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Deep State

News Media-Military-Industrial Complex Recommended Books Recommended Links National Security State / Surveillance State Big Uncle is Watching You  US and British media are servants of security apparatus
 Nation under attack meme Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Trump vs. Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Neoconservatism New American Militarism
Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite American Exceptionalism Corporatism Neo-fascism Inverted Totalitarism Bureaucracies Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism  The Pareto Law Amorality of neoliberal elite Casino Capitalism Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult Pluralism as a myth What's the Matter with Kansas
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment The importance of controlling the narrative  Patterns of Propaganda Corruption of Regulators Two Party System as polyarchy Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton - unsuccessful deep state candidate for presidency US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Obama: a yet another Neocon Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Robert Kagan Paul Wolfowitz
Wrecking Crew: Notes on Republican Economic Policy Libertarian Philosophy In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Groupthink Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

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 a way the concept of  Corporatism and the concept of  "deep state' are very close, almost synonyms. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy or via back door, "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In the latter case part of power of 'surface state" is preserved.

But there are agencies that get special status under corporatism. this is so called three-letter agencies (which actually is the backbone of Media-Military-Industrial Complex). Or national security establishment. This is new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources that stands above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions (J. Edgar Hoover  is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of "royal court", which can like in old times is able to dismiss a monarch or even kill him.

So in a way the concept of "deep state" -- hypertrophied role of three letter agencies and their brass and certain corporations (aka military industrial complex) in national politics especially in formulating foreign policy is nothing new. But devil is always in details and some features of the USA deep state are different then our analogy predicts.

First of all "surface state" is still keeping some positions and even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas. Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA and Wall Street can never be absolute as they have different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. They only partially coincide.  Also relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious at all with CIA ('humint") very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint").  So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and vise versa, and that gives us some hope. 

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, ehich 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 Brack 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:

Conversion of system of governance to "deep state" which happened in the USA almost immediately after 1947 essentially made elections optional, but they still continue to exist as a ceremonial function for the sake of providing the legitimacy in an emasculated "two parties system" form.  While relationship is more complex then simple dominance, in essence "deep state" is the tail that wag 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 can also be found in most other states. The term means a shadow alliance of elements of government. security services, selected top-level figures of financial oligarchy, media and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process. 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 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 nother, 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, exersize 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 conseed defeat but still has some hope, here we enter perfect Danter 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), in 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

Lockheed Payoffs and CIA Clients: the Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia

 

 

Kodama Yoshio, war criminal, drug trafficker, and purveyor of deep state US funds to Japanese politicians

Through the 1950s payouts from the M-fund were administered by Kodama Yoshio, “probably the CIA's chief asset in Japan;” while ”All accounts say that after the end of the occupation, the fund's American managers came from the CIA.”32  Kodama also received and distributed millions of funds from Lockheed to secure military contracts – an operation the CIA knew about but has never admitted involvement in.33 Lockheed’s system of payoffs was world-wide; and one sees CIA involvement with it in at least four other countries: the Netherlands, Italy, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. (Lockheed, the builder of the U-2, was a major CIA-cleared contractor.)34

The beneficiary in the Netherlands was Prince Bernhard, a close friend of CIA directors Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, and the organizer of the Bilderberg Group.35 In the case of Italy, payments were handled through a contact (“Antelope Cobbler”) who turned out to be whoever was the Italian Prime Minister of the moment (always from one of the parties subsidized earlier by the CIA).36

In the revealing instance of Indonesia, Lockheed payments were shifted in May 1965, over the legal objections of Lockheed's counsel, to a new contract with a  company set up by the firm's long-time local agent or middleman, August Munir Dasaad.86 This was just six months after a secret U.S. decision to have the CIA covertly assist

“individuals and organizations prepared to take obstructive action against the PKI [Indonesian Communist Party].” Over the longer term this meant identifying and keeping tabs on “anti-regime elements” and other potential leaders of a post-Sukarno regime.37

Although Dasaad had been a long-time supporter of Sukarno, by May 1965 he was already building connections with Sukarno’s eventual successor, Gen. Suharto, via a family relative, General Alamsjah, who knew Suharto and was the beneficiary of the new Lockheed account.38 After Suharto replaced Sukarno, Alamsjah, who controlled certain considerable funds, at once made funds available to Suharto, earning him the gratitude of the new President.39

In July 1965, furthermore, at the alleged nadir of U.S.-Indonesian aid relations, Rockwell-Standard had a contractual agreement to deliver two hundred light aircraft (Aero-Commanders) to the Indonesian Army (not the Air Force) in the next two months. Once again the commission agent on the deal, Bob Hasan or Hassan, was a political associate (and eventual business partner) of Suharto. More specifically, Suharto and Bob Hasan established two shipping companies to be operated by the Central Java army division, Diponegoro. This division, as has long been noticed, supplied the bulk of the personnel on both sides of the Gestapu coup drama in September 1965 -- both those staging the coup attempt, and those putting it down.40

While this was happening, Stanvac (a joint venture of the Standard companies known later as Exxon and Mobil) increased payments to the army's oil company, Permina, headed by an eventual political ally of Suharto, General Ibnu Sutowo. Alamsjah is said to have been allied with Ibnu Sutowo in plotting against Sukarno, along with a well-connected Japanese oilman, Nishijima Shigetada.41 After Suharto's overthrow of Sukarno, Fortune wrote that "Sutowo's still small company played a key part in bankrolling those crucial operations, and the army has never forgotten it."42

We shall deal later with the special case of Lockheed kickbacks to Saudi Arabia, which were far greater than those to Japan. It is important to note, however, the linkage between Middle East oil and arms sales: as U.S. imports of Middle East oil increased, the pressure on the U.S. balance of payments was offset by increased U.S. arms sales to the region. “In the period 1963-1974, arms sales to the Middle East went from 10 per cent of global arms imports to 36 per cent, half of which was supplied by the United States.”43

Iran in 1953: How an Oil Cartel Operation Became a Job for the CIA

The international lawyers of Wall Street did not hide from each other their shared belief that they understood better than Washington the requirements for running the world. As John Foster Dulles wrote in the 1930s to a British colleague,

The word “cartel” has here assumed the stigma of a bogeyman which the politicians are constantly attacking.  The fact of the matter is that most of these politicians are highly insular and nationalistic and because the political organization of the world has under such influence been so backward, business people who have had to cope realistically with international problems have had to find ways for getting through and around stupid political barriers.44

This same mentality also explains why Allen Dulles as an OSS officer in 1945 simply evaded orders from Washington forbidding him to negotiate with SS General Karl Wolff about a conditional surrender of German forces in Italy – an important breach of Roosevelt’s agreement with Stalin at Yalta for unconditional surrender, a breach that is regarded by many as helping lead to the Cold War.45 And it explains why Allen, as CIA Director in 1957, dealt summarily with Eisenhower’s reluctance to authorize more than occasional U-2 overflights of the USSR, by secretly approving a plan with Britain’s MI-6 whereby U-2 flights could be authorized instead by the UK Prime Minister Macmillan.46

This mentality exhibited itself in 1952, when Truman’s Justice Department sought to break up the cartel agreements whereby Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) and four other oil majors controlled global oil distribution. (The other four were Standard Oil Company of New York, Standard Oil of California or Socony, Gulf Oil, and Texaco; together with Royal Dutch Shell and Anglo-Iranian, they comprised the so-called Seven Sisters of the cartel.) Faced with a government order to hand over relevant documents, Exxon’s lawyer Arthur Dean at Sullivan and Cromwell, where Foster was senior partner, refused: “If it were not for the question of national security, we would be perfectly willing to face either a criminal or a civil suit. But this is the kind of information the Kremlin would love to get its hands on.”47

 

 

Wall Street, the former headquarters of both Sullivan and Cromwell and the J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation

At this time the oil cartel was working closely with the British Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC, later BP) to prevent AIOC’s nationalization by Iran’s Premier Mossadeq, by instituting, in May 1951, a successful boycott of Iranian oil exports.

In May 1951 the AIOC secured the backing of the other oil majors, who had every interest in discouraging nationalisation.... None of the large companies would touch Iranian oil; despite one or two picturesque episodes the boycott held.48

As a result Iranian oil production fell from 241 million barrels in 1950 to 10.6 million barrels in 1952.

This was accomplished by denying Iran the ability to export its crude oil. At that time, the Seven Sisters controlled almost 99% of the crude oil tankers in the world for such export, and even more importantly, the markets to which it was going.49

But Truman declined, despite a direct personal appeal from Churchill, to have the CIA participate in efforts to overthrow Mossadeq, and instead dispatched Averell Harriman to Tehran in a failed effort to negotiate a peaceful resolution of Mossadeq’s differences with London.50

 

 

 

Allen and John Foster Dulles, pillars of both the state and the deep state

All this changed with the election of Eisenhower in November 1952, followed by the appointment of the Dulles brothers to be Secretary of State and head of CIA. The Justice Department’s criminal complaint against the oil cartel was swiftly replaced by a civil suit, from which the oil cartel eventually emerged unscathed.51

Eisenhower, an open friend of the oil industry…changed the charges from criminal to civil and transferred responsibility of the case from the Department of Justice to the Department of State – the first time in history that an antitrust case was handed to State for prosecution. Seeing as how the Secretary of State was John Foster Dulles and the defense counsel for the oil cartel was Dulles’ former law firm (Sullivan and Cromwell), the case was soon as good as dead.52

Thereafter

Cooperative control of the world market by the major oil companies remained in effect, with varying degrees of success, until the oil embargo of 1973-74. That the cooperation was more than tacit can be seen by the fact that antitrust regulations were specifically set aside a number of times during the 1950-1973 period, allowing the major companies to negotiate as a group with various Mideastern countries, and after its inception [in 1960], with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC.53

Also in November 1952 CIA officials began planning to involve CIA in the efforts of MI6 and the oil companies in Iran54 -- although its notorious Operation TP/AJAX to overthrow Mossadeq was not finally approved by Eisenhower until July 22, 1953.55

The events of 1953 strengthened the role of the oil cartel as a structural component of the American deep state, drawing on its powerful connections to both Wall Street and the CIA.56  (Another such component was the Arabian-American Oil Company or ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia, which increased oil production in 1951-53 to offset the loss of oil from Iran. Until it was fully nationalized in 1980, ARAMCO maintained undercover CIA personnel like William Eddy among its top advisors.)57 The five American oil majors in particular were also strengthened by the success of AJAX, as Anglo-Iranian (renamed BP) was henceforth forced to share 40 percent of the oil from its Iran refinery with them.

Nearly all recent accounts of Mossadeq’s overthrow treat it as a covert intelligence operation, with the oil cartel (when mentioned at all) playing a subservient role. However the chronology, and above all the belated approval from Eisenhower, suggest that it was CIA that came belatedly in 1953 to assist an earlier oil cartel operation, rather than vice versa. In terms of the deep state, the oil cartel or deep state initiated in 1951 a process that the American public state only authorized two years later. Yet the inevitable bias in academic or archival historiography, working only with those primary sources that are publicly available, is to think of the Mossadeq tragedy as simply a “CIA coup.”

The CIA, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the Wall Street Overworld

The “revolving door” also circulates top-level intelligence officials and the chiefs of the cleared contractors referred to by Mike Lofgren as part of the deep state. Tim Shorrock revealed in 2007 that “about 70 percent of the estimated $60 billion the government spends every year on…intelligence” is outsourced to private intelligence contractors like Booz, Allen & Hamilton (now Booz Allen Hamilton) and SAIC.58 For example Mike McConnell “went from being head of the National Security Agency under Bush 41 and Clinton directly to Booz Allen, one of the nation’s largest private intelligence contractors, then became Bush’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI), then went back to Booz Allen, where he is now Executive Vice President.” Intelligence officers in government write the non-competitive contracts for the private corporations that they may have worked for and may work for again.59 And over the years the “revolving door” has also exchanged personnel between Booz Allen and the international oil companies served by the firm.

The original firm of Booz, Allen, & Hamilton split in 2008 into Booz Allen Hamilton, focused on USG business, and Booz & Company in New York, assuming the old company’s commercial and international portfolio. Booz Allen Hamilton is majority owned by the private equity firm the Carlyle Group, noted for its association with political figures like both presidents Bush.60

 

 

 

Booz Allen Hamilton Headquarters

Lofgren points to the deep state importance of Booz Allen Hamilton, 99 percent of whose business dependent on the U.S. government.61 Booz Allen has been linked in the media to NSA ever since its employee Edward Snowden decamped with NSA records. But Booz Allen, one of the oldest and largest of the “cleared contractors,” has been intertwined with the CIA’s covert operations since Allen Dulles became CIA Director in 1953.62 In the same year, Booz Allen began “to take on several overseas assignments…: a land-registration system in the Philippines, a restructuring of Egypt’s customs operations and textile industries, and work for Iran’s national oil company.”63 All three assignments overlapped with CIA covert ops in 1953, including the Philippine land distribution program which Edward Lansdale promoted in order to fight a Huk insurrection, and the CIA’s operation TP/AJAX (with Britain’s MI6) to rescue the Anglo-Iranian oil company (later BP).64

 

 

Miles Copeland, Jr., ex-CIA, ex-Booz Allen & Hamilton, ex-Khashoggi’s private CIA

But the most important CIA-Booz Allen cooperation may have been in Egypt. In March 1953 Miles Copeland, having resigned from the CIA to join Booz-Allen, “returned to Cairo under what was, for all practical purposes, a joint CIA-BA&H mission.”65 In addition to offering management advice to the Egyptian government in general, and to a private textile mill, Miles also gave Nasser advice on establishing his intelligence service (the Mukhabarat), and “soon became his closest Western advisor” (as well as his top channel to the USG, more important than either the local US ambassador or CIA chief)66

Copeland’s role with Nasser did not make him a shaper of U.S. policy; his pro-Nasser views were largely subordinated to the pro-British anti-Nasserism of the Dulles brothers. But they did establish a bond between Copeland and the Eisenhower White House. By 1967, when Nixon was preparing to run for president, Copeland had taken a leave of absence from Booz Allen to become a prestigious and well-paid consultant for oil companies.

The CIA, Miles Copeland, and Adnan Khashoggi

In 1966 Copeland, while technically on leave from Booz Allen, made close contact with Adnan Khashoggi, a young Arab who was in the course of becoming both a “principal foreign agent” of the U.S. and also extremely wealthy on the commissions he earned from Lockheed and other military firms on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.67 (“To give some sense of the size of the business, the company acknowledged in the mid-1970s that it had provided $106 million in commissions to Khashoggi between 1970 and 1975, more than ten times the level of payments made to the next most important connection, Yoshi [sic] Kodama of Japan.”68

 

 

 

Adnan Khashoggi, shadowy backer of politicians (Time, Jan. 19, 1987)

By Copeland’s own account in 1989, this encounter with Khashoggi “put the two of us on a ‘Miles-and-Adnan’ basis that has lasted for more than twenty years of business, parties, and a very special kind of political action.”69 Copeland adds that

Adnan and I, separately had been called on by our respective friends in Langley [i.e., CIA] to… have an official [sic], off-the-record exchange of ideas on the emerging crisis in the Middle East, and come up with suggestions that the tame bureaucrats would like to have made but couldn’t.70

Copeland almost immediately flew to Cairo and immersed himself in a series of high-level but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to forestall what soon became the 1967 Six Day Egyptian-Israeli Six Day War. By his account, his mission, though unsuccessful, gave a “tremendous boost” to his reputation, enabling him “to accelerate the attempt I had already started to establish a ‘private CIA’ by use of confidential arrangements with politically astute members of the client companies.”71

Copeland’s self-promoting claims are controversial, and a number of establishment writers have described his books as “unreliable.”72 But eyewitness Larry Kolb corroborates that Copeland was close to Khashoggi, and that the two of them

had written a white paper… proposing that… rich countries, including not only the United States but also the Arab oil states, should establish a “Marshall Plan” for all the needy countries of the Middle East, including Israel.

Rewritten with Kolb’s assistance after consultation with the Reagan White House, the plan would be backed by a “Mideast Peace Fund” to which “Adnan was pledging a hundred million dollars of his own money.”73

The proposal failed, partly because of the Middle East’s resistance to negotiated solutions, but also partly because by the 1980s Khashoggi was no longer as rich and influential as he had once been. His function as an agent of influence in the Middle East and elsewhere had been sharply limited after the United States, by the Corrupt Federal Practices Act of 1978, outlawed direct payments by US corporations to foreign individuals. Henceforward the function of bestowing money and sexual favors on client politicians passed primarily from Khashoggi to another CIA connection, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).74 A major shareholder in BCCI was Saudi intelligence chief Kamal Adham, Khashoggi’s friend and business partner and (according to the Senate BCCI Report) “the CIA's former principal contact in the Arab Middle East.”75

What the story of the failed “Mideast Peace Fund” reveals is first, that Khashoggi (like BCCI after him) was of interest to Washington because of his ability to negotiate with both Israel and Arab countries; and second, that Copeland and what Copeland called his “private CIA,”76 was in a commanding position as lead adviser to Khashoggi, while still on unpaid leave from Booz Allen Hamilton.

Khashoggi, the CIA’s Asset Edward K. Moss, and Political Corruption

A powerful connection was formed by combining Copeland’s political contacts with Khashoggi’s millions. Copeland may have been responsible for Khashoggi’s inspired choice of the under-recognized Edward K. Moss, another man with CIA connections, as his p.r. agent in Washington.77

Back in November 1962, the CIA, as part of its planning to get rid of Castro, decided  to use Moss for the Political Action Group of the CIA’s Covert Action (CA) staff.78 This was more than a year after the FBI had advised the CIA that Moss’s mistress Julia Cellini and her brother Dino Cellini were alleged to be procurers, while “the Cellini brothers have long been associated with the narcotics and white slavery rackets in Cuba.”79

This FBI report suggests an important shared interest between Moss and Khashoggi: sexual corruption. Just as his uncle Yussuf Yassin had been a procurer of women for King Abdul-Aziz, so Khashoggi himself was said to have “used sex to win over U.S. executives.” The bill for the madam who supplied girls en masse to his yacht in the Mediterranean ran to hundreds of thousands of dollars.80 Khashoggi made a practice of supplying those he wished to influence with dollars as well as sex.

 

 

 

Khashoggi’s Superyacht Kingdom 5KR, now owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal

The CIA of course was forbidden to use sex and money in this way in the United States, or to make in the United States the payments to right-wing politicians that characterized its behavior in the rest of the world. But no such prohibition applied to Khashoggi. According to Anthony Summers,

Khashoggi had courted Nixon in 1967 by putting a plane at his disposal to tour the Middle East after the Six-Day War. Soon afterward, using a proxy, he opened an account at Rebozo’s [Bebe Rebozo, Nixon’s close confidante] in Florida. He did so, he explained to Watergate prosecutors, hoping to “curry favor with Rebozo,” to get an entrée to the man who might become president, and to pursue business deals.81

Khashoggi in effect served as a “cutout,” or representative, in a number of operations forbidden to the CIA and the companies he worked with. Lockheed, for one, was conspicuously absent from the list of military contractors who contributed illicitly to Nixon’s 1972 election campaign. But there was no law prohibiting their official representative, Khashoggi, from cycling $200 million through the bank of Nixon’s friend Bebe Rebozo.82

(Pierre Salinger heard from Khashoggi that in 1972 he had donated $1 million to Nixon, corroborating the often-heard claim that Khashoggi had brought it in a briefcase to Nixon’s western White House in San Clemente, and then “forgotten” to take it away.)83

Khashoggi of course did not introduce such corruption to American politics; he merely joined a milieu where defense companies had used money and girls for years to win defense contracts in Washington and Las Vegas.84 Prominent in this practice was Howard Hughes, whom Khashoggi soon joined in international investments. (After a Senate investigator on Khashoggi’s trail registered at the Hughes-owned Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, a blonde came unexpectedly to his hotel room, and said, “I’m here for your pleasure.”)85

But Khashoggi’s corruption channels and targets overlapped with those of others with CIA connections. In 1972 it was alleged that funds from the Paradise Island casino in the Bahamas were being secretly carried to Nixon and his friend Bebe Rebozo, by a casino employee. This was Seymour (Sy) Alter, who was both “a friend of Nixon and Rebozo since 1962” and also an associate of Edward Moss’s brother-in-law Eddie Cellini, the casino manager at Paradise Island. 86 The funds came from the Paradise Island Bridge Company, a company partly owned by an officer of Benguet International, a firm represented in America by Paul Helliwell.87 It is likely that Nixon himself had a hidden interest in the Bridge Company, which might explain the revelation through Operation Tradewinds that a “Richard M. Nixon” (not otherwise identified) had an account at Helliwell’s Castle Bank.88

Three facts point to a deep state interest in what might otherwise seem a matter of personal corruption. The first is that Paul Helliwell had set up two companies for the CIA  -- CAT Inc. (Later Air America) and SEA Supply Inc. in Bangkok -- that became the infrastructure of the CIA’s covert operations with drug-trafficking armies in Southeast Asia.89 The second is that Paul Helliwell’s banking partner, E.P. Barry, had been the postwar head of OSS Counterintelligence (X-2) in Vienna, which oversaw the recovery of SS gold in Operation Safehaven.90 The third is that for over four decades persons from Booz Allen Hamilton have been among the very small group owning the profitable Paradise Island Bridge Company. (A recent partner in the Paradise Island Bridge Company is Booz Allen Senior Vice-President Robert Riegle.)91

 

 

 

The Safari Club today, now the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

Moss, Khashoggi, the Safari Club, and the International Overworld

The power exerted by Khashoggi and Moss was not limited to Khashoggi’s access to funds and women. By the 1970s, Moss was chairman of the elite Safari Club in Kenya, where he invited Khashoggi in as majority owner.92 The exclusive property became the venue for an alliance between intelligence agencies that wished to compensate for the CIA’s retrenchment in the wake of President Carter’s election and Senator Church’s post-Watergate reforms.93

As former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal once told Georgetown University alumni,

In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran.94

Prince Turki’s candid remarks– “your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. …. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together … and established what was called the Safari Club.” – made it clear that the Safari Club, operating at the level of the deep state, was expressly created to overcome restraints established by political decisions of the public state in Washington.

Obviously the property owned by Khashoggi and Moss in Kenya should not be confused with the intelligence operation of the same name. But it would be wrong also to make a radical separation between the two: the two men Khashoggi and Moss would appear to be part of this supranational intelligence milieu.

Specifically Khashoggi’s activities of corruption by sex and money, after they too were somewhat curtailed by Senator Church’s post-Watergate reforms, appear to have been taken up by the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a bank where Khashoggi’s friend and business partner Kamal Adham, the Saudi intelligence chief and Safari Club member, was a part-owner.95

 

 

 

BCCI on the cover of Time, July 6, 1991.

The Deep State, the Safari Club, and BCCI

The usual account of this super-agency’s origin is that it was

the brainchild of Count Alexandre de Marenches, the debonair and mustachioed chief of France’s CIA. The SDECE (Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage)…. Worried by Soviet and Cuban advances in postcolonial Africa, and by America’s post-Watergate paralysis in the field of undercover activity, the swashbuckling Marenches had come to Turki’s father, King Faisal, with a proposition…. [By 1979] Somali president Siad Barre had been bribed out of Soviet embrace by $75 million worth of Egyptian arms (paid for… by Saudi Arabia)….96

However the well-informed Mahmood Mamdani sees it as the product of Washington’s search for new proxies after the debacle of the U.S.- South African debacle in Angola in the mid-1970s:

Apartheid South Africa was confirmed to be a political liability. The recognition only aggravated the search for proxies. Its first success was a regional alliance called the Safari Club, put together with the blessing of Henry Kissinger.97

As Kissinger was still Secretary of State when the Safari Club was founded, this would suggest that it was an authorized, not a deep state creation. So would the Club’s early successes that Mamdani cites, especially when

it helped bring about the historic rapprochement between two strategic American Allies, Egypt and Israel, laying the ground for Anwar al-Sadat’s pathbreaking November 1977 visit to Jerusalem. The suggestion for the meeting was first made in a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to President Sadat, carried by the Moroccan representative in the club.98

But after Carter was elected, according to Trento, the Safari Club allied itself with Richard Helms and Theodore Shackley against the restrained intelligence policies of Jimmy Carter. In Trento’s account, the dismissal by William Colby in 1974 of CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton,

combined with Watergate, is what prompted the Safari Club to start working with [former DCI Richard] Helms [then U.S. Ambassador to Iran] and his most trusted operatives outside of Congressional and even Agency purview. James Angleton said before his death that “Colby destroyed counterintelligence. But because Colby was seen by Shackley and Helms as having betrayed the CIA to Congress, they simply began working with outsiders like Adham and Saudi Arabia. The traditional CIA answering to the president was an empty vessel having little more than technical capability.”99

Joseph Trento adds that “The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations,… With the official blessing of George Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed…  the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a worldwide money-laundering machine.”100

Trento claims also that the Safari Club then was able to work with some of the controversial CIA operators who were then forced out of the CIA by Turner, and that this was coordinated by perhaps the most controversial of them all: Theodore Shackley.

Shackley, who still had ambitions to become DCI, believed that without his many sources and operatives like [Edwin] Wilson, the Safari Club—operating with [former DCI Richard] Helms in charge in Tehran—would be ineffective. …  Unless Shackley took direct action to complete the privatization of intelligence operations soon, the Safari Club would not have a conduit to [CIA] resources. The solution: create a totally private intelligence network using CIA assets until President Carter could be replaced.101

Kevin Phillips has suggested that Bush on leaving the CIA had dealings with the bank most closely allied with Safari Club operations: the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). In Phillips’ words,

After leaving the CIA in January 1977, Bush became chairman of the executive committee of First International Bancshares and its British subsidiary, where, according to journalists Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin in their 1992 book ‘False Profits’ [p. 345], Bush ‘traveled on the bank’s behalf and sometimes marketed to international banks in London, including several Middle Eastern institutions.’102

It is clear moreover that BCCI operations, like Khashoggi’s before them, were marked by the ability to deal behind the scenes with both the Arab countries and also Israel.103

Khashoggi, Copeland, BCCI, and the Iran-Contra Scandal

Joseph Trento adds that through the London branch of this bank, which Bush chaired, “Adham’s petrodollars and BCCI money flowed for a variety of intelligence operations”104 It is clear moreover that BCCI operations, like Khashoggi’s before them, were marked by the ability to deal behind the scenes with both the Arab countries and also Israel.105

Khashoggi and BCCI together, moreover, with the assistance of Miles Copeland, initiated what we remember as the Iran-Contra arms scandal. According to Theodore Draper, in his exhaustive study of Iran-Contra,

A chance encounter between Adnan Khashoggi and Manucher Ghorbanifar effectively set the Iran affair in motion. As Khashoggi told the story to the French writer Michel Clerc, the meeting took place in Hamburg in April 1985.

Draper notes furthermore that the deal soon involved three Israelis, Yaacov Nimrodi, Adolph (Al) Schwimmer, and David Kimche, for whom “Khashoggi was no newcomer.”Together with Israeli Defense Minister Sharon, the three had “met with President Nimeiri of the Sudan [in May 1982] at a safari resort in Kenya owned by Khashoggi”—i.e., the Safari Club.106 But Khashoggi’s connection to Schwimmer went even further back: the two men had been introduced in Las Vegas by Schwimmer’s partner in gun-running to the infant state of Israel, Hank Greenspun.107

Draper’s account of the Hamburg meeting fails however to note that Miles Copeland and his assistant Larry Kolb were (according to their own accounts) also present. Copeland writes that he and Khashoggi met with the Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, after which Copeland wrote up an Iran arms sales proposal. Copeland claims this had nothing to do with either Contras or hostages, but was intended as a “second paper to McFarlane…as an appendix to the ‘Marshall Plan’ paper. So far as [Khashoggi} was personally concerned, he was attracted to [Ghorbanifar’s] proposal only to the extent to which it could be tied into plans for over all Middle Eastern peace.”108

Copeland’s aide Larry Kolb agrees that he, Copeland, Khashoggi, and Schwimmer were all present with Ghorbanifar and others at the 1985 Hamburg meeting. There, according to Kolb, Khashoggi

said that in recent meetings in Washington, he’d been told that if the American government was going to participate in this venture…it would have to be structured in such a way that there would be no trail of arms… leading from the United States to Iran. So, Adnan said… it had been arranged that the actual goods could come from the Israeli government… and be transported directly from Israel to Iran….

But arms trading and spare parts and hostages took up very little of the conversation that day. Most of the time was spent thinking, and talking,… about a strategic opening between the United States and Iran – as a means of blunting Soviet attempts to dominate the world’s third largest oil producer.109

Later he and Copeland wrote up the meeting in a paper “titled ‘Adnan Khashoggi’s Views on the Possibilities of a Strategic Initiative Between the United States and Iran’,” that “wasn’t about an arms deal.” They gave it to Khashoggi to present to McFarlane.

We had no idea then that… months later a wild-ass Marine colonel would force the whole thing out into the open by stealing Adnan [Khashoggi]’s fifteen-million-dollar bridge loan which funded the sale and sending the money to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels.110

The Congressional investigation of the Iran-Contra Affair agrees with Kolb that “Khashoggi suggested that Ghorbanifar try to develop access to the United States and its arms through Israel.”111 And the Senate investigation of BCCI also reports:

Both Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi and Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghorbanifar were central agents of the United States in selling arms to Iran in the Iran/Contra affair. According to the official chronologies of the Iran/Contra committees, Khashoggi acted as the middleman for five Iranian arms deals for the United States, financing a number of them through BCCI …. According to his own and other published accounts, he provided some $30 million in loans altogether…. Both Khashoggi and Ghorbanifar banked at BCCI's offices in Monte Carlo, and for both, BCCI's services were essential.112

Both Ghorbanifar and Khashoggi have been presented as mavericks interested in arms sales for their own individual profit. However the participation of Copeland  suggests that, once again,  what Copeland called “friends in Langley” may have been interested in engaging them in an operation to which both the Secretaries of State and of Defense were resolutely opposed.

The Deep State and the BCCI Cover-Up

It is clear that for years the American deep state in Washington was both involved with and protected BCCI. Acting CIA director Richard Kerr acknowledged to a Senate Committee “that the CIA had also used BCCI for certain intelligence-gathering operations.”113

Later, a congressional inquiry showed that for more than ten years preceding the BCCI collapse in the summer of 1991, the FBI, the DEA, the CIA, the Customs Service, and the Department of Justice all failed to act on hundreds of tips about the illegalities of BCCI’s international activities.114

Far less clear is the attitude taken by Wall Street banks towards the miscreant BCCI. The Senate report on BCCI charged however that the Bank of England “had withheld information about BCCI’s frauds from public knowledge for 15 months before closing the bank.”115

Of course the scope and influence of BCCI reflected changes in the global superstructure of finance since the oil price hikes of the 1970s. A recent study of the dangerously unstable concentration of ownership in the world showed only four recognizable Wall Street institutions among the top twenty: JPMorgan Chase & Co, the Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, and Merrill Lynch.116 Of these, Bank of New York, the bank heavily involved in the 1990s looting of Russia, interlocked with BCCI through the Swiss banking activities of the international banker Bruce Rappaport, “thought to have ties to US and Israeli intelligence.” (Alfred Hartmann, a board member of BCCI, was both vice-chairman of Rappaport's Swiss bank, Bank of New York-Intermaritime, and also head of BCCI’s Swiss subsidiary, the Banque de Commerce et de Placements).117 The mysterious E.P. Barry, the OSS veteran who had overseen the recovery of SS gold in Operation Safehaven before becoming the banking partner of Paul Helliwell, was also a major stockholder in Rappaport’s Inter Maritime Bank.)118

The collapse of BCCI in 1991 did not see an end to systematic Saudi-financed political corruption in the U.S. and elsewhere. After a proposed major arms sale in the 1980s met enhanced opposition in Congress from the Israeli lobby, Saudi Arabia negotiated a multi-billion pound long-term contract with the United Kingdom – the so-called al-Yamamah deal. It developed much later that overpayments for the purchased weapons were siphoned off into a huge slush fund for political payoffs, including “hundreds of millions of pounds to the ex-Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan."119 According to Robert Lacey, the payments to Prince Bandar were said to total one billion pounds over more than a decade, including “a suitcase containing more than $10 million” that went to a Vatican priest for the CIA’s long-time clients, the Christian Democratic Party.120 The money went through a Saudi Embassy account in the Riggs Bank, Washington; according to Trento, the Embassy’s use of the Riggs Bank dated back to the mid-1970s, when, in his words, “the Saudi royal family had taken over intelligence financing for the United States.”121

As we saw earlier. the CIA had “laundered over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].”122 These practices, in other words, survived the legal efforts to end them.

Conclusion: A Supranational Deep State

The complex milieu of Khashoggi, the BCCI, and the Safari Club can be characterized as a supranational deep state, whose organic links to the CIA may have helped consolidate it. It is clear however that decisions taken at this level by the Safari Club and BCCI were in no way guided by the political determinations of those elected to power in Washington. On the contrary, Prince Turki’s candid remarks revealed that the Safari Club (with the alleged participation of two former CIA Directors, Bush and Helms) was expressly created to overcome restraints established by political decisions in Washington.

A former Turkish president and prime minister once commented that the Turkish deep state was the real state, and the public state was only a “spare state,” not the real one.123 A better understanding of the American deep state is necessary, if we are to prevent it from assuming permanently the same role.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Recommended Citation: Peter Dale Scott, "The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 12, Issue 10, No. 5, March 10, 2014.

Notes

1 Dana Priest and William Arkin, Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (New York: Little Brown, 2011), 52.

2 E.g. Marc Ambinder and D.G. Grady, Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry (New York: Wiley, 2013); cf. John Tirman, “The Quiet Coup: No, Not Egypt. Here,” HuffingtonPost, July 9, 2013: “Now we know: the United States of America is partially governed by a deep state, undemocratic, secret, aligned with intelligence agencies, spying on friend and foe, lawless in almost every respect.”

3 Mike Lofgren, “A Shadow Government Controls America,” Reader Supported News, February 22, 2014.

4 Grant Barrett, “A Wordnado of Words in 2013,” New York Times, December 21, 2013.

5 Peter Dale Scott, Deep politics and the death of JFK (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 7.

6Tom Hayden discussing the crisis in Venezuela,” Tikkun, February 25, 2014.

7 To take a single telling example, six of Sam Walton's heirs are now reportedly wealthier than the bottom 30% of Americans, or 94.5 million people (Tim Worstall, “Six Waltons Have More Wealth Than the Bottom 30% of Americans,” Forbes, December 14, 2011). Cf. the devastating picture of a disintegrating America in George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013).

8 See Kevin Phillips, The politics of rich and poor: wealth and the American electorate in the Reagan aftermath (New York: HarperCollins, 1991). Cf. John T. Stinson, The Reagan Legacy (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2009), 146; Timothy Noah, The great divergence: America's growing inequality crisis and what we can do about it (New York: Bloomsbury, 2012).

9 For the impact of railroads on expanded social awareness, see Benedict Anderson, Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (London: Verso, 1991).

10What is the Deep State?” On Religion [2013].

11 Gareth Jenkins, “Susurluk and the Legacy of Turkey’s Dirty War,” Terrorism Monitor, May 1, 2008; quoted in Peter Dale Scott, “9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics," Global Research, June 11, 2008. For the Susurluk incident, see also Scott, American War Machine, 19-20, etc.

12 Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, xi-xii.

13 Lofgren, “ A Shadow Government Controls America.”

14 Quoted in Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America, 1.

15 Forbes magazine founder Bertie Charles Forbes wrote six years later: “Picture a party of the nation's greatest bankers stealing out of New York on a private railroad car under cover of darkness, stealthily riding hundred[s] of miles South, embarking on a mysterious launch, sneaking onto an island [the appropriately named Jekyll Island] deserted by all but a few servants, living there a full week under such rigid secrecy that the names of not one of them was once mentioned, lest the servants learn the identity and disclose to the world this strangest, most secret expedition in the history of American finance. I am not romancing; I am giving to the world, for the first time, the real story of how the famous Aldrich currency report, the foundation of our new currency system, was written (B.C. Forbes, Leslie’s Weekly, October 19, 1916; in T. Cushing Daniel, Real money versus false money-bank credits; the most important factor in civilization and least understood by the people [Washington, D.C., The Monetary educational bureau, 1924], 169; cf. B.C. Forbes, Men who are making America [New York: Forbes Publishing Co., 1922], 398; cf. G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve [Westlake Village, CA: American Media, 1994]). Paul Warburg later wrote that “Though eighteen years have since gone by, I do not feel free to give a description of this most interesting conference, concerning which Senator Aldrich pledged all participants to secrecy” (Paul Warburg, The Federal Reserve System: Its Origin and Growth [New York, Macmillan, 1930], ZZ).

16 Congress was persuaded to provide perfunctory support of the bailout, under an alleged mysterious threat of martial law. See Peter Dale Scott, “Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War,” Global Research, January 8, 2009; reprinted in  Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, eds., The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century (Montreal, Global Research Publishers. Centre for Research on Globalization, 2010), 219-40; Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., “Sen. Inhofe: [Henry] Paulsen [Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs] Threatened Martial Law To Pass Bailout,” LewRockwell.com, November 20, 2008.

17 Richard Helms with William Hood A look over my shoulder: a life in the Central Intelligence Agency (New York: Random House, 2003), 82-83. Cf. Scott, American War Machine, 26-28.

18 Laurence H Shoup and William Minter, Imperial brain trust: the Council on Foreign Relations and United States foreign policy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977).

19 Gordon Thomas, Secret Wars: One Hundred Years of British Intelligence Inside MI5 and MI6 (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin’s Press, 2009), 98. This may have occurred during Dulles’s visit to Europe in the spring of 1947 (James Srodes, Dulles: Master of Spies [Washington: Henry Regnery, 1999], 392).

20 Richard Aldrich, The Hidden Hand: Britain, America, and Cold War secret intelligence (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 2001), 343. Dulles also chaired the executive committee of the companion National Committee for a Free Europe (behind the Iron Curtain), whose legal affairs were handled by Sullivan and Cromwell (Wilson D. Miscamble, George F. Kennan and the Making of American Foreign Policy, 1947-1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), 204.

21 Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1999), 189; citing Christopher Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 172; see also Church Committee, Final Report, Book 4, 28-29.

22 David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, The Espionage Establishment (New York: Random House, 1967), 166; Scott, Road to 9/11, 13.

23 “In January 1946 Dulles outlined in some detail a reconstruction plan that is one of the earliest notions of what would, a year later, be known as the Marshall Plan” (Srodes, Allen Dulles: Master of Spies, 374).

24 Tim Weiner, Legacy of ashes: the history of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), 28.

25 Douglas Valentine, “The French Connection Revisited: The CIA, Irving Brown, and Drug Smuggling as Political Warfare,” Covert Action.

26 Norbert Schlei, “Japan's ‘M-Fund’ Memorandum, January 7, 1991,“ JPRI [Japan Policy Research Institute] Working Paper No. 11: July 1995: “Incident to the revision of the Security Treaty [in 1960], Vice President Nixon agreed to turn over exclusive control of the M-Fund to Japan. It has been alleged that this action by Nixon was part of a corrupt political bargain, whereby it was agreed that if Japan would assist him to become President of the United States, Nixon would agree to release control of the Fund to Japan and, if he became President, would return Okinawa to Japan.”

27 "C.I.A. Spent Millions to Support Japanese Right in 50's and 60's," New York Times, October 9, 1994. Cf. Scott, American War Machine, 93-94, 298-99; citing Chalmers Johnson, “The 1955 System and the American Connection: A Bibliographic Introduction,” JPRI [Japan Policy Research Institute] Working Paper No. 11: July 1995.

28 Sterling Seagrave and Peggy Seagrave, Gold warriors: America's secret recovery of Yamashita's gold (London: Verso, 2003). Cf. Richard Hoyt, Old Soldiers Sometimes Lie (New York: Forge, 2002), 80.

29 Scott, American War Machine, 94, etc.

30 Scott, American War Machine,

31 Norman Mailer, “A Harlot High and Low: Reconnoitering Through the Secret Government,” New York, August 16, 1976 (Hughes); Michael Schaller, Altered states: the United States and Japan since the occupation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 294 (Lockheed).

32 Johnson, “The 1955 System and the American Connection.”

33  David E. Kaplan and Alec Dubro, Yakuza: Japan's Criminal Underworld (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 89-90. Cf. Jonathan Marshall, in William O. Walker, III, ed., Drug control policy: essays in historical and comparative perspective (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992), 108:

“Yoshio Kodama’s fortune, built of profits from tungsten and opium, established the party that today rules Japan…. Kodama contributed to the pervasive corruption of Japanese politics by steering huge corporate contributions into the coffers of favored LDP members. This pattern culminated in the Lockheed scandal, which revealed that multi-million-dollar payoff by American aerospace firms had swayed key procurement decisions by Japan’s national airline and defense establishment and raised the possibility that the CIA had used Kodama and corporate funds to influence Japanese politics. The money-laundering channel used for Lockheed’s bribes was favored both by the CIA and international drug traffickers.”

34 Thomas Fensch, ed. The C.I.A. and the U-2 Program: 1954-1974 (The Woodlands, TX: New Century Books, 2001).

35 William D. Hartung, Prophets of war: Lockheed Martin and the making of the military-industrial complex (New York: Nation Books, 2011), 121; David Boulton, The Grease Machine (New York: Harper & Row, 1978), 97 (friends).

36 Andrew Feinstein, The shadow world: inside the global arms trade (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 265; Anthony Sampson, The Arms Bazaar (New York: Viking, 1977), 135-36.

37 Bradley R. Simpson, Economists with guns: authoritarian development and U.S.-Indonesian relations, 1960-1968  (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 142;

quoting from CIA, “Political Action Project,”, November 19, 1964; FRUS, 1964-1968, 26:181-84.

38 In addition there was “a US deal to deliver 200 light aircraft to the Indonesian Army in July 1965.” The aircraft went to the army’s Diponegoro division, which “ as well as supplying the bulk of the  [September 30] “coup” personnel in Java, … also provided the bulk of the personnel for its suppression” (Nathaniel Mehr, Constructive bloodbath' in Indonesia: the United States, Britain and the mass killings of 1965-66 [Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 2009], 36).

39 Peter Dale Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967,” Pacific Affairs, 58, Summer 1985; citing

United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations, Multinational corporations and United States foreign policy, hearings before the Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations (Washington: U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1973-1976), Part 12, 937-65.

40 Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno.”

41 Masashi Nishihara, The Japanese and Sukarno's Indonesia: Tokyo-Jakarta relations, 1951-1966 (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1976), 171, 194, 202; Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno.”

42 Fortune, July 1973, 154, cf. Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1967.

43 John Dumbrell and Axel R Schäfer (eds.), America's 'special relationships’: foreign and domestic aspects of the politics of alliance (London: Routledge, 2009), 187.

44 John Foster Dulles to Lord McGowan, Chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries; in Nancy Lisagor and Frank Lipsius, A law unto itself: the untold story of the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell (New York: Morrow, 1988), 127.

45 Charles T. O'Reilly, Forgotten Battles: Italy's War of Liberation, 1943-1945 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2001), 288; Peter Dale Scott, "How Allen Dulles and the SS Preserved Each Other," Covert Action Information Bulletin, 25 (Winter 1986), 4-14.  Dulles’s plans to use SS resources in post-war Germany cab be seen as part of a successful plan to frustrate the implementation of Roosevelt’s so-called Morgenthau Plan to deindustrialize Germany.

46 Stephen Dorril, MI6, 659-660.

47 Ovid Demaris, Dirty Business: The Corporate-Political Money-Power Game (New York: Avon, 1974), 213-14.

48 J.P.D. Dunbabin, International relations since 1945 : a history in two volumes

(London: Longman, 1994), Vol 2, 344. The boycott is denied without argumentation in Exxon’s corporate history (Bennett H. Wall et al., Growth in a changing environment: a history of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), Exxon Corporation, 1950-1975 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988), Vol. 4, 476: “Despite oft-printed statements to the contrary, the oil majors did not conspire to boycott NIOC oil.”

49 Robert Palmer Smith, Darkest truths of black gold: an oil industry executive breaks the industry's code of silence (New York: iUniverse, 2007), 256. In July 1952 Mossadeq attempted to break the embargo by contracting to sell oil to a small private Italian oil firm. The manoeuver was frustrated by the British Royal Navy, which in July 1952 intercepted the Italian tanker Rose Mary and redirected it to Aden. The news dissuaded other tankers from trying to reach Abadan (Mary Ann Heiss, Empire and Nationhood: The United States, Great Britain, and Iranian Oil, 1950-1954 [New York: Columbia University Press, 1997], 130; Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah's men: an American coup and the roots of Middle East terror [Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003], 136).

50 Mostafa Elm, Oil, Power, and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1992), 198-99 (Churchill); Robert Moskin, American Statecraft: The Story of the U.S. Foreign Service (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin's Press, 2013), 627-28 (Harriman).

51 Demaris, Dirty Business, 214-25: “The incoming Eisenhower Administration… quickly dropped the criminal case. The civil suit that was instituted alleged that the five American oil companies violated the Sherman Antitrust and the Wilson Tariff Acts by conspiring to divide and control foreign production and distribution…. An inadequate staff was assigned to the case and the action finally petered out a decade later with a couple of meaningless consent decrees.”

52 Robert Sherrill, The oil follies of 1970-1980: how the petroleum industry stole the show (and much more besides) (Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1983), 221).

53  William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling,     Oil in troubled waters: perceptions, politics, and the battle over offshore drilling (Albany : State University of New York Press, 1994); 17; citing Shukri Mohammed Ghanem, OPEC, the Rise and Fall of an Exclusive Club (London : KPI, 1986); Mira Wilkins, “The Oil Companies in Perspective,” in Raymond Vernon (ed.), The Oil Crisis (New York: Norton, 1976).

54 William Roger Louis, “Britain and the Overthrow of Mossadeq,” in Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne (eds.), Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 coup in Iran (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2004), 168. Cf. William R. Clark, Petrodollar warfare: oil, Iraq and the future of the dollar (Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2005), 125: “[T]he Dulles brothers had already conceived a plot when Eisenhower became president in January 1953.”

55 Scot Macdonald, Rolling the iron dice : historical analogies and decisions to use military force in regional contingencies (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000), 98. Cf. Richard H. Immerman, John Foster Dulles: Piety, Pragmatism, and Power in U.S. Foreign Policy (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1999), 67. Allen Dulles played a personal role in TP/AJAX, by flying to Italy and persuading the frightened Shah to return to Tehran.

56 In the past, wishing to dissociate the term “deep state” from organizational connotations, I have written of the American “deep state” as “a milieu both inside and outside government with the power to steer the history of the public state and sometimes redirect it” (“William Pawley, the Kennedy Assassination, and Watergate,” Global Research, November 29, 2012. But because there are extra-governmental structural components to the deep state, it might be better to think of it as not just a milieu, but more analogous to an oligopolistic market.

57 See Chalmers A Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2004), 218-19; Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil (New York: Verso Books, 2011), 212.

58 Tim Shorrock, Spies for Hire (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), 6.

59 Glenn Greenwald, “Mike McConnell, the WashPost & the dangers of sleazy corporatism,” Salon, March 29, 2010.

60 George H. W. Bush was an adviser to Carlyle, which in its early days “backed a management-led buyout of Caterair and appointed George W Bush to the board” (Jamie Doward, “Bush Sr's Carlyle Group Gets Fat On War And Conflict,” The Observer, March 25, 2003.)

61 Lofgren, “ A Shadow Government Controls America.”

62 Booz Allen Hamilton’s headquarters is now in McLean, Virginia, close to the HQ of the CIA.

63 Art Kleiner, Booz Allen Hamilton: Helping Clients Envision the Future, (Old Saybrook, CT: Greenwich Publishing, 2004), 43.

64 John Prados, Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006.), 139. Cf. Christine N. Halili, Philippine History (Manila: Rex Book Store, 2004), 258 (Philippines land distribution).

65 Miles Copeland, The Game Player: the confessions of the CIA's original political operative (London: Aurum Press, 1989), 158.

66 Ephraim Kahana and Muhammad Suwaed, Historical dictionary of Middle Eastern intelligence (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009), 65 {“advisor”); Jack O'Connell, King's Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East, (New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2011), 20 (channel).

67 The BCCI Affair: BCCI, the CIA and Foreign Intelligence, Report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations by John Kerry and Hank Brown, December 1992; 102nd Congress, 2nd Session, Senate Print 102-140 (“agent”).

68 William D. Hartung, Prophets of war: Lockheed Martin and the making of the military-industrial complex (New York: Nation Books, 2011), 126.

69 Copeland, The Game Player, 231.

70 Copeland, The Game Player, 233.

71 Copeland, The Game Player, 239.

72 E.g. Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men: Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA

 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 380.

73 Larry J. Kolb, Overworld: The Life and Times of a Reluctant Spy [New York: Riverhead/Penguin, 2004], 237-38. Cf. Copeland, The Game Player, 230, 262-63; Ronald Kessler, The Richest Man in the World: The Story of Adnan Khashoggi (New York: Warner Books), 300-01: “[O]n May 17, 1983, [Khashoggi] submitted to President Reagan a confidential ‘yellow paper’ [which] proposed an economic aid program similar to the 1949 Marshall Plan developed by the U.S. for Europe. Called a Peace Fund, it would provide up to $300 billion in regional economic aid from the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to Israel and any Arab country that signed a peace treaty with it.”

74 Peter Dale Scott, “Deep Events and the CIA's Global Drug Connection,” 911truth.org, October 12, 2008; American War Machine, 160-65.

75The BCCI Affair.” Khashoggi’s status had declined, but by no means vanished. As late as 2003, Khashoggi was negotiating with Richard Perle, a member of the Cheney-Rumsfeld clique who at the time was still Chairman of the U.S. Defense Policy Board, to invest considerable Saudi money in Perle's company Trireme (Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, 3/17/03).

76 Copeland, Game Player, 239; cf. 2128.

77 Kessler, The Richest Man in the World, 84, 188, etc.; Scott, American War Machine, 158-62.

78 “Moss, Edward K. #172 646,” CIA Memo of 19 April 1967, NARA #104-10122-10006; CIA Inspector General’s Report on CIA-Mafia Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro, NARA # 104-10213-10101, p. 38. Cf. memo of 7 November 1962 in CIA’s Edward K. Moss folder, p. 26, NARA #1994.05.03.10:54:53:780005.

79 “Manuel Antonio Varona,” FBI Memorandum of January 16, 1961 to A. H. Belmont, p. 2, 105-76826-20; NARA #124-90055-10139. Cf. “Moss, Edward K. #172 646,” CIA Memo of 14 May 1973, in Meyer Lansky Security File, p. 9, NARA #1993.08.13.17:42:12:560059; CIA letter of 16 December 1960 to FBI, FBI file 105-76826-18; NARA #124-90055-10133. The CIA itself had notified the FBI on December 16, 1960, that Julia “Cellino” had advised that her brothers “have long been associated in the narcotics and white slavery rackets in Cuba (CIA letter of 16 December 1960 to Director, FBI, FBI File 105-76826-18; NARA #124-90055-10133; apparently no copy of this letter has been released from CIA files).

80 Kessler, Richest Man in the World, 29 (Yassin), 275–78 (Khashoggi). A friend of Khashoggi’s, Larry Kolb, reports that Khashoggi himself essentially corroborated the story that Khashoggi and John Kennedy had a friendship in the 1950s that “evolved primarily out of whoring together” (Larry J. Kolb, Overworld: The Life and Times of a Reluctant Spy [New York: Riverhead/Penguin, 2004], 236). The woman who destroyed the presidential aspirations of Senator Gary Hart in 1987 was one of Khashoggi’s many girls.

81 Anthony Summers with Robbyn Swan, The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (New York: Viking, 2000), 283. Cf. Kessler, The Richest Man in the World, 171: Khashoggi told the prosecutors “that he churned millions through the tiny [Rebozo] bank to win favor with the president.”

82 Investigative reporter Jim Hougan reports the incredulity of congressional investigators that Lockheed was the only large corporation not to have made a contribution to Nixon’s 1972 election campaign (Hougan, Spooks, 457–58.

83 Scott, Road to 9/11, 35; citing Summers, Arrogance of Power, 283; Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003), 43. (Baer reports the year of the briefcase as 1968, not 1972.) Kolb (“unequivocally, and from personal experience”) denies the briefcase story (Overworld, 299).

84 Scott, Deep politics and the death of JFK, 234-39.

85 Kessler, Richest Man in the World, 129, 160-61. When Hughes flew from Las Vegas to the Paradise Island casino in the Bahamas (where Edward Moss’s brother-in-law Eddie Cellini was casino manager, he did so on a Khashoggi plane. (Kessler, Richest Man, 149-50).

86 Summers with Swan, The Arrogance of Power, 242, 252; Jim Hougan, Spooks, 398. Cf. Denny Walsh, New York Times, January 21, 1974; Gerth, in Government by Gunplay, 137-39.

87 Block, Masters of Paradise, 94-96; Summers with Swan, The Arrogance of Power, 244-45. Benguet Mines have also been associated with Yamashita’s gold (Seagrave, Gold Warriors, 147; Scott, American War Machine, 322n15).

88 Summers with Swan, The Arrogance of Power, 244-45, 253-54.

89 Scott, American War Machine, 71-72. Cf. Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1980: “In 1951, Mr. Helliwell helped set up and run Sea Supply Corp., a concern controlled by the CIA as a front. For almost 10 years, Sea Supply was used to supply huge amounts of weapons and equipment to 10,000 Nationalist Chinese [KMT] troops in Burma as well as to Thailand’s police.”

90 In the course of Operation Safehaven, the U.S. Third Army took an SS major “on several trips to Italy and Austria, and, as a result of these preliminary trips, over $500,000 in gold, as well as jewels, were recovered” (Anthony Cave Brown, The Secret War Report of the OSS [New York: Berkeley, 1976], 565-66).

91 Who's who in Finance and Industry, Marquis Who's Who, 1979, 568.

92 Kessler, Richest Man in the World, 238-41; Scott, American War Machine, 161-62.

93 The operation kept the name “Safari Club” even after moving from Khashoggi’s Club to a permanent headquarters in Cairo.

94 Ibrahim Warde, The price of fear: the truth behind the financial war on terror (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 133. Cf. Lacey, Inside the Kingdom, 66, 72, 76.

95 Christopher Byron, "The Senate look at BCCI,” New York Magazine, October 28, 1991, 20–21.

96 Lacey, Inside the Kingdom, 66. Cf. John Cooley, Unholy Wars (London: Pluto Press, 1999), 24-27.

97 Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, bad Muslim:  America, the Cold War, and the roots of terror (New York: Pantheon Books 2004), 84.

98 Mamdani, Good Muslim, bad Muslim, 85.

99 Joseph J. Trento, Prelude to terror: the rogue CIA and the legacy of America's private intelligence network (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005), 61.

100 Trento, Prelude to terror, 104-05. Kevin Phillips also notes that  “Bush cemented strong relations with the intelligence services of both Saudi Arabia and the shah of Iran. He worked closely with Kamal Adham, the head of Saudi intelligence” (Kevin Phillips, “The Barrelling Bushes,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2004).

101 Trento, Prelude to terror, 113-14.

102 Phillips, “The Barrelling Bushes,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2004.

103 There is no published evidence that Copeland was involved in the Safari Club covert operations. But it may be significant that Copeland’s activity of advising the Egyptian Army became after the creation of the Safari Club a franchise of a “private” U.S. firm, J.J. Cappucci and Associates, owned by Theodore Shackley (Trento, Prelude to Terror, 150, 247).

104 Trento, Prelude to Terror, 139.

105 There is no published evidence that Copeland was involved in the Safari Club covert operations. But it may be significant that Copeland’s activity of advising the Egyptian Army became after the creation of the Safari Club a franchise of a “private” U.S. firm, J.J. Cappucci and Associates, owned by Theodore Shackley (Trento, Prelude to Terror, 150, 247).

106 Theodore Draper, A Very Thin Line (New York: Hill and Wang, 1991), 129, 131. Cf. Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Every spy a prince: the complete history of Israel's intelligence community (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990), 261; Mayn Katz, Song of Spies (Heliographica Press, 2005) 136-37.

107 Samuel Segev ; translated by Haim Watzman, The Iranian triangle : the untold story of Israel's role in the Iran-Contra (New York: The Free Press, 1988), 10. For the collaboration of Greenspun, Schwimmer and Meyer Lansky in gun-running, see Leonard Slater, The Pledge (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1970). Paul Helliwell may have been part of this operation; see Scott, American War Machine, 71, 164.

108 Copeland, The Game Player, 263.

109 Kolb, Overworld, 246.

110 Kolb, Overworld, 247.

111 Iran-Contra Affair, Report of the congressional committees investigating the Iran-Contra Affair (U.S. Congress, H. Rept. No. 100-433, S. Rept. No. 100-216), 164.

112 Kerry-Brown Report, Part 11, “BCCI, the CIA and Foreign Intelligence.”

113 Kerry-Brown Report, Part 11, “BCCI, the CIA and Foreign Intelligence.”

114 Dan Bawley, Corporate Governance and Accountability: What Role for the Regulator, Director, and Auditor? (Westport, CT: Quorum, 1999). 37.

115 Bawley, Corporate Governance and Accountability, 37.

116Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world.” New Scientist, October 24, 2011.

117 Scott, American War Conspiracy, 163; quoting from Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, the World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992), 384 (“ties”).

118 Alan A. Block and Constance A. Weaver, All is clouded by desire: global banking, money laundering, and international organized crime (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004), 36-37.

119Saudi prince 'received arms cash',” BBC, June 7, 2007. It is unclear whether payments continued after 2001, when the UK signed the OECD's Anti-Bribery Convention, making such overpayments illegal.

120 Robert Lacey, Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia (New York: Penguin Books, 2009), 108.

121 Trento, Prelude to Terror, 102.

122 Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1999), 189; citing Christopher Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 172; see also Church Committee, Final Report, Book 4, 28-29.

123 Former Turkish President and Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel commented that “In our country… there is one deep state and one other state…. The state that should be real is the spare one, the one that should be spare is the real one” (Jon Gorvett, “Turkey’s ‘Deep State’ Surfaces in Former President’s Words, Deeds in Kurdish Town,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 2006); quoted in Scott, American War Machine, 24.


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[Dec 18, 2017] Kellyanne Conway Says Fix Was In Against Trump In Fox News Interview That Alleged FBI Texts Evidence Of Coup

Notable quotes:
"... Watters' World, ..."
Dec 18, 2017 | www.yahoo.com

Conway appeared on Jesse Watters program, Watters' World, to talk about the newly revealed content of text messages sent between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

When asked what she thought they meant when they said "they need to protect America from Trump and need to have an insurance policy against his presidency," Conway tore into the investigation's credibility.

Trending: Trump and Putin Keep Calling Each Other for Praise, Discuss North Korea and Terrorism

"The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning, and they were pro-Hillary. We understand that people have political views but they are expressing theirs with such animus and such venom towards the now president of the United States they can't possibly be seen as objective or transparent or even-handed or fair," she said.

As she spoke, the banner below Conway and Watters screamed "A COUP IN AMERICA?"

Watters proceeded to ask "how dangerous" Conway thought it was that people were "plotting what appears to be some sort of subversion campaign" against Trump.

"It's toxic, it's lethal, and it may be fatal to the continuation of people arguing that that matter is since behind us, he won he's the president, and the Mueller investigation is something separate," she answered.

Conway then slammed critics for defending the integrity of the probe by alleging that Trump is against the FBI, repeating the claim that he isn't under investigation, "we're told."

Released on Tuesday, Strzok and Page's messages referred to Trump as an "idiot" and "douche. At one point, Strzok told Page he was considering "an insurance policy" if Trump were elected. Page had also told Strzok that maybe he was meant to "protect the country from that menace," according to records reviewed by Politico.

Watters assessed the texts as evidence of a coup, or sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from the government, in America.

"The investigation into Donald Trump's campaign has been crooked from the jump. But the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in America," he said.

[Dec 18, 2017] Moon of Alabama -- Crooked Timber

Dec 18, 2017 | crookedtimber.org

Sandwichman 12.16.17 at 6:56 pm (no link)

Who is this "left" that "can't let go of the voters who remain committed to Trumpism"? Sounds like something one might read in the New York Times (if one still read the New York Times ).

Electoral "victories" don't mean a thing if they are not backed up with direct action -- the readiness and willingness to exercise extra-parliamentary power. The only decisive power that "the left" could have is the withholding of labour power. As long as the political discourse is confined to palaver about popularity polls, there can be no challenge to a status quo that only progressively gets worse.

What people who want positive change need to realize is that a GENERAL STRIKE doesn't need to be "won" like a voting contest to have leverage. All that is needed is a demonstration of a credible threat to the uninterrupted accumulation of surplus value.

Why have "social democratic" governments been such shit for the last 40 years or so? Because finance has threatened them with the withdrawal of credit. Withholding capital is the substantive power of the political right; withholding labour power is the substantive power of the political left. Voting is only meaningful to the extent it represents something substantive. Otherwise it is a hollow symbol.

Omega Centauri 12.16.17 at 8:29 pm ( 3 )
My understanding is that there wasn't much change in voter turnout by group, but roughly 20% of white voters who normally vote Republican voted against Moore.
At least that was my takeaway from this:
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/12/alabamas-white-voters-abandoned-roy-moore-in-large-numbers/

So rather than 10%ish of whites voting D, we had roughly 30%, a pretty substantial swing.

Layman 12.16.17 at 9:17 pm ( 4 )
"My understanding is that there wasn't much change in voter turnout by group "

Voter turnout was dramatically different when you compare with the last year there was no President on the ballot, e.g. 2014. Turnout in the cities was up 31%, turnout in white suburbs was up 18%, and turnout in college towns up 24%. Turnout in white rural counties was down 5%, while turnout in black rural counties was up 10%.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/13/us/politics/alabama-senate-election-roy-moore.html

Heliopause 12.16.17 at 9:56 pm ( 5 )
"On election day, the left needs to convince the right – not through voter suppression or intimidation but through rhetoric and speech – that their movement is going nowhere, so they shouldn't either."

Thing is, crabby old conservative white people are the most reliable voting bloc.

"That's exactly what happened in Alabama"

What happened in Alabama was a sustained, weeks-long campaign of negative publicity, virtually 100% directed at Moore (who by the way was an extremely controversial character long before these sex allegations), which was unprecedented in scope for a Senate race. Even so he just barely lost. If you think you can replicate this hundreds of times over across the country, hey, go for it.

More realistically, what the left needs to do is give the tens of millions of non-voters something to vote FOR, rather than praying that all your opponents will be extremist theocrat sex fiends.

ph 12.16.17 at 10:38 pm ( 6 )
Interesting. Moore's primary win was itself a rejection of GOP cronyism. The president and the national party supported the candidate of the establishment. Moore's victory then was touted as a 'defeat' for Trump, and now his 'defeat' is also a 'defeat' for Trump. The GOP establishment rejected Trump and Moore, so if it was a victory for anybody I'd say they have grounds for celebration. Moore added nothing for Trump other than headaches, so I'm certain he's utterly indifferent to the success, or failure, of anyone but himself.

Yes, GOP voters stayed home, as you point out in the article, but offer scant evidence that they did because they are 'dis-spirited' or see their ideas 'going nowhere.' GOP voters are winning across the board with the tax cut of their dreams arriving in time to celebrate Christmas. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, climate change is no longer a national threat, and the better informed understand that the GOP is remaking the judiciary.

Congress has never been popular among GOP voters and it's probably a mistake to read too much into one atypical election. I do think that there's a good chance that GOP success and loathing of the president and the congress, combined, could depress turnout in 2018.

alfredlordbleep 12.16.17 at 11:13 pm ( 7 )
ph@6: GOP voters are winning across the board with the tax cut of their dreams arriving in time to celebrate Christmas. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, climate change is no longer a national threat, and the better informed understand that the GOP is remaking the judiciary.

Omits the savaging of healthcare of the neediest*. It's amazing that the no. 1 issue for Va voters (exit? poll) was healthcare, but reporters/analysts rather write about anything else.
Rightwing fell a vote short of cutting Medicaid by $800B/10yrs, but they get an estimate of, say, $300B/10yrs for tax cut numbers game by killing ACA's mandate, eh?

*Oh, yes, ask the White Christians' Party how they square it. . . Once again, it's a White Christmas.

John Quiggin 12.17.17 at 2:40 am ( 8 )
There was a big shift among non-evangelical white voters. Self-described evangelicals had slightly lower turnout but voted 80 per cent for Moore when they turned out. The response to the outcome certainly seems to have included a shift towards a much more negative treatment of evangelicals as a group. Most notably, it's now being routinely observed that, for white people, evangelicalism isn't Christian at all, but a cultural label attached to a mixture of white nationalism and the prosperity gospel. This piece in the NY Times hits most of the main points.
rogergathmann 12.17.17 at 9:20 am (no link)
2. Sandwichman, you are so right!

However, to go out of the question of political power for a moment, I don't see the question about Trump voters as one of "how can we convert them." Rather, the question is about the existential conditions in the U.S. that have not only produced this reactionary class, but endowed it with such enormous power. Personally, I would say that their power stems from the enormous failure of American liberalism to pursue, after the 60s, its promises – a failure that can be measured by the enormous disparity between white and black household wealth, the destruction of unions, the advent of law and order policies that were thinly disguised apartheid gestures, and the takeover of the two parties by a managerial class completely connected to the patterns in capitalism traced by Piketty and Saenz – a class that has succeeded in creating the acceptance of corporations as vessels for looting by upper management, with all its consequences. To my mind, these are all consequences of the way mid-century American liberalism fell victim to its own contradictions, and its collapse has left a vast vacuum.

Heliopause 12.17.17 at 5:44 pm ( 13 )
@11
"If we could replicate that, across the country, the Republican Party would be wiped off the electoral map."

Let's do it. I look forward to every election henceforth being decided on the basis of whether one of the candidates groped teenagers or not. Might want to mix in some different sex acts, though, just to keep people from getting bored.

bruce wilder 12.17.17 at 7:32 pm ( 14 )
I read your Guardian piece, again and backwards or from the bottom up -- a method consonant with its themes -- and liked it better.

That "addled white upper-middle class", self-satisfied that racism is something impolite and unattractive that other people do, obsessed with CNN's daily attempts to rhyme russiagate with Watergate and Mueller with Starr, stumbles on in its media-driven fog. The mercenary consultants who have the apparatus of the Democratic Party firmly in their neoliberal deathgrip will read the exit polls and send silent lovenotes to the suburban white Republican women voters, not desperately poor blacks (who mostly do not vote and have nothing to gain from voting). I cannot say I feel "the left" won; it looks like the Right won, in an intramural tussle in which "the left" participated only in cheering from the bleachers, not playing on the field. The "mild centrist" will go to Washington and do as he is bid, when the bid is high enough.

The Marshall Project dutifully tends to my cognitive dissonance, assuring me Doug Jones's election is a victory for sentencing reform. The waiter is assuring me that the dish being served was a great choice from a menu written by people completely disinterested in my views, tastes or welfare.

Who is rightly convinced here that his cause is a loser?

The targets are many and multifarious. The poor blacks? I suspect the hopelessness of democracy in Alabama from their viewpoint remains undisturbed. (At least they got thank you's on Facebook!)

The ones I would like to convince of the hopelessness of politics are not the rebellious populists in the Republican electorate who rejected Luther Strange, but the ones who proposed Luther Strange. Or, who put forward Doug Jones, "mild centrist". Neither group is likely to read reasons to give up into these results. And both constitute "the Right" in a practical, pro-plutocracy sense.

Pessimism on the left has many flavors, but seems to me to be appropriate to the political climate. Doug Jones's election is evidence that "the system works" -- at least it can be interpreted that way by people who really need to be disabused of their complacency that the system is working and their conviction that the only people who think otherwise are either irredeemable racists and fools or silly impractical idealistic socialists.

The American political drama takes place on a stage, where the abundant evidence that the political system as a whole is failing to properly govern or enable fundamental reform is ignored. The outcries of those alarmed are ignored and muffled, channeled away from anything to do with electoral politics. The echo chamber of the Media silences with its noise.

I get the reasons why the impulse among the authoritarian followers of the Right to see demolition done is alarming. Also, why handing the nitro to Trump, Bannon or Moore might compound the reasons for alarm. But, the Right figuring out how to handle this rebellion does not help "our" rebellion on the left.

Pavel A 12.17.17 at 10:08 pm ( 15 )
Doug Jones, while being a decent, boring guy, is not in any way representative of the kinds of races that are going to be run in 2018. Most GOPers know how to dog whistle and keep their dicks in their pants. Meanwhile, Jones is already listing slowly to the right, with his bullshit overtures to bipartisanship, voting in line with the senate Republicans and putting all that sexual harassment stuff behind us (also see Northam in VA). The corporate Dems' new holy incantation is "Ich bin ein centrist!" and it's not likely to get them a lot of wins against racists and kleptocapitalist looters, particularly in states with a lower proportion of PoC voters.

[Dec 18, 2017] Russia-Gate Is State-Sponsored Paranoia by Gilbert Doctorow

It's pretty interesting fact: "Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID."
Notable quotes:
"... The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. ..."
"... Foreign policy issues are instrumentalized for domestic political objectives. In 2001 it was the threat of Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world attacking the American homeland. Today it is the alleged manipulation of our open political system by our enemies in the Kremlin. ..."
"... There is in the United States a significant minority of journalists and experts who have been setting out the facts on why the Russia-gate story is deeply flawed if not a fabrication from the get-go. In this small but authoritative and responsible field, Consortium News ..."
"... Perhaps the most significant challenge to the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking released on January 6, 2017 was the forensic evidence assembled by a group of former intelligence officers with relevant technical expertise known as VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Their work, arguing that the attack on the DNC computers was an inside job by someone with access to the hardware rather than a remote operation by persons outside the Democratic Party hierarchy and possibly outside the United States, was published in Consortium News ..."
"... The final word on Russia's electoral preferences during the October 20 show was given by the moderator, Vladimir Soloviev: "There can be no illusions. Both Trump and Clinton have a very bad attitude to Russia. What Trump said about us and Syria was no compliment at all. The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria." ..."
"... Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID. ..."
"... And for those Americans who do travel abroad, the world outside US borders is all too often just an object of prestige tourism, a divertissement, where the lives of local people, their concerns and their interests ..."
"... JFK murder was about replacing the president elected by the people. Russia-gate has the same goal. ..."
"... The current cycle of fake news about Russia is definitely not a new phenomenon in the United States. ..."
Dec 18, 2017 | russia-insider.com

"The two (Trump and Clinton) cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room."

"Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: Disgrace!"

- Vladimir Zhirinovsky - prominent Russian politician, leader of a major party in parliament.

The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large.

This time the generalized paranoia started under the nominally left of center administration of Barack Obama in the closing months of his presidency. It has been fanned ever since by the centrists in both Democratic and Republican parties who want to either remove from office or politically cripple Donald Trump and his administration, that is to say, to overturn the results at the ballot box on November 8, 2016.

Foreign policy issues are instrumentalized for domestic political objectives. In 2001 it was the threat of Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world attacking the American homeland. Today it is the alleged manipulation of our open political system by our enemies in the Kremlin.

Americans are wont to forget that there is a world outside the borders of the USA and that others follow closely what is said and written in our media, especially by our political leadership and policy elites. They forget or do not care how the accusations and threats we direct at other countries in our domestic political squabbling, and still more the sanctions we impose on our ever changing list of authoritarians and other real or imagined enemies abroad might be interpreted there and what preparations or actions might be taken by those same enemies in self-defense, threatening not merely American interests but America's physical survival.

In no case is this more relevant than with respect to Russia, which, I remind readers, is the only country on earth capable of turning the entire Continental United States into ashes within a day. In point of fact, if Russia has prepared itself for war, as the latest issue of Newsweek magazine tells us, we have no one but our political leadership to blame for that state of affairs. They are tone deaf to what is said in Russia. We have no concern for Russian national interests and "red lines" as the Russians themselves define them. Our Senators and Congressmen listen only to what our home grown pundits and academics think the Russian interests should be if they are to fit in a world run by us. That is why the Senate can vote 98-2 in favor of making the sanctions against Russia laid down by executive order of Barack Obama into sanctions under federal legislation as happened this past summer.

There is in the United States a significant minority of journalists and experts who have been setting out the facts on why the Russia-gate story is deeply flawed if not a fabrication from the get-go. In this small but authoritative and responsible field, Consortium News stands out for its courage and dogged fact-checking and logic-checks. Others on the side of the angels include TruthDig.com and Antiwar.com .

The Russia-gate story has permutated over time as one or another element of the investigation into Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Kremlin has become more or less promising. But the core issue has always been the allegation of Russian hacking of DNC computers on July 5, 2016 and the hand-over of thousands of compromising documents to Wikileaks for the purpose of discrediting putative Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and throwing the election to Donald Trump, who had at that time nearly clinched the Republican nomination.

Perhaps the most significant challenge to the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking released on January 6, 2017 was the forensic evidence assembled by a group of former intelligence officers with relevant technical expertise known as VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Their work, arguing that the attack on the DNC computers was an inside job by someone with access to the hardware rather than a remote operation by persons outside the Democratic Party hierarchy and possibly outside the United States, was published in Consortium News ("Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence") on July 24, 2017.

The VIPS material was largely ignored by mainstream media, as might be expected. An editorial entitled "The unchecked threat from Russia" published by The Washington Post yesterday is a prime example of how our media bosses continue to whip up public fury against collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin even when, by their own admission, "no conclusive proof has surfaced."

The VIPS piece last July was based on the laws of physics, demonstrating that speed limitations on transfer of data over the internet at the time when the crime is alleged to have taken place rendered impossible the CIA, NSA and FBI scenario of Russian hacking In what follows, I will introduce a very different type of evidence challenging the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking and meddling in general, what I would call circumstantial evidence that goes to the core issue of what the Kremlin really wanted. Let us consider whether Mr. Putin had a motive to put his thumb on the scales in the American presidential election.

In the U.S., that is a slam-dunk question. But that comes from our talking to ourselves in the mirror. My evidence comes precisely from the other side of the issue: what the Kremlin elites were saying about the US elections and their preferred candidate to win while the campaign was still going on. I present it on a privileged basis because it is what I gathered on my several visits to Moscow and talks with a variety of insiders close to Vladimir Putin from September through the start of November, 2016. Moreover, there is no tampering with this evidence on my part, because the key elements were published at the time I gathered them, well before the US election. They appeared as incidental observations in lengthy essays dealing with a number of subjects and would not have attracted the attention they merit today.

* * * *

Political talk shows are a very popular component of Russian television programming on all channels, both state-run and commercial channels. They are mostly carried on prime time in the evening but also are showing in mid-afternoon, where they have displaced soap operas and cooking lessons as entertainment for housewives and pensioners. They are broadcast live either to the Moscow time zone or to the Far East time zone. Given the fact that Russia extends over 9 time zones, they are also video recorded and reshown locally at prime time. In the case of the highest quality and most watched programs produced by Vesti 24 for the Rossiya One channel, they also are posted in their entirety and in the original Russian on youtube, and they are accessible worldwide by anyone with a computer or tablet phone using a downloadable free app.

I underline the importance of accessibility of these programs globally via live streaming or podcasts on simple handheld gadgets. Russian speaking professionals in the States had every opportunity to observe much of what I report below, except, of course, for my private conversations with producers and panelists. But the gist of the mood in Moscow with respect to the US elections was accessible to anyone with an interest. As you know, no one reported on it at the time. American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking.

The panelists appearing on these different channels come from a rather small pool of Russian legislators, including chairmen of the relevant committees of the Duma (lower house) and Federation Council (upper house), leading journalists, think tank professors, retired military brass. The politicians are drawn from among the most visible and colorful personalities in the Duma parties, but also extend to Liberal parties such as Yabloko, which failed to cross the threshold of 5% in legislative elections and received no seats in parliament.

Then there are very often a number of foreigners among panelists. In the past and at the present, they are typically known for anti-Kremlin positions and so give the predominantly patriotic Russian panelists an opportunity to cross swords, send off sparks and keep the audience awake. These hostile foreigners coming from Ukraine or Poland are Russian speakers from their childhood. The Americans or Israelis who appear are generally former Soviet citizens who emigrated, whether before or after the fall of Communism, and speak native Russian.

"Freshness" is an especially valued commodity in this case, because there is a considerable overlap in the names and faces appearing on these talks whatever the channel. For this there is an objective reason: nearly all the Russian and even foreign guests live in Moscow and are available to be invited or disinvited on short notice given that these talk programs can change their programming if there is breaking news about which their audiences will want to hear commentary. In my own case, I was flown in especially by the various channels who paid airfare and hotel accommodation in Moscow as necessary on the condition that I appear only on their shows during my stay in the city. That is to say, my expenses were covered but there was no honorarium. I make this explicit to rebut in advance any notion that I/we outside panelists were in any way "paid by the Kremlin" or restricted in our freedom of speech on air.

During the period under review, I appeared on both state channels, Rossiya-1 and Pervy Kanal, as well as on the major commercial television channel, NTV. The dates and venues of my participation in these talk shows are as follows:

For purposes of this essay, the pertinent appearances were on September 11 and 26. To this I add the Sixty Minutes show of October 20 which I watched on television but which aired content that I believe is important to this discussion.

My debut on the number one talk show in Russia, Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, on September 11 was invaluable not so much for what was said on air but for the exchange I had with the program's host, Vladimir Soloviev, in a five minute tête-à-tête in the guests' lounge before the program went on air.

Soloviev obviously had not yet read his guest list, did not know who I am and stood ready to respond to me when I walked up to him and unceremoniously put to him the question that interested me the most: whom did he want to see win the US presidential election. He did not hesitate, told me in no uncertain terms that he did not want to see Trump win because the man is volatile, unpredictable and weak. Soloviev added that he and others do not expect anything good in relations with the United States in general whoever won. He rejected the notion that Trump's turning the Neocons out of government would be a great thing in and of itself.

As I now understand, Soloviev's resistance to the idea that Trump could be a good thing was not just an example of Russians' prioritizing stability, the principle "better the devil you know," meaning Hillary. During a recent chat with a Russian ambassador, someone also close to power, I heard the conviction that the United States is like a big steamship which has its own inertia and cannot be turned around, that presidents come and go but American foreign policy remains the same. This view may be called cynical or realistic, depending on your taste, but it is reflective of the thinking that comes out from many of the panelists in the talk shows as you will find below in my quotations from the to-and-fro on air. It may also explain Soloviev's negativism.

To appreciate what weight the opinions of Vladimir Soloviev carry, you have to consider just who he is. That his talk show is the most professional from among numerous rival shows, that it attracts the most important politicians and expert guests is only part of the story. What is more to the point is that he is as close to Vladimir Putin as journalists can get.

In April, 2015 Vladimir Soloviev conducted a two hour interview with Putin that was aired on Rossiya 1 under the title "The President." In early January 2016, the television documentary "World Order," co-written and directed by Soloviev, set out in forceful terms Vladimir Putin's views on American and Western attempts to stamp out Russian sovereignty that first were spoken at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007 and have evolved and become ever more frank since.

Soloviev has a Ph.D. in economics from the Institute of World Economics and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was an active entrepreneur in the 1990s and spent some time back then in the USA, where his activities included teaching economics at the University of Alabama. He is fluent in English and has been an unofficial emissary of the Kremlin to the USA at various times.

For all of these reasons, I believe it is safe to say that Vladimir Soloviev represents the thinking of Russian elites close to their president, if not the views of Putin himself.

On September 27 , I took part in the Sixty Minutes talk show that was presented as a post mortem of the first Trump-Clinton debate the day before. I direct attention to this show because it demonstrates the sophistication and discernment of commentary about the United States and its electoral process. All of this runs against the "slam-dunk" scenario based on a cartoon-like representation of Russia and its decision makers.

The show's hosts tried hard to convey the essence of American political culture to their audience and they did some effective research to this end. Whereas French and other Western media devoted coverage on the day after the debates to the appearance of the American presidential candidates and especially to Hillary (what else attracts comment from the male world of journalism if not a lady's hair styling and sartorial choices), 'Sixty Minutes' tweaked this aspect of the debates to find politically relevant commentary.

To make their point, presenter Yevgeny Popov came on stage in a blue suit and blue tie very similar in coloring to Trump's, while his wife and co-presenter Olga Skabeyeva was wearing a garment in the same red hue as Hillary. They proceeded to note that these color choices of the candidates represented an inversion of the traditional colors of the Democratic and Republican parties in American political tradition. And they took this a step further by declaring it to be in line with the inversion of policies in the electoral platforms of the candidates. Hillary had taken over the hawkish foreign policy positions of the Republicans and their Neoconservative wing. Donald had taken over the dovish foreign policy positions normally associated with Democrats. Moreover, Donald also had gone up against the free trade policies that were an engrained part of Republican ideology up until now and were often rejected by Democrats with their traditional financial backers from among labor unions. All of these observations were essentially correct and astute as far as the campaigns went. It is curious to hear them coming from precisely Russian journalists, when they were largely missed by West European and American commentators.

As mentioned above, foreigners are often important to the Russian talk shows to add pepper and salt. In this case, we were largely decorative. The lion's share of the program was shared between the Russian politicians and journalists on the panel who very ably demonstrated in their own persona that Russian elites were split down the middle on whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton was their preferred next occupant of the Oval Office

The reasons given were not what you heard within the USA: that Trump is vulgar, that Trump is a bigot and misogynist. Instead the Russian Trump-skeptics were saying that he is impulsive and cannot be trusted to act with prudence if there is some mishap, some accidental event occurring between US and Russian forces in the field, for example. They gave expression to the cynical view that the positions occupied by Trump in the pre-election period are purely tactical, to differentiate himself from all competitors first in his own party during the primaries and now from Hillary. Thus, Trump could turn out to be no friend of Russia on the day after the elections.

A direct answer to these changes came from the pro-Trump members of the panel. It was best enunciated by the senior politician in the room, Vyacheslav Nikonov. Nikonov is a Duma member from Putin's United Russia party, the chair of the Education Committee in the 6th Duma. He is also chair of a government sponsored organization of Russian civil society, Russian World, which looks after the interests of Russians and Russian culture in the diaspora abroad.

Nikonov pointed to Trump's courage and determination which scarcely suggest merely tactical considerations driving his campaign. Said Nikonov, Trump had gone up against the entire US political establishment, against the whole of corporate mainstream media and was winning. Nikonov pointed to the surge in Trump poll statistics in the couple of weeks preceding the debate. And he ticked off the 4 swing states which Trump needed to win and where his fortunes were rising fast. Clearly his presentation was carefully prepared, not something casual and off-the-cuff.

During the exchange of doubters and backers of Trump among the Russians, one doubter spoke of Trump as a "non-systemic" politician. This may be loosely interpreted a meaning he is anti-establishment. But in the Russian context it had an odious connotation, being applied to Alexei Navalny and certain members of the American- and EU-backed Parnas political movement, and suggesting seditious intent.

In this connection, Nikonov put an entirely different spin on who Trump is and what he represents as an anti-establishment figure. But then again, maybe such partiality runs in the family. Nikonov is the grandson of Molotov, one of the leading figures who staged the Russian Revolution and governed the young Soviet state.

Who won the first Trump-Clinton debate? Here the producers of Sixty Minutes gave the final verdict to a Vesti news analyst from a remote location whose image was projected on a wall-sized screen. We were told that the debate was a draw: Trump had to demonstrate that he is presidential, which he did. Clinton had to demonstrate she had the stamina to resist the onslaught of 90 minutes with Trump and she also succeeded.

The October 20 program Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, which I watched on television from abroad, was devoted to the third Clinton-Trump debate. My single most important conclusion from the show was that, notwithstanding the very diverse panel, there was a bemused unanimity among them regarding the US presidential electoral campaign: that it was deplorable. They found both candidates to be disgraceful due to their flagrant weaknesses of character and/or records in office, but they were also disturbed by the whole political culture. Particular attention was devoted to the very one-sided position of the American mass media and the centrist establishments of both parties in favor of one candidate, Hillary Clinton. When Russians and former Russians use the terms "McCarthyism" and "managed democracy" to describe the American political process as they did on the show, they know acutely well whereof they speak.

Though flamboyant in his language the nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the LDPR Party, touched on a number of core concerns that bear repeating extensively, if not in full:

"The debates were weak. The two cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room.

Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: disgrace! This is the worst electoral campaign ever. And mostly what we see is the style of the campaign. However much people criticize the USSR – the old fogies who ran it, one and the same, supposedly the conscience of the world.

Now we see the same thing in the USA: the exceptional country – the country that has bases everywhere, soldiers everywhere, is bombing everywhere in some city or other. They are making their 'experiments.' The next experiment is to have a woman in the White House. It will end badly.

Hillary has some kind of dependency. A passion for power – and that is dangerous for the person who will have her finger on the nuclear button. If she wins, on November 9th the world will be at the brink of a big war "

Zhirinovsky made no secret of his partiality for Trump, calling him "clean" and "a good man" whereas Hillary has "blood on her hands" for the deaths of hundreds of thousands due to her policies as Secretary of State. But then again, Zhirinovsky has made his political career over more than 30 years precisely by making outrageous statements that run up against what the Russian political establishment says aloud. Before Trump came along, Zhirinovsky had been the loudest voice in Russian politics in favor of Turkey and its president Erdogan, a position which he came to regret when the Turks shot down a Russian jet at the Syrian border, causing a great rupture in bilateral relations.

The final word on Russia's electoral preferences during the October 20 show was given by the moderator, Vladimir Soloviev: "There can be no illusions. Both Trump and Clinton have a very bad attitude to Russia. What Trump said about us and Syria was no compliment at all. The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria."

This being Russia, one might assume that the deeply negative views of the ongoing presidential election reflected a general hostility to the USA on the part of the presenter and panelists. But nothing of the sort came out from their discussion. To be sure, there was the odd outburst from Zhirinovsky, who repeated a catchy line that he has delivered at other talk shows: essentially that the USA is eating Russia and the world's lunch given that it consumes the best 40% of what the world produces while it itself accounts for just 20% of world GDP. But otherwise the panelists, including Zhirinovsky, displayed informed respect and even admiration for what the United States has achieved and represents.

The following snippets of their conversation convey this very well and do not require attribution to one or another participant:

"America has the strongest economy, which is why people want to go there and there is a lot for us to borrow from it. We have to learn from them, and not be shy about it."

"Yes, they created the conditions for business. In the morning you file your application. After lunch you can open your business."

"America is a very complex country. It does not pay to demonize it. We have to understand precisely what we like and do not like. On this planet there is no way to avoid them. Whoever becomes president of the USA, the nuclear parity forces us to negotiate and reach agreement."

"The US has opened its doors to the most intelligent people of the world, made it attractive for them. Of course, this builds their exceptionalism. All directors, engineers, composers head there. Our problem is that we got rid of our tsar, our commissars but people are still hired hands. The top people go to the States because the pay is higher."

How are we to understand the discrepancy between the very low marks the panelists gave the US presidential race and their favorable marks for the US as an economic and military powerhouse. It appears to result from their understanding that there is a disconnect between Washington, the presidency and what makes the economy turn over. The panelists concluded that the USA has a political leadership at the national level that is unworthy and inappropriate to its position in the world. On this point, I expect that many American readers of this essay will concur.

* * * *

Ever since his candidacy took off in the spring of 2016, both Liberal Interventionists and Neoconservatives have been warning that a Donald Trump presidency would mean abandonment of US global leadership. They equated Donald's "America First" with isolationism. After all, it was in the openly "isolationist period" of American political history just before the outbreak of WWII that the original America First slogan first appeared.

However, isolationism never left us, even as the United States became engaged in and eventually dominated the world after the end of the Cold War. Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID.

And for those Americans who do travel abroad, the world outside US borders is all too often just an object of prestige tourism, a divertissement, where the lives of local people, their concerns and their interests do not exist on the same high plateau as American lives, concerns and interests. It is not that we are all Ugly Americans, but we are too well insulated from the travails of others and too puffed up with our own exceptionalism.

It is not surprising that in the US foreign policy is not a self-standing intellectual pursuit on a chessboard of its own but is strictly a subset of domestic policy calculations, and in particular of partisan electoral considerations. Indeed, that is very often the case in other countries, as well. The distinction is that the US footprint in the world is vastly greater than that of other countries and policy decisions taken in Washington, especially in the past 20 years of militarized foreign-policy making, spell war or peace, order or chaos in the territories under consideration.

As regards the Russian Federation, the ongoing hysteria over Russia-gate in particular, and over the perceived threat Russia poses to US national interests in general, risks tilting the world into nuclear war.

It is a luxury we manifestly cannot afford to indulge ourselves.

TONY LANE , December 17, 2017 9:59 AM

But we all have to agree that the USA is the more infantile of all The Nations, and since the end of the last war they have made no effort to grow up. They have created Russia Gate where no other nation would Dream up such Trivia.

Kjell Hasthi -> TONY LANE , December 17, 2017 1:50 PM

JFK murder was about replacing the president elected by the people. Russia-gate has the same goal. When the American president is enemy, you are not American

Jimmy Robertson , December 17, 2017 9:22 AM

As shown in this article, the American media has a long track record of misreporting key news items:

https://viableopposition.bl...

The current cycle of fake news about Russia is definitely not a new phenomenon in the United States.

tom -> Jimmy Robertson , December 17, 2017 9:23 AM

"Remember the Maine!"

GKW -> tom , December 17, 2017 2:13 PM

Don't forget the Turner Joy and the gulf of Tonkin.

John Tosh , December 17, 2017 9:47 AM

Can someone tell the big fat cowards exercising around North Korea to please shut the hell up? Cowards make a lot of noise. When Libya was invaded there were no exercises, when Iraq was invaded there were no exercises...... when Vietnam was invaded there were no exercises....

It is obvious to the world that the fat cowards cannot attack a nuclear armed country. They are too yellow bellied to do anything but beat their chest like some stupid gorilla in an African jungle.

Please cut out the announcements of exercises after exercises, it is clogging the airwaves. We are all tired of your stupid exercises... if you want to attack go ahead and get your fat asses whipped like a slave running away from its masters.

Shameless cowards are now becoming highly annoying... it can be called Propaganda terrorism. Cut that nonsense out. You cannot beat North Korea, you know it, the rest of the world knows it. You cannot fight China or Russia, the rest of the world knows it ... so please shut up once and for all.

You are terrorizing the airwaves with your exercise after exercise after exercise. Practice control of the ships that are becoming a maritime hazzard to commercial ships. That is what you need to practice.

Nobody is impressed with your over-bloated expensive war equipment which fail under war conditions. Cut out the exercises before we start turning off our ears for your propaganda.

YELLOW BELIED COWARDS!!!!! Go poison an innocent person or kill a child....it may make you feel better... Big fat cowards.!

Guy John Tosh , December 17, 2017 1:16 PM

I am also very tired of the bluster . They flap their gums and taunt. Enough already . You have made fools of yourselves in the eyes of the world .

All the while the real diplomacy is going on between South Korea and China with North Korea paying close attention, I am sure.The Russian / Chinese proposal of a rail system from South Korea through North Korea and into China connecting to the connection grid of all of Asia is a far greater prospect for the peace initiative than the saber rattling presently outwardly being displayed.

ALTERNATE HISTORY John Tosh , December 17, 2017 6:15 PM

They keep raising the ante, and the North Koreans keep calling their bluff. They are made to look ridiculous as they don't have a winnable hand and the North Koreans know it.

tom , December 17, 2017 9:39 AM

"American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking".

Reminds me of the classic American boss's remark:

"Any time I want your opinion, I'll tell you it".

Emmet Sweeney , December 17, 2017 4:31 PM

The whole thing is orchestrated by the Zionist state within a state which controls not only America but most of the West - and own the entire mainstream media. They cannot forgive Trump for wanting to make peace with Russia. Their hatred of Christian Russia is visceral and unhinged.

tom , December 17, 2017 9:20 AM

'...by their own admission, "no conclusive proof has surfaced."'

This is actually quite a neat and elegant example of the kind of deceptive language routinely used by politicians and the media.

It is, of course, entirely true that no conclusive proof has surfaced. Indeed, that must follow from the equally true and indisputable fact that no proof of any kind has surfaced. Actually, nothing even vaguely resembling proof has surfaced. There is no evidence at all - not the slightest scrap.

But by slipping in that little adjective "conclusive" the journalist manages to convey quite a strong impression that there is proof - only not quite conclusive proof.

It is just as dishonest and cynical as Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign remark, "I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience".

CaperAsh tom , December 17, 2017 4:17 PM

Yes, but R's comment was delightfully witty, and a great 'high ground manoeuvre.'

John C Carleton , December 17, 2017 7:20 AM

Russiangate is concocted BS, to keep the ignorant American sheep , from understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA".
That American children are murdering innocent children in foreign lands, for the benefit of, not Israel, it is just a figment of the imagination, as the USSR was, and the USA is, but the owners of Israel, City of London, Usury bankers.
Pedophile scum!

Kjell Hasthi John C Carleton , December 17, 2017 1:43 PM

- understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA".

The fraud is in every election district. Israel cannot afford the bussing of Liberals. This is too large for some poor nation like Israel. You are making up "Israel", just like Gordon Duff. It tells me you are the same as Gordon Duff.

rosemerry , December 17, 2017 3:29 PM

What an excellent article. If only people who have a very small knowledge of Russia/USA relations would bother to read this and reflect upon it, a lot of misconceptions could be cleared up if goodwill is part of the picture.

thomas malthaus , December 17, 2017 2:11 PM

http://www.foxnews.com/poli...

It appears Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump are cooperating on terrorism. Specifically, the threats regarding St. Petersberg, Russia.

A liberal nutcase might call this collusiion; others would describe it as cooperation.

Common sense or reason triumphs!

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch thomas malthaus , December 17, 2017 2:56 PM

Sure is "interesting" that the CIA knows exactly where the "terrorists" are in Russia.

So "nice" of them to inform their "partner" right before the attack.

How "pragmatic" of the Russians to enthuse thanks and offer support to Daddy.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what really went down, although the numpty RF leadership can't seem to stop falling over itself thanking Uncle Sham.

thomas malthaus Nationalist Globalist Oligarch , December 17, 2017 4:08 PM

I think at times the CIA is actually assisting the Russian security services with terror operations. I realize it doesn't make sense with Langley assisting ISIS in Syria, but that's the world we appear to have: selective cooperation.

I don't know if the FSB has the levels of electronics signals intelligence the US has, I do know the US and Russia may have cooperated in raids resulting in deaths of two Caucaus Emirates leaders in 2014-2015. I believe that group has since disbanded and members probably blended into other terror groups.

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch thomas malthaus , December 18, 2017 12:18 AM

Stupid is as stupid does.

rosewood11 , December 17, 2017 2:03 PM

The thing that is absolutely ridiculous is that the American media and Deep State are what is causing this trouble. I don't know why they want to have a World War so badly, but the only thing keeping our two countries from destruction is Vladimir Putin's hard work and good nature, and Trump's defiance of his "staff." These Deep State actors in the US have hidey-holes they can run to in case of the unthinkable, but they couldn't care less about the people of the US--let alone Russia. Their day is coming, and they'll be praying for their mountains to fall on them when it does. Anyone in the US that's paying any attention at all knows the real story on this, and none of those who do are blaming anyone in Russia. If the day ever comes that the US Deep State takes to their bunkers, they better be prepared to stay in there--Balrogs or no Balrogs--because those of us who manage to survive above will be looking for their sorry azzes when they come out!!!

You can call me Al rosewood11 , December 17, 2017 5:59 PM

I think that is a great comment.

Just to take your comment a little further ;- get to know every plumber and builder in your area as I am, get on a friendly basis and ask about these "Deep State actors in the US have hidey-holes" over a pint or two.

Then I am starting a crowdfunding fund to bring in "hundreds of thousands" to pay them to screw up their sewage facilities in their hidey-holes SO THEY CAN down in their own BS.

Mahmood Mandhrani , December 18, 2017 12:56 AM

Hy Friends I am Khan.All Famous news Paper columns,editorials and Blogs in my Blog pleez come and read many Things.
http://kingt20.blogspot.com

Stop Bush and Clinton , December 17, 2017 8:41 PM

After Uranium One, it would make sense to assume Russia would have preferred Hitlery in the White House - Uranium One gives Russia something they know all the details of and something they know the US public won't take lightly, so they could easily have blackmailed Hitlery with leaking those details.

Of course they also know Hitlery is a massive warmongering Nazi terrorist, but then again, looks like Trump doesn't differ very much from her on that.

Kjell Hasthi Stop Bush and Clinton , December 17, 2017 10:29 PM

Trump is doing something that scares the elite more than another bloody war. If Trump succeed US public will be brought into shock, and go nuts (we will all be scared to death if we see some alien sitting beside News anchor. The children will go pale)

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch , December 17, 2017 2:54 PM

No need for paranoia, it is a veritable American love fest at the Kremlin, RIA, etc., ever since the CIA informed Moscow that they had "information" on an imminent attack in Russia.

Funny how the CIA has better intel on terrorism in Russia than the Russians do, even stranger than the RF leadership doesn't seem to question the situation what so ever.

Got to hand it to the Americans, a couple of months ago Putin joked about RF "cells" in the USA and now the CIA hands the RF a real cell all ready to go murder some Russians.

Some people talk a good game while some people actually take action.

MJM , December 17, 2017 2:41 PM

Vladimir Zhirinovsky is a great politician.

Guy , December 17, 2017 1:07 PM

For those of you that have some video viewing time available , you will probably enjoy the lecture at the National Press Club , not nearly well attended I might add for this quality venue, of Gilbert Doctoro.
http://www.informationclear...
I would highly recommend his latest book also .I am approx half way already and well worth the read.

Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 11:12 AM

New legatum prosperity index is up: Europeans enjoy the greatest quality of life worldwide, Russians fall into more impoverishment and low quality of life.

Its no secret that, for the past 150 years, Russian's wealth, quality of life and life expectancy is unacceptably low for European standards</strong).>Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden Netherlands and Denmark occupying the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th 7th and 8th places respectively.

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Kjell Hasthi Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 1:37 PM

- low for European standards ... </strong)> .... Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden Netherlands and Denmark

When you do copyworks, include your source. RI is not for illiterate globalist bots who cannot read an answer. The quality of trolls is now too low. The globalists are now hiring junk?

"German media reported on Saturday that BND covertly provided a number of journalists with information containing criticism of Russia before the data were disclosed by the agency."

Superior Europe is employed by Zionist BND?

You can call me Al Kjell Hasthi , December 17, 2017 6:03 PM

I have him/it blocked, but I have never heard of that name before, so him/it has changed it.

I am glad and amazed you saw it with more knowledge than me it seems - HTF do you do that ?.

Superior Europe Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 11:15 AM

Of course what you can expect from the morally and politically bankrupted Russia where:

--First moral bankruptcy: Hunting down journalists
--Second moral bankruptcy: Hunting down LGBT people
--Third moral bankruptcy: Unacceptably low life expectancy (for the western standards) due to alcoholism and street violence
--Fourth moral bankruptcy: Poverty and impoverishment, with lowest income being BELOW the poverty line
--Fifth moral bankruptcy: So many Russian women exercising the "world's oldest profession" in Europe...

According to the index:

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[Dec 18, 2017] Prepare! Pursue!! Prevail!!! by Brian Cloughley

Dec 15, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The waves, the artificial tides of anti-Russian propaganda continue to beat upon the ears and eyes of Western citizens, spurred by US politicians, bureaucrats and tycoons whose motives vary from duplicitous to blatantly commercial. It is no coincidence that there has been vastly increased expenditure on US weaponry by Eastern European countries.

Complementing the weapons' build-up, which is so sustaining and lucrative for the US industrial-military complex, the naval, air and ground forces of the US-NATO military alliance continue operations ever closer to Russia's borders.

Shares and dividends in US arms manufacturing companies have rocketed, in a most satisfactory spinoff from Washington's policy of global confrontation, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) records that "arms sales are recognized widely as an important instrument of state power. States have many incentives to export arms. These include enhancing the security of allies or partners; constraining the behavior of adversaries; using the prospect of arms transfers as leverage on governments' internal or external behavior; and creating the economics of scale necessary to support a domestic arms industry."

The CRS notes that arms deals "are often a key component in Congress's approach to advancing US foreign policy objectives," which is especially notable around the Baltic and throughout the Middle East, where US wars have created a bonanza for US weapons makers -- and for the politicians whom the manufacturers reward so generously for their support. (Additionally, in 2017 arms manufacturers spent $93,937,493 on lobbying Congress.)

Some countries, however, do not wish to purchase US weaponry, and they are automatically categorized as being influenced by Russia, which is blamed for all that has gone wrong in America over the past couple of years. This classification is especially notable in the Central Asian Republics.

The US military's Central Command (Centcom) states that its "area of responsibility spans more than 4 million square miles and is populated by more than 550 million people from 22 ethnic groups, speaking 18 languages . . . and confessing [ sic; probably 'professing'] multiple religions which transect national borders. The demographics create opportunities for tension and rivalry." Centcom is deeply engaged in the US wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, while supporting Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen, and the extent of its influence in the Pentagon's self-allotted geographical Area of Responsibility is intriguing, to say the least. Some of its priorities were revealed in March 2017 by the Commander of this enormous military realm, General Joseph Votel, in testimony to the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives in Washington.

General Votel's description of US "responsibilities" was astonishing in its imperialistic arrogance.

As Commander of Centcom, General Votel gave the Armed Services Committee a colorful tour of his territory, describing nations in terms ranging from condescendingly supportive to patently insolent, and he devoted much time to describing relations with countries abutting Russia, Iran and China, which nations, he declared , are trying "to limit US influence in the sub-region." That "sub-region" includes many countries immediately on the borders of Russia, Iran and China, and averaging 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) from Washington.

First he dealt with Kazakhstan with which the US has its "most advanced military relationship in Central Asia" in furtherance of which Washington is "making notable progress . . . despite enduring Russian influence." It is obviously unacceptable to the Pentagon that Russia wishes to maintain cordial relations with a country with which it has a border of 6,800 kilometers. Then General Votel went into fantasyland by claiming that "Kazakhstan remains the most significant regional contributor to Afghan stability . . ." which even the members of the Congressional Committee would have realized is spurious nonsense.

But more nonsense was to follow, with General Votel referring to Kyrgyzstan in patronizing terms usually associated with a Viceroy or other colonial master of a region that Votel describes as "widely characterized by pervasive instability and conflict," which he failed to note were caused by the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He told the Committee that Kyrgyzstan "sees political pressure from its larger, more powerful neighbors, including Russia, hosting a small Russian airbase outside the capital, Bishkek. Despite ongoing challenges in our bilateral and security cooperation, we continue to seek opportunities to improve our mil-to-mil relationship." He did not explain why Kyrgyzstan should be expected to embrace a military alliance with United States Central Command, but Viceroys don't have to provide explanations.

Votel then moved to describe Tajikistan with which "our mil-to-mil relationship is deepening despite Moscow's enduring ties and the presence of the military base near Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe, Russia's largest military base outside of its borders." Not only this, says Votel, but China (having a 400 kilometer border with Tajikistan) has had the temerity to have "initiated a much stronger military cooperation partnership with Tajikistan, adding further complexity to Tajikistan's multi-faceted approach to security cooperation."

No : China hasn't added any complexity to Tajikistan's circumstances. What has complicated their relations is the fact that Afghanistan is in a state of chaos, following the US invasion of 2001, and drugs and terrorists cross the border (1,300 kilometers long) from Afghanistan into Tajikistan, which is trying to protect itself. During its sixteen years of war in Afghanistan there has been no attempt by the United States to secure that border.

None of these countries wants to be forced into a military pact with the United States, and Turkmenistan (border with Afghanistan 750 kilometers) has made it clear it doesn't want to be aligned with anyone. But General Votel states that its "UN-recognized policy of 'positive neutrality' presents a challenge with respect to US engagement." No matter what is desired by Turkmenistan, it seems, there must always be a way for the United States Central Command to establish military relations and, as General Votel told the Defence Committee, "we are encouraged somewhat by Turkmenistan's expressed interest in increased mil-to-mil engagement with the US within the limits of their 'positive neutrality' policy."

In the minds (to use the word loosely) of General Votel and his kind, it doesn't matter if a country wants nothing whatever to do with the United States' military machine, and wants very much to be left alone to get on with its affairs without interference. Adoption of such a policy by any nation presents a "challenge" and the United States, which in this region is overseen by General Votel's Central Command, is determined to seek military "engagement" irrespective of what is desired by governments. Arms sales would swiftly follow.

Votel's tour of his area of responsibility covered Afghanistan, about which his most absurd assertion was "I believe what Russia is attempting to do is they are attempting to be an influential party in this part of the world. I think it is fair to assume they may be providing some sort of support to [the Taliban] in terms of weapons or other things that may be there."

There was not a shred of evidence provided, but the Committee accepted his pronouncement without question. If an allegation is made about Russia it doesn't matter if it is false. It must be believed. But unfortunately for the imperial Votel and his deferential audience, a person with some sense of truth and balance came up two months later with a statement rubbishing Votel's unfounded and provocative accusation. In May the Director of the US Defence Intelligence Agency told a Senate Committee that "We have seen indication that [Russia] offered some level of support [to the Taliban], but I have not seen real physical evidence of weapons or money being transferred." The mainstream media gave no publicity to the truth, and continue to blame Russia for all the ills that befall the US Empire, at home and overseas.

The state of affairs was summed up admirably by Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation on December 4 when he wrote that "Central to any national-security state is the need for official enemies, ones that are used to frighten and agitate the citizenry. If there are no official enemies, the American citizenry might begin asking some discomforting questions: What do we need a national-security state for? Why not abolish the CIA and dismantle the military-industrial complex and the NSA. Why can't we have our limited-government, constitutional republic back?"

The Motto of the Pentagon's Central Command is "Prepare, Pursue, Prevail." and the Central Asian Republics would be well-advised to bear in mind these threats and think hard about the underlying motif of the US military-industrial complex which is "Propagandize, Provoke, Profit."

[Dec 17, 2017] Obama Encouraged 'Deep State' 'De Facto Coup' Against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Here you had Obama's people using the NSA to spy on his adversaries, and apparently include the CIA, the FBI, and members of the Department of Justice in that loop, in a manner that was not approved of by any court, that was not approved by even a FISA court – the special court that monitors certain kinds of surveillance," he said. ..."
"... "Just because a conversation involves a foreign official doesn't allow you to illegally tape it, illegally monitor it, or illegally record it when a U.S. citizen is on there, particularly when it's your political adversary," Barnes explained. ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

"Yes, there is," Barnes replied. "In fact, it's one of the directions that a future investigation can take. A future investigation doesn't have to focus on whatever it is the Democrats or liberals want. It can focus on the illegal leaks that took place."

"As I mentioned the other day to a liberal lawyer friend of mine, the worst thing ever accused concerning Nixon was about using private resources to try to illegally spy on people. Here you had Obama's people using the NSA to spy on his adversaries, and apparently include the CIA, the FBI, and members of the Department of Justice in that loop, in a manner that was not approved of by any court, that was not approved by even a FISA court – the special court that monitors certain kinds of surveillance," he said.

"Just because a conversation involves a foreign official doesn't allow you to illegally tape it, illegally monitor it, or illegally record it when a U.S. citizen is on there, particularly when it's your political adversary," Barnes explained.

"I'm sure the liberals would go nuts if Trump tomorrow started listening in on every conversation Obama had with anybody that's foreign, or that Bill Clinton had with anybody that's foreign, or that Hillary Clinton had with anybody that's foreign. So it's a dangerous, precarious path that Obama has opened up, and hopefully there is a full investigation into that activity," he said.

"You clearly also have lots of illegal leaks going on, particularly as it related to the recent Yemen issue involving the widow of the Navy SEAL who passed way, that became a big issue at the State of the Union. There you had people reporting that no intelligence was gathered. Well, that's an illegal leak. It turns out that they're wrong, they were lying about what intelligence developed or the fact that intelligence did develop, but they shouldn't have been out there saying anything like that," he noted.

"There are people willing to leak the most sensitive national security secrets about any particular matter, solely to have a one-day political hit story on Trump. These are people who are violating their oath, and violating the law. Hopefully there is ultimately criminal punishment," Barnes urged.

"This is far worse than the Plame matter that got all that attention, that got a special prosecutor in W's reign. This is far, far worse than any of that. This is putting national security at risk. This is an effective de facto coup attempt by elements of the deep state. So hopefully there's a meaningful investigation and a meaningful prosecution of these people who have engaged in reckless criminal acts for their personal political partisan purposes," he said.

[Dec 17, 2017] Congress hearing reveal t>he attempt to defeat and then depose Trump by employers of FBI, CIA and the Department of Justice

Set of YouTube video on the subject. Some exchanges (especially the first two) are very interesting indeed. Although Rosenstein mostly ignored the questions.
There are several facts which suggest that employees of CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the neoliberal/globalist wing of Democrat Party (Clinton wing), used the power of their offices and (with the assistance of foreign nationals) tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump, to collect "insurance" -- compromising materials on him in case he win, and after his surprise win, to provide a basis for his impeachment and removal from the Office by forcing on his administration the Special Prosecutor.
From the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI it looks like that those institutions are protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.
In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the Constitution. That is the definition of national security state.
Dec 16, 2017 | youtube.com

[Dec 17, 2017] Matt Bruenig What Actually Happened in Alabama

In no way this victory means endocement of clinton wing of DemoRats.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , December 16, 2017 at 5:27 am

My own personal take, from 16,000 kilometers away, is not that it was a matter of black and white voters or rich and poor voters but something that is a bit more simpler and it is this. If you stand a reasonable, moderate candidate against a raging nut job, then the majority of the times the moderate will win. If you stand a vile, corrupt candidate up against a raging nut job, then there is an even chance that the raging nut job will win. Alabama is an example of the former and the US itself in 2016 an example of the later.

WobblyTelomeres , December 16, 2017 at 7:10 am

You are too kind. Truthfully, if Roy Moore hadn't (allegedly) molested underage girls, he would have won. He would still be a raging nut job (or as Lambert describes him, a swivel-eyed loon).

I think that the future of Alabama politics is controlled by white millennials, though. I certainly would like to see how Moore fared among that segment. From conversations with my sons and their friends, it appears the Republican party is widely recognized as a confederacy of contemptible dunces.

digi_owl , December 16, 2017 at 9:47 am

While i am glad to see sanity prevail, it worries me that allegations of a sexual nature is what it takes to get people to sit up and take notice.

Even worse in that we are talking allegations, not a court delivered verdict of guilt.

All this suggests that witch hunts still work in the modern day.

Samuel Conner , December 16, 2017 at 7:35 am

A sad irony is that in 2016, many establishment Ds, including IIRC the Clintons themselves, were hoping for a DJT primary win on the theory that they would get the kind of result that Jones

mpalomar , December 16, 2017 at 8:38 am

Yes that sums it up. There is not much consolation in Moore's narrow loss for those hoping the deep south in particular but the country in general might having shaken off its hallucinatory vision of what American governance should look like.

How would a regional Bernie Sanders type candidate have done in Alabama in a general election against Moore? The NPR barber interview linked a few days ago raises the question by suggesting Jones was largely silent on the issues that mattered (to that man) and therefore how a more vocal advocate for the poor, public education, universal health care would have fared against Moore.

MDS , December 16, 2017 at 11:33 am

I'm not sure if that's entirely fair, he was very vocal on access to healthcare (especially for lower income citizens) and made it really the core policy piece of his campaign. One of his other major policy pieces (job retraining) also for into that mold pretty nicely. He didn't frame things as starkly as rich v poor, but had a pretty traditional (I.e., not neoliberal) democratic message.

mpalomar , December 16, 2017 at 1:08 pm

That's interesting and hopeful that a candidate might even try to push issues like single payer, pro union, anti right-to-work, $15 minimum wage and do even better against Moore.

The NC story on Jones' win put it this way, "Admittedly, this was more a vote against the horrorshow of Roy Moore than a strong endorsement for Jones, who didn't stand for much beyond being the other guy."
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/12/doug-jones-scores-upset-alabama-senate-race.html

I am likely unfairly judging Alabama and the deep south from another country and without the context of cable news and the MSM reporting, just assuming the standard Democratic Party line of saying little concrete on issues while inflating a giant, empty promise balloon of hope and change.

Potato Guy , December 16, 2017 at 8:44 am

Rev Kev: is your information about the "nut job" solely based on the reports from the media? Or have you met the man, lived in Alabama, experienced the culture or measured the degree of commitment to their cultural beliefs?

Having run for state level office, I understand the vitriol of the opposition. And having lived in Alabama, I understand the culture.

Consider that a politician is a slippery character trying to appease many sides and influences. Whereas a fundamentalist Christian stands for something specific and that belief system is attacked.

Perhaps the white voters didn't want Alabama to be judged by the media and they chose the easiest path.

The Rev Kev , December 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

Hi. Even in the Antipodes we get news reports from places like Alabama as that election was so newsworthy. My take is what I have personally seen of clips of this bloke in action and most people here were singularly unimpressed. That man should really swap that pony he rides on for a thoroughbred or something that size by the way. And yes, I have horses here.
And if an Aussie politician pulled out a gun in the middle of a rally here like More did there, the cops would probably arrest him after crash-tackling him. Granted politicians can take on the style of the people that they want to serve but I am willing to bet that the bulk majority of Alabamans are decent people that have never been accused of dealings with underage girls to the point that they have found themselves banned from a shopping mall. Alabama deserves better. Your Republicans there should have gone with a better candidate who would have almost certainly won that election in your state IMHO.

FluffytheObeseCat , December 16, 2017 at 11:31 am

And then there is Moore's "charitable foundation", through which he has been paying himself and family a decent salary for a few years, courtesy of politically like-minded donors. Most of whom are from Alabama, and who don't themselves have anywhere near such nice salaries.

Even by the standards of Deep South politics, the man is a skank, and many down there know it. The chickenhawk allegations were the cherry on top.

John Zelnicker , December 16, 2017 at 9:27 am

@Nick – Rumors of Roy Moore's peccadilloes have been floating around for years, but none of the women were ready or willing to speak out. The #MeToo movement, I think, has allowed many women, all over the country, to finally feel that they might get a fair shake from speaking out, rather than being put through the wringer of disbelief and further harassment. It was only with the victim's disclosures that this story could be exposed.

Biph , December 16, 2017 at 3:11 pm

I have a couple of takeaways, first Moore was running well behind a typical Republican before the sexual misconduct allegations 6-10% ahead of Jones rather than the 15-20% one would expect. Second that this really does show a path for Dems to be competitive and even win in the deep south by carrying 1/4-1/3 of the white vote and holding on to 90% plus of the AA vote. A pro-life (with a sane position on birth control), pro-gun (though not necessarily pro-NRA) economic leftest could rack up a lot of votes in places like MS, AL, LA and SC. I doubt the DNC are smart enough to see this or even want to if they did, but maybe some qualified people with such a belief set will see it and run in Dem primaries for local, State and Federal offices.

Mattski , December 16, 2017 at 11:23 pm

This, like the Clinton loss, is perhaps too close an election to lay to any single factor. So while I find this analysis salutary, I don't necessarily buy it as THE answer. Two others that I would suggest are crucial: the degree of the white vote that was dampened by the ugly news about a candidate it might otherwise have turned out for; and Shelby's call for write-in. As I went to bed on the night, the number of write-in votes outweighed Jones's margin.

A side note: this article suggests that Moore's church, and a number of Baptist churches, urge older men to cultivate very young brides: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-brightbill-roy-moore-evangelical-culture-20171110-story.html

Altandmain , December 17, 2017 at 11:44 am

The key takeaways are:

1. Had the GOP elected someone slightly less awful, they would have defeated Doug Jones – the vote the GOP was reliant on usually simply stayed home
2. The Democrats are taking the wrong lessons from this
3. They may very well end up dangerously complacent in 2018 for the midterms and perhaps in 2020 as well
4. The GOP never truly backed Moore at all – they were hesitant to do so
5. Unless they deliver tangible economic benefits for white and black Alabama residents alike, the Democrats have little to offer
6. There seems to be frustration and well justified anger, in my opinion, at both parties
7. The mainstream media will spin this the way the plutocrats want
8. It's likely the Democrats will double down on identity politics as it is what what their donors want them to do

It"s a sad situation. I think NC posted a few days ago the appalling situation African Americans faced.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/05/hookworm-lowndes-county-alabama-water-waste-treatment-poverty
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/01/many-areas-appalachia-mississippi-delta-lower-life-expectancy-bangladesh.html

It's hard not to compare the politics of America to the corruption that exists in much of the developing world, the massive inequality, the failing infrastructure, and the brutal police forces. Sadly both parties are in bed with the plutocracy and will make it all worse.

Most people are taking the wrong lessons from this. Moore was barely defeated despite everything. It's sad and infuriating because all of this corrupt politics has a dramatic impact on the living standards of society.

Paul Hirschman , December 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm

So voters in Alabama have given the hapless Dems another chance to say–may even do– something meaningful. Any betting folks on this website?

[Dec 17, 2017] President Trump: I'm Not Considering Firing Robert Mueller, But It's Not Looking Good

This is a political battle between two faction of oligarchy. Mueller represents Clinton wing: neoliberal globalists and neocons.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
rumors , denials, whistleblowers , backlash , demands, threats, lies , bias, and anti-bias surrounding Robert Mueller and his investigation, President Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing the Special Counsel.

"No, I'm not," Trump told reporters, when asked if he intended to fire Mueller, according to Politico .

The president was returning to the White House from a weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat.

Trump's allies complained this weekend about the way Mueller's team went about obtaining from the presidential transition. Mueller's spokesman Peter Carr said Sunday that the office had followed appropriate steps to obtain the transition emails. Pro-Trump lawmakers and pundits also have accused the special counsel's office of bias after it was revealed that two FBI officials who previously served on Mueller's team had exchanged anti-Trump text messages.

And while Trump said "I'm not," Axios notes that he did criticize the fact that Mueller accessed "many tens of thousands" of emails from the presidential transition, saying it was "not looking good."

Son of Loki -> DingleBarryObummer , Dec 17, 2017 6:46 PM

Who is Seth Rich?

jeff montanye -> Son of Loki , Dec 17, 2017 8:45 PM

seth? he was the guy that stole the dnc and podesta emails (well at least the dnc emails) and got them to julian assange. after he was murdered (well at least shot twice) on the streets of d.c. (he actually died in a hospital; probably bears some looking into), julian offered a reward for info on it, making many believe he was wiki's source.

seymour hersh, who followed the case closely, thinks the same, but agrees with the d.c. police that he was just mugged, not shot by say hillary and podesta using imran awan or something. http://archive.is/lD4BV if so, for a lucky lady that hillary clinton has some real bad luck. but it is poetically fitting that someone who actually killed dozens of people as a private citizen (and maybe a million as a public servant), would be convicted in the public's eye of the one she didn't really do.

first as tragedy, then as farce.

azusgm -> shitshitshit , Dec 17, 2017 8:47 PM

YO!!! TYLERS!! OVER HERE.

Looks like Andrew McCabe may be a double agent!!!!!

https://truepundit.com/comey-mueller-ignored-mccabes-ties-to-russian-cri...

grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:16 PM

Mueller WANTS Trump to fire him.

It's Mueller's only face-saving way out of this cluster fuck.

Kayman -> grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:17 PM

Mueller has painted himself into a cesspool that is exploding. If he had an ounce of sense or honor he would get the eff out before he has to start covering his own tracks. But don't bet on Mueller doing the right thing. His pals in politics and the press have made him out to be some kind of saint when he really is all t'aint, no saint (don't ask me what t'aint is, ask someone else.)

Don't fire Mueller now- the cesspool is bursting at the seems and Mueller is standing right under it.

grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:14 PM

Robert Mueller is D.C.'s Tomás de Torquemada.

Mzhen , Dec 17, 2017 8:04 PM

It makes little sense to me that if Seth Rich was an idealistic young man, standing on principle and conviction, who along with his brother contacted WikiLeaks and arranged to give it evidence of Hillary's and Debbie's treachery against Sanders, why he would then have been reported to be looking forward to joining the Hillary campaign staff in the Brooklyn headquarters.

CrowdStrike (run by Shawn Henry, who is a former FBI official, promoted by Mueller), which provided the narrative to the DNC that the "Russians did it," has never been independently verified in their conclusions by the FBI. Or Mueller. Pull that thread and the sweater starts to unravel.

Kelley , Dec 17, 2017 9:26 PM

Mueller doesn't have it in him to step aside. Therefore he needs to be indicted for prosecutorial abuse. Slap his ass down hard. Handcuffs would be a nice touch.

Mueller didn't oppose the raid of Paul Manafort at 5 a.m. in the morning with guns drawn. Sounds like a good law enforcement technique for the buzzard.

[Dec 17, 2017] The FBI Is Not Your Friend by Sheldon Richman

Notable quotes:
"... ask that Russia not escalate tensions ..."
"... Russia not vote to condemn Israel ..."
"... What about the Logan Act ? The Act, enacted in 1799, around the time of the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, prohibits private citizens from unauthorized "correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both." ..."
"... Right off the bat, the Act appears to violate freedom of speech. And as Parry writes, "That law was never intended to apply to incoming officials in the transition period between elected presidential administrations." ..."
"... I hold no brief for Flynn, whose conduct while working for Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan, his dubious efforts on behalf of Turkey's strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his apparent financial conflicts of interest are enough to make anyone cringe. But that cannot justify what the FBI did in this plea case. ..."
"... Government law-enforcement agencies should not be allowed to administer credibility tests to Americans or others. If they have evidence of real ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
One of the unfortunate ironies of the manufactured "Russiagate" controversy is the perception of the FBI as a friend of liberty and justice. But the FBI has never been a friend of liberty and justice. Rather, as James Bovard writes , it "has a long record of both deceit and incompetence. Five years ago, Americans learned that the FBI was teaching its agents that 'the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others.' This has practically been the Bureau's motif since its creation in 1908 . The FBI has always used its 'good guy' image to keep a lid on its crimes."

Bovard has made a vocation of cataloging the FBI's many offenses against liberty and justice, for which we are forever in his debt.

Things are certainly not different today. Take the case of Michael Flynn, the retired lieutenant general who spent less than a month as Donald Trump's national-security adviser. Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in connection with conversations he had with Russia's then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, between Trump's election and inauguration. One need not be an admirer of Flynn – and for many reasons I certainly am not – to be disturbed by how the FBI has handled this case.

One ought to be immediately suspicious whenever someone is charged with or pleads guilty to lying to the FBI without any underlying crime being charged. Former assistant U.S. attorney Andrew C. McCarthy points out :

When a prosecutor has a cooperator who was an accomplice in a major criminal scheme, the cooperator is made to plead guilty to the scheme. This is critical because it proves the existence of the scheme. In his guilty-plea allocution (the part of a plea proceeding in which the defendant admits what he did that makes him guilty), the accomplice explains the scheme and the actions taken by himself and his co-conspirators to carry it out. This goes a long way toward proving the case against all of the subjects of the investigation.

That is not happening in Flynn's situation. Instead, like [former Trump foreign-policy "adviser" George] Papadopoulos, he is being permitted to plead guilty to a mere process crime.

When the FBI questioned Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak, it already had the transcripts of those conversations – the government eavesdrops on the representatives of foreign governments, among others, and Flynn had been identified, or "unmasked," as the ambassador's conversation partner. The FBI could have simply told Flynn the transcripts contained evidence of a crime (assuming for the sake of argument they did) and charged him with violating the Logan Act or whatever else the FBI had in mind.

But that's not what happened. Instead, the FBI asked Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak, apparently to test him. If he lied (which would mean he's pretty stupid since he once ran the Defense Intelligence Agency and must have known about the transcripts!) or had a bad memory, he could have been charged with lying to the FBI.

As investigative reporter Robert Parry explains :

What is arguably most disturbing about this case is that then-National Security Adviser Flynn was pushed into a perjury trap by Obama administration holdovers at the Justice Department who concocted an unorthodox legal rationale for subjecting Flynn to an FBI interrogation four days after he took office, testing Flynn's recollection of the conversations while the FBI agents had transcripts of the calls intercepted by the National Security Agency.

In other words, the Justice Department wasn't seeking information about what Flynn said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – the intelligence agencies already had that information. Instead, Flynn was being quizzed on his precise recollection of the conversations and nailed for lying when his recollections deviated from the transcripts.

For Americans who worry about how the pervasive surveillance powers of the US government could be put to use criminalizing otherwise constitutionally protected speech and political associations, Flynn's prosecution represents a troubling precedent.

Why didn't the FBI charge Flynn with an underlying crime? It might be because his conversations with Kislyak were not criminal. McCarthy writes:

A breaking report from ABC News indicates that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians – initially to lay the groundwork for mutual efforts against ISIS in Syria. That, however, is exactly the sort of thing the incoming national-security adviser is supposed to do in a transition phase between administrations. If it were part of the basis for a "collusion" case arising out of Russia's election meddling, then Flynn would not be pleading guilty to a process crime – he'd be pleading guilty to an espionage conspiracy.

David Stockman shows that the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller themselves indicate the Flynn-Kislyak conversations contained no evidence of criminal behavior.

Flynn spoke to Kislyak to ask that Russia not escalate tensions after President Obama imposed sanctions last December for the alleged election meddling and to ask that Russia not vote to condemn Israel , via a UN Security Council resolution, for its illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land. In other words, not only were Flynn's discussions with Kislyak unexceptional – presidential transition-team foreign-policy officials have spoken with representatives of other governments in the past – but the content of those discussions should have raised no suspicions. Would non-escalation of the sanctions controversy or a UN veto have undermined Obama's foreign policy? I don't see how. (True, the Obama administration abstained on the resolution, but would Obama have objected had Russia vetoed it? By the way, Russia voted for it, and the resolution passed, as it should have.)

The Flynn plea certainly does nothing to indicate "collusion" with the Russians. For one thing, the conversations were after the election. And perhaps more important, Kislyak was not looking for favors from Flynn; on the contrary, Flynn was lobbying the Russians (successfully on the sanctions – Vladimir Putin did not retaliate – and unsuccessfully on the UN resolution.) Where's the evidence of Russian influence on the Trump team? There was foreign influence, but it was from Israel, a regular meddler in the American political process . All indications are that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Trump son-in-law and special envoy to everywhere Jared Kushner to lobby the world to defeat the UN resolution. Kushner, who has helped finance illegal Israeli settlements , then directed Flynn to call every Security Council member, not just Russia.

What about the Logan Act ? The Act, enacted in 1799, around the time of the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, prohibits private citizens from unauthorized "correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

Right off the bat, the Act appears to violate freedom of speech. And as Parry writes, "That law was never intended to apply to incoming officials in the transition period between elected presidential administrations."

Note also that only two indictments have been brought in 218 years: in 1803 and 1852. Both cases were dropped. Far more serious contacts with foreign governments have occurred. In 1968 Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon (with help from Henry Kissinger who was working in the Johnson administration) had a representative persuade the president of South Vietnam to boycott the peace talks President Lyndon Johnson had been arranging with North Vietnam. That decision most likely prolonged the Vietnam war and resulted in combat deaths that would not have occurred. Unlike the Flynn case, Nixon's action undercut the sitting president's policy and, more important, the interests of the American people.

I hold no brief for Flynn, whose conduct while working for Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan, his dubious efforts on behalf of Turkey's strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his apparent financial conflicts of interest are enough to make anyone cringe. But that cannot justify what the FBI did in this plea case.

Government law-enforcement agencies should not be allowed to administer credibility tests to Americans or others. If they have evidence of real offenses against persons and property, bring charges. Otherwise, leave us all alone.

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute , senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman , published by the Foundation for Economic Education , and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation . His latest book is America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited .

[Dec 17, 2017] Mission Creep Mueller Grand Jury Fishing for Evidence Unrelated to Russian Interference Probe

As "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation" does not have time frame they are not limited to election campaign and allow fishing expedition into Trump business dealings.
Notable quotes:
"... any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; ..."
"... any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; ..."
Aug 04, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

After this striking admission, in effect acknowledging the weakness of the "Russian collusion" narrative more than year into the investigation and media hysteria, CNN goes on to report that these claimed grand jury subpoenas extend completely outside the scope of the supposed "Russia" investigation. CNN describes some subpoenas as "unconnected to the 2016 elections" and gives examples, including the tenant lists of Trump Organization properties and documents related to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

For the record, according to his order of appointment , Mueller's independent investigation was to be limited to:

(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. §600.4(a).

Regulation 28 C.F.R. §600.4(a) is part of the federal regulations authorizing special counsels. It expands a special counsel's jurisdiction to crimes, such as perjury or obstruction of justice, that interfere with his original named responsibility.

[Dec 17, 2017] Senator John Cornyn Questions Legitimacy of Robert Mueller Probe

Notable quotes:
"... Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) caused a stir late Friday when he questioned the legitimacy of the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) caused a stir late Friday when he questioned the legitimacy of the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Cornyn spoke out via Twitter, in response to a tweet by former Attorney General Eric Holder, who defended Mueller against criticism and against efforts to urge the president to remove him from his post.

Speaking on behalf of the vast majority of the American people, Republicans in Congress be forewarned:any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated.These are BS attacks on him/his staff that are blatantly political-designed to hide the real wrongdoing. Country not party

-- Eric Holder (@EricHolder) December 14, 2017

In response, Cornyn tweeted to Holder, "You don't" (referring to Holder's claim to be speaking "on behalf of the vast majority of the American people."

He added later that "Mueller needs to clean house of partisans," referring to reports that FBI agent Peter Strzok had been removed from the investigation due to anti-Trump texts, and that other lawyers on the Mueller team have expressed strongly anti-Trump feelings or supported the campaign of his 2016 opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Later, asked by the Washington Post 's in-house liberal columnist, Greg Sargent, whether he would accept the legitimacy of Mueller's investigation, Cornyn suggested that would depend on the outcome:

Makes sense to me to wait to see what they are first https://t.co/9lCqpYujKN

-- Senator JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 16, 2017

The left-wing HuffPost translated that remark as meaning that Cornyn would only consider the probe legitimate if "if Republicans like his findings."

However, a more generous interpretation would be that Cornyn would wait to see if Mueller remained within his mandate, or used his sweeping powers to investigated unrelated matters.

[Dec 17, 2017] Rosenstein watches as Mueller's witch hunt veers out of control by Sean Hannity

Dec 17, 2017 | www.foxnews.com

The Russia investigation being overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is beyond corrupt, beyond political and has now turned into an open-ended fishing expedition.

Rosenstein, who like Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has glaring, inexcusable conflicts of interest in the case, insisted to Fox News' Chris Wallace that he will keep Mueller from expanding his s not on a witch hunt.

"If he finds evidence of a crime that's within in the scope of what Director Mueller and I have agreed is the appropriate scope of this investigation, then he can," Rosenstein said on "Fox News Sunday." "If it's something outside that scope, he needs to come to the acting attorney general, at this time me, for permission to expand his investigation."

Rosenstein says he won't let the special counsel turn into a fishing expedition? It already has. The whole investigation was supposed to be about President Trump's campaign supposedly colluding with the Russians. This has gone on 11 months, no smoking gun proving it ever surfaced.

Yet, instead of ending it there, Mueller is reportedly now looking into the finances of President Trump and the Trump Organization and associates of President Trump. He has impaneled a grand jury in Washington, D.C., where the president got a little over four percent of the vote.

What Rosenstein really said was that he has now given Mueller the green light to do whatever he wants. Even respected legal scholar Jonathan Turley, a Democrat, has said Rosenstein needs to recuse himself.

After all, Rosenstein is likely going to be a witness in the investigation that he himself caused because he took the lead in writing the letter to President Trump on why former FBI Director James Comey should be fired. Mueller reportedly regards that as possible obstruction of justice.

Rosenstein is also the guy who appointed Robert Mueller and apparently either didn't know or didn't care about the fact that the day before he was named special counsel, Mueller interviewed with President Trump for the FBI director's job. You can't make this up.

Rosenstein has sat by while Mueller, with an unlimited budget, has assembled a team of 16 lawyers. Half have made political donations, shockingly, all to Democrats. How is that OK? If the tables were turned, would a Democrat allow a special counsel to only appoint Republican donors?

It all comes down to this: Does Rod Rosenstein know what is going to happen if Mueller's mission creep continues to go unchecked? How does he think voters are going to feel? How many Trump supporters will feel robbed of their right and their vote in the free election of the president of the United States?

That would be bad for the country. It would be bad for the system of justice. And it would be bad for anyone who believes in a constitutional republic.

Adapted from Sean Hannity's monologue on "Hannity," Aug. 7, 2017

Sean Hannity currently serves as host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) Hannity (weekdays 9-10PM/ET) . He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Sean

[Dec 17, 2017] Fox News' Jesse Watters We May Have an Anti-Trump 'Coup on Our Hands in America'

Robert Mueller does have massive conflict of interest -- Strzok-gate proves his inability to run a dispassionate investigation
Notable quotes:
"... we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in America." ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Waters said, "The investigation into Donald Trump's campaign has been crooked from the jump. But the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in America."

[Dec 17, 2017] Unlike Nixon, Trump will not go quietly

Notable quotes:
"... Flynn asked Kislyak for help in blocking or postponing a Security Council resolution denouncing Israel, and to tell Vladimir Putin not to go ballistic over President Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. This is what security advisers do. Why Flynn let himself be ensnared in a perjury trap, when he had to know his calls were recorded, is puzzling. ..."
"... Second, it is said Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey for refusing to cut slack for Flynn. But even Comey admits Trump acted within his authority. And Comey had usurped the authority of Justice Department prosecutors when he announced in July 2016 that Hillary Clinton ought not to be prosecuted for having been "extremely careless" in transmitting security secrets over her private email server. We now know that the first draft of Comey's statement described Clinton as "grossly negligent," the precise statute language for an indictment. ..."
"... Comey has also admitted he leaked to The New York Times details of a one-on-one with Trump to trigger the naming of a special counsel -- to go after Trump. And that assignment somehow fell to Comey's predecessor, friend, and confidant Robert Mueller. Mueller swiftly hired half a dozen prosecutorial bulldogs who had been Clinton contributors, and Andrew Weinstein, a Trump hater who had congratulated Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to carry out Trump's travel ban. FBI official Peter Strzok had to be been removed from the Mueller probe for hatred of Trump manifest in emails to his FBI lady friend. Strzok was also involved in the investigation of Clinton's email server and is said to have been the one who persuaded Comey to tone down his language about her misconduct, and let Hillary walk. ..."
"... There are other reasons to believe Trump may survive the deep state-media conspiracy to break his presidency, overturn his mandate, and reinstate a discredited establishment. Trump has Fox News and fighting congressmen behind him and the mainstream media is deeply distrusted and widely detested. And there is no Democratic House to impeach him or Democratic Senate to convict him. Moreover, Trump is not Nixon, who, like Charles I, accepted his fate and let the executioner's sword fall with dignity. If Trump goes, one imagines, he will not go quietly. ..."
"... I think the surprise is the degree and extent to which he is surrounded by hostile elements pretending to be disloyal and even when revealed like Comey and Sessions and Rosenstein they cannot be dislodged without great cost. ..."
"... The balance of evidence does not fall on Trump. The preponderance of evidence from Wasserman Schultz and her Pakistani technicians, from rigging the DNC against Sanders, from the McCain/FBI Dossier to justify wiretapping the RNC candidate, the pay for play Clinton Foundation and Clinton bankrolling the DNC in exchange for full control of the party, murdered members of the DNC like Seth Rich, the collusion between the CIA, FBI, DOJ, IRS, State Department and White House, etc etc etc. ..."
"... Beyond the Mueller investigation is the character assassination which has also backfired proving there are far more democrats and democratic donors engaged in rape, pedophilia and sexual harassment which is more of the same type of character assassination Hillary used by calling Trump and his base deplorables. ..."
"... People in the DNC and the Federal Govt were scared of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Obama but I truly think the DNC is under-estimating the degree they should be afraid of Trump. ..."
"... Of course, in reality there was NO hack. The emails were LEAKED by someone within the DNC who was utterly disgusted with the corruption and the sabotaging of Sanders nomination campaign to prevent any threat to the coronation of Empress Shrillary. ..."
"... IMHO its very likely that the leaker was indeed Seth Rich. Does anyone really believe in a "botched robbery" were the thief didn't steal his wallet or phone or watch? ..."
"... At this point there is an ocean of evidence that says Russia did NOTHING at all. More and more the revelations are that the Clinton slime machine moved on from Bernie Sanders to Trump without breaking stride. ..."
"... The Mueller shenanigans have for months been laid out for all to see by Andrew C. McCarthy, who ironically is a confirmed Putin-hater. More recently Victor Davis Hanson weighed in at long last, and it was a doozy. ..."
"... The Muller team is loaded with rabid Trump haters, which implies he either biased and out to get Trump, or just dumb. It has been very obvious from the moment Trump won the election that a large contingent of the government establishment has been determined to find a way to force him from office. ..."
"... My primary complaint with Trump is that in foreign policy, he has done nothing but endorse and continue the murderous and shameful policies of his predecessors: back Israel unequivocally, in spite of their record of aggression, back Saudi Arabia, ignoring the absolute evil of their country, pretend that Russia and Iran are the greatest evil in the world, with no evidence to support it. If there is a behind the scenes deep state, it consists of those who manage to continue this pattern, no matter if the president is an Evangelical or a Marxist. Foreign policy aside, he does have the interests of the common man at heart, and a very enthusiastic backing from "Joe six-pack" America, the America the left loathes. ..."
"... Listen to the speakers at political rallies, if they are only demonizing the other side in an unfocussed and vague way, this is what they are doing. It is a strategy of "divide and conquer." ..."
"... Those, who vote for one party or the other above all else, no matter whom the party nominates or what the party does, lawful or not, are engaging in the same political factionalism, about which Washington warned. Both parties have to be made to protect the Constitution and respect the rule of law. That is much more important than which party wins. At this point, neither party gives much of a damn about the Constitution or the law. The only goal is to win at any cost, vying for the attention of their globalist string-pullers. ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Flynn asked Kislyak for help in blocking or postponing a Security Council resolution denouncing Israel, and to tell Vladimir Putin not to go ballistic over President Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. This is what security advisers do. Why Flynn let himself be ensnared in a perjury trap, when he had to know his calls were recorded, is puzzling.

Second, it is said Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey for refusing to cut slack for Flynn. But even Comey admits Trump acted within his authority. And Comey had usurped the authority of Justice Department prosecutors when he announced in July 2016 that Hillary Clinton ought not to be prosecuted for having been "extremely careless" in transmitting security secrets over her private email server. We now know that the first draft of Comey's statement described Clinton as "grossly negligent," the precise statute language for an indictment.

We also now know that helping to edit Comey's first draft to soften its impact was Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. His wife, Jill McCabe, a candidate for state senate in Virginia, received $467,000 in campaign contributions from the PAC of Clinton bundler Terry McAuliffe.

Comey has also admitted he leaked to The New York Times details of a one-on-one with Trump to trigger the naming of a special counsel -- to go after Trump. And that assignment somehow fell to Comey's predecessor, friend, and confidant Robert Mueller. Mueller swiftly hired half a dozen prosecutorial bulldogs who had been Clinton contributors, and Andrew Weinstein, a Trump hater who had congratulated Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to carry out Trump's travel ban. FBI official Peter Strzok had to be been removed from the Mueller probe for hatred of Trump manifest in emails to his FBI lady friend. Strzok was also involved in the investigation of Clinton's email server and is said to have been the one who persuaded Comey to tone down his language about her misconduct, and let Hillary walk.

In Mueller's tenure, still no Trump tie to the hacking of the DNC has been found. But a connection between Hillary's campaign and Russian spies -- to find dirt to smear and destroy Trump and his campaign -- has been fairly well established.

By June 2016, the Clinton campaign and DNC had begun shoveling millions of dollars to the Perkins Coie law firm, which had hired the oppo research firm Fusion GPS, to go dirt-diving on Trump. Fusion contacted ex-British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who had ties to former KGB and FSB intelligence agents in Russia. They began to feed Steele, who fed Fusion, which fed the U.S. anti-Trump media with the alleged dirty deeds of Trump in Moscow hotels. While the truth of the dirty dossier has never been established, Comey's FBI rose like a hungry trout on learning of its contents. There are credible allegations Comey's FBI sought to hire Steele and used the dirt in his dossier to broaden the investigation of Trump -- and that its contents were also used to justify FISA warrants on Trump and his people.

This week, we learned that the Justice Department's Bruce Ohr had contacts with Fusion during the campaign, while his wife actually worked at Fusion investigating Trump. This thing is starting to stink.

Is the Trump investigation the rotten fruit of a poisoned tree? Is Mueller's Dump Trump team investigating the wrong campaign?

There are other reasons to believe Trump may survive the deep state-media conspiracy to break his presidency, overturn his mandate, and reinstate a discredited establishment. Trump has Fox News and fighting congressmen behind him and the mainstream media is deeply distrusted and widely detested. And there is no Democratic House to impeach him or Democratic Senate to convict him. Moreover, Trump is not Nixon, who, like Charles I, accepted his fate and let the executioner's sword fall with dignity. If Trump goes, one imagines, he will not go quietly.

In the words of the great Jerry Lee Lewis, there's gonna be a "whole lotta shakin' goin' on."

LouisM December 14, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Trump has had to work with corrupt officials in govt, overwhelming bureaucracy, unions, media and criminal elements. All present in anti-Trump DC.

I think the surprise is the degree and extent to which he is surrounded by hostile elements pretending to be disloyal and even when revealed like Comey and Sessions and Rosenstein they cannot be dislodged without great cost.

The balance of evidence does not fall on Trump. The preponderance of evidence from Wasserman Schultz and her Pakistani technicians, from rigging the DNC against Sanders, from the McCain/FBI Dossier to justify wiretapping the RNC candidate, the pay for play Clinton Foundation and Clinton bankrolling the DNC in exchange for full control of the party, murdered members of the DNC like Seth Rich, the collusion between the CIA, FBI, DOJ, IRS, State Department and White House, etc etc etc.

There is no equivalent trail of collusion, corruption, fraud, slander, sedition etc from Trump, the GOP or the Conservative Party while the DNC and the Mueller investigation reeks.

Beyond the Mueller investigation is the character assassination which has also backfired proving there are far more democrats and democratic donors engaged in rape, pedophilia and sexual harassment which is more of the same type of character assassination Hillary used by calling Trump and his base deplorables.

I think Trump is playing nice and being patient. He is fighting back but with great restraint. I don't think Trump has pulled out all guns. My guess, if and when this does not work, then Sessions and Rosenstein will be fired and replaced with people who will have special prosecutors investigate the Mueller investigation, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Obama, the FBI and the DOJ. Imagine how devastating it would be to release information proving Bill Clintons rapes and murders. Hillary may be a master at deflection and obfuscation but Trump will scorch and burn. Of this I have no doubt. Infact, it would not surprise me if Trump has someone in the intelligence community reporting directly to him and covertly performing these investigations so Trump can either scorch and burn in the media, in the press room or to appoint special counsels for what I cited above.

People in the DNC and the Federal Govt were scared of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Obama but I truly think the DNC is under-estimating the degree they should be afraid of Trump.

Gazza , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:27 am
"In Mueller's tenure, still no Trump tie to the hacking of the DNC has been found."

Of course, in reality there was NO hack. The emails were LEAKED by someone within the DNC who was utterly disgusted with the corruption and the sabotaging of Sanders nomination campaign to prevent any threat to the coronation of Empress Shrillary.

IMHO its very likely that the leaker was indeed Seth Rich. Does anyone really believe in a "botched robbery" were the thief didn't steal his wallet or phone or watch?

Dan Green , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:18 am
The media tells us this administrations support is waning, so impeachment is a hot topic. I am not convinced the American people en mass will support the process.
SteveK9 , says: December 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm
Most of these comments are almost as ridiculous as 'RussiaGate' itself. One must have a very strong bias to believe any of this (I am a lifelong Democrat, but I'm still able to think).

At this point there is an ocean of evidence that says Russia did NOTHING at all. More and more the revelations are that the Clinton slime machine moved on from Bernie Sanders to Trump without breaking stride.

Ken Zaretzke , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm
"Unfortunately, your nay-sayers seem confined to calling you a "Do-Do Head" and other remarks more suited to a preschool classroom."

Amen to that. They might be willfully ignorant. The Mueller shenanigans have for months been laid out for all to see by Andrew C. McCarthy, who ironically is a confirmed Putin-hater. More recently Victor Davis Hanson weighed in at long last, and it was a doozy.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454543/mueller-investigation-too-many-anti-trump-coincidences

Saying Robert Mueller is a pillar of integrity is like saying George Will is a brilliant thinker–it's Beltway bushwa.

Honorable Shark , says: December 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm
The neocons forgot that Richard Nixon saved Israel in the 1973 war. He emptied the NATO reserves to replenish their lost weapons. Had he not done this, maybe a negotiated peace based on a fair fight would have negated many of the problems we face today? Then Ford came along and they realized Oops! A mistake has been made. Carter stopped drinking the neocon KoolAide when the facts became irrefutable. Comparing Nixon to Trump is a non-starter. Nixon had an incredibly high-IQ and he was pro-America first, second, .nth.
EliteCommInc. , says: December 15, 2017 at 11:10 pm
I remain a huge fan of Pres Nixon. I often think he should have fought it out. Having chosen not to do so – he did indeed go quietly. And he did so for reasons unrelated to Watergate.

He also remains one of the most astute and intelligent men we have ever had in the WH. Had he been an insider, he would not have had faced the storm that came by way a lot of hyperbolic nonsense. It easy to forget how much he and his admin accomplished despite the period.

I remain supportive of Pres. Trump and despite areas of disagreement, I have yet to see any evidence that would even hint that he should resign. I don't think there's any evidence that the country is uniquely on a path to destruction from Pres Trump admin.

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

"4 indictment and or guilt pleas. Nothing there you say?"

I don't think you grasp the breadth that a SP has. It is virtually limitless. That means one can indicted for something that is accused years before and totally unrelated to the original purposes of the appointment. It was that breadth that bothered Pres. Nixon. And as it turned out he was concerned with good reason.

-- -- -- -- -- -

"Middle East was causing a huge recession that led to Democratic wave in 1974."

The die were cast, despite all of the issues, Pres Nixon out maneuvered and outsmarted his critics on the issues and they bit one card, charges of misbehavior on the heels of a very contentious foreign policy. He could have only survived had he just chosen to readily give on the plotters and moved on. Pardoning them later.

His choice to protect his legacy in its entirety -- led to bad decisions, that fed the appearance of guilt -- when the tapes came out --

it was done, despite little of anything incriminating on them. He chose to depart quietly. And in the end, so nil was his accusations that he has had his tenure revived and I suspect with time, that will continue.

Molière , says: December 16, 2017 at 10:10 am
Here's a list of confirmed fake news concerning the "russiagate" (of course all going in the same direction):
  1. Trump team received access to DNC WikiLeaks files before they were released (CNN).
  2. Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post).
  3. An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post).
  4. WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian).
  5. A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate).
  6. RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune).
  7. Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike).
  8. Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security).
  9. Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN).

Glenn Greenwald made an article about it. When we dig deep into the Russiagate it's not trump that we find but Brzezinski doctrine.

Peace from France

Stephen , says: December 16, 2017 at 10:13 am
The Muller team is loaded with rabid Trump haters, which implies he either biased and out to get Trump, or just dumb. It has been very obvious from the moment Trump won the election that a large contingent of the government establishment has been determined to find a way to force him from office.

This is an obvious truth, whether you want to call it a deep state conspiracy or something else. Trump is an imperfect man, but he has good ideas and plans for improving the life of the ordinary citizen.

One of the ways I know he is essentially decent is the hysterical hatred the left has for him. The left is the true enemy of this country, not Russia or radical Islam. In the past 50 years they have done great harm to this country.

The Conservative establishment has been utterly ineffective at stopping the destructive onslaght of the left, and in matters of foreign policy, have proven to be thoroughly corrupt and dishonest.

My primary complaint with Trump is that in foreign policy, he has done nothing but endorse and continue the murderous and shameful policies of his predecessors: back Israel unequivocally, in spite of their record of aggression, back Saudi Arabia, ignoring the absolute evil of their country, pretend that Russia and Iran are the greatest evil in the world, with no evidence to support it. If there is a behind the scenes deep state, it consists of those who manage to continue this pattern, no matter if the president is an Evangelical or a Marxist. Foreign policy aside, he does have the interests of the common man at heart, and a very enthusiastic backing from "Joe six-pack" America, the America the left loathes.

If Trump is successfully removed from office, I predict a breakout of serious unrest from the people.

DB , says: December 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm
Mr. Buchanan,

Do you have multiple personalities? One moment you are defending true conservatism and the next you seem to be supporting somebody because they have an R next to their name. Trump is a serious danger to our country. Far more than ISIS or any Muslim terrorists.

George Washington wrote a letter of farewell to the American People in 1796, in which he warned against the corruption of self-interested political parties. He called them political factions, but he is referring to the corruption and treasonous tendencies of the Democrat and Republican Parties of today, who are much more interested in the advancement of their party than the well-being of the Country, the protection of the Constitution or the rule of law.

Both of these now treasonous parties are funded and controlled by much the same global financial interests and are currently more loyal to their foreign paymasters -- which includes many foreign despots -- than they are to our country. The corruption of each of the two major political parties feeds on that of the other. Both parties have grown into foreign-controlled monsters. Individual Congressmen take orders from the party leadership, the lapdogs of their party bosses, instead of serving the interests of the nation.

The extreme partisanship and generalized demonization of members of the other party is a form of brainwashing that keeps Democrats and Republicans voting for their respective parties, no matter how corrupt the politicians of their own party have become. Listen to the speakers at political rallies, if they are only demonizing the other side in an unfocussed and vague way, this is what they are doing. It is a strategy of "divide and conquer." People should concentrate on specific misdeeds of individuals and not just be the cheerleaders of their own party. Both parties are parasitical entities feeding on the rotting carcass of America, which they have created.

Those, who vote for one party or the other above all else, no matter whom the party nominates or what the party does, lawful or not, are engaging in the same political factionalism, about which Washington warned. Both parties have to be made to protect the Constitution and respect the rule of law. That is much more important than which party wins. At this point, neither party gives much of a damn about the Constitution or the law. The only goal is to win at any cost, vying for the attention of their globalist string-pullers.

https://stop-obama-now.net/washingtons-farewell/

[Dec 17, 2017] Dr. Stephen Cohen on Tucker Carlson Empty Accusations of Russian Meddling Have Become Grave National Security Threat

Notable quotes:
"... Cohen, who has been quite vocal against the Russophobic witch hunt gripping the nation , believes that this falsified 35 page report is part of an "endgame" to mortally wound Trump before he even sets foot in the White House, by grasping at straws to paint him as a puppet of the Kremlin. The purpose of these overt attempts to cripple Trump, which have relied on ham-handed intelligence reports that, according to Cohen "even the New York Times referred to as lacking any evidence whatsoever," is to stop any kind of détente or cooperation with Russia. ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

With eyebrows suspiciously furrowed, Tucker Carlson sat down tonight with NYU Professor of Russian Studies and contributor to The Nation , Stephen Cohen, to discuss the 35 page #FakeNews dossier which has gripped the nation with nightmares of golden showers and other perverted conduct which was to be used by Russia to keep Trump on a leash.

The left leaning Cohen, who holds a Ph.D. in government and Russian studies from Columbia, taught at Princeton for 30 years before moving to NYU. He has spent a lifetime deeply immersed in US-Russian relations, having been both a long standing friend of Mikhail Gorbachev and an advisor to President George H.W. Bush. His wife is also the editor of uber liberal " The Nation," so it's safe to assume he's not shilling for Trump - and Tucker was right to go in with eyebrows guarded against such a heavyweight.

Cohen, who has been quite vocal against the Russophobic witch hunt gripping the nation , believes that this falsified 35 page report is part of an "endgame" to mortally wound Trump before he even sets foot in the White House, by grasping at straws to paint him as a puppet of the Kremlin. The purpose of these overt attempts to cripple Trump, which have relied on ham-handed intelligence reports that, according to Cohen "even the New York Times referred to as lacking any evidence whatsoever," is to stop any kind of détente or cooperation with Russia.

Cohen believes that these dangerous accusations attempting to brand a US President as a puppet of a foreign government constitute a "grave American national security threat."

At the very end of the interview, Tucker's very un-furrowed eyebrows agreed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtwFEA4dM18

Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com

[Dec 16, 2017] Team Obama Gets Caught Committing Political Espionage, Spying on Trump His Team

Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Microphonix Virtual Studio , 8 months ago

Big question is; will they bring Obama to justice? Logically, if he can get away with breaking the law, we should be able to as well.

[Dec 16, 2017] OBAMA OFFICIALS FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR UNMASKING TRUMP TEAM Bob Woodward Explains Charges

See some information about this Obama official at Evelyn Farkas - Wikipedia
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

King Leonidas , 8 months ago

People need to go to jail for this. Too much power is in the hands of the shadow government. The democratic party along with the republican establishment need to be exposed for the snakes that they really are, thank you HA !!

[Dec 16, 2017] Multiple Felonies Committed By Obama Admin. Obama Surveillance on Trump.

Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Flora Moreland , 8 months ago

Do you remember when Schumer said Trump better watch what he says against the intelligence cause they no how to get back at him?!!!!

Sempi5757 , 8 months ago

Lynch should've been arrested a long time ago

R J , 8 months ago

So how long until we see some arrests? An average citizen would be sitting in jail!

[Dec 16, 2017] CIA Insider Releases 47 Hard Drives Revealing Obama Spying On Trump - YouTube

Dec 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Anonymous EXPOSED -
CIA Insider Releases 47 Hard Drives Revealing Obama Spying On Trump | Anonymous EXPOSED

⭐ Please Donate & Support This Channel: https://www.paypal.me/AnonymousEXPOSEDus

Learn more about news on Youtube: https://goo.gl/sTV9nq

Read More/Source/Credit(FAIR USE):
http://www.neonnettle.com/features/81...

[Dec 16, 2017] Former US attorney says FBI wants to frame the President

Highly recommended!
Pretty interesting and revealing video of the interview...
There is indeed probable cause to conclude, meaning indictable offenses, that employees of the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the Democrat Party, used the power of their offices and with the assistance of foreign nationals to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump or to provide a basis for his impeachment should he win.
From the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI it looks like that those institutions protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.
In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the Constitution. That is the definition of tyranny.
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

William Branstetter , 9 hours ago

Treason is exactly what these people have committed! They should be tried, if convicted hung by the neck until dead or firing squad their choice!

Scott SonofJohn , 9 hours ago

"Comey sold his soul to the devil."

[Dec 16, 2017] Surveillance Confirmed Of President Trump. Obama spied on Trump. where is the arrest

Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

buzzkillean , 8 months ago

Obama and Clinton thought they had the election in the bag. They broke surveillance laws thinking that Clinton would be in the Whitehouse to cover it anyway. Imagine their shock on election day when they realized how many felonies would be exposed when Trump took over.........cover-up.

meconnectesimplement , 8 months ago

Look at her face at 2:06 ... Scared and panicking Evelyn Farkas spilled the beans. By saying "I became very worried..." she's obviously trying to justify her behavior in case a legal bomb is dropped on her. This is a side effect of Nunes' dramatized little trip to the White House intelligence secure facilities: as long as they don't know Nunes and Trump's hands, panic will bring more people to come forward and look for some kind of justification and/or protection.

[Dec 16, 2017] Sessions Balks At Second Special Counsel Says Recent FBI Bombshell May Have Innocent Explanation Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... House and Senate Committees are also trying to get to the bottom of a report last Monday by Fox News which revealed that recently demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS - the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier. It was also later uncovered by internet sleuths that Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group at a 2010 working group on organized crime, which she participated in along with her husband Bruce and Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS. ..."
"... Last Tuesday, FBI Deputy Director McCabe unexpectedly cancelled a scheduled testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee -- thought to be related to the Fox report on Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Text messages between Strzok and Page were released the same day . ..."
"... Of course he won't, yet those who still support Trump will continue to perform mental gymnastics to explain why. Trump picked Sessions, just like he picked Cohn, Munchkin, Pence, etc. ..."
"... I've always been very uncomfortable with the nearly unlimited mandate afforded Special Prosecutors. Arguments that Mueller has exceeded his mandate and is now on a fishing expedition show a complete disregard for the law. Mueller is allowed to do that, just as Ken Starr was. That's the problem. Mueller hasn't done anything unlawful and nobody has seriously alleged that he has. The problem is that the law allows him to do whatever he wants. ..."
"... If by "insurance policy" Strzok meant the dossier, which was the basis for a FISA warrant, I'd say they were outside the law. ..."
"... Have you noticed that everyone with these impeccable, beyond reproach, do it by the book reputations are all really nothing more than reptilian scumbags? Comey, Mueller, McCain, Sessions....... ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

In November. Sessions pushed back on the need for a special counsel to investigate a salacious anti-Trump dossier paid for in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, and whether or not the FBI used the largely unverified dossier to launch the Russia investigation. Sessions told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that it would take "a factual basis that meets the standard of a special counsel," adding "You can have your idea but sometimes we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standards it requires. I would say, 'looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel "

http://players.brightcove.net/1077863425/HyenjoxZ3b_default/index.html?videoId=5646148989001

A flood of GOP lawmakers along with President Trump's outside counsel Jay Sekulow have renewed calls for a separate special counsel investigation of the Department of Justice and the FBI amid revelations that top FBI officials conspired to tone down former FBI Director James Comey's statement exonerating Hillary Clinton - altering or removing key language which effectively "decriminalized" Clinton's beahvior. The officials implicated are former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Strzok's supervisor E.W. "Bill" Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson .

Also under recent scrutiny are a trove of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page showing extreme bias against then-candidate Trump, while both of them were actively engaged in the Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation. GOP lawmakers claim the FBI launched its investigation into Russian collusion based on the 34-page dossier created by opposition research firm Fusion GPS - which hired the CIA wife of a senior DOJ official to assist in digging up damaging information on 5then-candidate Trump .

A particularly disturbing text message between Strzok and Page was leaked to the press last week referencing an " insurance policy " in case Trump were to be elected President. Strzok wrote to Page: " I want to believe the path you threw out to consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk ." It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40.... "

House and Senate Committees are also trying to get to the bottom of a report last Monday by Fox News which revealed that recently demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS - the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier. It was also later uncovered by internet sleuths that Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group at a 2010 working group on organized crime, which she participated in along with her husband Bruce and Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS.

Bruce and Nellie Ohr

Last Tuesday, FBI Deputy Director McCabe unexpectedly cancelled a scheduled testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee -- thought to be related to the Fox report on Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Text messages between Strzok and Page were released the same day .

So with Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying things may have "more innocent explanations" here are some specific questions for the AG to answer:

18 U.S. Code ' 793 "Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information" specifically uses the phrase "gross negligence." Had Comey used the phrase, he would have essentially declared that Hillary had broken the law.

The list goes on and on, but hey: sometimes things that might appear to be bad in the press have more innocent explanations...

So Close -> Automatic Choke , Dec 16, 2017 6:31 PM

No! The true explanation cuts across the grain of the existing miasma currently being perpetrated as truth by the senior management at the FBI. One being ignored and covered up by the mainstream media. We have senior management at the top federal law enforcement agency that has willfully chosen to elevate their personal political opinion and beliefs above their sworn duty to uphold constitutional law. And this "explanation" is just the latest attempt to reinforce a violently shaking house of cards. The question that presents itself is whether we have the moral backbone as a country to correct our course. The outcome is questionable. And yet there is room for hope.

SWRichmond -> So Close , Dec 16, 2017 6:43 PM

Is Sessions the insurance policy?

Buckaroo Banzai -> Muddy1 , Dec 16, 2017 7:06 PM

"Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake" Appointing a second Special Counsel could be interpreted as an interruption. I'm not defending Sessions here, he simply might be doing exactly what his boss is asking him to do.

LetThemEatRand -> chunga , Dec 16, 2017 7:05 PM

Of course he won't, yet those who still support Trump will continue to perform mental gymnastics to explain why. Trump picked Sessions, just like he picked Cohn, Munchkin, Pence, etc.

veritas semper ... -> fx , Dec 16, 2017 7:35 PM

"The AAZ Empire the Judiciary domain is like central banking and media a goy-free zone. All lawyers, attorneys, judges, etc. are members of the BAR association, a private, Zion controlled monopoly, whose internal rules and regulations, that all BAR members are sworn to, supersedes the constitutions and laws of all nation states."

This quote is not mine,but it reflects exactly what I think. If you do not believe this,do a search about BAR association.

Look at this judge : https://fair.org/home/judge-tells-jury-informing-public-may-be-criminal-...

Look at her picture. You know she's a "chosen",even without knowing her name

Sessions is a gatekeeper. Like the Donald.

The simple fact that Hillary Clinton is not in jail, with the OVERWHELMING evidence we have against her, that the Weiner lap top has disappeared with all 650 000 incriminating e-mails, that all the Clinton dead pool is OVERFLOWING, including with the recent death of Dr. Dean Lorich, who had knowledge about the Clinton Foundation doings in Haiti, Seth Rich's death, etc. ALL THESE are proofs that we do not have a DOJ, an AG(which are named by the EXECUTIVE branch) .

This leads to only one conclusion=there is one party, having two wings ,to create an illusion of "democracy" and that voting matters.

stocktivity -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:36 PM

I can't stand Sessions but in this one instance, he is correct.

swmnguy -> stocktivity , Dec 16, 2017 6:59 PM

Yes, the full-court press is on to end the Special Prosecutor investigation, and maybe even the entire law authorizing it. There appear to be no legal grounds for any of this. This seems to be pure politics and PR manipulation attempts.

I've always been very uncomfortable with the nearly unlimited mandate afforded Special Prosecutors. Arguments that Mueller has exceeded his mandate and is now on a fishing expedition show a complete disregard for the law. Mueller is allowed to do that, just as Ken Starr was. That's the problem. Mueller hasn't done anything unlawful and nobody has seriously alleged that he has. The problem is that the law allows him to do whatever he wants.

And investigators are allowed to communicate with each other. They shouldn't have affairs with each other, but they do. Nobody serious, in a position to say or do anything that counts, alleges that they did anything unlawful, or anything that should be handled any other way than the way it was handled, which is a job reassignment and possible termination. Prosecutors are biased against the people they investigate. That's their job. I don't like that either, but that's the deal.

I'd have a lot more respect for Sessions if he didn't blather on about the Constitution and State's Rights and Freedom, and then cheerlead enthusiastically for a violent police state and suspension of the rule of law for profit. But as you say, in this situation, he is indeed correct.

And the fatuousness of the campaign to discredit Mueller, which assiduously avoids any legitimate political argument, is a very bad sign. President Trump's attorneys are in way over their head and they're panicking. Perhaps with good reason. But it would be better for America if Trump could have retained any competent representation. Clearly all the good lawyers decided they wanted no part of him as a client.

lew1024 -> swmnguy , Dec 16, 2017 7:07 PM

No, you are wrong about a full-court press to end the special prosecutor.

He is ending himself just fine. Also, the IG's work is not yet done, how dirty are the other lawyers working for Mueller?

Note that all of the Clinton's oppo research didn't find anything serious enough to use on Trump? No matter how much they paid?

Akzed -> swmnguy , Dec 16, 2017 7:20 PM

Nobody serious, in a position to say or do anything that counts, alleges that they did anything unlawful

If by "insurance policy" Strzok meant the dossier, which was the basis for a FISA warrant, I'd say they were outside the law.

wcole225 -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:43 PM

Have you noticed that everyone with these impeccable, beyond reproach, do it by the book reputations are all really nothing more than reptilian scumbags? Comey, Mueller, McCain, Sessions.......

ZH Snob -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:48 PM

all benefit of the doubt has been exhausted. they obviously have something on Sessions, or he's been a deep stater all along.

[Dec 16, 2017] Mueller Improperly Obtained Tens of Thousands Of Trump Transition Emails

And the coup attempt continues...
Notable quotes:
"... And the coup attempt continues... ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

SILVERGEDDON , Dec 16, 2017 5:35 PM

Wake me up when Mueller starts working with Wiener's 600,000 strong kiddie porn email collection.

He might want to look at the Cankles erasure collection, as well as the Huma / Aswan Back Up Collection of dirty laundry as well.

just the tip -> SILVERGEDDON , Dec 16, 2017 5:39 PM

don't say that. we won't ever wake you.

Hal n back -> just the tip , Dec 16, 2017 6:44 PM

I have been Ill the last several weeks: who are the criminals?

toady -> Hal n back , Dec 16, 2017 7:32 PM

It's SO important to have all the supeanas in place before collecting any documents. I'm in the middle of a suit and people keep trying to rush... "I'm just gonna go over there and get a copy...."

"No, not until the lawyer says so!"

Apparently D.C. works by a different set of rules.... and they're blaming the idiots who gave up the documents, not the ones who are, and continue, to use them illegally. Alternate universe!

The Management -> toady , Dec 16, 2017 7:35 PM

At this point Jeff Sessions is going to go down as literally the biggest fucking douche bag in history if he doesnt do something - i mean ANYTHING - shuffle his feet / look busy ... get the group coffee & doughnuts - i'd settle for anything really...

Chuck Walla -> Hal n back , Dec 16, 2017 7:35 PM

"Cooperating"? I bet they were fucking gleeful in their wet dreams to remove Trump.

GUS100CORRINA -> SILVERGEDDON , Dec 16, 2017 5:43 PM

Observation: RULE OF LAW is under assault.

R USSIAN COLLUSION has been proven false. Therefore, Mueller's job is DONE!!!

END this charade and this witchhunt!!! Open all sealed indictments and proceed forward with arrests.

Chupacabra-322 -> GUS100CORRINA , Dec 16, 2017 5:48 PM

@ GUS,

"Rule of Law under assault?"

Check the scoreboard. Their currently isn't any rule of law among Criminals. We're

Tyrannically Lawless.

Chupacabra-322 -> kellys_eye , Dec 16, 2017 7:38 PM

Here's the short list of Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath Hillary Clinton's Crimes.

As a reminder, all the data to date suggests that Hillary broke the following 11 US CODES. I provided the links for your convenience. HRC needs to STAND DOWN.

CEO aka "President" TRUMP was indeed correct when he said: "FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!"

18 U.S. Code § 1905 - Disclosure of confidential information generally
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1905

18 U.S. Code § 1924 - Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1924

18 U.S. Code § 2071 - Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

26 U.S. Code § 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7201

26 U.S. Code § 7212 - Attempts to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7212

18 U.S. Code § 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1343

18 U.S. Code § 1349 – Attempt and Conspiracy
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1349

18 U.S. Code § 1505 - Obstruction of Proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1505

18 U.S. Code § 1621 - Perjury generally (including documents signed under penalty of perjury)
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1621

18 USC Sec. 2384?TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE?PART I - CRIMES?CHAPTER 115 - TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
http://trac.syr.edu/laws/18/18USC02384.html

18 U.S. Code § 2381 - Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2381

The Preponderance of Evidence suggests that she broke these Laws, Knowingly, Willfully and Repeatedly. This pattern indicates a habitual/career Criminal, who belongs in Federal Prison.

If Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath Hillary Clinton would have been elected. Many if not all of the High Crimes, Crimes & sexual perversion's we see coming to Light never would have been known off.

The Tyrannical Lawlessness we see before our eyes never would have seen the light of day.

And, here's the Dark Humor in this. I'm not an Agent / Esq. Attorney from The City of London. This is common knowledge anyone could Investigate for themselves.

Americans have always been fascinated with the Law. It's the reason some of the highest rated Tee Vee shows we're all based on Law or the presumption of it. Show such as "Law & Order" & CSI. Christ Sakes, look at the OJ Trail ratings.

We're now a Nation of Men, not Law. Thus, to my point.

We're now absolutely, completely, open in your Face

Tyrannically Lawless.

Everybodys All ... -> SILVERGEDDON , Dec 16, 2017 6:13 PM

Mueller is doing more harm to the fbis already terrible reputation every day this sham is extended another day. When Mueller is done with this he better watch his backside is all I can say because many people are pissed at what he has put this country through.

bh2 , Dec 16, 2017 5:43 PM

Curious. Whatever transpired during the transition about "contact" with "Russians" would have been within the authority of the president-elect or his staff.

Why then would emails during transition be subject to review by Congress (or anyone else) with respect to alleged "collusion" between the campaign and foreign government officials? And why did not Trump just assert privilege and tell Congress to pound sand?

This is beginning to look like a snipe hunt which is being extended to provide political eyewash to blind the public to the reality there was no "there" there.

Kayman , Dec 16, 2017 5:40 PM

Mueller is dirty. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not the dirt we see on the surface, it is the dirty hidden below the cesspool of the Washington Mob.

Stan Smith , Dec 16, 2017 5:41 PM

It really is a soft coup by the FBI, CIA, DNC, among others. What a disgrace. These are the same people who want to be taken seriously. We'll take them seriously once they become serious. Which is likely no time soon.

chunga -> Stan Smith , Dec 16, 2017 5:58 PM

All these agencies are wacked right out. What we need is one moar... the Bureau of Pissed Off Citizens With Pitchforks. The Imperial City is out of control.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fyr0zbaFyE

MuffDiver69 , Dec 16, 2017 5:50 PM

Yep...Now the Fake News has all the Trump transition emails and gossip. This entire operation was a data mining expedition for the DNC and democrats. If you want to know a mans motives look at who he hires and Mueller has 3/4 partisan left wing hacks working for him. The fact they think this is ok and no big deal tells you all one needs to know and if it's proven they have been leaked, then shut this shit show down..This country is a disgrace.

RussianSniper , Dec 16, 2017 6:08 PM

The left and right establishment of DC, the Intelligence agencies, the fake news, and the Department of Justice have undertaken an overthrow of the constitutionally elected President of the United States.

This is treason.
This is sedition.

People need to answer for their crimes and should be punished severely.

Justice in the USA is not a thing of the past....

No matter what the previous criminal administrations wish you to believe.

Manaze , Dec 16, 2017 6:09 PM

This article never did say what the unlawful conduct was in obtaining the emails. GSA has no choice in cooperating with Mueller. He has been given broad authority.

I wish there was more objectivity on zerohedge. Mostly it is right extremist hate mongers who are besotted with one-sided cool aid. They just decide who to hate then lambast them without looking at all the facts. Nobody would call that smart.

Irish Yoga , Dec 16, 2017 6:12 PM

No mention of Bill, Hillary, Awans, Debbie, Seth, Huma, Carlos (perv husband of Huma the Hummer), Chelsea, and many other things too long to list. Hmmm... maybe the FBI should be chasing real criminals. But they are merely guardians of the old guard these days. Investigation was long ago deleted from their mandate.

"Rebellion to t... , Dec 16, 2017 6:20 PM

The sad fact of the matter is that all those involved in this overthrow, fully understand, their actions and behavior up to and including the spying on, the unmasking, the leaking of classified information, the slanderous and disinformation shit out by the fake news, etc., would eventually be exposed.

Those complicit did not care!

They'd rather destroy the nation than relinquish their unchecked power and ill gotten wealth.

We are on the verge of the fight of our lives.

US patriots will soon be in the field of battle with the deep state/shadow government/evil empire.

When the dust settles, no Bush, Clinton, or Obama family member or administration team should walk free.

The intelligence agencies need to be broken down.

Traitors need to answer for their crimes.

Those convicted must pay the ultimate price.

Pigeon -> "Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God."-ThomasJefferson , Dec 16, 2017 6:30 PM

"would eventually be exposed."

No, they did not. Because Hillary was rigged to win.

Honest John , Dec 16, 2017 7:05 PM

But they still can't get Hillary's e mails. Mueller is obviously a Clinton stooge.

ErostheDog , Dec 16, 2017 7:06 PM

And the coup attempt continues...

I Write Code , Dec 16, 2017 7:15 PM

Of course if anybody put anything sensitive in any email - without serious extra encryption - then they deserve whatever comes.

Neochrome , Dec 16, 2017 7:21 PM

This whole thing started out of nothing, or rather from a planted lie, as losers refused to accept the outcome of the election they thought they have sufficiently gamed. Meanwhile we have DNC testifying that they don't give a shit about democracy as they can do as they please as a "private" organization, including sabotaging their own candidates, but yawn to that. We have a testimony that connects DNC to the murder of Seth Rich, testimony obstructed from proper investigation by the highest law enforcement agency in the country itself. We have bureaucrat insurrection, from lowest clerks and judges to highest government officials, aimed at undermining the duly elected POTUS. This is a revolution in reverse, where ruling class is trying to overthrow the will of the people. And who is in the forefront of this fascist takeover and trampling of democracy: exactly the agencies that suppose to protect the country from that scenario - CIA and FBI. Finally the veil of "democracy has slipped and we can all see the ugly truth behind it...

[Dec 16, 2017] Strzok and Ohr as two new important players in Steele dossier saga

Notable quotes:
"... It is now known that the FBI also met with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier, who is now known to have been in the pay of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign in July 2016, shortly before the Russiagate investigation was launched. ..."
"... The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. ..."
"... Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier. ..."
"... It is also now known that over the course of the election the FBI – on the basis of information in the Trump Dossier – obtained at least one warrant from the FISA court which made it possible for it to undertake surveillance during and after the election of persons involved in the election campaign of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump. ..."
"... Let's remember a couple of things about the dossier. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it's been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document -- that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans. ..."
"... There is now talk of FBI Director Christopher Wray and of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being held in contempt of Congress because of the failure of the FBI and the Justice Department to comply with Congressman Nunes's subpoenas. ..."
"... As the FBI's deputy director of counter-intelligence it is also highly likely that it was Strozk who was the official within the FBI who supervised the FBI's contacts with Christopher Steele, and who would have been provided with the Trump Dossier ..."
"... As the BBC has pointed out , it was also the Trump Dossier which Congressman Adam Schiff – the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, who appears to be very close to some of the FBI investigators involved in the Russiagate case – as well as the FBI's Russiagate investigators were using as the narrative frame narrative when questioning witnesses about their role in Russiagate. ..."
"... These facts make it highly likely that it was indeed the Trump Dossier which provided the information which the FBI used to obtain the surveillance warrants it obtained from the FISA court during the 2016 election and afterwards. ..."
"... Given Strzok's central role in the Russiagate investigation going back all the way to its start in July 2016, there has also to be a possibility that it was Strzok who was behind many of the leaks coming from the investigation which so destabilised the Trump administration at the start of the year. ..."
"... On the strength of a fake Dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community carried out surveillance during the election of US citizens who were members of the campaign team of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton's opponent ..."
"... Given the debacle the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community are facing, it is completely understandable why they should want to keep the Russiagate investigation alive to draw attention away from their own activities. ..."
"... Put in this way it is Robert Mueller's investigation which is the cover-up, and the surveillance which is the wrongdoing the cover up is trying to excuse or conceal, which is what I said nine months ago in March . Congressman Jordan has again recently called for a second Special Counsel to be appointed . When the suggestion of appointing a second Special Counsel was first floated last month the suggestion was that the focus of the second Special Counsel's investigation would be the Uranium One affair. ..."
"... Congressman Jordan has now correctly identified the surveillance of US citizens by the US national security bureaucracy during the election as the focus of the proposed investigation to be conducted by the second Special Counsel. ..."
"... There should be only one Special Counsel tasked with looking into what is the real scandal of the 2016 election: the surveillance of US citizens during the election by the US national security bureaucracy on the basis of the Trump Dossier. ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | The Duran

... ... ...

Extracted from Strzok-Gate And The Mueller Cover-Up by Alexander Mercouris

It is now known that the FBI also met with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier, who is now known to have been in the pay of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign in July 2016, shortly before the Russiagate investigation was launched.

Whilst there is some confusion about whether the FBI actually paid Steele for his information, it is now known that Steele was in contact with the FBI throughout the election and after, and that the FBI gave credence to his work.

Recently it has also come to light that Steele was also directly in touch with Obama's Justice Department, a fact which was only disclosed recently. The best account of this has been provided by Byron York writing for The Washington Examiner

The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. In 2016, Ohr's office was just steps away from Yates, who was later fired for defying President Trump's initial travel ban executive order and still later became a prominent anti-Trump voice upon leaving the Justice Department.

Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier.

Word that Ohr met with Steele and Simpson, first reported by Fox News' James Rosen and Jake Gibson, was news to some current officials in the Justice Department. Shortly after learning it, they demoted Ohr, taking away his associate deputy attorney general title and moving him full time to another position running the department's organized crime drug enforcement task forces.

It is also now known that over the course of the election the FBI – on the basis of information in the Trump Dossier – obtained at least one warrant from the FISA court which made it possible for it to undertake surveillance during and after the election of persons involved in the election campaign of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.

In response to subpoenas issued at the instigation of the Congressman Devin Nunes the FBI has recently admitted that the Trump Dossier cannot be verified.

However the FBI and the Justice Department have so far failed to provide in response to these subpoenas information about the precise role of the Trump Dossier in triggering the Russiagate investigation.

The FBI's and the Justice Department's failure to provide this information recently provoked an angry exchange between FBI Director Christopher Wray and Congressman Jim Jordan during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

During that hearing Jordan said to Wray the following

Let's remember a couple of things about the dossier. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it's been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document -- that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans.

In response Wray refused to say whether or not the Trump Dossier played any role in the FBI obtaining the FISA warrants, even though it was previously disclosed that it did. This is despite the fact that this information is not classified and ought already to have been provided in response to Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.

There is now talk of FBI Director Christopher Wray and of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being held in contempt of Congress because of the failure of the FBI and the Justice Department to comply with Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.

During the exchanges between Wray and Jordan at the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Jordan also had this to say

Here's what I think -- I think Peter Strozk (sic) Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened, if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets

Peter Strzok is the senior FBI official who is now known to have had a leading role in both the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's misuse of her private server and in the Russiagate investigation.

Strzok is now also known to have been the person who changed the wording in Comey's statement clearing Hillary Clinton for her misuse of her private email server to say that Hillary Clinton had been "extremely careless'" as opposed to "grossly negligent".

Strzok – who was the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence – is now also known to have been the person who signed the document which launched the Russiagate investigation in July 2016.

Fox News has reported that Strzok was also the person supervised the FBI's questioning of Michael Flynn. It is not clear whether this covers to the FBI's interview with Flynn on 24th January 2017 during which Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador. However it is likely that it does.

If so then this is potentially important given that it was Flynn's to the FBI during this interview which made up the case against him to which he has now pleaded guilty, and given the indications that Flynn's interview with the FBI on 24th January 2017 was a set-up intended to entrap him .

As the FBI's deputy director of counter-intelligence it is also highly likely that it was Strozk who was the official within the FBI who supervised the FBI's contacts with Christopher Steele, and who would have been provided with the Trump Dossier.

Recently it has been disclosed that Special Counsel Mueller sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation supposedly after it was discovered that Strzok had been sending anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair.

These messages were sent by Strzok to his lover during the election, but apparently only came to light in July this year, when Mueller supposedly sacked Strzok because of them.

It seems that since then Strzok has been working in the FBI's human resources department, an astonishing demotion for the FBI's former deputy director for counter-intelligence who was apparently previously considered the FBI's top expert on Russia.

Some people have questioned whether the sending of the messages could possibly be the true reason why Strzok was sacked. My colleague Alex Christoforou has reported on some of the bafflement that this extraordinary sacking and demotion has caused.

Business Insider reports the anguished comments of former FBI officials incredulous that Strzok could have been sacked for such a trivial reason. Here is what Business Insider reports one ex FBI official Mark Rossini as having said

It would be literally impossible for one human being to have the power to change or manipulate evidence or intelligence according to their own political preferences. FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans.

This is obviously right. Though the ex-FBI officials questioned by Business Insider are clearly supporters of Strzok and critics of Donald Trump, the same point has been made from the other side of the political divide by Congressman Jim Jordan

If you get kicked off the Mueller team for being anti-Trump, there wouldn't be anybody left on the Mueller team. There has to be more

Adding to the mystery about Strzok's sacking is why the FBI took five months to confirm it.

Mueller apparently sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation in July and it was apparently then that Strzok was simultaneously sacked from his previous post of deputy director for counter-espionage and transferred to human resources. The FBI however only disclosed his sacking now five months later in response to demands for information from Congressional investigators.

There is in fact an obvious explanation for Strzok's sacking and the strange circumstances surrounding it and I am sure that it is the one Congressman Jordan was thinking during his angry exchanges with FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Recently the FBI admitted to Congress that it has failed to verify the Trump Dossier.

I suspect that Congressman Jordan believes that the true reason why Strzok was sacked is that Strzok's credibility had become so tied to the Trump Dossier that when its credibility collapsed over the course of the summer when the FBI finally realised that it could not be verified his credibility collapsed with it. If so then I am sure that Congressman Jordan is right.

We now know from a variety of sources but first and foremost from the testimony to Congress of Carter Page that the Trump Dossier provided the frame narrative for the Russiagate investigation until just a few months ago.

We also know that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report about supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of the year the top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth.

The June 2017 article in the Washington Post (discussed by me here ) also all but confirms that it was the Trump Dossier that provided the information which the CIA sent to President Obama in August 2016 alleging that the Russians were interfering in the election.

As the BBC has pointed out , it was also the Trump Dossier which Congressman Adam Schiff – the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, who appears to be very close to some of the FBI investigators involved in the Russiagate case – as well as the FBI's Russiagate investigators were using as the narrative frame narrative when questioning witnesses about their role in Russiagate.

These facts make it highly likely that it was indeed the Trump Dossier which provided the information which the FBI used to obtain the surveillance warrants it obtained from the FISA court during the 2016 election and afterwards.

Strzok's position as the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence makes it highly likely that he was amongst those senior FBI and US intelligence officials who gave the Trump Dossier credence, whilst his known actions during the Hillary Clinton private server investigation and during the Russiagate investigation make it highly likely that it was he who was the official within the FBI who sought and obtained the FISA warrants.

Given Strzok's central role in the Russiagate investigation going back all the way to its start in July 2016, there has also to be a possibility that it was Strzok who was behind many of the leaks coming from the investigation which so destabilised the Trump administration at the start of the year.

This once again points to the true scandal of the 2016 election.

On the strength of a fake Dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community carried out surveillance during the election of US citizens who were members of the campaign team of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton's opponent .

Given the hugely embarrassing implications of this for the FBI, it is completely understandable why Strzok, if he was the person who was ultimately responsible for this debacle – as he almost certainly was – and if he was responsible for some of the leaks – as he likely also was – was sacked and exiled to human resources when the utter falsity of the Trump Dossier could no longer be denied.

It would also explain why the FBI sought to keep Strzok's sacking secret, so that it was only disclosed five months after it happened and then only in response to questions from Congressional investigators, with a cover story about inappropriate anti-Trump messages being spread about in order to explain it.

This surely is also the reason why in defiance both of evidence and logic the Russiagate investigation continues to grind on.

Given the debacle the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community are facing, it is completely understandable why they should want to keep the Russiagate investigation alive to draw attention away from their own activities.

Put in this way it is Robert Mueller's investigation which is the cover-up, and the surveillance which is the wrongdoing the cover up is trying to excuse or conceal, which is what I said nine months ago in March . Congressman Jordan has again recently called for a second Special Counsel to be appointed . When the suggestion of appointing a second Special Counsel was first floated last month the suggestion was that the focus of the second Special Counsel's investigation would be the Uranium One affair.

That always struck me as misconceived not because there may not be things to investigate in the Uranium One case but because the focus of any new investigation should be what happened during the 2016 election, not what happened during the Uranium one case.

Congressman Jordan has now correctly identified the surveillance of US citizens by the US national security bureaucracy during the election as the focus of the proposed investigation to be conducted by the second Special Counsel.

In truth there should be no second Special Counsel. Since there is no Russiagate collusion to investigate the Russiagate investigation – ie. the investigation headed by Mueller – should be wound up.

There should be only one Special Counsel tasked with looking into what is the real scandal of the 2016 election: the surveillance of US citizens during the election by the US national security bureaucracy on the basis of the Trump Dossier.

I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes (recently cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman Jordan are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.

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[Dec 16, 2017] Trump's doubts about NATO, including his demands that European members pay more, are presented as evidence (it is hinted) of his collusion with the evil Putin.

Notable quotes:
"... History is bunk, as ol' Henry Ford said: Americans live in the eternal now. Our PDS (Putin Derangement System) journos insist that Putin is bad to the bone, as all Russkis are, and there's just no reason for it except for their dark slavic hearts which contrast so painfully with our bright pure red white 'n blue ones. :-( ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jim Haygood , , December 15, 2017 at 7:26 am

Nice timing for the release of these archives on Dec 12th. Yesterday the WaPo posted an article "based on interviews with more than 50 current and former U.S. officials" titled "Doubting the Intelligence: Trump Pursues Putin and Leaves a Russian Threat Unchecked":

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/donald-trump-pursues-vladimir-putin-russian-election-hacking/

Axiomatic to the WaPo hacks authors is that NATO ranks right up there with the 1776 Declaration and the Constitution as a bedrock US principle. Trump's doubts about NATO, including his demands that European members pay more, are presented as evidence (it is hinted) of his collusion with the evil Putin.

Naturally the new archives released by GWU play no part in the WaPo story two days later, since they aren't "fitted to the narrative."

History is bunk, as ol' Henry Ford said: Americans live in the eternal now. Our PDS (Putin Derangement System) journos insist that Putin is bad to the bone, as all Russkis are, and there's just no reason for it except for their dark slavic hearts which contrast so painfully with our bright pure red white 'n blue ones. :-(