the wave of migration is the US, NATO and their imperial ambitions, so as to throw poor against poor and that way the elites could continue quietly looting us, while we fight each other. You will never heard anything agsint banks ans elites from anybody in the far-right.

FYI, it is not Matteo Salvini who is forming a coalition of the far-right to conflude to European elections, but it is Bannon from his HQ in a Cisterciense monastery in Italy who is commanding this operation. Salvini is really a piece, having supported Guiado and the Venezuelan coup intend, and said what he would do with the Yellow Vests , "I don't go to the Yellow Vests with Molotov cocktails, if anything, I put them in prison" ...

Then it is AfD, who goes also in the block, whose members have claimed the Germans should be proud of the performance of the German Army during both WW....

Then Vox, financed by MEK and Israeli lobby and promoted by Bannon and the WH, who only wear clear neoliberal economic policies in their, for the rest, confusing program.

The best to test what the far-right will do in Europe is taking a look at what is happening in Brazil during these last days, an attack on education and research as if it was a military target ...This, after the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and wide support to coup d´etat in Venezuela...He is also widely supported and financed by the US and Zionists.

The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right.

Bratislav Metulski , May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8
@4 hallelujah hinton
https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Neuwahlen-Der-gefeierte-Stratege-Kurz-hatte-keine-Optionen-mehr-4425362.html
Telepolis one of the oldest and biggest non-commercial online news and discussion platforms in Germany states in the following article, commenting on his statement at his resignation declaration:

"Glaubt er, man wäre bei Alkohol nachsichtiger? Offenbar schien er sich betrunken kaum mehr im Griff zu haben - und dies ist wohlgemerkt seine Erklärung für die Äußerungen im Video. Erst gegen Ende beginnt er eigenes Fehlverhalten einzuräumen und bittet insbesondere seine Frau um Verzeihung, mit der er ein wenige Monate altes Kind hat. Kenner Straches ahnten an dieser Stelle bereits, dass dieser sich bereits für Dinge entschuldigt, die zu diesem Zeitpunkt der Öffentlichkeit noch gar nicht bekannt sind."

Does he (Strache) really assume he would get more indulgence by blaming it on the alcolhol? Obviously when being drunken he wasn´t in control of himself anymore - and this is actually his explanation for his statements in the video. Somehow at the end he finally begins admitting own misconduct and especially asks his wife for forgiveness, with which he has a few months old child. Experts on Strache suspected from this moment on, that he apologized for things which at this moment are not known to the public, yet"

So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.

Jackrabbit , May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9
somebody @5:
battle of billionaires.... Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.
Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead. Only supporting protest Movements (like Gillet Jeune) and free press/citizen journalism (Wikileaks/Assange) will have any real effect.
Zanon , May 19, 2019 2:30:32 PM | 0
Great piece - I dont see how Strache actually made anything wrong or atleast nothing not normal to politicians that constantly seek out support by big, powerful people. Most likely the deep state in Austria struck FPÖ just like FBI struck Trump.

As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties.

Arioch , May 19, 2019 2:36:33 PM | 1
@hallelujah hinton #4

Also notice how she pretended to be a niece.

Not some very close relative like daughter or sister, which may be fearsome, as "russian mafia" oligarch could be expected to "protect" her of ladykillers viciously. But also not some far relative who would be seen alien and have no financial support.

Just enough distance to be safe to hit on and try to share the oligarch's money. It was both honey&gold trap.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:38:57 PM | 2
Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead.

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9

If voting would be such a waste, why would had taken so hard and long to achieve voting for minorities and women? Why the parties go to such efforts to campaign and disguise themselves as wolves with sheepskin like the far-right?

Why would certain forces need to go to such editorial coordinated efforts through their several blogs out there to give an impression of certain candidates which is opposite to what they really are? Wikilieaks/Assange are part of this efforts, btw

Clueless Joe , May 19, 2019 2:44:05 PM | 4
Metulski:

Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level.

Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:44:10 PM | 5
Spanish Colonel ( ret.) Pedro Baños, who was postulated for head of the CNI by the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, was object of slander campiagn as "pro-Russian" by the Spanish cluster of Integrity Initiative, only for declarations on the prejudice of sanctions for Spain, and nobody made such noise....
hallelujah hinton , May 19, 2019 3:03:31 PM | 6
Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan.

Enforcement and and penalties are selective. Selective enforcement. It's how "The Law" operates. Not defending the wingnut pig in the article. I appreciate Sasha's Trojan Horse allegory above.

the pair , May 19, 2019 3:16:52 PM | 7
wow...a bunch of elitist neoliberals with contempt for anyone lacking 10 zeroes on their paychecks and zero useful policies use "russian collusion" to entrap and embarrass a pseudo-right wing politician. who could ever imagine such a scenario? and why learn from the masses you represent when james o'keefe gives you all the inspiration you need?

but at least they blocked the ascension of someone who would trade political favors for money. that kind of nonsense simply won't do in western society.

karlof1 , May 19, 2019 3:24:47 PM | 8
Thanks for this explanation, b! I first saw this reported at Geroman's Twitter and used machine translation of the article he linked, but it lacked the context which you provided. This incident is subsumed within the larger conflict that's trying to keep EU from combining with BRI/EAEU, which means its roots/culprits are NATO/Outlaw US Empire--it points to desperation on their part.
Jackrabbit , May 19, 2019 3:25:34 PM | 9
the pair @17

Some will fail to see the sarcasm. Best to use the /sarc tag.

somebody , May 19, 2019 3:34:51 PM | 0
Posted by: hallelujah hinton | May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4

Sorry, you don't see the Latvian/Russian woman. You see Gudenus' wife who is from Serbia. Whatever the publishing papers got, it was a copy. More will come out.

Copeland , May 19, 2019 4:01:44 PM | 1
The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns.
BM , May 19, 2019 4:14:36 PM | 2
So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.
Posted by: Bratislav Metulski | May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8

The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset.

---

On the issue of "populism" and right-wing parties I confess I have a problem. I certainly want to see the Establishment thrashed, and especially in next week's EU elections, and there is no question that at the moment the right-wing parties have far more potential to upset the establishment than the left. If "Populist" parties are able to radically upset the EU Parliament, that should bring a much-needed hammer and axe to the anti-populist activities of the EU, and hopefully lead to the breakup of the EU.

On the other hand, unlike B, I do have extremely strong worries about the rising power of the far right and their connections to Nazis and neo-Nazis. I am concerned - even without the involvement of Bannon, but far more so with - that the rise of "populism" is a calculated policy of a Nazi segment of the Establishment that is designed specifically to usher in an international Nazi movement across Europe and Latin America under the leadership of and proxies of the - ever more and more Nazi behaving - US (which itself is in so many very real ways descended from Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party and the Japanese war criminals including Bush's family, tight connections with Nazi war criminals in the CIA, and historical leadership figures in the CIA). The large scale and extremely high level infiltration of hardcore Nazis in the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, and CDU politics is a ticking timebomb waiting for its moment. There seems to be similar high level Nazi infiltration in many other countries.

We have to be careful what we wish for!

B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 4:21:50 PM | 3
On how there is real danger with these wolves on sheepskin who only try to divide and conquer the working masses of the world, this old article by Ho Chi Minh on the importance of class conscience and the great labor of the University of the East in the former USSR to get workers of the world conscous and united in the common struggle. Also on the importance of having the right to vote:
Colonialism is a leech with two suckers, one of which sucks the metropolitan proletariat and the other that of the colonies. If we want to kill this monster, we must cut off both suckers at the same time. If only one is cut off, the other will continue to suck the blood of the proletariat, the animal will continue to live, and the cut–off sucker will grow again. The Russian Revolution has grasped this truth clearly. That is why it is not satisfied with making fine platonic speeches and drafting "humanitarian" resolutions in favor of oppressed peoples, but it teaches them to struggle; and helps them spiritually, as proclaimed by Lenin in his theses on the colonial question. To the Baku Congress, twenty–one Eastern nations sent delegates. Representatives of Western workers' parties also participated in the work of this congress. For the first time, the proletariat of the conquering Western States and that of the subject Eastern countries fraternally joined hands and deliberated in common on the best means to defeat their common enemy, imperialism .

Following this historic congress, despite internal and external difficulties, revolutionary Russia has never hesitated to come to the help of peoples awakened by its heroic and victorious revolution. One of its first important acts was the founding of the University of the East.(...)

The sixty–two nationalities represented at the University form a "Commune." Its chairman and functionaries are elected every three months by all the students.

A student delegate takes part in the economic and administrative management of the University. All must regularly and in turn work in the kitchen, the library, the club, etc. All "misdemeanors" and disputes are judged and settled by an elected tribunal in the presence of all comrades. Once a week, the "Commune" holds a meeting to discuss the international political and economic situation. From time to time, meetings and evening parties are organized where the amateur artists introduce the art and culture of their country.

The fact that the Communists not only treat the "inferior natives of the colonies" like brothers, but that they get them to participate in the political life of the country, is highly characteristic of the "barbarity" of the Bolsheviks. Treated in their native country as "submissive subjects" or "protéges," having no other right but that to pay taxes, the Eastern students, who are neither electors nor eligible for election in their own country, from whom the right to express their political opinion is withdrawn, in the Soviet Union take part in the election of the Soviets and have the right to send their representatives to the Soviets. Let our brothers of the colonies who vainly seek a change of nationality make a comparison between bourgeois democracy and proletarian democracy.

These students have suffered themselves and have witnessed the sufferings of others. All have lived under the yoke of "high civilization," all have been victims of exploitation and oppression by foreign capitalists . Moreover, they passionately long to acquire knowledge and to study. They are serious and full of enthusiasm. They are entirely different from the frequenters of the boulevards of the Latin Quarter, the Eastern students in Paris, Oxford, and Berlin. It can be said without exaggeration that under the roof of this University is the future of the colonial peoples.

The colonial countries of the Near and Far East, stretching from Syria to Korea, cover an extent of more than 15 million square kilometers and have more than 1,200 million inhabitants. All these immense countries are now under the yoke of capitalism and imperialism. Although their considerable numbers should be their strength, these submissive peoples have never yet made any serious attempts to free themselves from this yoke. Not yet having realized the value of international solidarity, they have not known how to unite for the struggle. Relationships between their countries are not yet established as they are among the peoples of Europe and America. They possess gigantic strength and do not yet realize it. The University of the East, assembling all the young, active, and intelligent leaders of the colonized countries, has fulfilled a great task, namely:

-It teaches to the future vanguard militants the principles of class struggle, confused in their minds by race conflicts and patriarchal customs.
-It establishes between the proletarian vanguard of the colonies a close contact with the Western proletariat, thus preparing the way for the close and effective cooperation which will alone ensure the final victory of the international working class.
-It teaches the colonized people, hitherto separated from one another, to know one another and to unite, by creating the bases of a future union of Eastern countries, one of the wings of the proletarian revolution.
-It sets the proletariat of colonialist countries and example of what they can and must do in favor of their oppressed brothers
.

This is why it is needed to throw the workers from the West against the migrants from the East and South, to avoid the invincible force they would constitute together. This dirty work is made by the far-right in the name of corporate liberal elites. They can play that they fight each other, but as soon as they get seats at the European Parliament, you will find the previous allegedly opponents all together aligned in the same Eurogroup. Time to time.

Bacchante , May 19, 2019 4:38:44 PM | 4
It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. Yet here we can still talk about he was drunk, how his being set up was unjust, and how the poor guy will have to miss his lovers' right cause in Italy. Those vulgar masses are at it again! There can be no justification about the masses' support of far-right causes and the clowns like him. If you think otherwise it is the likes of moonofalabama next in line to be "fired", or eliminated. Legitimize their causes and it is Germany in 1920s all over again.

Two wrongs do not make a right, unfortunately.

Walter , May 19, 2019 4:56:04 PM | 5
"Left/right", I agree, is nearly without semantic value. Nevertheless class interests remain...how is it that this is so? Think about that, comrades.

And then consider wsws report about "At the annual meeting of the Bundeswehr reserve in autumn 2016, Veith announced: "I dream that in 2026 there will be a provincial regiment in each state with a charismatic commander, a troop flag and an organization of between 800 and 2,000 reservists to support the police and the Bundeswehr in emergency situations." " see> "German government prepares troops for domestic missions" @ wsws.org

Considering the overall aspects, it's rational to expect all parties in Europe to make plans, is it not? Of course the working class is not permitted to make such plans...is it?

Pnyx , May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 6
I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria.

Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions.

I agree with you that this is not the big setback for the right the mainstream parties dream of. But it won't help the fascists in spe in the future either.

Adrian E. , May 19, 2019 5:25:25 PM | 7
Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation?

A first association might be the dirty, deceptive campaigning SPÖ used against Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) - the Silberstein affair -, but I think the methods that were chosen are too different to make a common source likely, Strache was targeted in a much more sophisticated way. The Silberstein affair may, however, be the reason why the tapes have partially been published now rather than before the last Austrian elections - at that time, dirty campaigning might have been discredited too much for the tape to have the desired effect,

The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents.

If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia.

François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously.

Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy.

In the case of Strache and FPÖ, a different motive may also be plausible. There are connections between FPÖ and neonazis, and there are, in my view, legitimate concerns that Strache is too close to such far-right networks. I don't think it is good when right-wing populists whose rise is mainly due to the unpopularity of the neoliberal elites are equated with Nazis too quickly.

But in the case of FPÖ, this is less far-fetched than in the case of other European right-wing parties - historically, Nazis played an important role in FPÖ in post-war Austria, and it is one of the current right-wing parties that probably has more connections to the extreme right (e.g. via Burschenschaften) than others. I could imagine that someone might have ordered and financed the sting operation out of antifascist principles. While I may recognize the motivation as ethical and even partially agree with it, I don't think the right means were chosen, and such dirty methods can backfire.

Michael Droy , May 19, 2019 5:33:51 PM | 8
"While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties"

Quite. It seems to me that only the Right and the Left have a clue right now, because they have an instinctive mistrust of what they are told in the media.
People like "b" and Craig Murray are to be thanked for explaining that to us middling voters.

You miss the most glaring "injustice". That which shows that GDP in most western countries had doubled in the last 30 odd years, that earnings for the top quartile have gone up by factors of 3 or 4. But that median earnings in US are unchanged, and in say UK are only up 10% or so (unless one is seeking to buy one's own house or flat).

All the improvements in inequality from 1930s to 1980s have been reversed in full. "Populists" (or better "anti-elitists") are driven mostly by sheer anger at how a small group had taken all the Economic gains of the last 35 years.

somebody , May 19, 2019 5:35:30 PM | 9
Posted by: Pnyx | May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 26

I don't know what b. saw in the video what I saw was a discussion of an Orban like take over of Austria by FPÖ.

In other news people are arguing the following
- who will profit most - ÖVP
- why was the video not published after it was produced in 2017 - because ÖVP wanted a coalition with FPÖ
- why was it published now - ÖVP has been renting advertising space for weeks for an election in September (renting before the video came out), Sebastian Kurz will be the saviour who will get the disappointed FPÖ vote
add
- why the emphasis on Kronenzeitung,
who were the people producing the video
why Red Bull everywhere - Red Bull media empire billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz publicly announced that he would back Sebastian Kurz in 2017

ÖVP/Kurz/Mateschitz have moved so far to the right that there is not much space for FPÖ anyway. His problems will return when he needs another coalition.

brian , May 19, 2019 5:37:28 PM | 0
'The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe'

other?

Erelis , May 19, 2019 6:09:06 PM | 1
While the right wing parties in Europe don't have a problem with Putin, it does seem that much of the Western European establish has gone full McCarthyite hysterical where they see any contact for any reason with a Russian is automatically criminal. Aside from being a setup it relied the underlying false flag of presenting the woman as a Russian (and hence guility of some crime against the Austrians).

In fact, a suggestion for a column--personal impressions on whether everyday Europeans are falling for anti-Russian propaganda. Polls in the US indicate that Americans simply do not care (they could believe it, but not effecting their daily lives).

S , May 19, 2019 6:36:42 PM | 2
1. The ER (United Russia) party was founded by Sergey Shoygu, Yuriy Luzhkov, and Mintimer Shaymiev. Its chairman is Dmitriy Medvedev, not Vladimir Putin. Putin is not even a member of ER. Putin is the leader of ONF (All-Russia People's Front), which is a nation-wide discussion platform for politicians, professionals, and NGOs.

2. Russian billionaire Igor Makarov denies having a niece: "I was the only child in the family." ( Forbes.ru , in Russian).

3. In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern?

4. This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 6:37:32 PM | 3
Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest.

Leaving aside the discussion of of various factors in that election, this public reaction is typical. Actually, in both cases the core supporters may be energized by the suspicion that this trick was performed by a foreign government. I do not think that there is a particular hostility toward Germany in Felix Austria, but the to the right wing Merkel government is like red cape for a bull. The women who unleashed a wave of refugees. On top of that, traditionally major parties of Austria gained reputation of dirty patronage, so the voters who care about that issue probably do not vote for them.

I do not expect Austrians to demand expulsions of German diplomats -- interference in our democracy -- or other sanctions, but nevertheless it stinks. Making sting operations on politicians has corrupt potential even if it is done by domestic law enforcement, but foreign intelligence services really do not have any excuse.

Thinking about it, the stings against George Papadopoulos described in his book were remarkably similar.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 4
Great minds think alike, S!

That said, Austrians have a reputation of good manners etc., they will not unload their frustration on a girl. BTW, why there are suspicions of Germany being involved? Again, even extremist Austrians probably would like to have some proof before doing anything. I guess, America is indeed exceptional.

Uncoy , May 19, 2019 6:49:33 PM | 5
For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

This all starts with Austrian's Presidential Election of 2016. The FPÖ won the presidential election a couple of years ago in May 2016. After the bell, postal votes overturned it! – postal votes more than 90% in favour of the establishment candidate Van der Bellen. Some constituencies full of Van der Bellen votes turned out to have 148% turn out. There was a court case by the FPÖ about procedure and hinting at ballot falsification. The case was judged by a (non-corrupt but under serious pressure) judge to have enough merit that the elections had to be annulled and the election rerun six months later . Austria went without a president at all for six months!

For six months the mainstream Austrian media campaigned non-stop against the FPÖ and Norbert Hofer. Huge efforts were made for voter turnout (it included huge bussing of potential anti-FPÖ constituencies and bribing pensioners to vote against the FPÖ via parties and cakes). With all of that, Van der Bellen scraped in on 4 December 2016, by 348,231 votes. Despite the non-stop anti-FPÖ propaganda and banging on drums, votes for Hofer's fell by less than 100,000 (95,993 votes to be exact). It's just that with six months to prepare the establishment had found enough "dead souls" to win the second round.

In the parliamentary elections of 15 October 2017, the FPÖ were set to win a strong majority in parliament. To defeat the FPÖ and Strache, the conservatives (Völkspartei) were forced to elect a male model non-university graduate 30 year old sex symbol with no work experience outside of politics as party leader. Of course Sebastian Kurz was mainly a figurehead for establishment figures in the venerable Völkspartei. Kurz does have a mind of his own though (I had the opportunity to interact with him personally at a local political discussion group in 2015) and it's hard to know exactly how much of his policy is dictated to him and how much is off his own bat.

Going back to Austrian corruption, there are enormous sums at stake. There is a long entrenched system of corruption in the establishment parties, the Völkspartei and the SPÖ. Strabag does win most of the government contracts. Favour is regularly granted on quid pro basis. The media landscape is very partisan and mostly for sale. Kurz's spiritual predecessor as a powerful head of the Völkspartei if not direct predecessor Wolfgang Schüssel was forced to retire from politics in 2011 due to never-ending corruption scandals. Schüssel's longstanding finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser was caught carrying bags of cash to Lichtenstein and is still under investigation. If his mother-in-law were not the richest woman in Austria (Swarovski Crystal) and devoted to her daughter (Grasser's wife), he would long ago have been in jail.

Politically, Grasser knows where a lot of the bodies are buried from the Schlüssel political machine so either he has to be kept out of jail or he may take others down with him. In elite Austrian circles turning informant would be considered unsportsmanlike so there's an uneasy truce still fought to this day in the courts where Grasser is kept out of jail via procedural methods (detect a pattern) and Grasser doesn't rat out the others.

Strache's sin is not planning to use the advantages which accrue to the governing Austrian party but getting caught out talking about it. Strache is something of a lout, not terribly loyal (he was the Brutus who threw Jörg Haider under the bus in 2005 in a palace putsch). He's a smoker in power who used his power to overturn some very positive anti-smoking laws. But he's less corrupt than any of his equivalents in the Völkspartei and is only a nose ahead of the his equivalents in the SPÖ. His politics and policies of Austria for Austrians are pretty simple. Hence people vote for these policies.

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

The FPÖ has historically been weakest in Vienna but in 2010 they took 27% of the vote in this SPÖ stronghold, their first step in what has been a steady march to power.

Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. We instinctively abhor what is happening to our nations. By nature Strache is inclined this way himself (he's no great thinker) and has the good sense to ride the wave.

somebody , May 19, 2019 7:11:44 PM | 6
Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 34

As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country".

somebody , May 19, 2019 7:21:16 PM | 7
For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

So why did he step down?

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

You mean FPÖ wares .

Hoarsewhisperer , May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 8
...
"This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:"

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

"The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false..."

I can't agree that Spiegel's attitude to Strache's party is condescending toward the working class. Right-wing parties tend to spout a lot of aggressively authoritarian spin tank bullshit to encourage voters to tune out when a R-w politician is telling them what to think. If Strache is adept at separating fact from fiction and superfluous verbiage, then people would appreciate his candor.

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

I'll always remember Spiegel as the folks whose photo-journalists torpedoed Crooked Hillary's feeble-minded Cheonan (NK-SK) bullshit. That story vanished overnight. It's not even referred to in NK smear campaigns. Dead & buried.

somebody , May 19, 2019 8:15:54 PM | 9
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 38

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

You are making this theory up.

Let's take the American constitution .

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

That's it.

The German constitution is absolutely clear that members of parliament represent all of the people (ie different views and interests) and are bound by their own judgement and conscience only.

As we are discussing Austria, lets see what the Austrian constitution says. Austria has "linguistic and cultural diversity" and the protection of its grown native peoples in its constitution, this means Slovenian, Croatian, Czech, Slovakian, Roma and Hungarian. So the Austrian constitution has a concept of a multinational state where different peoples grow and are protected even if the Viennese "Stammtisch" does not like them.

There is no "democratic theory" that suggests representatives should follow the uninformed and prejudiced views of their electorate against their better judgement.

Strache seems to have specialized in "fake news" - ie mostly invented stuff claiming Muslims, immigrants or whoever were treated in a better way than native Austrians or threatened native Austrians.

It is a very convenient technique when you plan to cut social services, you have someone to blame.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 9:05:45 PM | 0
To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange.

[May 19, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Says Boost From Putin Fans Is Fake News

May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
2 SHARES

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said on Sunday that reports claiming pro-putin Russophiles giving her 2020 presidential campaign a boost is "fake news," though she added that conflict with the Kremlin is not productive.

Speaking to ABC' s George Stephanopoulos, Gabbard said that deteriorating relationships with nuclear-armed countries such as Russia and China "has brought us to a very dangerous point," reports The Hill . She added that, if elected, she would "end these counterproductive and wasteful regime change wars ," and would " work to end this new Cold War and nuclear arms race. "

me title=

On Friday, the Daily Beast published a story claiming that Gabbard "is quickly becoming the top candidate for Democrats who think the Russian leader is misunderstood," based on people who had donated to her campaign. (We somehow missed the Daily Beast article on Hillary's alleged Saudi donors in 2016, but we digress).

Donors to her campaign in the first quarter of the year included: Stephen F. Cohen, a Russian studies professor at New York University and prominent Kremlin sympathizer; Sharon Tennison, a vocal Putin supporter who nonetheless found herself detained by Russian authorities in 2016; and an employee of the Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, who appears to have donated under the alias "Goofy Grapes." - Daily Beast

me title=

On Sunday, Stephanopoulos asked Gabbard about the Beast article, and noted that she met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as her defense of Russia's military presence in Syria, and her comments suggesting that Russian election interference was on par with American election meddling around the world.

"Is Putin a threat to national security?" he asked.

"You now it's unfortunately you're citing that article, George, because it's a whole lot of fake news . What I'm focused on is what's in the best interest of the American people? What's in the best interest of national security? Keeping American people safe," said Gabbard. "And what I'm pointing out consistently, time and time again, is our continued wasteful regime change wars have been counterproductive to the interests of the American people and the approach this administration has taken in essentially choosing conflict ... has been counterproductive


BarkingCat , 39 minutes ago link

I had donated to her. I want to see her in the democratic debates.

Yes my only reason for doing so is because she is anti-was and wants to improve relations with Russia.

There is nothing beneficial about the current aggressive posture towards Russia and most other countries.

It will be very revealing how the other democrats deal with her position.

Greg , 31 minutes ago link

I continue to support her for that same reason. If there are like minded people here on ZH consider donating just $1 as that donation will help get her on stage where her anti-war thoughts can be heard.

samuraitrader , 19 minutes ago link

ditto. Trump said in the debates that "I want to be friends with everyone, including Russia." The rest is history. The USA wehrmacht is going after Tulsi now. We cannot have peace.

wadalt , 59 minutes ago link

regime change wars have been counterproductive to the interests of the American people...

... but very good for APARTHEID Israhell.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Hey Tulsi.

Have an idea for you on how to show true leadership and finish what the Orange "six-sided star" liar said he would pick up ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/11/14/trump-im-reopening-911-investigation/ ) when he began his presidency and then... well... lied to become a treasonous bag of **** just like the ones that preceded him!...

Even Vlad Putin and the rest of the Russian Federation refuse to "touch it". And if you did. You would be the only representative in the U.S. House and Senate let alone the U.S. Federal, State and local government(s) for that matter to do so.

All you would have to say is "we need an understanding why 2 planes demolished 3 building(s) at "Ground Zero" more then 18 years ago, and why the 9/11 Commission never mentioned the Solomon Brothers Building 7 in it's official report?... I (Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard) certainly want to know!... Especially wearing the uniform for what I believed was the reason I was given for invading Afghanistan and Iraq and murdering over 3 million people?... And I want to tell the American people ultimately "why" Building 7 was omitted along with too many other details that Robert Mueller famously dismissed by saying only that " mistakes were made " ...

I've written to you several times about showing the courage to be the only politician since Senator Wellstone to pick up where he left off and support the 13 year endeavors of this organization ( https://www.ae911truth.org/ ) to demand an investigation of the fact(s) now that has the backing of a Grand Jury by signing it's petition!...

But you won't. Because you are like every other "200lbs of ****" in a 100lbs bag that walks the halls of the Longworth carrying the water for the "Tribe"!

Keep telling yourself surfer **** that the job will get both easier and better by lying about that day and what it's done in it's wake to every institution and business in the United States of America let alone the laws of the land just like your mentor the Langley Bath House "boy"!...

dunlin , 1 hour ago link

Yes, Putin knows that an island of sanity and decency in a cesspit of bigotry and firearms is bound to be blown to pieces before she has a chance to deliver. I fear for Tulsi even now.

spoonful , 1 hour ago link

She sounds like the Trump of the 2020 campaign

Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link

Yes, the Russia nonsense is FAKE NEWS. So why is Trump allowing the Israelis, a country that hates the United States, and which has attacked us at least twice (USS Liberty, 9/11/2001), to dictate our foreign policy? Israel is the real enemy!!

Let's look at a quote from one of the former employees of the Mossad front operation "Urban Moving Systems" (likely also the same people who planted the explosives at WTC) had to say about his time there:

In addition to the strange nature of some of the Israelis' possessions in the van and on their person, the company that employed them -- Urban Moving Systems -- was of special interest to the FBI, which concluded that the company was likely a "fraudulent operation." Upon a search of the company's premises, the FBI noted that "little evidence of a legitimate business operation was found." The FBI report also noted that there were an "unusually large number of computers relative to the number of employees for such a fairly small business" and that "further investigation identified several pseudo-names or aliases associated with Urban Moving Systems and its operations."

The FBI presence at the Urban Moving Systems search site drew the attention of the local media and was later reported on both television and in the local press. A former Urban Moving Systems employee later contacted the Newark Division with information indicating that he had quit his employment with Urban Moving Systems as a result of the high amount of anti-American sentiment present among Urban's employees. The former employee stated that an Israeli employee of Urban had even once remarked, "Give us twenty years and we'll take over your media and destroy your country" (page 37 of the FBI report ).

This kind of thing makes one kind of hope for a war in which Israel is bombed back to the stone age, which is clearly where these evil, psychopathic Zionist filth belong!

This is a long article, but read it all the way through. It's proof that Israel was indeed behind 9/11 and that they had numerous operatives in the country who were gleeful about it, having set up video cameras and celebrated the day before by taking a photo of one of the operatives holding a lit cigarette lighter up to the horizon....right in front of the still-standing WTC twin towers.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/newly-released-fbi-docs-shed-light-on-apparent-mossad-foreknowledge-of-9-11-attacks/258581/

For further reference:

https://www.scribd.com/document/409691150/FOIA-Release-of-9-11-Dancing-Israelis-thru-the-FBI

https://www.scribd.com/document/46173840/Dancing-Israelis-Police-Report

https://web.archive.org/web/20020802194310/http://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/DailyNews/2020_whitevan_020621.html

Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link

And look at this. You won't see this in the MSM any time soon:

In addition to Urban Moving Systems, another moving company, Classic International Movers, became of interest in connection with the investigation into the "Dancing Israelis," which led to the arrest and detention of four Israeli nationals who worked for this separate moving company. The FBI's Miami Division had alerted the Newark Division that Classic International Movers was believed to have been used by one of the 19 alleged 9/11 hijackers before the attack, and one of the "Dancing Israelis" had the number for Classic International Movers written in a notebook that was seized at the time of his arrest. The report further states that one of the Israelis of Classic International Movers who was arrested "was visibly disturbed by the Agents' questioning regarding his personal email account."

[May 19, 2019] Obama s Top FBI Lawyer Distances Himself From Steele Dossier As DOJ Investigation Looms

Notable quotes:
"... James Baker, meanwhile, told Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes last week that he's 'nervous' about the DOJ Inspector General's ongoing investigation into FBI/DOJ conduct surrounding the 2016 election. ..."
"... The Steele Dossier is the most amateurish piece of garbage they could think of. It was born out of some comments made by Trump during the debates when both he and his opponents started talking about hand size. ..."
"... When and if Barr and Horowitz get the information compiled, this is going to look worse than a school election of a class president for the 9th grade. Mostly testosterone and no where to put it. ..."
"... Ultimate CYA swamp creature. What ever happened to the "Comey Memo"? Has anybody actually seen it? Was it written on Windows? Can we see the metadata to prove when it was written? or was it penned on a bar napkin, and can be edited at any time. ..."
"... This guy is a lawyer. He owed a duty to inform the judge that his bosses were lying about the warrant. He owed a duty to counsel his bosses to make them stop what they were doing and consider if it was a violation. ..."
"... Unless he did those two things, he should go to jail and also be disbarred and also be subject to civil suits for those who had to pay attorney fees during the investigation. ..."
"... Why are they bending over backwards to protect the British, who were the real interferers in the American election. Clinton mob-CIA-MI6-Steele-Pablo Miller-Skripal-Steele-Clinton mob. ..."
"... Recall the Podesta email, re: DNC "hack": We're gonna make an example of this guy. So, they seem to know who it is that stole the emails, and they are going to "make an example" of him. And do recall the statement of Donna Brazile, who expressed fear for her own safety in the wake of the Seth Rich murder: "you don't know what these people are capable of". ..."
"... When listening to an account of an event on TV or written in a blurb on the internet, always ask, why do they want us to know this stuff? The answer is usually so they can hide what they are really doing. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Obama's Top FBI Lawyer Distances Himself From Steele Dossier As DOJ Investigation Looms

by Tyler Durden Sun, 05/19/2019 - 13:11 759 SHARES

James Baker - the Obama FBI's top attorney (general counsel) said on Friday that he was skeptical about the Steele dossier, and "concerned" about its veracity when the agency received it prior to the 2016 US election, according to the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.

" It was more information that we viewed, that I viewed, skeptically from the outset , and I was concerned about it and had a jaundiced eye, or looked at it with a jaundiced eye right from the outset," Baker told MSNBC 's Chuck Todd, adding "Steele was and had been a source that we thought was reliable. He's reporting all this information. It looks alarming. We took it seriously, but we tried to vet it. "

The dossier - a collection of memos compiled by an ex-British spy funded by Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the DNC - was used by the FBI to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Steele alleged that Page provided the Trump campaign a Kremlin backchannel during the election.

Baker also told Todd that he thinks the FISA warrants against Page would have been granted without the dossier, and took a pregnant pause when asked if the dossier was used to obtain FISA warrants on other people - saying "I don't think I should comment on that, I'm not sure what else the government has confirmed," and adding " I don't want to confirm or deny anything about other potential FISA applications. "

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ckBuIN5kz1w

Meanwhile, Obama's former intel chiefs are at odds over who exactly pushed the dossier .

According to Fox News , an email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier's inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference . Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as "crown material" in the emails - a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy.

In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official "put the blame squarely on Comey ."

Comey, meanwhile, has attacked Attorney General William Barr for investigating him, tweeting on Friday "The AG should stop sliming his own Department. If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found."

Barr, has launched a wide-ranging investigation into FBI conduct during the 2016 election, making him public enemy #1 to the left . In a Friday interview with Fox News , Barr said that the use of the Steele Dossier in the FISA warrant was a "very unusual situation," especially one "that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat jejue analysis. And to use that to conduct counterintelligence against the American political campaign would be a strange development."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sZBb8uMoqdI?start=268

James Baker, meanwhile, told Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes last week that he's 'nervous' about the DOJ Inspector General's ongoing investigation into FBI/DOJ conduct surrounding the 2016 election.

Baker made clear that he wanted to speak "as openly as I possibly can" about the origin of the FBI's investigation into Donald Trump - " to reassure the American people that it was done for lawful, legitimate reasons, and was apolitical, " according to the Washington Examiner 's Jerry Dunleavy.

Things are getting hot in DC and it's only May...


youshallnotkill , 56 minutes ago link

Things you will never read here, but hey, this is from the "failing" NYT so clearly fake news ...

Anti-money laundering investigators at Deutsche Bank flagged to bank executives multiple suspicious transactions on President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner's accounts in 2016 and 2017.

Five current and former Deutsche Bank employees told the New York Times that after computer alerts flagged suspicious activity, the specialists would put together recommendations urging bank executives to report the activity to the Treasury Department.

However, executives refused to act on the recommendations and kept the reports from the Department.

Tammy McFadden, an ex-Deutsche Bank employee who reviewed such alerts, said she found that money had been moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals.

Amanita Virosa , 1 hour ago link

Was it Trump who joked that Gitmo will renamed Comey Island? Like Coney Island with the fun house replaced with the big house.

John_Coltrane , 3 hours ago link

Breaking: We now know positively that there was Russian collusion. But it was via Obama, the Demonrats and their lapdog propaganda apparatus the MSM, Trump was completely innocent. (Saul Alinsky-Always accuse your opponents of that for which you are guilty. Your students, Obuttboy and Killiary studied you well, sensei)

They used a CIA spy asset, Stephen Halper, to feed Russian disinformation via the commie traitor Brennan head of Obuttboy's CIA into their Demonrat Senate traitors who asked for an FBI investigation and that lying sack-0-**** Comey, head of the FBI, complied using the so-called Steele "dossier" to obtain an illegal FISA warrant(s) to spy on members of the Trump team such as Carter Page. Comey knew the dossier and the parallel constructed Brennan pack of lies were fiction yet put his signature on the FISA application anyway blinded by his hatred of Trump and his girly-man nature. They used parallel construction to give an air of credibility to the fictional script written by Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, employer of "hit by an ugly" stick Nellie Ohr and paid to Hilliary and the DNC to smear Trump. The script was written in 2007.

Want more details? Please listen to Dan Bongino's Friday show and laugh your ******* head off at these spygate idiots now caught naked as the tide recedes.

As Dan puts it so pithily, it's not James Bond, it's Bond, James. Its Gitmo for you morons and a Pulitzer to Dan Bongino. And yet the MSM seems not to be aware of this? How can that be? Perhaps, as the commies like to say the MSM needs to be deconstructed, literally!

Josef Stalin , 3 hours ago link

never trust ANYTHING amerikans say ... I am the default example after we saved the World from Nazism - something the amerikan rats are now funding and supporting - they betrayed me in 1945 and that traitor Gorby in 1986 with the NATO scam... and these parameters will ALWAYS into the future determine our level of trust with America ..... it will be ZERO

cryptohalo , 3 hours ago link

It's not Barr's FBI that would be slimed...it's Comey's FBI. But nice try, James.

RKae , 3 hours ago link

This is like watching a movie director, producers and actors blame each other for a flop. They all thought it was a great idea during pre-production, but after the critics take it apart and the public ignores it, they all turn on each other and say, "I knew this was a piece of **** from the start!"

oldanalyst , 3 hours ago link

Baker is lying. He should go to Leavenworth with the rest of the seditious conspirators.

AKKadian , 3 hours ago link

What gutless POS in DC! They don't mind leaking BS lies to the MSMutt's and taking bribes. DC is the biggest enemy the U.S. has in the entire world. Scam Lie Cheat Steal and are total nerd pussies.

ZD1 , 3 hours ago link

Arrest Obama, Hillary and all Democrat socialist traitors for their attempted coup.

TheCentralScrutinizer , 3 hours ago link

Yep.. Carter Page was such a "bad guy" that the FBI permitted him (and continues to do so) to walk around American and NEVER be arrested.. Yep.. that was a pretty strong amount of evidence you guys had there for that FISA warrant.. And you never told Trump either about this "Russian Mole" in his campaign as you're required to do (and as you did for the Chinese mole in Feinstein's office)..

Scrutinizer

OCnStiggs , 4 hours ago link

Bongino has the goods on them, in minute detail. https://bongino.com/ep-979-they-cant-keep-track-of-their-own-lies/

Glenn Simpson wrote the dossier with input from a Putin operative. They ran it through Steele simply to give it "credibility." Wheel out the guillotine and get it lubed up. This is gonna be a busy summer. NOTHING can stop what is coming. Nothing.

MrBoompi , 4 hours ago link

Dear Mr. Comey, there are numerous "bad facts" already out in public, many of them involving you, and many seem worthy of prison.

ducksinarow , 4 hours ago link

I have read many articles from many sources including reading the Mueller Report as it was released to the public and tedious it was.

I have come to the conclusions at this point that:

A. Many amateur actors not familiar with how to do counter intelligence were brought in by the Clinton campaign largely because no expert would have touched what she was trying to do.

B: No one can explain from the very beginning what happened, who knew what when, nor how they were going to answer for it when they got caught, if they got caught.

C. The Steele Dossier is the most amateurish piece of garbage they could think of. It was born out of some comments made by Trump during the debates when both he and his opponents started talking about hand size.

D. When and if Barr and Horowitz get the information compiled, this is going to look worse than a school election of a class president for the 9th grade. Mostly testosterone and no where to put it.

Mimir , 4 hours ago link

And yet FBI has said, that they took the Steele Report seriously because it confirmed a series of information, that FBi already had, but check every line of the report. What was the result of that FBI examination we don't know.

Amy G. Dala , 5 hours ago link

Yeah, right. Comey will email SUBORDINATES to go on record that it's not HIS idea . . .but we'll go with the dossier anyway. If you got a problem with Brennan, why not memorialize that in an email to Brennan?

Ultimate CYA swamp creature. What ever happened to the "Comey Memo"? Has anybody actually seen it? Was it written on Windows? Can we see the metadata to prove when it was written? or was it penned on a bar napkin, and can be edited at any time.

In an alternate universe, we would have Comey, Clapper and Brennan in adjacent rooms, two chairs a table and harsh lighting.

Ace006 , 5 hours ago link

Pretty rich for Comey to call for searching for facts professionally, like the clown car investigation under him was professional. Unh huh. Surrrre.

This Baker *** hat and Obongo and crew looovved the "dossier" and thought it was just the ticket to be used against Trump and his people. Just the most natural thing there was and oh so useful for their purposes. So WHAAAAT if the "dossier" stank like dead cow. Surrre. What Democrat DOESN'T want to pursue a decapitation strategy? And surrre the basis for one was right there in that socialist scumbag's "dossier." And, surrre, i believe Steele is no long were MI-6. Fisking Theresa May.

Surrre this *** hat was just brimming with effing skepticism and I'm surrre there are emails and memos expressing just that, his skepticism.

St. TwinkleToes , 5 hours ago link

I see parallels from the twenties with what's happening today. For example, Prohibition was meant to outlaw drinking. Instead, it made drinkers into outlaws. Breaking the law became commonplace. New York closed 15,000 legal saloons when prohibition began. Some 32,000 illegal speakeasy's replaced them. Upstanding citizens and mobsters became partners in crime, allied against federal agents in the battle for booze.

Today, that battle is against feds for truth and justice.

truthalwayswinsout , 5 hours ago link

This guy is a lawyer. He owed a duty to inform the judge that his bosses were lying about the warrant. He owed a duty to counsel his bosses to make them stop what they were doing and consider if it was a violation.

Unless he did those two things, he should go to jail and also be disbarred and also be subject to civil suits for those who had to pay attorney fees during the investigation.

jmNZ , 5 hours ago link

Why are they bending over backwards to protect the British, who were the real interferers in the American election. Clinton mob-CIA-MI6-Steele-Pablo Miller-Skripal-Steele-Clinton mob.

Had to be "buried" when Trump won, so MI6 took out Skripal and CIA took out Seth Rich.

Amy G. Dala , 5 hours ago link

Seth Rich and CIA? Don't think so. DNC has an army of lawyers, the kind that aren't in the phone book. They know lots of people who are willing to do things for a price.

Recall the Podesta email, re: DNC "hack": We're gonna make an example of this guy. So, they seem to know who it is that stole the emails, and they are going to "make an example" of him. And do recall the statement of Donna Brazile, who expressed fear for her own safety in the wake of the Seth Rich murder: "you don't know what these people are capable of".

CIA would involve too many people.

ducksinarow , 4 hours ago link

If this had not been an amateur job, we would still not know anything. There would be no investigation because the players would never have been identified like 95% of all counter intelligence work. Seth Rich was killed in plain sight as a message to some one else. He was probably the only innocent person involved at such a deep level.

When listening to an account of an event on TV or written in a blurb on the internet, always ask, why do they want us to know this stuff? The answer is usually so they can hide what they are really doing.

[May 19, 2019] Lawrence Wilkerson Warns The US Is Driving Down A Highway To War With China

Notable quotes:
"... More broadly, Wilkerson pegs the ramping up of confrontation with China as "all about keeping the [military-industrial] complex alive" that Wilkerson explains "the military was scared to death would disappear as we began to pay the American people back" a peace dividend at the end of the cold war. US government efforts against terrorism, explains Wilkerson, have also been used to ensure the money keeps flowing. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Adam Dick via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

Former Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, warns in a new The Real News interview with host Sharmini Peries that the United States government is driving down a "highway to war" with China -- a war for which Wilkerson sees no sound justification.

The drive toward war is not undertaken in response to a real threat posed by China to the people of America. Instead, argues Wilkerson, the US government is moving toward war for reasons related to money for both the military and the broader military-industrial complex, as well to advance President Donald Trump's domestic political goals.

Wilkerson, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity's Academic Board, elaborates on the US military's money-seeking motivation to advance the new China scare, stating:

All of this right now, first and foremost, is a budget ploy. They want more money.

And that's largely because their personnel costs are just eating their lunch. And, second, it's an attempt to develop - and this has something to do with money too of course - another threat, another cold war, another feeding system .

The military just hooks up like it is hooking up to an intravenous, you know, an IV system and the money just pours out-slush fund money, appropriated money, everything else.

More broadly, Wilkerson pegs the ramping up of confrontation with China as "all about keeping the [military-industrial] complex alive" that Wilkerson explains "the military was scared to death would disappear as we began to pay the American people back" a peace dividend at the end of the cold war. US government efforts against terrorism, explains Wilkerson, have also been used to ensure the money keeps flowing.

Watch Wilkerson's complete interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/42LauiK_rbY

* * *

Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

[May 19, 2019] Why The Takedown Of Heinz-Christian Strache Will Strengthen The Right

Notable quotes:
"... In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones. ..."
"... The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy. ..."
"... Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now. ..."
"... The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions. ..."
"... The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch's fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union's wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he'd been the victim of a "political assassination" -- a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger's parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week's election. Salvini's unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.

...

The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as "populism". It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink

[May 19, 2019] Some Shocking Facts on the Concentration of Ownership of the US Economy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction. ..."
"... In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). ..."
"... In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies. ..."
"... A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2). ..."
"... Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4). ..."
May 19, 2019 | russia-insider.com

A close-knit oligarchy controls all major corporations. Monopolization of ownership in US economy fast approaching Soviet levels

Starting with Ronald Reagan's presidency, the US government willingly decided to ignore the anti-trust laws so that corporations would have free rein to set up monopolies. With each successive president the monopolistic concentration of business and shareholding in America has grown precipitously eventually to reach the monstrous levels of the present day.

Today's level of monopolistic concentration is of such unprecedented levels that we may without hesitation designate the US economy as a giant oligopoly. From economic power follows political power, therefore the economic oligopoly translates into a political oligarchy. (It seems, though, that the transformation has rather gone the other way around, a ferocious set of oligarchs have consolidated their economic and political power beginning from the turn of the twentieth century). The conclusion that the US is an oligarchy finds support in a 2014 by a Princeton University study.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction.

In a later report, we will demonstrate how all sectors of the US economy have fallen prey to monopolization and how the corporate oligopoly has been set up across the country. This post essentially serves as an appendix to that future report by providing the shocking details of the concentration of corporate ownership.

Apart from illustrating the monopolization at the level of shareholding of the major investors and corporations, we will in a follow-up post take a somewhat closer look at one particularly fatal aspect of this phenomenon, namely the consolidation of media (posted simultaneously with the present one) in the hands of absurdly few oligarch corporations. In there, we will discuss the monopolies of the tech giants and their ownership concentration together with the traditional media because they rightfully belong to the same category directly restricting speech and the distribution of opinions in society.

In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). To achieve these goals, it has been crucial for the oligarchs to control and direct the narrative on economy and war, on all public discourse on social affairs. By seizing the media, the oligarchs have created a monstrous propaganda machine, which controls the opinions of the majority of the US population.

We use the words 'monopoly,' 'monopolies,' and 'monopolization' in a broad sense and subsume under these concepts all kinds of market dominance be it by one company or two or a small number of companies, that is, oligopolies. At the end of the analysis, it is not of great importance how many corporations share in the market dominance, rather what counts is the death of competition and the position enabling market abuse, either through absolute dominance, collusion, or by a de facto extinction of normal market competition. Therefore we use the term 'monopolization' to describe the process of reaching a critical level of non-competition on a market. Correspondingly, we may denote 'monopoly companies' two corporations of a duopoly or several of an oligopoly.

Horizontal shareholding – the cementation of the oligarchy

One especially perfidious aspect of this concentration of ownership is that the same few institutional investors have acquired undisputable control of the leading corporations in practically all the most important sectors of industry. The situation when one or several investors own controlling or significant shares of the top corporations in a given industry (business sector) is referred to as horizontal shareholding . (*1). In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies.

A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2).

Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4).

Blackrock had as of 2016 $6.2 trillion worth of assets under management, Vanguard $5.1 trillion, whereas State Street has dropped to a distant third with only $1 trillion in assets. This compares with a total market capitalization of US stocks according to Russell 3000 of $30 trillion at end of 2017 (From 2016 to 2017, the Big Three has of course also put on assets).Blackrock and Vanguard would then alone own more than one-third of all US publicly listed shares.

From an expanded sample that includes the 3,000 largest publicly listed corporations (Russell 3000 index), institutions owned (2016) about 78% of the equity .

The speed of concentration the US economy in the hands of institutions has been incredible. Still back in 1950s, their share of the equity was 10%, by 1980 it was 30% after which the concentration has rapidly grown to the present day approximately 80%. (*5). Another study puts the present (2016) stock market capitalization held by institutional investors at 70%. (*6). (The slight difference can possibly be explained by variations in the samples of companies included).

As a result of taking into account the common ownership at investor level, it emerges that the US economy is yet much more monopolized than it was previously thought when the focus had been on the operational business corporation alone detached from their owners. (*7).

The Oligarch owners assert their control

Apologists for monopolies have argued that the institutional investors who manage passive capital are passive in their own conduct as shareholders as well. (*8). Even if that would be true it would come with vastly detrimental consequences for the economy as that would mean that in effect there would be no shareholder control at all and the corporate executives would manage the companies exclusively with their own short-term benefits in mind, inevitably leading to corruption and the loss of the common benefits businesses on a normally functioning competitive market would bring.

In fact, there seems to have been a period in the US economy – before the rapid monopolization of the last decade -when such passive investors had relinquished control to the executives. (*9). But with the emergence of the Big Three investors and the astonishing concentration of ownership that does not seem to hold water any longer. (*10). In fact, there need not be any speculation about the matter as the monopolist owners are quite candid about their ways. For example, BlackRock's CEO Larry Fink sends out an annual guiding letter to his subject, practically to all the largest firms of the US and increasingly also Europe and the rest of the West. In his pastoral, the CEO shares his view of the global conditions affecting business prospects and calls for companies to adjust their strategies accordingly.

The investor will eventually review the management's strategic plans for compliance with the guidelines. Effectively, the BlackRock CEO has in this way assumed the role of a giant central planner, rather like the Gosplan, the central planning agency of the Soviet command economy.

The 2019 letter (referenced above) contains this striking passage, which should quell all doubts about the extent to which BlackRock exercises its powers:

"As we seek to build long-term value for our clients through engagement, our aim is not to micromanage a company's operations. Instead, our primary focus is to ensure board accountability for creating long-term value. However, a long-term approach should not be confused with an infinitely patient one. When BlackRock does not see progress despite ongoing engagement, or companies are insufficiently responsive to our efforts to protect our clients' long-term economic interests, we do not hesitate to exercise our right to vote against incumbent directors or misaligned executive compensation."

Considering the striking facts rendered above, we should bear in mind that the establishment of this virtually absolute oligarch ownership over all the largest corporations of the United States is a relatively new phenomenon. We should therefore expect that the centralized control and centralized planning will rapidly grow in extent as the power is asserted and methods are refined.

Most of the capital of those institutional investors consists of so-called passive capital, that is, such cases of investments where the investor has no intention of trying to achieve any kind of control of the companies it invests in, the only motivation being to achieve as high as possible a yield. In the overwhelming majority of the cases the funds flow into the major institutional investors, which invest the money at their will in any corporations. The original investors do not retain any control of the institutional investors, and do not expect it either. Technically the institutional investors like BlackRock and Vanguard act as fiduciary asset managers. But here's the rub, while the people who commit their assets to the funds may be considered as passive investors, the institutional investors who employ those funds are most certainly not.

Cross-ownership of oligarch corporations

To make matters yet worse, it must be kept in mind that the oligopolistic investors in turn are frequently cross-owned by each other. (*11). In fact, there is no transparent way of discovering who in fact controls the major institutional investors.

One of the major institutional investors, Vanguard is ghost owned insofar as it does not have any owners at all in the traditional sense of the concept. The company claims that it is owned by the multiple funds that it has itself set up and which it manages. This is how the company puts it on their home page : "At Vanguard, there are no outside owners, and therefore, no conflicting loyalties. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders -- including you, if you're a Vanguard fund investor." At the end of the analysis, it would then seem that Vanguard is owned by Vanguard itself, certainly nobody should swallow the charade that those funds stuffed with passive investor money would exercise any ownership control over the superstructure Vanguard. We therefore assume that there is some group of people (other than the company directors) that have retained the actual control of Vanguard behind the scenes (perhaps through one or a few of the funds). In fact, we believe that all three (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard) are tightly controlled by a group of US oligarchs (or more widely transatlantic oligarchs), who prefer not to brandish their power. It is beyond the scope of this study and our means to investigate this hypothesis, but whatever, it is bad enough that as a proven fact these three investor corporations wield this control over most of the American economy. We also know that the three act in concert wherever they hold shares. (*12).

Now, let's see who are the formal owners of these institutional investors

In considering these ownership charts, please, bear in mind that we have not consistently examined to what degree the real control of one or another company has been arranged through a scheme of issuing different classes of shares, where a special class of shares give vastly more voting rights than the ordinary shares. One source asserts that 355 of the companies in the Russell index consisting of the 3000 largest corporations employ such a dual voting-class structure, or 11.8% of all major corporations.

We have mostly relied on www.stockzoa.com for the shareholder data. However, this and other sources tend to list only the so-called institutional investors while omitting corporate insiders and other individuals. (We have no idea why such strange practice is employed

[May 19, 2019] How Russiagate replaced Analysis of the 2016 Election by Rick Sterling

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from." ..."
"... when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump." ..."
"... After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument." ..."
"... A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. ..."
"... Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions. ..."
"... The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups. ..."
"... The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. ..."
"... Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long. ..."
May 19, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org
An honest and accurate analysis of the 2016 election is not just an academic exercise. It is very relevant to the current election campaign. Yet over the past two years, Russiagate has dominated media and political debate and largely replaced a serious analysis of the factors leading to Trump's victory. The public has been flooded with the various elements of the story that Russia intervened and Trump colluded with them. The latter accusation was negated by the Mueller Report but elements of the Democratic Party and media refuse to move on. Now it's the lofty but vague accusations of "obstruction of justice" along with renewed dirt digging. To some it is a "constitutional crisis", but to many it looks like more partisan fighting.

Russiagate has distracted from pressing issues

Russiagate has distracted attention and energy away from crucial and pressing issues such as income inequality, the housing and homeless crisis, inadequate healthcare, militarized police, over-priced college education, impossible student loans and deteriorating infrastructure. The tax structure was changed to benefit wealthy individuals and corporations with little opposition. The Trump administration has undermined environmental laws, civil rights, national parks and women's equality while directing ever more money to military contractors. Working class Americans are struggling with rising living costs, low wages, student debt, and racism. They constitute the bulk of the military which is spread all over the world, sustaining continuing occupations in war zones including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and parts of Africa. While all this has been going on, the Democratic establishment and much of the media have been focused on Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and related issues.

Immediately after the 2016 Election

In the immediate wake of the 2016 election there was some forthright analysis. Bernie Sanders said , "What Trump did very effectively is tap the angst and the anger and the hurt and pain that millions of working class people are feeling. What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from."

Days after the election, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled " Hillary Clinton Lost. Bernie Sanders could have won. We chose the wrong candidate ." The author analyzed the results saying , "Donald Trump's stunning victory is less surprising when we remember a simple fact: Hillary Clinton is a deeply unpopular politician." The writer analyzed why Sanders would have prevailed against Trump and predicted "there will be years of recriminations."

Russiagate replaced Recrimination

But instead of analysis, the media and Democrats have emphasized foreign interference. There is an element of self-interest in this narrative. As reported in "Russian Roulette" (p127), when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump."

After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

This narrative has been remarkably effective in supplanting critical review of the election.

One Year After the Election

The Center for American Progress (CAP) was founded by John Podesta and is closely aligned with the Democratic Party. In November 2017 they produced an analysis titled " Voter Trends in 2016: A Final Examination ". Interestingly, there is not a single reference to Russia. Key conclusions are that "it is critical for Democrats to attract more support from the white non-college-educated voting bloc" and "Democrats must go beyond the 'identity politics' versus 'economic populism' debate to create a genuine cross-racial, cross-class coalition " It suggests that Wall Street has the same interests as Main Street and the working class.

A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. It includes recommendations to end the party's undemocratic practices, expand voting rights and counter voter suppression. The report contains details and specific recommendations lacking in the CAP report. It includes an overall analysis which says "The Democratic Party should disentangle itself – ideologically and financially – from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and other corporate interests that put profits ahead of public needs."

Two Years After the Election

In October 2018, the progressive team produced a follow-up report titled " Autopsy: One Year Later ". It says, "The Democratic Party has implemented modest reforms, but corporate power continues to dominate the party."

In a recent phone interview, the editor of that report, Norman Solomon, said it appears some in the Democratic Party establishment would rather lose the next election to Republicans than give up control of the party.

What really happened in 2016?

Beyond the initial critiques and "Autopsy" research, there has been little discussion, debate or lessons learned about the 2016 election. Politics has been dominated by Russiagate.

Why did so many working class voters switch from Obama to Trump? A major reason is because Hillary Clinton is associated with Wall Street and the economic policies of her husband President Bill Clinton. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), promoted by Bill Clinton, resulted in huge decline in manufacturing jobs in swing states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Of course, this would influence their thinking and votes. Hillary Clinton's support for the Trans Pacific Partnership was another indication of her policies.

What about the low turnout from the African American community? Again, the lack of enthusiasm is rooted in objective reality. Hillary Clinton is associated with "welfare reform" promoted by her husband. According to this study from the University of Michigan, "As of the beginning of 2011, about 1.46 million U.S. households with about 2.8 million children were surviving on $2 or less in income per person per day in a given month The prevalence of extreme poverty rose sharply between 1996 and 2011. This growth has been concentrated among those groups that were most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. "

Over the past several decades there has been a huge increase in prison incarceration due to increasingly strict punishments and mandatory prison sentences. Since the poor and working class have been the primary victims of welfare and criminal justice "reforms" initiated or sustained through the Clinton presidency, it's understandable why they were not keen on Hillary Clinton. The notion that low turnout was due to African Americans being unduly influenced by Russian Facebook posts is seen as "bigoted paternalism" by blogger Teodrose Fikremanian who says, "The corporate recorders at the NY Times would have us believe that the reason African-Americans did not uniformly vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats is because they were too dimwitted to think for themselves and were subsequently manipulated by foreign agents. This yellow press drivel is nothing more than propaganda that could have been written by George Wallace."

How Clinton became the Nominee

Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions.

Bernie Sanders would have been a much stronger candidate. He would have won the same party loyalists who voted for Clinton. His message attacking Wall Street would have resonated with significant sections of the working class and poor who were unenthusiastic (to say the least) about Clinton. An indication is that in critical swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary race.

Clinton had no response for Trump's attacks on multinational trade agreements and his false promises of serving the working class. Sanders would have had vastly more appeal to working class and minorities. His primary campaign showed his huge appeal to youth and third party voters. In short, it's likely that Sanders would have trounced Trump. Where is the accountability for how Clinton ended up as the Democratic Party candidate?

The Relevance of 2016 to 2020

The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups.

Mainstream media and pundits are already promoting Joe Biden. Syndicated columnist EJ Dionne, a Democratic establishment favorite, is indicative. In his article " Can Biden be the helmsman who gets us past the storm? " Dionne speaks of the "strength he (Biden) brings" and the "comfort he creates". In the same vein, Andrew Sullivan pushes Biden in his article " Why Joe Biden Might be the Best to Beat Trump ". Sullivan thinks that Biden has appeal in the working class because he joked about claims he is too 'hands on'. But while Biden may be tight with AFL-CIO leadership, he is closely associated with highly unpopular neoliberal trade deals which have resulted in manufacturing decline.

The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. She calls out media pundits like Fareed Zakaria for goading Trump to invade Venezuela. In contrast with Rachel Maddow taunting John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to be MORE aggressive, Tulsi Gabbard has been denouncing Trump's collusion with Saudi Arabia and Israel's Netanyahu, saying it's not in US interests. Gabbard's anti-interventionist anti-occupation perspective has significant support from US troops. A recent poll indicates that military families want complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria. It seems conservatives have become more anti-war than liberals.

This points to another important yet under-discussed lesson from 2016: a factor in Trump's victory was that he campaigned as an anti-war candidate against the hawkish Hillary Clinton. As pointed out here , "Donald Trump won more votes from communities with high military casualties than from similar communities which suffered fewer casualties."

Instead of pointing out that Trump has betrayed his anti-war campaign promises, corporate media (and some Democratic Party outlets) seem to be undermining the candidate with the strongest anti-war message. An article at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) says, " Corporate media target Gabbard for her Anti-Interventionism, a word they can barely pronounce ."

Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. It has given them the dubious belief that it was because of foreign interference. They have failed to analyze or take stock of the consequences of DNC bias, the preference for Wall Street over working class concerns, and the failure to challenge the military industrial complex and foreign policy based on 'regime change' interventions.

There needs to be more analysis and lessons learned from the 2016 election to avoid a repeat of that disaster. As indicated in the Autopsy , there needs to be a transparent and fair campaign for nominee based on more than establishment and Wall Street favoritism. There also needs to be consideration of which candidates reach beyond the partisan divide and can energize and advance the interests of the majority of Americans rather than the elite. The most crucial issues and especially US military and foreign policy need to be seriously debated.

Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who grew up in Canada but currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. He can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com . Read other articles by Rick .

[May 19, 2019] French researchers have completed their Map of Neoconservative Networks. It's interactive and gives links to each neocon/neocon group.

May 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blooming Barricade , May 17, 2019 3:32:07 PM | link

A bit off topic, I thought b and barflies would find it in their wheelhouse...

French researchers have completed their Map of Neoconservative Networks. It's interactive and gives links to each neocon/neocon group. Most of who you would expect feature prominently: Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, BHL, but it also connects neoconservatives to the Great Replacement theorists showing strong links between them and fascists.
https://anticons.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/anticons9.pdf

Along similar lines, Swiss Propaganda Research released the Media Navagator earlier this year. b will be happy to know that MoA ranks in the hard anti-establishment camp alongside MintPress and the WSWS. There is also a European version

https://swprs.org/media-navigator/
https://swprs.org/medien-navigator/

[May 19, 2019] Intel agencies of the UK and US are guilty of fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing fake analysis and operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Couple of factors not mentioned. one is Israel and the other is more sinister still and tied to the conclusions to be drawn from the Mueller report.

it may be true that Skripal helped Steele with some elements of the dossier compiled by Steele, via SKripals handler Pablo Miller. It may be true that Skripal went "stir crazy" and an attempt was made to silence him and his daughter - permanently, because they simply cold not be trusted. a similar motivation could be drawn up against Russia - with the two Russians visiting Salisbury used as diversionary "stool pigeons". It may be true that the "poisoning" was self inflicted and was in fact a murder/suicide attempt as a result of depression along the ines "what's the point of it all".

what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers.

what ought to be apparent is

- the same tactics used by the special prosecutor to investigate the "Russia collusion" smoke screen erected by the howler monkeys in the US intel agencies (aided and abetter by howler monkeys in UK intel agencies) to stymie the US executive branch (Trump) are likely to be used by the the UK government and some more as well - in true Le Carre fashion, but with much dumber and less principled actors than Smiley's people.

these tactics prevented (and continue to prevent) investigation and prosecution of heinous corruption within the obama administration of the previous 8 years - these howler monkey intelligence agency tactics include(d) entrapment, honeypots, racketeering, blackmail, de facto kidnapping (in the case of Skripals), bribery, wire fraud, unauthorized wire-tapping, breach of authorized intel agency activities (like the FBI operating overseas and the CIA operating domestically in the US, false and unverified claims in FISA warrants, NSA providing unauthorized information to the CIA and FBI etc)

- given the howler monkey activities of the alphabet soup, it is not beyond the imagination to draw parallels with the CIA's reporting and analysis of situations on the ground wherever they operate to provide intel ahead of military activity. the DOD has already proved complicit by hiring Halper (for hundreds of thousands of dollars) to assist with the entrapment of Trump operative Papadopoulos. Mifsud is likely a CIA, not a Russian, asset.

- given that we have ample evidence of the howler monkeys in the alphabet soup seeking to facilitate a coup against a sitting US president, it is certainly plausible that - as with the US goverment sponsoring the mujaheedin, isis and al qaeda in afghanistan to fight the russians in late 80's early 90's, Iraq yellow cake and WMD - that the howler monkeys paid the white helmets to ovethrow assad and foment civil war in Syria - thus causing the migration of some 5 million syrians into europe, iraq, turkey, jordan, turkey and lebanon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Helmets_(Syrian_Civil_War)

so , the case is that howler monkey activity in intel agencies of the UK and US (add (F)rance to get FUKUS) are guilty of the manufacture of human conflict by fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing shitty analysis (howler monkeys are only good at swinging in trees and flinging ****) and generally operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity.

this can only be brought into sharp relief if howler monkey activities were instead shown to be powers for good rather than the geo-political risks that persist in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and so on and so forth.

Never mind how much past conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and so on relied on evidence and analysis thrown at us by the howler monkeys in the tree tops, how much of what we we are doing now is a fabrication causing needless suffering by civilian (not politicians or military engaged in conflict) populations?

the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people.

there are equivalents of strzok, page, ohr right throughout the US and UK government "machines" operating overseas. think about that. crimes exposed by Barr et al in the US - against a sitting president - are replicated wherever howler monkeys operate overseas as well.

[May 19, 2019] The OPCW, Douma, The Skripals

Notable quotes:
"... The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East. ..."
"... Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense. ..."
"... A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time. ..."
"... The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation. ..."
"... The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know. ..."
"... The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect. ..."
"... Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later). ..."
"... The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all. ..."
"... She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day. ..."
"... If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East. ..."
"... So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility? ..."
"... This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first. ..."
"... If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this. ..."
"... But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval. ..."
"... The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end. ..."
"... Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever. ..."
"... In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran. ..."
"... The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Off-Guardian.org,

In view of the latest revelations from the leaked report, which seem to prove that at least some elements of the Douma "chemical attack" were entirely staged, we want to take look back at the chaotic events of Spring 2018.

The following is an extract from an article by Catte originally published April 14th last year, which takes on a greater weight in light of certain evidence – not only that the Douma attack was faked, but that the OPCW is compromised.

You can read the whole article here .

* * *

PRIMARILY UK INITIATIVE?

The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East.

Since at least 2001 and the launch of the "War on Terror" the US has led the way in finding or creating facile excuses to fight oil wars and hegemonic wars and proxy wars in the region. But this time the dynamics look a little different.

This time it really looks as if the UK has been setting the pace of the "response".

The fact (as stated above) that Mattis was apparently telegraphing his own private doubts a)about the verifiability of the attacks, and b)about the dangers of a military response suggests he was a far from enthusiastic partaker in this adventure.

Trump's attitude is harder to gauge. His tweets veered wildly between unhinged threats and apparent efforts at conciliation. But he must have known he would lose (and seemingly has lost) a great part of his natural voter base (who elected him on a no-more-war mandate) by an act of open aggression that threatened confrontation with Russia on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense.

A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time.

You can see why Mattis and others in the administration might be reluctant to take part in the false flag/punitive air strike narrative if they saw nothing currently to be gained to repay the risk. They may have preferred to wait for developments and plan for a more productive way of playing the R2P card in the future.

The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation.

The UK govt and media on the other hand has been much more homogeneous in advocating for action. No doubts of the type expressed by Mattis have been heard from the lips of an UK government minister. Even May, a cowardly PM, has been (under how much pressure?) voicing sterling certitude in public that action HAD to be taken.

Couple this with the – as yet unverified – claims by Russia of direct UK involvement in arranging the Douma "attack", and the claims by Syria that the perps are in their custody, and a tentative storyline emerges. It's possible this time there were other considerations in the mix beside the usual need to "be seen to do something" and Trump's perpetual requirement to appease the liberal Russiagaters and lunatic warmongers at home. Maybe this time it was also about helping the UK out of a sticky problem.

THE SKRIPAL CONSIDERATION

Probably the only thing we can all broadly agree on about the Skripal narrative is that it manifestly did not go according to plan. However it was intended to play out, it wasn't this way. Since some time in mid to late March it's been clear the entire thing has become little more than an exercise in damage-limitation, leak-plugging and general containment.

The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know.

The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect.

  1. It lied again and again about the information Porton Down had given it
  2. Its lawyers all but lied to Mr Justice Robinson about whether or not the Skripals had relatives in Russia in an unscrupulous attempt to maintain total control of them, or at least of the narrative.
  3. It is not publishing the OPCW report on the chemical analyses, and the summary of that report reads like an exercise in allusion and weasel-wording. Even the name of the "toxic substance" found in the Skripals' blood is omitted, and the only thing tying it to the UK government's public claims of "novichok" is association by inference and proximity.

Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later).

None of the alleged victims of this alleged attack has been seen in public even in passing since the event. There is no film or photographs of DS Bailey leaving the hospital, no film or photographs of his wife or family members doing the same. No interviews with Bailey, no interviews with his wife, family, distant relatives, work colleagues.

The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all.

She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day.

Very little of this bizarre, self-defeating, embarrassing, hysterical story makes any sense other than as a random narrative, snaking wildly in response to events the narrative-makers can't completely control.

Why? What went wrong? Why has the UK government got itself into this mess? And how much did the Douma "gas attack" and subsequent drive for a concerted western "response" have to do with trying to fix that?

IS THIS WHAT HAPPENED?

If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East.

So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility?

Could it be this planned event was unexpectedly canceled by the leading players in the drama (the US) when the Russians called them out and the rapid and unexpected fall of Ghouta meant any such intervention became pointless at least for the moment?

Did this cancelation leave the UK swinging in the wind, with a fantastical story that was never intended to withstand close scrutiny, and no second act for distraction?

So, did they push on with the now virtually useless "chemical attack", botch it (again), leaving a clear evidence trail leading back to them? Did they then further insist on an allied "response" to their botched false flag in order to provide yet more distraction and hopefully destroy some of that evidence?

This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first.

It would explain why the US has been less than enthused by the idea of reprisals. Because while killing Syrians to further geo-strategic interests is not a problem, killing Syrians (and risking escalation with Russia) in order to rescue an embarrassed UK government is less appealing.

And it would explain why the "reprisals" when they came were so half-hearted.

If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this.

This is very bad.

But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval.

This is a major issue. She and her government should resign. But it's unlikely that will happen.

So what next? There is a sense this is a watershed for many of the parties involved and for the citizens of the countries drawn into this.

Will the usual suspects try to avoid paying for their crimes and misadventures by more rhetoric, more false flags, more "reprisals"? Or will this signal some other change in direction?

We'll all know soon enough.

* * *

Back to today...

...and while things have moved on, we're still puzzling over all the same issues.

All these questions stand, and are important, but more important than all of that is the lesson: They tried it before, and just because it didn't work doesn't mean they won't try it again.

Last spring, the Western powers showed they will deploy a false flag if they need too, for domestic or international motives. And they have the motives right now.

The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end.

Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever.

Britain had the most to gain, of all NATO countries, and that is still true. We don't know what they might do.

This time they might even receive greater support from France this time around – since Macron is facing a revolution at home and would kill (possibly literally) for a nice international distraction.

In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran.

That's not to say Syria is safe, far from it. They are always just one carefully place false-flag away from all-out war. Last year, Mattis (or whoever) decided war with Syria was not an option – that it was too risky or complicated. That might not happen next time.

Clearly, the US hasn't totally seen sense in terms of stoking conflict with Russia – as seen by the decision to pull out of the INF Treaty late last year. And further demonstrated by their attempts to overthrow Russia's ally Nicolas Maduro. Another ripe candidate for a false flag.

The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media.

But because recognising what they were trying to do last time , is the best defense when they try it again next time .

[May 18, 2019] Democracy works in the USA is you abstract from such minor things as the level of connection of past US presidents to CIA, money in politics, pervasive propaganda and so on

May 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , May 17, 2019 8:54:11 PM | link

lysias: A president doesn't have to obey the orders of the powers that be ...

Well, that's why they select the President beforehand to ensure there are no inconvenient difficulties with a new President.

In fact, our President's have generally had a connection to CIA: Bush Sr. was CIA, Clinton is said to allowed their flights into Arkansas, GW Bush was son of CIA, Obama is said to have come from a CIA family (grandfather and probably mother) , and some have pointed to Trump's first casino deal as a possible CIA tie (related to money laundering of CIA drug money)

Pretending otherwise furthers the democracy works! narrative. Isn't it already clear that the West is feudal and Empire First (aka globalist) - despite Trump's faux populist pretense? US foreign policy has been remarkably consistent for over 20 years. US congressmen takes oaths to Israel. Western propaganda sing the Deep State tune.

Welcome to the rabbithole.

Jackrabbit , May 17, 2019 9:26:14 PM | link
dltravers @53: hope Trump loses [the elections] and the policy is reversed

In other words: democracy works!

Just ignore:

  • money in politics;
  • pervasive propaganda;
  • things you CAN'T vote for (absolute support for Israel and military adventures);
  • CIA connections to past Presidents;
  • loyalty oaths to Israel;
  • jailing of Assange (after unprecedented break of asylum protection);
  • the lies of past Presidents;
  • Cold War imperatives;
  • Sanders sheep-dogging;
  • dirty tricks against protest movements like Gillet Jeune and Occupy.
Welcome to the rabbit hole/

[May 18, 2019] 'US already spying on public, Huawei threat unproven' Swann

Trump is a bully and he does not have any methods of diplomacy other then bulling.
May 16, 2019 | www.youtube.com

US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over Huawei, which he has deemed a national security threat. His new executive order makes it more difficult for US companies to do business with the Chinese tech giant. RT America's Manila Chan chats with investigative journalist Ben Swann, who says no evidence exists for the Trump administration's claim. #RTAmerica #InQuestionRT #QuestionMore


US Of Zion , 2 days ago

What US bans I will buy. Huawei has profited from Trump's tweets. 😂😂😂

riva2003 , 2 days ago

National emergency against one single company? What a promotion for HUAWEI! They must have paid US government a looooot of money! LOOOOOL

E Walker , 2 days ago (edited)

U.S. cannot spy via Chinese made technology products. That is the problem. When did competition against American technology get to be a national security threat? It is about creating a monopoly of only certain products in America. I hope American companies fight back. Prices in American stores have already started to rise. Monopolies mean high prices.

BTV-Channel , 2 days ago div

In the age of technology...any country who doesn't SPY on other countries or their own citizens is LYING thru their teeth! USA is NO DIFFERENT than CHINA.....they both are rogue nations, competing for the same thing, TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP! The problem is....HUAWEI just got the upper hand in 5G technology before the US can compete...so as such, the US threatens other countries with scare tactics until the US can develop and deploy 5G technology to compete with CHINA. It's all about MONEY and BUSINESS.

OGASI , 2 days ago

USA has dishonestly gathered more data on it's own civilians than it can access or understand in several lifetimes, they have the gaul to attack others without proof? UNREAL

[May 18, 2019] WaPo confirmed today that Tulsi is one of the 11 guaranteed a debate spot

May 16, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Skip Scott , May 16, 2019 at 06:26

Great plan! From your mouth to Tulsi's ears! She needs to make a dramatic exit from the Dems, preferably on national TV, with the message "stop the senseless regime change wars!" That alone would make her a contender.

Rob Roy , May 16, 2019 at 17:09

Skip, notice that Tulsi scares the hell out of the MSM. Therefore, she will be vilified, lied about, left out of poll line-ups, shoved to the side in debates, accused of being Putin's or Assad's puppet and God knows what else by the major newspapers, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN etc., and this will spread even overseas. You can't be against war, corruption and US Monroe Doctrine as our foreign policy and expect to get fair coverage. Personally, I will counter the propaganda wherever I can.

Skip Scott , May 17, 2019 at 08:22

I had a "back and forth" with dailykos about not listing Tulsi on their straw polls with her being the only candidate against "regime change" wars. I shamed them a bit by calling them a bunch of latte-sippers who reek of the arrogance of privilege while our MIC goes all around the planet killing poor people. Maybe I am giving myself too much credit, but they did in fact include her name on the last poll.

John on Kauai , May 17, 2019 at 13:53

I can't reply to skip about his argument with KOS so it's here. There is nothing to be gained by arguing with KOS other than to be banned from their website as I was.

They are supporting a National Guard pilot to run against her in the 2020 HI-2 election. I would not be surprised to find that they were instrumental in producing tulsigabbard.guru, a site that has been recently taken down but which repeated (and I think originated) many slurs against Tulsi that have now been picked up by the media.

I encourage you and everyone to publicize tulsigabbard.org which goes into great detail on her positions on almost anything. Also, the Jimmy Dore and Joe Rogan interviews with Tulsi that are available on YouTube.

Tulsi is my congresswoman. She is wildly popular here.

The HSTA (hawaii state teachers association) hates her. When challenged they repeat the lies that are on the .guru site that was taken down. When you point out that they are lies, they cover their ears and chant "nah, nah, nah".

b.grand , May 17, 2019 at 16:29

Skip. this is re. to your re. to Rob Roy.

WaPo confirmed today that Tulsi is one of the 11 guaranteed a debate spot. She's making solid progress, including major bumps from the Joe Rogan interviews. If she has hopes of actually getting the Dem nomination, of course there will be no dramatic exit until that's been decided. OTOH, an outside call for her to run as an Indy would be authentic, but also a threat to the Dems, give her fair play OR ELSE !

So, maybe the movement for an independent run has to start at the bottom? I'd like to bounce this off people who know more about politics than I do. There's also the implied question, how could an Independent function if elected. Would there be support in Congress? Would new ["Coalition"] candidates arise?

People talk about the populist movement in Mexico as represented by MORENA, however the coalition was actually Juntos Haremos Historia ("Together We'll Make History"), which included right wing evangelicals as well as leftists. Pretty remarkable, but a similar cooperation has arisen in Unity4J (for Julian Assange) where journalists with radically different ideologies focus on a single unifying principle.

Any thoughts?

John Zwiebel , May 17, 2019 at 18:19

Ask Nick Branna. He says "yes"

b.grand , May 17, 2019 at 21:10

John Z. –

Are you already familiar with Branna and the People's Party? Are they backing specific candidates? What do you think I should ask him? Would he and the PP join a coalition? Or do I misunderstand your suggestion?

All of the endorsers are leftists. The platform is all about wages and healthcare, but war isn't mentioned. Maybe it's there, but it's not on the front page.

Here's what they say: "Together we're building a coalition of working people, unions, and progressive groups for a nationally viable people's party."

Also, "We are working to build a coalition of groups on the left in order to create a new party for working people."

This just seems like typical 'Progressives' who are fed up with Dems. Some of the endorsers – Sheehan, Hedges, Martin and others – are known to be anti-war, but it's concerning that peace and FP aren't prominent. Besides, we need to build bigger bridges than "groups on the left." There are many – surprisingly many – on the right who oppose constant militarism. And what about the center? There's a vast untapped demographic, whether apathetic or genuinely discouraged by evidence that it makes no difference who you vote for, the Deep State wins. Why approach them from a left-only perspective? Would you like to clarify?

[May 18, 2019] Is Trump a double dealer. Why Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

May 16, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

tom , May 16, 2019 at 15:23

Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

Lavrov responded first to the question. He said that there is no evidence that shows any Russian interference in the U.S. elections. He continued:

Speaking about the most recent US presidential campaign in particular, we have had in place an information exchange channel about potential unintended risks arising in cyberspace since 2013. From October 2016 (when the US Democratic Administration first raised this issue) until January 2017 (before Donald Trump's inauguration), this channel was used to handle requests and responses. Not so long ago, when the attacks on Russia in connection with the alleged interference in the elections reached their high point, we proposed publishing this exchange of messages between these two entities, which engage in staving off cyberspace incidents. I reminded Mr Pompeo about this today. The administration, now led by President Trump, refused to do so. I'm not sure who was behind this decision, but the idea to publish this data was blocked by the United States. However, we believe that publishing it would remove many currently circulating fabrications. Of course, we will not unilaterally make these exchanges public, but I would still like to make this fact known.

The communication channel about cyber issues did indeed exist. In June 2013 the Presidents of the United States and Russia issued a Joint Statement about "Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)". The parties agreed to establishing communication channels between each other computer emergency response teams, to use the direct communication link of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers for cyber issue exchanges, and to have direct communication links between high-level officials in the White House and Kremlin for such matter. A Fact Sheet published by the Obama White House detailed the implementation of these three channels.

One inference from Lavrov's statement is that the "fundamental understanding on this matter" between the two presidents that has "not been fully implemented" is the release of the communications about cyberspace incidents. The Russians clearly think that a release of the communications with the Obama administration would exculpate them. That would also exculpate Trump from any further collusion allegations. Why then does the Trump administration reject the release? Who is blocking it?

Cont. reading: Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

https://www.moonofalabama.org/

[May 17, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard's Campaign Is Being Boosted by Putin Apologists by Lachlan Markay, Sam Stein

Nice hatchet job from pro-Clinton web site
May 17, 2019 | www.thedailybeast.com

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is being underwritten by some of the nation's leading Russophiles.

Donors to her campaign in the first quarter of the year included: Stephen F. Cohen, a Russian studies professor at New York University and prominent Kremlin sympathizer; Sharon Tennison, a vocal Putin supporter who nonetheless found herself detained by Russian authorities in 2016; and an employee of the Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, who appears to have donated under the alias "Goofy Grapes."

Gabbard is one of her party's more Russia-friendly voices in an era of deep Democratic suspicion of the country over its efforts to tip the 2016 election in favor of President Donald Trump. Her financial support from prominent pro-Russian voices in the U.S. is a small portion of the total she's raised. But it still illustrates the degree to which she deviates from her party's mainstream on such a contentious and high-profile issue.

Data on Gabbard's financial supporters only covers the first three months of the year. In that time, her campaign received just over $1,000 from Cohen, arguably the nation's leading intellectual apologist for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Tennison donated to Gabbard no fewer than five times, eventually reaching the per-cycle individual contribution limit in mid-March. Tennison and her group, the Center for Citizen Initiatives, have long worked to improve U.S.-Russia relations, in part by organizing junkets to the nation both before and after the fall of the Soviet Union. She's also been an outspoken Putin supporter, dubbing him a "straightforward, reliable and exceptionally inventive man" in a column last year. Tennison wrote that column in spite of her detention in Russia two years earlier, when she was accused of attempting to covertly advance U.S. foreign policy interests in the country.

Gabbard also got a $1,000 contribution from "Goofy Grapes," who listed his or her occupation as "comedian" and employer as Redacted Tonight, a current events comedy show on Russian state-backed broadcaster RT. That show's host, comedian Lee Camp, told The Daily Beast that the person who made the donation "is no longer an active member of Redacted Tonight. And separately, it is company policy to not donate to political campaigns."

Camp, for his part, routinely promotes the Russian government line on major world affairs, most notably the invasion of Ukraine, political unrest in Venezuela, and the Syrian civil war.

To the extent that those donors toe the Kremlin line on issues such as Syria, they're more squarely in line with Gabbard's own views than those of any other Democratic presidential candidate. As a member of Congress, she has personally met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and cast doubt on widely accepted reports that he deployed nerve gas weapons against his own people.

Gabbard has also been one of the few prominent Democrats in the country to downplay the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. The report found no evidence of a conspiracy by the Trump campaign to support that meddling. But it did provide extensive details of that malicious influence campaign, and of the Trump administration's efforts to impede the special counsel's investigation.

But while her House colleagues ramp up their own investigations, in part based on those findings, Gabbard has called for the country -- and her party -- to move on. "The conclusion that came from that Mueller report was that no collusion took place," she told Fox News last month. "Now is the time for us to come together as a country to put the issues and the interests and the concerns that the American people have at the forefront, to take action to bring about real solutions for them."

That reflects the attitude of a small set of the American left wing, a non-interventionist faction that eyed collusion allegations with suspicion. And that's very much the school of thought from which Cohen and other Gabbard donors hail.

But the list of controversial donors to Gabbard, as detailed by her filings with the Federal Election Committee, doesn't end there.

Related in Politics
Tulsi Gabbard's Campaign Is Being Run by Freelancers
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to members of the media after the She The People Presidential Forum at Texas Southern University on April 24, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Many of the Democrat presidential candidates are attending the forum to focus on issues important to women of color BEAST INSIDE
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Susan Sarandon, the famous actress who earned the enduring wrath of Democrats for her support of Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the 2016 election, gave Gabbard $500.

Ali Amin, the president of Primex International, wrote two checks of $2,800 to Gabbard's campaign. Amin, who runs the international food distribution company, pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges that he'd transferred more than $17 million between Iran and the United States as part of an unlicensed business transaction.

After being asked about those donations, Cullen Tiernan, a spokesperson for Gabbard, said the campaign would be returning them. Tiernan also noted that Amin had given to fellow 2020 contender Sen. Kamala Harris' (D-CA) Senate campaign in 2018. Ian Sams, a spokesman for Harris, said the Senator refunded Amin's donation in July 2018.

Gabbard's campaign did not return a request for comment. Her election effort raised nearly $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, but that included hefty transfers from her House campaign committee. She has used that money to mount a rather unorthodox bid for the Democratic nomination. Gabbard had only one paid staffer during that same three month period, choosing instead to hire consultants for key posts on her campaign -- a staffing decision that seemed likely done to avoid making hefty payments for things like health care coverage and payroll taxes.

Gabbard's media strategy has also been counterintuitive for a national Democrat. She has made several appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which, while being one of the most popular platforms on that medium, is a haven for Trump-supporting guests. Gabbard also is among the few Democrats who has a captive audience on Fox News, owed largely to her willingness to criticize Barack Obama, as well as her party's planks on both Russia and foreign policy in general. Tucker Carlson, a primetime host on that network, has publicly defended her.

Though she has not courted their support, some prominent figures in the white nationalist community have flocked in Gabbard's direction. David Duke, the former KKK leader, has heaped praise on her. And on several occasions, Richard Spencer, the avowed white supremacist, has tweeted favorably about her, including once again this week.

me frameborder=

I can't imagine Tulsi Gabbard wants this endorsement. pic.twitter.com/mXoIiEFavZ

-- Alex Thomas (@AlexThomasDC) May 14, 2019

[May 17, 2019] Bob Goldstone letter

Looks like a clear attempt to entrup Trump Jr
May 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Good morning

Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

Best

Rob Goldstone

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:53, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

Best,

Don

[May 17, 2019] What Putin And Pompeo Did Not Talk About

May 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 44 minutes ago link

US foreign policy under President Trump is remarkably similar to what it would have been under Hillary...

except even she wouldnt have put a Chabad Orthodox *** in charge of a mideast 'peace' plan, let alone a 'solution' for the illegal immigration crisis which Trump did nothing about when the GOP controlled both House and Senate

haruspicio , 1 hour ago link

I do not think Putin is an idiot...he has consistently made good decisions and judgements and outsmarted both Obama and Trump on every occasion. For some reason I am worried that he is palling up to the wrong guy. Trump and the US cannot be trusted to observe any agreement or treaty and have displayed this over and over again.

Putin should be aligning with China who can be trusted to honour deals made. A military alliance between Russia and China with mutual aid of attacked by a third party would make the best strategic sense. If Putin doesn't;t do this he will get weakened economically and then when he is weak, the US will invade.

admin user , 1 hour ago link

there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees

" We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia ." - Nineteen Eighty-Four

not dead yet , 2 hours ago link

As quoted by the Moon Of Alabama Lavrov claimed there were back channels between the US and Russia from 2013 to Trumps taking office. Lavov claims these communications would shed lots of light on the Russians not interfering in the election and other stuff the Russians have been falsely accused of. Russia wants to release these communications and will only do so if the US agrees which they have not. Pompeo was silent.

chunga , 2 hours ago link

Quite a contrast to what their DC counterparts would do; that's smear it all over fake news in a dishonest, sensational effort to malign.

[May 17, 2019] Lavrov to Pompeo: And what's the US doing in the Eastern Hemisphere

May 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

That brings to mind the recent Arctic Council summit. Both Lavrov and Pompeo were there. Here's a significant exchange:

Lavrov: I believe you don't represent the South American region, do you?

Pompeo: We represent the entire hemisphere.

Lavrov: Oh, the hemisphere. Then what's the US doing in the Eastern Hemisphere, in Ukraine, for instance?

There was no response from Pompeo.

[May 17, 2019] US military complex is a 'malignant virus' that's evolved to defend itself

May 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: Next New Comment May 16, 2019 at 10:51 pm GMT

@9/11 Inside job Andrew Cockburn: "US military complex is a 'malignant virus' that's evolved to defend itself" https://www.rt.com/usa/459505-us-military-industrial-virus/

"The MIC is embedded in our society to such a degree that it cannot be dislodged, and also that it could be said to be concerned, exclusively, with self-preservation and expansion, like a giant, malignant virus."

The system has evolved to be very good at defending itself – while leaving the country, "in reality so poorly defended".

One Tribe , says: May 16, 2019 at 11:10 pm GMT
Thanks again CJH for all the chuckles. It is time all 'real' people acknowledged that

The NYT is the " Propagandist of Record ".

Nothing more. And it's been like that for quite a while. While it would be logical to identify the systemic bend, and blindness that it has, it is probably against the law, like all discussions about [redacted]

A pattern that has played out consistently for over 2000 years, and can be seen for what it is in reviewing the Pale (of Settlements) and the conditions for those not included in the [redacted]. But really, it's beyond the pale, isn't it. People, slowly but surely, are building immunity to the perception management programs, even with the wildly amplified volume and frequency , we see the early adapters adapting, and opting for the red pill .

Just a co-incidence that while the psychotic ' leaders ' of a small colonial ' government ' squatting on expropriated land, committing escalating genocidal programs against the indigenous population, and actively conflating it with anti-[redacted], while the co-affiliates resident in the empire's other nation-states keep quiet, there seems to be an epidemic of anti-[redacted]?!

" It's a trick, and we use it a lot. "
he, he, aren't we so clever!

This ruse is coming to an end soon
and all of those people working in the desert somewhere, writing stuff online, are going to have to get real jobs.

[May 16, 2019] FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... BREAKING: A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report... Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP. ..."
"... As one example, in its FISA application, the bureau repeatedly and incorrectly assured the court in a footnote that it "does not believe" British ex-spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating Page in Russian collusion, and instead asserted that the Yahoo article provided an independent basis to believe Steele. - Fox News ..."
"... Graham noted a report by The Hill 's John Solomon that the FBI was specifically told that Steele was "keen" to leak his salacious dossier for the purpose of influencing the 2016 US election . The agency also knew that the document's claims were either unverified or disproven , yet it was used anyway against Trump and his campaign. ..."
"... Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are now blaming Loretta Lynch for the botched Hillary/email investigation. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier

by Tyler Durden Thu, 05/16/2019 - 10:25 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print A dispute has erupted over whether former FBI Director James Comey or his CIA counterpart, John Brennan, promoted the unverified Steele dossier as the Obama-era intelligence community targeted the Trump campaign.

According to Fox News , an email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier's inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference . Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as "crown material" in the emails - a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy.

In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official "put the blame squarely on Comey ."

"Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey's recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report," said the official.

"They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA," the official continued. "The intelligence analysts didn't include it when they were doing their work because it wasn't corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn't used and it wasn't included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document. "

James Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan are starting to publicly argue who was pushing the dossier that ended up in the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference. The RATS are beginning to turn on each other.

I'm sure AG Barr is taking notes!

-- thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) May 15, 2019

Former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy - a longtime defender of the FBI - told Fox News ' Martha MacCallum on Tuesday night that "Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I've seen."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A9lI-lUyjlc

In March, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested over Twitter that Brennan had "insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier" be included in the January 2017 ICA .

BREAKING: A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report... Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP.

-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 27, 2019

The dossier was ultimately not included in the ICA according to previous testimony by Clapper. Meanwhile, word that Comey had briefed President Trump personally on the dossier - "because he understood reporters already had that information and it could become public soon if journalists had a "news hook," according to the Associated Press . And as it so happens - the fact that Comey briefed Trump is what CNN and Buzzfeed caim legitimized their decision to publicly release the salacious and unverified dossier.

Whether the FBI acted appropriately in obtaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to Trump campaign aide Carter Page is now the subject not only of U.S. Attorney John Durham's new probe, but also the ongoing review by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber has been conducting his own investigation separately, although details of his progress were unclear.

As one example, in its FISA application, the bureau repeatedly and incorrectly assured the court in a footnote that it "does not believe" British ex-spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating Page in Russian collusion, and instead asserted that the Yahoo article provided an independent basis to believe Steele. - Fox News

On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News that he was pushing to declassify documents which would expose the FBI's dismal efforts to verify the claims within the dossier.

"There's a document that's classified that I'm gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier -- all the pages of it -- and it has verification to one side," said Graham. "There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier."

Graham noted a report by The Hill 's John Solomon that the FBI was specifically told that Steele was "keen" to leak his salacious dossier for the purpose of influencing the 2016 US election . The agency also knew that the document's claims were either unverified or disproven , yet it was used anyway against Trump and his campaign.


LEEPERMAX , 26 seconds ago link

Whoa Nellie!!!

"I'm deleting these emails now"

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-nellie-ohr-deleted-emails-exchanged-with-doj-husband-bruce-ohr/

LEEPERMAX , 8 minutes ago link

"SPYGATE" FALLOUT? – ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER GIUSEPPE CONTÉ REQUESTS RESIGNATION OF INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS

https://aim4truth.org/2019/05/16/cat-report-32/

847328_3527 , 11 minutes ago link

Ben Shapiro tears a new one for far left BBC's leftie Andrew Neil - BBC News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VixqvOcK8E

Ben makes a fool of the BBC and their pawn.

LEEPERMAX , 13 minutes ago link

As Rosenstein Departs, the Battlefield Is Now Ready: https://youtu.be/rhQhfmXLrl4

Teamtc321 , 21 minutes ago link

Italy has flipped on Brennan, turning over Joseph Mifsud

George Papadopoulos@GeorgePapa19

The Italian prime minister has suddenly requested resignations from 6 deputy directors of Italian intelligence agencies: DIS, AISI and AISE. This was all after I outed Mifsud in Rome and the president called the Italian prime minister. Italy has flipped and are giving up Brennan.

2:03 PM - May 16, 2019

The Italian prime minister has suddenly requested resignations from 6 deputy directors of Italian intelligence agencies: DIS, AISI and AISE. This was all after I outed Mifsud in Rome and the president called the Italian prime minister. Italy has flipped and are giving up Brennan.

https://www.citizenfreepress.com/breaking/italy-has-flipped-on-brennan-turning-over-joseph-mifsusd/

deus ex machina , 22 minutes ago link

Hang. Then draw and quarter all three POFS. Problem solved.

LEEPERMAX , 30 minutes ago link

What Was Obama's Roll in the Attempted Coup Of Donald Trump ???

https://youtu.be/yUT9Vb6Hc8c

Baron von Bud , 33 minutes ago link

These agency heads are all underlings. The directive came from above. This dossier job was approved by Obama and Hillary ran the plan. It's obvious.

Giant Meteor , 26 minutes ago link

But they are always insulated, protected, no? They know, and we know, that they know .. Everybody knows .,

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8IfmiKnZi3E

Koba the Dread , 43 minutes ago link

U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber has been on the job for some months yet narry a peep out of him. There's not even any indication that he gets out of bed in the morning.

He's a member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, I imagine that should he ever get out of bed, he will whitewash whichever agency has the most Mormons who might be affected by this scandal.

Back in the sixties, Jack Anderson, a serious investigative journalist and Mormon, noted that to Mormons the US Constitution is a sacred document given to the founding fathers by God himself. Let's hope Huber honors this Mormon tradition.

I love your wife , 57 minutes ago link

Comey was going to blackmail Trump and be the white knight he thinks he is. Even if it were true (which it isn't) Trump didn't give a ****. Especially after all the lies after lies of trash the Dems have sunk to (like with Kavanaugh). Never be ashamed of **** you do, and you will be blackmail proof....except for the pedophiles in DC. We know they are there, and when we find out who they are we will kill them. Comey's a douche.

Koba the Dread , 12 minutes ago link

If you kill all the pedophile in and associated with Washington, the streets will run with blood.

Imagine you or me. If we have a little sexual kink--even a little one--there is little we can do about it but fantasize or find an occasional person/animal/or vegetable to accommodate us. But if you hold great power or are super-rich, you don't need to fantasize. You can act out your little kink with impunity. If you hold great power or are super-rich and you have a very, very evil kink, you can exercise it with impunity. I often thought of that looking at **** Cheney's eyes. They're the eyes of a madman. He could have sliced and diced a man, woman, child or beast a day and gotten away with it. President Trump can grab them by the ***** (adult women) and why not. It's just a very personal way of shaking hands. But I see no insanity in his eyes at all. Hillary's eyes remind me of Norman Bates on a bad day. And Biden. . . . Wow! A pervert of the first water but also a complete coward. Thank God! One less sex monster in action.

Ban KKiller , 1 hour ago link

Sly **** show! Spy vs. Spy! Who done it?

Everyone knows that FBI, CIA, NSA etc., are all in the business of being in business. Helps that insider trading is not illegal for Congress. Corporate America directs intelligence outfits. My opinion...well, ok, my chickens told me.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 1 hour ago link

Trump is NOT Putin's Puppet

https://seriousguy.donclasen.com/trump-is-not-putins-puppet/

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

The hits just keep coming. It's not just Comey vs. Brennan. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are now blaming Loretta Lynch for the botched Hillary/email investigation. Bruce Ohr is blaming DOJ and FBI officials for ignoring his "warnings" about Christopher Steele and the dossier.

Comey is bashing Strzok, Page, and now Rosenstein. Rosenstein is firing back at Comey. Andrew McCabe is attacking anyone pretty much with a pulse.

Popcorn is sold out!

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

She's trying to protect herself. She already testified and spilled the beans about herself and her husband. And they threw a criminal referral at her anyway. MARK MEADOWS REFERS NELLIE OHR TO DOJ FOR INVESTIGATION

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/02/mark-meadows-nellie-ohr-doj/

On top of all that, this came out today:

Nellie Ohr deleted emails sent from husband's DOJ account

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/nellie-ohr-deleted-emails-sent-from-husbands-doj-account

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

This just gets juicier and juicier. Adm. Rogers of the NSA had found that FBI contractors were overusing the NSA database to run searches/spying so he shut them down. In April 2016! Friends, Fusion GPS wasn't hired just to fabricate dirt on Trump, they were hired to create cover for the spying that was already happening when they knew they got caught by Rogers. They were terrified of what Rogers would do. Enter Fusion/Steele/dossier/European & Australian intelligence. The cover-up will be the death of them. Wait until we find out who else they were spying on during this time.

Admiral Michael S. Rogers is a hero. He has everything. He knows exactly who was being spied on and when.

EDIT: So who the hell approved the original spying? We know Brennan pushed the dossier but who pushed Brennan? I smell Barry.

[May 16, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard for President - Stephen Lendman

Highly recommended!
It's sad to know that Tulsi bought Russiagate nonsense hook line and sinker. In a sense, she is also a compromise candidate as her domestic platform is weak and inconsistent. She shines in foreign policy issues only. But this compromise might still make sense. At least she is much better then Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... A consumer rights champion in name only, she did nothing to oversee predatory banking practices responsibly, nothing to urge prosecution of Wall Street crooks as Obama's interim Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) head. ..."
"... "If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government." ..."
"... "The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda." ..."
"... She may be the only congressional member boldly stating the above remarks publicly to her credit. ..."
"... She considers US wars not authorized by Congress impeachable high crimes. ..."
"... The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) illegally imposed sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. It passed the House and Senate near-unanimously – shameful legislation demanding opposition, not support. ..."
"... Hold the cheers on Gabbard and all other Republican and Dem presidential aspirants with a chance to be party standard bearers. The bottom line on them all is simple, no exceptions. If nominated and elected, either go along with the dirty system or be replaced by someone else who will – by impeachment or something more sinister. ..."
"... No matter who's elected president and to key congressional posts, dirty business as usual always wins. ..."
May 16, 2019 | stephenlendman.org

( stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman ) Tulsi 2020 is the official website of her candidacy for US president – so far with no information other than saying: "When we stand united, motivated by our love for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. Will you stand with me?" On Friday, she said "I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week," adding:

"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve."
Besides access to healthcare for all Americans, criminal justice reform, and climate change, (t)here is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace," she stressed. More on this below.
"I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement."
Gabbard's record is mixed at best, things to like, others of concern, including her Dem affiliation. She formerly served as DNC vice chair, resigning in February 2016 to support Russophobe undemocratic Dem Bernie Sanders over Hillary. Throughout his political career, he's been progressive in name only, his rhetoric and voting record most often at odds with each other. He'll likely run again in 2020. After Hillary used dirty tricks in primary elections to steal the Dem nomination, Gabbard supported her candidacy – a figure I called the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history, backing it up with cold, hard facts about her deplorable record as first lady, US senator and secretary of state. Elizabeth Warren already announced her 2020 candidacy. She's con man Sanders clone with a gender difference.

A consumer rights champion in name only, she did nothing to oversee predatory banking practices responsibly, nothing to urge prosecution of Wall Street crooks as Obama's interim Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) head.

She failed to criticize his wars on humanity at home and abroad, terror-bombing seven countries in eight years, force-feeding neoliberal harshness on America's most disadvantaged, letting protracted main street Depression conditions fester – supporting what demanded condemnation. She one-sidedly supports Israel, failing to denounce its apartheid ruthlessness, its Gaza wars on defenseless civilians.

Like Sanders and other undemocratic Dems, she considers naked aggression humanitarian intervention and democracy building. Her agenda is all about perpetuating dirty business as usual – based on going along with the imperial, neoliberal GOP and Dem agenda, supported by the vast majority of officials in Washington.

Gore Vidal explained how the dirty system works, saying no one gets to be presidential material unless they've "been bought over 10 times." The same goes for top congressional posts. Gabbard is suspect for similar reasons, voting along party lines too often since elected to represent Hawaii's 2nd congressional district in November 2012.

After the Obama regime's coup in Ukraine, replacing democratic governance with fascist tyranny, she supported supplying the illegitimate, Nazi-infested, putschist regime with military assistance, shamefully saying America can't stand "idly by while Russia continues to degrade the territorial integrity of Ukraine." No "Russian aggression" existed then or now. Yet Gabbard disgracefully claimed otherwise, urging "more painful economic sanctions" on Moscow, pretending the regime in Kiev is a "peaceful, sovereign neighbor." In July 2017, she unjustifiably supported legislation imposing illegal unilateral US sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. She's for US phony war on terrorism, the scourge Republicans and most Dems support while claiming otherwise.

She's against what she called "counterproductive wars of regime change," including in Syria. She earlier said targeting Bashar al-Assad for regime change was "a thinly veiled attempt to use the rationale of 'humanitarianism' as a justification to escalate our illegal, counterproductive war," adding: "Under US law, it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups."

"If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government."

"The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda."

She may be the only congressional member boldly stating the above remarks publicly to her credit.

In January 2017, she met with Assad in Damascus, toured parts of Syria, seeing firsthand how US aggression harmed millions of civilians. She called all anti-government forces terrorists, saying so-called moderate rebels don't exist, stressing "(t)hat is a fact," on return home expressing "even greater resolve to end our illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government."

She considers US wars not authorized by Congress impeachable high crimes. She should have explained that only Security Council members may authorize war by one or more countries on other sovereign states – not US presidents, Congress or the courts. That's the law of the land under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause (Article 6, Clause 2). All treaties, conventions, and other international agreements to which the US is a signatory automatically become binding US law.

To her credit in October 2017, Gabbard opposed reimposing sanctions on Iran, at the time saying the Islamic Republic is fully complying with JCPOA provisions. At the same time, she co-sponsored legislation opposing Iran's legitimate ballistic missile program, imposing illegal sanctions on the country,

In 2015, she supported legislation endorsing extreme vetting of Syrian and Iraqi war refugees, designed to deny them refugee status. The measure failed to get enough Senate support for passage.

She opposed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019, 2018, and earlier, opposed reforming US border security and immigration, opposed a proposed constitutional balanced budget amendment, opposed the GOP great tax cut heist, supported CATSA.

The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) illegally imposed sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. It passed the House and Senate near-unanimously – shameful legislation demanding opposition, not support.

Hold the cheers on Gabbard and all other Republican and Dem presidential aspirants with a chance to be party standard bearers. The bottom line on them all is simple, no exceptions. If nominated and elected, either go along with the dirty system or be replaced by someone else who will – by impeachment or something more sinister.

Washington's deeply corrupted system is too debauched to fix. The only solution is popular revolution, voting a waste of time.

No matter who's elected president and to key congressional posts, dirty business as usual always wins.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org ( Home – Stephen Lendman ). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net . My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999.

Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed.

Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.

[May 16, 2019] Farage Gabbard - Lions Of The Great Realignment

Neoliberal "International for financial oligarchy" start showing cracks. Davos crowd no longer can control ordinary people. Both Trump and Brexit are just symptoms of the large problem -- the crisis of neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi Gabbard will collect a lot of voters sick to death of our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions, draining our spirit and emptying our pockets. ..."
"... As long as the political class maintains 1) the illusion of choice as to who are leaders are and 2) keep things running smoothly a small minority of us will complain, simmer and stew but we won't be able to convince anyone else it's worth upsetting the status quo. ..."
"... We'll stay below critical mass, until we don't. ..."
"... The original Brexit vote was that opportunity for the power elite to get it through their thick skulls that Britons didn't want to go where the EU was headed. ..."
"... Theresa May, Dominic Grieve and the rest of those in the Westminster bubble refused to accept that they no longer had control over the situation. Theresa May like an autistic monkey keeps putting forth vote after vote to get her Withdrawal Treaty past a parliament that has no business still presiding over the country ..."
"... French Poodle Emmanuel Macron cannot get control of the Yellow Vest Protests in France. And the EU itself cannot get control over Matteo Salvini in Italy. ..."
"... Trump is compromised because of his vanity and his weakness. There is not much hope going into 2020 unless Tulsi Gabbard catches fire soon and begins taking out contenders one by one. ..."
"... More likely she is, like Ron Paul, setting the table for 2024 and a post-Trump world. I fear however it will be far too late for the U.S. by then. Both she and Farage, along with Salvini and many others across Europe, represent the push towards authenticity that will change the political landscape across the west for decades to come. ..."
"... Polyarchy (state capitalism) it is a system where small group actually rules on behalf of capital, and majority’s decision making is confined to choosing among selective number of elites within tightly controlled elective process. It is a form of consensual domination made possible by the structural domination of the global capital which allowed concentration of political powers. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

There is a realignment coming in electoral politics. It began with Ron Paul in 2008 and has been building for more than a decade. We know this story well.

That realignment will be about restoring not just national sovereignty but also personal autonomy in a world the rulers of which are desperate to clamp down their control over.

The thing is I don't think we've quite come to terms with the rapidity with which change comes. It builds slowly, simmering below the surface and then one day just explodes into a maelstrom of chaos.

This is where things stand in Britain with the betrayal of Brexit. It is also where things stand with Trump's daily betrayal of his pledge to end the needless wars and regime change operations.

Tulsi Gabbard will collect a lot of voters sick to death of our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions, draining our spirit and emptying our pockets.

You can see it happening, slowly and then all at once.

The signs of the chaos as we approach next week's European Parliamentary elections were there if we were willing to look closely. More often than not, our being distracted or, worse, our normalcy bias keeps us ignorant of what's happening.

Raising goats I've unfortunately witnessed this first hand and in a devastating way. Their entire digestive tracts are simply big fermentation vessels, chocked full of different bacteria working on what they've eaten.

When they're healthy, it's all good. The good bacteria digests the food, they absorb it and they are vibrant, alert and annoying.

But, if one of those other bacteria begin to get out of control, they can go from healthy to frothing at the mouth and dying overnight. The goat is the Taoist symbol for 'strong on the outside, fragile on the inside.' Our political system is definitely a goat at this point.

Which brings me back to politics.

As long as the political class maintains 1) the illusion of choice as to who are leaders are and 2) keep things running smoothly a small minority of us will complain, simmer and stew but we won't be able to convince anyone else it's worth upsetting the status quo.

We'll stay below critical mass, until we don't. And the important point here is that, like my goats, they can can act and vote perfectly normally one day and then in open revolt the next and you have a very small window of time to make the right decisions to save the situation.

The original Brexit vote was that opportunity for the power elite to get it through their thick skulls that Britons didn't want to go where the EU was headed.

Theresa May, Dominic Grieve and the rest of those in the Westminster bubble refused to accept that they no longer had control over the situation. Theresa May like an autistic monkey keeps putting forth vote after vote to get her Withdrawal Treaty past a parliament that has no business still presiding over the country .

She hopes by making her treaty legal it will stop Farage's revolution. I have news for her and the technocrats in Brussels. If Farage wins the next General Election he will nullify her treaty under Article 62 of the Vienna Conventions on the Laws of Treaties.

French Poodle Emmanuel Macron cannot get control of the Yellow Vest Protests in France. And the EU itself cannot get control over Matteo Salvini in Italy.

And they will only get it through their heads after Nigel Farage and the Brexit party unite the left and the right to throw them all out in the EP elections but also the General one as well.

The same thing happened in 2016 here in the U.S., both on the left and the right.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were the vessels for our deep dissatisfaction with the D.C. corruption. The realignment was staring us in the face in 2016.

The Davos Crowd haven't gotten the message. And they won't listen until we force them to.

Trump is compromised because of his vanity and his weakness. There is not much hope going into 2020 unless Tulsi Gabbard catches fire soon and begins taking out contenders one by one.

More likely she is, like Ron Paul, setting the table for 2024 and a post-Trump world. I fear however it will be far too late for the U.S. by then. Both she and Farage, along with Salvini and many others across Europe, represent the push towards authenticity that will change the political landscape across the west for decades to come.

And that is what the great realignment I see happening is. It isn't about party or even principles. It is about coming together to fix the broken political system first and then working on solutions to specific problems later.

Here's hoping Trump doesn't destroy the world by mistake first.

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

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ZIRPY , 47 minutes ago link

Trump has been limited by the Deep State bogus Russia collusion investigations aided by MSM propaganda. If this author thinks Bernie or Tulsi Gabbard will not face special prosecutors if they try and Rock the boat then he is naive.

Bernie rolled over and supported Hillary after it was proven she rigged the nomination process, so to believe he could take on the swamp to any degree is laughable.

And Tulsi doesn't have the deep pockets like Trump to hire the lawyers needed to wage war against The Swamp.

madam , 40 minutes ago link

Tuslsi all the way

EcoJoker , 51 minutes ago link

There is no peaceful solution.. Globalist elites must be purged. Bankers, Zuckerbergs, Dorseys, Bezos, Blankfeins, Dimons, then politicians, etc.

from_the_ashes , 54 minutes ago link

Note to ZH, Should have published this individual instead of Tom Luongo.

An excellent summary of Gabbard which is why no one should even remotely consider her for an public office.

https://stephenlendman.org/2019/01/tulsi-gabbard-for-president/

from_the_ashes , 1 hour ago link

Nice to see Tom Luongo can't research worth ****.

2014

https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/rep-tulsi-gabbard-russia-must-face-consequences-continued-aggression-ukraine

Fast forward to today...

https://www.tulsigabbard.org/tulsi-gabbard-on-russia

Elect a woman to be President or a country's leader? How did that work out for the people of New Zealand?

Yeah-Right , 31 minutes ago link

Voting for a woman because "it's time" or because she's a woman etc., has become a thing. Those reasons seem stupid but that's the "logic." I see a lot of dem women jumping on the bandwagon, trying to get lucky.

rodocostarica , 1 hour ago link

Tulsi to me is like Ron Paul was in 08. A sane voice pointing out the stupidity of US foreign policy.

She aint no Ron Paul for sure but is at least the only one this cycle who supports as her main position getting the US out of foreign entanglements.

She is never going to win just like rp coud never win. But Im sending her a few bucks every month just to keep the message going.

xxx, 1 hour ago

"Tulsi Gabbard will collect a lot of voters sick to death of our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions, draining our spirit and emptying our pockets."

Uh, no, Tom, she won't be collecting a lot of voters, well, at least not near enough. Biden has already been "chosen" like Hillary was over Bernie last time. You should know by now Tom, we don't select our candidates, they're chosen for us for our own good.

yyy, 2 hours ago

This is going to take a long time. You just can't turn this ship around overnight.

US Political System:

United States is neither a Republic and even less Socialistic. US, in the technical literature, is called a Polyarchy (state capitalism). Polyarchy (state capitalism) idea is old, it goes back to James Madison and the foundation of the US Constitution. A Polyarchy is a system in which power resides in the hands of those who Madison called the wealth of the nation. The educated and responsible class of men. The rest of the population is to be fragmented and distracted. They are allowed to participate every couple of years by voting. That’s it. The population have little choice among the educated and responsible men they are voting for.

This is not an accident. America was founded on the principle, explained by the Founding Father that the primary goal of government is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. That is how the US Constitution was designed sort of ensuring that there will be a lot of struggle. US is not as the same as it were two centuries ago but that remains the elites ideal.

Polyarchy (state capitalism) it is a system where small group actually rules on behalf of capital, and majority’s decision making is confined to choosing among selective number of elites within tightly controlled elective process. It is a form of consensual domination made possible by the structural domination of the global capital which allowed concentration of political powers.

A republic is SUBORDINATE to democracy. Polyarchy can’t be subordinated to any form of Democracy.

zzz, 2 hours ago

Is the author, to use an English term, daft? Tulsi Gabbard won't get out of the primaries, much less defeat Sanders or Biden. Farage achieved his goal (Brexit), then found out (SHOCK!) that the will of the people doesn't mean anything anymore.

If Luongo had wanted to talk about the people's uprising, he should've mentioned the Tea Party.

bbb, 3 hours ago

Gabbard appears to have some moral fibre and half a backbone, at least for a politician, regardless of their views, Farage is a slimy charlatan opportunistic populist shill
ccc, 3 hours ago (Edited)
I like Tulsi Gabbard on MIC stuff (and as a surfer in my youth - still dream about that almost endless pipeline at Jeffreys Bay in August), but...

On everything else?

She votes along party lines no matter what bollocks legislation the Democrats put in front of Congress. And anyone standing full-square behind Saunders on his socialist/marxist agenda?

Do me a favour.

ddd, 1 hour ago (Edited)

Farage left because he saw what UKIP was becoming...a zionazi party.

Also Gabbard is a CFR member.

eee, 3 hours ago

Gold, Goats and Guns? Certainly not guns under President Gabbard! Here's her idea of "common sense gun control:"

https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25028

I'm totally against warmongering, but I have to ask - what good is it to stop foreign warmongering, only to turn around and incite civil war here by further raping the 2nd Amendment? The CFR ties are disturbing as hell, too. And to compare Gabbard to Ron Paul? No, just...no!

fff, 3 hours ago

Always been a fan of Bernie, but I hope Gabbard becomes president. The world would breathe a huge sigh of relief (before the assassination).

ggg, 4 hours ago
By this time in his 1st term, Obama had started the US Wars in Syria and Libya and has restarted the Iraq War.

Thus far Trump has ended the War in Syria, pledged not to get us dragged into Libya’s civil wars and started a peace process with North Korea.

Venezuela and Iran look scary. We don’t know what Gabbard would actually do when faced with the same events. Obama talked peace too.

[May 16, 2019] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Russia Must Face Consequences for Continued Aggression in Ukraine Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

So in the past she was Obama style warmonger. Interesting... She is not stupid enough not to understand that this was a US sponsored color revolution.
Does this mean that she is a fake like Obama was?
Notable quotes:
"... "We cannot stand by while Russia unilaterally degrades Ukraine's territorial integrity. We must offer direct military assistance -- defensive weapons, military supplies and training -- to ensure Ukraine has adequate resources to respond to Russia's aggressions and defend themselves. We cannot view Ukraine as an isolated incident. If we do not take seriously the threat of thinly veiled Russian aggression, and commit to aiding the people of Ukraine immediately, we will find ourselves in a more dangerous, expensive and disastrous situation in the future." ..."
Mar 17, 2014 | gabbard.house.gov
Press Release Calls for U.S. to offer weapons, military training assistance

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement after the President's announcement of expanded sanctions against Russian officials:

"Russia has violated the sovereignty and independence of the Ukrainian people, in direct contravention of its own treaty obligations and international law," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Army combat veteran and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "I support the sanctions announced today, and I strongly urge the President to go further and consider a broader range of consequences. If Russia is allowed to continue its aggressive push for control in Ukraine, there will be long-term, serious, and costly security risks for the United States and Europe. Russia must face serious consequences for their actions; the U.S. must consider options that truly isolate Russia economically and diplomatically -- not just sanction a handful of oligarchs -- and send a message of unity and strength from the international community.

"We cannot stand by while Russia unilaterally degrades Ukraine's territorial integrity. We must offer direct military assistance -- defensive weapons, military supplies and training -- to ensure Ukraine has adequate resources to respond to Russia's aggressions and defend themselves. We cannot view Ukraine as an isolated incident. If we do not take seriously the threat of thinly veiled Russian aggression, and commit to aiding the people of Ukraine immediately, we will find ourselves in a more dangerous, expensive and disastrous situation in the future."

In a House Foreign Affairs Committee mark-up of H.Res. 499 recently, the congresswoman gained unanimous approval on including amendments on anti-corruption, and protection of civil and political rights throughout Ukraine. She also supported the House passage of H.R. 4152, which authorized loan guarantees for Ukraine.

[May 16, 2019] I have never seen such transparently obvious bullshit from UK elite befores"

May 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Tsigantes , says: May 9, 2019 at 5:14 pm GMT

@MarkU Bravo!

As to their "cleverness", there was a time when UK politicians were known for their slippery qualities and subtlety, but those days are long gone. What we have now is barefaced lies, relying purely on repetition and monolithic corporate media ownership. They are not winning arguments because they are clever, I have never seen such transparently obvious bullshit before.

'Clever is as clever does' – once said with a snort – is a compliment too far for the deeply corrupted, vulgar, mediocre nobodies who comprise the self-styled 'elites'. In this group 'cleverness' simply means the lies they are paid to say repeated loudly and often. And because they have the reins on power, the non-compliant are punished by thugs.

[May 16, 2019] What motive would they possibly have, these enormous corporate media conglomerates to disinform the Western masses, or to manufacture an official narrative that allows them to systematically eliminate any type of speech they deem to be Russian disinformation, or extremist content, or a conspiracy theory, or simply too dangerous, divisive, or confusing to circulate among the general public?

May 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

The Disinformationists, by C.J. Hopkins - The Unz Review

...what motive would they possibly have, these enormous corporate media conglomerates, and the transnational corporations that own them, and these intelligence agencies, and their fronts and cutouts, and corporate lobbyists and PR firms, and councils, and think tanks, and research institutes, to disinform the Western masses, or to manufacture an official narrative that allows them to systematically stigmatize, marginalize, criminalize, deplatform, demonetize, and otherwise eliminate any type of speech they deem to be "Russian disinformation," or "extremist content," or a "conspiracy theory," or simply too "dangerous," "divisive," or "confusing" to circulate among the general public?

No see? That makes no sense. That's just an example of the type of fascist disinformation these Putin-Nazi disinformationists are trying to spread to confuse us to the point where we can't even concentrate long enough to think anymore, or parse the meaningless jargon-laden nonsense they're trying to deceive us with, and just devolve into these Pavlovian imbeciles conditioned to respond to specific trigger words, like "extremist," "terrorist," "fascist," "populist," "anti-Semitic," "Russians," "hackers," and whatever other emotional stimuli we are being trained to instantly recognize and robotically react to like circus animals.

Or I don't know, maybe it isn't. I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say. Probably they've already got to me. I'd better get back down into my anti-disinformation bunker, pull up The Guardian , or The Washington Post , or Der Spiegel on my child-proof computer, and immerse myself in some objective journalism, before the Putin-Nazi spywhale makes its way up the Landwehrkanal, takes control of what's left of my mind, and forces me into going out and trying to vote for Hitler or something.

I recommend you do the same, and I'll see you when this nightmare over.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[May 16, 2019] The Disinformationists by C.J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela. ..."
"... The situation is even worse today as the CIA and Pentagon have massive propaganda budgets and have infiltrated the media at every level , the public is unaware that each day they are brainwashed by the MSM to support the agenda of the "deep State' and the MIC. ..."
"... No mention of the journalists as CIA assets who publish planted stories? Isn't Dr Udo Ulfkotte one who did that, repented, told all in his best-seller Bought Journalists, and as a warning to others unselfishly dropped dead of a heart attack within a couple of years? ..."
"... The best sentence was the one expressing the Establishment's collective faux shock that anything other than Russian spybots could be responsible for the serfs' rejection of the "two centrist parties" that have sponged up lobbyist money for 3 decades, cashing in on the globalist-Neoliberal economy, as rents rose and wages fell. ..."
"... Not too sure about the US even remaining important as a continent wide farm.. The aquifers in the West and Midwest are being inexorably drawn down to sustain the current rate of farming, so it's possible North America's value would primarily be as a source of pockets of human talent in the sciences and technologies. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

paraglider , says: May 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT

the hysteria emanating from the nyt, cnn and the rest of the msm is the result of a conscious or subconscious grasp that socialism dying worldwide. the great ponzi scam of forcing future generations to pay for the cookies and ice cream of the present generation has hit the math of the complete dearth of unencumbered assets from which to emit more unpayable debt, insufficient economic growth upon which to pretend the debt can be serviced forget about repayment and the simple fact demographichs throughout the west are so negative the government and public pension scheme blowup in the several years

the more intelligent members of the establishment know in their bones the jig is up. hence the great and urgent need to turn up .lets over throw sovereign nations so the plunder model ..venezuela, syria, russia, china et al.can find more unencumbered assets to be brought into the nyc, london orbit of banks from which new debt can be emitted.

the west is staring at its last decade of global rule, a rule that began 500 years ago. by the 2030's finance, manufacturing and all the global power and prestige that goes with it moves from ny, london to shanghai and moscow.

if the united states is lucky and remains intact, a giant IF, we may wind up as continent size farm with a smidgen of non competitive industry here and there.

the west has only disinformation with which to go to war against the rising east. the weapons of the west are powerful ONLY in their quantity. Russian weapons already are many years beyond anything the pentagon has in the field and the gap is only increasing, ergo the us treasury is forced to fight the battle using sanctions and other forms of restrictions, a long term losing strategy irrespective of any short terms gains.

so, cj worry not, the disinformation campaign is backed by nothing but hot air and the rage from being thwarted by china and russia as well as brave pipsqueakes like iran and venezuela.

see it for what it is, transparent sound and fury signifying nothing

Anon [232] Disclaimer , says: May 15, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela.
Gordo , says: May 15, 2019 at 9:16 pm GMT
@Anon

I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela.

The UK gov't covertly subsidizes the Guardian.

9/11 Inside job , says: May 16, 2019 at 1:11 am GMT
In 1917 US Congressman Calloway informed Congress that J.P. Morgan interests had purchased 25 of the nations leading newspapers and replaced their editors in order to control the mass media for the benefit of the plutocrats/money interests who ran the country and who still do . The situation is even worse today as the CIA and Pentagon have massive propaganda budgets and have infiltrated the media at every level , the public is unaware that each day they are brainwashed by the MSM to support the agenda of the "deep State' and the MIC.
obwandiyag , says: May 16, 2019 at 3:18 am GMT
See, half a century after McCarthy, wingers got their noses into some (not all) Soviet files, and got to scream, nonstop and to this day, "See!@@#$% McCarthy was RIGHT!"

Betya in a half century, if we're still around, the same type people are going to get nosing in some files somewhere and find incontrovertible evidence that: "See!@#%$%^^ The New York Times was RIGHT!"

Same kind of people. They never change.

OEMIKITLOB , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:13 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job There is a virus-free link to a declassified CIA memo at the end of the article. It's interesting.

https://www.spyculture.com/cia-memos-on-task-force-on-greater-openness/

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website May 16, 2019 at 4:37 am GMT

And then there's the evil Russian spywhale, which the disinformationists want us to believe is just a harmless "therapy Beluga" for kids, but which has clearly been strapped with some sort of monstrous, mind-controlling apparatus that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark.

You had me doing a cartoon spit-take with this beaut!

Giuseppe , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT

these enormous corporate media conglomerates, and the transnational corporations that own them, and these intelligence agencies, and their fronts and cutouts, and corporate lobbyists and PR firms, and councils, and think tanks, and research institutes, to disinform the Western masses, or to manufacture an official narrative

No mention of the journalists as CIA assets who publish planted stories? Isn't Dr Udo Ulfkotte one who did that, repented, told all in his best-seller Bought Journalists, and as a warning to others unselfishly dropped dead of a heart attack within a couple of years?

" that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark "

It isn't the akvavit that does it, but you can't do it without the akvavit.

Biff , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:45 am GMT

And then there's the evil Russian spywhale, which the disinformationists want us to believe is just a harmless "therapy Beluga" for kids, but which has clearly been strapped with some sort of monstrous, mind-controlling apparatus that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark.

I had a good laugh at the Spy Whale schtick. One look at the thing, and you get the idea it should've been in a Pink Panther movie.

Made up shit that only a mind of a child could believe.

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
The best sentence was the one expressing the Establishment's collective faux shock that anything other than Russian spybots could be responsible for the serfs' rejection of the "two centrist parties" that have sponged up lobbyist money for 3 decades, cashing in on the globalist-Neoliberal economy, as rents rose and wages fell.

The serfs have to love that. How could they not embrace it? Only spybots beaming up doom-and-gloom messages from halfway around the globe could persuade the thick-headed serfs that the part-time / churn / gig economy is anything but nirvana.

Alfa158 , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
@paraglider I think you're probably right about the inevitable collapse of the West as the dominant global power.

Not too sure about the US even remaining important as a continent wide farm.. The aquifers in the West and Midwest are being inexorably drawn down to sustain the current rate of farming, so it's possible North America's value would primarily be as a source of pockets of human talent in the sciences and technologies.

Also Russia has been making some progress, but unless that continues it may not reach the level of competitiveness in science, industry and domestic product to be any more than a junior partner to China.

Whatever happens, a sea change in history seems unavoidable and it won't be what our present rulers think it will. I don't pretend to think I can reliably predict what is coming.

unit472 , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:19 am GMT
I used to know Russian disinformation when I saw it because it was obvious when it came from the USSR. Then the MSM peddled it as authentic as when, in response to Soviet deployment of IRBM in Europe, pinkos magically appeared to protest the American deployment of similar weapons. It was well funded too as Brezhnev had serious oil revenues to finance both his military and his disinformation campaigns and the USSR had 125% of America's population and a satellite Eastern Europe to boot.

Now I am to believe a motheaten "Russia' with less than half the US population, a hostile Ukraine and no Eastern European satrapies is able to exert more 'influence' in the West than the mighty USSR. Yet those same 'pinkos' would have me believe a castrated Russia is an existential threat. Come on!

[May 15, 2019] Russia-gate s Monstrous Offspring

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Instead," McConnell went on, "the previous administration sent the Kremlin a signal they could get away with almost anything, almost anything. So is it surprising that we got the brazen interference detailed in special counsel Mueller's report?" ..."
"... Yes, Russia kicked most US NGOs out of the country. With good reason. Most of them were deliberately undermining the host country (this is not limited to Russia, they do that in most of their host countries, especially those we want to mess with). The National Endowment for Democracy is a classic case in point. The counter point here isn't RT. It's a news outlet that has proven to be far more reliable than the US corporate media. Does Russia send NGOs around the world to infest other countries with their vision of government? ..."
"... It is exactly as Mr. Lazare says, Americans think that their country can do no wrong. ..."
"... Several of my late husband's FB friends fall well into these categories and they really believe, wholeheartedly, the propaganda against Russia (and to some extent against China – Huawei, 5G, and so on), almost to the point of paranoia. The Demrat politicos and their corporate-capitalist-imperialist funders together with the despicable, groupthinking Orwellian media have done a real number on these people – usually the ones who *vote.* ..."
"... Most are Democrats who embrace the 'neoliberal groupthink' you referred to. There was a time I believed one of the conclusions of a famous study on authoritarian personalities that claimed the vast majority of authoritarians (active and passive) were Republicans. Just as the Democratic Party has morphed into the 80's Republican Party, so too have these liberals. Their cognitive dissonance is more powerful than any I have encountered in my lifetime. Their core belief system now includes incrementalism, lesser-evilism and an overwhelming sense of goodness that at least they are 'doing something positive' by supporting all Democrats at all costs. ..."
"... I don't get why, supposedly intelligent, informed people are wondering why Russia is being blamed for so much. Let me remind you that the extremely powerful Israel Lobby is VERY BUSY supporting the agenda of the right wing Likud government in Israel. ..."
"... One of the goals of Likud is the Zionist agenda that includes Greater Israel which requires Israel to acquire more water and land in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, Iran is a very strong supporter of the Palestinians and Syrian President Assad and Iraqi independence from US domination. ..."
"... Why, on this good earth, does anyone pay any attention to Schumer and Schiff and McConnell? Shills, do nothing crackpots and traitors to this nation; when you see that's what they are, you have to ignore them. ..."
May 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Russia-gate has shed any premise of being about Russian interference, writes Daniel Lazare, but the idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

Americans used to think that Russia-gate was about a plot to hack the 2016 election. They were wrong. Russia-gate is really about an immense conspiracy to do four things:

This was the takeaway from Mitch McConnell's devastating " case closed " speech last week in which the Senate majority leader jeered at President Barack Obama for mocking Mitt Romney's claim (seven years ago now) that Russia was America's "number one geopolitical foe ." As Obama famously replied during that presidential debate: "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War's been over for 20 years."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/N0IWe11RWOM?feature=oembed

But that was so 2012. Now, says McConnell, it looks like Romney was right:

"We'd have been better off if the administration hadn't swept [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's invasion and occupation of Georgia under the rug or looked away as Russia forced out western NGO's and cracked down on civil society. If President Obama hadn't let Assad trample his red line in Syria or embraced Putin's fake deal on chemical weapons, if the Obama administration had responded firmly to Putin's invasion and occupation of Ukraine in 2014, to the assassination of Boris Nemtsov in 2015, and to Russia intervention in Syria -- maybe stronger leadership would have left the Kremlin less emboldened, maybe tampering with our democracy wouldn't have seemed so very tempting.

"Instead," McConnell went on, "the previous administration sent the Kremlin a signal they could get away with almost anything, almost anything. So is it surprising that we got the brazen interference detailed in special counsel Mueller's report?"

Lies and Distortions

Like so much out of Congress these days, this was a farrago of lies and distortions. It wasn't Moscow that started the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, but Tbilisi . While Russia has indeed cracked down on U.S.-backed NGO's, Washington has done the same by forcing Russia's highly successful news agency RT to register as a foreign agent and by sentencing Maria Butina, a Russian national studying at American University, to 18 months in prison for the crime of hobnobbing with members of the National Rifle Association. The charge that Syrian President Bashar al Assad "trampled" Obama's red line by using chemical weapons is hardly as clear-cut as imperial propagandists like to believe – to say the least – while the agreement between Putin and former Secretary of State John Kerry to rid Syria of chemical weapons was not fake at all, but an example, increasingly rare unfortunately, of diplomacy being used to prevent an international crisis from getting out of hand.

And so on ad nauseum . But what could Democrats say in response given that they've spent the last three years trying to out-hawk the GOP? Answer: nothing. All they could do was try to turn tables on McConnell by charging him with not being anti-Russian enough. Thus, New York's Sen. Chuck Schumer accused him of " aiding and abetting " Moscow while Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin accused him of running interference for Putin because he "feels the Russians were on the side of the Republicans in 2016 and just might be again in 2020."

Democrats Feed the Super Hawks

The result: a Democratic consensus that Russia can't be trusted and that America must put itself on a war footing to prevent Putin from "toppl[ing] the mighty oak that has been our republic for two hundred years," as Schumer put it. It's an across-the-board agreement that the long-awaited Mueller report has only strengthened by regurgitating the intelligence-community line that "[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion" and then cherry-picking the facts to fit its preconceived thesis. (See " Top Ten Questions About the Mueller Report ," May 6.)

Democrats claim to oppose National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence, but the anti-Russian hysteria they promote strengthens the hand of such super-hawks. It makes military conflict more likely, if not with Russia then with perceived Russian surrogates such as Venezuela or Iran.

Schiff increasingly unhinged.

Simultaneously, it backfires on Democrats by making them look weak and foolish as they argue that even though the Mueller report says "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government," somehow "significant evidence of collusion" still exists, as an increasingly unhinged Rep. Adam Schiff maintains . In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of congressional Democrats, no evidence does not mean no evidence. In fact, it means the opposite.

Voters are unmoved. Ten times more Americans – 80 versus 8 percent – care about healthcare than about Russia according to a recent survey . When CNN pollsters asked a thousand people in mid-March to name the issues that matter most, not one mentioned Russia or the Mueller probe . If they didn't care when collusion was still an open question, they care even less now that the only issue is obstruction plus a phony constitutional crisis that desperate Democrats have conjured up out of thin air.

Trump the Chief Beneficiary

Besides Fox News – whose ratings have soared while Russia-obsessed CNN's have plummeted – the chief beneficiary is Trump. Post-Mueller, the man has the wind in his sails. Come 2020, Sen. Bernie Sanders could cut through his phony populism with ease. But if Jeff Bezos's Washington Post succeeds in tarring him with Russia the same way it tried to tar Trump, then the Democratic nominee will be a bland centrist whom the incumbent will happily bludgeon. Former Vice President Joe Biden – the John McCain-loving , speech-slurring , child-fondler who was for a wall along the Mexican border before he was against it – will end up as a bug splat on the Orange One's windshield.

Trump ready to take on challengers. (Caricature/DonkeyHotey via Flickr)

Beto O'Rourke, the rich-kid airhead who declared shortly before the Mueller report was released that Trump, "beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government," will not fare much better. Sen. Elizabeth Warren meanwhile seems to be tripping over her own two feet as she predicts one moment that Trump is heading to jail , declares the next that voters don't care about the Mueller report because they're too concerned with bread-and-butter issues, and then calls for dragging Congress into the impeachment morass regardless.

Such "logic" is lost on voters, so it seems to be a safe bet that enough will stay home next Election Day to allow the rough beast to slouch towards Bethlehem yet again.

Assange Convicted in Eyes of Press

Then there's Julian Assange, currently serving a 50-week sentence in a supermax prison outside of London after being ejected from the Ecuadorian Embassy. By claiming that the WikiLeaks founder was "dissembling" by denying that Russia was the source of the mammoth Democratic National Committee leak in July 2016, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has effectively convicted him in the eyes of Congress and the press.

The New York Times thus reports that Mueller has " revealed " that Russian intelligence was the source while, in a venomous piece by Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger, The Washington Post declared that Assange "is neither whistleblower nor journalist," but someone who helped Russian intelligence interfere in "the American electoral process."

Schumer thus greeted Assange's April 11 arrest by tweeting his "hope [that] he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government," while, in a truly chilling statement , Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia declared that "[i]t will be really good to get him back on United States soil [so] we can get the facts and the truth from him."

Now that Julian Assange has been arrested, I hope he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government.

-- Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 11, 2019

Assange is guiltier than ever. If Washington gets its hands on him, he'll no doubt be hauled before some sort of Star Chamber and then clapped in a dungeon somewhere until he confesses that Russian intelligence made him do it, even though a careful reading of the Mueller report strongly suggests the opposite. (See " The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report ," April 18.)

Assange languishing behind bars, war breaking out in Latin America or the Persian Gulf, Trump in the Oval Office for four years more – it's the worst of all possible worlds, and the Democratic Party's bizarre fixation with Vladimir Putin is what's pushing it.

Ultimately, Russia-gate is yet a variation on the tired old theme of American innocence. If something goes wrong, it can't be the fault of decent Americans who, as we all know, are too good for our deeply flawed world. Rather, it must be the fault of dastardly foreigners trying to hack our democracy. It's a deep-rooted form of xenophobia that has fueled everything from the criminalization of marijuana (smuggled in by evil Mexicans) to the 1950s Red Scare (a reaction to Communism smuggled in by evil Russians), and the war on terrorism (the work of evil Muslims). The idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable.

But Russia-gate may be the greatest delusion of all. After decades of celebrating Donald Trump as the essence of American flash and hustle, the corporate media have decided that the only way he could have gotten into the White House is if Putin put him there. The upshot is a giant conspiracy to force Americans to turn their back on reality, an effort that can only end in disaster for all concerned, Democrats first and foremost.

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .


Tick Tock , May 15, 2019 at 11:30

Sorry Folks but both Mr Lazare's text and the majority of the comments here clearly illustrate that the major problem for America and its Citizens is that they are way too full of themselves and easily manipulated because of that. Seriously, the vast majority of the Worlds population Could Not Give a Rat's Ass about America except when they are being attacked either with Real Bombs or Economically.

No normal Human Being wants to be Israel's Stooge. You have to think you are are really important for someone in another Country to want to select your leaders. Oh yes that is what the US Deep State does and now it's been clearly exposed it does the same thing at home.. Of course if your motto is that "You are god's chosen people!", it could get you into trouble now and then with the rest of God's People. Like Bob Dylan wrote a few years ago, "I used to care!" Only a fool would care now.

Jeff Harrison , May 15, 2019 at 11:23

This is where we learn the importance of an objective press and one that can bring all the threads of a story together. And it's also most likely to be a disaster.

Yes, Russia kicked most US NGOs out of the country. With good reason. Most of them were deliberately undermining the host country (this is not limited to Russia, they do that in most of their host countries, especially those we want to mess with). The National Endowment for Democracy is a classic case in point. The counter point here isn't RT. It's a news outlet that has proven to be far more reliable than the US corporate media. Does Russia send NGOs around the world to infest other countries with their vision of government?

The US/EU fomented the coup in Ukraine that resulted in Crimea deciding they didn't want to be associated with Ukraine any longer. Did the US press tell the truth here? No. They made it sound as if Crimea was a part of Ukraine when, in fact, the Turkic Muslims of Crimea were never a part of the Christian Slavs of Ukraine. They also didn't explain the terms by which Khrushchev administratively slapped the two together in 1957 which give the Crimeans the ability to opt out.

It is exactly as Mr. Lazare says, Americans think that their country can do no wrong. We don't see the coups we foist on other countries. We don't see the lies and fake news we spread in other countries we wish to undermine. They don't see the consequences of our abuse of our economic power. The myopia is powerful in this one as my representatives tried to tell me that Venezuela was a prosperous and happy country before Chavez and that their current travails are as a result of the socialism and not two coup attempts and a long string of sanctions from the US. We are remarkably good at blaming the victim.

There's a good chance that this will rise up and bite us in the ass and the American people will have no idea why ..

AnneR , May 15, 2019 at 08:52

Mr Lazare, while I would certainly agree with much you have written, on one point at least I am much less certain: that most Americans care less about Russia than about health care.

While this might be true for the majority of the population who are in the lower middle, working classes and poor, I am much less certain about the "well" educated, comfortably off, well health insured, middling and upper bourgeoisie. The sort who, even when on Medicare, are on the upper rungs of it (paying extra for better and more expansive treatment; and I do mean Medicare here). The sort who frequently have been privately educated.

Several of my late husband's FB friends fall well into these categories and they really believe, wholeheartedly, the propaganda against Russia (and to some extent against China – Huawei, 5G, and so on), almost to the point of paranoia. The Demrat politicos and their corporate-capitalist-imperialist funders together with the despicable, groupthinking Orwellian media have done a real number on these people – usually the ones who *vote.*

These same people evince absolutely, and I mean absolutely, NO concern or interest in the constant war-making and warmongering, the illegal invasions, electoral meddling/coups/"regime" changes, destruction of peoples that this country (and its allies) engage in. Not happening here, therefore not anything to do with "us."

I know that my late husband would be utterly devastated knowing that some of his students, with whom he worked assiduously to develop real critical thinking (via much difficult reading in historiography, sociology and philosophy, discussion and writing), have fallen hook, line and sinker for the neoliberal groupthink supporting the corporate-capitalist-imperialist (and of course, orientalist) line. One can only imagine that they were already well primed for this mindset.

MattZ , May 15, 2019 at 11:43

Anne -- your post resonates deeply with me. I would guess you and I are of similar ages and have similar friends and acquaintances. We certainly share the exact same experiences with these people. They are proud 'liberals' (lately donning the 'progressive' robe with equal exuberance). None are members of the elite one-percenters, but all belong to what Nader refers to as the 'contented class', that 9% buffer zone between the elite and the increasingly miserable lower 90%-ers.

Most are Democrats who embrace the 'neoliberal groupthink' you referred to. There was a time I believed one of the conclusions of a famous study on authoritarian personalities that claimed the vast majority of authoritarians (active and passive) were Republicans. Just as the Democratic Party has morphed into the 80's Republican Party, so too have these liberals. Their cognitive dissonance is more powerful than any I have encountered in my lifetime. Their core belief system now includes incrementalism, lesser-evilism and an overwhelming sense of goodness that at least they are 'doing something positive' by supporting all Democrats at all costs.

Appallingly, their new heroes are historically-proven liars, psychopaths and Deep State organizations like the CIA and FBI. Their Trump Derangement Syndrome has destroyed all ability to think critically or accept transparent and obvious truths. They accept no criticism of their actions and attack those who question them. To them, the 'end' of removing Trump justifies any evil.
Gaia help us all.

Skip Scott , May 15, 2019 at 08:04

The root of the Democrats problem is they feed from the same trough as the GOP. They can't do anything substantial about health care or the declining middle class because they'd piss off their donors. Since they can't stand for "the working man" any longer, they are trying to cobble together "Identity Politics" and "Political Correctness" to eke out a majority. Good luck with that! They can give us non gender specific restrooms with our Forever War! Why aren't we feeling the love?

I think the time has never been more ripe for a serious third party challenge than 2020.

Realist , May 15, 2019 at 10:42

Perfect thumbnail obituary for the Democratic Party, Skip. It got hijacked by corporatists who saw an opportunity to push the GOP agenda from both directions. Maybe that's what Hillary meant by "stronger together."

Herrman , May 15, 2019 at 07:56

If you want to be entertained and titillated turn on the national evening news shows. The 2020 election circus has already begun. Don't watch that, switch channels and watch the obstruction of justice infotainment. Want news, read between the lines of the major newspapers. Go to PBS to be rescued, good luck.

Has it always been thus. Maybe, but it's a much better show today.

Shock and awe. Can't wait for the next one.

O Society , May 15, 2019 at 04:52

https://opensociet.org/2018/10/20/the-real-danger-of-russiagate-always-has-been-the-martyrdom-of-trump/

If I could figure out long ago Russia-gate was going to lead to Trump's reelection (see above link), you would think Brennan/ Clinton/ Pelosi could figure it out too. Which begs the questions:

Is Trump good for business for the Democratic party financial patrons? Do they really want him impeached? Did the Pied Piper strategy ever end? Does Bernie Sanders scare them so much they'd rather promote Trump than have Sanders in the Oval Office?

Realist , May 15, 2019 at 10:35

Your last explanation is the one that Jimmy Dore seems to favor. The party string pullers are obviously desperate when they back one near-octogenarian (Crazy Joe Biden) for the nomination against another near-octogenarian (Sanders). Counter move by the GOPers may be to run Tricky Dick Nixon's head-in-a-bottle for the office, like in Futurama.

Realist , May 15, 2019 at 02:05

Wow, gotta hand it to McConnell. That man can shamelessly pack multiple whoppers into every single sentence uttered in his public speaking. Quite a tour de force of pure undiluted bullshit by the turtle. With his rhetorical skills to deliver talking points at a newly realised zenith, there's sure to be a job for him on Madison Avenue when he's finally kicked to the curb as happens to every politician when a better snake oil salesman inevitably comes along.

John Sanguinetti , May 15, 2019 at 00:05

I don't get why, supposedly intelligent, informed people are wondering why Russia is being blamed for so much. Let me remind you that the extremely powerful Israel Lobby is VERY BUSY supporting the agenda of the right wing Likud government in Israel.

One of the goals of Likud is the Zionist agenda that includes Greater Israel which requires Israel to acquire more water and land in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, Iran is a very strong supporter of the Palestinians and Syrian President Assad and Iraqi independence from US domination.

Russia, with it's very effective support for Assad and collaboration with Iran is blocking progress on the Zionist agenda. So, putting pressure on Russia is a way of trying to force them to back off from their support for Syria and Iran or at least to scare them with the power of our military and a crazy unpredictable leader who might do anything. Israel has besides it's VERY STRONG and active lobbies in the US and UK a large and VERY Active 5th column that spends a LOT of money and effort influencing the people who run our government.

CitizenOne , May 14, 2019 at 23:43

I believe it but with some editing of the authors original four things. I have deleted the case against Assange as a sideshow that does nor resonate with Americans any more than the nightly rumor mill about celebrities. Here goes.

Americans used to think that Russia-gate was about a plot to hack the 2016 election. They were wrong. Russia-gate is really about an immense conspiracy to do four things:

No. 1: Ratchet up tensions with Russia to ever more dangerous levels;

No. 2: Show that Democrats are even more useless than people imagined;

No. 3: Win the 2020 elections and reelect Trump and preserve the republican majority in the Senate and win back the democrat controlled House

No. 4: Wage wars in oil rich nations being Iran and Venezuela to fulfill the agenda of the energy companies via military action.

While McConnell rails against Obama for his weaknesses we have the historical record that Obama declared Venezuela as a national security threat, levied massive sanctions against Russia for their presumed invasion of Ukraine, launched a war against the Syrian government, preserved and supported our wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

We see today that Chuck Schumer is still committed to the theory that Russia is the single reason that the democrats lost the last election which is absurd and is rejected by not only a significant number of liberal journalists but also by a majority of Americans. Why do the democrats continue to promote conspiracy theories that the majority of Americans reject as nonsense?

The republicans have the democrats over a barrel and will push it over and watch the democrats wallow in the mud with much amusement.

This could not have have happened to the democrats without a complete lack of foresight or even a slightest attempt to rely on the truth to guide them.

From day one after the election, the democrats swallowed the bait hook line and sinker and now the hook is buried deep in their gullets and they still insist that they are free swimming fish on a mission to prove Russia was responsible for the last election. With every gulp they swallow the hook deeper apparently unaware that they are about to be reeled in and captured by their unfounded beliefs that the bait is is a real meal they can sustain themselves on. Just like a fooled fish they are on the hook.

The announcement that the AG is launching an investigation led by republicans to investigate the Russia Gate investigation will most certainly tarnish democrats and stain their efforts that will be seen as even more dull as the tarnish they try to put on Trump. Even uninformed citizens will ask what is up with the democrats who are trying to bring down Trump even though their reliable news sources tell them that Russia Gate is all a lie.

Meanwhile the democrats who have declared come up not only short on ideas but appear to be suicidal.

Elisabeth Warren has declared war on monopolies in an era where unlimited spending by corporations is legally protected as free speech. How can she hope to win by pledging to breakup monopolies that are well equipped to outspend her in their bid for survival?

The democrats have failed to do the math and their strategies for appealing to the masses will be shot down by the right wing controlled "free press". It is not a liberal press. It is the enemy of liberals controlled by wealthy liberal hating, libertarian loving billionaires. Public vows by democrats who pledge to destroy it will be met with the full force of their arsenal which includes complete control over the microphone that steers debate and is the chief influence of elections. As Mark Twain put it, " It is unwise to wage a war of words against men who buy ink by the barrel".

Howard Dean met his end when the major media outlets conspired to elevate "The Dean Scream" to levels questioning his sanity. The nearly constant barrage of over 4,000 replays of the Dean Scream leading up to the democratic primaries effectively put an end to his bid for nomination.

But why did all of the the major media outlets conspire to conduct a character assassination of the Howard Dean movement? Just two weeks before the Dean Scream was endlessly broadcasted by the media with news commentators chiming in that he was likely an insane man who must be exposed and stopped in his tracks he made a fatal flaw. He made a campaign speech where he said that if he was elected he would impose regulations on the media. Boom Boom out went the lights.

How can any democrat win when they oppose corporations that include the media corporations in America? How can Elisabeth Warren wither the name calling that she will suffer as Trump claims she has a Pocahontas syndrome while also alienating the largest campaign contributors with her pledge to destroy them? How will her insistence that she has Indian blood possibly win her fans when the majority of Americans will mock her. They have been honed on the strop of right wing money into believing that everything they hear and see is factual even though it is not factual or real. Such is the suicidal gamble of the soon to be defeated democratic party.

Why they continue to go down the path toward blind alleys where they will be trapped and defeated baffles me.

geeyp , May 15, 2019 at 11:32

Why, on this good earth, does anyone pay any attention to Schumer and Schiff and McConnell? Shills, do nothing crackpots and traitors to this nation; when you see that's what they are, you have to ignore them.

jmg , May 14, 2019 at 19:57

Daniel Lazare: "( ) it must be the fault of dastardly foreigners trying to hack our democracy. It's a deep-rooted form of xenophobia that has fueled everything ( ) The idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable."

Yes, that's the way it is. About WikiLeaks, as they have repeated many times:

"Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims 'bullshit', adding: 'They are absolutely making it up.'

"'I know who leaked them,' Murray said. 'I've met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it's an insider. It's a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.'"

-- The Guardian, 2016-12-10
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/10/cia-concludes-russia-interfered-to-help-trump-win-election-report

[May 15, 2019] Barr s Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller In A Shocking Case

Highly recommended!
So Strzok worked with Mueller in Boston. Really close circle of friends.
Notable quotes:
"... In December 2000, Durham revealed secret FBI documents that convinced a judge to vacate the 1968 murder convictions of "four other FBI informants because they'd been framed by Robert Mueller's FBI. ..."
"... "In 2007," to help protect Whitey Bulger (that's what all those people were held in jail for) "the documents helped Salvati, Limone, and the families of the two other men who had died in prison to win a US $101.7 million civil judgment against the government." ..."
"... Durham got the two surviving framed men released from prison. Robert Mueller was knee-deep in this scandal, along with Andrew Weissman and the agent sent to prison, but because Reno gave him very limited authority, Durham was not able to prosecute Mueller, who was not in the FBI at the time. ..."
"... Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, calling Mueller a "zealot," he reminded Mueller supporters about the former FBI director's role in protecting "notorious mass murderer" Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant. ..."
"... There is also the fact that Rod Rosenstein seems to think well of him. ..."
"... You can be sure there are a lot of people losing sleep knowing Durham is on the case. You might have noticed Rod Rosenstein, the former Deputy Attorney General, is out trashing Jim Comey. ..."
"... Strzok was in the Boston FBI office at the same time. ..."
"... Mueller was the perfect choice for special prosecutor because they have so much dirt on him he'll do whatever they tell him to do. Modus Operandi in DC for many many decades. ..."
May 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Barr's Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller In A Shocking Case

by Tyler Durden Wed, 05/15/2019 - 15:30 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print Authored by S.Noble via IndependentSentinel.com,

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham was appointed to investigate the origins of the Russia-Trump probe. Apparently, he has been on the job for weeks.

Durham is the perfect investigator for the job by all accounts and he had experience with Robert Mueller in the Whitey Bulger case. He did not side with Mueller and Mueller's agents suffered the consequences of Mueller's, some would say, corrupt leadership.

THE WHITEY BULGER CASE

Back in the late 1990s, there were "allegations that FBI informants James 'Whitey' Bulger and Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi had corrupted their handlers. So, in 1999, Janet Reno appointed John Durham as Special Prosecutor and charged him with investigating FBI corruption in Boston. As it turned out, FBI agents aided mass murderer, Whitey Bulger and hid his crimes. Bulger was a protected informant. Durham sent one agent involved to prison for 10 years.

Then-US Attorney, Robert Mueller is probably the one who should have landed in the pen. He allowed four innocent men to be sent to prison for a murder he knew they didn't commit. He did it to protect Bulger. One of the four men was in Florida at the time of the murder and could not have committed the murder.

When Durham went through the documents. He found that the four men, Enrico Tameleo , Joseph Salvati , Peter J. Limone , and Louis Greco, had actually been framed. Four people who were innocent were kept in jail for years in order to protect the status of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

The Boston Globe wrote:

"[Mike] Albano [former Parole Board Member who was threatened by two F.B.I. agents for considering parole for the men imprisoned for a crime they did not commit] was appalled that, later that same year, Mueller was appointed FBI director, because it was Mueller, first as an assistant US attorney then as the acting U.S. attorney in Boston, who wrote letters to the parole and pardons board throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies. Of course, Mueller was also in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal competitors even as he buried bodies in shallow graves along the Neponset "

In December 2000, Durham revealed secret FBI documents that convinced a judge to vacate the 1968 murder convictions of "four other FBI informants because they'd been framed by Robert Mueller's FBI.

"In 2007," to help protect Whitey Bulger (that's what all those people were held in jail for) "the documents helped Salvati, Limone, and the families of the two other men who had died in prison to win a US $101.7 million civil judgment against the government."

Durham got the two surviving framed men released from prison. Robert Mueller was knee-deep in this scandal, along with Andrew Weissman and the agent sent to prison, but because Reno gave him very limited authority, Durham was not able to prosecute Mueller, who was not in the FBI at the time.

Mueller kept four innocent people in jail for years to protect the informant status of Whitey Bulger, a mass-murdering Boston mobster who ended up dying in California, and it ended up costing the government $100 million plus in civil judgments.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ CALLED MUELLER A "ZEALOT"

Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, calling Mueller a "zealot," he reminded Mueller supporters about the former FBI director's role in protecting "notorious mass murderer" Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

"I think Mueller is a zealot," Dershowitz told "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y. ". . . I don't think he cares whether he hurts Democrats or Republicans, but he's a partisan and zealot.

"He's the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informer. Those of us in Boston don't have such high regard for Mueller because we remember this story. The government had to pay out tens of millions of dollars because Whitey Bulger, a notorious mass murderer, became a government informer against the mafia . . .

"And that's regarded in Boston of one of the great scandals of modern judicial history . And Mueller was right at the center of it. So, he is not without criticism by people who know him in Boston."

HOW DID MUELLER BECOME THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR?

There were other cases in which Mueller behaved scandalously, here and here . Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Sydney Powell tells the same story. She calls them creeps on a mission and has a website of the same name detailing the offenses of Mueller and Weissman.

How did Robert Mueller end up as the Special Prosecutor? Thank a Democrat. The Democrats insisted he was a great man of inviolable character. They said he was the impeccable man and investigator.

There is also the fact that Rod Rosenstein seems to think well of him.

You can be sure there are a lot of people losing sleep knowing Durham is on the case. You might have noticed Rod Rosenstein, the former Deputy Attorney General, is out trashing Jim Comey.

For his part, Jim Comey hasn't written anything inspirational or anti-Trump on Twitter for four days. He has been giving a lot of public speeches lately. Maybe he should shut up.


DoctorFix , 7 minutes ago link

Weren't Comey and Mueller involved in other scandal with Comeys brother?

insanelysane , 1 hour ago link

Strzok was in the Boston FBI office at the same time. The entire FBI is crooked. They supposedly couldn't find Bulger for years. Then the case was going to be turned over to the US Marshal Service. And what do you know, someone in Greenland or Iceland called the FBI with a tip that Bulger was in California. And just like that the FBI goes and picks him up with less force than they used to pick up Roger Stone. The FBI is dirty. Every single one of them.

MrBoompi , 1 hour ago link

Mueller was the perfect choice for special prosecutor because they have so much dirt on him he'll do whatever they tell him to do. Modus Operandi in DC for many many decades.

MushroomCloud2020 , 1 hour ago link

John Durham Once Probed Mueller

Yeah, but did he do an investigation afterwards or did he just have a smoke and fall asleep?

Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link

The Rats can't abandon ship fast enough so they are starting to eat their own... more popcorn this movie is getting good.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/05/comey-turns-on-brennan-fired-fbi-chief-claims-brennan-pushed-junk-dossier-in-ic-report-video/

jaxville , 2 hours ago link

What about the frame up of Edgar J Steele ? Another victim of a corrupt FBI investigation and a corrupt jewdiciary.

I used to find Edgar's "nickle rants" entertaining. What happened to him gave me the biggest red pill of my life.

"Whenever you find something foul, when you peel back the layers; more often than not you find the same maggots underneath it all." Please forgive my quote may not be precise as I don't have my copy of Song of the Reich handy. I think you get the point though.

Anonymous IX , 2 hours ago link

Not for me. I simply assume government is corrupt beyond our wildest dreams. Remember the story of the Dutch banker who escaped the Illuminati and his story of laundering proceeds from Iranian oil sales when Iran was, once again, under sanctions in former years? That trucks and trucks pulled up to these German banks loaded with USD. His job was to make sure that money continued its journey...but not in a truck.

But I'm with Team. What the **** did I just read? This is like being in a small town and learning yet another tidbit in a scandelous affair. Soap opera-ville. Like, dude! What's goin' happen next?

misterlee , 2 hours ago link

Mueller appears to have been dirty for some time now. This speaks to the extent of the swamp more than anything else. Mueller is careful enough to not break criminal law so all he'll ever suffer is criticism for loading up his team with Trump haters. None of these people will go down for anything unless Weissman is tagged with withholding exculpatory evidence, again.

Zero Schmeero , 3 hours ago link

If convicted of sedition Mueller and Weissman can serve in the same prison they sent Bulger. Seems they have a lot of friends there.

TGDavis , 3 hours ago link

How do you cost your employer 100 million and still have a job? This is why I don't believe anything. If this true, then our country is really in bad shape. No American would do this.

LOL123 , 3 hours ago link

I tell you the Democrats are a cult not a representative party of ANY PEOPLE except the i(legal) mob.

Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link

Unfortunately it is not just Dems, it is the whole damn swamp except a few.

they want everyone divided because divided the people are weak, wake up and smell the Covfefe

lowscorewins , 3 hours ago link

Sadly Comey is not smart enough to shut up...

Sparehead , 3 hours ago link

There were so many "real dirty birds", but I'd add Hilliary, Holder, Lynch, and Clapper to round out the high-profile list. As an ex-President and the first "magic" one I expect Obama to get a pass.

LEEPERMAX , 3 hours ago link

CIA DESTROYS AMERICA FROM THE UK: https://aim4truth.org/2019/05/15/cia-destroys-america-from-the-uk/

The Herdsman , 3 hours ago link

Hey fellas, gee wiz. Turns out those guys we gave special rights, special power, specials guns, and special equipment too actually hurt people with them. Who'd'a thunk?

atlasRocked , 4 hours ago link

ERROR in the article? "... the United States Penitentiary, Hazelton , near Bruceton Mills , West Virginia . [22] Bulger, who was in a wheelchair, was found dead on October 30, 2018, at the age of 89. He was killed by inmates within hours of his arrival at Hazelton. "

Muddy1 , 4 hours ago link

"As it turned out, FBI agents aided mass murderer, Whitey Bulger and hid his crimes"

Over the past two years, I have heard Sean Hannity bad mouth the upper echelons of the FBI. He consistently goes on to grovel and talk about the thousands of agents in local offices who are hard working agents doing a great job. I always though his *** kissing was to good to be true. Now I read just how corrupt local agents are, willing to send innocent people to jail to protect some dirt bag.

I've come to the conclusion that the FBI is full of dirty agents from top to bottom. Time to abolish the FBI.

The Herdsman , 4 hours ago link

Every government agency is. Thats the nature of it. Power corrupts. You think you can create an agency of human beings, give them special powers, special rights, special guns, special equipment, turn them loose on society and think they are not going to dry **** everybody who gets in their way?

Koba the Dread , 3 hours ago link

The FBI (originally the BI) was first headed by Napoleon Bonaparte's grand nephew, a family not noted for republican sentiments. It was set up as a political police to persecute communists. Fair enough! But as Ward Churchill in his book by the same name calls the FBI, they are Agents of Repression . It could be communists one decade, conservatives the next, libertarians after that.

The FBI's reputation as an investigative body is very poor. Its crime lab has made hideous blunders. Its fingerprint section accused a man in Spain of finding his fingerprints on a bomb until other international fingerprint experts proved that the fingerprints definitely were not those of the man the FBI accused. Local and state police throughout the US universally loathe FBI interference with their cases because all the FBI does is interfere with their investigations and do it only so it (the FBI) can grandstand. It's investigation of the false flag 9-11event was a cover-up, as was its investigation of the false flag Boston Marathon "bombing". Two of the three "suspects" were shot to death by the FBI and the third is in prison for life for something he didn't even do.

shankster , 4 hours ago link

see the film 'Black Mass'

SRV , 4 hours ago link

The Bulger thing is peanuts... Mueller comes from a long line of Deep State criminals going back decades

shankster , 4 hours ago link

Don't forget that Mueller was also the 'clean-up' guy for Bush after 9II.

Joebloinvestor , 5 hours ago link

They are turning on each other. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7032973/Obamas-intel-chiefs-claim-told-Comey-NOT-use-golden-showers-dossier-warrant.html I can't wait till the "five eye" co-conspirators get it in their heads that Brennan or Clapper are going to rat them out.

Imagine That , 5 hours ago link

How much did Whitey Bulger give Mueller to earn protection? Therein lies the most critical issue of all. 'How much' could be how many mafia members the FBI brought down because of Bulger. It could also be how much Mueller benefited in other ways. Payoffs, anyone?

However, there may be another benefit. What did Bulger know about Mueller? To be black-mailable over many years, and to be truly effective, it must be devastating and run both ways--let's call it mutually assured blackmail.

It purports to be fiction, but DC, the Dark City is the inside story of how absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's a horror story and an eye-opener, politics viewed from inside the establishment.

insanelysane

The Bulger thing gets really interesting because Bulger's brother was the President of the Massachusetts Senate during the same time. Billy Bulger was a big time Democrat in Massachusetts, shocking of course. So you have 1 brother running the mob and the other brother, well, running a mob at the State House.

One story, link below, has an honest State Trooper try to search Whitey's bags at Logan Airport. Whitey throws a bag to a lackey and the lackey disappears. Trooper reports the incident and guess what happens. Trooper is reassigned to hell for interfering with the Brothers Bulger and the FBI.

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/19980929/news/309299966

[May 15, 2019] THIS IS ILLEGAL!! Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's BRILLIANT Takedown of Trump's Illegal War in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi Gabbard for first female president 2020. ..."
"... She is my hero! What a courageous, well spoken, thoughtful, articulate, woman. I would sleep well at night with her behind the wheel. ..."
"... Here we are again dropping bombs on another country that didn't attack us, some things never change. ..."
"... Only congress women i respect. ..."
"... Tulsi is the only sane voice in a group of madmen who have egos that would end the World if their Coffee did not have enough sugar. ..."
Apr 14, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Days before Trump's escalation of his illegal war in Syria, Congresswoman & war veteran Tulsi Gabbard confronts Defense Secretary James Mattis on the unconstitutionality of such missile strikes!

BUY TRUMP TOILET PAPER ON AMAZON! http://amzn.to/2Fe08tb (Affiliate Link)


AbraCadabra▼ , 1 year ago

Tulsi Gabbard for first female president 2020.

Sandra Jacobson , 1 year ago

She is my hero! What a courageous, well spoken, thoughtful, articulate, woman. I would sleep well at night with her behind the wheel.

Andrei Kohler , 2 months ago

Love Tulsi's logic and her support to stop our illegal wars.

Mikael Stenlund , 1 year ago

This Woman, whent against Hillary-establishement, Dems, She is smart & strong, I want her running for Presidency, even some Republicans, would support Her, Right?? :-)

Karen Schumer , 1 year ago

She is so brilliant, and so cool! You know what, if Tulsi ran for president I would vote for her!

Martin Anderson , 1 year ago

This lady has the brains and the looks, i must say. We need a genuine anti-war movement in this country, we need more people like Tulsi.

Thrashaero , 1 year ago

she's got bigger balls than that pencilneck next to her.

Adam Bridges , 1 year ago

Here we are again dropping bombs on another country that didn't attack us, some things never change.

angela bluebird60 , 1 year ago

We need Tulsi Gabbard to work with and for the People FOREVER !

H2SO4BLACK BLACKWATER , 1 year ago (edited)

Why my money is used for killing innocent children in Syria 🇸🇾 I am not agreed for missile attack !

Tarlok Sason , 1 year ago

Only congress women i respect.

alchemistoxford , 2 months ago

A brilliant statement by Tulsi Gabbard. Beto O'Rourke appears bored, unconcerned and vaguely gormless when he rocks back and forth, bites his nails and extends his lower lip.

Andy Roo , 1 year ago

Tulsi is the only sane voice in a group of madmen who have egos that would end the World if their Coffee did not have enough sugar.

jennifer spicer , 1 year ago

the complex situation, Mattis, is that you are committing treason.

Memorandom , 1 year ago

Does the guy next to her think he's in a bloody rocking chair? :P

Justin Norton , 1 year ago

How is bombing Syria protecting America? Mattis should just say, "We just want to drop bombs and kill people."

[May 15, 2019] Ron Paul on Tulsi Gabbard - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I have high respect for Dr Paul especially on his foreign policies and I'm so glad that he has recognized Tulsi stances on ending these regime change wars and over stepping our bounds constitutional overseas. Please keep spreading the word on Tulsi our Republic depends on it. ..."
"... It doesn't surprise me in the least that Ron Paul feels well about Tulsi Gabbard - mostly in regards to her foreign policy. Tulsi can expect considerable support from Libertarians. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com

In this clip from PRIMO NUTMEG #170, former Congressman Ron Paul gives his thoughts on 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.


Ortho Tech , 3 weeks ago

Supported Ron Paul in both 08 and 12, supporting Tulsi in 2020.

harriet , 3 weeks ago

I love BOTH Ron Paul and Tulsi Gabbard! We need more people like these in general!

chickendinner2012 , 3 weeks ago

Great to see anti-war solidarity! #EndTheWars

Gordo Bjorn , 3 weeks ago

I have high respect for Dr Paul especially on his foreign policies and I'm so glad that he has recognized Tulsi stances on ending these regime change wars and over stepping our bounds constitutional overseas. Please keep spreading the word on Tulsi our Republic depends on it.

Robert Thorpe , 3 weeks ago

It doesn't surprise me in the least that Ron Paul feels well about Tulsi Gabbard - mostly in regards to her foreign policy. Tulsi can expect considerable support from Libertarians.

Kariakas , 3 weeks ago

Ron Paul is Libertarian and Tulsi is to the left but they both speak common sense.

EL.NANNA , 3 weeks ago

I'd love to see these 2 together. So much respect for both. No surprise Dr Paul senses the real deal.

George Kraft , 3 weeks ago

Rep Paul, I don't agree with a lot of your ideas, but about Tulsi I agree 100%!

Skylark Myself , 3 weeks ago

Yes Tulsi and Ron Paul Aloha 2020 POTUS

[May 15, 2019] BREAKING Tulsi Gabbard Receives Another Major Endorsement (Ron Paul)

Trump lost Ron Paul support...
Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi continues to stack up very reputable endorsements. This time from a three time Presidential Candidate. ..."
"... Tulsi's momentum is going for critical mass, Its time for a true maverick! #Rogue2020 ..."
"... Ron Paul's endorsement is surprising and interesting, in that it seems sincere. Most repubs give bad-faith assessments of the dem candidates. ..."
"... It really should be seen as a general election endorsement if it came down to a run between Tulsi and Trump, why the hell there was not a follow up question asking Dr Paul who he would endorse Tulsi and Trump I am sure Paul would endorse Tulsi. ..."
May 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Tulsi continues to stack up very reputable endorsements. This time from a three time Presidential Candidate.


ishant 7 , 1 week ago

I am a conservative myself but i would vote for her in a heartbeat

Job Applicant , 1 week ago (edited)

Tulsi's momentum is going for critical mass, Its time for a true maverick! #Rogue2020

Jayanti Ramiah , 1 week ago (edited)

Ron Paul's endorsement is surprising and interesting, in that it seems sincere. Most repubs give bad-faith assessments of the dem candidates.

Citizen Harrison , 1 week ago

My first vote when I was 17 in the Republican primary in 2012. Glad Ron is on board.

Karlo Ve , 1 week ago

Last election I voted for Trump (because he is not a politician) but this time I might vote for Tulsi 2020

Constable 1976 , 1 week ago (edited)

I'm a conservative and might not vote for her, but I love that Major Gabbard is an Army MP! God Bless her for her service...

Ned Pjevac , 1 week ago

I am as unlikely to vote republican as anybody but I admired Ron Paul's honesty when he ran for the presidency. Admired enough that I actually voted for him although his economic policies and gold standard kept me asking more questions than getting answers. I am stoked that my favorite republican voice gives his support to Tulsi. It is yet another confirmation of my choice for 2020.

dobsonimages , 1 week ago

It really should be seen as a general election endorsement if it came down to a run between Tulsi and Trump, why the hell there was not a follow up question asking Dr Paul who he would endorse Tulsi and Trump I am sure Paul would endorse Tulsi. At any rate this is a big deal a lot of people respect Dr Paul and this endorsement will help Tulsi.

George Washington , 1 week ago

YES!!!! RON PAUL!!!!

[May 15, 2019] Chris Hedges Fascism in the Age of Trump

I hope that might be interesting to Tulsi supporters.
In this interesting speech "Fascism in the Age of Trump" Chris Hedges predicts 20 years to the US empire. So somewhere around 2040 or when the age of "cheap oil" approximately ends and/or come under considerable stress.
He does not understands neoliberal social system well and does not use the term "neoliberarism" in his speak (which is detrimental to its value) , but he manages to provide a set of interesting arguments, although the speech is full of exaggerations and inconsistencies.
It also can explains the current Trump stance toward China as "Hail Mary" attempt top preserve the global hegemony by suppressing China even at considerable cost for the USA population.
May 15, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Alex K. , 1 year ago

Chris Hedges is a rare breed. Doesn't care about left/right, liberal/conservative, just dropping truth bombs.

Archvaldor's Warcraft Hacks , 1 year ago

I really feel for Chris Hedges on a personal level. Unlike say Blyth, or Chomsky, whom seem to revel in being intellectual bad boys, Hedges seems to be at heart a very conservative man in the true sense of the word, driven to the extremes by the rabid greed and sociopathic nature of mainstream politics. The corruption of it seems to visibly torture him. It takes a special kind of courage to take an unpopular stand like he does.

TIM BROWN , 1 year ago

President Eisenhower stated that the largest threat to our Democracy was/is the Military Industrial Complex. He quickly terminated the Korean War that he inherited then kept us out of foreign conflict. He believed in a strong Middle Class and promoted our economy with a massive highway system. He kept the highest progressive tax rate at 90% discouraging CEO's from massively overpaying themselves.

김선달봉이 , 1 year ago

A great and courageous man. A very lonely voice in this crazy world.

Jonathan Cook , 1 year ago

Wow, that was awesome, this guy is on a par with our great historical orators.

LiberaLib , 1 year ago

Iceberg. Dead ahead.

Ruth Rivera , 1 year ago

Thank you Chris Hedges. You speak profound truth. I'm listening.

Chris Mclean , 1 year ago

Epic speech. Thank you Chris!

sprite fallen , 1 year ago

Weird hearing someone speak truth

[May 15, 2019] Tucker vs critic who calls him cheerleader for Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Fox News contributor Ralph Peters suggested Tucker was like a Nazi sympathizer for wondering whether Russia and the US should work together against ISIS. Another critic mostly agrees with Peters - and Tucker takes him on ..."
"... Max Boot is an example of someone who takes himself so seriously that they become a joke. ..."
"... Max Boot is never right! He had so many idiotic opinions! A man who wants to intervene in every part of the world and sod the consequences! He's a real neo con extremist! Dangerous! ..."
Jul 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Fox News contributor Ralph Peters suggested Tucker was like a Nazi sympathizer for wondering whether Russia and the US should work together against ISIS. Another critic mostly agrees with Peters - and Tucker takes him on


James Lamoureux , 2 weeks ago

The "empire" Reagan warned us about was the Obama admin.

Elijah Sims , 2 months ago

Max Boot is an example of someone who takes himself so seriously that they become a joke.

Jordan Smith , 5 months ago

I love tucker❤️

TD TOPPDAWG , 1 month ago

Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said "if fascism comes it will come in the name of liberalism"

Joseph Duplaga , 2 months ago

Keep up the good work Tucker a voice of reason in a room full of lunatics .

jeroliver , 3 weeks ago

Who in their right mind would take advice about ANYTHING from Max Boot?

Maverick Watch Reviews , 8 months ago

Tucker sure gave Max the boot in that segment.

Geoff M , 2 months ago

Max Boot is never right! He had so many idiotic opinions! A man who wants to intervene in every part of the world and sod the consequences! He's a real neo con extremist! Dangerous!

Gdurant , 2 months ago

These idiots want us to go and start more wars?

Francis Wargirai , 2 months ago

Selling insurance, house painting, something you're good at. Hahaha.. Gold..

dagmastr , 3 weeks ago

One thing is Tucker is excellent in a debate. He just made max look very stupid.

jućub 111 , 5 months ago

Tucker rest of world love and support you...keep rollin 💪💪 regards from Serbia 🇷🇸

omar rashid , 2 months ago

Good God, you can feel the anger off this guy.

Leonardo Espino , 1 week ago

I have to say that... dam ... I love tucker and he's a good tv anchor and he's hilarious when he takes any opponent

D Redacted , 3 weeks ago

Max debates like a spoilt child.... Remind me of the Kurt Echinwald interview

Vani Vasil , 1 week ago

who the hell established this guy as a foreign policy expert ??

Jermano Mayfield , 1 week ago

Tucker Rocks! Gets them triggered so THE TRUTH can come out

Kay Scott , 1 week ago

Flakes like this Boot guy has destroyed our foreign policy

James Burton , 2 days ago

I WOULD LIKE TO JUST KNOCK HELL OUTTA THAT BALD HEADED SUMBITCH.

William Miller , 2 days ago

When you don't have an answer, just attack the person asking the question. Nice goin' Max, you fool.

[May 15, 2019] Op-Ed-O-Matic Write Doomsday Screeds Like the Pros by Peter Van Buren

Notable quotes:
"... You know the ones: articles predicting whatever the news of the day will be The End of Democracy. Alongside The New York Times and The Washington Post , whose op-ed pages are pretty much a daily End of Days, practitioners include Chicken Little regulars Rachel Maddow , Lawrence Tribe, Malcolm Nance, David Corn, Benjamin Wittes, Charles Pierce, Bob Cesca, and Marcy Wheeler. ..."
"... We've gone from thinking the president is literally a Russian agent (since 1987, the last year your mom and dad dated!) to worrying the attorney general is trying to obstruct a House committee from investigating a completed investigation into obstruction by writing a summary not everyone liked of a report already released. But the actual content is irrelevant. What matters is there is another crisis to write about! The op-ed industry can't keep up with all the Republic-ending stuff Trump and his henchworld are up to. ..."
"... All persons with Russian-sounding names are Kremlin Agents(tm) *except* the alleged sources for The Dossier(tm). Those anonymous Russians can be trusted implicitly. ..."
"... Matt Tiabbi has a book out on hate, Hate Inc, and has done an excellent interview with Chris Hedges on RT. ..."
"... Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, California), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, before Mueller finished his investigation, on Hardball on MSNBC, Jan. 2019: ..."
"... Matthews: "Do you believe the president, right now, has been an agent of the Russians?" Swalwell: "Yes, I think there's more evidence that he is-" Matthews: "Agent?" Swalwell: "Yes. and I think all the arrows point in that direction, and I haven't seen a single piece of evidence that he's not." Matthews: "An agent like in the 1940s where you had people who were 'reds,' to use an old term, like that? In other words, working for a foreign power?" Swalwell: "He's working on behalf of the Russians, yes." ..."
"... One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion: Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Comey, McCabe, the list goes on and on, often merely to make a buck. Even Watergate figures like Carl Bernstein and John Dean have demolished their own reputations, or what was left of them to begin with. If they only knew, or cared, how badly they look in hindsight. ..."
"... @MM: >>One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion << ..."
"... These people don't care about "public opinion." They operate inside a circle-jerk echo chamber whose membership includes the powers dominating the culture, the media (both mainstream and social), the government, and, increasingly, the major corporations. In short, the bulk of what some call the Ruling Class. ..."
"... Facts, evidence, and truth have nothing to do with it. So an investigation, rigged though it was, nonetheless clears Trump of conspiring with Moscow, but the story becomes how Trump is guilty anyway. Orwell, a man well ahead of his time, had the whole thing figured out long ago. ..."
"... "Now tell me again it's all 'sound and fury, signifying nothing.'" On the issue of Trump/Russia collusion, it is, and always was, because we now know it started with the Clinton campaign and a now-discredited dossier. ..."
"... These are the people who we elect to "govern" us. If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials (federal, state and local) have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents. ..."
"... Lynch, Holder, Obama as silent as church mice. i:e who gave Comey his marching orders ? ..."
"... What "illegal things" were revealed in the Mueller report? Trump was trying to obstruct an INJUSTICE, i.e. the "soft coup" done by the anti-American, lawless leftist Dems. ..."
"... On the Big Ugly Lie*, what's their excuse? * Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election, an attack on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You know the ones: articles predicting whatever the news of the day will be The End of Democracy. Alongside The New York Times and The Washington Post , whose op-ed pages are pretty much a daily End of Days, practitioners include Chicken Little regulars Rachel Maddow , Lawrence Tribe, Malcolm Nance, David Corn, Benjamin Wittes, Charles Pierce, Bob Cesca, and Marcy Wheeler.

You'd have thought after almost three years of wrong predictions (no new wars, no economic collapse, no Russiagate) this industry would have slam shut faster than a Rust Belt union hall. You would have especially thought these kinds of articles would have tapered off with the release of the Mueller Report. It turned out to be the opposite -- while Mueller found no conspiracy and charged no obstruction, the dang report turns out to be chock-a-block with hidden messages, secret road maps, and voices speaking in tongues (albeit only to Democrats) about obstruction.

We've gone from thinking the president is literally a Russian agent (since 1987, the last year your mom and dad dated!) to worrying the attorney general is trying to obstruct a House committee from investigating a completed investigation into obstruction by writing a summary not everyone liked of a report already released. But the actual content is irrelevant. What matters is there is another crisis to write about! The op-ed industry can't keep up with all the Republic-ending stuff Trump and his henchworld are up to.

Help has arrived. Now anyone can write their own fear-mongering article, using this handy tool, the op-ed-o-Matic. The GoFundMe for the AI-driven app version will be up soon, but for now, simply follow these simple steps to punditry!

Start with a terrifying cliche. Here are some to choose from: There is a clear and present danger; Dark clouds gather, the center cannot hold; It is unclear the Republic will survive; Democracy itself is under attack; We face a profound/unique/existential threat/crisis/turning point/test. Also, that "First they came for " poem is good. Be creative; The Washington Post calls the present state of things "constitutional nihilism." Snappy!

Be philosophical and slightly weary in tone, such as "I am in despair as I have never been before about the future of our experiment in self-rule." Say you're sad for the state of the nation. Claim time is short, but there just may be a chance to stop this. Add " by any means necessary."

Then choose a follow-on quote to reinforce the danger, maybe from: The Federalist Papers, especially Madison on tyranny; Lincoln, pretty much anything about "the people, government, test for our great nation, blah blah;" the Jack Nicholson character about not being able to handle the truth; something from the neocons like Bill Kristol or Max Boot who now hate Trump. Start with "even" as in " even arch conservative Jennifer Rubin now says "

After all that to get the blood up, explain the current bad thing Trump did. Label it "a high crime or misdemeanor if there ever was one." Use some legalese, such as proffer, colorable argument, inter alia, sinecure, duly-authorized, perjurious, and that little law book squiggly thingy (18 USC § 1513.) Be sure to say "no one is above the law," then a dramatic hyphen, then "even the president." Law school is overrated; you and Google know as much as anyone about emoluments, perjury, campaign finance regulations, contempt, tax law, subpoenas, obstruction, or whatever the day's thing is, and it changes a lot. But whatever, the bastard is obviously guilty. Your standard is tabloid-level , so just make it too good to be true.

Next, find an old Trump tweet where he criticized someone for doing just what he is doing. That never gets old! Reference burning the Reichstag. If the crisis you're writing about deals with immigration or white supremacy (meh, basically the same thing, right?), refer to Kristallnacht.

Include every bad thing Trump ever did as examples of why whatever you're talking about must be true. Swing for the fence with lines like "seeks to destroy decades of LGBTQIXYZ progress" or "built concentration camps to murder children." Cite Trump accepting Putin's word over the findings of "our" intelligence community, his "very fine people" support for Nazi cosplayers, the magic list of 10,000 lies, how Trump has blood on his hands for endangering the press as the enemy of the people, and how Trump caused the hurricane in Puerto Rico.

And Nixon. Always bring up Nixon. The context or details don't matter. In case Wikipedia is down, he was one of the presidents before Trump your grandpa liked for awhile and then didn't like after Robert Redford showed he was a clear and present danger to Saturday Night Live, or the Saturday Night Massacre, it doesn't matter, we all agree Nixon.

Focus on the villain, who must be unhinged, off the rails, over the edge, diseased, out of control, a danger to himself and others, straight-up diagnosed mentally ill , or under Trump/Putin's spell. Barr is currently the Vader-du-jour. The New York Times characterized him as "The transformation of William Barr from respected establishment lawyer to evil genius outplaying and undermining his old friend Robert Mueller is a Grand Guignol spectacle." James Comey went as far as describing Trump people as having had their souls eaten by the president. That's not hyperbole, it's journalism!

But also hold out for a hero, the Neo one inside Trumpworld who will rise, flip, or leak to save us. Forget past nominees like the pee tape, Comey, Clapper, Flynn, Page, Papadopoulos, Manafort, Cohen, Mattis, Kelly, Barr, Linda Sarsour (replace with Ilhan Omar,) Avenatti, and Omarosa to focus on McGahn. He's gonna be the one!

Then call for everyone else bad to resign, be impeached, go to jail, have their old statues torn down, delete their accounts, be referred to the SDNY, be smited by the 25th Amendment, or have their last election delegitimized by the Night King. Draw your rationale from either the most obscure corner of the Founding Founders' work ("the rough draft, subsection IIXX of the Articles of Confederation addendum, Spanish language edition, makes clear Trump is unfit for office") or go broad as in "his oath requires him to uphold the Constitution, which he clearly is not doing." Like Nancy Pelosi, mention how Trump seems unlikely to voluntarily cede power if he loses in 2020.

Cultural references are important. Out of fashion: Godfather memes especially about who is going to be Fredo, 'bots, weaponize, Pussy Hats, the Parkland Kids, Putin homophobe themes, incest "jokes" about Ivanka, the phrases the walls are closing in, tick tock, take to the streets, adult in the room, just wait for Mueller Time, and let that sink in.

Things you can still use: abyss, grifter, crime family, not who we are, follow the money. Also you may make breaking news out of Twitter typos. Stylistically anyone with a Russian-sounding name must be either an oligarch, friend of Putin, or have ties to the Kremlin. Same for anyone who has done business with Trump or used the ATM in the Deutsche Bank lobby in New York. Mention Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez somewhere because every article has to mention AOC somewhere now.

Finally, your op-ed should end either with this House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler faux Kennedy-esque quote, "The choice is simple: We can stand up to this president in defense of the country and the Constitution and the liberty we love, or we can let the moment pass us by. History will judge us for how we face this challenge" or, if you want to go old school, this one from Hillary Clinton saying, "I really believe that we are in a crisis, a constitutional crisis. We are in a crisis of confidence and a crisis over the rule of law and the institutions that have weathered a lot of problems over so many years. And it is something that, regardless of where you stand in the political spectrum, should give real heartburn to everybody. Because this is a test for our country."

Crisis. Test. Judgment of history. Readers love that stuff, because it equates Trump's dumb tweets with Lincoln pulling the Union together after a literal civil war that killed millions of Americans in brother-to-brother conflict. As long as the rubes believe the world is coming to an end, you might as well make a buck writing about it.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99% .

See also

Fran Macadam , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:48 am

Good rules for your wayward commenters Peter, themselves nattering nabobs of negativism. (Oops, there I go again.)

Can I mention how Hilarious still seems unlikely to voluntarily cede power since she lost in 2016?

Uncle Billy , says: May 13, 2019 at 6:41 am
Liberal journalists seem to think that Trump is either an ignorant oaf or an evil genius. These views are oppositional, but many liberal journalists seem to hold both of them.
mrscracker , says: May 13, 2019 at 6:58 am
I pretty much lost all respect for the Washington Post during the last election. Each WaPo anti-Trump op ed became increasingly apocalyptic until you imagined that the universe would implode should he be elected. It was that silly.

But other media promote "end of the world as we know it "scenarios also. TAC included.

Seriously, if I read one more article about how flyover America is a drug infested, impoverished wasteland inhabited by those not intelligent or ambitious enough to move to the coasts. Drama draws readers and online traffic. I guess it's up to the reader to sift through the competing narratives for the truth.

Gerard , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:11 am
On the one hand, I agree that it's laughable and ridiculous -- this flood of apocalyptic predictions and articles, wherein Trump, a juvenile buffoon who in fact does not even control the government he nominally heads, is depicted as some kind of unprecedented threat to democracy and Everything We Hold Dear.

I mean, OK, the judgment of the libs and neocons writing this stuff is clearly addled by their irrational and rabid hatred for Trump. Still, are they really that stupid or is it just that they are hopelessly dishonest? I lean toward the latter explanation.

That said, the abiding irony is that there is in fact a deepening crisis in this country. It's about an increasingly dysfunctional democracy, a bitterly alienated and divided citizenry, a set of ruling elites who despise a large percentage of their countrymen and have contrived an economic and political system that enriches themselves while consigning the despised percentage to permanent struggling status, a cultural establishment that rejects the traditional Judeo-Christian values that built Western civilization and, Jacobin-style, is busily overturning and replacing those values with their own would-be New Moral Order.

And so forth.

So yeah, there most definitely is a crisis and it might even be apocalyptic in dimension and character. (Heck, it put Trump in the White House.) But the actual crisis is not the one the fools are writing about. In fact, not only are they not writing about it -- they're in large part responsible for it.

Like I said: an abiding irony. One for the history books.

Scott in MD , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:13 am
Astroturf campaigns have been around since at least the 90's, surely you aren't just discovering them now
Sid Finster , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:18 am
All persons with Russian-sounding names are Kremlin Agents(tm) *except* the alleged sources for The Dossier(tm). Those anonymous Russians can be trusted implicitly.
Taras 77 , says: May 13, 2019 at 11:08 am
FWIW:

Matt Tiabbi has a book out on hate, Hate Inc, and has done an excellent interview with Chris Hedges on RT.

Jhawk , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm
Van Buren has apparently chosen to forget the apocalyptic rants from the right during the Obama administration. As for today's alarmists, as I write this the Dow is down over 700 points due to Trump's foolish trade war, his administration is ignoring two centuries of tradition by stonewalling Congress' legitimate oversight authority and John Bolton is trying to provoke a war with Iran. Now tell me again it's all "sound and fury, signifying nothing."
MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:42 pm
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, California), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, before Mueller finished his investigation, on Hardball on MSNBC, Jan. 2019:

Matthews: "Do you believe the president, right now, has been an agent of the Russians?"
Swalwell: "Yes, I think there's more evidence that he is-"
Matthews: "Agent?"
Swalwell: "Yes. and I think all the arrows point in that direction, and I haven't seen a single piece of evidence that he's not."
Matthews: "An agent like in the 1940s where you had people who were 'reds,' to use an old term, like that? In other words, working for a foreign power?"
Swalwell: "He's working on behalf of the Russians, yes."

The same congressman, who makes Joseph McCarthy look moderate, after Mueller completed his investigation, on Fox News, Mar. 2019:

Cavuto: "Would you say the president is not a Russian agent?"
Swalwell: "The president acts on Russia's behalf, I don't need to see the Mueller report for that."

And this month, after he had annouced his presidential bid, on Face the Nation:

Brennan: "But I know you have been talking because you are also in an intelligence role on that House committee saying a number of things that I want to quote back to you. Up until this point you said when you were asked in January, 'do you believe the president right now has been an agent of the Russians?' You said, 'yes,' you were asked again at the end of that month by a questioner, 'I'm still not hearing any evidence that he's an agent of Russia.' And you said, 'Yeah I think it's pretty clear it's almost hiding in plain sight.' The Mueller report did not substantiate any conspiracy or coordination with Russia. Do you regret prejudging the outcome?"

Swalwell: "No, actually I- I- I think I should have been louder."

And people say Denin Nunes politicized the House Intelligence Committee?

One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion: Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Comey, McCabe, the list goes on and on, often merely to make a buck. Even Watergate figures like Carl Bernstein and John Dean have demolished their own reputations, or what was left of them to begin with. If they only knew, or cared, how badly they look in hindsight.

Gene Smolko , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:54 pm
Uncle Billy

"Liberal journalists seem to think that Trump is either an ignorant oaf or an evil genius."

You're missing the point, it's Trump's ignorance, his extreme sense of entitlement and limitless ego that are a danger to our democracy. He doesn't understand the norms of democracy, otherwise known as American principles. All he understands is what he wants and his notion of American greatness, which has nothing to do with true American principles.

Gerard , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:16 pm
@MM: >>One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion <<

These people don't care about "public opinion." They operate inside a circle-jerk echo chamber whose membership includes the powers dominating the culture, the media (both mainstream and social), the government, and, increasingly, the major corporations. In short, the bulk of what some call the Ruling Class.

In their minds, public opinion can be suppressed or at least controlled by their near monopoly on major media. The stories they want told will get told. The stories they don't want told will not get told. Except at more or less isolated right-wing websites and such whose audience and reach are limited.

Facts, evidence, and truth have nothing to do with it. So an investigation, rigged though it was, nonetheless clears Trump of conspiring with Moscow, but the story becomes how Trump is guilty anyway. Orwell, a man well ahead of his time, had the whole thing figured out long ago.

MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:51 pm
jhawk: "As I write this the Dow is down over 700 points."

This is the same Dow Jones that, even with today's drop is still 40% higher than it was right before the 2016 election, correct?

"Now tell me again it's all 'sound and fury, signifying nothing.'" On the issue of Trump/Russia collusion, it is, and always was, because we now know it started with the Clinton campaign and a now-discredited dossier.

Connecticut Farmer , says: May 13, 2019 at 3:36 pm
@MM

These are the people who we elect to "govern" us. If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials (federal, state and local) have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents. It seems that it's only when we hit rock bottom and the country's very survival is at stake that the cream rises to the top and the very best step to the plate, so given what we have in Washington now, maybe we haven't reached that point–at least not yet.

Dan Green , says: May 13, 2019 at 5:58 pm
Lynch, Holder, Obama as silent as church mice. i:e who gave Comey his marching orders ?
JohnT , says: May 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm
This is a hoot. Little Pettie strikes again! Projecting his own myopia as always! His Greater Leader, The Trumpster, and the sycophants who worship him daily (for a fee, of course) daily tweets or shouts from a podium the impending doom of our nations due to hoards of the "other" spreading disease and violence nationwide while supported by the great love of Evangelical "Christians" who faith not merely predicts but yearns for the end of the world!!!
Can't quite tell. It is hypocrisy or grand delusions blooming brightly at TAC!
MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 11:08 pm
CT Farmer: "If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents."

No doubt, I only picked on him because he represents the crappiest district in the Bay Area, which I have personal experience on, and he's running for president on the "Trump is a Russian agent" platform, which even Joseph McCarthy was too timid to attempt.

That's either saying something, or it's nothing. I could've quoted another presidential candidate who's claimed that law enforcement and criminal justice in America is racist from top to bottom and front to back. Or I could've quoted a different presidential candidate who's stated unequivocally that every human being, not just American citizen, is entitled to free education and health care, without regard to cost or need.

Pick your poison

Cat , says: May 14, 2019 at 3:21 am
Just a few thoughts about comments above: Who "yearns for the end of the world"?? Give names please, stop slandering. What "illegal things" were revealed in the Mueller report? Trump was trying to obstruct an INJUSTICE, i.e. the "soft coup" done by the anti-American, lawless leftist Dems. The fact is that we are a nation of laws and illegals (no matter where they are from, Mars, Supitor; whether they are green, purple, whatever color) are a threat to our country. I heard report that about a third of the crimes in the USA are done by illegals, at a cost of billions. Well, more crap from brain washed boobs above, but I'm done trying to point them out ..
mrscracker , says: May 14, 2019 at 9:55 am
Rick Steven D.:

"Uh, have you met Rod-sky-is-falling-Dreher?"

***************
Yes, I met him at a very nice crawfish boil last year.
It's good to read your comments, too. I hope you've been well!

mrscracker , says: May 14, 2019 at 10:03 am
James from Durham:

" you know, we're all at it, breathing apocalyptic fire and brimstone, left and right. No point throwing stones at each other on this subject."

**************
My thoughts, too. It's difficult to sift through the hype on all sides & find anything solid. Outrage generates traffic, thoughtful discussion-not so much. So we end up with clickbait & tabloids.

David Smith , says: May 14, 2019 at 10:28 am
Maybe the Dems and their supporters should spend more time trying to understand why they lost and less time complaining about it. But then that's not nearly as much fun.
Patricus , says: May 14, 2019 at 11:17 am
Thanks for the voice of reason. A couple of complaints on Trump: he hasn't accomplished much on the border; budgets continue to bleed red ink. He at least could have vetoed the budgets.
Sean Nuttall , says: May 14, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Isn't it a bit rich to suggest that the outrage media started in 2016? How long have Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingraham, Levin, Hannity, .. been milking the Republican multiverse.
MM , says: May 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm
Sean: "Isn't it a bit rich to suggest that the outrage media started in 2016?"

That's a bit like saying because my neighbor ran over my dog, I'll then bulldoze his house. Besides, the left and the press are supposed to be superior to the right and the unwashed masses. They always fact-based, logical, reasonable, non-ideological, and consistent.

On the Big Ugly Lie*, what's their excuse?
* Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election, an attack on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

[May 15, 2019] Bernie Sanders on trade with China, health care and student debt

Good domestic policy suggestions and debate skills. Horrible understanding of foreign policy (he completely subscribes to the Russiagate hoax)
His capitulation to Hillary in 2016 still linger behind his back despite all bravado. he betrayed his followers, many of who put money of this while being far from rich. he betrayed them all. As such he does not deserve to run.
Warren and Tulsi are definitely better options then Sanders for 2020.
May 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., became a household name in 2016 when he ran a progressive campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination -- and came close to securing it. He's back in the 2020 race, but this time up against more than 20 other candidates. Sanders sits down with Judy Woodruff to discuss trade with China, health care, student debt, Russian election interference and more.

[May 15, 2019] They can't even say it

May 15, 2019 | twitter.com

gjohnsit on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:46pm

The Hill forgot Tulsi again

It's #IgnoreTulsiTime again. @thehill pic.twitter.com/rVe306gXxx

-- K. Rosef (@kayrosef) May 10, 2019

they can't even say it

CBS News (2/4/19) briefly interviewed Honolulu Civil Beats reporter Nick Grube regarding Gabbard's campaign announcement. The anchors had clearly never encountered the term anti-interventionism before, struggling to even pronounce the word, then laughing and saying it "doesn't roll off the tongue."

[May 15, 2019] They hate us for our freedom 2.0

Neocons and neolibs control the USA foreign policy. That's given. NYT just reflects foreign policy establishment talking points.
Links between Daniel Jones and Steele are really interesting and new information
Notable quotes:
"... "The goal here is bigger than any one election," said Daniel Jones, a former F.B.I. analyst and Senate investigator whose nonprofit group, Advance Democracy, recently flagged a number of suspicious websites and social media accounts to law enforcement authorities. ..."
"... According to a report published this morning, he notes that the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which has received "significant funding" from technology billionaires, funneled $500,000 to the non-profit group Advance Democracy. That organization shares a street address with The Democracy Integrity Project. ..."
"... That's because both organizations were founded by former Senate Intel staffer Daniel Jones, who at that time worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who hails from just down the road from Silicon Valley in San Francisco. As TruNews has previously reported, those connections to the Senate Intel Committee have played a significant role in the ongoing "Russia Narrative" drama in Washington, D.C. ..."
"... Jones has been previously identified as a central figure in the investigation who served as potential go-between with the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, and former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. ..."
"... The NYT is very much invested in the post Cold War status quo. ..."
"... That would be the Clintons and the Bushes. Both political parties and every POTUS since 1968. In fact, I believe this is the main reason why the Dems created and are pushing Russiagate so hard. They don't want us looking at what really gave us Trump: the neoliberal neoconservative fiasco of the past 40+ years. ..."
"... told about Russia and that they interfered with not only our elections, but in so many other countries too. I remember a time when people would insist on seeing the evidence on stuff the intelligence agencies tell them, but ever since Her lost the election they lost their minds. I'll see references to articles that say something, but offer no evidence. Like the one this essay is about. ..."
"... Plus they tried to kill the Skripals. And the GOP are also under Vlad's thumb. This is why Russia Gate has to be debunked. ..."
"... So, yes, it's going to take too long. Short of a miracle, I'm starting to think we're all going to be radioactive ash before Cold War II ends. There was a modicum of restraint with Cold War I; some people had enough sense to realize the end result was nuclear war. That type of sense seems nowhere to be found in Washington, D.C., these days. ..."
"... Dick Cheney is as evil as any human being I've ever heard of. I doubt whether he's done everything some folks believe he's done -- but not because he isn't evil enough, only because he lacked either the guts or the necessity. I believe he would have fit in perfectly well with Himmler and Goebbels, and he would enthusiastically embraced their approach to getting and wielding power. ..."
"... A few months ago, I made a comment to someone that it's like we're supposed to hate them (Russia) for their freedoms. ..."
May 15, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

"They hate us for our freedom" 2.0


gjohnsit on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:32pm The NY Times just posted one of the most atrocious pieces of journalistic malpractice I have ever read.

Less than two weeks before pivotal elections for the European Parliament, a constellation of websites and social media accounts linked to Russia or far-right groups is spreading disinformation, encouraging discord and amplifying distrust in the centrist parties that have governed for decades.

European Union investigators, academics and advocacy groups say the new disinformation efforts share many of the same digital fingerprints or tactics used in previous Russian attacks, including the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

That's a powerful statement. There's just one problem: the article doesn't present a single bit of proof. Just anecdotes. In fact, it doesn't even quote anyone to back up these claims, but for one single exception.

"The goal here is bigger than any one election," said Daniel Jones, a former F.B.I. analyst and Senate investigator whose nonprofit group, Advance Democracy, recently flagged a number of suspicious websites and social media accounts to law enforcement authorities.

"It is to constantly divide, increase distrust and undermine our faith in institutions and democracy itself. They're working to destroy everything that was built post-World War II."

Russia is why people are losing faith in our government institutions. Not because they are owned by oligarchs. If you listen closely you can hear President Bush.
So who is Daniel Jones and Advance Democracy? That's an interesting story .

According to a report published this morning, he notes that the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which has received "significant funding" from technology billionaires, funneled $500,000 to the non-profit group Advance Democracy. That organization shares a street address with The Democracy Integrity Project.

That's because both organizations were founded by former Senate Intel staffer Daniel Jones, who at that time worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who hails from just down the road from Silicon Valley in San Francisco. As TruNews has previously reported, those connections to the Senate Intel Committee have played a significant role in the ongoing "Russia Narrative" drama in Washington, D.C.

Jones has been previously identified as a central figure in the investigation who served as potential go-between with the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, and former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. That's because TDIP, which receives significant funding from George Soros, funneled some of that money toward Steele's research for Fusion GPS that led to the infamous dossier on President Donald Trump.

However, as Ross reports today: "Mystery surrounds both of Jones's operations. The identities of both groups' donors have largely been kept secret, as Jones has avoided revealing his backers.

Nothing to see here. Just two sketchy political organizations sharing the same street address. Perfectly normal.

"The election has yet to come, and we are already suspected of doing something wrong?" the Russian prime minister, Dmitri A. Medvedev, said in March. "Suspecting someone of an event that has not yet happened is a bunch of paranoid nonsense."

It's not nonsense. It's scapegoating. There's a difference.

gjohnsit on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:46pm

The Hill forgot Tulsi again

It's #IgnoreTulsiTime again. @thehill pic.twitter.com/rVe306gXxx

-- K. Rosef (@kayrosef) May 10, 2019

they can't even say it

CBS News (2/4/19) briefly interviewed Honolulu Civil Beats reporter Nick Grube regarding Gabbard's campaign announcement. The anchors had clearly never encountered the term anti-interventionism before, struggling to even pronounce the word, then laughing and saying it "doesn't roll off the tongue."
UntimelyRippd on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:59pm
If you have trouble pronouncing "anti-interventionism",

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit
you lack one of perhaps three must-have skills for being a TV reporter.

Centaurea on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 6:49pm
The other skills being

@UntimelyRippd a perky voice and a lack of critical thinking ability? And for women, blonde hair.

Bollox Ref on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 6:14pm
I assume that the meteoric rise of Farage's Brexit party

over the last couple of weeks, is all down to Putin/bots/funding. The NYT is very much invested in the post Cold War status quo.

Centaurea on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 6:44pm
Once again, NYT gets the facts wrong

They're [the Kremlin] working to destroy everything that was built post-World War II.

That would be the Clintons and the Bushes. Both political parties and every POTUS since 1968. In fact, I believe this is the main reason why the Dems created and are pushing Russiagate so hard. They don't want us looking at what really gave us Trump: the neoliberal neoconservative fiasco of the past 40+ years.

It's also why so many people of my generation (over 60) are having trouble understanding and accepting what's going on. To do so will require letting go of everything they thought was true. That kind of change does not come easy to many people.

I heard someone recently say "We have to elect a Dem or else our post-War advantages will disappear."

Got to wonder where he's been for the past 40 years. That horse left the barn a long time ago.

snoopydawg on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 7:12pm
Unfortunately people really believe everything they have been

@Centaurea

told about Russia and that they interfered with not only our elections, but in so many other countries too. I remember a time when people would insist on seeing the evidence on stuff the intelligence agencies tell them, but ever since Her lost the election they lost their minds. I'll see references to articles that say something, but offer no evidence. Like the one this essay is about.

Plus they tried to kill the Skripals. And the GOP are also under Vlad's thumb. This is why Russia Gate has to be debunked.

People say that Mueller has put to rest the fact that Russia indeed interfered with the election, but all he showed was the FBIs "belief' that they did and that some Russians will ties to Vlad hacked the DNC computers. He didn't interview anyone involved with that as laid out in my recent essay.

I've even seen people who were once against our invasions being okay with them and repeating the party line. Unfuckingbelievable!

TheOtherMaven on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 7:28pm
I wonder how much of this is residual Millennial Mania

@snoopydawg

The Year 2000 was not that long ago, and we were bombarded for two decades beforehand with talk of all the dreadful things that might happen, could happen, and some people firmly believed would happen - and then didn't happen. (As it turned out, the most obvious sign of "Y2K" was the "19100" bug that plagued Web pages for months afterward. It was cosmetic and harmless, but annoying.)

I expected it to take about ten years for sanity to return - but it looks like being more like fifty. And there will probably be some cultists who construct their own "reality" around what didn't happen, like the 1840s Millerites (who spun off the still-extant Seventh Day Adventists).

snoopydawg on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:33am
It might be longer

@TheOtherMaven

The NYT and WaPoo have new articles out about how bad the dastardly Russians are still interfering with the whole dang country now. And WaPoo had some university do a study on how Russia tried to get people to vote for Bernie and blah, blah,...

I read an article last year saying that Bernie needs to knock off being with the Russia Gaters because he is going to be accused of being in Vlad's pockets anyway. But he's still saying that Trump is under Russia's thumb and that Russia is doing all kinds of bad stuff.

Then there's all the websites like DK, emptyhead, democratic underground and others saying that Mueller confirmed Russia did bad things and maybe if the democrats work harder on their investigations they will find stuff that Mueller missed. I think 10 years is optimistic, but however long it's going to take its going to be too long.

travelerxxx on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 3:10am
A lit fuse with nothing to stop it

@snoopydawg

I think 10 years is optimistic, but however long it's going to take it's going to be too long.

Consider how long it took for Cold War I to finally start to ebb. It took at least a decade, and that was with the memory of a horrendous world war fresh on most minds. Now, we're so insulated from the reality of war, not even allowed reports from the battlefields, much less accurate information and numbers, that we have lost touch with the horror. Evil men such as Bolton spend every minute of every day trying to embroil us in deadly excursions and foreign entanglements. Our "intelligence" agencies are no more than modern versions of the NAZI era Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

So, yes, it's going to take too long. Short of a miracle, I'm starting to think we're all going to be radioactive ash before Cold War II ends. There was a modicum of restraint with Cold War I; some people had enough sense to realize the end result was nuclear war. That type of sense seems nowhere to be found in Washington, D.C., these days.

thanatokephaloides on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 8:12pm
the Russians

@travelerxxx

So, yes, it's going to take too long. Short of a miracle, I'm starting to think we're all going to be radioactive ash before Cold War II ends. There was a modicum of restraint with Cold War I; some people had enough sense to realize the end result was nuclear war. That type of sense seems nowhere to be found in Washington, D.C., these days.

Fortunately for us ordinary Americans, the Russians really do love their children too.....

//www.youtube.com/embed/wHylQRVN2Qs?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Jen on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 9:02am
If Bernie is the nominee

@snoopydawg Are they going to say they're both (Bernie and Trump) working with Russia? That would be amusing. I wonder if it would cause any of them to vote third party or not vote at all.

Hawkfish on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 7:14pm
As someone in the industry...

@TheOtherMaven

...who was a software development consultant at the time, the reason nothing much happened was that's lot of people worked their butts off for several years. COBOL programmers were dragged out of retirement and all kinds of goofy OS and library hacks were implemented to reduce the amount of work and risk.

Sometimes freaking out gets the job done!

SnappleBC on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:03pm
It did not come easy for me anyway

@Centaurea

It's also why so many people of my generation (over 60) are having trouble understanding and accepting what's going on. To do so will require letting go of everything they thought was true. That kind of change does not come easy to many people.

I spent several years grappling with my fall down the rabbit hole. I started freeing myself from the matrix during #Occupy and towards the end of Obama's first term I was starting to really get it... at least get it enough to know I wasn't voting for him a second time. Then Bernie arrived on the scene and it was music to my ears. That pretty much completed the process for me but it STILL took time and I STILL have places where I "don't believe they are that evil" (twin towers anyone) yet I suspect that in the fullness of time I may yet find that they are in fact that evil.

I have a lot of sympathy for those still caught in the matrix. It's a really good trap. That doesn't change the fact that I see them as my enemy and the enemy of all mankind but I at least understand.

UntimelyRippd on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:50pm
I've always been clear on one thing:

@SnappleBC
Dick Cheney is as evil as any human being I've ever heard of. I doubt whether he's done everything some folks believe he's done -- but not because he isn't evil enough, only because he lacked either the guts or the necessity. I believe he would have fit in perfectly well with Himmler and Goebbels, and he would enthusiastically embraced their approach to getting and wielding power.

travelerxxx on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:58pm
I need to focus better

@UntimelyRippd

I believe he would have fit in perfectly well with Himmler and Goebbels ...

I had to go back and re-read your comment, as I had subconsciously read President Security Advisor John Bolton rather than what you wrote -- Cheney .

I mean, you were talking about evil men ...

snoopydawg on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:44am
They really are that evil

@SnappleBC

Just this century this country has killed a million Iraqis and who knows how many people in the other countries we've invaded? 40,000 Venezuelans died last year because of our sanctions and no matter how many people in Yemen die every day because of the Saudis we will continue supporting them.

Then there's Hiroshima and Nagasaki as aliasalias stated. Oh hell yes they are that evil.

Not Henry Kissinger on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 3:01am
After all the millions of people...

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

killed and displaced around the Globe by the Empire in just this century alone, so many still can't believe this same government could murder 3000 on 9/11.

Cognitive dissidence doesn't even start to explain it.

Pluto's Republic on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 7:41pm
Well, the key issue here

...is the intense access that these privatized propagandists have to the New York Times . And certainly the Times should explain why it freely publishes radical divisive stories that cannot be verified from compromised sources that have previously been exposed as disreputable. This is what Russia is accused of doing, sewing confusion and fear in the US, based on misinformation. Now the New York Times is doing it for them. The fact that a US media outlet is deliberately sabotaging the domestic tranquility with alarming lies is exactly what congress should be investigating. But any congressperson that did so would see their careers destroyed. Congress surrendered to the media monopolies a long time ago.

What we can do is confirm for Americans that they must never trust anything they read in the New York Times and the Washington Post . Remind them of the tragic facts in recent history. The lies that endangers people's lives and disables their intelligence are written between the lines.

snoopydawg on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:46am
Ayup

@Pluto's Republic

The NYT and WaPoo and other media are continuing to come up with new stories every day telling us something new that Russia is doing. This is not going away any time soon. Unfortunately.

aliasalias on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:36pm
I can't forget those commercials nor the school drills

@Lookout @Lookout with us all getting under our desks or along the walls if we are in the hallway and I don't think any one of us didn't treat this as something critical for us to learn in order to survive.
As a kid that loved riding a bicycle one Public Service announcement I paid careful attention to was the instruction to do if I saw that bright flash which was to throw the bike down and curl up along the curb, I even thought about that problem on unpaved streets.

I remember bomb shelters were advertised a lot and I remember some tv dramas were about people fleeing to their bomb shelter and the dilemma of being only fit to hold a small group but had neighbors, friends and strangers pleading to be let in.

The 'Twilight Zone' series even had one episode where a very wealthy man with a shelter picked certain important people in his life, his school teacher, Priest and others were offered shelter only if they will apologize for things he'd caught criticism for his behavior in his past. Trivial stuff, but he had a screen for them to watch the destruction live.

Long story short, they'd rather die than spend the rest of their lives with him. Especially with all their friends and family gone, so he is alone, goes crazy, runs outside and is found by a policemen to be crying and babbling at a city fountain, in a city that had not been bombed, but for him it had happened and all he could see was destruction around him.

All that aside considering we'd already dropped 'the' bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki those behind all the public warnings and information that was needed in order for people to know how to survive couldn't really believe that nonsense.

Unless they could believe all those dead Japanese would've likely survived if they had ducked under their desks or curled up along a curb, and if that were true they were as loony as the 'Twilight Zone' character.
Yeah if only all those schoolchildren had jumped under their desk before the building and everything around it was obliterated.

...if you see a light brighter than the sun. (1 min)

data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

aliasalias on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 10:51pm
Today I'm watching the NY Yankees vs Tampa Bay and

in the top of the ninth the screen goes black, the live stream has stopped because the electrical grid the Tropicana had shut down and the stadium was without power for the lights, scoreboard, broadcast, etc. were down.

It took about forty-five minutes for power to be restored but right when it happened I thought it was the stream I was watching so I clicked on other streaming sites and it was on a couple of them I read why all broadcasts were off.

But in the chat box I really couldn't tell if a few were joking or not when they blamed it on the Russians. One in particular didn't look like they were joking as that person repeated the claim a few times. No kidding, and one lamented that (paraphrasing) 'now the Russians are messing with our National sport'.

THIS is what mainstream media has wrought.

travelerxxx on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 11:02pm
Worse yet

@aliasalias

THIS is what mainstream media has wrought.

I'd offer that this is what a mainstream media controlled by handful of corporations, reading from a script, has wrought.

snoopydawg on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:41am
Bingo

@aliasalias

Any time something happens now people will willingly accept that Russia did something that caused it. See the tweet I posted above. Secret service agents and police are doing nothing as the Guaido goons keeps people from delivering food and stuff to the embassy sitters. One goon tried taking the bag out of a guy's hands and they just watched. One person tried to throw a cucumber and the cops pounced on him, pushed him to the ground and bloodied him up. But Russia is the one who put the embassy sitters into the embassy and is supporting them. SMDH!

Not Henry Kissinger on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 2:57am
Love the projection...

Advance Democracy, recently flagged a number of suspicious websites and social media accounts to law enforcement authorities."It is to constantly divide, increase distrust and undermine our faith in institutions and democracy itself.

An organization that reports undesirable speech to law enforcement is worried about the undermining of democracy. Got it.

Jen on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 9:09am
It's the other way around this time

A few months ago, I made a comment to someone that it's like we're supposed to hate them (Russia) for their freedoms.

[May 14, 2019] The Propaganda Multiplier How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics

Highly recommended!
Images omitted.
Important article that shed some light on the methods of disinformation in foreign events used by neoliberal MSM
Notable quotes:
"... However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves. ..."
"... Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters. ..."
"... Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media. ..."
"... How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" : ..."
"... The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists. ..."
"... Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media: ..."
"... What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts: ..."
"... "In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298) ..."
Jun 01, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Swiss Propaganda Research Global Research, May 14, 2019 Swiss Propaganda Research Region: Europe , USA Theme: Media Disinformation

This study was originally published in 2016.

Introduction: "Something strange"

"How does the newspaper know what it knows?" The answer to this question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers: "The main source of information is stories from news agencies. The almost anonymously operating news agencies are in a way the key to world events. So what are the names of these agencies, how do they work and who finances them? To judge how well one is informed about events in East and West, one should know the answers to these questions." (Höhne 1977, p. 11)

A Swiss media researcher points out:

"The news agencies are the most important suppliers of material to mass media. No daily media outlet can manage without them. () So the news agencies influence our image of the world; above all, we get to know what they have selected." (Blum 1995, p. 9)

In view of their essential importance, it is all the more astonishing that these agencies are hardly known to the public:

"A large part of society is unaware that news agencies exist at all In fact, they play an enormously important role in the media market. But despite this great importance, little attention has been paid to them in the past." (Schulten-Jaspers 2013, p. 13)

Even the head of a news agency noted:

"There is something strange about news agencies. They are little known to the public. Unlike a newspaper, their activity is not so much in the spotlight, yet they can always be found at the source of the story." (Segbers 2007, p. 9)

"The Invisible Nerve Center of the Media System"

So what are the names of these agencies that are "always at the source of the story"? There are now only three global agencies left:

  1. The American Associated Press ( AP ) with over 4000 employees worldwide. The AP belongs to US media companies and has its main editorial office in New York. AP news is used by around 12,000 international media outlets, reaching more than half of the world's population every day.
  2. The quasi-governmental French Agence France-Presse ( AFP ) based in Paris and with around 4000 employees. The AFP sends over 3000 stories and photos every day to media all over the world.
  3. The British agency Reuters in London, which is privately owned and employs just over 3000 people. Reuters was acquired in 2008 by Canadian media entrepreneur Thomson – one of the 25 richest people in the world – and merged into Thomson Reuters , headquartered in New York.

In addition, many countries run their own news agencies. However, when it comes to international news, these usually rely on the three global agencies and simply copy and translate their reports.

The three global news agencies Reuters, AFP and AP, and the three national agencies of the German-speaking countries of Austria (APA), Germany (DPA) and Switzerland (SDA).

Wolfgang Vyslozil, former managing director of the Austrian APA, described the key role of news agencies with these words:

"News agencies are rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most influential and at the same time one of the least known media types. They are key institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this system." (Segbers 2007, p.10)

Small abbreviation, great effect

However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves.

The following figure shows some examples of source tagging in popular German-language newspapers. Next to the agency abbreviations we find the initials of editors who have edited the respective agency report.

News agencies as sources in newspaper articles

Occasionally, newspapers use agency material but do not label it at all. A study in 2011 from the Swiss Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at the University of Zurich came to the following conclusions (FOEG 2011):

"Agency contributions are exploited integrally without labeling them, or they are partially rewritten to make them appear as an editorial contribution. In addition, there is a practice of 'spicing up' agency reports with little effort; for example, visualization techniques are used: unpublished agency reports are enriched with images and graphics and presented as comprehensive reports."

The agencies play a prominent role not only in the press, but also in private and public broadcasting. This is confirmed by Volker Braeutigam, who worked for the German state broadcaster ARD for ten years and views the dominance of these agencies critically:

"One fundamental problem is that the newsroom at ARD sources its information mainly from three sources: the news agencies DPA/AP, Reuters and AFP: one German/American, one British and one French. () The editor working on a news topic only needs to select a few text passages on the screen that he considers essential, rearrange them and glue them together with a few flourishes."

Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), too, largely bases itself on reports from these agencies. Asked by viewers why a peace march in Ukraine was not reported, the editors said : "To date, we have not received a single report of this march from the independent agencies Reuters, AP and AFP."

In fact, not only the text, but also the images, sound and video recordings that we encounter in our media every day, are mostly from the very same agencies. What the uninitiated audience might think of as contributions from their local newspaper or TV station, are actually copied reports from New York, London and Paris.

Some media have even gone a step further and have, for lack of resources, outsourced their entire foreign editorial office to an agency. Moreover, it is well known that many news portals on the internet mostly publish agency reports (see e.g., Paterson 2007, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013).

In the end, this dependency on the global agencies creates a striking similarity in international reporting: from Vienna to Washington, our media often report the same topics, using many of the same phrases – a phenomenon that would otherwise rather be associated with "controlled media" in authoritarian states.

The following graphic shows some examples from German and international publications. As you can see, despite the claimed objectivity, a slight (geo-)political bias sometimes creeps in.

"Putin threatens", "Iran provokes", "NATO concerned", "Assad stronghold": Similarities in content and wording due to reports by global news agencies.

The role of correspondents

Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters.

First of all, the size ratios should be kept in mind: while the global agencies have several thousand employees worldwide, even the Swiss newspaper NZZ, known for its international reporting, maintains only 35 foreign correspondents (including their business correspondents). In huge countries such as China or India, only one correspondent is stationed; all of South America is covered by only two journalists, while in even larger Africa no-one is on the ground permanently.

Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media.

How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" :

"I'd imagined correspondents to be historians-of-the-moment. When something important happened, they'd go after it, find out what was going on, and report on it. But I didn't go off to find out what was going on; that had been done long before. I went along to present an on-the-spot report. ()

The editors in the Netherlands called when something happened, they faxed or emailed the press releases, and I'd retell them in my own words on the radio, or rework them into an article for the newspaper. This was the reason my editors found it more important that I could be reached in the place itself than that I knew what was going on. The news agencies provided enough information for you to be able to write or talk you way through any crisis or summit meeting.

That's why you often come across the same images and stories if you leaf through a few different newspapers or click the news channels.

Our men and women in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington bureaus – all thought that wrong topics were dominating the news and that we were following the standards of the news agencies too slavishly. ()

The common idea about correspondents is that they 'have the story', () but the reality is that the news is a conveyor belt in a bread factory. The correspondents stand at the end of the conveyor belt, pretending we've baked that white loaf ourselves, while in fact all we've done is put it in its wrapping. ()

Afterwards, a friend asked me how I'd managed to answer all the questions during those cross-talks, every hour and without hesitation. When I told him that, like on the TV-news, you knew all the questions in advance, his e-mailed response came packed with expletives. My friend had relalized that, for decades, what he'd been watching and listening to on the news was pure theatre." (Luyendjik 2009, p. 20-22, 76, 189)

In other words, the typical correspondent is in general not able to do independent research, but rather deals with and reinforces those topics that are already prescribed by the news agencies – the notorious "mainstream effect".

In addition, for cost-saving reasons many media outlets nowadays have to share their few foreign correspondents, and within individual media groups, foreign reports are often used by several publications – none of which contributes to diversity in reporting.

"What the agency does not report, does not take place"

The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists.

Rather, the "Observatory" delivered its stories to global agencies, which then forwarded them to thousands of media outlets, which in turn "informed" hundreds of millions of readers and viewers worldwide. The reason why the agencies, of all places, referred to this strange "Observatory" in their reporting – and who really financed it – is a question that was rarely asked.

The former chief editor of the German news agency DPA, Manfred Steffens, therefore states in his book "The Business of News":

"A news story does not become more correct simply because one is able to provide a source for it. It is indeed rather questionable to trust a news story more just because a source is cited. () Behind the protective shield such a 'source' means for a news story, some people are quite inclined to spread rather adventurous things, even if they themselves have legitimate doubts about their correctness; the responsibility, at least morally, can always be attributed to the cited source." (Steffens 1969, p. 106)

Dependence on global agencies is also a major reason why media coverage of geopolitical conflicts is often superficial and erratic, while historic relationships and background are fragmented or altogether absent. As put by Steffens:

"News agencies receive their impulses almost exclusively from current events and are therefore by their very nature ahistoric. They are reluctant to add any more context than is strictly required." (Steffens 1969, p. 32)

Finally, the dominance of global agencies explains why certain geopolitical issues and events – which often do not fit very well into the US/NATO narrative or are too "unimportant" – are not mentioned in our media at all: if the agencies do not report on something, then most Western media will not be aware of it. As pointed out on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German DPA: "What the agency does not report, does not take place." (Wilke 2000, p. 1)

America's "Righteous" Russia-gate Censorship. "Russia Bashing All the Time"

"Adding questionable stories"

While some topics do not appear at all in our media, other topics are very prominent – even though they shouldn't actually be: "Often the mass media do not report on reality, but on a constructed or staged reality. () Several studies have shown that the mass media are predominantly determined by PR activities and that passive, receptive attitudes outweigh active-researching ones." (Blum 1995, p. 16)

In fact, due to the rather low journalistic performance of our media and their high dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable format to a worldwide audience. DPA editor Steffens warned of this danger:

"The critical sense gets more lulled the more respected the news agency or newspaper is. Someone who wants to introduce a questionable story into the world press only needs to try to put his story in a reasonably reputable agency, to be sure that it then appears a little later in the others. Sometimes it happens that a hoax passes from agency to agency and becomes ever more credible." (Steffens 1969, p. 234)

Among the most active actors in "injecting" questionable geopolitical news are the military and defense ministries. For example, in 2009, the head of the American news agency AP, Tom Curley, made public that the Pentagon employs more than 27,000 PR specialists who, with a budget of nearly $ 5 billion a year, are working the media and circulating targeted manipulations. In addition, high-ranking US generals had threatened that they would "ruin" the AP and him if the journalists reported too critically on the US military.

Despite – or because of? – such threats our media regularly publish dubious stories sourced to some unnamed "informants" from "US defense circles".

Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media:

"With the help of the media, the military determine the public perception and use it for their plans. They manage to stir expectations and spread scenarios and deceptions. In this new kind of war, the PR strategists of the US administration fulfill a similar function as the bomber pilots. The special departments for public relations in the Pentagon and in the secret services have become combatants in the information war. () The US military specifically uses the lack of transparency in media coverage for their deception maneuvers. The way they spread information, which is then picked up and distributed by newspapers and broadcasters, makes it impossible for readers, listeners or viewers to trace the original source. Thus, the audience will fail to recognize the actual intention of the military." (Tilgner 2003, p. 132)

What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Stockwell said of his work in the Angolan war,

"The basic theme was to make it look like an [enemy] aggression in Angola. So any kind of story that you could write and get into the media anywhere in the world, that pushed that line, we did. One third of my staff in this task force were covert action, were propagandists, whose professional career job was to make up stories and finding ways of getting them into the press. () The editors in most Western newspapers are not too skeptical of messages that conform to general views and prejudices. () So we came up with another story, and it was kept going for weeks. () [But] it was all fiction."

Fred Bridgland looked back on his work as a war correspondent for the Reuters agency: "We based our reports on official communications. It was not until years later that I learned a little CIA disinformation expert had sat in the US embassy, in Lusaka and composed that communiqué, and it bore no relation at all to truth. () Basically, and to put it very crudely, you can publish any old crap and it will get newspaper room."

And former CIA analyst David MacMichael described his work in the Contra War in Nicaragua with these words:

"They said our intelligence of Nicaragua was so good that we could even register when someone flushed a toilet. But I had the feeling that the stories we were giving to the press came straight out of the toilet." (Hird 1985)

Of course, the intelligence services also have a large number of direct contacts in our media, which can be "leaked" information to if necessary. But without the central role of the global news agencies, the worldwide synchronization of propaganda and disinformation would never be so efficient.

Through this "propaganda multiplier", dubious stories from PR experts working for governments, military and intelligence services reach the general public more or less unchecked and unfiltered. The journalists refer to the news agencies and the news agencies refer to their sources. Although they often attempt to point out uncertainties with terms such as "apparent", "alleged" and the like – by then the rumor has long been spread to the world and its effect taken place.

The Propaganda Multiplier: Governments, military and intelligence services using global news agencies to disseminate their messages to a worldwide audience.

As the New York Times reported

In addition to global news agencies, there is another source that is often used by media outlets around the world to report on geopolitical conflicts, namely the major publications in Great Britain and the US.

For example, news outlets like the New York Times or BBC have up to 100 foreign correspondents and other external employees. However, Middle East correspondent Luyendijk points out:

"Dutch news teams, me included, fed on the selection of news made by quality media like CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times . We did that on the assumption that their correspondents understood the Arab world and commanded a view of it – but many of them turned out not to speak Arabic, or at least not enough to be able to have a conversation in it or to follow the local media. Many of the top dogs at CNN, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and the NYT were more often than not dependent on assistants and translators." (Luyendijk p. 47)

In addition, the sources of these media outlets are often not easy to verify ("military circles", "anonymous government officials", "intelligence officials" and the like) and can therefore also be used for the dissemination of propaganda. In any case, the widespread orientation towards the Anglo-Saxon publications leads to a further convergence in the geopolitical coverage in our media.

The following figure shows some examples of such citation based on the Syria coverage of the largest daily newspaper in Switzerland, Tages-Anzeiger. The articles are all from the first days of October 2015, when Russia for the first time intervened directly in the Syrian war (US/UK sources are highlighted):

Frequent citation of British and US media, exemplified by the Syria war coverage of Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in October 2015.

The desired narrative

But why do journalists in our media not simply try to research and report independently of the global agencies and the Anglo-Saxon media? Middle East correspondent Luyendijk describes his experiences:

"You might suggest that I should have looked for sources I could trust. I did try, but whenever I wanted to write a story without using news agencies, the main Anglo-Saxon media, or talking heads, it fell apart. () Obviously I, as a correspondent, could tell very different stories about one and the same situation. But the media could only present one of them, and often enough, that was exactly the story that confirmed the prevailing image." (Luyendijk p.54ff)

Media researcher Noam Chomsky has described this effect in his essay "What makes the mainstream media mainstream" as follows: "If you leave the official line, if you produce dissenting reports, then you will soon feel this. () There are many ways to get you back in line quickly. If you don't follow the guidelines, you will not keep your job long. This system works pretty well, and it reflects established power structures." (Chomsky 1997)

Nevertheless, some of the leading journalists continue to believe that nobody can tell them what to write. How does this add up? Media researcher Chomsky clarifies the apparent contradiction:

"[T]he point is that they wouldn't be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like. () They have been through the socialization system." (Chomsky 1997)

Ultimately, this "socialization process" leads to a journalism that generally no longer independently researches and critically reports on geopolitical conflicts (and some other topics), but seeks to consolidate the desired narrative through appropriate editorials, commentary, and interviewees.

Conclusion: The "First Law of Journalism"

Former AP journalist Herbert Altschull called it the First Law of Journalism:

"In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298)

In that sense, it is logical that our traditional media – which are predominantly financed by advertising or the state – represent the geopolitical interests of the transatlantic alliance, given that both the advertising corporations as well as the states themselves are dependent on the US dominated transatlantic economic and security architecture.

In addition, our leading media and their key people are – in the spirit of Chomsky's "socialization" – often themselves part of the networks of the transatlantic elite. Some of the most important institutions in this regard include the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission (see in-depth study of these networks ).

Indeed, most well-known publications basically may be seen as "establishment media". This is because, in the past, the freedom of the press was rather theoretical, given significant entry barriers such as broadcasting licenses, frequency slots, requirements for financing and technical infrastructure, limited sales channels, dependence on advertising, and other restrictions.

It was only due to the Internet that Altschull's First Law has been broken to some extent. Thus, in recent years a high-quality, reader-funded journalism has emerged, often outperforming traditional media in terms of critical reporting. Some of these "alternative" publications already reach a very large audience, showing that the „mass" does not have to be a problem for the quality of a media outlet.

Nevertheless, up to now the traditional media has been able to attract a solid majority of online visitors, too. This, in turn, is closely linked to the hidden role of news agencies, whose up-to-the-minute reports form the backbone of most news portals.

Will "political and economic power", according to Altschull's Law, retain control over the news, or will "uncontrolled" news change the political and economic power structure? The coming years will show.

Case study: Syria war coverage

As part of a case study, the Syria war coverage of nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were examined for plurality of viewpoints and reliance on news agencies. The following newspapers were selected:

The investigation period was defined as October 1 to 15, 2015, i.e. the first two weeks after Russia's direct intervention in the Syrian conflict. The entire print and online coverage of these newspapers was taken into account. Any Sunday editions were not taken into account, as not all of the newspapers examined have such. In total, 381 newspaper articles met the stated criteria.

In a first step, the articles were classified according to their properties into the following groups:

  1. Agencies : Reports from news agencies (with agency code)
  2. Mixed : Simple reports (with author names) that are based in whole or in part on agency reports
  3. Reports : Editorial background reports and analyzes
  4. Opinions/Comments : Opinions and guest comments
  5. Interviews : interviews with experts, politicians etc.
  6. Investigative : Investigative research that reveals new information or context

The following Figure 1 shows the composition of the articles for the nine newspapers analyzed in total. As can be seen, 55% of articles were news agency reports; 23% editorial reports based on agency material; 9% background reports; 10% opinions and guest comments; 2% interviews; and 0% based on investigative research.

Figure 1: Types of articles (total; n=381)

The pure agency texts – from short notices to the detailed reports – were mostly on the Internet pages of the daily newspapers: on the one hand, the pressure for breaking news is higher than in the printed edition, on the other hand, there are no space restrictions. Most other types of articles were found in both the online and printed editions; some exclusive interviews and background reports were found only in the printed editions. All items were collected only once for the investigation.

The following Figure 2 shows the same classification on a per newspaper basis. During the observation period (two weeks), most newspapers published between 40 and 50 articles on the Syrian conflict (print and online). In the German newspaper Die Welt there were more (58), in the Basler Zeitung and the Austrian Kurier , however, significantly less (29 or 33).

Depending on which newspaper, the share of agency reports is almost 50% (Welt, Süddeutsche, NZZ, Basler Zeitung), just under 60% (FAZ, Tagesanzeiger), and 60 to 70% (Presse, Standard, Kurier). Together with the agency-based reports, the proportion in most newspapers is between approx. 70% and 80%. These proportions are consistent with previous media studies (e.g., Blum 1995, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013, Paterson 2007).

In the background reports, the Swiss newspapers were leading (five to six pieces), followed by Welt , Süddeutsche and Standard (four each) and the other newspapers (one to three). The background reports and analyzes were in particular devoted to the situation and development in the Middle East, as well as to the motives and interests of individual actors (for example Russia, Turkey, the Islamic State).

However, most of the commentaries were to be found in the German newspapers (seven comments each), followed by Standard (five), NZZ and Tagesanzeiger (four each). Basler Zeitung did not publish any commentaries during the observation period, but two interviews. Other interviews were conducted by Standard (three) and Kurier and Presse (one each). Investigative research, however, could not be found in any of the newspapers.

In particular, in the case of the three German newspapers, a journalistically problematic blending of opinion pieces and reports was noted. Reports contained strong expressions of opinion even though they were not marked as commentary. The present study was in any case based on the article labeling by the newspaper.

Figure 2: Types of articles per newspaper

The following Figure 3 shows the breakdown of agency stories (by agency abbreviation) for each news agency, in total and per country. The 211 agency reports carried a total of 277 agency codes (a story may consist of material from more than one agency). In total, 24% of agency reports came from the AFP; about 20% each by the DPA, APA and Reuters; 9% of the SDA; 6% of the AP; and 11% were unknown (no labeling or blanket term "agencies").

In Germany, the DPA, AFP and Reuters each have a share of about one third of the news stories. In Switzerland, the SDA and the AFP are in the lead, and in Austria, the APA and Reuters.

In fact, the shares of the global agencies AFP, AP and Reuters are likely to be even higher, as the Swiss SDA and the Austrian APA obtain their international reports mainly from the global agencies and the German DPA cooperates closely with the American AP.

It should also be noted that, for historical reasons, the global agencies are represented differently in different regions of the world. For events in Asia, Ukraine or Africa, the share of each agency will therefore be different than from events in the Middle East.

Figure 3: Share of news agencies, total (n=277) and per country

In the next step, central statements were used to rate the orientation of editorial opinions (28), guest comments (10) and interview partners (7) (a total of 45 articles). As Figure 4 shows, 82% of the contributions were generally US/NATO friendly, 16% neutral or balanced, and 2% predominantly US/NATO critical.

The only predominantly US/NATO-critical contribution was an op-ed in the Austrian Standard on October 2, 2015, titled: "The strategy of regime change has failed. A distinction between ‚good' and ‚bad' terrorist groups in Syria makes the Western policy untrustworthy."

Figure 4: Orientation of editorial opinions, guest comments, and interviewees (total; n=45).

The following Figure 5 shows the orientation of the contributions, guest comments and interviewees, in turn broken down by individual newspapers. As can be seen, Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, NZZ, Zürcher Tagesanzeiger and the Austrian newspaper Kurier presented exclusively US/NATO-friendly opinion and guest contributions; this goes for FAZ too, with the exception of one neutral/balanced contribution. The Standard brought four US/NATO friendly, three balanced/neutral, as well as the already mentioned US/NATO critical opinion contributions.

Presse was the only one of the examined newspapers to predominantly publish neutral/balanced opinions and guest contributions. The Basler Zeitung published one US/NATO-friendly and one balanced contribution. Shortly after the observation period (October 16, 2015), Basler Zeitung also published an interview with the President of the Russian Parliament. This would of course have been counted as a contribution critical of the US/NATO.

Figure 5: Basic orientation of opinion pieces and interviewees per newspaper

In a further analysis, a full-text keyword search for "propaganda" (and word combinations thereof) was used to investigate in which cases the newspapers themselves identified propaganda in one of the two geopolitical conflict sides, USA/NATO or Russia (the participant "IS/ISIS" was not considered). In total, twenty such cases were identified. Figure 6 shows the result: in 85% of the cases, propaganda was identified on the Russian side of the conflict, in 15% the identification was neutral or unstated, and in 0% of the cases propaganda was identified on the USA/NATO side of the conflict.

It should be noted that about half of the cases (nine) were in the Swiss NZZ , which spoke of Russian propaganda quite frequently ("Kremlin propaganda", "Moscow propaganda machine", "propaganda stories", "Russian propaganda apparatus" etc.), followed by German FAZ (three), Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung (two each) and the Austrian newspaper Kurier (one). The other newspapers did not mention propaganda, or only in a neutral context (or in the context of IS).

Figure 6: Attribution of propaganda to conflict parties (total; n=20).

Conclusion

In this case study, the geopolitical coverage in nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland was examined for diversity and journalistic performance using the example of the Syrian war.

The results confirm the high dependence on the global news agencies (63 to 90%, excluding commentaries and interviews) and the lack of own investigative research, as well as the rather biased commenting on events in favor of the US/NATO side (82% positive; 2% negative), whose stories were not checked by the newspapers for any propaganda.

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English translation provided by Terje Maloy.

[May 14, 2019] 1984 Turns 70-Years-Old In A World That Looks A Lot Like The Book

Notable quotes:
"... In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , there is an all-encompassing surveillance state that keeps a watchful eye on everyone, in search of possible rebels and points of resistance. ..."
"... Censorship is the norm in this world, and is so extreme that individuals can become "unpersons" who are essentially deleted from society because their ideas were considered dangerous by the establishment. This is an idea that is very familiar to activists and independent journalists who are being removed from the public conversation for speaking out about government and corporate corruption on social media. ..."
"... Orwell is famous for coining the term "double-speak," which is a way to describe the euphemistic language that government uses to whitewash their most dirty deeds. For example, in Orwell's story, the ministry of propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth, just as today the government agency that was once known as "The Department of War," is now called the "Department of Defense." ..."
"... "Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells." ..."
"... Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state. ..."
"... "We are not at war with Eurasia. You are being made into obedient, stupid slaves of the Party." -Emmanuel Goldstein ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

1984 Turns 70-Years-Old In A World That Looks A Lot Like The Book

by Tyler Durden Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:25 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print Authored by John Vibes via ActivistPost.com,

This month, George Orwell's legendary novel Nineteen Eighty-Four turns 70 years old, and the warnings contained within the story are now more relevant than ever. Orwell's predictions were so spot on that it almost seems like it was used as some type of accidental instruction manual for would-be tyrants.

In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , there is an all-encompassing surveillance state that keeps a watchful eye on everyone, in search of possible rebels and points of resistance.

Censorship is the norm in this world, and is so extreme that individuals can become "unpersons" who are essentially deleted from society because their ideas were considered dangerous by the establishment. This is an idea that is very familiar to activists and independent journalists who are being removed from the public conversation for speaking out about government and corporate corruption on social media.

Orwell is famous for coining the term "double-speak," which is a way to describe the euphemistic language that government uses to whitewash their most dirty deeds. For example, in Orwell's story, the ministry of propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth, just as today the government agency that was once known as "The Department of War," is now called the "Department of Defense."

There was also never-ending war in Orwell's story, the conditions of which would change on a regular basis, keeping the general population confused about conflicts so they give up on trying to understand what is actually going on. Some of these predictions were merely recognitions of patterns in human history, since the idea of "unpersons" and war propaganda is nothing new. However, Orwell had an incredible understanding of how technology was going to progress over the 20th century, and he was able to envision how technology would be used by those in power to control the masses.

The technological predictions made in the book were truly uncanny, as they give a fairly accurate description of our modern world. Orwell described "telescreens," which acted as both an entertainment device and a two-way communication device. This type of technology was predicted by many futurists at the time, but Orwell's prediction was unique because he suggested that these devices would be used by the government to spy on people, through microphones and cameras built into the devices.

Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state. This police state was also a strong deterrent in the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , because although many of the citizens in the book had a positive opinion of "big brother," it was still something that they feared, and it was a force that kept them in control. Of course, this is not much different from the attitude that the average American or European has when confronted with police brutality and government corruption.

Many of the ideas about power and authority that were expressed in Orwell's classic are timeless and as old as recorded history ; but his analysis of how technology would amplify the destructive nature of power was incredibly unique, especially for his time.


wonder warthog , 2 minutes ago link

Not to stray too far, I always liked the part in Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes":

"Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells."

The laugh shouter is one of those government or corporate chuckle-heads that goes along, gets along, and usually spends less than an hour a day actually doing his job. You see them on TV and in every office. Everything out of their mouths has to be punctuated with a chuckle.

sacredfire , 2 minutes ago link

Coincidentially, I am reading it now and when I first started reading it three weeks ago I was stunned at it's accurate depiction of todays America!

Teja , 6 minutes ago link

Regarding the way the world is dis-informed and manipulated by social media comments, try "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, written in 1985.

Reaper , 7 minutes ago link

The Exceptionals find virtue in trusting their "protectors," aka police/FBI/military/CIA./courts.

wonder warthog , 12 minutes ago link

The thing I remember from the novel was the "versificator" which was a typewriter-like device that allowed historical events to be changed as needed . . . very much like the networked computer.

TahoeBilly2012 , 11 minutes ago link

Facebook recently made me an UnPerson, not joking. I had deleted my acct some years ago, re-registered to man a business page and...haha they rejected me, recent photo and all.

Deep Snorkeler , 21 minutes ago link

Donald Trump's World

He watches TV. That's his primary experience with reality.

He communes with nature solely through manicured golf courses.

A man of empty sensationalism, devoid of real experience,

uneducated, insulated and deeply shallow.

WileyCoyote , 22 minutes ago link

A group of 'servants' possessing a monopoly of force and using it to rule over others has never worked out well for the 'citizens' in the long run.

hedgeless_horseman , 28 minutes ago link

...and The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Barbarossa296 , 19 minutes ago link

A great classic by Edward Gibbons. History does indeed repeat itself.

Alananda , 28 minutes ago link

There are a few other books and booklets and letters that also seem eerily prescient. Following modern-day protocols, however, it's best not to mention them in polite company. ;-)

chumbawamba , 22 minutes ago link

To which Protocols do you refer?

-chumblez.

hedgeless_horseman , 32 minutes ago link

Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state.

Exactly...

"We are not at war with Eurasia. You are being made into obedient, stupid slaves of the Party." -Emmanuel Goldstein

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-10/voting-big-brother-you-might-be-low-information-voter

chumbawamba , 28 minutes ago link

"1984", otherwise known as "Plantation Theory 101" to the bloodline elites.

-chumblez.

hedgeless_horseman , 20 minutes ago link

I plan on voting in the local elections, especially for Sheriff and the bond issues. Also, I still think that voting for the quality Libertarian candidates is a better option than not voting, but I do understand your point. But when all else fails, you better be prepared to vote from the rooftops...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-18/political-power-grows-out-barrel-gun-mao-tse-tung

[May 14, 2019] Gabbard Says She'd Drop All Charges Against Assange And Snowden

May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In the midst of an interesting and wide-ranging discussion on the Joe Rogan Experience , Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said that if elected president she would drop all charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

"What would you do about Julian Assange? What would you do about Edward Snowden?" Rogan asked in the latter part of the episode.

"As far as dropping the charges?" Gabbard asked.

"If you're president of the world right now, what do you do?"

"Yeah, dropping the charges," Gabbard replied.

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Rogan noted that Sweden's preliminary investigation of rape allegations has just been re-opened , saying the US government can't stop that, and Gabbard said as president she'd drop the US charges leveled against Assange by the Trump administration.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fNuZWQgkgc4

"Yeah," Gabbard said when asked to clarify if she was also saying that she'd give Edward Snowden a presidential pardon, adding,

"And I think we've got to address why he did things the way that he did them. And you hear the same thing from Chelsea Manning, how there is not an actual channel for whistleblowers like them to bring forward information that exposes egregious abuses of our constitutional rights and liberties. Period. There was not a channel for that to happen in a real way, and that's why they ended up taking the path that they did, and suffering the consequences."

This came at the end of a lengthy discussion about WikiLeaks and the dangerous legal precedent that the Trump administration is setting for press freedoms by prosecuting Assange, as well as the revelations about NSA surveillance and what can be done to roll back those unchecked surveillance powers.

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4855

"What happened with [Assange's] arrest and all the stuff that just went down I think poses a great threat to our freedom of the press and to our freedom of speech," Gabbard said.

"We look at what happened under the previous administration, under Obama. You know, they were trying to find ways to go after Assange and WikiLeaks, but ultimately they chose not to seek to extradite him or charge him, because they recognized what a slippery slope that begins when you have a government in a position to levy criminal charges and consequences against someone who's publishing information or saying things that the government doesn't want you to say , and sharing information the government doesn't want you to share. And so the fact that the Trump administration has chosen to ignore that fact, to ignore how important it is that we uphold our freedoms, freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and go after him, it has a very chilling effect on both journalists and publishers. And you can look to those in traditional media and also those in new media, and also every one of us as Americans. It was a kind of a warning call, saying Look what happened to this guy. It could happen to you. It could happen to any one of us."

Gabbard discussed Mike Pompeo's arbitrary designation of WikiLeaks as a hostile non-state intelligence service, the fact that James Clapper lied to Congress about NSA surveillance as Director of National Intelligence yet suffered no consequences and remains a respected TV pundit, and the opaque and unaccountable nature of FISA warrants.

Some other noteworthy parts of Gabbard's JRE appearance for people who don't have time to watch the whole thing, with hyperlinks to the times in the video:

I honestly think the entire American political system would be better off if the phoney debate stage format were completely abandoned and presidential candidates just talked one-on-one with Joe Rogan for two and a half hours instead. Cut through all the vapid posturing and the fake questions about nonsense nobody cares about and get them to go deep with a normal human being who smokes pot and curses and does sports commentary for cage fighting. Rogan asked Gabbard a bunch of questions that real people are interested in, in a format where she was encouraged to relax out of her standard politician's posture and discuss significant ideas sincerely and spontaneously. It was a good discussion with an interesting political figure and I'm glad it's already racked up hundreds of thousands of views.

* * *

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[May 14, 2019] iJews and the Left-i by Philip Mendes A Review, by Brenton Sanderson - The Unz Review

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While promoting pluralism and diversity and encouraging the dissolution of the racial and ethnic identification of Europeans, Jews have simultaneously endeavored to maintain precisely the kind of intense group solidarity they decry as immoral in others and the great majority support an ethno-nationalist Israel. They have initiated and led movements that have discredited the traditional foundations of Western society: patriotism, the Christian basis for morality, social homogeneity, and sexual restraint. At the same time, within their own communities, they have supported the very institutions they have attacked in Western societies. This is ruthless, uncompromising Darwinian group competition played out in the human cultural arena. ..."
"... Jewish writer David Cole recently questioned the wisdom of this strategy of using non-Whites as “golem” to protect the Jews from a recrudescence of National Socialism. He notes that many of the Jews’ non-White pets (like Ilhan Omar) have a disconcerting tendency to turn on their Jewish masters ..."
"... In the minds of Jewish leaders and activists nurtured since birth on the cult of “the Holocaust,” White nationalism is still the most ominous threat to Jewish survival. This is reflected in the unquestioning commitment of the vast majority of Jewish activists and intellectuals (Cole excepted) to mass non-White immigration and multiculturalism in all historically White nations. ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

Despite the Jewish domination of the American Left in the post-War period, Mendes notes that "most Americans do not appear to have adhered to the same anti-Semitic assumptions about Jewish links with communism that dominated public opinion in parts of Europe." [80] Ibid ., 229.
(Philip Mendes, Jews and the Left: The Rise and Fall of a Political Alliance (Melbourne, Victoria; Palgrave MacMillian, 2014), 250.)
As evidence of this, Mendes cites the decidedly muted public response to the conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for selling atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. Despite the recognizably Jewish identity of the couple (given their name) and of all of their co-conspirators (David Greenglass, Ruth Greenglass, and Morton Sobell), and the fact the Rosenberg spy network consisted almost exclusively of Jews from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the case "provoked remarkably little overt anti-Semitism." [81] Ibid ., 230.
Nor, he observes, did the "significant number of Jews -- including teachers and Hollywood actors -- who were victims of anti-communist purges" and the prominence of Jews amongst those subpoenaed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, lead to a significant reaction. All public opinion polls conducted during this period showed a consistent decline in "anti-Semitism," and only a small minority of those surveyed (about 5 percent) identified Jews with communism. [82] Ibid .

The lack of any real backlash to Jewish prominence in the New Left is ascribed to various factors: that many members of the public were not aware of the Jewish background of many of the radical leaders; that these Jewish radicals were ostensibly "not campaigning about any specifically Jewish issues that would have focused attention on Jews per se;" and to the "general decline in anti-Semitism since World War Two." [83] Ibid ., 257. This latter shift in public opinion (unsurprisingly) coincided with the Jewish seizure of the commanding heights of American (and Western) culture in the 1960s, and the growing emergence of the culture of "the Holocaust." The combined effect was to banish overt critical discussion of Jewish power to the margins of public discourse. While Americans rejected communist activities during the Cold War, unlike in Europe, they did not widely equate communism with Jews (at least publicly), or view Jewish participation in leftist politics with particular concern.

Neoconservatism

Neoconservative leaders were among those who feared that the Jewish prominence in the New Left of the late 1960s and early 1970s would fuel a conservative backlash against Jewish radicalism. For example, Norman Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary magazine, attacked leading Jewish leftists as alleged self-hating Jews and completely unrepresentative of the Jewish community. [84] Ibid ., 22.

Mendes ascribes the defection of many Jews from the radical left to neoconservatism in the 1970s to a growing misalignment between modern Leftist politics and Jewish ethnic interests: the key factor being "the creation of the State of Israel which transformed Jewish dependence from international to national forces." [85] Ibid ., viii.
With the advent of the state of Israel, Jewish interests were no longer exclusively represented by the universalistic agendas of the Left. According to Mendes: "Most Jews have lost their faith in universalistic causes because they do not perceive the Left as supportive of Jewish interests, and have turned instead to nationalist solutions." [86] Ibid ., 235.

The creation of a Jewish national entity featuring (thanks to US taxpayers) a strong and powerful army meant that Jews all over the world could look to the Zionist state to safeguard their interests, rather than depending on internationalist movements and ideologies (i.e. communism and the Soviet Union) which had often proven to be unreliable allies. Even many left-wing Jews, who might have been anti-Zionist prior to World War Two, shifted their position after the birth of Israel. For example, the long-time Austrian Jewish leftist Jean Amery commented in 1976:

There is a very deep tie and existential bond between every Jew and the State of Israel Jews feel bound to the fortunes and misfortunes of Israel, whether they are religious Jews or not, whether they adhere to Zionism or reject it, whether they are newly arrived in their host countries or deeply rooted there The Jewish State has taught all the Jews of the world to walk with their head high once more Israel is the virtual shelter for all of the insulted and injured Jews of the earth. [87] Ibid ., 236-37

The perceived anti-Zionism of the New Left from the 1967 onwards served to alienate many Jews and confirm their commitment to nationalist, rather than internationalist solutions. An additional factor was the 1967 Six Day War in the Middle East, which provoked fears of "another Holocaust," and galvanized even non-Zionist Jews in support of Israel. There were rallies in support of Israel throughout the Western world accompanied by large donations. American Jews held massive fundraising campaigns and reportedly raised 180 million dollars. Numerous volunteers travelled to Israel to support the Jewish State. In Australia, more than 20 per cent of a total Jewish population of 34,000 in Melbourne -- attended a public rally to express their support for Israel, and 2500 attended a youth rally. 750 young Jews volunteered to go to Israel. According to Taft,

there was a widespread, almost universal, absorption in the Middle East Crisis of June among the Jews of Melbourne. This absorption took the form of extreme concern about the safety of Israel, emotional upsets, obsessive seeking of news, constant discussion of events and taking spontaneous actions to support Israel's cause. [88] Ibid ., 238.

The rise of left-wing anti-Zionism after the Six Day War furthered alienated sections of Western Jewry from the social democratic Left. Another factor that pushed American Jews in a neoconservative direction, identified by Mendes, was the decline in Black–Jewish relations. The emergence of the Black Power movement in the mid-1960s led to the removal of Jews from the leadership of organizations like the NAACP. Black hostility was viewed by some Jews as evidence of the failure of the strategy of courting non-White groups to advance Jewish interests. This ostensible failure prompted many Jews to concentrate on a narrower ethnic self-interest in the future. [89] Ibid ., 243.

This, in turn, contributed to the creation of "pragmatic alliances" with conservative political parties such as the Republicans and evangelical groups such as Christians United for Israel which "have been consistent supporters of Israel in the USA." An associated factor was that pro-Israel perspectives within Western countries increasingly emanated from mainstream conservatives, rather than from the moderate or radical Left. This occurred despite "many in these groups hold socially conservative views on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, the environment, multiculturalism, state support for the poor and disadvantaged, and refugees, which are anathema to many Jews." [90] Ibid ., 287.

Mendes makes the point that "These alliances were based solely on the latter's position of support for Israel, irrespective of their conservative views on social issues such as abortion, homosexuality and the welfare state, which were often sharply at odds with the more liberal opinions of most Jews." [91] Ibid ., 239.

Despite the defection on many Jews from the radical left to neoconservatism, the great majority of American Jews still see their ethnic interests as basically aligning with the Democratic Party. Their willingness to prioritize their ethnic interests over their personal economic interests is reflected in the fact that "high numbers of affluent Jews compared to others of the same socioeconomic status still vote for moderate left parties that do not seem to favor their economic interests." Today, the structural factors which historically drew many Jews to the Left no longer exist. Most Jews sit comfortably in middle- or even higher-income categories. This "middle-classing" of Jews throughout the West has meant that the "Jewish proletariat that motivated Jewish identification with left-wing beliefs no longer exists." [92] Ibid ., 239. Consequently, "the specific link between Jewish experience of class oppression and adherence to left-wing ideology has ended." [93] Ibid ., 241.

Most Western Jews still support parties on the Left

Despite the widespread break with the radical Left over support for Israel, Jews nevertheless remain a “massively significant presence” in the Left in terms of their numbers and fundraising, their organizational capacity, and their impact on popular culture.[94]Ibid., 287. It was estimated that about a quarter of the world’s leading Marxist and radical intellectuals in the 1980s were still Jews, including Ernest Mandel, Nathan Weinstock, Maxime Rodinson, Noam Chomsky, Marcel Liebman, Ralph Miliband, and the founder of deconstructionism, Jacques Derrida. Despite continuing to comprise much of the intellectual and financial backbone of the Left, today’s Jews, “an influential and sometimes powerful group, with substantial access to politics, academia and the media,” no longer must “rely on the Left to defend their interests and wellbeing.”[95]Ibid., 286.

The primary reason most Western Jews still vote overwhelmingly for parties on the left is the perceived threat posed by the “social conservatism” of parties further to the right of the political spectrum in nations whose majorities are European-derived and nominally at least Christian:

With the possible exception of ultra-orthodox groups, Jews seem to prefer social liberal positions on issues such as religious pluralism, abortion, feminism, illicit drugs, same-sex marriage, the science of climate change and euthanasia. Another significant factor is the long history of Christian anti-Semitism has led Jews to remain suspicious of any attempts by Christian religious groups to undermine the separation of church and state. This fear of organized religion [and of the White people who practice it] seems to explain the continued strong support of American Jews for the Democratic Party in presidential elections. A further complicating factor is the growing universalization of Jewish teachings and values, including the lessons of the Holocaust, in support of social liberal perspectives. … For example, Berman (2006) presents evidence that the younger Jewish generation in Australia have been influenced by the experience of the Holocaust into taking a strong stand against any forms of racial or religious discrimination. Many are active in campaigns for indigenous rights, and to support refugees from Afghanistan, Sudan, and Middle Eastern countries seeking asylum in Australia.[96]Ibid., 288-89.

This advocacy is, of course, entirely hypocritical and cynical. While promoting pluralism and diversity and encouraging the dissolution of the racial and ethnic identification of Europeans, Jews have simultaneously endeavored to maintain precisely the kind of intense group solidarity they decry as immoral in others and the great majority support an ethno-nationalist Israel. They have initiated and led movements that have discredited the traditional foundations of Western society: patriotism, the Christian basis for morality, social homogeneity, and sexual restraint. At the same time, within their own communities, they have supported the very institutions they have attacked in Western societies. This is ruthless, uncompromising Darwinian group competition played out in the human cultural arena.

The ideological preoccupations of organized Jewry today are reflected in comments by Boston Globe writer, S.I. Rosenbaum, who insisted the main lesson of “the Holocaust” is “that white supremacy could turn on us at any moment,” and the strategy of appealing to the White majority “has never worked for us. It didn’t protect us in Spain, or England, or France, or Germany. There’s no reason to think it will work now.” The central question of Jewish political engagement in Western societies, she insists, is “how we survive as a minority population,” where the one great advantage American Jewry enjoys is that “unlike other places where ethno-nationalism has flourished, the U.S. is fast approaching a plurality of minorities.” Presiding over a coalition of non-Whites groups to actively oppose White interests is the Jewish ethno-political imperative: “If Jews are going to survive in the future, we will have to stand with people of color for our mutual benefit.”

Jewish writer David Cole recently questioned the wisdom of this strategy of using non-Whites as “golem” to protect the Jews from a recrudescence of National Socialism. He notes that many of the Jews’ non-White pets (like Ilhan Omar) have a disconcerting tendency to turn on their Jewish masters:

For decades, leftist Jews have been flooding the West with Third World immigrants, “Hey here’s a plan—lets dump a hundred thousand Somalis in the whitest parts of the U.S. That’ll save us from Fargo Hitler!” Inundating the West with non-White immigrants is seen by Jews as an insurance policy against “white supremacy.” The idea is that these immigrants will act as a wedge, diluting “white power” while remaining small enough to be manageable.

Jews have done this everywhere—playing two groups against each other as a way of assuring Jewish security. Let’s play Hamas against the Palestinian authority. Let’s play ISIS against Assad. … But today we live in a world in which even the lowliest bark-eater in the Kalahari can have internet access. It’s not as easy to fool entire groups anymore (individuals, sure, but not an entire race, ethnicity or faction). …

And now we Jews, so worried that Minnesota might become the Frozen Fourth Reich if left in the hands of evil whites, have created for ourselves a good old-fashioned golem in Ilhan Omar (and a bunch of the other Third World freshman congressthingies). Yeah, Omar hates whites. Yeah, she thinks white supremacy lurks behind every glass of milk and “OK” finger sign. But she hates Jews a hell of a lot more…

In a perfect world, the Rabbinical Rain Men would finally get the fuck over the Holocaust and end their war of hostility against the West. They’d see that whites are no longer the enemy, but indeed the opposite. They’d see that importing foreign mud to mold golem in traditionally white regions of the U.S is bad strategy.

Here Cole vividly restates Kevin MacDonald’s point in Culture of Critique that: “Although multiculturalist ideology was invented by Jewish intellectuals to rationalize the continuation of separatism and minority-group ethnocentrism in a modern Western state, several of the recent instantiations of multiculturalism may eventually produce a monster with negative consequences for Judaism.”[97]Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth‑Century Intellectual and Political Movements, (Westport, CT: Praeger, Revised Paperback edition, 2001), 313. The creation of this “monster” is ostensibly regarded by Jewish leaders and activists as a risk worth taking to demographically, politically and culturally weaken threatening White populations.

In the minds of Jewish leaders and activists nurtured since birth on the cult of “the Holocaust,” White nationalism is still the most ominous threat to Jewish survival. This is reflected in the unquestioning commitment of the vast majority of Jewish activists and intellectuals (Cole excepted) to mass non-White immigration and multiculturalism in all historically White nations.

Conclusion

While Jews and the Left offers a useful catalogue of Jewish involvement in radical political movements throughout the world over the last two centuries, it recycles many of the same apologetic tropes that permeate the work of other Jewish historians and intellectuals. Mendes mischaracterizes the Jewish identity and affiliations of important Jewish communist leaders (like Lazar Kaganovich), and offers no examination of their often-murderous actions. He provides feeble apologies for the Jewish practices that engendered hostility among the native peasantry in the Pale of Settlement. The inherent weakness of his position necessitates specious argumentation and desperate resort to that evergreen of Jewish apologetic historiography: the innate irrationality and malevolence of the European mind and character. This is the invariable fallback position in any quest to exculpate Jews from responsibility for the crimes of communism in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe. Though less inclined than Brossat and Klingberg in Revolutionary Yiddishland to glorify Jewish communist militants, Mendes is equally keen to evade, whitewash and excuse disproportionate Jewish involvement in some of the worst crimes of the twentieth century.

[May 14, 2019] Why Everyone in the U.S. Who Counts Wants Julian Assange Dead naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... The film also shows war crimes that implicate the entire structure of the U.S. military, as everyone involved was acting under orders, seeking permission to fire, waiting, then getting it before once more blasting away. The publication of this video, plus all the Wikileaks publications that followed, comprise the whole reason everyone in the U.S. who matters, everyone with power, wants Julian Assange dead. They also want him hated. Generating that hate is the process we're watching today. ..."
"... "Everyone" in this case includes every major newspaper that published and received awards for publishing Wikileaks material; all major U.S. televised media outlets; and all "respectable" U.S. politicians -- including, of course, Hillary Clinton, who was rumored (though unverifiably) to have said, "Can't we just drone this guy?" ..."
"... Please watch it. The footage shows not only murder, but bloodlust and conscienceless brutality, so much of it in fact that this became one of the main reasons Chelsea Manning leaked it in the first place. As she said at her court-martial : "The most alarming aspect of the video for me, was the seemingly delight of bloodlust they [the pilots] appeared to have. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging with, and seemed to not value human life in referring to them as 'dead bastards,' and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers." ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. Even though this post covers known territory, it seems worthwhile to encourage those of you who haven't watched the "Collateral Murder" footage to view the full version. It's important not only to keep the public (and that includes people in your personal circle) focused on what Assange's true hanging crime is in the eyes of the officialdom .and it ain't RussiaGate. That serves as a convenient diversion from his real offense. That effort has a secondary benefit of having more people watch the video.

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

Before and after images of the van that came to pick up the bodies of eleven men shot to death by circling American helicopters in Iraq in 2007. Both children in the van were wounded. "Well, it's their fault for bringing their kids to a battle," said one of the pilots. "That's right," replies another. From the video Collateral Murder .

Below is a full video version of Collateral Murder , the 2007 war footage that was leaked in 2010 to Wikileaks by Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning. This version was posted to the Wikileaks YouTube channel with subtitles. It will only take about 15 minutes of your life to view it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HfvFpT-iypw

It's brutal to watch, but I challenge you to do it anyway. It shows not just murder, but a special kind of murder -- murder from the safety of the air, murder by men with heavy machine guns slowly circling their targets in helicopters like hunters with shotguns who walk the edges of a trout pond, shooting at will, waiting, walking, then shooting again, till all the fish are dead.

The film also shows war crimes that implicate the entire structure of the U.S. military, as everyone involved was acting under orders, seeking permission to fire, waiting, then getting it before once more blasting away. The publication of this video, plus all the Wikileaks publications that followed, comprise the whole reason everyone in the U.S. who matters, everyone with power, wants Julian Assange dead. They also want him hated. Generating that hate is the process we're watching today.

"Everyone" in this case includes every major newspaper that published and received awards for publishing Wikileaks material; all major U.S. televised media outlets; and all "respectable" U.S. politicians -- including, of course, Hillary Clinton, who was rumored (though unverifiably) to have said, "Can't we just drone this guy?"

Yes, Julian Assange the person can be a giant douche even to his supporters, as this exchange reported by Intercept writer Micah Lee attests. Nevertheless, it's not for being a douche that the Establishment state wants him dead; that state breeds, harbors and honors douches everywhere in the world . They want him dead for publishing videos like these.

Please watch it. The footage shows not only murder, but bloodlust and conscienceless brutality, so much of it in fact that this became one of the main reasons Chelsea Manning leaked it in the first place. As she said at her court-martial : "The most alarming aspect of the video for me, was the seemingly delight of bloodlust they [the pilots] appeared to have. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging with, and seemed to not value human life in referring to them as 'dead bastards,' and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers."

The Wikileaks page for the video is here . A transcript is here .

This was done in our name, to "keep us safe." This continues to be done every day that we and our allies are at "war" in the Middle East.

Bodies pile on bodies as this continues. The least we can do, literally the least, is to witness and acknowledge their deaths.

[May 14, 2019] Despite a $ 22 Trillion National Debt, America Is on a Military Spending Spree. 800 Overseas US Military Bases by Masud Wadan

Highly recommended!
Trump provided to be another Obama -- master of "bait and switch". His promise to disengage from foreign wars remains an unfulfilled promise. Due to thefact that he is owned by pro-Israel lobby he broung into his administrations such rabid neocons as chickenhawk Bolton and smug ruthless careerist masquerading as far-right zealot as Pompeo (and before them Haley). His promises to raise the standard of living of middles class (which is impossible without cutting the military budget) remains fake. He is a fake. The second fake after obama -- Republican Obama.
Notable quotes:
"... While the national debt of the United States was recorded at 22.03 trillion as of April 2019, Washington's going ahead with its hawkish policies worldwide with recent NATO summit pushing for further unity against China, Russia and Iran. NATO's annual overall military budget was US$ 957 billion in 2017 where the US's share was US$ 686 billion, accounting for 72 percent of the total. This number is pressed by the US to rise in the years to come. ..."
"... According to The Guardian, Trump takes more than $1tn in taxpayer money and allocates $750bn to the military. In other words, out of every taxpayer dollar, 62 cents go to the military and Department of Homeland Security and seven cents to Veterans affairs. It leaves just 31 cents for all the rest: education, job training, community economic development, housing, safe drinking water and clear air, health and science research and the prevention of war through diplomacy and humanitarian aid. ..."
"... In 2017, US spent US$ 685,957 billion with 3.6 of its GDP on military spending while the UK stood second at US$ 55,237 billion with 2.1 per cent of GDP. France and Germany allocated US$ 45,927 billion and 45,472 billion respectively with 1.8 and 1.2 percent of their GDPs. The NATO member states are pressured for raising their defense spending to 2 percent and gradually up to 4 percent in five years. ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

While the national debt of the United States was recorded at 22.03 trillion as of April 2019, Washington's going ahead with its hawkish policies worldwide with recent NATO summit pushing for further unity against China, Russia and Iran. NATO's annual overall military budget was US$ 957 billion in 2017 where the US's share was US$ 686 billion, accounting for 72 percent of the total. This number is pressed by the US to rise in the years to come.

According to The Guardian, Trump takes more than $1tn in taxpayer money and allocates $750bn to the military. In other words, out of every taxpayer dollar, 62 cents go to the military and Department of Homeland Security and seven cents to Veterans affairs. It leaves just 31 cents for all the rest: education, job training, community economic development, housing, safe drinking water and clear air, health and science research and the prevention of war through diplomacy and humanitarian aid.

The Trump budget finds vast billions for militarization, while it cuts "smaller" poverty alleviation projects and other programs, claiming the goal is to save money.

Rutherford Institute's founder and director John W. WhiteHead writes in his institute's website that the American nation is being preyed upon by a military industrial complex that is propped up by war profiteers, corrupt politicians and foreign governments. He remarks:

"Don't be fooled into thinking that your hard-earned tax dollars are being used for national security and urgent military needs".

He writes "you know what happens to tax dollars that are left over at the end of the government's fiscal year? Government agencies – including the Department of Defense – go on a 'use it or lose it' spending spree so they can justify asking for money in the next fiscal year".

"We are talking about $97 billion worth of wasteful spending"

He maintains that the nation's educational system is pathetic, the infrastructure is antiquated and growing more outdated by the day and the health system is overpriced and inaccessible to those who need it most.

The tax cuts on super-rich, outflow of huge sums in interest payment for debt and more spending are plunging the US economy into a new crisis, according to many authors. The US economy faces a deficit which means the spending especially on military and defence is far exceeding the tax revenues.

In 2017, US spent US$ 685,957 billion with 3.6 of its GDP on military spending while the UK stood second at US$ 55,237 billion with 2.1 per cent of GDP. France and Germany allocated US$ 45,927 billion and 45,472 billion respectively with 1.8 and 1.2 percent of their GDPs. The NATO member states are pressured for raising their defense spending to 2 percent and gradually up to 4 percent in five years.

According to a study regarding world powers' overseas military bases

In other words, the US possesses up to 95 per cent of the world's military bases . The Department of Defense says that its locations include 164 countries. Put another way, it has a military presence of some sort in approximately 84 percent of the nations on this planet.

The US Military Bases Abroad Are Disrupting the World Order

The annual cost of deploying US military personnel overseas, as well as maintaining and running those foreign bases, tops out at an estimated US$ 150 billion annually. The US bases abroad cost upwards of US$ 50 billion only for building and maintenance, which is enough to address pressing needs at home in education, health care, housing and infrastructure.

In 2017 and 2018, the world's largest military spenders were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India. The UK took over France as sixth largest spender in 2018 while Japan and Germany stood at eighth and ninth positions.

In early 2018, Pentagon released a report saying that Afghan war costs US$ 45 billion to taxpayers in the preceding year. Of this amount, US$ 5 billion has been spent on Afghan forces, US$ 13 billion towards US forces in Afghanistan and the rest on economic aid.

But these costs are far lower than the time when the US military was highly engaged in Afghanistan. With nearly 100,000 soldiers in the country from 2010 to 2012, the price for American taxpayers surpassed US$ 100 billion each year. For now, there are around 16,000 US troops in Afghanistan. Despite hundreds of billions of dollars have gone into Afghanistan, the US admits it failed in war against militants in Afghanistan.

In November 2018, another study published by CNBC reported that America has spent US$ 5.9 trillion on wars in the Middle East and Asia since 2001 including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The study also reveals that more than 500,000 people have been killed in the wars and nearly 10 million people have been displaced due to violence.

The US has reportedly spent US$ 1.07 trillion in Afghanistan since 2001 which include Overseas Contingency Operations funds dedicated to Afghanistan, costs on the base budget of the Department of Defense and increase to the budget of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

In Afghanistan, the US costs of war in 2001 commenced with US$ 37.3 billion that soared to US$ 57.3 billion in 2007 and US$ 100 billion in 2009. The year with record spending was 2010 with US$ 112.7 billion that slightly plummeted to US$ 110.4 billion in 2011 but took downwards trend in the later years.

Due to skyrocketing military costs on the US government, Trump Administration recently decided to pack up some of its military bases in Afghanistan and Middle East to diminish expenditures, though it doesn't mean the wars would end at all.

According to Afghanistan Analysts Network, the US Congress has appropriated more than US$ 126 billion in aid for Afghanistan since financial year 2002, with almost 63 percent for security and 28 percent for development and the remainder for civilian operations, mostly budgetary assistance and humanitarian aid. Alongside the US aid, many world countries have pumped millions of dollars in development aids, but what is evident for insiders and outsiders is that a trickle of those funds has actually gone into Afghanistan's reconstruction.

With eighteen years into Afghan war, the security is deteriorating; Afghan air force is ill-equipped; poppy cultivation is on the rise; roads and highways are dilapidated or unconstructed; no mediocre hospital and health care has been established; weekly conflict causalities hit 150-250; electricity is still imported from Central Asian countries; economy remains dependent upon imports; unemployment rate is at its peak; more than three quarters of population live under poverty line and many, many more miseries persist or aggravate.

The US boasts of being the largest multi-billion dollar donor for Afghanistan, but if one takes a deeper look at the living standards of majority and the overall conditions, it can be immediately grasped that less than half of that exaggerated fund has been consumed. The US-made government of Afghanistan has deliberately been left behind to rank as the first corrupt country in the world. Thanks to the same unaddressed pervasive corruption, a hefty amount of that fund has been either directed back to the US hands or embezzled by senior Afghan officials.

Afghanistan's new Living Conditions Survey shows that poverty is more widespread today than it was immediately after the fall of Taliban regime, or in other words, in the early days of US invasion.

Next month, Kabul will host a Consultative Loya Jirga attended by around 2,000 representatives from Afghanistan which will cost the Afghan Ministry of Finance AF 369 million (equivalent to five million US$). Even as the past has proved that these events are only symbolic and further complicating the achievement of peace, a country with great majority under poverty line doesn't deserve to organize such costly gatherings.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Masud Wadan is a geopolitical analyst based in Kabul. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Salon.com

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Masud Wadan , Global Research, 2019

[May 14, 2019] Tulsi Brings Lefty Foreign Policy To Righty Audience -- It Works

Important interview with Tucker (this video contain a large fragment) and an interesting discussions.
Notable quotes:
"... Left or Right, you cannot question Gabbard's patriotism and intelligence and in-depth knowledge on war issues. Great candidate. ..."
"... She is an amazing diplomat - I support her 100% ..."
"... The way she conducts herself is an inspiration. I really like her. ..."
"... Just donated to Tulsi. We need her anti-imperialism on the mainstream debate stage. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard is the only one I have seen who isn't an overly hyberbolic shill. She embodies the concept of "speak softly and carry a big stick". ..."
"... Holly shit, I've never seen anyone on Fox News let their guest talk as much this? Especially Tucker being so calm, this makes me feel good. It must be Tulsi's vibe, someone as diplomatic and disciplined as her must be running the White House. ..."
Mar 5, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Evil Loch Ness , 2 months ago

Tulsi seems incredibly sincere, tempered and presidential.

Prakash Man Shrestha , 1 month ago

I am not an American. ... I see a glimmer of light in Tulsi.

Smegead , 2 months ago

A worthy first female president.

Dragonblazzer969 , 2 months ago

Left or Right, you cannot question Gabbard's patriotism and intelligence and in-depth knowledge on war issues. Great candidate.

NOAH WEIKERT , 1 month ago

As republican I would vote for Tulsi Gabbard, so won me over after the Joe Rogan podcast.

PaleGhost69 , 2 months ago (edited)

Sanders/Gabbard 2020 Edit: To those who say Gabbard/Sanders, you forget what the point of the vice president is.

RainFurRent 24/7 , 2 months ago

I didn't think anyone could take my vote from Bernie but I was wrong. Tulsi 2020 for me.

Charles Roberts , 2 months ago

Wow!! The sound of the voice of common sense & truth, for a change. I don't care if she is Democrat or Republican ... this lady is voicing what the majority of people actually think & believe.

Ken Baker , 1 month ago (edited)

A Democrat who makes sense. It's refreshing. Why do they try to keep her out of sight? Be cause she is anti war? Tells you alot about the swamp.

roselassi , 2 months ago

She is an amazing diplomat - I support her 100%

Proper Gander , 2 months ago

It ain't just left, it's common sense

Prateek , 1 month ago

The way she conducts herself is an inspiration. I really like her.

Bpinator , 2 months ago

Just donated to Tulsi. We need her anti-imperialism on the mainstream debate stage.

Kevin Benderman , 2 weeks ago

Tulsi Gabbard is the only one I have seen who isn't an overly hyberbolic shill. She embodies the concept of "speak softly and carry a big stick".

Spiritual Humanist , 2 months ago

Tulsi Gabbard 2020☮️ donate to Tulsi ❤️

ooPROTOTYPE1oo , 2 months ago

Tulsi doesn't really care about Republican or Democratic party. What she cares about are the American people.

Brah , 1 month ago (edited)

Tulsi Gabbard could bring the Democratic Party back to the days of JFK.

Cesar , 1 month ago (edited)

Holly shit, I've never seen anyone on Fox News let their guest talk as much this? Especially Tucker being so calm, this makes me feel good. It must be Tulsi's vibe, someone as diplomatic and disciplined as her must be running the White House.

Kevin Malone , 2 months ago

It just feels so good seeing a politician actually answer questions. Instead of talking but not saying anything of actual substance.

Miss Kimberly , 1 month ago

We need a candidate who can float between both sides, and stick with a Progressive agenda. This is outstanding.

[May 14, 2019] How Madeleine Albright Got the War the U.S. Wanted - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... Bombing Yugoslavia was meant to solidify the new role for NATO as an offensive military force, acting on behalf of U.S. imperial interests. Since that time, NATO has attacked Libya, and engaged in military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and a variety of nations in Africa. Despite NATO's claim that it is "committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes," the record shows otherwise. ..."
"... Gregory Elich is a Korea Policy Institute associate and on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute. He is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, a columnist for Voice of the People , and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period , published in the Russian language. He is also a member of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific. His website is https://gregoryelich.org . Follow him on Twitter at @GregoryElich ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

How Madeleine Albright Got the War the U.S. Wanted By Gregory Elich Global Research, May 13, 2019 Region: Europe , USA Theme: History , US NATO War Agenda

Twenty years have passed since the U.S.-orchestrated NATO attack on Yugoslavia. As the United States readied its forces for war in 1999, it organized a peace conference that was ostensibly intended to resolve differences between the Yugoslav government and secessionist ethnic Albanians in Kosovo on the future status of the province. A different scenario was being played out behind the scenes, however. U.S. officials wanted war and deliberately set up the process to fail, which they planned to use as a pretext for war.

The talks opened on February 6, 1999, in Rambouillet, France. Officially, the negotiations were led by a Contact Group comprised of U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Christopher Hill , European Union envoy Wolfgang Petritsch , and Russian diplomat Boris Mayorsky . All decisions were supposed to be jointly agreed upon by all three members of the Contact Group. In actual practice, the U.S. ran the show all the way and routinely bypassed Petritsch and Mayorsky on essential matters.

Ibrahim Rugova , an ethnic Albanian activist who advocated nonviolence, was expected to play a major role in the Albanian secessionist delegation. Joining him at Rambouillet was Fehmi Agani , a fellow member of Rugova's Democratic League of Kosovo.

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright regularly sidelined Rugova, however, preferring to rely on delegation members from the hardline Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which had routinely murdered Serbs, Roma, and Albanians in Kosovo who worked for the government or opposed separatism. Only a few months before the conference, KLA spokesman Bardhyl Mahmuti spelled out his organization's vision of a future Kosovo as separate and ethnically pure:

"The independence of Kosovo is the only solution We cannot live together. That is excluded." [i]

Image result for kosovo liberation army

Source: Independent Balkan News Agency

Rugova had at one time engaged in fairly productive talks with Yugoslav officials, and his willingness to negotiate was no doubt precisely the reason Albright relegated him to a background role. Yugoslav Minister of Information Milan Komnenić accompanied the Yugoslav delegation to Rambouillet. He recalls,

"With Rugova and Fehmi Agani it was possible to talk; they were flexible. In Rambouillet, [KLA leader Hashim] Thaçi appears instead of Rugova. A beast." [ii]

There was no love between Thaçi and Rugova, whose party members were the targets of threats and assassination attempts at the hands of the KLA. Rugova himself would survive an assassination attempt six years later.

The composition of the Yugoslav delegation reflected its position that many ethnic groups resided in Kosovo, and any agreement arrived at should take into account the interests of all parties. All of Kosovo's major ethnic groups were represented in the delegation. Faik Jashari , one of the Albanian members in the Yugoslav delegation, was president of the Kosovo Democratic Initiative and an official in the Provisional Executive Council, which was Yugoslavia's government in Kosovo. Jashari observed that Albright was startled when she saw the composition of the Yugoslav delegation, apparently because it went against the U.S. propaganda narrative. [iii] Throughout the talks, Albright displayed a dismissive attitude towards the delegation's Albanian, Roma, Egyptian, Goran, Turkish, and Slavic Muslim members.

U.S. mediators habitually referred to the Yugoslav delegation as "the Serbs," even though they constituted a minority of the members. The Americans persisted in trying to cast events in Kosovo as a simplistic binary relationship of Serb versus Albanian, disregarding the presence of other ethnic groups in the province, and ignoring the fact that while some ethnic Albanians favored separation, others wished to remain in multiethnic Yugoslavia.

After arriving at Rambouillet, the secessionist Albanian delegation informed U.S. diplomats that it did not want to meet with the Yugoslav side. Aside from a brief ceremonial meeting, there was no direct contact between the two groups. The Yugoslav and Albanian delegations were placed on two different floors to eliminate nearly all contact. U.S. mediators Richard Holbrooke and Christopher Hill ran from one delegation to the other, conveying notes and verbal messages between the two sides but mostly trying to coerce the Yugoslav delegation. [iv]

Luan Koka, a Roma member of the Yugoslav delegation, noted that the U.S. was operating an electronic jamming device.

"We knew exactly when Madeleine Albright was coming. Connections on our mobile phones were breaking up and going crazy." [v]

It is probable that the U.S. was also operating electronic listening equipment and that U.S. mediators knew everything the delegations were saying in private.

Albright, Jashari said, would not listen to anyone.

"She had her task, and she saw only that task. You couldn't say anything to her. She didn't want to talk with us and didn't want to listen to our arguments." [vi]

One day it was Koka's birthday, and the Yugoslav delegation wanted to encourage a more relaxed atmosphere with U.S. mediators, inviting them to a cocktail party to mark the occasion.

"It was a slightly more pleasant atmosphere, and I was singing," Koka recalled. "I remember Madeleine Albright saying: 'I really like partisan songs. But if you don't accept this, the bombs will fall.'" [vii]

According to delegation member Nikola Šainović ,

"Madeleine Albright told us all the time: 'If the Yugoslav delegation does not accept what we offer, you will be bombed.'" Šainović added, "We agreed in Rambouillet to any form of autonomy for Kosovo," but sovereignty remained the red line. [viii]

From the beginning of the conference, U.S. mediator Christopher Hill "decided that what we really needed was an Albanian approval of a document, and a Serb refusal. If both refused, there could be no further action by NATO or any other organization for that matter." [ix] It was not peace that the U.S. team was seeking, but war.

As the conference progressed, U.S. negotiators were faced with an alarming problem, in that the Yugoslav delegation had accepted all of the Contact Group's fundamental political principles for an agreement, balking only at a NATO presence in Kosovo. On the other hand, the secessionist delegation rejected the Contact Group's political principles. Something had to be done to reverse this pattern.

On the second day of the conference, U.S. officials presented the Yugoslav delegation with the framework text of a provisional agreement for peace and self-rule in Kosovo, but it was missing some of the annexes. The Yugoslavs requested a copy of the complete document. As delegation head Ratko Marković pointed out,

"Any objections to the text of the agreement could be made only after an insight into the text as a whole had been obtained."

Nearly one week passed before the group received one of the missing annexes. That came on the day the conference had originally been set to end. The deadline was extended, and two days later a second missing annex was provided to the Yugoslav delegation.[x]

When the Yugoslavs next met with the Contact Group, they were assured that all elements of the text had now been given to them. Several more days passed and at 7:00 PM on February 22, the penultimate day of the conference, the Contact Group presented three new annexes, which the Yugoslavs had never seen before. According to Marković, "Russian Ambassador Boris Mayorsky informed our delegation that Annexes 2 and 7 had not been discussed or approved by the Contact Group and that they were not the texts drafted by the Contact Group but by certain Contact Group members, while Annex 5 was discussed, but no decision was made on it at the Contact Group meeting." The Yugoslav delegation refused to accept the new annexes, as their introduction had violated the process whereby all proposals had to be agreed upon by the three Contact Group members. [xi]

At 9:30 AM on February 23, the final day of the conference, U.S. officials presented the full text of the proposal, containing yet more provisions that were being communicated for the first time. The accompanying note identified the package as the definitive text while adding that Russia did not support two of the articles. The letter demanded the Yugoslav delegation's decision by 1:00 PM that same day.[xii] There was barely time enough to carefully read the text, let alone negotiate. In essence, it was an ultimatum.

Quite intentionally, U.S. mediators included provisions in the final version of the text that no sovereign nation could be expected to accept. Neoliberal economic interests are always front and center when U.S. officials are involved, and they surely were not unaware of Kosovo's abundant reserves of mineral resources, ripe for exploitation. The first point in Article 1 of the Economic Issues section of the text states:

"The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles."

Western investors were favored with a provision stating that authorities shall "ensure the free movement of persons, goods, services, and capital to Kosovo, including from international sources." [xiii] One may wonder what these stipulations had to do with peace negotiations, but then the talks had far more to do with U.S. interests than anything to do with the needs of the people in the region.

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The document called for a Western-led Joint Commission including local representatives to monitor and coordinate the implementation of the plan. However, if commission members failed to reach consensus on a matter, the Western-appointed Chair would have the power to impose his decision unilaterally. [xiv] Local representatives would serve as little more than window-dressing for Western dictate, as they could adopt no measure that went against the Chair's wishes.

The Chair of the Implementation Mission was authorized to "recommend" the "removal and appointment of officials and the curtailment of operations of existing institutions in Kosovo." If the Chair's command was not obeyed "in the time requested, the Joint Commission may decide to take the recommended action," and since the Chair had the authority to impose his will on the Joint Commission, there was no check on his power. He could remove elected and appointed officials at will and replace them with handpicked lackeys. The Chair was also authorized to order the "curtailment of operations of existing institutions." [xv]Any organization that failed to bend to U.S. demands could be shut down.

Chapter 7 of the plan called for the parties to "invite NATO to constitute and lead a military force" in Kosovo. [xvi]The choice of words was interesting. In language reminiscent of gangsters, Yugoslavia was told to "invite" NATO to take over the province of Kosovo or suffer the consequences.

Yugoslavia was required "to provide, at no cost, the use of all facilities and services required" by NATO. [xvii]Within six months, Yugoslavia would have to withdraw all of its military forces from Kosovo, other than a small number of border guards. [xviii]

The plan granted NATO "unrestricted use of the entire electromagnetic spectrum" to "communicate." Although the document indicated NATO would make "reasonable efforts to coordinate," there were no constraints on its power. [xix] Yugoslav officials, "upon simple request," would be required to grant NATO "all telecommunication services, including broadcast services free of cost." [xx]NATO could take over any radio and television facilities and transmission wavelengths it chose, knocking local stations off the air.

The plan did not restrict NATO's presence to Kosovo. It granted NATO, with its "vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia]." [xxi] NATO would be "granted the use of airports, roads, rails, and ports without payment of fees, duties, dues, tools, or charges." [xxii]

The agreement guaranteed that NATO would have "complete and unimpeded freedom of movement by ground, air, and water into and throughout Kosovo." Furthermore, NATO personnel could not be held "liable for any damages to public or private property." [xxiii] NATO as a whole would also be "immune from all legal process, whether civil, administrative, or criminal," regardless of its actions anywhere on the territory of Yugoslavia. [xxiv]Nor could NATO personnel be arrested, detained, or investigated. [xxv]

Acceptance of the plan would have brought NATO troops swarming throughout Yugoslavia and interfering in every institution.

There were several other objectionable elements in the plan, but one that stood out was the call for an "international" (meaning, Western-led) meeting to be held after three years "to determine a mechanism for a final settlement for Kosovo."[xxvi] It was no mystery to the Yugoslav delegation what conclusion Western officials would arrive at in that meeting. The intent was clearly to redraw Yugoslavia's borders to further break apart the nation.

U.S. officials knew the Yugoslav delegation could not possibly accept such a plan.

"We deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept," Madeleine Albright confided to a group of journalists, "because they needed a little bombing." [xxvii]

At a meeting in Belgrade on March 5, the Yugoslav delegation issued a statement which declared:

"A great deceit was looming, orchestrated by the United States. They demanded that the agreement be signed, even though much of this agreement, that is, over 56 pages, had never been discussed, either within the Contact Group or during the negotiations." [xxviii]

Serbian President Milan Milutinović announced at a press conference that in Rambouillet the Yugoslav delegation had "proposed solutions meeting the demands of the Contact Group for broad autonomy within Serbia, advocating full equality of all national communities." But "agreement was not what they were after." Instead, Western officials engaged in "open aggression," and this was a game "about troops and troops alone." [xxix]

While U.S. officials were working assiduously to avoid a peaceful resolution, they needed the Albanians to agree to the plan so that they could accuse the Yugoslav delegation of being the stumbling block to peace. U.S. mainstream media could be counted on to unquestioningly repeat the government's line and overlook who the real architects of failure were. U.S. officials knew the media would act in their customary role as cheerleaders for war, which indeed, they did.

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook revealed the nature of the message Western officials were conveying to the Albanian delegation when he said,

"We are certainly saying to the Kosovo Albanians that if you don't sign up to these texts, it's extremely difficult to see how NATO could then take action against Belgrade." [xxx]

Western officials were practically begging the secessionists to sign the plan. According to inside sources, the Americans assured the Albanian delegation that disarmament of the KLA would be merely symbolic and that it could keep the bulk of its weaponry so long as it was concealed. [xxxi]

Albright spent hours trying to convince Thaçi to change his mind, telling him:

"If you say yes and the Serbs say no, NATO will strike and go on striking until the Serb forces are out and NATO can go in. You will have security. And you will be able to govern yourselves." [xxxii]

That was a clear enough signal that the intent was to rip the province away from Yugoslavia and create an artificial state. Despite such assurances, Thaçi feared the wrath of fellow KLA members if he were to sign a document that did not explicitly call for separation. When U.S. negotiators asked Thaçi why he would not sign, he responded:

"If I agree to this, I will go home and they will kill me." [xxxiii]

This was not hyperbole. The KLA had threatened and murdered a great many Albanians who in its eyes fell short of full-throated support for its policy of violent secession and ethnic exclusion.

Even NATO Commander Wesley Clark , who flew in from Belgium, was unable to change Thaçi's mind. [xxxiv] U.S. officials were exasperated with the Albanian delegation, and its recalcitrance threatened to capsize plans for war.

"Rambouillet was supposed to be about putting the screws to Belgrade," a senior U.S. official said. "But it went off the rails because of the miscalculation we made about the Albanians." [xxxv]

On the last day at Rambouillet, it was agreed that the Albanian delegation would return to Kosovo for discussions with fellow KLA leaders on the need to sign the document. In the days that followed, Western officials paid repeated visits to Kosovo to encourage the Albanians to sign.

So-called "negotiations" reconvened in Paris on March 15. Upon its arrival, the Yugoslav delegation objected that it was "incomprehensible" that "no direct talks between the two delegations had been facilitated." In response to the Yugoslavs' proposal for modifications to the plan, the Contact Group informed them that no changes would be accepted. The document must be accepted as a whole. [xxxvi]

The Yugoslav position, delegation head Ratko Marković maintained, was that "first one needs to determine what is to be implemented, and only then to determine the methods of implementation." [xxxvii]The delegation asked the Americans what there was to talk about regarding implementation "when there was no agreement because the Albanians did not accept anything." U.S. officials responded that the Yugoslav delegation "cannot negotiate," adding that it would only be allowed to make grammatical changes to the text. [xxxviii]

From the U.S. perspective, the presence of the Yugoslav delegation in Paris was irrelevant other than to maintain the pretense that negotiations were taking place. Not permitted to negotiate, there was little the Yugoslavs could do but await the inevitable result, which soon came. The moment U.S. officia